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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Where We Make: Amy Lou Stein

[Amy Lou Stein dyes, sews, crochets and knits from her home studio just outside of Boston. She has taught me how to trace sewing patterns (to leave the original pattern intact) and how to use a serger for sewing jersey. Amy is—no contest—the most energetic person I know, and I love how that verve comes across in her writing.]


 My darling friend Camille asked me to write about my creative space, so here goes.

Our house is its own “creative process.” Even though I do have a designated space for crafting, I manage to overflow into the garage, basement and assorted nooks and crannies with my bins ‘n pins.


Mordants on Amy’s desk.

My work room is the back mudroom leading to the yard and laundry, perfect for accessing hoses, slop sinks and plant matter. But it’s also the path my family (and sometimes the entire neighborhood) use to go in and out of the house. Since I have no door between me and them, finishing a thought is an emotional and creative Twitter feed, limited, interrupt-able and open to the world. I do a lot of dyeing and I have all sorts of jars full of concoctions, powders, plant matter and pretty stones. I have been using our garden’s coreopsis to dye some silks and cottons that I recently indigo dipped and I am almost finished with a pretty blouse. My absolute favorite part of my room is the sweet trash-picked USPS table from 1931. It’s so high that I stand up to sew and now I am so used to it I prefer standing and sewing. The light streams in during the afternoon and makes me happy.

My only lament is my lack of organization in terms of shelving (and lack of shelves!) I need a twelve-step program to address my unhealthy relationship with every crafter’s best friend, THE PLASTIC BIN. The bins are full of every single kind of thing you might ever need…until you need it—and then I realize that OMG I ran out of fusible interfacing or, dread of dreads, fructose for my Indigo vat (that happened today).

I usually spend some time cleaning the space only to explode (literally) fiber everywhere when I have an idea. Hence, it is impossible to be anywhere in our house and not see some remnant of cloth, pin, yarn or hook along with many unfinished objects.


Where We Make is a weekly series on creative workspaces, appearing each Friday. Read the submission guidelines here. If you’d like to contribute a profile of your own space, please email me at cometpartyATgmailDOTcom.

4 Comments to Where We Make: Amy Lou Stein

  1. cal's Gravatar cal
    October 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    LOVE IT. though i long for the day when i see this room (and whole house) in real life, seeing this glimpse is enough for the moment. looks beautiful, and way more organized than you make it sound!

  2. October 4, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Writing this shamed me into deep shelf reflection. I went to Ikea days later and bought shelves!!!!! It felt like the best party ever loading up my shelves with “Making Treasures”. Thanks Camille!!!!

  3. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    October 5, 2013 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    We are in major need of shelving for all of our tools and supplies too. At some point we’ll get shelving and get organized…

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.