Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Studio Sprucing

studio.sprucing

That warm breeze that blew through the house over the weekend has indeed gone into hiding, leaving us with a chill again. I've been hiding out in the studio the past few days, with nothing but music, sewing and photography. Its been a gooooood few days. And somehow all that fresh air did more than clear away stale winter air, it refreshed my whole attitude and inspired a bit of sprucing. The best part is it didn't cost a dime. It just required me sitting and staring for a while, remembering some things I've been saving (i.e. previously spent dimes), and dusting off a few other items. A handful of those Dresden plates finally got the recognition they deserve (we'll save the actual quilt making from them for retirement, of course). I have this one bulletin board over the drafting table that is painted with the same color as the wall (a highly recommended tip for making the items on it feel like they're floating). I try to change the board every few months which reminds me of watching my elementary school teacher, Ms. Spitzer decorate the class bulletin board as we worked on math facts. I was entirely too distracted with day-dreaming about how I would do it myself, and how she should have left slightly more space between the laminated illustrations of apples and books. I think I must have been a unique child.

paint.rag.hook

Speaking of unique, aren't these the prettiest hooks? I tend to hoard little items like this, when I see them, especially if they're on sale. Then put them away not knowing what to do with them, until finally it hits me. No need to wait for the perfect spot to hang my coat (who needs a coat when you don't go anywhere), my paint rags are certainly worthy of a print-y hook all their own.

paint.and.print

In fact it was the act of putting up those those patch-y little prints that reminded me that I even had them. I love tracing back brain triggers. I used to do that in my head as a kid when I couldn't sleep at night. I'd make note of what I was thinking about, then trace back each thought, trying to recount the mental path that led me to that thing on which I was pondering. (Oh my goodness, I'm conducting self child therapy.)

sparkley.knob

Case in point. It only took me 3 months to remember to screw on these little sparkely knobs. I had gotten four of them intended for a different cabinet, but only 3 survived, due to them being left out in the studio for so long and Eleni having appropriated one of them for something in her doll house. Can't find it now. Since there's only 3, I used two of them for these cabinet doors. I'm reserving the 3rd as a back up which feels smarter all the time especially when I catch Eleni trying to unscrew them behind my back. Darn that sparkley temptation!

scrappy.knob

And these are what I came up with for the set of four that I needed. A little burst of fabric strippi-ness that is really fun and easy to pull off. (Yes, I intended that pun, and in fact I sat and thought for at least 1 minute trying to come up with that pun.)

fabric.drawer.pull

These are all the ingredients you need. I tied up about 4 bundles like this, then tied each of the bundles to the loop of the screw-eye. I guess its sorta no different than a pompom. I ripped my strips instead of cutting them, because I think the frayed edges are more charming. Once you've tied on all the strips you want, just place a small piece of wood inside the drawer over the hole to screw the screw-eye into. I happen to have some random, imperfect homemade building blocks which can only be explained by saying that at one point in my motherhood I thought that real wooden building blocks were entirely too expensive so we tried to make our own. As it turns out, real wooden building blocks could perhaps be one of the most reasonably priced items on the child toy market. Also its important when building with them that they be straight, ask any general contractor. Oh and well sanded to avoid splinters, too.

wrapping.cabinet

Anyway, they cheerfully help me out at my little fabric wrapping station that I've organized for my shopkeeping. And no I haven't made all four of them, I was too overwhelmed with both my own geniusness and the desire to point it out to you to do all four of them at once. What am I, a factory? Why no, I am not. Please see homemade wooden blocks.

xoxox, AM

49 comments:

  1. Oh, Anna Maria, your mind is all over the place! That's my problem too. There are just so, so many great ideas, colors, patterns, materials out there to focus on ust one. I try to explain that to my hubby when he says I am a pack rat-he JUST doesn't understand. You are so creative-keep it up, girl!

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  2. fabulous studio space all spruced up. can I come play?

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  3. what makes you think Eleni won't come and try to pull off those playful little "cheerleader" drawer pulls? Didya think of that? :)

    Very cool...looks like you're having fun!

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  4. Your bulletin board is heavenly. I don't think I've ever said that before. :)

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  5. Betz, I DID! I also thought its a good thing Leo isn't a puppy and that I don't have any cats!
    xoAM

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  6. The studio looks beautiful...love the scrappy oulls. Now, are those blurry stacks of yumminess what I think they are? I'm patiently waiting to get my hands on some. I have already thought of tons of things to make with it!!

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  7. love the fabric pulls and this post! :>

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  8. oops - I meant pulls..not oulls (don't know what those are!)
    I think I was just excited thinking about the fabric :-)

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  9. Love the dresden plate display~they look so cheerful and inspiring on your bulletin board. I just did a little re-do in my sewing studio myself last week (pics are on my blog). It is amazing the difference that a little repurposing of things you already own can have on a space~and on your creative soul! I found several things stashed away that are now being used too!

    Caroline

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  10. So much inspiration in this post!! I love the bulletin board idea and your wheels are so bright and cheerful. And the drawer pulls...too funny. And no, you're not as unique as you think. I think anyone who naturally took to design was also critical of the aesthetics of the classroom bulletin boards and the boarders that don't feel quite right! Did you see pictures in the folds of curtains as a child?? I used to think i was the only one, but now i am guessing i'm not! :)

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  11. Oh! Is that Drawing Room right over the shiny knob? You thought you could just slip it past us didn't you? Why! That's just sneeky! ;O)I can wait to see what you are doing with this.
    BTW I LOVE these decoupage cabinet doors!

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  12. Seeing your spruce-up of your studio is like a breath of fresh air. Makes me want to redo some things in my sewing room. I have a question I couldn't find in your "frequent questions". Where do I find the pins with leaf tops like those shown in your blog header? I've looked all over the stores and Internet.

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  13. I found the pins in a dollar bin at Joanns several months ago :)
    xoAM

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  14. that last paragraph is hilarious! I can totally relate to "wanting to show off" and "once I've done one; do I really need to do the rest?" syndrome." that always afflicts me when I have to do multiples.

    Also, I have made my own blocks too and you're right, straight matters ;)

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  15. The fabric pulls are GENIUS!

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  16. am i the only one who swoons at that first picture? how is it possible that fabric makes me happy? thanks for the fabric pull idea - it is exactly what i needed for a cabinet in my kitchen.
    you rock!!!

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  17. Very inspired! I love the fabric drawer pull. I might have to do that in my own home. Lovely. ~jen~

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  18. Note to self: Dresden plates are not real plates. They are pretty pinwheel looking quilty thing-a-ma-bobs. Staring at the photo for 10 minutes looking for china plates will not make them appear.....

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  19. Your story of attempting to make your own wooden blocks reminds me of one of my favorite movies, "Together." It's a Swedish movie set in a hippie commune in the '70's. Some non-hippie relatives find themselves needing to move to the commune, and one of the kids brings some legos with him. When a kid from the commune sees the legos his eyes grow wide and he explains that his father didn't want to support the Lego manufacturer, so he decided to make his son hand-made Legos. The hippie boy then shows the other boy his one hand-made lego that his father wittled out of wood.

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  20. Ha! We're definitely on the same wavelength today, Anna Maria! I just put up a post about the wonders of wooden blocks!

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  21. Anna Maria, you and your blog, your talents and shared thoughts make me smile. Thank you for that.

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  22. ohohohoh! I LOVE your Dresden Plate blocks! SO jealous. I just posted about one of my 1930's tops I've been hoarding myself that I'm finally getting around to quilting now, an apple-core charm top. There is something so very happy about feedsack scrappy quilts, isn't there?

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  23. I thought I was the only person on the planet who traced their thoughts as a child! I am so glad to know I'm normal...or maybe we were both "unique children."

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  24. Lorri9:46 AM

    Absolutely love it all! I can't believe you found those Dresden plates at a flea market! I never have such luck. I'm going to keep trying though. =)

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  25. This has made me want to clean up my shared sewing space (I took over my 14 yr olds wall space) and start some spring sewing of my own. Thanks for your blog of inspiration :)

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  26. I want to come right over and borrow a cup of paint!
    Looks like paradise!
    Love the fabric pulls, I did some with ribbon for a little girls chest that I hand painted!
    Patricia

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  27. just love the fabric hand pulls, what a clever idea!

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  28. Such a fun post. Picture after picture of color riot. I love those knobs. No wonder the little one wanted one!
    The pulls made me laugh, because they reminded me of my daughter's dresser. The pulls are just a length of jute rope strung through and knotted. Perfect for her western themed room. (And my bank account!)
    Anna

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  29. I love the hooks and the dresden plates are beautiful! How do you manage to even have pretty paint rags? I love all of the colors all over the place!

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  30. I'm with Eleni -- I'd be taking those door pulls off to play with as well. Thanks for the reminder that sometimes spring is just a state of mind. Now...I wonder if I can contract a backhoe to come clear out my house?!?

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  31. Thanks to all for making me chuckle - I am waiting to head out to the doctors ...may have blown out my right shoulder >( pain is pretty bad but this wonderful blog and all of your comments - especially D. Lite just cracked me up. Thanks everyone!

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  32. Oh I am glad to know my own little thieves...um...KIDS are not the only ones to take off with studio stuff! Too bad they are too cute to lock up!

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  33. So much fabulousness in one post! Those dresden plates look amazing on display!

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  34. oooh...I just love those sweet homemade doorknobs!! Such a cute idea:) Thanks for sharing!! Your studio space is absolutely lovely!! xox..jenn

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  35. I'm SURE you were a unique child LOL!
    Do you know if we'd had a girl (we didn't)...I thought I'd like her name (well...middle maybe) to be Dresden because of that wonderful quilt pattern?

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  36. I'm SURE you were a unique child LOL!
    Do you know if we'd had a girl (we didn't)...I thought I'd like her name (well...middle maybe) to be Dresden because of that wonderful quilt pattern?

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