Sunday, November 22, 2015

Organizing my basement studio

Today I'm taking you to my basement studio, where the mess has started to overwhelm me.

This mess is left over from all the books, clothes, and ephemera my friend Sally gave me after I cleaned her garage.  I slowly managed to put everything away that went in the hallway, but there were still the items I dumped in the studio that I had to deal with.   Now that the hall is clean and straightened, which took me about two weeks of off-and-on rearranging I am sorry to say, I thought it was important to get this room in order before my Thanksgiving guests arrive later this week.  My AEDM art friend Maron, who I somehow lose track of the rest of the year, suggested we show our work areas, so here is mine.  And although I love to play along with Julia at WOYWW, this post is far too long to do that this time.

I couldn't believe the messes I had created.  Some of it was because I hadn't put things away, and some of it was because I had too much of something I didn't need.

Although I worked on the other side of the room first, this was the side I was probably most satisfied with.

I tried to remember where I stood to take the first photo, but didn't remember, so you get a double dose of my cleaned area and a bit of the hall.  The fan does double duty in the summer.  It was originally meant for circulating the air, but I now use it when I am baking polymer clay in the toaster oven.

It was time to find a home for all that printer paper I was originally going to use to make gelli prints or Christmas masterboards.  My mini ironing board does double duty because it does what it's intended for AND is the padding for my fabric stamping. 

I simply couldn't believe how many of these plastic containers I'd saved.  The only thing I wanted them for was low immersion dyeing.  I knew I would NEVER need that many, so

I drug everything to the table I turned into a staging area,

and began to sort and pitch.

I admit things were starting to feel a bit better,

although I feel I can still get rid of a few more plastic containers.

These are going in the recycle bin.  Probably not as many as should, but it's a start.

Then it was time to clean up the silk flowers.  It was amazing how much room I had once I got rid of the stems and many most of the leaves.

Next, I taped the boxes that I had simply thrown in a heap, so I could turn them into assemblages.  I hope to do that sometime before the end of November, but time is running out on all the projects I want to complete.  I'll be covering them in joint compound.

This is the scene of my hall where I keep my fabric scraps and old bed sheets.  That large black bag is trash.  Trash that isn't recyclable.  Trash that was swept from the floor.  Trash emptied from my trashcans.  Trash that even I can't justify keeping or saving. 

Both chairs had been filled with items, mostly jeans and blouses my friend Sally was getting rid of, ready to be used in my fabric quiltlets.  I had brought a large bag of cotton and denim clothes home after I cleaned out her garage.  Thankfully I found room for all this fabric I hope to tear into soon.  Of course, I was delighted people could now sit in both the rocking chairs.  Unfortunately, I still haven't found wall space for these large paintings, all by Van Gogh.  And yes, I still have to mop the hall floor.

The art with the stamps and magnifying glass is a puzzle I put together years ago.  I framed all the pictures you see on the wall, carts, and chair.

More Van Gogh paintings on canvas I framed back in the late 1980s, are leaning against the gray shelving unit.  The "Christmas Gifts" is an altered book (AB) I created about 8 years ago.  The envelopes are receipts I still need to file because I keep EVERY record of any and everything I purchase that is associated with art supplies.  The "sewing machine" is worthless, so thankfully it was a gift and not a purchase.

If you live in the Los Angeles area in the US, you might recognize the old Santa Monica Pier before it fell into the ocean in the mid-1980s.  The only structure that was left was the carousel at the near end (left in poster) of the pier.  All of the photos were taken by me.  They are photos of the pier, the carousel, and the pillars underneath.  I did all the matting and cutting, which was before I had ever heard of oval, circle, or edge cutters.

I decided while it was clean, I would take a photo of my entry to the craft room,

the desk area,

and a few of the shelves over the desk.

Of course, I found this saying in a magazine and love it, even after all these years.

I might add for those new to my blog, the microwave is for low immersion dyeing, although you could heat your coffee in it if it gets cold.  I, on the other hand, will not, because I will use the microwave oven designated for food only in my kitchen.

Today is Day 23 of Art Every Day Month, or AEDM.  I spent the day organizing, cleaning, purging, and rearranging.  Not the fun art I would prefer, but necessary because I'm a neat freak and can only take the clutter for so long before I have to deal with it.

Thanks to all for your wonderful comments over the month of November.  I'm really enjoying this time seeing what all the incredible artists are making and all the inspiration they are sharing.  And of course, I appreciate my readers and followers, too.  I can't say thank you enough.

20 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

OH My, what a lot of hard work you have done in your basement. You have lots of space for storage and crafting and that is great - it looks good now. I have small apartment, so my kitchen is my studio and I store stuff all over the place, but not as much as you have. Still, it is too much and you have inspired me to get rid of some things....My basement is down in the cellar, 54 steps down and up each time, like going into a dungeon....Thanks for showing all your work space, have fun, and have a wonderful day. And thanks for the lovely comment you left on my blog today! Hugs, Valerie

Helen said...

Well it may have taken you an age, but it was worth it, and your basement now looks great.

voodoo vixen said...

Oh well done E! It looks so much more organised and you will also now know more of what you have and where it is at a glance. I know that word... overwhelmed... it has made crafting so difficult for me this last year... I am still overwhelmed by all the stash even though I got rid of loads of it... more needs to go so that I can once more sit and feel happy about sitting in there!

Sami said...

Well done for sorting out your craft room.
I've also been organizing and throwing out paper...I tend to keep cutouts of interesting stuff, recipes, art projects...and then do nothing about them for years! So part of it was thrown out today.
My parents are arriving next week and I wanted to have my study/craft room neater!
Enjoy your visitors Elizabeth.

By Neymes said...

Que estudio grande,parabéns.Beijo.Valéria.

Darla said...

Your organized space looks all ready to get creative. I can't believe all you have collected. You know how to same and use everything though. I've learned that from reading your blog over the years.

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Gosh you were busy and I am once again thrilled by your talent for organizing --- I get nervous if I have to much stuff around me... I know that my japanise style of having nothing around me isn't practible for a crafter..but I have to sort out very often - otherwise I get crazy and am not able to work here . My new room isn't well organized yet - but it's great for me to have so much space around me and that all my projects find a space to rest ... this is the best about my new room.
Hope you get all done you want before Thanksgiving! You are always a great inspiration Elizabeth...I would really love to craft with you and learn from you...
so sorry that I am soooo far away!

Linda Manning Findley said...

Monumental task now under control and you can create from all the lovely things left ....

Nancy said...

Well done- lots of cleaning and sorting to do. I can relate as the sewing room gets to a point where I can't continue until I reorganize it. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and your company.

Stacie said...

Wow, what an incredible craft room you have! Good job organizing it!

Nigel Roberts said...

Wow! All that space! I'm not in least bit envious......

Well done on the sorting out. I'll have to get mine sorted soon and packed away ready for the annual Midwinter feast.

Once AEDM is finished of course :)

Halle said...

You have been organizing like crazy! It's always nice to get new stuff but then it's "where do I put it?"

Corrine at said...

Well I can't say I'm quite as organized as you, but I've been shifting my sewing space upstairs to keep it away from wet paint. There was too much of everything mixing about and now it feels lighter. You have such a huge space in your basement and I like to see all the glass jars, so easy to find things. Me too. Happy Thanksgiving, hope you enjoy your holiday with friends. xox

Meggymay said...

Thank you for the tour of your craft studio space. It looks like a neat Aladin's cave of awesome crafting goodies.
Yvonne xx

Maron said...

I am SO impressed with all your hard work, girl!!! Proud of you and happy to see your awesome space. It made me smile to see all the "stuff" you save as we all do because someday we "might" need it!!
That's why purging is so hard for us creative souls!! Good job...great post!

NatureFootstep said...

OMG, you have a lot of stuff. I can clearly see I would never be able to do the work you do. I would simply not have room for the needed equipment. Think I am happy with my camera and computer. Even if I can´t smell any paint around me.

So glad you shared your studio with us :)

Linda Kunsman said...

Wow Elizabeth that is a huge space for your supplies and arty things! No wonder it got so full-you know, the more space you have the more it gets filled? You did a great job reorganizing and purging-something I need to do again too.

Dianne said...

always enjoy a tour of your art spaces...I think this is the first time I've seen the framed art on the walls, and the hallway. maybe I just don't remember it...?! lol. anyway, looks like what I should be doing today to get ready for Christmas visitors! The spare bedroom is also a studio/storage space, so need to tidy it and move some things out temporarily for the grandkids! I could sure use your organizational abilities! have a wonderful week my dear friend!

pearshapedcrafting said...

I love seeing where you create your art Elizabeth! It's strange how all of a sudden something you think you will need becomes just one or two too many!!! I am going to return for your outing day as i know I will be double clicking a lot!! Hugs, Chrisx

My name is Erika. said...

LOVE the views of your studio. It looks like a decent sized space-I am jealous, mine is in a tiny spare bedroom. Feels good to clean it up though, doesn't it? I'm not done cleaning mine but it is getting there!