Studio/Office Redo Revealed!
Well I did it. In two weeks I converted the train wreck of a room into a functioning, cute studio/office!!! Check out my post from February 9th to see the hideous before pictures.
Now before I inundate you with a lot of after pictures I have a couple things to say.
First of all, I spent hours on Pinterest (I know, I know) looking at pictures of other peoples studios. I even created my own studio board and pinned some of these pictures. You know the ones I mean. The studios overflowing with lace and flowers and ribbons and all kinds of girly goodness. The kind that make you drool. The problem is, for a mixed media artist they are impractical. Why? Well, all I have to say is paint and glue do not go well with lace, unless it’s intentional. Most of the time I am working my fingers are covered with glue, paint, glitter or all three. Things spill, things fly, things get dripped and dropped. It’s messy is what I’m getting at (at least if you’re doing it right)!
Next are the studios with thousands of matching plastic bins lined up like soldiers, corralling art supplies neatly. This is wrong to me in so many ways I don’t even know where to start. First of all, plastic bins. Really? If you are any type of artist you can do better than that. Second of all, uniformity that stiff would definitely stifle any ounce of creativity I may have. And again, I’m not going to open 1000 plastic boxes with gluey, painty, glittery hands looking for 1 white button!!!!
So all that being said (with nary a picture to be seen) I will tell you that my studio makeover will probably not make you swoon, nor will it calm your OCD tendencies. It is however, nice to look at (at least I think so), organized in a thoughtful and useful way, and inspires my creativity. So here we go…
First I will give you a 360 degree look at the studio.
You can actually see the surface of my desk!
This is a really bad photo. But I just had to tell you that with everything else I have had to do in the last two weeks, I decided this past Thursday to make valances. It could have been easy, however, I decided to make alternating fabric valances that required 28 panels to be cut out and then sewn together. You can see them a little better in the first picture. As a side note, if you are planning a studio/office redo…buy valances!
The cupboard is nice and neat, and check out the storage underneath!
The bookshelf underwent a thoughtful rearrangement with sewing supplies on two shelves and cardboard and books on two shelves instead of everything mixed up higgly piggly.
The desk got a nice coat of white paint, as did the little shelf unit on top. The desk is also covered in frosted contact paper (see the tacks?) and can be wiped down with a wet cloth.
No real transformation here, except Valentines Day is history and shop sign that I use at shows is stored on the wall. It reminds me that when I am having fun creating, I am also at work!
This little table was added as a drying space for collages and as a photo taking space for my Etsy shop.
Now we’ll take a closer look…
All kinds of goodies ready to be “altered”!
A huge jar of scrabble tiles next to one of my favorite pictures of Adam. He was quite young and is petting a chicken at the Bowling Green Harvest Festival.
I spent 8 years of my adult life doing Isshin-ryu karate. When I look at this display it brings back many happy memories. It also reminds me, that if I could survive my black belt test (4 hours of physical and mental torture) I can survive anything, even redoing my studio!
Ahhh, my cardboard collection…and other stuff.
This 1930’s mohair monkey has a cute painted face. He is my boss. He is also holding a picture of my dear departed Wally. The music on the mirror is the hymn “It is well with my soul”. And it is.
All kinds of neat storage and not a plastic bin in sight! Why do I have salt and pepper shakers on the shelf with the rosy hatbox? They are filled with white and silver glitter of course!
What’s this? Look at all that work space. I cannot wait to get a-making.
Under the desk storage of Christmas items, laces, substrates (other than cardboard) and all kinds of artsy papers.
A reminder of why I do it.
A 1950’s vanity tray with bits and bobs.
Glass jars of buttons and beads made cute by disguising that they are actually olive jars. Hey, we love olives, what can I say?
Scissors, toothpicks, spray bottle, gel pens and a jar of pink polka dotted ribbon. Who could ask for anything more????
And last but not least. I bought this little guy for resale, but gee, he’s a little pink donkey. Need I say more?
So that’s it. Well, not really. You will see another post in a couple of weeks with a few details I forgot or didn’t get to. Hint, an inspiration board would be nice Helen, you know?
In the past two weeks I have learned a lot about redoing a studio. First, it’s TONS of work. Second, you MUST get rid of stuff you are really never going to use. Third, it has to work for you and your type of art. It must be inspiring to you, as you are the one working there. And lastly, it is worth every ounce of energy you use! I cannot tell you how excited I am to get down and dirty with some art this evening!
I hope I have inspired you to look around your work space and do some tweeking so you can let your creativity soar!!!!
The Train Wreck
For the last couple of years, since I really started dabbling in mixed-media art, I have wanted my own studio. In my dreams it is a little cottage behind my house. It is just for me. It has window boxes filled with pretty flowers on the side that faces the house. The back of my studio cottage is fenced in so I can watch my miniature donkeys, miniature horses and goats frolicking in the back yard. My cottage has a nice little powder room so I wouldn’t have to run back and forth to the real house after my 15 cups of morning coffee. There would also be a kitchenette so I wouldn’t have to run back and forth to the real house for my 15 morning snacks! Ahhhhh, but this is not to be. Not yet anyway. Right now I have to be content with this….
This horrible train wreck of a space is our parlor which serves as my studio/office. I am baring it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. Here is my art table. Let’s take a closer look….WARNING….graphic picture ahead!
As you can see from this explosion of who-knows-what, I have about 6″ of clear work space. Half of my collages have stuff that has just fallen on them or stuck to them from the work area. It kinda adds mystery to my art. I can hear people saying, “I wonder what the toothpick in the middle of this picture means. It’s probably something deep”. While I’m saying, “Where the heck is the toothpick I was just using to stir up my glue?”
These horrors are adjacent to my art table. There are books, buttons, a sewing box, boxes of feathers, trims, ribbons and my collection of cardboard. (Only other mixed-media freaks understand why I have a collection of cardboard) Behind the lace curtain is a cool old piece of furniture from and old hardware store. It has a zillion cubbies. Unfortunately they are so filled with odds-and- ends I get a migraine just looking at it!
My step-back cupboard dates from the 1920’s. There is so much junk on it, it looks like I’ve been collecting since the 1920’s. Let’s see, there’s jars of buttons, spools of thread, a giant jar of scrabble tiles, unfinished projects and a light-up statue of Mary that is also a music box and rosary holder. Don’t ask.
This disgrace is my desk. Is it any wonder I can never find the papers I’m looking for? There could actually be lost chocolates under there! That’s reason enough to clean up.
This built in bookshelf is next to my desk. Check out my sock monkey collection on the top shelf. Sweet, right? There are more on top of the step-back cupboard, you just can’t see them in the picture. I know what you’re thinking, sock monkeys, really? Yes, really! But alas, these shelves need work too.
So now that you’ve seen the ugly, I’ll show you the one good spot.
This is the mantle over my gas fireplace. It has lots of pretties on it and it’s all dressed up for Valentine’s Day. So basically one 6ft. shelf in an entire 15 x 16 foot room is not in a state-of-emergency.
I am therefore, right now, publicly letting you all know that in the next two weeks, (God willing and the creek don’t rise), I am going to make over this train wreck of a room. Not only will it be a pretty place for me to work, it will also be functional. So from then on anything stuck to a collage, like a toothpick or the cat, will be intentional and deep!!!!