I woke up this morning, groggy from my red-eye flight from Utah, to find water pooling in my laundry room from the water heater. While I wait for the plumber, I thought I’d bring you another update on the studio remodel.
Intern Kaity has really been the driving force behind this remodel; without her help and insistence, I’m quite confident that a lot of this would never have happened. During this whole process, I’ve been forced to make decisions about every single item that’s in the studio. That not only includes where to put it while we’re taking things apart, but also what should happen to it and whether or not it really should come back in.
The biggest deconstruction had to do with Mr. T’s area. I purchased a new table for him that’s been in bits and pieces in my garage for over a year. In order to bring it in, everything in that corner had to be cleaned out. This is a pretty accurate photo of Mr. T’s area before the reorganization:
He’s back in the left corner there – you can see he’s got crap all around him, and underneath is die storage. There’s also a wire rack with baskets next to him, and a tall cabinet.
Kaity relocated the dies from here, we took apart the wire rack and moved the contents to the living room, and then we also planned to move the tall cabinet to the office in my basement. That meant everything had to come out of that cabinet too.
We got most of the area cleaned out, to reveal floor to ceiling curtains:
This reminded me, I had these long curtains at a time when I didn’t actually have anything underneath the window. We’ll come back to that in a later update.
Mr. T’s new table though is so huge and heavy that it has to be built inside the room. In order to have enough room to build, we had to also move my cutting tables. They are also really heavy, so emptying them became a necessity. What actually happened is we took everything out of the table and moved it to other rooms in the house, shoved the tables to the side, and then everything inside the tall cabinet got dumped on the top of the tables.
This was actually the scariest day for me: the day my studio was completely non-functional. It’s one thing to be able to shove things aside and create a little room to cut, but at this point, stuff was stacked everywhere and there was no turning back.
Actually, getting all this done was an absolute imperative, because Kaity enlisted the help of her dad (who’s like a master cabinet maker) to help with the assembly and installation of Mr. T’s new table. Not wanting to miss the window of him taking time out of his weekend to come over was a great motivator.
The tall cabinet ended up not going in the office; it turns out that while it would technically fit, it would have made getting into my sump pit a huge challenge. So Kaity and I had to do yet more shuffling and moving to find another home for a bookcase and other items. Luckily, the place where we wanted to put the tall cabinet was a better fit for the bookcase, and where the bookcase was turned out to be the perfect location for the tall cabinet.
Kaity’s dad helped get it downstairs, and then he screwed the cabinet to the wall for safety reasons. I think you all know why by now (and if you don’t… I am seriously accident prone so not getting trapped under a falling cabinet is such a great idea.)
Building the new table for Mr. T. took a good portion of the day, but it was worth it to see it stood up and getting the counter top installed:
Next was just the tedious task of building all the drawers, but with all three of us helping, we got a good assembly line going.
Filling the drawers was another story entirely! I had to think hard about what things I wanted to live in the drawers, and how I wanted to organize everything. I knew right away that I wanted my handbag supplies to go in, but the really inspired moment was when we dedicated two drawers to my ribbons. (I had to crack up hard just now because I remember an episode of Friends where Monica and Chandler were trying to have a baby, and she started freaking out about where the baby’s things would go, and then she shrieked, “What if there’s no room for the ribbons? WHERE WILL THE RIBBONS GO?!?!?” Hilarious.)
Anyway, I’ve got two drawers of ribbons:
I call them “Order” and “Chaos.” Kaity wondered out loud if I would actually be able to stomach a drawer full of loose ribbons (boy she catches on fast) but I assured her that a drawer of loose ribbons was quite cheerful and inspiring. Aren’t they pretty?
My favorite part about this cabinet is the glass-front drawers – I tried to find something pretty to put in the front of each drawer so you’d know what’s inside and also to just give it some interest.
Don’t worry about the missing knobs; Kaity’s dad spotted some issues with the screws, so he took them home to repair them and brought them back the next day. I’ve got drawers for ribbons, zippers/fasteners, my button making supplies, yard, handbag handles and notions, beading/jewelry making, and embellishing. This cabinet is so much fun. Underneath are supplies for bookbinding.
This is just a tiny, tiny portion of the container’s we’ve emptied during the reorganizing; some containers get repurposed as we move things into smaller containers or consolidate several containers into a larger container. It’s hard to say what containers I will have left at the end, but I can guarantee that there will be leftovers. If you want a chance to get some of these containers, check out the end of the post.
Getting the cutting table back to normal was quite a feat, but it was totally worth it when Kaity organized the Kona by color and put it back where it belongs.
Between the two tables, we found a home for all the Kona, plus there was room to store my bolts of Extreme Colors to make Whirligig kits. Kaity celebrated by wearing the box we’ve been tripping over in the studio since the fabric came in March.
Another small touch we were able to do in this area was to hang a stand of thread next to Mr. T’s table, and we stacked some ribbons on spools as decoration.
There are a lot of things I love about my studio as its coming together, but I think the best part has been finding ways to display some of my favorite items. If you’re planning to do something similar in your space, I highly recommend leaving room for little touches like this… don’t just stuff it so full that you can’t move and can’t enjoy.
More to come! If you follow my page on Facebook, you’ll get to see more photos as the reorg happens – so you won’t miss a thing! Also, the reorganization had revealed some awesome opportunities for me to purge neat stuff from my studio – things that are perfectly usable but need to find a new home. I’ll be hosting a Studio Orphan Adoption on Facebook starting August 17th, so if you want a chance to score some of these items for a low adoption fee, make sure you join the party!