My DIY Desk and Sat Chat!

Hi friends! I hope you are having an awesome weekend! Last Saturday I spent some time rearranging my filming/work studio. As you know I have been working in a finished room in my basement since June and I have kept the old “craft room” as basically storage for my supplies only having the daily essentials in the new space. This space is heated which his making my work so much more enjoyable (especially come winter!) The downside to a finished room is that I couldn’t use the aluminum clamp lights that I used in the old space because the ceiling was flat where the old art studio had exposed joists I could clip them to and move them around to light where I needed. Because of that I had to use my stand lights and the clutter of those stands was really annoying. The room has a a couple ceiling lights but they are not enough for filming. While I was building my table I pushed the lights out of the way and realized that my handy hubby could put mounts on the ceiling so I could use my old faithful clamp lights so that is what we did! Watch the video to see my upcycled table and other improvements.

Now, before you worry about the stability of my table let me assure you it is completely fine. There is no wobble and I don’t store things on my table and the door I am using for a top is hollow and light. You’d be amazed to see how many of those plastic carts I have loaded up and stacked and I have never had a problem. With that, let’s move on to this weeks Sat Chat.

We all know the Sat Chat is really about nothing but here are some thing I mentioned:

  • SALE! 40% off full courses in my Teachable school with coupon code FALL40 *Offer good through 10/18/2020, On checkout click “add coupon code” and paste in FALL40 to receive 40% off the class of your choice.
  • Follow me on Craftworld, I have a new free watercolor for papercrafting series coming up soon! It’s very basic but it might be nice to recommend to a friend who wants to try watercolors or cardmaking.
  • Check out my October drawing challenge art on Instagram
  • My Art of the Carolinas Classes are now open for enrollment. These are live only classes so if you sign up be sure to have your supplies ready at the class time.

Well, that about does it! See you tomorrow for Sketchbook Sunday and til next time happy crafting!

Building the new filming room…

Hi friends! I thought I’d share a video going through the process of setting up my new filming room. It’s still a work in progress. I filmed a cardmaking tutorial in there yesterday (it will be up on YouTube today and on the blog tomorrow) and I thought I had my sound worked out but I can still hear a bit of echo. I have hung quilts up on the wall and even suspended a fleece blanket in front of me to deaden sounds but it’s not there yet. Also I was sewing this weekend on the large folding table and my machine bounced too much on this table so I need to come up with something else there. I saw a compact sewing cabinet called a Sewnatra but it is too rich for my blood but I think I will look at thrift stores to see if I can find something similar that I can put my modern machine in. Plus for that kind of money I’d want real wood and not pressboard. I’ll think of something.

I hope you are having a great week and til next time happy crafting!

Storage for my ceramic palettes using recycled materials

Hi friends! I love using cute white ceramic palettes for mixing inks and watercolors but I often forget to use them (or buy more cuz they are cute) because I store them safely on the other side of my art room on a shelf. I decided to make a storage insert for my storage cubes on my desk so I could safely store them all within reach. See how in today’s video!

I used 3 flat UPS cardboard boxes for this, a craft knife and duct tape. I couldn’t be easier and it works so well! I hope it inspires you to make some crafty storage too. Happy crafting!

A Silly Bit of Fun (Much Needed These Days…)

Hi friends! I know many of you are at home waiting out the Covid 19 scare. My kids school is closed and it is all very surreal. This winter I have been sharing a few storage videos and I figured if you are stuck at home with nothing to do you might want to tackle a few areas of your craft storage. I had several people ask me how I stored my large pegstamp collection so that is what we are going to look at today.

I hope this blog post finds you well. I don’t have much to offer the world at a time like this except a happy distraction so here it is. Take care of yourselves, take care of each other and til next time happy crafting.

How I store stamps (It might work for you!)

Hi friends! I have been asked a lot lately what is is the binders behind me so today I will show you!

I had a few questions about my stamp storage on YouTube when I first posted this video Saturday. I will answer them here:

Q: How do you store your Pegstamps?

A: They are in a sturdy shallow wooden crate under my large worktable. I have them standing on their rubber end so I can see all of the indexes at a glance. I do not keep them in the original clear boxes because they take up too much space that way and I like to use them all together. I will show how I store them the next time I make a video with them:) I didn’t mean to leave them out, I just don’t keep them over here because the box is heavy and bulky and I would trip over it LOL!

Q: Since you have been using clear stamps since they first came out have you noticed any of them going bad, melting or getting gummy?

A: I have had some cheap silicone stamps fuse to the backer sheets but only if I had never removed them to use them. That is a good reason to pull them off the sheet and stamp with them at least once. I also have purchased stamps that were fused to the sheet and I had to cut the sheet apart and use them with tape on a block. Don’t try to force a stamp off the sheet or you might tear it. I am not sure if that was a manufacturer defect or simply what happens if you wait to long to remove the stamp from the sheet. High quality photo polymer stamps do stain with ink and can turn yellow with exposure to light. I think it is sun exposure that eventually breaks them down but since my stamps are in binders (as opposed to open bins which is a popular way to store stamps now) they don’t get exposure from my studio lights and I have no windows in my craft space so no sunlight gets in. I am happy to report all of my stamps are still working as god as new (even the 20 year old PSX ones!)

Q: Have you ever unmounted any of your wood stamps?

A: No, I prefer wood mounted stamps. I rarely get wood mounted now due to space reasons and I don’t want to let go of any I have so new can come in. I have actually mounted favorite sentiments on Jenga blocks because they were more convenient that way.

How do you store your stamps? Have you had any negative issues with stamps going bad? Let me know in the comments below! Happy crafting!

Why didn’t I think of this before?

Hi friends! Today I want to share one of the ways I make use of bins in my studio. I am a big fan of the 9 cube bookcases you can get inexpensively at Target, Walmart or Home Depot for craft storage. I like the cloth bins for keeping some items out of sight, contained and organised but there is a couple of problems with these bins. For one they are open and can be a black hole and you can lose stuff if you aren’t careful. The other problem is the budget ones are really flimsy (and I tend to go for the cheap ones so I can have more money to spend of nice supplies and because my cat likes to use them as a scratching post LOL!) In today’s video I’ll share my trick for overcoming both of those storage problems! Unfortunately I can’t help with the cat scratching problems but she leaves my good furniture alone so I’ll pick my battles:)

So, did you already know this trick? I love finding tips to better use my space and have my supplies readily available. Please share any tips you have in the comments below and til next time happy crafting!

A Tour of My Workdesk & How I store Acrylic Paint!

Hi friends! Over the next week or two I will be rolling out videos on how I updated my craft area over the past year. I filmed a pretty in depth studio tour last year that you can see here if you like but I have changed a few things since then as I discovered new ways I like to work. I get a lot of questions about the items on my desk when it’s shown in videos so that’s what I am going over in this video:

I also came up with a better way to store my acrylic paint this week. I had a jumble of different sized tubes and brands including 30+ more large tubes that were from a freelance project I just finished up and they would not have fit in my previous storage. I also had the issue with my kids using my acrylics and accidentally grabbing an oil paint tube because they were sharing the same storage rack. I really love this solution!

I hope this sparked some ideas for you. My studio isn’t fancy but it works for me and if you do prefer a pristine all white studio but you are on a budget you can always grab a can of enamel white trim paint (and a can of white spray paint for plastic) can change the color of your furniture and bins to match your preferences on a budget. Thanks for watching and til next time happy crafting!

A Craft Room for Non-Fancy People (like me!)

Hi friends! Recently I asked if you would like a video on how to set up an art studio/craft-room in an unfinished basement or other unfinished area (we gotta use what we have right?) and the response was overwhelming. By the way you can see an indepth video tour with photos here. I filmed that a year ago and not much has changed but it is much cleaner than it is right now as I am in the middle of a big freelance project and din’t have time to make the room pretty. What you see today is typical LOL! Watch the video below if you have an unused/unfinished area of your home that you want to turn into a creative haven. It doesn’t have to be “magazine pretty” to be pretty FUNctional!

My art room isn’t fancy. It’s not even a room, it’s an unfinished corner of my basement. This video is not meant to impress anyone, I made it to inspire you to make a space for your art wherever you can. Most of the furnishings are reclaimed or picked up as needed. It’s a hodgepodge but it works well for me. I will try and find links to any of the things I mentioned below but most of the things I mentioned can be picked up inexpensively at the home improvement store like Lowes or a discount store like WalMart. Claim your space artists and crafters!

Resources *affiliate links used.

  • Lighting: I use aluminum clamp lights with daylight balanced CFLs or LED lights. *these can also be found at a hardware/department store easily
  • Heat: I have a 1500w Eden Pure Infrared space heater. It provides heat in a few minutes and, as you can hear in the video, gives off a fan sound. An oil-filled radiator is another (quiet) option but it takes longer to heat up an area so you might need to start it an hour before you begin working. I have an oil-filled radiator but it didn’t feel as warm to me as the Eden Pure. Amazon has lots of options with reviews.
  • Storage: 9 cube units and Letter trays to store or collect project parts
  • Moisture mitigation: I don’t know much about dehumidifyers but there are options with reviews here. We had an interior perimeter drain done by a company that was an installer/franchise of Basement Systems. I am not affiliated with this company and can’t vouch for all of their installers but it worked well for us. I’ll warn you it was expensive but it was worth it to be able to use our cellar. We have a one-story ranch so it basically doubled our space.
  • I have not used this product myself but other crafters with basement craft rooms recommend Damp Rid. It’s pretty cheap so worth a try if you have musty air.
  • Safety: Radon test *there is a mold detection test too if you are worried about that. Fire extinguisher *Tip: Unplug any space heater when you are done for the day and switch off all power strips, you save electricity and know all of your lights and appliances are off.

The reason I am sharing my studio is to let you know that YOU can do this! It might take working a little bit a day for a few months if your time or energy are limited but you can get it done. Don’t wait for circumstances to be ideal, use what you have so you can create today! Happy crafting!

An Quick Fix for an Annoying Problem in the Craftroom

I love using shallow plastic Sterilite and Iris drawers to store my craft supplies. I like to be able to remove the entire drawer and set it on my work table when I am crafting and painting. Unfortunately, I bought a set of drawers where the drawers could not be removed. Today I am going to show you how to alter them so they will be removable as that is so much more useful in many circumstances.

I used a hot knife to easily cut the drawer catch tabs from my cart, it melts the plastic rather than using force to cut it. You could also use a utility knife I suppose. I have a Creative tool from Walnut Hallow (mine is the scrapbooking one that came out years ago but their standard Versa tool (*affiliate link) is cheaper and more powerful) If the drawer catches on your card are on the bottom of the drawers you will need to empty the cart, flip it over and remove the bottom catches first on the bottom drawer, remove that drawer and work your way up. I hope this helps! It is making my drawers way more useful to me!

PS Several viewers mentioned that you can squeeze the drawers and remove them that way but that can warp the drawers over time and you do need two hands and a bit of strength for that. I’d rather just cut the tabs off and be done with them but to each their own. Happy crafting!