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An Ikea secretary of my own keeps most stuff organized.

I haven’t had a proper studio since I was just out of grad school and living in a three room apartment with one room dedicated to making. Since then, as I’ve taken on the baggage and responsibilities that come with two- and four-legged associates, I’ve given up a room of my own. Instead, I have have a desk of my own. And the dining table when I need it, which is most days until it’s dinner time. It works within the space we have, and best of all, the secretary can be folded closed when we go away, protecting delicious feathers and tempting beads and ribbons from marauding cats.

And the dining room table, of course.

Whatever space I have, or you have, I find the most important space is the one in my head. That’s where projects are born and die, where they’re planned and tweaked, where problems are solved. It’s the first space you have to get in order if you’re going to do your best work. Walks help. When I get stuck writing or sewing, walking usually shakes loose the next idea or solution.

A break from sewing, coming soon to the shop

To keep that headspace clear and organized, and happy working, I find music more helpful than TV, though many a Nazi Mega Weapons or screwball comedy has eased an evening of backstitching long seams. Lately, Spotify has been my go-to, thanks to these playlists. Listening to them is listening to how someone else’s brain works, which is incredibly enlightening. Whatever your art form, stepping outside your usual genre can be more inspiring than endlessly revisiting the same galleries and sources. Who better than the writer of Hamilton to show us the way?