As an artist, I love getting new supplies. Besides loving to work in so many different types of media, being active on the internet and participating in classes and online forums exposes me to many, many different new and exciting products. It really keeps my creative juices flowing and I love trying new techniques and products. It is a wonderful part of what I do.
Many of you know that I live in a very small place. Keith and I have lived in a one bedroom apartment for over seven years now, and running a business from here has been a bit challenging to say the least. Between woodworking, painting, drawing and embroidery supplies, you can imagine we are bursting at the seams. However, if you walk into our home, you will see little evidence of what we do. Other than the scroll saw and drill press tucked in the corner of our kitchen, everything has its place and we pride ourselves on being "Masters of Organization". I suppose if I had to list a hobby on my resume, it would be "Organizing". Not only is it a matter of survival, but also allows us to keep our minds clear and focused on creating rather than rummaging through clutter and trying to find stuff. That just isn't the way we are.
We are thrilled that we are moving to a large home in a couple of months. Not only will this allow us some room to stretch our legs, but also to work more efficiently and have a much more pleasant atmosphere. Keith will have his own shop in the basement for his hobbies and I will have my own studio room to keep all of my supplies and to work from. I am thrilled. We will also have a large room for woodworking which will confine the mess and allow us to have more tools there, not to mention a large, two-story barn. We will be in heaven!
But that doesn't mean we won't need to be organized. Quite the contrary, I think. Both of us have spent the last month planning and scouring the internet for furniture and storage devices that will serve us well and make our home as efficient as ever. It is a fun and functional task and I will certainly be blogging about our transition every step of the way.
About a week ago, I stumbled on something that I thought would fit nicely in my new studio. I don't even remember what I was looking for, but I saw a photo of a nice box from Derwent (the pencil and art supply manufacturer) that may come in handy. I went to their site, and read up on the box. I loved it. The price was only 85 British pounds shipped from England to Canada, which came to about $140 CDN and $118 USD and seemed reasonable for what it was. I had purchased some other Derwent sets in wooden boxes and they were beautifully made. I thought that I would order one. (You can see the box on their site HERE.
After looking at the photos of the box, I decided that it was so reasonable that I could probably use two. I had purchased several smaller sets of pencils and accessories over the past year and I thought of how nice it would be to have everything confined to one place. I also had my Prismacolors, which came in a large, awkward box and it would be nice to give them a good home in one of them. I tried to order the second box only hours after the first, and unfortunately, it was now listed as "Out of Stock". I was disappointed, but happy that my order went through on the first one. I must have been lucky.
Only a week later, I received notice from Fex-Ex that my new box would be delivered on Monday. I was surprised at the speed of its arrival. It came yesterday and I thought I would share the "unboxing" with you all.
The box that it came in was HUGE!! I thought it would be the size of a large cereal box, only taller, but it filled up most of my kitchen table:
I carefully opened that box to reveal a second box inside. I was impressed with the care it was packaged, as you can see the outer box is a little 'bent'.
When I opened the second box, there was a THIRD styrofoam box inside! I took the lid off of that to reveal a beautiful maple box lid. WOW! I was impressed. It was about twice the size I expected and oh, so pretty! It had a satin finish on it with a pretty engraved brass plate with the Derwent logo on it.
I carefully lifted the (heavy) box out of the inner box and just looked at it for a bit. How beautifully it was made!
I opened the lid to reveal two levels for storing pencils. Behind the second level, there was a place to store pastel blocks (or in my case, my extra Inktense blocks) The second level lifted out if I wished so it would be portable.
"Inspector Pancakes" came to check it out, too. You can see the size of it compared to him. I think he approved! :)
There is a small brass pin in the front that is used as a key to hold in the bottom levels:
By removing the key, you could then pull out the two drawers. The first drawer was a thin one for pencils.
It could be fully removed from the box very easily as well and had room behind it for accessories.
The bottom drawer was much deeper and could be used for a variety of supplies. It came with some deep foam that could be cut to suit my needs. I haven't decided whether to keep the foam in or not yet:
As a surprise, it also had a small, wooden pencil box as a bonus, with the Derwent logo on it. It is really beautiful!
Altogether, it makes a beautiful presentation and storage box! I couldn't be happier with it!
Finally, it has a leather handle on the side for carrying it if I am 'on the go'. The opposite side has rubber feet so it could be stored standing on its side:
But I don't think I will be doing that. It is too pretty to put away. It will have a place right on my desktoop so everything is handy and all can see it.
I can't tell you how thrilled I am. I am sorry to say that they are no longer available. I am very lucky to have been at the right place and time to get one. On the side of the carton it came in, it read that it was number 336 of 500, so I am thinking that only 500 were offered. The quality and workmanship on it is outstanding. The joints are finger-jointed (for my woodworking friends) and beautifully put together. The hardware is lovely and centered and not stuck on haphazardly as some boxes are made. The maple is stained to a rich, beautiful color with a flawless satin finish on it. It is quality from start to finish. The "score of the year" for me!
I spent the evening filling it up and just enjoying myself doing so. I will blog tomorrow on what I put in it, so I hope you come back to see. It is quite impressive!
Who would think an empty box would make one so happy? I am sure my fellow artists completely understand. I apologize for making you all drool, but I couldn't help but brag a little about my treasure. It will be a keepsake I will enjoy for many years.
Happy Tuesday to you all!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"