They are each a part of a three day project John and I created on a wall in our classroom. We pushed two of our tables together which have grid mats on them. Then we started laying out our collage wall.
We had so much fun putting it together, searching for the thing that was the right color, size and accent. We think it looks so much better than our show banner that was up there before. What do you think?
We can't tell if it snowing or if all the snow swirling about is being blown off the trees and house. It is cold and the forecast is ice and snow. We are on the edge of that big storm that is being reported. John and I were discussing at dinner tonight our survival skills if we are without electricity.
Food that can be cooked without our electric stove? Hmmmmm
Crackers and cheese and wine? Check
Wish us and everyone else in the path of this storm good luck.
The petite little ceramic box above was a surprise gift from my LA friend, Judi Delgado. She is the most thoughtful person. It is tiny, maybe just the right size for a ring. Love it! Thank you so much, Judi.
I have spent the last week in doctor's offices and labs. I had a really bad reaction to some medication. It was one of those side effects they talk about on TV ads that doesn't happen to everyone. I was down and out and pretty miserable. In fact, my whining about how long it was taking me to get over the flu was part of this side effect (not the whining...the getting over). The medication was shutting down my kidney function. Very scary.
I leave you with this photo of some of my old ledgers. Why don't they make books like this anymore?
I loved all your comments on the tv shows. We watched Pawn Stars and Chumlee which was recommended by several of you. All of these shows are so interesting, aren't they? I am amazed at the prices both high and low.
My name is Ginny and I am an organizationaloholic.
I love to organize things. Big things. Little things. Events. Dinners. Workshops. Notebooks. Cupboards. Oh, and cubbies. I love cubbies.
I seem to collect so many little things that just don't fit into other storage. Either they are too little, too fragile or too inconvenient not to have out in the open. But then I do not like clutter. It drains me of energy. The simple answer is cubbies.
Now the spotlight is on Pottery Bard. Over the years, Pottery Barn has offered a number of different cubbies. I think I have purchased all of them. We had cubbies in my store from Pottery Barn. Originally dark wood, they eventually became white with underneath red crackles. They were great for displaying stationery, rubber stamps, small gift items, samples and rolls of ribbon. I store many of my ribbons in cubbies here at home.
Everything is right at hand when one has cubbies. What is your favorite storage thing?
We are off to pick up Keith!
This past weekend at our Small Studio Workshop with Ingrid Dijkers, a discussion among the students went on about online workshops versus in person workshops. It was really interesting to hear various views, questions and concerns. Here is my personal opinion since you asked.
I have taken some really excellent online classes. I enjoyed them tremendously. I could stop and start, work at my own pace, take time to search for the perfect element and chat online with other students via yahoo groups where we shared photos of our work.
Taking an in-person workshop is so much better though. I get to touch and feel and see the teacher's work which sometimes is worth the price of the workshop! I am able to ask questions and hear others' questions and the answers. I am able to see the other student's work process, progress and decision making as they work. I get caught up in the enthusiasm of the group for the projects and techniques. Best of all is the camaraderie of the group. I love sitting and chatting and laughing with like minded women and men. I love hearing their comments to the instructor and each other.
On-line classes give the instructor time to plan exactly what they will do and say. In person classes often result in a serendipitous detour (even to the most organized of instructors) due to a question, a fortunate mistake or a new idea. This cannot be duplicated in an online workshop.
I love being in the midst of all that creativity. I love seeing the stuff that other students bring with them to use. I love to see how other art students interpret the project and/or the assignment. Often one learns as much from the other students as they do the instructor.
Here is my suggestion. Take online classes from those instructors who may not teach where you can get to them, but definitely take in-person workshops from traveling and local instructors. There is room for both.
Kelly Kilmer (link on left) often has a list of blogs she has just found and wants to share with her readers. Yesterday she shared Cathe Holden's blog. It was my first visit, but not my last. Cathe shares lots of free stuff and great projects, but I was intrigued with her studio.
Cubbies, cigar boxes and labels, oh my! You can go here and see more photos of her studio.
...if you think cluttered worktables are blog worthy.
...if you can relate to making big messes.
...if it is too hot to read heavy messages.
...if an ice cream cone sounds good right now.
I love that so many of you think a messy table means something interesting is going on. I am just packaging and one thing leads to another and one idea becomes several and the hands on the clock move much too quickly to get it all done. I ask myself why I thought I should start later than sooner. And Maureen, yes those are bullet casings on the table. They make great tassel tops and beginnings for jewelry and charms. I never imagined any of you would look that closely!Carina Karlsson has some wonderful photos of Tracy Moore's class a few weeks ago here at Small Studio.
Go have a look.
Don't forget to sign up for Ingrid Dijkers, Keith Lo Bue and Lynne Perrella's workshops coming up.
Yes, I got another 5 to add to my wall at the Antique & Flea Market. It is the giant red gas station #5 on the far left of the photo. Actually we bought a stack of these gas station numbers. We couldn't believe out luck, but then we looked at the price and decided that we could only afford the 5. Several hours later as we walked back to the car, the vendor still had them and made a deal with us. The multi-colored 5 is a canvas John painted for my wall. Love it!
Does it seem to you that the sky is falling? It seems to me that there is just too many bad things happening both by Mother Nature and the bad corporate guys. I wish it would all stop. I remember being told all through school what a great nation we live in and how all the other countries look to us as the most successful and powerful country. Yes, we still have all the luxuries here and free choice, etc, but we seem to have lost our way somehow.
It is difficult to be depressed, though, with the trees green again and all the beautiful spring flowers bursting into bloom. Shallow on my part, but I want to be happy. Life is good for us. We are lucky, very lucky.
My wall of fives keeps growing as I receive more from John, friends and readers.
Maybe it is because there were five of us when I was growing up: mom, dad, two older brothers and me.
Maybe it is because my own little family also consisted of five: mom, dad, two older sons and a daughter.
Maybe it is because the first bottle of perfume I ever was given by a boy was Chanel No.5. I appreciated the gesture but really disliked the scent. I must not have liked the boy much either because I can't even remember his last name.
Maybe it is because five is not al straight and severe like 4 or all round like 6. Five combines both characteristics.
Maybe it is because at an impressionable age, Interstate 5 in CA was built to connect San Diego to the state of Washington. I thought it was hilarious that there were hundreds of miles without any stops, gas stations or rest stops for the motorists. It almost caused another gold rush as the gas stations and fast food stops competed to get that business.
Maybe it is because it represents the five tastes: sweet, salty, sour, savory and bitter.
Maybe it is because my high school yearbook counselor, Mr. Quider and his wife had their fifth child and named him Quintin Quincy Quider. He told us the names all referred to the number 5.
Maybe it is because I like the phrase "take five".
What do you collect?
Hurry and sign up for Michael deMeng's workshops here in Avon Lake.
Beautiful flowers from my daughter and family with tulips, of course, for the Dutch side of the family. I think I have mentioned how much I love flowers (maybe a zillion times) and these are even fragrant. Thank you!
Fabulous phone calls from brothers and children and children's children. I love talking to my brothers. They are funny and warm and full of conversation on a million subjects. I was mostly playing phone tag with my eldest brother, but even the messages were great. Then I had a super conversation with 10 year old Joey. We discussed books the longest and sports, too. He is a sweetheart.
And from John? Flat files!
Wonderful, oak, roomy , fits into the space flat files. They even arrived on my birthday. John thought it would take several weeks to get them. Wonderful surprise. Then I got to organize my papers and the space that left. Dinner out and a mailbox full of cards from friends. I would say a perfect day.
Wood or Steel?
New or Used?
Where to buy?
I have been looking online and the prices are high and vary widely from site to site. I had my heart set on oak flat files, but most do not have the steel drawer slides and the ones that do add several hundred (!) dollars to the price. After looking online I get frustrated and put the idea aside for a few weeks. Then I start the process over again. I have hundreds of sheets of paper and because they are hard to get to, I avoid them.
This is how I store the papers now:
The three big boxes came to me from the Italian paper company, Rossi. This is how they ship their papers. I was thrilled to get the boxes and have had them for about 8 or 9 years. They hold a lot of paper, but after a few moves and lifting them in and out of the closet or out from under a bed, they are falling apart and sagging. It isn't good for the paper. John told me I could have anything I wanted for my birthday and suggested I get flat files. What type do you suggest?
Don't forget about the Small Studio Workshop Series. Click here for complete info about classes. Instructors blogs and/or websites are on the upper right of this blog page.
Friday again and I am still having fun with the "Hooked on Houses" challenge. When I think about joining the Hooked on Fridays challenge, it makes me realize how much I like certain things and how they are repeating in different forms in my home. Today I share with you my cubbies. The first one is in a corner of my art room.
Regular readers will know that I have been arranging and rearranging, organizing and reorganizing my art room. I have been unhappy with the space because of the lack of natural light. With only one North facing window at the end of the 17' room there was little natural light. There is even a tree in front of the window to shade it more. No matter how I arranged the room and my supplies, I never would spend much time there because it is just not a cheerful place to be. A few blog entries ago, I asked what others are doing about lighting their work spaces. Andrea (no blog) and several others suggested Solatube. We perused the website and called that day. Yesterday they installed not one, but two solatubes in the ceiling of my art room!
Can one ever have enough storage space in one's art room? I say "NO!" In my reorganization these past few weeks, I have switched, refitted and repurposed all of my organizational bits from this part of the house to that part of the house. I really don't think it is my fault. I blame it all on John who has been organizing his workroom down in the Man Room area. When we finished the basement this past winter, John acquired a full-fledged manly play space complete with Pool Table, etc. plus a bathroom plus a storage room plus a large workroom. He has been slowly working on making it work for him. One wall is his art space. One wall is for his fishing things and one wall is for his golf stuff. One more wall is for his overflow fishing gear. He used all the cabinets we removed from the kitchen and bathroom during the remodel of the upstairs. As he organizes, he asks me if I have this or that type of storage that might work for his lures. So we look at my stuff and look at my needs and his needs and then trade if it might work better elsewhere. That is how the wonderful, antique drawers above got moved to my art room. We bought it last year for my art room, but somehow someone detoured it. Well, now it is where it is happiest...up in my art room. It has long drawers that will house all manner of bits and bobs that seem to find their way to my studio as if I own a giant, humongous (how do you spell that?) magnet.
My new work table was delivered this morning and John and I quickly assembled and put it into place. The table is 85" long and has an extension (which stores under the top) to make it 105" long. Surely some good artwork can be created on this expansive table!
I mentioned our Ikea trip last week on here and our purchase of a drawer unit and a work table. We are still waiting for the replacement work table. In the meantime, here is a photo of part of my art room as it looks today. Putting in the new storage unit required some rearranging and moving about of my current storage areas. I moved two tall wire drawer units into the closet. They just fit...except the knobs on the doors prevented me from opening two of the drawers! So, we added new knobs up high. I love these Anthropologie black and white knobs. The knobs work just fine in the new position.
Sometimes I think I begin big projects just to avoid all the little chores of life.
Sometimes I wonder why things just go wrong when I know I have been good.
We have been having the most wonderful time taking mini vacations. We take off for the day to explore and play. It is ever so much more economical than our driving trips across country that we took last year. Less gas, less restaurants and no lodging. There are definite pitfalls, though. A few days ago we decided to go to Pittsburgh to visit the Andy Warhol Museum which is less than 3 hours away. We had visited the museum a few years ago when we were dating and really enjoyed it. It is definitely worth a repeat visit. Unfortunately we stopped at Ikea on the way down. It is the closest Ikea to us (2 1/2 hours!) so we had to. It is a rule. Definitely. We spent so much time there that we ended up just returning home, skipping the Warhol Museum. We bought a wonderful drawer unit for my art room that will be delivered today which requires an entire art room makeover. I keep my art room pretty tidy, but this is what my art room looks like in the process of moving stuff about.
It was a good mail day:
We got our 1st Empty MailBox Contest Entry today! Hurray! It is from Joy Logan of Baltimore. It is a lovely collaged postcard. Love the colors, love the patterns, Joy. Now, I don't want to whine, but I was really hoping to get more than one. There is a $35 gift certificate to my Small Studio webstore. I'm just saying.....
Then in the mail I got my issue of Marie Claire Idees. It is all in French, but that just makes it more mysterious and fun. Marie Claire is a quarterly craft magazine that has great photography and instructions that generally can be figured out easily enough. The embroidery projects are really so feminine and beautiful. There is also a bit of clothing and decorating. The photos are great for idea generating. This magazine is a favorite.
Also mail related in a round about way is this little story: My sister-in law, Carol added on a craft room above her garage last summer. Not only is it spacious and bright, with it's own bathroom and oodles of storage, but it has a great view of the CA mountains and the city below. Since the view is so good, they added on a "veranda" off of the 2nd floor craft room which overlooks their lovely yard. Well, one day they were visiting us at our home in CA before we moved here to OH. Brother-in-law Frank was interested in my PO Box doors that I sell through Small Studio. He took one home and had it installed on their 2nd floor veranda wall. Frank told me it held MY key to Carol's craft room, should I ever need to come play when they were not there. Cute, Huh? This morning I got photos of the PO Box to share with you. Here are their twins, Christopher and Caroline Jo in front of the PO Box. Isn't this a cool idea?
Well, friends and family, the hoped for 4th of July gala is going to really happen. My oldest son, Wes, confirmed that they are coming too! I cannot express how happy this makes me. It has been years since all of us have been together in one place at one time and John's kids have not met all of my kids. I am so very happy about this. Also Wes has a business trip next week within driving distance of us, so I will get to see him soon.
To celebrate the impending July gala, I began to worry if my house was up to Carter-Smallenburg standards. So I looked at my art room and there, glaring at me was a naked wood drawer unit. I got right to work and this is the result. I have two more units to go. These are from Ikea. I actually bought the three units at the Ikea in Amsterdam in 1988. About time to finish them, you say? Wow, you guys are so judgemental.
An art room is very personal. All the things that make me smile, inspire me or are useful to my playing should be in here where I can see them. It is not a room that has to cater to anyone else's tastes or ideas of what a house should look like. There is no room for decorating rules in here. This little sign that John bought me on our honeymoon in Paris, hangs on the entrance door.
I am still messing and tweaking my art room. With the sloped ceilings, I have less wall space to hang those things around me that I like to look upon. I have been challenged by the space. This "Observation" sign hung on the office door of my old store. One of my customers made it for me when I began publishing my 'zine of the same name. On top of the cabinet, which holds paper (lots of paper!) is the shadowbox shrine I made at one of the retreats that Tim Holtz invited me to. Tim has a blog now and he is doing a tag a day complete with instructions and prizes. The first 4 tag projects used our Stampers Anonymous images he designed.
This little vignette sits on a shelf. The encaustic was a wedding gift from artist Jane Harrison. The framed "Ginny" is a place card from a dinner party I gave. I bought the tiny frames, about 2"x3" and then the name of each recipient and the holly sprig was added.
Mona was a retail display piece for little metal book necklaces that I sold. Now she holds a variety of necklaces that were gifted to me over the years.
Inspections, deliveries, guys coming in to measure one more time and other flurries of remodeling have begun in earnest today. I love to remodel...in retrospect, but the actual doing is something else. It isn't fun to have so many people in and out of the house. I always forget that part.
So, I was stuck home waiting for various people and things to show up. I played in my art room, making a few more sample cards and rearranging and reorganizing.....always rearranging and reorganizing. Will it ever be perfectly organized? I doubt it.
Here is the south wall of my art room, at least this is how it looked tonight. It may be totally different next month, next week or whenever I get some new idea. I love the hutch. The bottom cabinet is filled with clear, flat plastic containers that hold my stencils, cut watercolor paper, ephemera bins and various other supplies. The top cabinet has baskets, each filled with one type of item: adhesives, mediums, novelty tapes, etc. I just like the way it looks.
Here is a closer-up view of the cabinet on the left hand side of the hutch. The white cabinet holds all our paints and art pencils, crayons, etc.
Next is the bookcase wall. It holds.....books!
The wire baskets hold most of my rubber stamps. I have others in carts in the closet. These drawers hold all my Stampers Anonymous since I use them the most, of course. This is a tough wall to work with. As I have mentioned before, the wall is only 36" high before the sloped ceiling takes over.
I think my favorite view is this corner with my guy bulletin board (which I talked about in a previous post) and the Keely Barham dolls around the corner. It just makes me smile.
I also love this very old newspaper boy's apron which I tacked to a door and filled with my stipple brushes.
Okay, that is the tour. Yes, my art room is clean, but definitely not when I am working on something. Then it is full of piles and opened bins and drawers, but when I am done, I try very hard to clean it all up to make starting another project easier. I compare it to not wanting to wake up to a sink of yesterday's dishes. Ick.
I have been busy. I am not sure what I have been busy with, but the time has been flying along. Let's see. We had a family party for Joey who turned 8 on Monday. Here he is with his Ohio cousins, Auntie Cathy and his birthday donuts. It seems he is anti-cake.
Then we went exploring more of the Erie Ohio canal. This time we were in Brecksville on a gorgeous afternoon. Ohio has to be one of the most beautiful parts of the country. John is always ready to explore, especially if there might be a new fishing spot to visit.
What else? I got my favorite bulletin board up on the wall. If any of you were regulars at the Creative Block, you will recognize this guy. Back then he "held" the window in the classroom. Now he holds my bulletin board. Former employee Joyce, made him for the store by projecting one of my Stamper's Anonymous images onto paper taped to the wall, tracing it and then coloring it in and mounting it onto foam core. She did a wonderful job. He is really tall...almost 6' with the board!
Speaking of Stampers Anonymous, I have been working on sample cards for the booths using the newest Tim Holtz and Michael DeMeng and older images, too. It has been months since I have picked up any art supplies because of the big move. I am feeling rusty and uncreative. When making sample cards, one must come up with dozens of ideas, one right after the other. Sometimes I just get into a groove and knock them off without a worry. Other times, it is more difficult. There are restrictions: everything has to be Stampers Anonymous or sold in our booth (shoppers get frustrated when they see something and we don't have it), the cards must be complicated enough to be interesting, yet easy enough to be explained by any helper in the booth, images used must be pretty much whole so they can be recognized, sizes and colors should complement existing sample cards...and so on. Not as easy as it seems, especially if one is rusty. Hear me creak!
More organizing of the art room went on today. Boxes were emptied, wire drawers were filled with stamps, supplies found homes and some stuff went up on the walls (meager as they are). The room is actually quite spacious (14x17), but again the low walls challenge me. Here is a photo of the short wall with my wire stamp baskets:
There are actually five of these 30" high units lined up...eight feet of storage along the wall, my desk and then more of the units around the corner from the desk. The photo makes the wall length look short, but it isn't.
I am still unpacking, so more photos later.
While unpacking, I came across this ticket bowl I made some time ago.
Have you ever done this? I have made dozens of them. They are quick, easy and every one comes out a bit different. You can buy new rolls of tickets (about $4) at office supply stores, Smart & Final and probably other places. The "meal ticket" roll is a vintage roll purchased a few years ago.
Here is the method:
Secure the end ticket with a piece of tape.
Starting at the center of the roll, gently push the tickets out as you rotate the roll. I hold the edge with my fingers and push with my thumbs.
Keep going around and around until you like the shape you have created.
If you don't like it, flatten the roll and start over.
If the roll is too stiff to push, drop it onto a hard surface a few times to relax it.
When you are satisfied with the shape and size, start painting it with Elmer's Glue inside and out. I like a thin coat. It will dry clear and matte. Let dry overnight. You are done!
If you are using Admit One tickets, a great gift idea is filling the bowl with theater tickets and candy.
The #3 notebook is a small kraft Moleskin. I love these. I always carry one in my purse. I make up a bunch at the beginning of the year, one for each month. This was "March". I jot notes, temporarily keep receipts, etc., then file the books away in a box for future reference.