Nooks & Crannies

Mildred Sugar Mills, a.k.a. Sugs

Be sure to leave plenty of nooks and crannies for the studio cats. This is Millie, Maybe Mabel’s sister. The girls are in training, exploring as we go. I’m setting up the horrid room as my studio space after months of decluttering, arranging odd bits of curb finds and old furniture. It all needs cleaned. I see more dust and dirt in photos than with my own eyes.

I regret painting everything shades of blue in 2018. I had to flip rooms, couldn’t sleep in the large bedroom after the Vet moved out. My mind was everywhere but neutral. Then the room slowly became a catch-all, clutter growing like an underbrush overtaking rements of semi-organized storage, making it harder to find things.

Familiar pattern? Yes. The same thing has happened in every place I’ve ever lived with a “spare” room. So much easier to hide a mess, quick clean… just haul or toss it in and shut the door. Occasionally wander into the forrest to gather supplies needed to make art elsewhere, so much time lost searching.

Patterns… if you want things to change, you got to make some changes.

It’s not easy. Joining a decluttering support group on Facebook has proven to be very beneficial. I also put myself back in therapy, set some goals to work on various aspects of my life, as everything is intertwined.

I’m going to come out of this stronger, better, and more sure of myself than ever. That’s a far cry from the “I’m old, I’m ye blind, it is what it is, so be it” mentality that has plaqued me for awhile. It was not really defeated, more of a quiet acceptance of being done, no time left for dreams, out of someday ideas… no desire or ambition. This new thing is like a stir between the two… old enough to be aware of my limitations, setting myself and my space up to enjoy my creativity without unnecessary frustrations.

Thanks for reading!

NOTE: This post launches “Beyond” as all posts before my blogging hiatus were written by me before what feels like a line drawn in the sands of time.

Studio Cat


Meet Max, as in Maxwell Storm. He’s only 8 weeks old.

He got his name because “Max” popped into my head when the girl who brought him to my door asking if I’d adopt her kitty handed him to me. Then I asked if she had named him yet. She said his name was Storm; that she’s been calling him Stormy. So I said okay, he can be Max Storm.

He is a storm, plays like a little whirlwind out in the main rooms, running and jumping and acting nuts. But, come in here and he’s like a totally different cat… calmly explores every nook and cranny, curls up on this foot stool, sits on top of storage bins under the work table, and he’s got a favorite spot to nap in the closet where he can hide for hours while I’m busy doing whatever.

Oh yeah… he’ll be a good studio cat.

I really, really REALLY like my new work space. It’s not quite ready for prime time show & tell, but the vibes in here are great. I haven’t had a dedicated work room that felt this good since… well, I don’t know when.  Bringing in the computer, swapping chairs out, and placing that curb find table in just the right spot made a huge difference. I can actually work in here, write in here, and do what I want in here.

Yes, I’m amazed. For a minute there, when my daughter was using this room as Santa’s Closet with her online purchases being shipped to this house, I began to wonder if my so-called work room would end up becoming just another storage room. That’s what happened every time before.  I’ve set up rooms when I lived in Warren, Salem, and Struthers, but there was always something off. It didn’t feel right. Try as I might, I just couldn’t make myself do much of anything inside the designated room.

Maybe it’s because I’m older now… maybe it’s THIS space.

Maybe because I’ve taken my time setting it up, repainted the walls and everything, after packing up the vet’s stuff back in July. This was “our” bedroom and I couldn’t sleep in here anymore, woke up crying, bawling buckets every day. Now all those vibes are gone.

I’m down to organizing supplies, putting things away, and all those bins tucked under tables need sorted out. No rush… it will slowly get done.

I’ve started doing a “Weekly Pour” with liner notes on my other blog (ybworks.com) as I’m just learning how to do acrylic pours. I like abstracts, so it’s fun… I’m up to five practice pours on paper. The first was a total disaster, chopped the second one up, and the last three are still drying. Suppose I could post them here, too… maybe just the ones that turn out okay.

Like here’s Pour #2. I can’t tell if the photo is fuzzy or that’s just my eyes. This being half blind sucks, but I’m thinking acrylic pours is something I can do… tried painting something delicate with tiny brushes and most of my strokes landed in the air.  It gets frustrating but, oh well… try something new.

And, here’s how I chopped it up as 4 ACEO’s, one 5×5, a bookmark, and a cover.

Of course, I had to make a little 28 page book for that cover (shown on far right in above photo). It’s the perfect size for passwords, birth dates, phone numbers, and notes for old ladies like me who can never remember. I like to write on paper that feels good so I used 7 folios of 50 lb sketch paper pamphlet stitched to the blue card stock liner.

Yeah, I know… you are supposed to pour onto gallery stretched canvases, but I’m just learning how to control this flow stuff. Practicing on 140 lb cotton paper yielded a nice surprise…  it feels good dry, almost like a leather. I’m very happy with my little book. It makes me want to make more.

Well, ornery got up where he’s not supposed to be… thank goodness that mat is dry. Guess I should get busy and get my mess cleaned up.  Sooner or later, it will all be neatly organized, too.

Thanks for reading!