My spring studio cleaning effort is a little bit different than most; instead of cleaning up a messy part of my space, I decided to just move.
When Cheryl Sleboda announced she was doing another Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop, I thought this was perfect timing to tell & show you what I’ve been up to the last couple of months. I’m the next-to-last stop on the hop, and it’s a good thing because I had a lot of work to do!
For the last 10 years, I’ve been sharing my home with my studio, and for a while that was ok. The studio was confined to one room on a lower level, and then I had a mid-arm machine on a 10′ frame down in the basement.
Over the years, that studio has changed dramatically. As my business grew, so did my fabric collection. That small mid-arm in the basement eventually gave way to a full-sized long arm, which ultimately ended up in my living room – displacing my furniture and my living space. A video production studio took over an upstairs bedroom 3 years ago.
When I first bought this house, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t get outside studio space until I fully used the space I owned. When my car got kicked out of the garage in the fall due to 18 cases of Outlander fabric being delivered for my Road to Scotland Mystery, I knew something had to change. You do NOT leave your car outside during a Chicago winter. So brutal.
I started looking for studio space in December, and signed a lease in March. I also had to think really hard about what my business needed to become in order to support itself outside of my home’s four walls.
The new studio space actually houses two businesses now. MADE Creative Fiber Arts Studio is my long arm and die cutting rental studio and classroom space; and LoveBug Studios uses the space for warehousing, packing, and shipping.
Perhaps the most exciting part of this studio move was the prospect of reclaiming my living room. It makes me smile to think of it even now, but of course it doesn’t mean that I’ve completely given up having studio space here at home. I still have the video production space as well as my original home studio. It’s a little bit more spacious but by no means is it empty!
Creating this new space meant buying lots of furniture and storage, rethinking how everything is arranged, making room emotionally for other people to come and work in my space and touch my things (I’m an only child, cut me some slack) and of course packing up and moving things and unpacking them again. I’m still schlepping things from home to the studio and back because one place has scissors and the other has thread, or one place has shipping labels but no envelopes. You know how it is.
It’s been amazing to see the place shape up into a real-life place for people to come and share. I now have two long arms instead of just one, and we even had enough room to put in a couch. Incidentally, this is the same style of couch in my own living room so it’s hilarious that I re-created that space, with a couch facing my long arm!
I can put my numerous die cutters to work and finally see all of my dies in one place. We counted over 1,000 dies in my library! I decided to set up one Studio 2 and a Big Shot Pro in the rental space, but I still have duplicates of each machine at home. That will be helpful for video production, but also if we have an intense die cutting session, I can always bring the other two from home.
The classroom space is coming along nicely too! We have space for 12 students and nice giant screen for watching how-to videos or presentations.
And my fabric! All of my glorious fabric (ok, not all of it – just the stuff on bolts) lined up neatly and such a sight to see.
It’s not completely finished yet, but it is closer to being done than not done at this point, and we are getting closer to being open for visitors and clients, by appointment.
If you’re in the area of Chicago and want to come for a visit, we’re tentatively planning a Grand Opening on June 1. Be sure to visit the MADE Creative Studio website for hours and updates!
As for my studio space at home and the relative cleanliness (or not)… well, maybe we can talk about that next spring.
If you didn’t get a chance to visit all the spots on the hop, be sure to check them out!
May 1 – Teri Lucas – www.terificreations.com
May 2 – Tammy Silvers – www.tamarinis.typepad.com
May 3 – Emily Breclaw – www.thecaffeinatedquilter.com
May 4 – Amalia Morusiewicz – www.FUNfromAtoZ.com
May 5 – John Kubiniec – www.bigrigquilting.com/blog/
May 6 – Debby Brown – www.higheredhands.blogspot.com
May 7 – Melissa Marie Collins – www.melissamariecollins.blogspot.com
May 8 – Delve MIY – www.fronddesignstudios.wordpress.com
May 9 – Misty Cole – www.mistycole.com
May 10 – Sam Hunter – www.huntersdesignstudio.com/blog
May 11 – Dale Ashera-Davis – www.dalead.wordpress.com
May 12 – Sara Mika – www.mockpiestudio.blogspot.com
May 13 – Sarah Trumpp – www.Wonderstrumpet.com
May 14 – Carma Halterman – www.beanstrings.blogspot.com
May 15 – Jessica Darling – www.jessicakdarling.com
May 16 – Lisa Chin – www.lisachinartist.com
May 17 – Sally Johnson – www.sallysquiltingcorner.blogspot.com
May 18 – Mandy Leins – www.mandalei.com/blog
May 19 – Shruti Dandekar – www.13woodhouseroad.com
May 20 – Jane Davila – www.janedavila.com
May 21 – Ebony Love – www.lovebugstudios.com
May 22 – Cheryl Sleboda – blog.muppin.com