Thursday, March 21, 2013

Studio & Storage: A's Space

For most artists and crafters, studio space is both a necessity and an unrealistic dream.  Luckily for J and I we are currently blessed with enough space for each of us to have a separate "studio."  Granted, most nights our studio is our kitchen table or a laptop desk in front of the television while we re-watch episodes of Dr. Who or Better Off Ted.  But when it comes to where we keep all our crap (I mean, supplies) we each have a space specially designed for our individual interests.

My particular areas of expertise involve paper crafts and fabrics.  J's, on the other hand, are more varied and involve more sharp implements and tiny parts.  Thus, my studio is in the living room in public view, and his is behind a conveniently closed door in the guest bedroom.  This prevents Cat from ingesting too many Exacto blades or watch screws. 

Knowing that my area is always public domain, and also because I enjoy this sort of thing, I make sure it's colorful and interesting to the eye.  Many of my storage solutions are decorative in nature and I have a love of repurposing items.  The photo at the top of the page is one example of this.  I used to work for a coffee shop that sold Harney & Sons teas and my manager was kind enough to let us take home the tins when they were empty.  Over time I've collected a full set and use them to hold all kinds of fun items:  buttons, paper flowers, patches, pins, bits of ribbon, etc.  I thought the tins were beautiful when we had them on display in the shop, but they look even better in my studio!

Other items I've repurposed include:  Coffee and Tea tins from my late grandmother, an old jewelry box bought at a garage sale, and a dish drainer.

Full of more tiny goodies.
A DIY project for another post some day.
Keeps my stamps collected without getting ink everywhere.
Many of my other favorite storage containers and contraptions came from IKEA.  Those of you who've yet to meet me may not realize I'm obsessed with the Swedish furniture giant.  More than anything, though, I love going through their Marketplace to pick up randomness for projects and storage solutions.  To the best of my memory, the following are all IKEA finds:

My "Alex" drawers are one of my favorite purchases.  Ever.
Bright magazine holders for all my DIY mags.
Technically this is a kitchen spice rack.  J zip-tied it to the shelving unit.
One of my hard and fast rules when it comes to crafting (or just about anything) is to keep a project as inexpensive as possible.  I'm the same way with my studio.  Most craft storage that is marketed as such is way more expensive than the same types of contraptions sold at a non-craft store.  I do a lot of my craft storage shopping at dollar and discount stores.  Most storage containers can be repurposed into craft storage containers with little to no effort.

I also work to make sure that my storage is functional.  A primary component of this is that it's helpful to know what's inside.  If I can find a container that is translucent for the same price as one that's opaque, I'll pick the one I can see through every time.

You can never have too many bins.  I use opaque ones for true storage
and translucent ones for readily available fabrics and such.
These are tripley awesome - each cost $1, see through and perfectly stackable.
More dollar store finds.  More stackable storage.
Finally, sometimes you find an idea too cool to pass up, no matter what the cost.  I could probably have found a cheaper solution to storing my acrylic stamps, but there are few options as elegant as a good ole' fashioned binder.  I sprung for a sturdy one with wide rings and a set of translucent pockets to help keep things categorized.

Organized AND colorful - can you tell that's a theme?
Overall, I love my studio.  It's location may be a bit public at times, which means I have to work harder to keep it cleaned up, but that just means I've always got a clean surface on which to start a new project!  I'm also someone who loves sharing creativity, so having it in a room where others are working or relaxing makes it more likely that I'll use it.  By using an IKEA table and floating shelves, my "Alex" drawers and a metal storage shelf, I've created a lot of useable space without taking up a large footprint.  It's provided a colorful and artistic corner to our everyday lives and isn't that what crafting a lifestyle is all about?


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