a (fluorescent, cold) room of one's own

I've recently leased a small studio space outside of my house.  It's quite inexpensive, which reflects the light quality and general atmosphere.  I call it my fluorescent dungeon. 

My studio is a little cubical cave in the basement of a building downtown dedicated to the arts.  There is two theatres above my space and, above that, offices.  Some days I work along to the piano score for Into the Woods and some days only to the sound of my creaking broke down winter boots.  There is quite a few cubical caves still to lease in the basement, but so far it's only me who is a regular denizen.

I haven't taken any pictures of my fluorescent dungeon because it's as picturesque as it sounds.  Instead, I will share a picture of the worst book shelf organization I've ever had:

Now, with a warm home filled with books and skulls, why would I want to rent a cubicle cave in a cold basement?  Especially since I have children at home all day and stuff to do at night that isn't sewing or arting?  Good question! 
At first I thought that having an outside space would allow me some extra room, desperately needed in my 644 square foot home.  So far it turns out that my actual stuff I use is quite minimal versus the stuff I store, so not much gain here.
I also thought that maybe an outside spot would quieten down the constant hubbub in my brain of conflicting reflexes.  I always think I should be doing something with the sewing but when I do something, I can't help notice that my dishes need done, the kids and cats want attention and, dang, is that a nice sunny patch on the couch that looks like a me sized slice of warm sleepy reading?  Time in the studio is focuses, nothing else to do but whatever sewing project sits before me.  But time at home is still the same pull in all directions, except now I also think, geez, maybe I should be down at the studio...
Additionally, and maybe just as important for me, the basement has nice concrete floors, perfect for roller skating.  Isn't the skate-ability of a floor a major consideration for whether or not to lease a space?  Okay, for me, I think about these things.  I play roller derby but I also live in a place covered by snow for six months of the year and obsessed with hockey ice rinks all of the time. There is precious little opportunity for me to skate outside of derby practices.  So having a spot where I could sneak in some footwork training is kind of a bonus.  Even more so since I challenged myself to use my skates every day for 365 days. 
Turns out, unsurprisingly for anyone thinking beyond yay, roller skates!, keeping my skates on in my studio spot is not conductive to sewing.   Sewing doesn't allow a lot of opportunity for movement and instead of just awkwardly hunching over the table to cut, I now almost bend double since my skates lift me five inches high off the ground.  Operating a foot pedal in skates is... tricky.  Actually, stupid is a better word.  So that idea is, while not out, still a bit silly.
On the upside, I haven't been in the florescent dungeon for very long, only a week, but I have managed to get in a couple hours everyday of productive work, which puts me about fourteen hours ahead of where I normally am after a week of working at home.  It's amazing at how little fourteen hours of sewing time will produce - one bear doll and a few quilt blocks.  On the other hand, those fourteen hours felt like only a few since I do become highly absorbed (and irritable, another reason to work outside the home).  I believe experts call that flow, but I don't call it that because it sounds like something I need to buy hygiene products for. 
So the jury is out on whether or not this outside (downstairs) studio idea is good or bad. I am trying to refrain judgment while I am in the settling in stage.  Either way, it's something I think I've always wanted.  Not actually a fluorescent dungeon but definitely a room of one's own.  I will get to, one way or another, lay aside that particular ambition, knowing that it was a worth it or not all it's cranked up to be. 
In the meanwhile, I'm going to make sure I have my good wool socks on and install a little coffee maker for heat and company, and get a little sewing time in. 


  1. That sounds interesting- I'm looking into hiring a studio space next year but it would cost quite a bit (there's a window) so I'd need to sell plenty of items to cover the cost. I'm worried that would take all the fun out of it...

    1. I admit that having The Man tell me daily, 'don't forget, you've got overhead now', does suck some of the joy out. It's a mixed bag so far.