a space for me!

 |  November 19, 2007

As I’ve mentioned before, we transformed my studio at home into a carpeted playroom for Noah so that he can zip around safely without having me chase after him constantly. That kid is fast! I moved my easle to my studio in Ballard so that I can paint there. We set up a work table at the studio so that I could work in encaustics as well.

But…

At home I didn’t have any place for the rest of my crap materials. It was driving me nuts. Sometimes I would find myself digging through my crates and boxes that were strewn about the garage looking for that one piece of paper that I just had to have for a mixed media collage. Not being able to find my waxed linen thread readily was becoming a problem. I realized that my studio at home had been an extension of Me. And Me was missing, or at least lost in the piles of crates.

And so, we trekked out to Ikea and came up with a solution. It took us over a month to finish it, but it finally got done this weekend. We transformed our dingy, dark, dusty, cobwebby, ugly furnace room that used to be the corner where we threw things we didn’t know what to do with, into my brand new workspace at home. I am amazed by the transformation. I can’t believe we did it. Or rather, my husband did it.

workspace1

In exchange I promised him that I would follow the policy of containment. As a mixed media/collage artist, I have a lot of Stuff. A lot. It’s ridiculous. Papers, string, thread, wire, glues, copper tape, aluminum tape, acrylics, inks, markers, metal, sticks, stones, feathers, tape, dictionaries, maps, prints, xeroxes, photos, transfers, solutions, fabric, gauze, cheesecloth, etc., etc., etc. When I had a huge room to myself, I would kind of get a little lax on putting everything away until it got too overwhelming. I cannot work in a chaos. I just can’t. It muddles my mind.

workspace2

So now I have to keep everything in its place because it is in a “shared” space. Plus there’s a furnace lurking around, so it’s best to be careful anyway. The cabinets house my acrylic gels and mediums, as well as my glues, shipping materials, ribbons, beads, wire, buttons, stones, seaglass, sticks, etc. We got small file drawers that fit under the table for more supplies as well as office supplies. Not shown is a closet that I cleared out and that we placed shelves in. I can store my paintings in there safely on the shelves. The closet is very deep and tall, so it works perfectly. I have bins stacked all the way to the ceiling with my handbound journals as well as fine art papers used for the journals.

My husband installed lights under the cabinets so that I have direct light on my workspace! Everything is just so. Now I just need to contain.

So, at home I can work on my acrylic mixed media panels and my journals. My studio in Ballard is where I paint with the smelly and hot stuff. I will have to post pictures of my studio over there. It’s not very exciting. It’s just a table and an easel. But this post is really not very exciting either- some tables and cabinets. But I am excited! I love it. I just feel productive coming down here and seeing everything in its place.

The best part is that the playroom is right there too, just a few feet away. He can see me while I work. So that while my little one plays, I can play and get work done too.

workspace3

11 Comments

  1. by azirca on November 19, 2007  3:45 am Reply

    Oh my, that is a fantastic work space! Everything is so tidy and organised. Like yourself, I need to be semi-organised too, it drives me nuts having to sift through piles of stuff to try to find the piece that I need.

    Hope you don't mind me popping in, I've never commented here before, I'm not even sure how I found your blog but I love your artwork, it is very inspirational indeed.

  2. by mindy on November 19, 2007  9:19 am Reply

    This IS exciting! I have the messiest place (though it's getting better) and I don't have good reasons like you do to have a lot of crap. Ugh, I have to get off my ass and get some nice storage happening in my place.

  3. by Judy Wise on November 19, 2007  2:03 pm Reply

    What a happy room for you. I have to be able to work at home too - in fact, even on vacation I need my journal, glue stick, a few colors and pens. Glad to see you have made a space for your little inner artist to play. xoxo

  4. by Leah on November 19, 2007  2:09 pm Reply

    yay! this looks very exciting to me!!

    i love the translucent cabinets and all the nooks and crannies for mixed media goodies! i'm working on systems for all my stuff which tends to get every where, so i completely understand and i'm loving your new organizational stuff!!

  5. by Paula Scott on November 19, 2007  5:18 pm Reply

    Awesome!!! I thought that the working at home thing had become not possible with the off site studio space. What a great way to stay organized! Did the shelf for the Golden paints come from Ikea too? I have Ikea envy....wish WE had one here. Kudos (many times over) to the supportive hubby who made all that come true!

  6. by erika t on November 20, 2007  4:39 am Reply

    you are a very lucky girl! Like you, I have a lot of stuff too and could never keep it tidy and organized like that! We are moving up to the new house in a month and my room there is even smaller! Maybe your husband can come for a visit and help me out. Ikea is only 10 minutes away. :)

  7. by bridgette on November 20, 2007  3:12 pm Reply

    Thank you all for your comments. The transforamtion is just amazing. It really was the most depressing terrible corner of our house. Just goes to show that it can be done!

    azirca- thanks for popping in!

    erika- you are in the land of ikea. I bet you have cooler stuff there than here!

    Paula-everything came from Ikea. But the little brown shelves on the side is an old spice rack that I bought at an antique store for $5.

  8. by sukipoet on November 20, 2007  3:14 pm Reply

    Found you via a link of the Creative Every Day site. Love your transformation of what I assume was previously a dark, dreary room. Esp. as I am trying to transform a workshop room that has only 2 small windows and no heat. It's the light that I'm most concerned with now. Heat will be taken care of by a gas fired furnace next week. Althogh there is a fluorescent light, it still seems so dark to me. Any suggestions??? Hope you have fun in your new spiffy space.

  9. by sukipoet on November 21, 2007  10:59 am Reply

    Thanks for leaving the comment re: lighting on my blog. I'll look for that kind of light. My preference is natural light but...oh well. Have a nice holiday. Suki

  10. by thealteredpage on November 26, 2007  12:35 am Reply

    Congrats on completing the new space. It seems so well designed and so very organized.

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