This is a post in two parts: One is about where things were, and the other is about where things ended up. A has described her work space in the living room, but we've not yet discussed The Cave. The Cave is the under-bed location which until recently housed my workspace. There were difficulties under there, not least of which included cramped height (it's two inches shorter than me. You learn to duck), limited space, and distance from the rest of the household. If we had a night to work, I'd leave and hole up in The Cave and we'd call down the hallway. That, or I'd drag all my crap out onto our little fold-up laptop desk and work from there for a night and pack it all away at the end of the evening. Hardly efficient. Really the only reason it was good to have everything in The Cave was my weekly gaming sessions where it was a good idea to have a computer in another room. It's not like I could just use the computer in the living room. Wait. What if I could?
|The Cave: Before. I'll miss the mini-fridge, but now I'm next to the real fridge.|
|Nothing says "office" like a fake tree.|
|It went so fast I was half done before there was a camera.|
Once my shelves were in, it was on to moving my Ikea table (same model as A's so we can back them up to form Voltable, Defender of the Craftiverse) and all of my containers of stuff. I've acquired a variety of drawers and things, all of which are labeled in a Dad's Garage motif of masking tape and Sharpie. When in doubt, go simple. I am fine with labels on everything because it makes it easy to get from parts to product that much faster. I'm not able to be at my table all day every day, so reminders make things simpler. Label your stuff. If you spend even thirty seconds digging through containers every day, you're costing yourself 15 minutes a month of crafting time. Do you really have so much craft time that you want to waste it?
|It's better to be boring than unproductive.|
My new setup has space for electronics components along the back, soldering stuff with my iron, clay and casting materials, basing for miniatures, four or five containers of beads, jewelry notions, and found objects, plastic sprues for miniatures, my gang box for Necromunda, and a large empty bin for whatever comes next. On the top shelf. Alone. The short shelf has craft paint in a large shoe box, pens for calligraphy, and a spinner with drafting pencils, art markers, pens, and sketching pencils. I keep the tabletop mostly clear for work purposes, so depending on the task at hand, I pull down the needed bin from up above, and set it up at my elbow. End of project, close the box and put it back on the shelf. The tabletop houses tools, cutting implements, and drafting tools with a few cups for water and a brick for hammering stuff. For the most part, things that would be a hassle to keep up on the shelf. Those plastic drawers are filled with stuff for miniatures and model making: sheet goods, transfer paper, plastic sheet, weird painting media, etc. all broken down by category.
As an aside, when it comes to your space, be heartless when you clean up. Could you use that 2" x 5-and-a-half inch scrap of foamcore for something? Sure. Will you? No. And almost certainly not before you get another off-cut from something else, and then you have two of them on your table, getting pushed aside when you do something else for weeks waiting to use them. Throw that crap out. If you don't have somewhere to store it, it gets thrown away. Kipple drives out non-kipple. Once it starts to accumulate, pretty soon your craft area is twist-ties and old paint cups and that thing you were gonna use and that prototype and those miniatures you're supposed to finish and the rest of the Cheez-Its and the things and that stuff and the nowhere to work. I know, because I lost the battle last time:
|Entropy in action.|
Changing topics rapidly, keep an eye out for unique elements in your environment. I work at a place that is moving offices right now and a lot of old displays and things were getting pitched. At some point, A and I might have to do a post about the great stuff that we saved from the garbage that day, but two items figure prominently in this conversation: some metal laminate sample holders and some acrylic displays for catalogs. The laminate comes in 2" x 3" little bits with a hole in one corner. We're really smart, so we swiped them and later considered grabbing the holders, so we ended up with hundreds of little chips in a trash bag like this:
|In 126 varieties.|
|It's okay to be jealous. Send us a part number and we'll ship you a sample.|
|This is under our lofted guest bed. Somehow much better than before.|