Monday, March 1, 2010

A crazy weekend

Wasn't this the craziest weekend? It started on Friday and continued through Sunday morning. After that, I think I collapsed and did nothing but stay on the computer.

This seems to be the time of year when thoughts turn to cleaning up our work spaces. I had to do it because I have so many new (to me) things I got from my buddy Dana. I had been sorting and bringing things that would live in my basement to my basement studio. I had planned to show what I mean by staging area, but, as with all plans, things changed as the day progressed.

I had brought more things to the basement than I thought. So, I really didn't have a staging area to work at. If you really want to set up a staging area, you need room to sort things. As you can see, I left practically no space on my work surface. Had I been more attentive, I would not have placed everything there, but moved it all to the floor when I started.

Remember what I said about needing to know where you were going to put things before you start? That's pretty critical. So, I began by removing many kitty litter containers and boxes of things I no longer wanted to save. I had been saving the bottles far too long.

At one time, I made herbal oils and vinegars as gifts for my friends. I decorated the bottles and my friends really seemed to enjoy receiving them. I also gave bath oils, bath salts, and handmade soap. However, most of my friends tend to shower, not take long soaking baths. Also, they tended to not use my herb infused oils and vinegars, preferring to display the bottles. So I have decided it's time to get rid of the bottles I've collected and make room for paper projects.

So that is precisely what I did. By the time I was at this stage, I had already disposed of three kitty litter containers filled with bottles. I kept one container, and it is only partially full.

I also decided to take my cloth baskets upstairs to sit on my now empty shelves. Although I bought them for this room, I need something decent to put on the shelves upstairs. I can use boxes down here. They may not be as pretty, but they will be equally functional. Be sure to remember that things will look their worst right before you get finished organizing.

Every good craft area must be tweaked every so often. As I was cleaning and straightening the shelves, I found two cans of Super 77, that wonderful spray adhesive. My question to myself was why I would keep these downstairs, when I had to use them outside. Since my main floor craft room is near the front door, it made sense to move them to a more functional place.

By early afternoon, I had a heavy bag of recyclables.

Most of the mess was also off the work table, and I had a good spot to sort more things. You can see I've now junked up the microwave with cardboard boxes I must dispose of.

Just as I was about to show how I stage items, my camera batteries died. It was time to make a coffee run to the kitchen anyway (thankfully I have a full bath in the basement), so I decided to take some fabric upstairs and dye it.

When I walked outside, I was shocked at the beauty of the day. It was sunny, practically no breeze, and in the low 50s. I was thrilled. My kind of weather.

After inserting fresh batteries in my camera, I took a few shots of some pieces I dyed using various color washes. On the right is a brown fitted sheet I got at the thrift store awhile back and tore up for dyeing purposes.

You can see that the wind had started to pick up a bit by now, so I weighed the material down.

I allowed the top material to drip and color the bottom material.

After awhile, I moved the three pieces of sheet (yep, there are three pieces all bunched up) and turned it so I could color even more of the pieces.

As I dyed the beige material, I also got the bottom sheet a bit saturated.

By late afternoon, the pieces were dry and I had eaten. I was just bringing them in when my friend Scott (see my Sunday post) came by.

Scott stayed until around 6 am Sunday morning, and many of you saw the new "do" he gave to my blog, courtesy of my design. So it was a very busy and fruitful Saturday, but I must confess, about all I accomplished on Sunday was to sleep sitting in my computer chair till around 10 am, after which I spent the rest of the day seeing what all my blogland friends were up to. And yes, you read correctly. I was just posting a message on my Yahoo group and fell asleep right before posting. A bit embarrassing, but I just could not stay awake any longer.

Today might be long, too. I plan to go to Dana's and help her with whatever packing or unpacking needs to be done. A full third of her studio is now at her new home, along with her kiln. Can't wait to get started on that baby, but that won't happen for awhile. It's still in her garage and not hooked up. I hope I don't fall asleep at her place. At least I had some sleep last night!

Along with the new blog layout, I created several stand alone pages which will free up my sidebars a bit. To find previous blogs I've featured by date, click on the "Daily Links by Date" in the header. If you've missed an artist, or just want to go back to his or her blog, I hope this will be just as easy, and a bit less cluttered.

Today's blog of choice belongs to Viola at Shabby Chic Inspired. When I returned to her lovely blog this morning, after first seeing it during the OWOH blowout, I immediately thought of Martha, who I featured on January 24. I also thought of Diane of My Art Journal, who loves all things vintage. Viola makes some gorgeous (and I don't use that word lightly) stuffed fabric hearts, soldered charms, and fabric collages. If you love any of these things, you will fall in love with Viola's blog.

11 thoughtful remarks:

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

I can imagine how excited you are about your new blog look, I have to say again, it's great!
I am wondering if we will see some of your dyed fabric in your next couture :) great use of a sunny day and 50 DOES sound warm!
Viola is VERY talented, I will have to check out the other blogs too!
Happy Monday!

La Dolce Vita said...

wow, looks like you got a lot done though! and the new look is awesome!

Halle said...

The fabric dye process looks like fun...I'd be doing a happy dance in shorts with a 50 degree day!

Healing Woman said...

I love the way you drape and dry your fabric out on your lawn. Looks like my house.

Marilyn Rock said...

Whew! You did more this weekend than I do in a week; incredible! Your studio looks wonderful. Love the dyed fabrics! Also; the dresses on post, below, just stunning! Love your new blog look, too.xxoo

Martha's Favorites said...

Hi: You did have a busy weekend. Love how the material turned out. Thanks for the heads up on that blog, I plan to visit there next. Have a great week. Blessings, Martha

Dianne said...

wow! I'm gone for a few days, come back to visit, and your blog has a new look! lovely...your purging and organizing are inspiring...if I could just make myself take that first step...!

ooglebloops said...

The new blog layout looks great!!And so does your studio!! Bleubeard makes me laugh - one of our horses does the exact same thing when the camera comes out!!!There's no tricking him!!!

Margaret said...

I love the new look! both your blog and studio!! great time of the year to have a clean out! The fabric came out really well, lovely colour, can't wait to see what you do with it! Margaret

Autumn said...

Still super excited to see your progress. I am still in still zone waiting for some inspiration to hit before I hang things on the walls here. But I have done some art finally! I'll be posting that soon.

Marlynn said...

I can only say one thing....

I am so in awe of you I can't stand it.