“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”
The Big Idea
Have you read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic? And her concept that an idea will percolate the ether until it finds its human source ready to make it manifest? I hope I haven’t lost you already, it sounds nuts and hippie but it’s something I’ve been working with. Stick with me?
When the idea for the Cosymajig landed here, with me, it came with a whole host of Big Ideas, one of which was to convert an outbuilding into a studio for its making. Up until that point I’d been making slippers in our family home and even they were starting to become unsettled as we out grew our playroom-come-space-under-the-stairs. The Cosymajig strongly insisted that we needed to GROW…. uh …. OK (sh*t, really) ?
It took a while to decipher the message and initially I began searching for a space to rent. Having put out feelers and finding nothing within the locality that was either appropriate (light or warm) or affordable, we as a family took the plunge….. even though it was a totally scary self-investment I knew it was the next step, the revolution in my heart….
Converting our barn into a studio space
We are builders & Do-er-Upers so in Spring 2018 we began full throttle clearing the massive pile of STUFF we’d accumulated from combining 4 houses into a 5 acre Smallholding in Wales 12 years earlier with my PIL.
The roof came off, the sun shone. The windows went in, the rain poured. Boarding, membranes, new battening. We insulated for what seemed months, layers & layers of the stuff; slates on the outside and plaster board on the inside. Electrics, plastering, painting, sanding, sealing.
The self build journey.
Self build is a Lovely Awful journey. It seems to go on forever, cost way to much, devours up every emotional and physical resource the you have and don’t have (yet).
You surrender and then surrender again. There is dust everywhere. You wonder why you started; no-one gets fed, bathed or read to. The kids play on the scaffold and in the shavings and you become a weathered, crispy, chestnut brown with a dusty grey topping, version of yourself. You find new resources and hone your skills; and occasionally you get to sit in A&E.
A room of one’s own…
And then the building part stops. Some jobs never quite get finished as the eagerness of actually moving in begins.
My girlfriends have gone weak at the knees over the creation of my cutting table (every crafty girls dream – right?).
It’s a space of my own. I can shut the door and daydream my soul into my creativity and (sometimes) share it with my crafty mates and kids; who quite happily get lost up here for hours too, in their own fabricy bliss. I’m so grateful for this creative curious path.
“You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures.”
Thanks for joining me, any questions, comments or shared experiences please do fire away!
Warmly, Belinda x