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 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!

Live Watercolor Lesson Today & Tips for Setting up a Small Art Space!

Edited to add the finished painting. Have an awesome weekend!

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Hi friends!  I am so happy I have internet, I was expecting to lose power with the crazy blizzard we had yesterday so I even had a backup video to post if that was the case but that tutorial will wait til Sunday and today we will paint live on YouTube at 12:30pm Eastern Time. During the slow week between Christmas and New Year I set about arranging my winter art space in my office upstairs. Normally I prefer to work and film in my basement but it gets chilly in the winter and loud as you can hear when the furnace kicks on. So in the winter my art area downstairs is more of a storage room and I work in my office. Here is a look at my creative corner.

I thought I’d share this, even though it is not the most beautiful space because it is very functional and a realistic option for many people. Let’s face it, few of us have a spare room we can devote to art. I took over a corner of my unfinished basement 10+ years ago and did the best with what I had. The black fabric hanging from the ceiling is to dampen echo while recording. I am thinking about ordering some acoustic foam panels but as you know I am a resourceful tight-wad LOL:) I found a calendar based on the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and I hung that on my wall. It is one of my favorite productivity books. The small shelf in front of my desk holds my laptop. I try to keep my workspace as clear as possible.  I put my most often used tools on the shelf to my right. If you are a lefty you would probably want the shelf on your left. I took an old spice rack and put in my Prismacolor Pencils and Spectrum Aqua Watercolor pencils as well as a few odd-ball Albright Durer Watercolor pencils and Caran D’ache Supracolor pencils. They all work well together so why not?

Next to that is a bookshelf (BTW all of my studio furniture are cast-offs from other parts of the house emptied during my year-long declutter process) I have my Spectrum Noir alcohol markers and my Studio 71 brush markers and some odds and ends. Alcohol markers play well together too and since I have a lot of them due to reviews over the years I have enough for a full assortment upstairs and downstairs. My kids can help themselves to any of these supplies as well. I have a little bit of everything on this shelf, some watercolor crayons, my Rembrandt watercolor 48 set, a paper trimmer, a tray with mini ink pads and in the tip out bins I have acrylic paint pens, clear stamp blocks, watercolor crayons and a random junk bin. I have my favorite reference books and some art paper pads on the shelf below. Basically I want to have a versatile assortment of supplies to create with on hand so I don’t have to run downstairs all the time to get more supplies. I do keep on shelf empty (under the pencils) for bringing up supplies for particular projects and when I am done it goes back downstairs.

I raised up the height on my drafting table so I can stand or sit to work. I can’t sit too long or my back gets stiff and sore. That is a reminder that I need to move so I will go up and down the cellar stairs a few times to limber up and usually I think of something I need to fetch for a project or I have something to return. Since I work at home I might start a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher or do another chore that is active. I find these small brain breaks help keep me stay fresh and inspired. No two crafters had the same space available but I hope this inspires you to make a spot for art in your home. A card table with a rolling cart under it can house plenty of supplies so see what you can do with what you have. I have a door to my backyard right next to my desk which s great in the spring, summer and fall but this time of year it is drafty so I just sealed it with a weatherstripping kit it and what a difference it made to the warmth of the room. I recommend doing that if you have  a drafty area as it will save you money and will make working more comfy. Here is the view of my backyard. There is also a bird feeder I can watch from my desk:)

I hope you got some ideas there. Now on to today’s tutorial. We will be painting live from this reference photo. I was in the mood for something bright and summery:)

You can watch the live stream or reply in the player below but if you want to chat live be sure to watch on the YouTube watch page. Sarah is not feeling well today but my daughter Maizy will be filing in relaying questions to me.

Supplies (Use any kind you like, I’ll link what I am using below)

I hope you are having a great start to 2018! Good luck digging out if you were hit by the storm. I stepped onto my porch and snapped this pic. I am so glad I kept my porch decorations up, I think I will until the kissing balls start to turn brown, I am so pleased with how well they are lasting and how fresh they still look. See you shortly for the live show! Happy crafting!

 

Thanks Guys! I Won Best Papercraft Tutorials! {and how I store my paints and brushes}

Hi Friends! Still sick here but better than yesterday. Luckily the basketball tourney games were rescheduled so I didn’t have to go anywhere or miss them. I barely have a voice today but I shot this paint and brush storage video the other day for you.

What do you think of the way I reorganized the brush area? I like being able to pull the little caddy around to hold my palette and water buckets. I took the drafting table that used to be there and brought it upstairs to my office to be able to work in the heat for the winter!

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I also wanted to tank you so much for voting for me in the Craftsy Awards! I got 1st place in the Papercrafting Tutorials category! Thanks so much guys! It was really nice news to wake up to this morning! Have a great night and til next time happy crafting!

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!

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: Craftroom Tour {in High Definition!}

Howdy folks and happy Wednesday! This week for What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday I thought I would do an updated studio tour and storage video! And (drumroll please) it is in high-definition (notice how I am not in front of the camera LOL!) Just promise me that you won’t report me to the TV show Hoarders!

So I walked into my craftroom the other day and thought “what the hell happened in here?!?” it was a mess, boxes of quilling and knitting mayhem not put away from classes I taught last week, beads everywhere and general crafty chaos…well, you saw last weeks WOYWW desk…just multiply that and add a few more piles, it was a freaking craft obstacle course! So Saturday night I cleaned up my mess (I am a wild woman, home organizing on a Saturday night) and here the photos:

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Well there you have it, since my kids are on vacation this week it still looks this way too (will wonders ever cease?) But best of all I come in ready to create and not bummed out about the mess or injured because I tripped over a 25 pound box of glue sticks. If you have any questions about how I store my stash just leave a comment and I am happy to answer it. Thanks for visiting me in my studio today and til next time happy crafting!

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