Welcome to Day Four of Organization Week! Links to all of the "Organization Week" posts are available by clicking on the "Organization Week" image in the far right column of my blog.
Today it's time to put together the heart of your studio: Your desk area. Personally, I think it's vitally important that everything from your list of "ten supplies you must have" be within arms length of your main desk area. You shouldn't have to get up to access any of it. Bend over, turn around, reach -- okay. But try to keep all of it very very near.
When I'm cooking I usually take out all of the ingredients before I begin, grab a pot that I need, grab the recipe, and get to work. When I make art I also like to have all of my ingredients out in front me. Here's my best example:
It's a a jar filled with water. It sits on my desk and it is always filled with water. This allows me to grab a paintbrush at any moment, use it, and then dump it in the jar and move on to what's next. If it wasn't on my desk I'd have to:
- find my jar
- fill it with water
- bring it back to the desk
It doesn't sound like a lot. But it's the kind of thing that might stop me from grabbing that paintbrush. Arranging the supplies you love so that they're out and accessible can make creating quicker and lower stress. It also allows you to pick up a project for a few stolen minutes.
But there is a second lesson in the-tale-of-Julie's-water-jar: setting up your main workspace for mess is important. You wouldn't put a tablesaw on top of a carpet, would you? So skip the heirloom desk. Have a craft mat or sheets of newspaper handy. Cover your floor as necessary. Fill your room with garbage cans. Create a situation where you can make a mess and not feel constrained when you sit down to create.
And if you don't have a dedicated space, then grab a couple of vinyl tablecloths to cover the dining room table and floor. Raid the recycling bin for newspaper and take a few minutes to get your space ready.
Pam, Susan, and Hedwig are here today to take you through how they have arranged everything they need at their fingertips and prepared their spaces for spontaneous creative play!
Pam Fairchild is back to share how she has organized her desk area.
My craft table is an old computer table that is very sturdy and a great size for my room.
It measures 28 x 55 inches and is laminated so I don’t worry about spilling stuff or scratching the surface. I do have an Inkssentials 15x18 heat resistant mat in the middle to help with inking and such.
On the right of the work area I have a footed candy dish minus the lid that I use to hold my glue dots and tape...
I like it at that level, I can spin it and reach anything off it without getting up. Under this shelf is space that I have found a basket that fits, in it I keep receipts for the tax year and anything I need for the business side until I can gather them monthly. In front of that I have a condiment server I picked up at Pier 1 on mark down years ago. It’s just right to hold my tape runners, pencil sharpener, extra blades for my craft knife, extra staples and a little miscellaneous. Beside that secured to the corner of my desk is a cup holder with attached waste bag, under that sits a large trash can.
To the left of me I have a pottery bowl with ink pens, highlighters and a few of my favorite pens to journal with.
I've reorganized the cake plates since that other photo was taken. Here it is as it looks now:
The bottom plate is 10” in diameter and it now holds inks, Stickles and Glimmer Mists. The middle plate is 6” in diameter it also hold inks, re-inkers, Alcohol Ink, crackle paint, and some clear finish glues. The top item is a glass compote, 5” in diameter, in it I house my individual chalks.
I have spent the last 15 years developing a studio for myself in this home. This is the third and final room my studio has been in and I finally have a space that works for me.
I have to have tools, paper, everything where I can see it. I don’t mean a cluttered look but when you’re working it helps to look up and there just may be an ink or embellishment or ribbon or stamp or glitter that fits perfectly with that project. I can easily peruse my room when I’m stuck as to where to go next. Taking a quick inventory may bring you to that fabulous level we all want rather than the “it’s fine level” that we settle for sometimes.
I feel like most paper crafting is done in layers. Your basic tools, like paper trimmers, etc. need to be close. The next layer is the pictures, the paper, the journaling, and then you finish it off with the embellishments -- all the little extras. I know if I can keep my basics at my fingertips and my embellishments nearby, when I bring that project to the table with just paper & picture I am ready to start creating.
Susan Wymer shows off her room and talks about how she organized her main desk area.
A: After my youngest left home for college I had more time to discover what I liked about scrapbooking and photography. I also moved from a small corner in the basement upstairs to a room dedicated to my scrapbooking. I realized that while I love memory keeping I wanted my pages to be more artistic and reflective of who I am. Many classes later I somehow happened upon Julie's blog and knew I had found what I was looking for. I started keeping an art journal and took Julie's mixed media sewing class (It's Sew Easy) which I loved. During this time I also started following a group of ladies on UStream. I have learned so much from this group of talented women particularly Dede of Coffee and Art in the Morning, Barb Owen of Barb Owen Designs, RachO113 and Paula Philips (Journal Artista). After watching numerous streams and trying to create in a very cluttered room, I moved my stash from a cramped space to my son's former bedroom. This allowed for fewer excursions under my desk or into the closet to find supplies. While rabbit trails can be fun and I like finding things I forgot about, "getting off the tour bus" of a project can waste a lot of time.
Q: How has your desk area changed/developed over time?
A: This last move allowed me to really think about how I wanted everything organized. After several false starts I settled upon a u-shaped main area where I could have what I used most often right at my finger-tips. I do not like wasting time searching for supplies I know I have and I dislike buying duplicates even more. I was also able to recycle some furniture that we were not using at the time.
Q: What's your favorite storage tip from your desk area?
A: After making a U shaped area out of my old childhood desk and an IKEA desk, I labeled all the drawers.
I also keep my adhesives handy although I keep matte medium and gesso out of this area. I use both a lot but have had major spills. I keep all my journaling supplies and my watercolors (still learning how to use them) in my childhood desk.
This desk is my center. The drawers still smell of the scented stationary that my grandmother bought me and they once held my secret diaries.
Q: How has your organization system changed your artwork and/or artistic process?
A: As a result of this reorganization I am more productive. I clean up after each project - well most of the time so that I can quickly get back to creating. I often start my time with a journal page or warm up with a tag. I have to turn my heat gun on at least once to feel the creative juices flowing. My goal with this room is to continue to keep it organized and to use my stash instead of purchasing new items all the times. And most importantly learn how to use what I have! I just have to figure out how to manage work, dieting, exercising and creating! But that would be time management not space management-:)
And now we're off to the Netherlands where Hedwig Schlotjes-Belle takes us through not only what's at her fingertips, but how to personalize your shelving!
Recently the attic of our house was redone and made bigger. Now I have a small studio, it measures 2.50 meters by 2.20 meters, but one wall is longer: 3.60m). What makes it work for me? Easy access and a home for everything are my keywords. I'll explain a little:
everything on hand = easy access
My workspace is small but very nice for working in because you have most everything on hand. Things I use most, are closest. I want my storage "ready to use" so no lids or too much stuff stacked on top. Everything is in clear plastic boxes so i can see what is in it. I hate it to have to dig in to closet, too big boxes, deep drawers before I have access to my stuff.
I have art stuff I need every day on a "Lazy Susan."
I sit in between two Ikea Expedit shelving units which I customized with extra shelves (eays peasy, cheap and all the way you want it, I will explain in a minute). I have stored in the Expedits my Neocolors 2, my Pan Pastels, my oil pastels, my stencils (lots of Crafters Workshop), a selection of my cling stamps, babywipes, and washi tapes.
As I mentioned, I have two (left and right) Expedits that fit under my work table. You can buy drawers for the Expedit, but I wanted to store more in it. So I made shelves for it.
Step 3: Glue carriers 3 and 4 onto the expedit. 1 and 2 are there just for reference. Keep everything this way until fully dried. (Otherwise your shelves can go downwards). Carrier 4 is for not tilting when you pull out a shelf).
Previously lots of my crafting things were "somewhere." Now that I have what I use most on hand, and the rest in its own place, I even more like being a mixed media girl and use more different materials. And because it is so easy, I am more willing to keep it organized!
Time to get your desk in order!! Gather together the piles from your "ten supplies you must have" list and sort them into two piles: every day and secondary. Every day is your very favorite and most often used. Secondary is the stuff you're going to keep, but use less frequently. Now find homes for both your every day and secondary "ten supplies you must have."
An example from my room: Stamps and ink are on my "ten supplies you must have" list. But I don't keep all of my stamps and ink in my desk area. I have a box on my desk with my most used stamps (mostly alphas, and a few design stamps - in CD cases), a black ink pad, and a small and a large acrylic block.
If you don't have a whole room to yourself, this system will still work. Keep your most used supplies in a tool kit or caddy close at hand, and then put those secondary supplies into neatly labeled storage elsewhere. I think you'll find that by not overwhelming yourself with supplies, you'll be more productive! You can always rotate what's in the most used section with what's in storage every few months.
Thanks for stopping by!
Hi, my name is Pam Fairchild a.k.a. Pansy Cottage Creations. I come from a long line of creative women on both sides of my family and luckily that gene continued with me. I’ve created and taught everything from embroidery, crochet and quilting to scrapbooking & card making. If I live long enough to deplete my fabric and paper stash I should be a ripe old age! I started scrapbooking in 2000 and was hooked very quickly thanks to a friend who I still crop with monthly. In 2010 I was introduced to rubber stamping, discovered Twitter and the world of Altered Art. I have “met” so many talented people through these mediums and I follow so many blogs I can’t keep up. I am so inspired by their art that I feel a need to be in my studio at least for a few minutes a day. I am very lucky to have the largest room in our home as my studio and love that I can start a project, leave it and come back to work without having to start all over again each time. I hope my organization ideas help you in your journey to carve out a place of your own.
Hi, My name is Susan and I live in Upstate NY, although I grew up in the Boston area. That makes me a Red Sox fan living in Yankees territory - not fun during October! I am a nurse and epidemiologist and work as an analyst in quality improvement for healthcare. I am married to my very best friend and we have three children - one in college, one in medical school, and one all grown up! I homeschooled them for 11 years and during this time my love for art and creating was rekindled after being lost for a while to science and math. I started scrapbooking in 2001. Eventually I took a semester long class in black and white photography which opened up a whole new world of creativity for me. Two of my photographs were shown in a student exhibit and I won a studio art achievement award - a total shock to me: a science nerd!
Hi this is Hedwig from the Netherlands. I am an avid crafter: I art journal and make cards. I LOVE to use new techniques and ALL sorts of materials. Paint is my fav (acrylics, watercolor) and i have a soft spot for stamps and inks. That said i also am in love with inktense blocks, flexmarkers, spraypaints, stencils, tapes.... As an impatient person I could not live without my Ranger heat tool. The internet is another fave of mine, for online classes and peeking at blogs.