The momentous day finally arrived this week. I now have a functional studio.
I. Now. Have. A. Functional. Studio.
6 little words that mean so much.
I now have a functional studio, and I am working in it. Making stuff.
Cue the celestial choir. I can’t tell you how deeply wonderfully brilliantly satisfying it is to finally be able to say that. It’s like a found a part of myself again.
So, I know you will be thinking that I am now going to show you before and after pictures of my wonderful organized fabulous studio, and the totally brilliant thing I am working on. But I’m not.
I said I had a functional studio, I didn’t say it was finished. It isn’t finished because one end of my studio is currently a rubbish heap.
Stacked up against the studio/garage door is a pile of rubbish waiting to be collected. Until it is gone I can’t quite finish the layout of my workspace. And it wont be taken away until we are sure we have absolutely everything we want to chuck out in it. So, in the meantime, you are going to have to make do with an image of a rubbish heap, not images of my studio.
Luckily it only takes up about 1 yard at the end of my space, so I have my desk and my workbench and my tools all to hand. I am not letting a small pile of rubbish get in the way of working, because it is a minor annoyance, not a major encroachment.
Besides, I still have so much to do on the house, there is only so much time I can allocate to the studio at the moment in any case. I am so very happy that it is there waiting for me.
Today I had grand plans to get outside and implement the landscape design that I came up with this week for the side yard, where I just put in the drain. I had Nat all lined up to be garden slave, and all the things I needed ready and waiting. And then it rained. Again. So I had to put off my gardening plans.
It’s ok, we need rain, I don’t begrudge it really, but you know how it is when you have yourself all hyped up and ready to do something and then you can’t? It takes a while to shift gears and figure out Plan B, especially when there are so many other things on the to do list, all jostling for your attention.
Paint the hall? Paint the upstairs bathroom? Paint my ugly filing cabinet? Unpack the last of the boxes? Finish off Lys’s bedroom? Go into my studio, shut the door and work on the project I started the other day?
What I ended up doing was a bit more studio sorting. I like to have a kind of organized chaos in my studio. The chaos part happens when I am working, I get very involved and grab the things I need and just go for it. It can get a little wild and crazy in there at times.
But I also like it to be organized. I like to know where things are, so I dont waste time hunting for the stuff I need. Studio time is precious, and should be used wisely. Spending a hour hunting for a dremel bit is not my idea of time well spent.
So my studio (like the rest of the house) teeters between entropy and order. I do have a system. Things get stored in tubs with other like things.
I have a hodge podge mis-match of tubs. Some wooden, some plastic, all sorts of different colors and shapes and sizes. My studio is never going to win an immaculate Martha Stewart tidy home award. For that I would have to ditch all my storage boxes and buy all new fresh matching ones.
And that isn’t going to happen. a) we cant afford it right now, b) I abhor that kind of waste and c) I make sculpture. Sculpture is untidy and big and needs lots of different tools and materials. A lot of what I do is messy and grimy and painty and dusty. Even if I had matching tubs they wouldn’t stay pretty for very long.
Suffice to say: my tubs work for me, and that is that.
They tend to get recycled and re-used for different things as the need arises. And when they do I have to relabel them, which up until now has been something of a dilemma. Permanent marker works, but only while you use the tub for the same thing.
So, you can imagine my excitement when I was wandering around the stationary store, picking up some things the kids needed, and I discovered you can get repositionable, stick-on labels that you can write on in chalk. Like little mini-chalk boards. P-e-r-f-e-c-t!
Guess who makes them?
That almost put me off. That woman is everywhere. Good on her, really, but she dominates the craft and DIY landscape here in the States like a one-woman megalith. Not that she does everything: she has a team of creatives working for her, but she is very much the dominatrix of the show in a country-home-style kind of way. They are all tied to her pretty gingham ric-rac-edged flowery apron strings. With a lovely tasteful bow. Which you can download the instructions for from her website. Or buy it in kit-form.
Let’s hope she doesn’t sue me for that. Martha, truly, I am full of admiration for what you have built …
So I loved the idea of these labels. Who can resist a chalk board, really? Plus I thought they might be actually be useful.
What I didn’t like was the shape they were. Of course, Martha being Martha had to country them up in an old-timey sort of way.
Honestly, Martha, what is wrong with a rectangle? Really?
I debated leaving them where they were, but realized that a very simple Martha-hack would fix them for me. All I needed was a metal ruler, a craft knife and my cutting mat.
A couple of swift slices, and I had my simple, plain rectangular chalk board labels.
And did they work?
Yes they did.
So, now I have labeled everything in sight in the studio, I wonder what I should do next …