Sunday, 13 January 2019

2019 plans

One of the things I did on my trip to London last month was visit the Burne-Jones exhibition at Tate Britain. As well as numerous paintings, including my favourite Burne-Jones work*, the exhibition included some of his comical sketches. Although he is usually considered to be a serious artist, he clearly had a humorous streak as well, and frequently poked fun at himself.

I  was reminded of one of these sketches this when I decided to tidy up and rearrange my workroom recently.

Mrs Wilkinson cleaning the studio, with Burne-Jones in the foreground

Burne-Jones dreaded studio-cleaning, and after several days of chaos I had every sympathy with him. Unfortunately I didn't have the luxury of help, so had to double up as both distraught 'artiste' and practical organiser!

However it is all done now. The room looks almost tidy, everything is labelled, and for the first time in nearly five years I have decent lighting over my ironing board. Woot! I even managed to find the left-over fabric from Vogue 2787, aka The Feed Sack Dress. I do still have the dress, albeit mended in a few places (from its unpromising start it has become a favourite that I'm loth to let go), but I think that the time for new buttons has passed.

The whole exercise did make me realise just how much fabric I have, and the depressing quantity of projects either half-done or not even started. So for 2019 I'm going to make a definite effort to chip away at this. I'm not going to measure my stash because a) it would be too embarrassing and b) it would take too long. Nor am I going to ban myself from buying fabric: I know well enough that I would have more success banning myself from drinking tea or eating chocolate. What I am going to do is keep a note of fabric bought and fabric used, with the intention that by the end of the year there should be a net loss. The previous attempt at stash reduction was a dismal failure, but I'm hoping I can do better this time.

So, 'progress' so far. . .

The 2019 Stashometer (of shame)

My excuse is that this is a fabric I've had my eye on for a while, and it was 50% off in the sale. Still not a good start, though.

* - Nothing to do with this post, but here it is:

Georgiana Burne-Jones by Edward Coley Burne-Jones, from Wikimedia Commons

Burne-Jones began this portrait of his wife Georgiana, known as Georgie, in 1883. The figures in the background are their two children, Philip and Margaret. He does not seem to have been the easiest person to live with (the notes in the exhibition describe Georgie as 'long-suffering') but from everything I've read about her, I think the portrait captures her personality.


  1. Yes! Another great post on what must be a universal topic. I clean and tidy the workroom ready to teach a class, feel very virtuous and aim to keep it like that. Then as soon as the session is finished a whole load of chaos and good intention seems to cover every available surface.

    1. Thank you Kate. I know the feeling: my husband used to (despairingly) refer to it as "horizontal surface syndrome" - I never met a flat surface that I didn't want to put something on!