Friday, September 21, 2007

Midsummer Projects - Room#4, Area#7

"Midsummer Projects"

My Office/Studio - Room#4 - Area #7

Definition of Create;

Pursue a creative activity; be engaged in a creative activity;

"Don't disturb him--he is creating".

In our former home we were lucky enough to have an allocated space to use as a formal office. With custom cabinetry surrounding most of the room, all was in good order, and also there was a custom shelving unit to enhance those particular items necessary for constant usage. Our fax machine, computer, electronic adding machine, scanner/photocopier, filing cabinet, office supplies organized in a bank of drawers and swivel chairs were all added bonuses to ensure quality work, a job well done with the updated devices necessary in the corporate world today.

The business side of the office room.

Our former home offered us a small yet compact office/studio to work in, a literal mix of business and pleasure. But it was somewhere to work, uninterrupted when necessary and it was somewhere offering protection from sudden computer repairs, torn projects and the like from little hands moving about where they weren't allowed to wander.

My studio corner, small and very compact!

This room served two purposes; my hubby worked here when home on the weekends, placing his laptop on the counter space for answering his emails, tending to incoming faxes, making telephone calls, and attending conference calls when necessary. It was also a room for me, where I performed my own business of book selling with my online store uploads, order taking and postal wrapping. On top of my own business center needs, I added a corner for my studio, a place where I could find moments of solitude if necessary from life’s hectic pace, to work on my hobbies (scrapbooking, card making, crafts, and sewing) whenever the mood struck my fancy. Since there was a locking door to the room, if I was in the midst of a project, I could simply lock the door and walk away from it all in a flick of an eye, not having to worry about little ones destroying the work in progress, or messing it all up. This happened to me often in the past, but since occupying space in the office room, I was thrilled to be able to have continuous projects on the go at all times. I sure was able to accomplish so much more, especially without having to set up and take down everything each time, so when we were to move, this was a particular item of importance for me to have a room such as this one once again in the new home.

In our current home, my hubby assured it would be so, and blessed me with my own room once more, one that is essentially mine alone this time though. It was a bit overwhelming looking at four walls, three doors and no cupboards overheard or shelving. What was I to do with all my stuff?

My custom shelving unit

Our carpenter created a custom made shelving area to one side of the room, not quite enough space as I had anticipated, but it would have to do. I confiscated a small shelving unit from a son’s bedroom, and it became my rubber stamp collection storage area, close at hand once the shelf was hoisted and placed on top of my counter. Those two countertops in the photo are resting on two desks and a smaller table to assure wider tabletop height room for plenty of crafting, and business in the near future.

Just installed the D-link system attached
to our other computer upstairs, yippee!

A "before" picture. Pink room, cement floor, ceiling unfinished, illegal wiring, and the furnace room/sump pump rooms weren't completed nearby. It now functions well as a room for me.

My computer has just been linked to the one upstairs via a D-link, something that took an enormous amount of time to set up, mostly as I also had to activate the telephone line first in the room to proceed with this whole techky thing. It is now running, though I am missing my printer and fax machine, still to come to this room and settle in someday soon.

My personal bits of joy!

I purchased a few small shelving systems, things that work for me so far, and I have another almost complete (I'm constructing my own custom rubber stamp shelf which will take over most of the wall next to the white shelf on the counter), plus a multitude of white photo frames are ready to place photos into, and then I'll be filling the walls with people's faces I love and want to have close to my heart as I’m working away during my private hours.

Knowing there would be no natural light coming through windows in the room (there were no windows in here!), it became very important to me to have a bright and cheery room to work in, so when the painter offered me a gallon of paint another customer refused, it turned out to be perfect to assist in illuminating the room up once the super overhead lighting was turned on overhead. The color is a lighter shade of bright green, but I became attracted to it immediately, something out of the box for me. :-) Three 2 x 2 feet lighting squares are situated right over my head, nearer to the wall for exact lighting, (and not shadows from being behind my head) falling onto my workspace area below. It feels like daytime lighting all the time in there, so nice and bright!

Often we have to access how we can relax by day's end, and de-stress our lives in the best way possible for our own personal circumstances. For some, that would include the dire need to have many people around them all the time, filling them with an entertainment factor and a hustle bustle noisy atmosphere. There is no way that is for me though. Uh-uh. I have had to learn to recognize my need for recovering from life’s hurried pace by taking huge chunks of solitude, even if that means to also be completely alone and taking space from everyone either within the home or needing to take some time outdoors. It could mean simply taking a cup of tea on the back porch, even in snowy wintry weather, just to refresh myself and have no disturbances inside from the children. At times like these, I also find it relaxing to find something creative to do, working with my hands on some fun and/or crafty project. It takes time to have a hobby, and time isn’t always available in our society today with our busy lives, so perhaps the need to carve out a little niche on the calendar each week would be remarkable, such a great feat, and a great way to stimulate rest, relaxation and recovery - a foreign item for most of us these days.

Little things I like close at hand.
~ My hubby is one of them! *smile*

Before our move east, I just began participating in a twice-yearly scrapbooking retreat, joining cherished friends and bunking up with my buddies in our assigned rooms. A hotel it wasn't, rather a summer camp spot but I adored the weekends I was able to show up for, if only to create and work my heart out. Truly it was a retreat from life's craziness, but my family was always at the forefront of my thoughts, prayers, hoping and dreaming for each one, and with their photos before me, it gave me double incentives to work like a busy bee, if only to provide heritage quality scrapbooks for our progeny to enjoy many years from now.

Optional; A nice day for a class on the deck.

A few of my fellow scrapbooking weekend buddies...

Pals! Roses were a gift to us from our CM friend Deb.

It was there I could retreat to the water’s edge, view the snowy mountains in the background, pull off an all-nighter (if the idea struck me to do so when I was on a roll), take a nap, chat and catch up with friend's families, view others working on their albums and cheering one another on, and the best part of all was just be able to "be still" if I so desired. It was such a luxury, a very lovely time, and I'm hoping to find something equal to it out here in the near future.

Often I'm alone in my office/studio. But sometimes a child or two will visit and work with me and I welcome the times when a child shares the love of my hobbies with me, and near me. It's simply delightful to share what I love with them. If only they all like them enough to continue them into adulthood though.

I've incorporated some of my collectible
old mason jars in this room,
using some for ribbon bits, and the like.

When necessary I fill the room with music to set the mood, and I have been known to light a small scented candle for an ambiance and small ritual activity. A walkman with a book on tape has become a popular pastime for me, and an activity encouraging multitasking to “hear” a book I have wanted to read at the same time as I accomplish my need for space while working.

The love of creating things offers one a huge potential for developing the cognitive skills necessary to remain the type of a person who is well balanced, a time "to play". I remember for years putting my own hobby interests away, waiting down the line into the future for such a time as to bring them out once again. Heck, I barely had time to wash my own face some days with our large family, let alone pulling out the sewing machine, but the children and I still worked on plenty of crafts together, though not on my own personal project interests as I had hoped for once many children began to join into the fold. Babies As I have aged though, I would never want to advise my own daughters to do what I did. It became a long road to “when” and “if” I get the extra time, rather than taking the moments to do something along each step of the way I loved to participate in, even if only a few minutes or an hour a day.

Having a studio room set aside for hobbies allows me the ability to set up the newest project and leave it there until such a time as it becomes complete. The room is mine to use, and I do take the time out to get in there each day. It is a blessing to have, and I look forward to using it more and more through the seasons.

Helpful hints to pass along...

Always tidy up after yourself when it's time to walk away from your project. Throw the scraps of paper away or file the larger pieces for a future project. Put your tools away, your adhesives, hang up the leftover ribbon, and go the nine yards to a swift pick up right away. When you return to your desk the next time, all is tidy and ready to begin anew.

Now for some information on what I store in this studio…

We have an enormous collection of artsy and crafty items, all requiring some semblance and organization for easy usage. My room is still not a hundred percent, remaining a work in progress, but still hoping to obtain better storage abilities in the future for all that remains in limbo. I will also preface this writing by mentioning my love for Creative Memories organizer systems. I use all of them it seems, and still have two large photo sorting systems to move in to with all the photos I've removed from acid damaging older albums. I love photos! I want my family to love my photos too! So it's in my best interest to keep them safe. I have a link to Creative Memories on the right side bar here for your perusal fun, but ask me about my friend Deb first!

Also it wouldn't seem fitting not to mention my love for Stampin Up products also, after a few inspiring and wonderful friends made an addict out of me by mentoring to me with their love of card making and fun crafty creations. Thank you especially to my friend Karina for inspiring me greatly!

Magazines for scrapbooking and card making.
and...My CM water bottle from Deb!

  • The custom shelves are attached to the wall so are able to hold plenty of heavier storage items on them. On top of the unit itself, I store my extra Creative Memories supply albums, pages and misc. items, also my blue binders filled with my idea sheets for scrapbooking page d├ęcor. There are a few stray photo boxes to the side as well.

Albums, extra page refills, other items, binders of ideas.

  • On the shelves I store more photo boxes, all my magazines for scrapbooking, stamping, card making, and paper crafts. My laminator and pouches are at hand on a moment’s notice in this house, a great idea too.

Supplies in an instant

  • All my colored paper is stored in an expanding Creative Memories paper holder on my desktop, but the excess 8 ½ x 12 inch and 12 x 12 inch papers are in organizing expanding pouches and stacking trays for easy observations for a color palette need. Scrap papers are stored in the smaller expanding plastic file case, separated by color, shown here below as well. When it becomes full in a few sections, I hand over some of it to the children for their art center paper stash.

Various sized paper & scraps separated according to color.

  • All my alphabet and number rubber stamps, embossing powders, chalks, and kid's extra rubber stamp pads are stored in the rubbermaid drawer units with my two Creative Memories black zipper organizer cases nearby filled right up and jam packed (!) with my scrapbooking die cuts, stickers and other assorted embellishments.

Handy labeler even in this room.

  • On the floor under the right side of the unit are more bins with old photos in dire need of attention, those ones saved from magnetic albums whose pages were turning a lovely shade of orange. Another Creative Memories bag is stored there with three albums in progress stored inside. Two rolls of blank newspaper rolls are at hand for making posters and banners with the children (or wrapping paper).

My dollar unit find, handy on top of a storage bin.

  • On the left side, I have a unique single older refrigerator tray, bought for a dollar at a thrift store with plenty of rubber stamp "sayings", sorted by genre and ready to grab. Of course, there are others not here, but heh, it's a collection for me from days of old when a rubber stamping store was closing and offering deep discounts up to seventy-five percent off. All of our children have also used these supplies sometime in their lives, and continue to do so today. It's an investment to hand down someday to the grandchildren (wink).

Over my general work desk area, I enlarged and hung a creative envelope from a friend with my name on it, reminding me of her gentle warmth, and loving friendship. The shelving unit was the one I was painting in the garage when a little weasel came to visit, and on it are many misc items for my crafting just because they are colorful, fun and ones I love. A few personal momentos are also on it, offering me blessings from the love of them.

  • Another black drawer unit sits on top of the counter in the corner. It holds ready to use stamped images from my energetic days or stamping swaps, assorted older rubber stamps (remember I’ve been collecting this stuff for almost 25 years!), and my Christmas stamp collection the family has used abundantly over the course of many years.

  • Rubbermaid drawer units are so very user friendly.
  • Two Creative Memories black zippered organizers are stacked, each holding cutting templates, punch storage boxes filled with ready to use punchies, and a few personal favorite corner rounders to keep at hand.

One viewpoint of this area

Note to self;
Where is the labeler? Must do this area!

  • The small shelving unit resting upon the countertop as mentioned was (stolen) confiscated from a son’s bedroom, just perfect to hold my Stampin Up sets in their cases. I saw an idea for hanging up a dry heat emboss tool to the side of a cabinet, so I use a hammer to nail in a holder to rest mine on, one that offers an easy grab on a moment’s notice. I keep it plugged in for ease.

Incidentally, power bars are a girl’s best friend in a room like this, I have two under the counter system; one for the computer, the other for the lamp, my boom boom box (when I bring it in from shared usage to the exercise room), the dry emboss tool and the whatever else needs power.

Candle, clock and pens.

  • On the counter edges, my various sized cutters, matting systems, pen drawers, scrapbook paper, label maker, CM bags for my templates, lamp (for better lightning when necessary), and music rest, at hand for constant usage.

My five dollar dresser find, and
the two doors leading to the furnace room.

  • Behind my counter/desk area, I have a small dresser as mentioned before with three drawers. The down side is finding handles for two of the drawers s they are odd sizes and we’ll have to drill new holes to fit them in. (Another thing on the to do list…) However for my five dollar investment for the dresser, I can rest both my sewing serger and my sewing machine on top, and all three drawers are filled with many items resting in an organized manner ready for service. Plastic divider units came in handy, some were just perfect for the task of sorting little things.
I just love the look of my little dresser in this room, so handy with its fresh coat of paint matching the room’s walls.

  • My quilting ruler mats rest behind the dresser for storage and keeping them from bending.

Drawer #1 - punches galore!

Drawer #2 -Stamp pads, felt pens, assorted other tidbits.

Drawer #3 - Eyelets, scissors, embellishments.

  • Another small shelf is hung on the wall over the dresser, one with many personal mementos from friends, grandchildren, and decor items I love.
  • On the wall to the left of the room, I bought a tie rack from the local dollar store, and it is there where most of my ribbon collection hangs, ready to have a bit snipped off when the need arises. What a deal for a buck!

Dollar store find - Tie rack for hanging ribbons.

  • The two doors inside the room lead to the furnace room, where not only the furnace unit stands, but also the HRV air exchange unit, the main water area and enough room to hide away our freezer. It is a walk-in area with lighting, great for all our needs and closed off from my room. Inside there is an extension of storage space for my room, gracing a small no longer used shelving unit with all my sewing supplies resting on top. My sewing chest sits on the floor, and craft paints and other assorted items are in storage bins on the top of the unit.
  • The carpet in this room was the remnant from our living room/library when we pulled up the carpet in there and replaced it with hardwood flooring. It is nice and clean and brightens up the space with its light coloring.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my office/studio. As I said, it is a work in progress of everything in its place, and without our cabinetry I did not realize how difficult it would be to gather, hold, and use this room properly. As in all the other rooms, each item had to be handled, and a decision made for where it would best be suited. So far, it’s workable, and I am using it well…happily in fact.

Now, where is my IPOD?

...I am off to continue typing the next room…the living room/library.