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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Back in the Studio Again!

Yes!  I am back in my studio again, and so delighted with how I can now create.  I am designing some magnets for a few special people for Valentine's Day.  And it amazes me how I am working differently now.  There were some basic materials I was planning to use, but I am also finding embellishment options that I wouldn't have thought of before.  For example, I realized I needed something silver to repeat the silver in the background, and as I scanned the room, my eyes came upon my stash of fibers.  Hmmm, did I have something silver in there?  Sure enough, I did, and I found it quickly.  And what about those little wooden hearts I had?  I knew exactly where they would be stored.  I opened the bin, and they were smiling back at me.  Ahhh, I am in a happy place.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Almost There

I think I will be finished up today!  All I have left to do is to glean pages of text from about 20 books I have been saving.  And why do I need to save the whole book?  I can't possibly use ALL these pages!  Yes, they are pretty cool books; one is a math textbook with lots of diagrams and numbers and formulas, one is an old atlas, one is a very old child's book of poetry.  But to save the entire book is a waste of space.  So I intend to tear out a few pages and then recycle the books.  If I can't bear to tear the book apart, then I will save the book, but keep it in my library.  Now THAT makes sense.

This whole experience has taught me a lot.  I had to make decisions about how to store things so they would make sense to me. For example, I had a lot of circle shapes in various sizes and of various materials.  And they had been stored in 4 or 5 different places.  Now I have a bin of "Circles and Circle Makers."  How cool is that?  If I want to add a circle, I can find one the perfect size, paper or metal or wood--OR I can use a template to make one OR I can use a circular shape dipped in paint to make a circle.  All my choices in one place.  (big sigh)

I also have an area dedicated to Works in Progress.  It holds substrates and frames, but it also holds partially completed projects and altered books.  Previously, these items were scattered in various places.  Now I can instantly jump into a project if I'm in need of inspiration.

Which is the other thing I still need to finish--my inspiration board.  I had a bulletin board, hidden behind the door, that held all kinds of stuff I never looked at.  Now, after a coat of bright pink spray paint,  it will be behind my chair, and will contain visuals and words to inspire a new project.  Much more functional.

Speaking of bright pink, I was also intentional about what I used for storage.  I realized that I need to SEE what's in it, OR it needs to be bright and attractive.  And everything, absolutely everything, is labeled with either a sticker or a tag.  Just seeing the visual label will remind me what I have.  Yes, I found stuff that I had forgotten that I had.  Really cool stuff!  Now it will be readily seen and therefore used. If it wasn't really cool and I hadn't used it, it will get recycled.

As I sit in my fresh, new room, I feel a sense of order and calm.  And peace.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fresh Aqua = Fresh Studio

I so wish I had a camera so I could publish the color of my studio.  The painting is now done; finished the last wall today.  The color is refreshing.  That's the best word to describe it.  The room now feels fresh and alive and happy.  The color is called Teal Ice.  But I would have named it Fresh Aqua. (not to be confused with the toothpaste!)

I still have much, much work to do in culling, sorting, re-organizing.  But now that the background of the canvas is complete, so to speak, I feel motivated to make everything I put back, look inviting and clean.  Amvets is coming Thursday, and I have a lot to donate.  I also have a LOT of more artsy stuff, like paints & stamps, to donate to an art teacher.  Hopefully, I'll find someone who wants it all.

One problem I've run across as I go through all this stuff, is the fact that I never use some of this stuff (like game pieces, for instance.)  So the question is:  Did I not use them because I forgot I had them?  Or will I never really use them, so just toss them?  So far, I'm going with the latter.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Getting There!

Today I painted two of the walls!  It's a pale aqua, and I love the color.  It's enough to show that it's a color, but still light enough to be bright.  Wow, what a difference it's going to make for the whole mood of the room.  Previously, the walls were a dull khaki, and too dark for a studio.

When the walls are dry, I will spend the rest of the day vacuuming, dusting, and putting things back (most of which I've already cleaned out and re-organized).  Then tomorrow, I'll move everything on the 3rd wall and paint that one.   Unless I wake up tomorrow too sore!

It feels good to finally be making some progress.  Believe me, it's disheartening to see all my materials scattered all over the place. But the only way to get to the good part is to get through the messy part.  I feel like I'm finally starting to get to where I want to be:  which is back in the studio, happily creating in a fresh, organized, and clean room.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

slow and steady....

Today I applied primer to some areas of the wall, scraped the border off one wall (with hubby's help), and cleaned out 3 bins of found objects. When I found some of these things, I thought for sure I would use them.  But 3 years later, I had totally forgot them and would not likely use them now.  So out they go. Doesn't seem like a lot of progress, but things are still moving forward.

I've decided on a pale aqua for the walls.  I would have purchased the paint today, but I honestly did not want to go out in the snowstorm.  That's one of the perks of being retired:  I don't go out in weather like this unless I have to!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Organizers Revisited

Today I discovered how cool a hanger that hangs several pairs of pants, can be for storing rolls of ribbon.  Previously, I had been using a gun rack that I found many years ago at a garage sale; I put dowels where the rifle would go, and hung the ribbons from that.  But the whole contraption took up a lot of wall space. Now I can hang them in the closet, out of the way, and they take up minimal space.  The one by Closet Maid seems best; I saw some others where the dowels were bigger and may not fit the spools.

AND I found some tie racks that are now repurposed for hanging my collaged necklaces in my studio closet.  Also found some small canvas bins at B B & B on clearance for $3 each.   And a 3-tiered spice rack will help me see all my mediums better. Better visibility = more use.

And I picked up some paint samples in various shades of white.  And there are a LOT of shades of white available, which was news to me.  I have always avoided white on the wall, thinking it was too boring.  But in this space, I think I want the walls to "disappear" and the  supplies to stand out.

With all my running around today, I didn't get much work done in the room. But it's all part of the process, and it was fun.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Journey around the Studio continues

All this wonderful sunshine has helped kick this nasty cold, and I'm feeling more energetic now.  So BACK to the studio to continue my quest for a Clean, Organized, Functional Space.  Just threw out a bunch of sticks--bamboo, dowels, etc.  Yes, I may need a stick occasionally, but I highly doubt that I'll need 87 of them!  Also sorted through my stash of buttons.  Again, I find I use an occasional button here & there, but more the way I would use a charm.  So I don't need 4 divided plastic containers of them.  Now I have 4 divided plastic containers that I can use more functionally; perhaps to store my stash of single words cut from texts.  I can now sort them by size or color, which makes them easier to use than sifting through a small bowl or baggie of them.

Still undecided about whether to paint the walls.  I really do feel that a creamy white would make the space much brighter. Currently, it's a medium khaki color.  But I will probably be able to do only one wall at a time.  And there's a wallpaper border that needs to be removed.  So I will continue to think about that as I make my little journey around the room, cleaning and organizing.

It feels very good to let go of so much Stuff.