It doesn’t look like much. Really just an old garden shed that seen better days, odds n’ ends left in there when all the tools got transferred to the newer and bigger shop. It’s home to a few rogue groups of yellow wasps and the occasional cat-faced spider. Hard to think of being anything more than just a garden shed overlooking the orchard and garden. It is easy for anyone to overlook to be something more than what it is.
But Mountain Man suggested it when I was musing outloud about where to set up a dye studio. We live in a pretty small A-frame house where Mountain Man works from home, so an entire room is set up as his office, and a lot part of the downstairs is dedicated to all things outdoors: i.e. the Gear Room. Setting up long term in the kitchen is a no-go for me for fear of contaminating food and cooking surfaces with dye powder and I’m not exactly the neatest dyer to ever walk this earth. Not to mention the kitchen is in the midst of a three year remodeling project with no end in sight.
“The garden shed,” I said outloud after Mountain Man suggested it after I was running out of ideas.
“Yes, the garden shed,” he responded, taking a long pull of his whiskey and coke.
“Let’s go see,” as we strolled out to the garden shed.
Pulling open the door to peer into the dimness, I ducked under the abandoned cat-faced spider web to look around. With solid shelves in the corner, and a table just inside the door, I had worked with far less in my pursuit of dyeing yarn. “Yes,” I said slowly, turning to look around. “Yes, it will work. Actually, it will work quite well.”
“Will it work? I’ll help you build table and shelves in there if you tell me what you want.”
I do not have many gifts or talents really when you look at it. I’m not a gifted artist, my singing will make you wish you were deaf, my writing so-so, more people are far smarter than me and so forth. But my one gift or knack, is taking what other people would overlook, discard, or ignore and make it mine. My first horse was a “nag” that no one bid on at the local community college horse auction. We went on to win the high point award for our regional horse club three years later. My first bedroom was a corner in an unfinished basement where I stacked boxes to form walls in order to no longer share a bedroom with my sister. My parents finally built the bedroom around me after they realized I was not going to move back upstairs to share a bedroom with my sister. I scored a hardwall office of my very own at work after no one wanted to deal with an old store room chocked full of junk. From classwork, to jobs no one else wanted at work, I took on what no one else wanted and made something of it because it was all I can get sometimes and that was better than nothing.
And now with this little garden shed, with its quirks, I am going to do it again. It’s not my ideal, dream studio of easy clean stainless steel counter types, an endless supply of hot water at the touch of spout. Sure, I’ll be limited to only being able to dye in warm weather and there will be work to do to get it ready for a dye studio. I’ll have to use water from the hose and clean all the odds n’ ends out. The wasps nests have already been evicted out the door and will have to be vigilant against them in the future. I’ll make peace with the cat-faced spider when she returns in the spring as she will guard against insects and is lovely to look at. I have had far worst roommates during my college days than a cat-faced spider.
It’s a far better dye space I’ve had before, dyeing in dark corners of unfinished basements or in the back of the garage, salvaging whatever equipment/work surfaces I could find from my family’s stockpiles of odds and ends. The large window folds up, letting in abundance of natural light and plenty of fresh air. With tables running down both sides, I’ll have far more work surfaces than I have ever had before. As I work, I’ll be able to look out across our orchard and herb and vegetable garden. The flowering plum tree and crabapple that my beloved Misty Moo and Captain Maxwell are buried under are right outside the door.
Friday was spent happily cleaning out the shed, music blaring on the bluetooth speaker, as I measured, debated, and planned. The final layout is still in draft stages but the building supplies are on order and a plan of attack is in place to make this a reality.
To complete a journey of a thousand miles, I have to start somewhere after all.