Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Studio

I spent two hours puttering around in my studio yesterday, watching Globe Trekker, and tucking things away. When I got done, my studio looked in pretty good shape (for a work space), so I thought I'd snaps some pics and show you around.

First, the overview:
Click any picture to see a larger version of the image.

My studio is in the basement of our home. It started as a giant storage room, about 15 feet by 22 feet. Concrete slab floor. Just studs and very little insulation. No ceiling. But it did already have a nice bank of shelves. The entry to the room is finished. Here's my gallery of cross-stitch pieces. Most are seasonal, and I change them out to the main floor of our home during the year.

The other side of the hall has some of my giraffes. My daughters made some for me. I bought the print on the right at an art festival. The giraffe was my mom's favorite animal. I stitched my first giraffe 15 years ago after she died. To me, they are a symbol of someone willing to "stick their neck out" for others. I don't collect giraffes, exactly. But they do seem to find me.

 On the door of my studio is this photograph. Is says, "Artist of the Everyday."

We converted the storage room to a studio on the cheap. All the furniture was re-purposed from other places in our home. The walls are all pegboard painted pink, then sponged white on top. To me, it's like being in the clouds. The color helps me feel creative. I still have no proper ceiling, but I did paint the overhead space white, and added pink stripes to the bottom of the floor joists. The floor is still concrete, but I do have an area rug near the door.

Standing at the door, this is what you see. A wall of white muslin curtains covering the shelves on the left.

Straight ahead is my main work table and bookcases that hold fabric. Under the only window is a cork board with project ideas and my folding/rolling cutting table.

To the right of the cutting table is my sewing desk and tool box. The far wall has shelves filled with supplies and my gift wrap center. The last wall has file cabinets, a desk, another work table, a treadle machine and TV.

Now for a closer look:

Behind the wall of curtains are four sections of deep shelving. I've opened up the end where we store our holiday decorations. The other shelves hold yarn, projects in bags all ready to start, partially finished projects, knitting and crochet supplies, fiberfill, the iron, scrapbooks, memorabilia, etc. I have most things in labeled plastic bins or cardboard file boxes.

The cubby holds bolts of fabric, hanging fabric and a few more holiday decorations. The glass-fronted bookshelves hold folded fabrics sorted by type of fabric and color. The bins on top have fat quarters. The file boxes hold ribbon and lace. You can also see some of my embroidery hoops and Q-snaps hanging there on the left. My main work table has a magnifying light and holds my current cross-stitch project and my stitching tools.

I don't know if you can tell, but I have a few prisms hanging over the lace curtain. At the right time of day, I get rainbows on my walls (just like PollyAnna!) The cork board has notes for my upcoming projets. Currently on my cutting table is an old scrapbook/journal and the plastic tub holding supplies I use for AuralArtists projects.

The next table is my sewing center. There are my cutting rulers, mason jars full of my grandmother's buttons (my grandmother was a seamstress), my sewing machine and thread. Next to that is my serger with thread cones on the wall above it. You can see my stitching floor stand there on the floor. Next to that, my huge and lovely tool box, all nice and organized. (Yes, the tools are MINE, all mine!)

On the far wall is this series of shelves crammed full of supplies. The first holds sewing notions, patterns, books and sample fabric books from a furniture store. Next, some power tools, card-making supplies and beading supplies.

The third unit has glass etching, catalogs, artist trading cards, scissors, glue, hot glue guns, pens, pencils, markers, and other basic craft supplies along with some stencils, polymer clay and painting supplies. The final shelves have DMC, Anchor and another off-brand line of embroidery floss along with perle coton and other specialty fibers. There are also a couple bins of aida and evenweave fabrics for cross stitch and more stitching tools and accessories.

The bottom cabinet holds most of my photography supplies. On top are supplies for matting and framing my stitchery.

In the corner you'll find my gift wrapping station. Rolls of ribbon on the wall. Rolls of paper are in the bin. The bags are full of gift bags and tissue.Tucked behind the file cabinet is mat board and foam core for framing. The 4-drawer file cabinet holds cross-stitch patterns and books filed by subject.

The desk is full of desk-y things. It's nice to have a place where I can keep my paper cutter, label maker, and mini light table always at the ready. The drawers mostly hold stationery and cards.

Above my desk I display my "Ladies of the Evening." I have a soft spot for beaded evening bags. Almost all of these were picked up at thrift stores or re-sale shops. My best find cost about 68 cents! There's a mix of vintage and new bags. I like that no two are the same. Fun shapes. Interesting bead patterns. They are each little works of art.

Coming out from the wall at a right angle is my second work table. When I have people to craft with me, we use this table because we can sit on three sides. This is also where I have my portable photo studio. I have a full-spectrum light hanging from the ceiling. I have a photo cube with several colors of back drops. I can set my little studio up right there on the work table. The big curtain is something I sometimes use as a background when taking portraits.

The little 2-drawer file holds more bond paper, card stock, and colored construction paper for paper crafts.

Finally, there's my dad's treadle sewing machine. His dad was a tailor. When my dad worked in Grandpa's shop, they used treadle machines. So when Dad found this at an auction, he had to get it. It's not fully restored, but is quite pretty.

And my TV sits on an end table that holds my quilts (I've opened the doors so you can see them). Three quilts are from my grandmothers. A couple are my daughter's baby quilts.

I've obviously dabbled in a LOT of different crafts and needle arts. I seem to go in cycles. My first love was fashion sewing. Then crochet. I've tried knitting about three seasons in my life, but still haven't gotten beyond the basics. The biggest and longest stint has been counted cross-stitch. But I'll give most any craft a try. Right now, my main focus is photography (pun intended).

It's awfully nice to have a place where I can have all the supplies I need at hand, and room to spread out to follow my crafting whims.

Of course, all of it gets better when my daughters get to craft with me!

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