2014 Studio Tour!

Howdy folks! I love to see where other people create, from creative closets to entire rooms devoted to their art I just love to look. It is fun to see how other people store their supplies and I always come out with an idea or two. As an artist who works in many media I have a lot of stuff, add to that I am an art teacher and you get more stuff. My workroom (not really a room but a corner of my basement) is a supply closet as well as a work area. Everything, almost, is modular and I end up moving it around quite a bit as my needs change. Here is how it is looking right now:

I find that the longer I am in a space the less drastic my reorganization gets because I know how I work best. If something isn’t right I change it. Craft rooms are not stagnant if they are being used because you will acquire more stuff, use up stuff, gain interests, and lose interests. I’m not a fan of getting rid of good craft supplies. Most items can be used again in different ways. Stamps and patterned paper get discontinued but that does not mean they expire and are no longer good so why toss them? Even if you dislike the pattern, guess what, the other side is probably white. Why get rid of your old decorator chalk to buy new chalk from a more trendy company? It makes no sense. Sometimes you will find something that really is not for you, you tried it, did not like it and have no plans to ever use it again, OK give it to someone who can use it but the other stuff that you bought because you loved it, keep it, everything comes back around or don’t buy the trendy stuff, get basic stuff like solid color papers and paints, pencils and inks and make your own.  If you find that you are buying more stuff than you can possibly ever use (which I think is a great deal of us) make a plan to use it. I feel bad when I buy something and don’t use it, it does not happen often but when it does I will grab that supply and dive in. You will get rid of the guilt of just owning it and get to the pleasure of using it. We buy supplies with the optimistic attitude of what we will make with it. When we don’t use it we feel like we have abandoned our dreams and wasted money, we feel like a failure. When you use the supply you will get a better feeling than a “shopper’s high” you will get a “crafter’s high” and feel so good that you used what you bought. You bought it because you liked it so use it!

I don’t know how I got on that philosophical tangent LOL! I noticed when I was watching the video back that I forgot to mention a couple of things:

  • The bird-cages hanging from the ceiling hold lace trim
  • The mail sorter on the end of my counter near “die cut land” holds glass rods for bead making
  • The big honking shelf behind me as I walk over to my bead storage area is my wood-mounted rubber stamp shelf.

If there was anything else you were wondering about in my room just leave a comment and I will explain about it:) Have a great “Superbowl Sunday” and til next time happy crafting!

Fabulous DIY Colored Pencil Storage!

Hello friends! I recently mentioned that I had put all of my pastel pencils, watercolor crayons and colored pencils back in the tins they came in. They were previously in a pen rack I picked up at a scrapbook store for $5 when it was closing and I liked having them all out within reach but I got a really nice bar stool from my sister for Christmas so now I like to sit at my high table and work and I can place the tins on my shelf behind me, I have a heater under the table as I explained in my craftroom winter mode video.  Also I wanted them to be portable in case I want work elsewhere, like say upstairs by the fire.  All of my pencils had tins except for my Prismacolors, I got my first set of 60 when I was 5 (my art teacher insisted) and replaced used up ones through the years then got a 144 set 15 years ago and as they would get used up I’d replace them as well. I’d say I have about 175 pencils. So I made a plan and asked my hubby to make it:

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Want to see it in action, have a look:

Now, I’m not a woodworker but I did measure my box and noted the sizes and materials for you here, I hope it is helpful, if the measurements are odd it could be due to sanding or using up what was on hand.  The removable dividers are 1/4″ plywood while the top and bottom are 1/4″ Masonite, I’m pretty sure you could use all plywood or all Masonite.  I love the Masonite for the lid because it make a really great surface to color on, talk about portable!

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Use this a guide to design your own. I have some room to grow but if I was going to travel with this I’d put some bubble wrap in ant empty spaces so the pencils would not bounce around in there. Tomorrow I will share a tour of my craft room so you can see how I store other stuff! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and til next time happy crafting!

How I Store my Yarn Stash & Make a Center-pull Ball!

Happy Sunday friends! It is snowing this morning Maine, teeny tiny little flake that melt as soon as they touch the ground but it’s snow all the same! It really makes me want to bust out the winter crafts like knitting and crochet. I was getting a bit aggravated with the snarl of yarn that was forming in my travel bag and home storage rack so I spent some quality time this week untangling, sorting and winding the mess into submission. I thought you might want some yarn storage tips too so here is a quick video on how I store my yarn and I’ll show you what is in my yarn tote I bring with me to class.

If you are a beginner you might want to keep a list of the sizes of knitting needles and hooks you own, that way if you happen upon a sale you can pick a few needles and not duplicate. I have to say I think the Denise interchangeable knitting needles (while a bit pricey) are a great investment because you get every size from 5-15 in strait or circular needles and it is so compact. I saw on their website that they have a crochet set too…I know what I am asking for for Christmas! After I posed my yarn storage video I had a couple of comments from savvy knitters who did not know how to make a center pull ball so I made a quick tutorial for that too. Winding those loose floppy skeins of wool into neat tidy (and useful-non rolling) balls is a space saver and makes your yarn stash look so pretty! I am still in the process of winding loose balls but it is a good project to pick away at when I am not feeling inspired. :D

I used to store my yarn in metal grid cubes, the trouble with that is I could not see what was buried in the back. By using these shallow baskets on the upcycled library paperback rack I have all my yarn visible and within reach. You might not have an old paperback rack kicking around but see what you do have and make it work! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

WOYWW: Ask a Crafter 13!

Howdy folks! It is Wednesday and time for What’s on your Workdesk Wednesday! I wasn’t going to WOYWW this week but when I got back from walking the dog this morning I had 2 big boxes on my porch from Papermart! Also on my desk is an ATG gun and refills that my lovely YouTube friend Valerie sent me! Thank you so much Val, I hope I can figure out how to use it!

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I am planning to go to town and get some Christmas shopping done today but first I had to unbox all of that crafty goodness, speaking of Christmas you should check Papermart’s prices, you will get WAY more bang for your buck for your crafting and wrapping!

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It is figuratively a ton of wonderful goodies from Papermart and you will see this stuff in action in tutorials over the next 6 months. My first planned tutorial is a Thanksgiving centerpiece, be sure to keep an eye out for that!

OK, now down to business, it’s time for this weeks Ask a Crafter! I am so glad to have Lorraine as my co-host again this week, she is a riot! Let’s find out what my viewers and readers asked this week shall we? Oh, and if you have a question for next weeks episode you can leave it in the comments section.

BTW, I did make a lighthouse painting tutorial and I’ll post it on my blog this weekend or if the suspense is killing you it’s on my youtube channel. That’s all for today! Wish me luck Christmas shopping and til next time happy crafting!

Kid’s Craft! Make Newspaper Baskets!

Howdy Friends! Today I have a craft for the kids to do using recycled materials to make something really useful:

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For this project you will need:

newspapers

white glue

think cardboard (like a cereal box)

a pencil

clothespins

Something round to trace like a plate

Watch the video to see how easy it is to make a rolled newspaper basket:

Tip! If you want to make this project with a bunch of children you can use hot glue and make the basket bases (the cardboard with the spokes) ahead of time! Here is a recap of the steps:

  1. Cut the newspaper pages in half.
  2. Roll the newspaper using a pencil as a guide and secure the ends with glue.
  3. Trace a plate on cardboard 2 times and cut out.
  4. Glue an odd number or rolled newspaper “spokes” to the cardboard. Add the other cardboard piece on top and place a book on top to weigh it down as it dries OR have an adult hot glue it for you.
  5. Weave the remaining newspaper tubes around the spokes. Use a bit of white clue each time you add a new newspaper and clip it with a clothespin to hold it in place as it dries.
  6. Finish your basket by painting it with acrylic paint, spray paint or just seal it with a layer of glue or Mod-Podge.

Bonus ideas! You can use wrapping paper, magazines and comics to make really cool looking baskets! You can easily make a square, rectangle or heart shaped basket using the same technique, just cut your cardboard in the shape you would like your basket. Bold shapes with few details are best!

Parents & Teachers: If you try this project with your kids please let me know how it turns out. If you have any questions just leave a comment and I will get back to you! Happy crafting!

WOYWW: Paintin’, Cleanin’ & Curbside Shoppin’

Howdy crafty folks! It’s time for What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday! I FINALLY managed to bring some order to my crafty chaos this week. I even vacuumed! I dug under the scary table where I cram stuff and purged and organized and I am not ashamed to show you my room. Even with my projects in progress out it still looks pretty good:)

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Doncha love this shelf? I found it on the side of the road with a “FREE” sign on it! Free! Can you believe what people get rid of? I had my husband hang up the shelf then I used ribbons, scrapbook papers and beaded tassel trim to change it from “blah” to “ohh la la!”

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I spent most of the day painting and working on a new beginner watercolor tutorial for my shop. I finished the BBC series Being Human so I decided to start on the American series…hmmm, tv is so much better with British accents….

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I also varnished some new paper beads, look at that clean table!

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And surprise, I got an advance copy of the December issue of Scrap & Stamp Arts and my artwork is on the cover, the whole entire cover!!!

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A clean craft room, artwork on the cover of a major stamping magazine and a free shelf. It’s a pretty good day. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

WOYWW Another Week, Another Mess!

Hello folks! For those of you following along in my resin adventure I am happy to report that after 3 days my resin is hard and glassy, it was bit dicey for a while and it didn’t help that I kept visiting my creations and poking them to see if they were cured yet. Note to self: KEEP YOUR GRIMY PAWS OFF THE RESIN! So for those of you at home who want specifics it took 3 days to cure my polyester resin (mixed per package directions) with a room temperature around 70 and humidity at 66%. Higher temperature and lower humidity would have taken less time I suspect. Hey, here is a fun fact, thicker pieces take less time to cure, it seems that resin makes it’s own heat that speeds it’s curing process, Good to know. Also, don’t stick your fingernails in the resin to see if it cured…just sayin. BTW it is What’s on your workdesk Wednesday! On my desk are some bottle-cap resin rings and barrettes I just glued, paint from a project I just finished and other assorted supplies…

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But wait, there’s more! I can’t even sit down in here, it is madness I tell you!

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Crafty fun madness that is:) Want to join the crafty fun? Head on over to Julia’s blog the Stamping Ground and see for yourself! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Fabric Stash Storage!

Hello friends! It rained yesterday, really rained and the kids and I were stuck inside but since I like to be home it was nice, I didn’t have great weather to feel guilty wasting;) So I hung out in my sweats and set off to tackle the ever growing baskets of fabric scraps that have accumulated in my craft room. Here is the after picture:

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Now, if you are brave…or kind…or a highly functioning hoarder like myself watch the video and see how I got my mess under control. Don’t mind the glittery sweats, we are all friends here right?

I have to say I am rather pleased with myself. I did not spend a penny and my fabric is neat and tidy and ready to use and best of all I can get the piece of cloth I want without messing up the rest of the stash.  The best part was that I was able to toss stuff I was given that I did not even like but felt like I should keep anyway. I am stopping that madness! The small scraps of fabric and felt I still like have gone into a bag and I will use it with my kids craft class next month. Tackle the stash, make it usable, toss the stuff you don’t want, make a plan for the rest! BTW if you have cloth you don’t want contact your local Project Linus and they will use the fabric to make security blankets for children in need or maybe turn the stash into a lovely quilt or blanket to donate, that way you can enjoy the cloth, create, destash and feel good;)

Have a great weekend and til next time happy crafting!

Decorating Kraft Boxes for Favors!

Hello friends! Yesterday I was playing in the studio with Macaroon boxes from Papermart. They are cute, inexpensive and sturdy enough to paint on!

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These boxes only take 3 minutes each to paint! Watch the video to learn how!

I love the little beaded drawer pulls, just be careful not to poke yourself putting them in! The boxes I used can be purchased at Papermart in quantities of 25 or by the case of 100.

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I hope you liked this quick and easy, anyone can paint, project! Til next time happy crafting!

WOYWW: Beads, Books and Blending tools!

Hi there, it is the three “B” edition of What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday, four B’s if you count the barbells that are always around to weigh something down.

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I have 3 copies of the new book, The Rainbow Paints (now available on Amazon!!!), that I illustrated, a cigar box that I glued scraps of foam board in for dividers to hold some ink blending tools (yes, I broke down and got Judikins color dusters, Sky Blue Pink had 4 packs of the dusters on sale for $3.80 last month) another cigar box that I have my 3 lonely panpastel cakes in and cosmetic sponges I use for chalk blending and my old Stampin up box that I keep my homemade bottlecap ink daubers in. Here is a close up of the cigar box I just altered:

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Beads! Need I say more? Oriental Trading Company asked me to be one of their bloggers and they sent me a bodacious bunch of beads to use in upcoming tutorials.

And of course I had to find them a home;)

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I wish I was so organized in the rest of my house LOL! So, wonder what all of thew WOYWW fuss is about? Check out the Stamping ground for more What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday fun and til next time happy crafting!

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