Monday, April 26, 2010

Jars & Bars

I thought I'd share one of my submissions for the Somerset Life call for Jam Jars. There were so many fun ways you could go with this challenge. I made 3 jars, all of them completely different. Don't you love the old zinc lids?

I had the best weekend. My BFF Valerie and I took off to Petaluma. Saturday we started with lunch at Spengers in Berkeley followed by some local shopping. We then headed up to Petaluma and caught the second half of their Egg & Butter festival. For dinner we ended up at a Mexican restaurant called Tres Ombres that was SO GOOD! We followed that up with a late showing of "The Back-Up Plan", and at midnight we pulled into my favorite karaoke spot - a dive roadside bar. There were literally 6 people there when we put our song requests in. Let me tell you, that Chloe {Val's karaoke name} can really belt out a tune. The fabulous part is that all 1/2 dozen people were feeling no pain and thought we were incredible. The next day we hit Kentucky street for the antique faire. I found some great things that I'm really thrilled with. I'll do my typical flea market review this week.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Pair That Got Away

Oooooh am I happy! The mailman brought these beauties to me last week. I saw them at Christmas time at the San Francisco Anthropologie and almost bought them but decided to stick to my list. I wanted them so much that I called two weeks later and they were long gone. I've been checking eBay ever since in hopes of finding someone with the reverse problem, someone who bought them and wished they hadn't. Finally there was one pair, and in my size too. Ooh child it was a bitter battle at the end with me placing a final bid with 3 seconds to spare. I was elated but I did have a moment of silence for the unlucky bidder that didn't get these.

I'm happy now.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Paper Dresses

One of the calls for artwork for Somerset Life is creating something out of waxed paper. I pulled a roll from my kitchen cupboard and put it on my table. After a few days of thinking I pulled out my big box of ephemera and came up with these sweet little dresses. The one above is my favorite.

I can tell you for sure that I never would have thought to use wax paper for anything but I'm so happy with the way they came out. The wax paper went through my sewing machine like a breeze too.

I'm also crazy about the little capsules by Tim Holtz recently. I've had them since they came out but I used them for this project for the first time.

Which one is your favorite?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Studio Clean Up Challenge - Day 3

It's time for our final day of the studio clean up challenge. I've saved the best for last, pretty storage! I've never included this many photos in one post but I wanted to give you lots to think about in terms of unique and fun vessels, and ideas on where you might find them.


The photo above is of an old condiment caddy. I found a few of these in an antique store but the glassware was long gone. I took them into my local Home Goods and found some glasses that, size wise, was between a juice glass and a shot glass. They dropped right in beautifully and I use them to store my embroidery floss that I like to wrap around clothes pins.

Simple glass jars like the one below are great for storing collected items until the time is right to use them in a project. Because you can see what's inside you're reminded of what you have. Red is just sitting on top for fun.

Vases are another great way to store items like vintage wallpaper...

doll heads...

And these little trifle cups can be found at WalMart for $1.99 each. I love them for odds and ends...

bits and bobs...

and miscellany.


I found these clear CD boxes at Target. I only wish I'd bought twice as many. Again, an example of pretty organization.

This tiny metal box is much smaller than it looks, it actually fits in the palm of your hand. I found this at the flea market and thought that it would be great for old calling cards, flash cards and tiny photos.

This old tattered blue box likely held stockings at one time. The drawers slide nicely and it's in great shape for how old it is. Another flea market find.

I posted about these pretty boxes a couple of months ago. They were a Home Goods purchase. I have them stacked neatly under my table and they store patterned paper and music paper.

I love this three tiered metal basket that's pictured next. This is the table size.


This tiny doll sized sink and tub are used in my classes when I pass around small things like rhinestones or teeny tiny clothespins. So sweet.

This old vase is perfect for holding colored pencils. The lady I bought it from said that she'd had it for over 30 years and the lady she bought it from had had it as long before her.

Oh how I love this! I had to have this metal shopping cart. I keep it in the corner of my studio and the contents have changed a few times since I've had it. Right now it holds the items that I sell during my workshops.

This sweet butterfly dish was just something I picked up at Target last Easter. It's a nice size to throw little items in that I might want to use in a project in the near future.

I couldn't resist this old cottage cheese tub because it's pink and red, a delicious color combo in my book...

And finally, my scary doll head. Some people love it and some don't! It holds my paint brushes nicely. These too are plentiful at the flea market.

And there you have it my lovelies! I hope you're inspired to begin looking for pretty and interesting vessels that you can use to gather up, organize and display your supplies and collections.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Studio Clean Up Challenge - Day 2

You're back! I'm so glad you want to hear more. I received several emails saying some of you are well on your way to seeing your work table!

OK, let's start with a caddy. I purchased the one above at a flea market for $60.00. I have no idea if it was worth what the seller was asking but it fit the bill for me, it's after all vintage metal, it has a handle and it has 3 different compartments. I like to have something that keeps my most used items handy and off to the side on the table that I work. I keep pens and pencils in an old german mug in one of the compartments as well as stamp blocks, my Character Construction stamps and my favorite ink pads. Because I have small kids I keep adhesives and scissors elsewhere.

I don't know how your space is set up but I have three dressers that I use. The dressers I have {from Ikea}, had drawer organizers that you could buy that fit the drawers exactly. As you can see in the picture below I have a place for paint, both acrylic and watercolor, as well as glitters and jewelry parts. Most of the time I put like things together but you'll have left over space here and there and it's fine to fill in with whatever supply will fit. I recommend these organizers as they would work great in drawers or on shelving.

I've done the same here with adhesives and scissors. Just a note here - if you have a ton of scissors that you don't use or decorative scissors that have become dull and tear your papers, throw them out! This goes for adhesives too. Anything that is dried up should be discarded and anything that is not your favorite should be used up or thrown away.

Jewelry bits keep nicely in old muffin tins or old metal ice cube trays. I like the shallow ones because they can sit atop books or boxes and slide out when you need to get something from one of the compartments. These are plentiful at the flea market.

Larger drawers or shelves can house various items such as tags, fabric, fabric scraps and paper trimmers. I don't have any interest in having these items out to be seen so it works nicely that they can be put away, out of sight.

Baskets! Get some baskets in various sizes, mine are from Cost Plus. I like it that they have the same kind and color of baskets in various sizes. This chipboard mess might end up in my "give away" pile yet but for now it's hidden in a basket so I'm not too concerned with it.

I know I've posted pictures of my inspiration board from Pottery Barn before. You don't have to have a board, maybe you want to keep items of interest in a binder or file folder. I liked the burlap background for this board and wanted to see what's pinned up on it. Paula at One Lucky Day gives a nice tutorial on her blog about making your own inspiration board. The use of an inspiration board gave me a place to put all the little bits and pieces that I wanted to keep but had no place for.

You can make interesting and fun push pins by taking quilting pins and adhering buttons or ephemera to the flat face of the pin head.

Don't quit on me now, it's about to get fun! Tomorrow we're going to talk about creative ways to store supplies.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Studio Clean Up Challenge - Day 1

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I've been asked to share some tips on how I stay organized. Day 1 of this challenge will get some momentum going. We're talking immediate progress.

1. Pull all of your paper, scraps and all, and put it in one huge pile. The first thing you're going to pull from the pile is any paper that you KNOW you will not use. Set it aside in a "give away" pile. {Trust me, this pile will get much bigger as the week progresses}.

2. Any partial pieces of paper, however small, should now be placed in a "scrap" pile. We'll talk more about that in a minute.

3. The remainder of the paper can be sorted according to your preference. That could be by occasion, color, brand, or you can just mix it all together which is what I do. I have my paper in a 12x12 rolling cart in the garage. When I need paper I just leaf thru it. I do keep favorites and papers I want to use in the immediate future, on my table off to the side.

4. I purchased two hard plastic boxes designed to hold 12x12 paper {pictured above}. One holds all of my scraps. Load up your scraps into one of these boxes to keep all the odd bits and pieces contained. Find a place for this baby and put it away!

5. Ephemera! My other hard plastic box is for ephemera that I accumulate. I'm forever buying packets, like from K&Company in particular. I open these as soon as I buy them and I empty the contents right into the box. No packages, opened and half empty. Throw it all together, it will be fine. Find a place for this baby and put it away!

So now that your paper is out of your hair we'll move on to books.

6. Take all of your craft and inspiration books and pile them up by your favorite chair. Pick 3-4 books or more to go through each night. If you love the book, keep it. If you don't love it, throw it in the "give away" pile that you started. If there's only a few things in a book that you're really interested in then make a color copy to save for the inspiration board we'll be talking about later this week. A rule I often use {depending on the item of course}, is if I haven't used it or touched it in 6 months it's outta here! Once you've pared your book collection down find a place to house them, shelf or drawer, and put them away.

What about finished projects or "almost finished" projects? So you have a bunch of little books like the ones below?

7. Pull them out, all of them. Decide which ones you want to keep and which ones were just fun to make. If you don't want to spend a night selecting and printing pictures for these albums then throw them in the "give away" pile. Add photos to the ones you want to keep and store them in baskets...

Or a even a huge jar...

I know that was more than what you could accomplish in one day, but you'll be surprised at how good it feels to free yourself of things you don't need to make room for what you do need.

I'll be back tomorrow with day 2 of this challenge!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I Did It...

This past Saturday I spoke at a 42nd annual ladies lectureship. It was the first time I'd done something like this and overall it was a great experience. The attendees were wonderful and inviting and I really appreciated their attention and support. I was a bit nervous right before I went up to speak but once I was at the podium everything came to me just as I'd hoped it would. I've never been sorry when I've pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone and this was no exception.

Despite the weather and holiday I took my chances at the flea market early Sunday morning. I found a few nice things. I've been working on a project {it's actually several mini projects}, all beauty related, and I found a few things that I'm sure I'll be working in.

I didn't think I'd ever get to the dregs of my button supply but recently I did. My friend Carole told me about the vintage inspired buttons by Paper Trey. I ordered several colors and they really are nice.

I have yet to find a way to store them. I think I want to leave them separated by color, although up until now I've always thrown them all together. That brings me to another point....

A couple of months ago when I moved my art space from one room to another I posted some pictures. Several people either asked me or emailed me asking how I stay so organized. Some of you even went so far as to tell me that you couldn't even work in your space because it was overrun with stuff. I thought that this week I would share some ideas on how I stay organized as well as some ideas for storage and display. I will post a new idea every day this week so check back for some inspiration!