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!

DIY Drying Rack

Hi friends! This month I challenged myself to paint 20 small oil paintings, I quickly realized that I would need a place to safely dry these out of the way so I created this drying rack that I can put up on a shelf in my studio away from my work area and my cats! This is what I came up with:

I built this from some leftover foam board (foamcore) I had but you can also up cycle a couple of cardboard boxes to do the same thing. This is sturdy, lightweight and should last a long time.

Supplies:

  • Foam board/foam-core or cardboard
  • craft knife
  • Hot glue (duct tape could also be used but I think it will be more difficult.
  • Yardstick

I love crafting with foam core, I have made many storage items over the years with it like this ribbon storage and this ink pad holder. There is so much you can do with it! Some viewers on YouTube said they were going to make a card display for craft fairs using a similar method to my drying rack and I thought it was a wonderful idea. What have you made with foam core? You can find it at the dollar tree or order it in bulk from any big art supply retailer. Happy crafting!

Craft Room Tour & Supply Organization Tips {Collab with Maremi Small Art}

Hi friends! It’s that time of year again. Time to clean up after all of the Christmas crafting and wrapping and get organized for an inspiring new year! I was talking with my friend Marta over at Maremi SmallArt and it turns out we both needed to get out crafty act together so we challenged each other to clean up our spaces and then do a video about it. Her craft space is half of her living room separated by a large shelving unit and mine is in the back corner or my unfinished basement. We both have different amounts of different things and different needs that we have to address so you are sure to find ideas for your craft space in our videos.

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*Feel free to skip this paragraph if you just want to get to the decluttering. If you want to know the nitty-gritty or the “why” that inspired my decluttering journey over the past 2 years read on:)

You may remember about two years ago I embarked on a decluttering journey following the popular Konmari method from the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I needed a change. I was spending so much time on my computer, and making videos and so concerned with social media that my health and well-being suffered. I saw a loss of views online as a personal attack and the harder I pushed on YouTube the worse I felt. I would shop and share what I bought because Haul videos did better than my actual tutorial videos. Don’t get me wrong, I got a high from finding awesome deals and sharing the purchases with you but I started to notice that I forgot about many of the things I bought and only used a fraction of it. I also was stockpiling more than a reasonable amount of my favorites. That book could not have come at a better time for me. I also was suffering from chronic lower back pain made worse by my sedentary lifestyle. I needed to move more and have less. Every time I went into my art studio (a space that used to bring me such joy) I felt oppressed, sad and overwhelmed. I need to deal with the huge amount of stuff I had hoarded and get rid of the stuff weighing me down. You can see the entire process of my Konmari craft room clean up here. Long story short my back started to feel better until I was totally pain-free due to a combination of daily exercise and less time on the computer and I feel refreshed when I enter my craft space instead of oppressed. I also launched my online school and brought my husband into my business. It’s amazing what possibilities appear when you don’t have so much stuff in your way!

And now, on to the tour! You can watch the video below!

And here are some photos! I repurposed and thrifted most of my storage items but if they are still available I will link to them. Affiliate links may be used which provide me with a small commission if you purchase an item at no additional cost to you. Thanks! I did want to mention that Consumer Crafts has a lot of specialty craft storage for less and with coupon code SAVEJAN19 you can save 15-25% and orders over $49 ship free *coupon code good through Monday 1/21/19

***I also wanted to warn you NOT to buy any storage if you are decluttering until AFTER you are done because you will probably have more than enough to suit your needs once you part with things you don’t need.

As you walk into my space to the left is my stamp storage. My wood mounted stamps are on a shelf made of 1×4 pine and then there is a sturdy utility shelf of binders holding stamps in page protectors organized by theme. When I need a stamp I grab the binder for that theme, say “trees” and l can see what I have as easy as flipping through a catalogue. I do no other cataloging of stamps although some people find it handy to have a computerised list.

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I was able to clear over half a shelf of space once I emptied my binders and sorted and got rid of what I knew I would never use again. Some things I had used so much that I was tired of and other things had outgrown their usefulness like excess stamps for children’s themed cards as my children are teens and I rarely make birthday cards for little kids. I kept my absolute faves and passed the rest on. Next to that is a work bench (hollow door on 2 saw horses) where I can sit and work on jewelry. I have a 9 cube storage unit with fabric bins from the dollar tree for yarn and accessories. I had the yarn in 3 huge plastic totes before and I never used it because it was hard to get to. I am hoping to use the novelty yarn on cards and other crafts as well as embellishments on hats and such. If it turns out I don’t use it then it can go next year! Nursing homes and libraries with knitting groups gladly accept donations. My jewelry supplies are also stored here as I sit and work here. My radio and older laptop on top of my jewelry storage for entertainment as I work as I like to have chatter in the background. Under the bench I keep my EdenPure space heater  (No, I don not run it under the bench or leave it plugged in when I am not there. BTW I have tried an oil filled radiator and one of the box style ones and this is by far the best I’ve used.) and 2 plastic carts with shallow drawers that hold tubes of watercolor paint, templates and other supplies.

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Next to that is a chest or drawers with my brushes on top and in the shelf above I have jewelry tools, my YouTube play button I received when I reached 100k subscribers and other decorations and stretched canvases are above. The plastic baskets hold mounted and foam alphabet stamps.

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Next to that is where my large yarn totes used to be. I took a small shelf that was on the jewelry bench and put it where the totes were and my Stampin Up stamps are there. Honestly I didn’t think to go through them but I probably should. I like those sets though because it is easy to grab a set and create without much bother. On that is an advent calendar I repurposed hold buttons and a parts bin of stained glass shards I use to make fused glass pendants, a tub of wooden spools and ink sprays. In other words things I don’t need to be handy. I have a stool if I want to sit at my easel to paint. I was glad to get rid on the bulky totes because now I can put up a 6 foot folding table if friends want to come over and craft!

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Next to that is my die cut area and cutting bench. My paper trimmer and Scor-pal sit on top as they are used daily and next to that is my 12-year-old Big Shot I also use about daily. It is on a computer monitor stand and I keep dollar store white plates I used as palettes stacked under it. I have a bench vice that holds a magnetic dish where I place dies in use so I don’t lose them. My electronic cutters can be pulled down and used on the bench (after removing the trimmer and score board) and my laptop can go on the monitor stand if I am cutting a computer  file. I move the magnetic dish if using my computer there just to be safe. Bulky items are stored below.

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Working your way around my table I have a tower of framing and packaging supplies, then cardstock in a vintage record cabinet. In the cabinet the cardstock is stored in thick, sturdy job ticket holders so the corners don’t get bent.  In the corner a utility shelf with workshop teaching supplies that I keep packed up and ready to take with me (I clean and repack after each workshop so I know everything is in working order) as well as other bulky supplies I do not need to access daily.

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Then you can see the cube units that make up a freestanding “wall” between my husbands workshop and my art space. I also have curtains tacked up to keep his sawdust out. It ain’t fancy but it works. 🙂

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I love how useful these various cubes are for storage. I keep my pencils/crayons in tins by brand and just bring over the tin to my table as needed. All of the things in this open storage gets used regularly and I like seeing where it is so I am reminded to use it. Pattern and specialty paper is also stored here with the exception of mulberry and vellum because that is a bit fragile so they are in closed accordion files on the bottom shelf with my stamp binders. The blue trays hold projects in process. I have watercolor and alcohol markers in a pen display I bought from a scrapbook store going out of business and I have a turnabout from harbor freight to hold daily supplies like blending sponges and adhesives. I have a plastic tower of various paints and mediums, my photo area is on top and the rack under the orange fabric folds larger paper pads and sheets of pastel and drawing paper.

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Under my desk on the side where I usually work I keep supplies I reach for often. I have a cart of shallow plastic drawers that hold ink pads, scraps of white paper for stamping and my pegstamps. I have a trash can and 2 bookshelves with my watercolor palettes, inks and on top of that, full size inkpads and water buckets.

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On the other side of the work table I have my fabric supplies, an iris cart of embellishments, embossing powders (BTW here is the awesome embossing powder technique book I mentioned in the video) and glitters and crates of canvas panels, school supplies and on top scrap papers sorted by color in hanging file folders. Here you can see how my work table is hollow door I painted sitting on top of 2 nine cube units. Fabric bins keep unruly supplies contained and neat.

Lighting and filming

I also wanted to mention that the best part about having my art studio in my unfinished basement is being able to mount all of my lights to the ceiling so nor cords or stands to trip on. I use clip on aluminum shop lights and daylight balanced CFL bulbs so my light is bright and true. My husband rigged up 2 camera mounts over my table that I can film from as well so I do not need to fuss with a tripod for overhead shots.

The video goes in more depth but if I showed you what is in every nook and cranny we’d be here all night! I hope you enjoyed this art workshop tour and I hope you check out Marta’s craft room tour as well. You will get lots of ideas from her space too! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Swatching Glitter! (and how I store it!)

Hi friends!  Glitter is fun to use. It can add a subtle sheet or totally glam up a project. Before you add glitter to your hard work you will want to know whether the glitter is sheer or opaque and the level of glitz it has. Today I’ll show you how I swatched my new Arteza glitter so I could see what I have.

You can find this set of Glitter on the Arteza website, Use coupon code PROMO10 for 10% off or on Amazon.

I store my other glitter and embossing powders in a 12″x12″ Iris cart where I removed the lids so I can access everything easily. You can also get the project boxes on their own if you prefer. My friend Kathy bought me that Iris card years ago and it is so useful! I hope you enjoy this quick tip and til next time happy crafting!

How To Tint Glass at Home {Super Easy!}

Hi friends! Sometimes you come across a really cool techniques when you are trying to do something else, this is one of those times!

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I got tired of my watercolor brushes rolling off my table as I worked and also It’s better (according to experts) to dry your brushes flat rather than in a cup so I thought I would like a brush rest. Since I am cheap frugal I decided I could probably find a really funky colored glass ashtray at the local antiques mall that would be delightful (and cheap) for this job. Believe it or not I only saw one ashtray at the antiques place and it was not delightful but I did find two shallow clear pressed glass bowls with fluted edges that would do the trick. Best of all was the price $1.25 for the set! Score!

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Above you can see the lovely tinted glass I eventually ended up with. I loved the technique so much I also tinted a glass flower frog (I have two of these large clear ones so I figured “why not?”) and that can hold pencils or crayons that I am using in a  project so I can keep track of what I use. Originally I thought I would try to get a really rich deep color but after using a bunch of ink I was really unhappy with it.

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As I went to clean off the thick ink it left behind a tint and it was beautiful! Sometimes you have to go through that “Hot Mess” to get to the good stuff! Want to try this for yourself? Watch the video and see how!

Supplies! *Amazon affiliate links used

  • Some clear class objects *items with a cut, pressed or embossed design work great!
  • Alcohol ink *This is a good mixing set or you can get smaller sets of the Ranger inks.
  • “Rubbing” alcohol in a spray bottle (*I used 70% from the drugstore, grocery store or dollar store)
  • Small square of craft felt and q-tips for applying color *I make my own craft felt applicator but cutting up 9″x12″ sheets of acrylic craft felt into 1″ squares, you can also buy them cut into squares by Ranger but they are more expensive
  • *You might want rubber gloves, LAVA soap will remove all of the ink from your skin but your fingernails can get stained!

Directions:
1. Wash the glass and then wipe it down with rubbing alcohol to remove any fingerprints.

2. On the underside of the dish (or inside of a jar or vase) dab or wipe on the ink using a small piece of craft felt. You can use a Q-tip to get into any nooks and crannies. If the color is too dark add some alcohol to the blending felt to dilute the color.

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*You want to do this on the bottom or inside of the object because alcohol ink can have a dull look on the surface, this way the shiny class will be on the outside and the glass will appear to be colored all the way through. You can even put water in the jar or vase after it is colored, just take care when cleaning it by washing with a soft cloth.

This is not food safe and you really should hand wash these. If you change your mind about the color or want the glass to be clear again you can wash off the ink with alcohol.

One thing I forgot to mention in the video…

I got this question a lot on YouTube when I posted this video: “What can I use to seal the ink?” I want to be able to remove the ink if I want a new color so I did not seal it with any top coat. This ink is waterproof and should be fine with normal wear and art room splashes. Since I have colored beads and pendants with alcohol ink I noticed that the color can wear off with a lot of rubbing.  Also I have used alcohol ink on coasters and it definitely needs more protection so what I would recommend if you are sure you do not want to be able to wash it off is to spray a coat of Krylon Triple Thick Glaze over the ink. It still is not food safe though. I hope you give this a try, it is really addictive and the results are so pretty! Happy crafting!

 

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