Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop 2020

I applied to join this year's Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop through the Craft Industry Alliance, a group I find very valuable. For those of you who don't know me, I would normally never have the time in the spring to even consider cleaning. I am a shepherd, so spring is all about shearing, and lambing, and seeding pastures. I am a dairy farmer, so spring is all about kidding, and milking the new goats, and making cheeses. I am a gardener, so spring is all about starting new plants, cleaning out the beds, pruning the berries, and planting early crops. And I work full time at an Arkansas State Park, so I rarely get three days off in March and not too many in April.

But this year, the world changed. And while it is perfectly normal for the 30+ fleeces we shear to get piled in front of the fleece shelf awaiting skirting and sorting in the slower month of August, and for winter coats to get piled on my loom because it's right by the door to the barn, and post tax-time paperwork to get piled in heaps on my desk, this year is different. I suddenly had time to do some organizing and cleaning - and I desperately needed the peace that weaving brings me.

So, I signed up to do the Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop, so that I would have a deadline, and accountability. I've been working on this project for over a week. I started by finding a set of wire cube shelves on Facebook Marketplace. Many people are cleaning and destashing right now. I thought that they might replace my beloved "fleece shelf" that I got at a hardware store auction 10 years ago. It holds all my fleeces, and a ton of other stuff, but it is not easy to access things on it, and it takes up a lot of room.

This is a panorama view of my workshop before I began working on the Spring clean-up. From left to right is my fleece shelf, we are almost done shearing the flock for this spring. Next you can see my Triangle loom, my JL Hammett rug loom, the shop window, my desk, two of my rug racks, warping board, another rug rack, and the door that goes out to the barn.

I focused on my fleece shelf, and came up with a plan to get it organized and more accessible.

Tubs of yarn, my soap making supplies, a couple show tubs, and lots of
fleeces all piled on my fleece shelf.

My fleece shelf before the cleanup.
Winter coats and fleeces piled on my
JL Hammett loom.

 I emptied the whole shelf, putting most of the contents on our enclosed back porch, which also happens to be my dye studio. Much of it is still there, and I'll keep working on this project through the spring.

I deconstructed the shelf and now the boards
are being repurposed in the garden as raised beds.

I took apart the shelf and hauled the boards to the garden, to make raised beds (next week's project!). Then I built this cubby wire shelf. It wraps nicely around my triangle loom.

The new wire shelves. These things take a lot of time to build, but I like the clean look.
I can put one to two fleeces in each cubby.

The new fleece shelf, with organized and
skirted fleeces. I still have about 30 fleeces on
the enclosed back porch to skirt. So, there's
lots more sorting to do.

Now, with the winter coats washed and
hung up in the laundry room, and the new
wire cube fleece shelf, there is room to
move around in that corner of my studio.

I now have clear space to go back to
weaving my Fleecyful Wool rugs with
all these Jacob sheep fleeces on my
JL Hammett loom.

 That may be all the cleaning I accomplish this spring. There is a lot going on, and I really do want to weave a bit now that I have my loom accessible. However, just in case we get a spate of bad weather, this corner below is the next one to work on. It has my rug racks, a rack of heddles, and a few of the rugs that I weave with my fleeces. And lots of other stuff!

But right now, it's time to go do chores. My daughter and little Napoleon think I should be outside feeding sheep, not dabbling on the computer.

Here are the links to the rest of the blogs on the Spring Clean Up Blog Hop. Check them out and look at some awesome studios and great artists. Enjoy the Hop!

April 1 - Sam Hunter -
April 2 - Marian Pena -
April 3 - Jennifer Fulton -
April 4 - Martha Wolf -
April 5 - Jennifer Strauser -
April 6 - Steph Carton -
April 7 - Simone Fisher -
April 8 - Kate Colleran -
April 9 - Carlina Moore -
April 10 - Jen Frost -
April 11 - Leanne Parsons -
April 12 - Becca Fenstermaker -
April 13 - Sarah Myers -
April 14 - Mitzi Redd -
April 15 - Jeanette Larson -
April 16 - Camille Ainsworth -
April 17 - Becky Philips Jorgenson -
April 18 - Bobbie Gentili -
April 19 - Janellea Macbeth -
April 20 - Lisa Ruble -
April 21 - Debra Davis -
April 22 - Rona Herman -
April 23 - Sue Griffiths -
April 24 - Sarah Ruiz-
April 25 - Jessica Caldwell -
April 26 - Tammy Silvers -
April 27 - Ebony Love -
April 28 - Cheryl Sleboda -