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And just like that – POOF! – she’s back in the game! We’ve finally moved into our temporary home in the Great State of Maine! I even updated my business card! (see above) And I have to tell you, it’s both wonderful and strange to be back to what we consider our home state. Places seem to achieve mythical stature in my mind, remembering just how a place is during happy times and never letting pesky updates and changes alter my memory of a place. This is how Maine has been for the past 6 years for us, yet moving back so much has changed. And, dare I say it, we are not the same people who headed south 6 years ago. However the essentials are unchanged: The smell of the sea (Gosh, I missed that), that warm feeling you get when sitting in the sun at your childhood home, the ability to see people you love on a whim and not having to say a long goodbye anytime soon. Yet even in all this warm fuzziness, my hands have been itching to be covering in paint and fiber threads once again.

My new studio is really an extension of the Master bedroom in our rental house, which I am sure my husband is THRILLED about. J But it is a nice space, big and bright in all the right ways. The challenge is that 95% of my studio equipment and fabric will continue to be in storage for a little while, so I am working on bare bones. And believe it or not, I’m finding this challenge really freeing! I never realized how paralyzing it can be to look at a wall of careful selected, organized and loved fabrics and not know which one to choose! I have done some minimal fabric shopping since our relocation, and I gotta say, choosing from less than 10 fabrics is liberating! That’s not to say I won’t continue to buy and accumulate, but for now I am loving this minimalist lifestyle. I also have limited notions and hardware having only packed 2 sewing machines, and basic tools to get through the next couple months. This may seem like the silliest, most ridiculous example of #firstworldproblems, but it always amazing me how little one can get by on, even as an artist. And Yes, you can opening mock me for typing the words “bare bones” and “minimalist” in the same paragraph as “only 2 sewing machines”.

After weeks of pining for some solid work time, I let myself really lavish in my art space this weekend. I spend the most time organizing and creating a new little happy space. Flow is so important. The older I get, the more I like my things just so. I find that if my space is messy, or things are just not in the right place I cannot do my best work. It’s about creating a safe place, a spot in your house where you find yourself walking into it just to check on things and say a little hello. When the hubby calls

“Are you ever coming back out?”

you’re doing it right. I may or may not have said *out loud, on multiple occasions, “Hello, I missed you friend!” while unpacking or re-homing sewing supplies this weekend. Even the kiddos picked up on my homecoming vibe by coming in and Oooing and Ahhing over long lost treasures. It seems only natural that with the excitement of the new, reminders of the old linger. My heart kept reminding me that the only things missing now is some company, which I need to be more proactive in soliciting. In S

outh Carolina, friends would pop by to enjoy a glass (or bottle, let’s be real) of wine, or even join in on their own projects alongside me. At the very moment I was printing this weekend, my sweet friend Meg texted to let me know she missed me “so big” and it was a sharp pang of sadness that we couldn’t create together on a casual afternoon like we have done before. Meg & Sarah were my insanely amazing neighbors who would come and hang with at the drop of a hat, whether I was covered in paint or not. They are the kind of friends that listen even when they are not into the subject matter, put up with my constant movie quotes and leave you feeling better than when they arrived, so you can see why I miss them so. But, as Anne of Green Gables would say,

“True friends are always together in spirit”.

And for a long time , that pang of sadness came in missing my family and lifelong friends in Maine. Life’s cruel joke is that it allows you to fall in love with all kinds of people, but never allows you to be together all the time. With that in mind, I decided to try and make the space as warm as possible (insert “Maine is the coldest place on earth” joke here) and started reaching out to my family and friends here in Maine and see if I can rope any of them into being a victim to my cheap wine and long conversations about fabric. I did manage to wrangle my mom and sister into printing with me this week, which was super fun! They are both incredibly talented artists of their own, so I am looking forward to seeing what types of directions their influence takes on my work! So, I have been hard at work trying to create a space as magical as my studio in South Carolina felt, and I think it is coming along nicely!!

“Trust the Magic of New Beginnings”

was recently posted on social media. I think the intent was to get people to exercise more, but in true Hayley fashion I interpreted it differently. Cause let’s be honest, who puts jogging and magic in the same universe. Magic for me is endless possibilities, too many colors, seeing my favorite band perform, morning snuggles on cold mornings, exploring new cities, falling down laughing……. The list could go on and on……. but the everyday magic we can create ourselves, for ourselves, is the freedom and space to create. This new studio, though temporary and disguised as a spare bedroom, is my opportunity to create some new magic. Already well on my way. J

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