Lynn Wigren – congrats you won the SSS kit and I’ve emailed you.
So I’ve admitted to having a BIG problem here. (studio) – and I’m doing a full series on the process of getting this re-done fully. correctly. inspired. for the long haul. Today, let’s get positive and active. Let’s start.
ALL of the photos in this post are from the past. 2007 – 2011 studio photos that I’ve uncovered from past blog archives. I found them interesting and helpful as I began my re-do plan – to see things that I’d done in past…
Where does one start? The temptation to utterly gut this space and begin with thousands of dollars and master carpenters is indeed a dream… one I do not have funds for. Let’s allow a moment to dream of custom cabinetry and perfect work surfaces and a room that is big enough to accommodate a whole gathering of friends, daybeds for lounging, perhaps a small kitchenette… an upstairs loft… fireplace… windows overlooking a meadow with wildflowers, deer, and a stream…
Ok back to reality. The only way that would happen would be for me to win the lotto and build myself a crafty cottage. Which could be nice, but it’s not happening at this time.
What IS happening here? Well, I need to take what I already have and ask myself a few questions:
- What works
- What stays
- What needs fixing
- What needs replacing
- What is not working
- Where am I wasting space
- What space do I have that I rarely or never get into
My answers will help me plan and figure out what to leave alone, what to change. After a few months of keeping the dream of fixing this alive, I had solid ideas. One thing that was absolutely clear was that the kids changing table (which, when I purchased, I did so knowing it’d be a fabulous crafting dresser) was being wasted. It’s drawers a mess of junk and in a position that i could never quite get into them anyhow. That had to move. Ah… but when we’re talking about a 9 x 11 room this means very careful thinking and envisioning the results very clearly before making a move. To move something in this room takes mad skills that I consider myself blessed to possess.
Phase 1: Pile everything up in the hall, closet, and under computer desk and then move the big 4 pieces of furniture.
I pulled out a piece of paper and cut it to the size of this room (scale being 1 inch = 1 foot). then I did the same for my 4 pieces of furniture and I moved those pieces around that paper for about a week. What if the desk goes under the window, what if the chair moves to the opposite corner, what if… and I played with those pieces and various configurations until I felt that I hit upon an ideal change. One that did not block the heater vent, took the TV into consideration, and seemed like it would make the most of each of the 4 pieces without leaving awkward gaps or unusable spaces.
I am getting the key players into place. Just like when I’m crafting: Get the “story” figured out before I go picking embellishments. The furniture has to work, has to be in good position. This will tell me what I have, what I need, what needs to go, and what space I have to fill.
Phase 2: Taking a close, careful look at the pieces and figuring out a great way to put them back together. Like any craft project – there are an infinite number of ways a studio could be put together.
Some of the things in here that DO work:
- Having buttons and tiny embellishments as they are. I purchased at the hardware store for under $20 each two sets of small container storage meant for nails and screws and such. AWESOME. (you can see them on my workbench in above photo)
- Using the work bench as my main crafting station. I can stand or sit at a barstool.
- Having scissors and other essential tools in a cup right at edge of my craft station.
- Keeping cardstock in the vertical storage unit I have for it.
- Storing patterned paper by manufacturer
- Stamps and tapes being in layered ‘basket’ type storage
- alphabet stickers being kept out and easy to thumb through
- Ribbons by colors in jars. This works and ribbon is NEVER part of the mess…
- Keeping stencils on a ring (hung on wall)
What isn’t working? A LOT.
- Sticker, rub-on, other misc. embellishment storage.
- patterend paper storage location and space
- punch storage
- die cut storage (there is not any)
- mist/paint/stickles storage
- computer desk – nothing about it working
- drawers for tags, tiny alphas, etc.
- tool storage
- under workbench storage – space being under used/utilized
- under desk storage – it’s just a catch all for anything
- the scary closet
- adhesive storage
- photos to be scrapped – such a mess
- sewing machine supplies
- Not having enough space for some things
Let’s also talk about some things I like – because being positive has to be a BIG part of this:
- I like having a reading corner. A big cozy chair and my books that I’ve not read on a bookshelf next to them. A chair that can double as a kids art station (with TV tray), as blogging spot, to watch a movie, etc.
- I like that the kids art covers my door
- I love that this space is now fully MY domain. No guest bed, no sharing. Since the bed that was once in here became Becca’s bed, this space is now all mine. I could paint the walls peacock blue or electric pink. It’s my call.
- I love having some of my personal things, jewelry, and other bits in here too. It inspires me.
Now that I’ve looked at what I like and don’t like, as well as come up with a new plan for my furniture in here (and moved it) I have PILES of stuff waiting to get put back. I put the key elements back – gave things I use a home, made the studio usable all on that same day. But what I did not do was to make it pretty.
Does this surprise you? I have a few reasons:
- if it’s too pretty, I’ll quit and ignore remaining scary closet mess where I put as much as I could in effort to get studio in workable order fast
- I want to evaluate new positions and will likely continue tweaking positions of supplies.
- I still need to clean out each drawer, sort all my things. That’s not done!
Bottom line though, I’m putting everything to the test. It would waste time to make things just so, then un-do, then re-do, then… yeah. At the moment I’m evaluating switching the sewing machine and one of my embellishment drawer sets with my inks/wet mediums. I need to do more projects before I decide if my original plan was the way to go or not.
I’m not to the shopping part yet. No trips to Ikea or the antique shop for funky pieces to add either. NO. The mess has to be cleaned. That’s stage 2. I have to clear, clean, and put away what I have.
The NUMBER 1 mistake I’ve made in past is buying stuff I want – not realizing it’s not actually perfect. If I have everything just so, know exact sizes needed, that will lead to much more effective purchases and ultimately, my success in this crazy studio re-do.
The photo above is the closest I have found to what I will call the “before”. This was right when I moved things around (and back in the corner behind that chair is the changing table). This is also before it became the Tsunami it now is. This is a long post I know – but I wanted to document my process for you and we’re getting to a good point now. Where we move from thinking to acting.
The hours and labor now begin.
Watch for weekly updates on my progress, thoughts, and ideas. If you have questions, feel free to ask here.