Friday, May 11, 2012

My Work Space I

One of the great perks of our new house is my upstairs craft room. I will be spending the next couple of Fridays sharing what I've done with the room. I enjoyed looking through other places seeing what others had done with their spaces, so I see this as returning the favor. Deciding how to put my room together presented several challenges, the largest of which is the fact that I don't just make costumes or just draw or just do any one thing. I enjoy playing with all kinds of different crafts and over the last 12 years or so, I've collected a lot materials, tools and other supplies. My goal was to find a home for everything--all the tools, all the scrap materials and extra yarn, and so on--as well as have space to work. In the house we sold back in November, I had a craft room (sort of--it never got completely unpacked and functional). There I had installed a countertop on some cabinets with some shelves, and then I had purchased an 8 ft. folding table to use as a work bench. I salvaged most of those supplies. We had cut down the countertop a little to fit it in the rental house we had for about a year--we had a rent with option to purchase contract on that house and had intended to purchase it as soon as our old house sold. For a variety of reasons, not buying that house has turned out to be a very good thing for us in ways we could not have foreseen, but that's a post for another time (or maybe not at all since it really doesn't have a lot to do with my art which is really what this blog is supposed to be about). In any case, I still had shelves, the countertop and cabinets and the work bench. There were things that were not so good about that system of organization that I discovered over the years using it. For example the sewing machine had a spot on the counter with a space between the cabinets where I could theoretically sit at a stool and sew. What was wrong with that? Well, I neglected to consider that the foot controller thing wouldn't reach to the floor from the height of the counter. That made sewing difficult. Then the work bench was supposed to stay mostly clean and available for cutting out fabric or whatever else I needed to work on. That never happened either. That table ended up becoming the catch-all spot for everything in the room. The sewing machine ended up there; the computer, scanner and tablet also found homes there. Really it became generally useless over time because of the amount of stuff that accumulated on the table that had no other real functional home.

My goal with this room was to avoid some of those problems. So, how did I go about doing this? Well, first of all, I tried to make a comprehensive list of all the craft projects I might work on up here. Then I looked at things that could be grouped together. For example, costume projects and quilting projects use a lot of the same basic supplies. Also, scrapbooking, stamping, and other paper crafts could share some of the same space since they too use a lot of the same basic supplies. I would want space to store all of the supplies and tools for each type of project together--one of the other big problems I've had in past attempts at creating craft rooms is that nothing ever got entirely unpacked or organized which meant I could not find things. Next I considered the fact that my sewing machine and computer/scanner/tablet/drawing paper are the two things I spend the most time working with. I wanted to have two permanent work stations where I could leave those things set up that did not involve the big work bench.

While pondering how to organize my room, the first thing we did was paint the room. When we bought the house, this room was painted a bright kelly green. Although this isn't necessarily a bad color, and I know it appeals to a lot of people, it is not a color suited to my tastes. I had originally planned on painting the room a light purple and then adding a darker purple texture to it, but after spending some time in this house, I decided that I needed to reverse those color choices--using a dark purple base and adding a lighter purple texture to that. The rooms in this house are painted with a lot of dark saturated colors and the pastel base in this room just didn't feel right here. So, we took a weekend to prime, paint, and sponge the room. My husband helped a lot here--since I wasn't supposed to be spending large quantities of time inhaling paint fumes; that would have been bad for baby. I did some work, but kept it limited, so my husband deserves most of the credit for the paint job here. =) Below are some "before" and "after" pictures of the paint in this room. Something else we added was an overhead light with fan since this room didn't have anything for lighting.

The pictures aren't great. The first one is this room with my workbench and still green. You can also see the old couch I've kept in my last 2 craft areas. I was determined I'd find a home for it here too. In the second picture, you can see my husband touching up some of the paint around the door, and the overhead light has been installed. I meant to get a picture of the room after we'd put the dark purple base down, but I forgot. The third picture is an up close of the walls with the sponge texture. The last picture is of the old countertop, cabinets and shelves from the previous craft areas. Sadly this was the only piece of the room that I remembered to photograph before putting stuff on it. XD Next week, I'll post more on what I actually did to organize this room.

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