Sunday, May 23, 2010

my studio before and after

Soon after My studio was featured in "where women create" I knew I had a problem. I was just getting ready to work on my fabric book and I had the need to have more table space for working with fabric so I got a cutting table that I did not have room for and shoved it in a corner up against some book shelves. Now last year Kelly B. Helped Kristen Robinson move a few things in her space and I was blown away by how moving a few things around Kelly gave Kristen so much more working space.  For almost a year now Kelly has been after me to let her come over and help re-organize my space. I knew things were bad and that they were not working however I had not the time I knew it was going to take to do the job right.


but over the last few weeks I made the time and Kelly and I took just about everything out of my space I purged and got rid of things I knew I would never really use.
a few weeks ago I posted this video to face-book for all to see my mess, my hell...
really how can any one be creative in such a mess?


I think most creative types tend to be collectors and hunter gatherers by nature creating mixed media art and storing things that inspire us to create can turn into more of a job then the art it self.
when my work shifted to mostly fabric I found the need to have a spacial place to cut and store it. This transition took over my once workable space and I knew that things had to change as I was flustered and blocked by the flow of my surroundings. so now after a few weeks of hard work I can share with you my newly organized space.


a few things that have helped me along the way:

  • Get some help: Truly I could not have done my studio on my own I needed Kelly's fresh eyes to help me to see the way out of the chaos that I had created.
  • Give your self some time: I started out thinking that it could all be done over the weekend but the truth was that purging is mentally exhausting so after two full days of cleaning and tossing stuff out we took a break for a few days before we started again.
  • Ask your self this question over and over again: "would I buy this again?" this really helped me the most at the end it was getting so hard I did not want to toss out one more thing I wanted to stop at about the half way point but my mother told me to ask myself if I would buy it again and the words really did help.
  • Know how you work and make your space work for you: when Kelly first came over I told he what was and what was not working for me. My bead storage worked fine it did not need to be touched however my sewing stuff was a huge mess and needed a lot of help. I knew that a large shelving unit that I had and a wooden cabinet was not working and it could leave the space, moving these pieces out freed up space for me to have room on the wall for my cutting table thus freeing up a lot of shelf space that was being blocked by this table.
  • Choose the type of storage that works best for you: I need to see my stuff for me its "out of site, out of mind" so I went with plastic tubs and bins, I also found that labels were also helpful.
A BIG Thank you to Kelly for all her hard work and help! not to mention putting up with me day after day! it was a priceless gift you gave me!
I hope you will enjoy the next few video's that follow this post of my space as I share with you some of the details of my studio.



Lynn Stevens said...

Wow, What a difference, Makes me want to pull mine all out and start over!

Lori Katies Rose Cottage said...

Congratulations on reorganizing your studio ~ I just love the feeling when I get everything all sorted and organized ~

Patti G. said...

Ruth and Kelly, awesome clean up job!!!!!!!! Congrats because I know that FeeLS WoNDerFUL!
I need to do the same!

Kathy said...

I loved the videos. Got some ideas from them, thank you.

One question - What did you do with the items you got rid of? (Love the idea of saying - would I buy this now - I have to try that!)


Lisa said...

great post for those of us with limited work spaces that tend to get out of control! I need to have my stuff out where i can see it too or I forget about it!

MosaicMagpie said...

I have never heard "Would I buy this again?" before as a question when purging. That is brilliant I am going to start asking that of myself. Thank you great words of wisdom.

Anonymous said...

You know how many people need this for inspiration? I've been working on putting together my own studio too. Can't wait to get done, but feel inspired by another creative person with stuff like mine. Thanks for sharing.


Michelle said...

Excellent advice, I need to do this soon!

celeste said...

love it! I'm totally inspired to go to Ikea and Target and stock up on containers and compartmentalize all of my collections. Selling off a bunch of my artwork and supplies this weekend at the Artists' Garage Sale in the Seattle area...form the purge comes the re-organizing the space!!
thank you for sharing!

scarletti said...

Wow, well done, the throwing out bit must have needed you to be very brave.

I have just found my way to your blog via your book, so suspect this will be my path in some future time, since I now see potential in all sorts of bits and pieces (and thank you for the inspiration and ideas).

Anonymous said...

How nice it is to clean and get reorganized because you really forget what you have in the first place. I am in the process of cleaning and reorganizing my sewing room which is a bedroom...because I had a room full of stuff, and recently my mom died and left me all her sewing and crafting stuff. Now I'm really blessed with loads of stuff to work with. But I have to find places for it! :)