I've announced our part in this blog hop once before, so I'm an old pro. This will be the second time around for me, and the fourth time for Karen Valentine of My Desert Cottage. Karen lives in the United States, as do Elizabeth and I.
Karen has laid down the gauntlet and the rules:
"We all love lots of pictures so don’t be shy!!!! On the day of the party we will all meet here and you can spend the next few weeks blog hopping to visit everyone’s blogs and get a peak inside all the very wonderful and creative studios!!"~Karen Valentine (June 1, 2012)
Karen has no idea how lousy Elizabeth's camera is, so I hope you will want to stay through all these photos.
So please join me now as we begin our journey. No need to wipe your feet. It's been so hot and dry here, there'll be no muddy paws today!
Elizabeth is busy working on a sign for the door to her main floor studio, but for the time being, she is storing her Christmas advent calendar there.
It's time to enter, but this is as far as I go. I'm not allowed in the craft room because I might shed and leave pet dander on someone's gift.
So I'm passing you off to WOYWWendy, who was born one Wednesday a couple of years ago during What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday. So please meet Wendy who will take you through the remainder of the main floor studio, while I bask in this never-ending heat and snooze.
Yes, my name is Wendy. Unlike this craft space, I'm a genuine beauty. However, Elizabeth believes in function over frivolity. Oh, Oh! I'm often distracted by shiny things, so it's time to
do something about this cork board. Elizabeth won't do it, so I guess it's up to me to pitch things. I certainly am not allowed to get rid of any of those rocking horses, though. Elizabeth is quite fond of them. She's also fond of the altered puzzle exchange (above the cork board) she participated in a few years ago.
However, it's now time to get back on task. Elizabeth's tip is to keep things in see through containers whenever possible.
Another of Elizabeth's tips is to store your embossing powder upside down so it's easy to see.
Sometimes you have to use the containers you have. And of course, you should use every square inch of space you have including floor space.
Bleubeard would feel right at home down here. Everything would be on his level. But please don't tell him.
These baskets hold a lot, including large jars of paint, napkins, and rolls of fabric.
In addition to a TV and VCR, this workbench holds a revolving tool holder, guillotine cutter, and sewing machine.
Add to that, a thread holder and pincushion.
Of course, when Elizabeth isn't sewing or working at her paint table, you might find her enjoying the view out the window.
A recent addition to Elizabeth's sewing arsenal is this thread cutter she turned into a sewing fob. She thought it reminded her of the tool Tim Holtz uses to distress his paper.
Before she went to the basement, Elizabeth changed the paper on this table. She keeps a plastic shower curtain on it, along with one of her craft mats to protect the table from paint and dye.
Over that, she adds rosin paper, which will absorb a lot of water based media and turns into excellent backgrounds when covered with paint. Note one of the over-the-door shoe racks that holds various tools.
Whew! I'm already tired, and we have only just begun.
Some of this small space utilizes areas that reach nearly to the ceiling. The dresses, from a project in 2010, still sport a favored place above the window. Originally intended to sit in the white cabinet on the top left, they have now been freed and sewing supplies are now stored there.
Elizabeth calls this area mailing central. She uses it as a staging area for artwork she mails to friends and swap buddies.
A view inside the top drawers show a set of scales, various stamp denominations, custom forms, and US mailing charts. To the right of the dresser is a basket that holds various sizes of mailing envelopes and another basket that holds bubble wrap. Above the basket, but out of camera range is a tape gun holding clear tape, while a priority tape holder sits on the desk. Yes, it really IS mail central.
To the right of the dresser is a protrusion that is actually a small closet. This shows the closet door open and one of the over-the-door shoe holders Elizabeth uses to hold tools.
Inside the closet there is a shelf and rod, along with a small plastic shelving unit. No space is left unused.
The metal cabinet was part of a payment for services Elizabeth performed one year. It was just the right height for many of her papers and embellishments. True to form, it is not just filled with goodies, it is
also covered with goodies, like her collection of various reinkers she keeps according to type (dye, pigment, distress, and Staz-on).
On the side of the metal cabinet is a small 6 shoe holder that holds all of Elizabeth's brads and eyelets, as well as the tools to assemble them.
It was hard to get a good photo because everything is quite close in this space. Ignore Elizabeth's arm in the photo, too.
Paint, shoe polish,
glazes, spray inks, various mica powders, and bingo dabbers (much cheaper than the Holtz dabbers) top these two paper holders that house
Elizabeth's handmade paper and specialty papers.
In between the paper holder and the metal cabinet is just enough room to slip into the toilet if the need arises, or if someone needs a bit of water for their paint or dye project.
A basket holds silk flowers and natural materials picked up on walks around the yard or neighborhood.
You have now seen all of Elizabeth's main floor craft room. It's time to go downstairs, but before you do,
Elizabeth has tea every Tuesday with some of her internet friends. The last time she hosted one of these creative blog parties, she served tea and cream cheese cinnamon rolls to her visitors. She welcomes you to enjoy some now. If you prefer coffee, we can stop in her kitchen and pour you a cup of freshly ground French Roast.
Now that you have your refreshment, it's time to step into the basement.
This is a functioning basement, not a beauty basement. Most of the lovely wood furniture had to be replaced with plastic after the flood that consumed the basement last year. Elizabeth will join us soon, but for now, Bleubeard and I will continue the tour.
The door on the left leads to the basement bath. It helps to have water close at hand when you work with any type of mixed media art. That space heater looks out of place now that the temperatures are in the 100s every day, but that is where it lives year round.
It is a small, but
quite functional full bath we must pass on the way to the studio.
Although the studio is straight ahead, there are lots of storage shelves you have to pass first. This one is on the north wall next to the bath. The kimono was a gift from a friend, but Elizabeth is contemplating cutting it up to use in her quiltlets.
This set of units is located on the south wall.
Here are those same south wall units from another angle. And yes, they need to be straightened after Elizabeth rummaged through them in order to pick a recent giveaway prize, but there has been no time.
These are the shelves along the north wall. They have lots of small embellishments that any mixed media artist would use.
Again, part of the north wall. The pegboard area houses and hides the central heating and AC, as well as the hot water heater.
Any time you can put units on wheels and make them see through, is a double bonus.
After the flood, this is the only area Elizabeth has managed to decorate. All the rest of her pictures are still waiting to be hung in both the hall and the studio.
Elizabeth calls this her glue tower or glue central. It houses most of her glue that she isn't using in the main floor craft studio.
Bleubeard and I will now hand you off to Elizabeth, who will guide you through the basement studio, which had to be rebuilt after the flood last year.
Greetings everyone! Elizabeth here. I've actually been busy working in my basement studio while I waited on you to join me. I suspect the first thing that caught your eye was the microwave cart.
However, before we get to that, here are the shelving units that replaced my lovely wooden dresser after the flood. Quite a letdown, but that is what the insurance company provided.
Most things are labeled, so I immediately know where to find what I'm looking for.
After Wendy dismantled my main floor cork board, I brought most of the things here.
I have a place for everything and everything in its place. Tip: designate and keep zones for each of your craft activities. You can see each shelf is its own unique zone. The top shelf holds spray art and glass paint, the second shelf holds everything I need for polymer clay, the next shelf houses all my soldering equipment, while the third shelf holds UTEE and beeswax, items that use similar equipment and supplies. On the bottom, I store spray paint, collographic plates, and molds.
Everything has a place and
everything sits nicely on these sturdy shelves I bought. There is even space for more products or supplies if the need arises. However, I doubt that will happen, since I'm on a campaign to use what I have. Of course, I really should get rid of those stackable plastic in/out baskets that are designed to sit on office desks. They are dust collectors and minutia magnets.
And yes, that microwave oven is there to facilitate low-emersion dyeing. It doesn't hurt if you want to heat a cinnamon roll or your coffee, either. By the way, I hope Wendy offered you a cinnamon roll. They really are delicious.
The cubby hole hides my larger buckets and my 4 person collapsible table. I use the two-step step stool to remove items from this area.
Moving to the right, you now see my desk. Nothing fancy, just bricks and boards that sit on top of two two-drawer file cabinets.
I have added a phone and a vibrating (and heated, when it's not 100 plus degrees outside) pad to the desk chair, although I prefer to stand to make any art.
Everything I need is at arm's length.
Another view of the desk shows I have plenty of room if I actually want to sit to make art.
Next to the desk is what I like to call my cutting zone.
I keep all my cutting tools inside and my paper cutter on top. Again, this is on wheels, so I can move it anywhere I need it. The mouse pad comes in handy if I want to stamp something.
A corner shelf holds old keys and my rock tumbler equipment. Note the step stool, one of three I keep in the room.
I could go on for hours about these two shelving units that bend under the weight of the supplies I have on them. The insurance company bought them when they lost the uprights to my original shelving. They are a poor substitute for the ones on the south wall, but I can't complain.
As for the shelves, they house things I have picked up along the way from dumpster diving, or that were given to me because someone thought I might be able to use it one day. Of course, there is also a plastic container filled with dye for dyeing my fabric.
In the corner, I have my flower arranging and flower drying equipment, as well as many jars filled with beads given to me years ago, even before I started making altered art. These jars really brighten this dark corner.
Did Wendy tell you I have over-the-door shoe holders I use to keep various tools? It's true for the basement doors, too. I designed the cubby that now holds even more altered art and assemblage fodder.
I hide my paper making equipment inside the closet, along with a double burner I use outside when I'm cooking different leaves and grasses to make paper. Another shoe holder sits on the inside door.
I removed the wheels from the four drawer container that sits perfectly in this spot. The casters kept moving when I placed the really heavy tackle box on top, so I removed them for safety sake.
We are finally at the end of our journey. I realize it took a long time, but Karen wanted lots of pictures, so I tried to oblige. After all, most of my home is a craft space. Nothing fancy or beautiful, but everything is functional. Thank you for visiting my craft spaces today. I hope to reciprocate soon.