Chaos of My Studio

My husband caught me in tears today as I looked around my studio. He said, “What’s wrong Sweetie?” I said, “My studio is a complete mess”. The man actually had the nerve to say to me, “You should be happy – you always say how you feel like you haven’t gotten anything done – well you just said this is COMPLETE”. He slowly backed out of the room.

My studio is a disaster – to say the least. I can barely walk in my studio and there are piles everywhere. I haven’t reorganized it in probably 12 years (I can imagine the organizational gurus and the OCD people cringing at that statement). I realized near the end of last year that I was spending way too much time looking for stuff.

Now I have to clarify – yes, it’s a mess but it is what I call organized chaos. I know what pile something is in – I just don’t know how far down in the pile I have to go. So, my big plan is to reorganize. I took a video of the whole room but I am too ashamed to post it yet. I think I will wait to put that up until the end so I can show you an organized and a complete mess.

Can’t even contemplate doing this all in one shot – that makes me want to curl up in a ball in bed for a week. I am going to do a little bit at a time. I started with probably the smallest part of my studio and the least cluttered – the deep windowsills. Here’s a shot of them before I did anything.

There was more on those windowsills than I thought. I found a bag of empty pill bottles and clean cream cheese containers that I decided I did not need so they got tossed into recycling. The magazine holder has glass tea light holders and plastic eggs in it. I will probably get rid of the eggs since I work on real eggs now. The paper bag has wooden eggs in it – again something to get rid of – maybe put in the store or donate to some place.

I had to leave part of the windowsill open because my cat needs a place to sit. On the other windowsill I found a bunch of Clint Eastwood movies (I love Clint Eastwood). These went downstairs where the rest of our DVD’s are. I can bring them back up whenever I want but honestly the TV downstairs is a better TV to watch him on.

The containers of mini ornaments got dumped into the larger box of mini ornaments that I have – no need to have them in several places when one place works great. There was some miscellaneous stuff too – Microsoft Office 2003, a candle, bookends, a wooden bowl, my grandmother’s mushroom canisters, a couple of empty boxes (cuz yes I really needed to save them) – you get the drift. All that went back on this windowsill were the bowl, the bookends and the canisters. I will have to find a different place for them since this is the window the AC gets put into in a couple of months.

Now for the big stacking box thing. This is my findings tower. It worked great at first but after taking it to a few art shows it started coming apart at random. I finally figured out I didn’t need the whole tower at the shows and started taking only jump rings, clasps and earwires. Those boxes started coming apart at random times and dumping, plus the lid broke. Then last year I found photo boxes.

I love these photo boxes and they will be a big part of my reorganization. I get mine at Joann Fabric when they have a sale or I have a coupon and they usually end up being about $25. You can also find them on Amazon. Each of the big containers has 16 smaller containers inside it. I already have one with my druks in it. Each container is a different size of druk.

I sorted out the findings tower and put each different type of finding in its own case – labeling each one with Staples 1 &3/4” by ½” labels and labeled the whole container with a label that says Findings using Avery label 5160. This was fun as I saw things I had forgotten I had and it got ideas forming in my mind again.

They also make smaller photo boxes that have 6 containers in them and last year I filled one of these with the findings that I take to shows. It has really helped because I was able to sort things by silver, gold & copper which is real handy when finishing a piece.

Lastly, there was a bag of drops and a container of drops.

I have these nifty racks on my walls that I got from a fabric store that was going out of business. They are button racks. I used to have hexes, triangles, bugles, size 8/0, 9/0, 10/0 and 15/0 seed beads, pearls, chips plus other types of beads on these racks.

At the time that they went up – these were the things I used the most. Not all of them are used as often anymore. So, now I am going to use them for the things I need the most now.

I make ornaments – love making ornaments. Drops are a big part of making ornaments – what would the dangle be without a drop at the bottom. So, I have tons of drops – but they are in bags – some with the findings, some in pearls, some in crystals and some in decorative beads (which makes it a real bear when trying to find the pieces for a new design). I will be pulling drops from everywhere and hanging them all together and renumbering them in my inventory system. Here was my chance to get that started. So, the first ones are all done.

First section done – not major – still can’t walk through my studio – but it’s a start and - A journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step (Chinese philosopher Laozi).

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The Ornamental Lady - Barb Talijan
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