So my studio has been a disaster since what feels like the dawn of time. Some of this is because I’m kind of a craft hoarder. Some of it is because I have an active crawler who lives for destruction.

But whatever the reason, something had to be done. Things needed to be streamlined, and stuff needed to be moved higher. We’d pretty much baby-proofed the rest of the house, but I’d had this delusional hope that since Hannah hadn’t noticed all the good stuff on my studio shelves yet she never would.

This is obviously not how the universe works.

When I’m working in my room I close the upstairs baby gate and leave her bedroom door and my studio door open for her to wander between. She never stays in her room; the baby likes company, and I understand this. Hannah has always happily entertained herself in my studio with her bucket of toys and the low shelves of my fabric, which she loves to unpack and sort. We’ve gone about our business in companionable silence for months in that room.

But her eyes have been wandering lately.

First it was the shelf full of notebooks and folders, which I could live with. Then it was the wires under my desk, which I learned how to strategically block with my feet. Next it was the bookshelves she could now reach while standing up. And finally, the last straw, was last week when I realized she had taken an interest in what I will now lovingly refer to as my Shelf of Death. You know, the shelf with containers and drawers marked “RAZORS”, “MATCHBOOKS”, “STAPLES”, and “SWISS ARMY KNIVES.” I caught her opening a drawer of batteries on that shelf and realized that some of my supplies are straight out of The Anarchist Cookbook. Art is a death trap, apparently.

So we took a family trip to the hardware store for more wall-mounted shelves and furniture anchors, barricaded her from my room over Memorial Day weekend (this made her exceedingly grumpy), and got my studio into shape. I threw out endless bags of stuff, trying to be ruthless about it. I gave Hannah her own bottom shelf full of fabric and toys she can sort till her heart’s content. I moved the dangerous stuff to a height she won’t be able to reach until high school. I mercilessly cleared my desk so when I’m working on a big quilt it’s not constantly knocking debris onto the floor. And I finally moved into my awesome new sewing box, getting rid of lots of little cups and containers that are easily knocked over and contain every pin and needle that has ever existed in the known universe.

This is what it looks like now:

Here’s hoping she is thwarted by the changes. I know my project boxes are still on the floor, but I’m not so worried about those. It’s not perfectly baby-proofed, but I’m not sure a studio really can be. And I don’t want to shut her out; I like her company, too.