I forgot to tell you about my new MOST fav. online shop…………….OMGOOOOODness it’s fab. DH usually gives me an allowance to spend online for Christmas and Birthdays, knowing that I can source interesting supplies from far and wide, this year – I blew it ALL at scrapbook.com and I have a cart waiting for next time! LUV IT! (no………no affliation what so ever) – I just love how well they have designed their on line shopping – hello – by brand, colour, price or type????? WOO HOO! oh…….AND then a follow up email, after you have ordered with project suggestions for every single item in your cart……..this has to be paper art heaven! surely! LOL!! xK Can’t wait to get my hands on THIS little baby!!!!
It’s been a big month. Or two really – and big changes on the home front. As I am not really doing much book making, mixed media or painting at any scale, and having another little one to accomodate when the family gets together, I have had to reluctantly conceed my art studio. It was quite a greivious process as I have condensed a generous sized bedroom with 4 metres (about 12 foot) wide x 3m (9 foot) high of built ins as well as other shelving & benches, into what amounts to a large walk in pantry, (it’s original use) but was being used as a little study. (basically somewhere to house my NON-computer literate hubbie’s PC for him to watch car crashes on You Tube every so often!
At the same time I have spent considerable time archiving books and resources (that used to be in the ‘closet study’)
It is really time well spent, in preparation for our impending move at some point in the not so distant future, but it was a LOT a LOT of work.
The bulk of it is behind me now, though two rooms in our house resemble rummage sale sorting as I wait for it to be my turn for DH to put up some more shelving, re-arrange some benchtops for desks & do some more hefting.
My new studio is tiny, however I was determined that right from the start, it was going to be a ‘beautiful space’ despite it’s size. I have gotten out all of Nan’s cut glass, draped it with pearls & crystals, added some vintage, chandelier glass and some blown glass we bought both in Venice & Egypt. The window is small, and south facing, so I have hung glass treasures in front of it, to create some interesting refracted light patterns in the room,which is about 2.5m (8 foot)wide x about 4m (12 foot) long. EVERY square inch has been used to fit my ample treasures – and NO – purging wasn’t something I considered… especially as I am biding my time knowing that at some point down the track, I will have a bigger, purpose built room. I have never lived my life in the never never – you know – things will be better when…… but I think that’s how it might be for a while…….. oh, and my computer went to God – that wasn’t fun……….
As my room is very tall & narrow, all but one level of shelving is accessed via ladder, which is NOT good for my alread dodgy knee….. I had to be sure that my MOST needed supplies were the only things on these shelves. I have picked through and made a collection of my nicest treasures to have on my desktop, even if it is jsut for the joy of looking at them. Although, working with them about will be sure to mean that they will feature on something soon……
Speaking of art – there HAS been a little arting inbetween all the hefting & sorting -I am swapping with the infinitely talented Karen from USA which prompted me to get to work on some ATC’s, which I haven’t done for ages. I’ll post those next.
I thought, today I’d share a bit about my creative space…..a bedroom, turned studio. Whenever other artists come to play, they always comment on how organised things are & how amazing it all is. My ‘trade secret’ is all about measuring the space that you have, then choose an appropriate type of storage for each of your supplies. For myself, I prefer open shelving, with clear containers to ‘behind doors’ storage or containers that hide the contents. Having said that, however, my studio is actually a ‘bedroom’ so it has a combination of open shelving (that could be removed to make it more ‘bedroom’ like if we ever wanted to sell our home) AND full depth wardrobes. The wardrobes are a bit of a challenge to keep organised, as they are deep (as you would expect), & the space between shelving just becomes a big ‘black hole’ that things disappear in. The robes are most adjacent to my work table have all my main everyday supplies in them. Paints, more Moon Glow, Adhesives, Punches, Drawing supplies, etc so when I am working at the table, I can open the doors, fold them back & pull out one of these drawers & use the supplies straight from the drawer. I must admit – I frequently get myself in a mess & the state of my studio table (despite me prefering it otherwise) is constantly in a state of shambles & I hate how messy & untidy it becomes. In fact, the reason there are not pics of my studio worktable is that you’d struggle to see the tabletop right now!!! LOL!!!! I figure if I keep my supplies ordered, & I know where everything is when I need it, I don’t care that my work top gets a bit unmanagable.
I have a varity of storage shelving & methods & assess where something is stored according to how much I use it. This is something that only you can assess & work out – what do you use the most? What do you need EVERYTIME you art? What do you use frequently? What do you use only every now & then? It’s something that I encounter all the time in my work as an interior designer. People don’t put things away because their most convenient storage is filled with things that they want to keep, but don’t frequently use.
The supplies & tools that I use everytime I am in the studio are in a 3 tiered fruit stand I have in the middle of the table. This includes blades, scissors, bradle, toothpicks, paddlesticks, some paint brushes, spray bottles of Moon Glow & Walnut Ink, distressing sponges, SO the everyday, every session things – right at my finger tips. Not things you even use weekly, they can be at arm’s length or within view, but not right on your table. I have had 180 degree hinges fitted to my wardrobe drawers so that the doors fold completely flat & I can have them open without them getting in the way. I use a round work table in the middle of the room & a long workbench that has my computer on it & where I sew. Apart from that I have a kind of modern adaptation of the old tea trolleys that I have put on castors which serves as my cutting bench & I have my dremel on a stand there. (I have to say though, I haven’t found my Dremel stand that wonderful & I often just use the Dremel at my work table)
A question often posed to me, being an interior designer, is ‘HOW DO I DESIGN AN IDEAL STUDIO…….then usually they list/tell me about all of the ‘design constraits (‘design challenges’) I think you could boil it down to a few simple headlines, & sort the details as per your personal preference. They would be:
1. Good lighting, can’t stress it enough
2. Easy clean floor including floorboards, vinyl flooring, tiles (though these are hard on your legs & cold underfoot)
3. Temperature control – good heating & cooling particularly when you have extremes of weather for long periods (days at a time)
4. Varied work surface heights if possible. I often like to stand when I work – especially when I am painting, I often sit to sort or assemble, but even then I often like to stand. I have my cutting bench at a higher height to stand at, my central table at table height for sitting at, & to work over & my computer/sewing bench at desk height to sit and work at.
5. Storage with adjustable shelving
6. Storage containers SUITED to your supplies
NICE TO HAVE:
1. Adjustable height chair
3. BIGGIE – still on my wish list – A sink & water supply
4. Old wine rack for paper storage
5. Drawers with FULL EXTENSION runners (sliding mechanism on the sides that opens the drawers) if possible.
6. Places that are purely inspirational – not necessarily just functional (Fairies live on my window sill!)
7. Elves to clean up after you each morning!!! LOL!!!