Studio Tour (As Is)

I love to see inside people's homes. I'm a snoop at heart I guess. I like homes, I like decorating, and I like to get a peek at how people live. As an artist I especially delight in seeing other artists' studio spaces. I think most of us have this dream of a huge open studio in a beautifully renovated old building with tons of natural light streaming in through enormous windows. And then there's reality. Many of us work wherever we can carve out a little bit of space for ourselves. Whether it's a spare room, an attic, a basement (like me!), a corner of the family room, or the kitchen table once the dishes have been cleared, that's our space. I've wanted to do a proper "studio tour" for awhile as a way to share my space but I kept putting it off. I wanted it to be more finished, I wanted it to look better, be cleaner, have better furniture, maybe even have walls. I wanted appropriately amazing before and after photographs! But I decided this was ridiculous. This is where I work. It is what it is and I (mostly) love it and definitely appreciate it. It gives me space to do what I love so it's serving it's one true purpose. So when I got the itch to tidy it up on a nice sunny day earlier this week I decided it was time for a studio tour. I didn't do a thing to it except put junk away, vacuum (lots of spiders gave their lives for this), and move some random boxes out of the way. Welcome to my studio! left-side

My first space was a "craft room" on the second floor of our house, mainly used for sewing, crafts, and Christmas present wrapping. I loved spending time in my room. And, like all people inclined to craft and make art, I loved even more that I could leave everything OUT instead of hauling it back into a closet. Once my son (my third child) was born he inherited my room and I was left with an armoire in our living room. But when I started working more seriously as a designer and illustrator I needed a different kind of space. Working hodgepodge all over the house wasn't going to cut it. I decided to carve out my studio space in our unfinished basement. I took one corner by a largish window (I'm lucky our basement has windows) which overlooks a pretty little shade garden (and our air-conditioner!) I had a lot of ideas about what I wanted my space to look like and I collected images on a pinterest board. The first thing I did was paint the concrete walls and floor white.

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My husband helped with some electrical upgrades (more outlets, an overhead light). Most of the furniture we already owned: a desk from my first apartment, an old family dresser, cheap bookshelves from my teenage bedroom, and a hutch from my husband's grandparents. I did purchase some new pieces from IKEA as well: a "flat file" cabinet, a new desktop with trestle legs, a rolling cart, and a cool desk lamp (see source list below). I re-used curtains from my previous craft room, put down an old rug, hung peg board for storage, and made a huge bulletin board from a large piece of insulation foam covered in linen (see tutorial here). I also added as much lighting as the circuits would allow and hung clear bulb string lights from the ceiling beams. I recently purchased a sweet new desk chair after my cheap one started giving me hip pain, as if I needed another reason to feel OLD.

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I spend most of my daily work time down here. I do all my digital artwork on this computer, I fill my Etsy orders here, print things, and work on sewing projects. Down here in the studio I can find some quiet for things that require more concentration. I can also hide away when the kids are home and avoid the constant bombardment of "Mom? Mom! MOOOOMMM!" The only thing I don't do very often down here is painting and sketching. For some reason I typically do that upstairs (mostly in the kitchen), usually because I tend to do those things in the early morning, in the evening, and sometimes on the weekends. And I kind of enjoy doing that with everyone else bustling around me.

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There you have it! My humble studio! I of course always have plans for this space, you know, little luxuries like walls, heat. Someday I might get that dream studio but for now this is pretty great. Thanks for stopping by!

Source Info: Linnmon Tabletops (white)/IKEA Finnvard Trestle table legs (white)/IKEA Raskog utility cart (turquoise)/IKEA Alex drawer unit/IKEA Ranarp Work Lamp/IKEA Cube shelving unit (white)/Target Leather Office Chair (white)/Wayfair

Weekly Roundup & Spoonflower news

It's been a busy week over here so I thought I'd do a Friday roundup of my little corner of the world. First off, WOWZA'! After my little confessional of how I gave myself a break from Spoonflower contests, my Furniture Forest design went and got third place this week! How about that. Of course I'm pretty happy that it did well and I still really like the design, so that was a highlight of the week. You can go check out my design on Spoonflower and purchase yardage over there. FQbundletableschairs

Secondly, I actually have another entry in the current Spoonflower contest. I wasn't going to do another one so quickly but the theme was ballet and I thought it would be a good chance to work on a children's print. I absolutely love children's prints, patterns, and illustration. In fact when I first started doing this I thought I would naturally gravitate toward that market but I discovered something: it's really hard! I was a theater major in college and it's said in those circles that drama is easy, comedy is hard. And I feel the same way about art for children. You think it'd be easy, simple, fun - everything is color and character. But when you get down to putting something together it can be really challenging, so that's an area I'm trying to work on. Plus, I feel like there's more cross-over these days between the children's market and mainstream markets - all those discerning and style savvy parents! Here's my entry, "Pas de Souris," which I'm pretty sure means "step of the mouse" (instead of other pas de ___ ballet terms). I know it's not as strong a design and I don't expect top ten status this time, but as a practice exercise I'm happy with it and think it turned out cute. You can VOTE over at Spoonflower until next Wednesday Oct. 8.

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I've been messing around with a few other things too. I'm working on creating a studio space here in my home. I had my own room for sewing, crafts, and art a number of years ago before my son was born but now I'm out of rooms except for a large unfinished basement. Not exactly an inspiring environment. After trying to make that space work for me as is I decided it was going to need a lot more love and attention to make it habitable as a work space. I've been busy painting, reorganizing, rearranging, and PURGING a lot of old fabric and materials. I'm really excited about how it's looking so far. Here are a few sneak peek images but I'll be back with a full "reveal" (that word feels too grand for this occasion) of my new space.

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Finally, I'm really working hard right now to get some new products into my shop before the holidays. I have grand plans that I'm sure will be curtailed at some point. I'm currently working on a calendar - I love old fashioned paper calendars. I'm having a lot of fun coming up with little patterns for each month. But why are there so many months in a year? I finish one and there are still eleven to go! Wish me luck. And if you have ideas for products you'd like to see, please let me know! Have a great weekend!

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