Thursday, March 17, 2016

Setting Up A Studio ... At Last!

The studio at the beginning ... once the most dangerous room in the house!
They say that parting is such with sorrow but after 30 years of living in the same place, to me moving is such with sorrow. To see what you have, all of it at one time in one place is well, it's overwhelming!

When I moved to Palm Springs I pretty much segregated the bags and boxes to the rooms they would ultimately go in. As you can see the studio (the smaller, second bedroom) was packed to the gills. Boxes teetered on either side of the narrow path through and you took your life in your own hands when you entered. The washer and dryer was in this bedroom's closet so it was always an adventure. What would fall on you next? Trust me, they did too.

I left this room for last. The master bedroom saw the creation of a new computer work station, the living room saw its boxes slowly disappear as things were put away, new shelves and furniture added so that finally everything had a home. It was a time consuming, tedious task, one that has taken more than two months.

Last but not least I needed to tackle the studio. I was feeling creative and needed to create! Such incentive!!! It was such a mess, there were so many boxes I truly didn't know where to begin. I bought two more freestanding metal shelves, assembled those and then just put things on them all as I emptied box after box. Where did this all come from? This is truly mine? Tubs of unfinished items followed tubs of completed items.  Trips to the small storage room helped create more space ... but I realized that at some point they would have to be dealt with as well. For now, just getting in the room was a priority.
At least you can see the floor!

I toyed with the idea of adding another table, one that could be used for projects that needed to be assembled, put aside for the meantime or to be used for shipping IF I ever opened my Etsy store again. Shopping with a friend at COSTCO we found a folding outdoor table that was the right size and if necessary could be put away. I demurred buying instead helping him load his purchase in the car.

Not having the cabinets or shelves I had before, I jumped at the chance to relieve a friend of a 4-drawer filing cabinet and take a drafting table off his hands. Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered that the distance between the file cabinet and the wall would take that drafting table top perfectly. Since It had no base I wondered exactly how I could prop it up when I got a flyer from Harbor Freight Tools with a sale on sturdy plastic saw horses. Measuring them in the store I found they were 22" wide and would support the 36" deep top with a minimal overhang, one that would not be unstable! For $20 I had my base.

The studio ready at last. While never pretty, everything has a home!
That done, the worst task of all began. Organizing the mess on the shelves. Magazines, books, paints and an assortment of parts and pieces let alone finished paintings, some framed, many not, needed homes if only to just get them off the floor. Some paintings were taken to the living room to be hung while others, not all, just needed to be put away. It took several days of shifting before I felt that it all made sense with the most used items around me ... back and side with other items clearly visible on the shelves that lined one long wall.

The drafting table sits in front of a window that has sun all day long hence the curtains that contain a great deal of the heat and the easel sits on the side but is easily moved if necessary. Printer, radio and craft books are all within easy reach while canvases and other craft items sit on the tops of shelves out of the way but easily accessible when needed.

Paints, extra brushes, printer and radio are to my left. The
books of inspiration are behind me. The perfect niche!
My paints are all on my left side in either a turntable or on shelves especially designed to hold the paints. Tubs are also on shelves with an assortment of items I add to my birdhouses ... fences, feet, trees and whatever else I've managed to accumulate over the years. Each item I create is usually embellished in some way making it distinctive from the items you buy off the shelf. It goes without saying that each piece I create is either a Rosemaling, Pennsylvania Dutch or whimsical design that I come up with. Finally, after many years, I have the work space I have always dreamed about! It probably isn't perfect but it sure beats what I had for many, many years!

Paintings and crafts now grace the walls and window sills of my new home. And, it really feels like home, my home.
If you have a space as I now have, you might want to rethink it like I did. The stuff was all there but how it was arranged and set up, for me at least, makes all the difference in the world. If nothing else take everything out, measure and then slowly add things back in. The shelving was less that $50 at Target for an easy to assemble 5-shelf metal shelving. The work station was a gift but I have seen them for about $100 at Dick Blick or online at Amazon. Mine has a central tray and four smaller ones on the side. The glass top tips and there are plastic trays on either side to put paints, glue and whatever else you might use regularly. It need not be expensive. Michaels, JoAnn's, A.C. Moore, even Walmart has items you can use. Wait for the sales or coupons to save even more! You can, like me, design a space that suits the way you work.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please check out some of my previous blogs. All of them relate to design in some way and how design affects our lives.

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