As we begin this month of August, I am finally feeling as if things are getting back to 'normal'. Defining what that means isn't always easy, but after months of distractions and preparations and then our actual move, it feels pretty good.
Everything essential to our daily living is just about done. Furniture is here and in place, boxes are put away and shops are set up. The most important thing though is that our 'creative places' are clean and comfortable and ready to be used for their purpose – creating and designing new patterns and projects. What a relief that is!
This morning, on the first day of August I can sit here and take a (small) breath. As I look around my new studio, I know there is much left to do. But I also know that everything will come in time. Right now, I need to work and get some of these ideas that I have on paper and into reality. It seems like I have been in a holding pattern so long as far as designing is concerned that there is a huge backup of ideas in my head. It is time to let things be as they are and change gears for a little bit. The decorating and fine tuning of sorting my supplies will come, little by little. Right now everything is 'kind of'" in its place and what I consider close enough to leave for now. At least until I get some new designs made.
I had in my head that the month of July would be dedicated to our home here and that is what I did for the most part. But now that we have flipped the page on the calendar, I realize that it is time to move on and focus on work for a while. That is something that I haven't been able to do for months, as ever since we found our new place here in March we have spent a great deal of time planning. To those of you who looked in as we made our move, things looked easy. But that was only because of the days of planning that went into things. You were only witness to seeing everything fall into place. It still was a lot of work, but well worth the time. One can never underestimate the importance of good planning. Even if things don't come out exactly as expected, with a good base plan they are at least 'close'. The little 'hiccups' can be dealt with as they come.
I spent my Friday night sorting through my good paint brushes. Since we had the custom pieces of furniture delivered last week, it was time to start fine tuning the things that were to be stored in my two large supply cabinets that are now in my studio. Don't get me wrong – it is a great advantage to finally have everything I use for my designing in one room. But there still needs to be some sorting done. But that will come with time. I figure I will start small and work my way through each "craft" that I have. I kind of divided things up into three major categories – painting and drawing, needlework and embroidery, and general crafting which includes paper, stencils, charms and embellishments. I decided to tackle the painting category first, and began by sorting brushes. I have a large box of what I call 'teaching brushes' that are slightly used by students when I teach, but these are my 'good brushes' that I will be using every day.
While it looks like a lot, my painting friends realize that I am probably about the 'middle of the road' as brushes go. Some have less than me, but many have more. (For my woodworking readers, it is like your wood stash – you can never have too much!)
Once that was done, I felt really good about things. I had already sorted most of my paint, as they needed to be sorted for the move. I had purchased a pretty daybed for my studio in lieu of a couch or settee.
One of the things on my "list" is to make covers for both the daybed as well as the small white bench. I purchased some beautiful mid-weight white linen and plan to dye it for the covers. That will bring some color into the room and it will look lovely!
I liked the daybed idea because it will also serve as an extra place to sleep, since we are using the second bedroom as a shop. That way if my children ever come to visit or Keith's mom – they have a comfortable bed. (And it IS comfortable! The mattress I got for it is lovely!) I have even used it to wind down in the evenings and watch Netflix on my computer. I have a nice Ott-Light to the right there so I can embroider in the evenings. :)
The best part of this setup is that I got the optional trundle drawer for underneath. The trundle can hold a 7" mattress and up to 350 pounds, but what I am using it for is this:
I am storing "most" of my paint there! How wonderful and convenient this is for me! I keep my most used colors in the front, and the lesser used paint lines in the back. I just flip up the rug and roll out the drawer and I am ready to go. It is working splendidly! :)
The next piece I want to show you is the short cabinet. I had this custom made for me by TWM Woodworking in New Minas. (William made all five of our custom pieces, and did a beautiful job!)
I specifically had my cabinets made 21 inches deep so that I can store a maximum number of boxes and supplies in them. That is one of the luxuries of having a larger room. I spent the remainder of Friday evening organizing the rest of my painting supplies. They pretty much all fit into the top section.
I wanted to show the nice drawers that I use for storing my 'good brushes'. I got them from Mary Kingslan Gibilisco and I love them! I got TWO units and stacked them on top of each other. (Of course, I have more brushes, but these are kind of my 'current set' that I use every day.)
Mary's brushes are absolutely wonderful and among my favorites. They are in the mid-price range and very, very high quality. Also, you can use the box for colored pencils or even scroll saw blades and drill bits! It is a nice and neat way to keep everything at hand. I need to decorate my boxes soon, but that will be another project that I will do later on. :)
I suppose I will stop here for today, as the post is getting long. I have so much to share with you all that it can't be helped.
I spent the rest of the weekend drawing and will have two new patterns ready for our update later this week. I think I will also have some other surprises to offer you all, but I will have to see if I can get them done in time. Keith is also working hard and created two new fish plaques that I think you will love. Here is a sneak peek at my ornament and plaque designs:
I have been in a 'Gothic' mood and I see several new patterns coming from me with that theme. Obviously these are some crosses to start with. I think they came out pretty cool! :)
I hope you enjoy seeing my settling in progress. I also hope it helps inspire you to get your own work space in order. For myself – I can't really function in chaos, so I need to have things in order to work efficiently. It feels good to finally get back to "normal".
I wish you a wonderful day and even a better week ahead! Happy Monday 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"