My friend Michele has an actual craft room. It has a work table and shelves and little compartments for her crafting goodies. I, however, am not so fortunate. Extra space in my home is sparse, so my work space is often my dining room table or maybe my living room coffee table and sometimes even my office desk at work.
In my grade school, space was an issue too. But back then, we had one special room that wore many hats. And before you interject, of course a room can wear hats! That single room acted as gymnasium at 10 am for gym class dodge ball, as lunchroom at noon for fish sticks, and as auditorium at 3 pm for orchestra rehearsal. And we called it what it was: the multipurpose room.
Mr. Gambone, the school janitor, could switch that room over from one activity to the next in minutes flat. Now I know that the word janitor is no longer politically correct. Today we’d refer to him as the custodian or maybe the maintenance man. But with all that room rearranging from lunch, to school plays, to school assemblies, we really should have referred to Mr. Gambone as a multipurpose room magician.
Now if you don’t have your own personal Mr. Gambone and if you have the luxury of space, rooms that are dedicated to just one purpose do have some advantage. A single-purpose room can be outfitted with specialized equipment and stuff can be left in place. Tables stay put. Chairs and music stands remain lined up and ready for the next rehearsal. And back at my grade school, Mr. Gambone could have spent his time on more important pursuits. Like playing the stock market or maybe doing the sudoko.
So with all these perks of a single hat room, it is no surprise that most artsy folks desire a dedicated craft room of their own! Hour for hour, crafters will daydream about craft rooms almost as frequently as they daydream about quitting their day jobs to work the craft show circuit full time. And while most know that these are just pipe dreams (or pipe cleaner dreams if you want to be crafty), some crafters still fritter away too many days scouring Pinterest boards of other people’s craft rooms, and scanning pin after pin of Martha Stewart’s assortment of baskets and spools and boxes and built-in wall units. The hours tick away and our crafters click and click that mouse, when more practical things could be accomplished instead; things like plucking the strands of yarn out of their hair, peeling the dried modge podge from under their nails, scrubbing the smeared paint from their cheeks and maybe cleaning their houses or taking a shower. (Hey- crafting really can get all-consuming for some!)
I, however, embrace and appreciate the multipurpose craft room. Working on projects in the common areas of my home allows me to spend time with my family. I work on coasters while I watch DVRs of Jimmy Fallon with Joe or I knit while Jake does homework. Perhaps I’d be more productive in my own craft room, but I enjoy the company and my kin keep me socially appropriate and will certainly let me know if I inadvertently become embellished in bits of my own craft supplies. No cork pieces in my hair or ink on my face!
The one big downside for me and my multipurpose room right now is that with two craft shows next week and Christmas season looming upon me, my multipurpose room has become a multipurpose house. Tonight, I have ceramic and wood coasters drying on almost every flat surface in sight.
So the multipurpose craft space has advantages and disadvantages. And the craft room daydream continues to linger in every creative mind, even mine.
Eventually, I guess I will have to get this place cleaned up. Tomorrow, I will have to tap into the spirit of Mr Gambone and return these rooms to the dining room and living room that they should be.
Or instead, I could just ignore this wide spread workspace and spend some time on Pinterest. But I will be sure to shower first, don’t worry. I have my craft habit under control.
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