Thursday, January 25, 2018

Room Makeover #2

Hello! In my last post I showed before-and-after pics of our daughter's old bedroom, now forever rid of a less-than-stellar color scheme. Today's post will give a peek into how this room's usage has been transformed: it's now a combination small bedroom for a guest, and a studio for me! Both are a work in progress, but so far, so good with the transformation. 

In the bedroom section, white curtains, a vintage plant stand used as a side table, a small bedside lamp, a twin bed, a framed print over the bed and a vintage, unframed oil painting waiting to be hung up. 

Another view of the bed and the other window. 

Near the doorway, a small wire rack. Our daughter slept here during her recent Christmas break, and so I'd put a small, decorated artificial Christmas tree on that rack. 

I "shopped" from our house to furnish most of the room. The only thing I bought was a new set of curtains and a thrifted twin-size comforter. The decor will do for now, but I'd like to find a nicer-looking bedside lamp and a replacement for the beat-up quilt at the foot of the bed. 

I was glad to set up this small bedroom area, but it was really the studio that I was looking forward to putting into place! We moved into this house in 2002, and since then my studio had been in the basement. I know it's common to set up studios in that part of a house, and while house-hunting we looked at houses whose basements would have been fine for my studio. But for various reasons, we bought our current house. 

Our basement is a full one and so there was plenty of room for my studio. And to help organize my arts/crafts supplies, a number of metal storage racks were already in place, left behind by a previous owner. There was even an unopened box containing the components of another metal storage rack, which I put together in due time.

But I hated working down in that basement, which was dark and was chilly-to-cold much of the year. The addition of several lights barely helped dispel the darkness, although a space heater did make things toastier for me by my worktable. 

Actually, it was much nicer working down in the basement studio in the summer; then it was comfortably cool. But the problem that time of year was the trend toward unwanted visitors at night: I'd be happily immersed in collage work or a sewing project, only to suddenly be unnerved by a bat flying by. Yikes! That would send me scurrying up the stairs! We were never sure how the bats got down there; perhaps from the weird outside entrance to the basement. They always seemed to find their way out, and without messing things up, but I still didn't like the possibility of their surprise appearances!

Then, too, there was the general dustiness and mustiness of our old-house basement. I have a dust allergy and so it wasn't healthy for me to work down in the basement for any real length of time. 

And so eventually my most-used arts and crafts supplies migrated to several rooms on the 1st floor. And supplies what stayed down - or, in the case of "new" supplies from thrift stores, what went down - to the basement tended to pile up into barely-organized heaps. Needless to say, it was often frustrating to locate a particular craft book or piece of fabric. 

But that was then, this is now! I began my studio set-up by putting two work tables into place, one for sewing and one for paper crafting. I was thinking of putting another table in the room for painting, but I'm not sure if I'll have the space, so I'll wait and see on that. 

The worktable here is an old metal folding table that had belonged to my in-laws. My sewing machine is a mid-80's Singer. It needs a tune-up now and then, but basically still runs fine. Various containers behind the machine hold patterns, sewing scissors, rulers and other supplies. 

For decoration, I propped up this vintage sewing kit box on the window frame behind the sewing machine. The box had been in my mother-in-law's sewing basket, which was given to me after she died. 

Adjacent to the sewing table is the papercrafting work area. The table, which had been left behind by a previous owner, has a wood top and metal legs. Certainly not a top-of-the-line piece, but it's perfect for this space! To the right are several small plastic storage units with drawers for small art paper pieces, and to the left are a couple of storage units for storing rubber stamps and stamp pads. More rubber stamps are in a storage container underneath the table, and more stamp pads are in a basket on the table. 

Getting ready for doing a spread in my current scrappy journal: the journal itself, a bird I'd made from art paper scraps, small scissors for detail cutting, a glue stick and a stamp pad. The large paper you see underneath these objects keeps the desk surface clean. Over time a paper used as such collects paints, stray rubber stamp images, markers tested to see if they're dry and so on. When the paper gets filled up, another one is put down - and I then have another "art paper" to cut up and use. On the windowsill is a brayer (I use it to press down glued items in my collages)and several small storage containers.

I took these photos last week, when I was in the beginning stages of setting up the studio. Since then I've hauled up what seems to be a never-ending amount of fabrics, crafting books and magazines, ribbons, more art paper pieces, stenciling materials, paints, glues, vintage matchbooks, vintage playing cards/flashcards, and on and on. It sometimes seems like it'll never end! The books will go in a small bookcase our daughter left behind, supplies used the most will be stored on one of those metal storage racks, and other things
are destined for the closet.

I still haven't brought up my felt collection, nor the vintage board games,vintage bingo cards, my bag of vintage rick racks, a basket crammed with vintage jewelry parts, counted cross-stitch stuff, and more.

And then there's the Christmas crafting supplies - books, magazines and vintage holiday doodads like jingle bells and adorable gift tags. Since Christmas crafting is still a ways off, I'm not in a hurry to bring up these materials up just yet.

Yes, I have a lot of stuff! Too much, really, so I'm taking the time to declutter as I go along. But I probably haven't gotten rid of as much stuff as I should. 

Oh well, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was my studio. In spite of the work involved in setting it up, I'm thrilled to finally get out of that dark, cold, dusty basement! 

And now if you'll excuse me, I have to go up to my studio and work on another scrappy journal page! (I have a goal of doing one page a day for the year.)


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