micro studio makeover.

My kids aren’t babies anymore, I am almost 42 years old and I am finally at peace with my brain funktion (no spell check that is spelled correctly)  It is time to work this out, and the first place is my studio, the smallest room in the house, and now it will be mine! (maniacal laugh)

It is really difficult to redecorate a room when there is a bunch of stuff that has nowhere else to go in it while you are redoing it.  I deftly moved everything into the middle and patched a million holes, primed and did some seriously acrobatic painting while simultaneously painting all of the furniture the same color in the same room.

It is also really difficult to organize a tiny room around a brain that funktions in spurts and sputters, highs and lows, and is always in creative problem solving mode.  Needless to say I have focus issues so I tried to create organized areas for specific purpose.

Here is the before.

IMG_5746 IMG_5753

chaotic and haphazard and now that I think about it, hazardous to my safety and to my mental stability.

I moved my desk and arranged my magnetic trays above so that I could organize my thoughts in a visual way.  Each tray will represent a project I am working out in my head or a page of my website.  Please excuse The Associate she was enjoying her last moments of being allowed in my room.


To the right of my desk on my beautifully refreshed garbage picked bookcase I have all of my businessy housey stuff. I put them as far away as I could from the fun areas because nothing can kill a creative buzz like PTA newsletters and bills.

One of the thought morsels banging around my head all the time is how to re-purpose stuff that nobody wants.  Like these oven trays from the GW that I spent a whole dollar on. I soaked, scrubbed and then hung them on the wall to keep my jewelry sorted by what needs to be photographed, and what is up for sale.



wow these pictures are bad, sorry.

The next area I needed to resolve is my collage wall/ scrap booking table.  I no longer wanted to pierce the images that I was working with and splurged on three 2′ by 2′ metals sheets,  once again destroying my meticulous patch job with holes big enough for metal toggle bolts. I organized all of my scrap booking supplies and subsequent paper in the file cabinet and boxes below so they are easy to access.


As far as the large work table is concerned I oriented it differently so I could work on three sides and still easily reach all of the supplies on the shelves above.  I kept all containers the same so my eyes do not jump all over the room when I enter which will likely make me turn right around and leave.



I made new curtains with fabric that makes me happy to replace the ugly ones that were there 12 years ago when we moved in, and hung my currently favorite works on the wall to inspire me.

The cuporama I made a while back is still doing a good job of  keeping small things I use often in sight, providing a good place for seed pod storage and jewelry in progress can be dumped in a cup if I need to clear off my work space.


I streamlined all of my sewing supplies, giving up a lot of items I won’t ever use and made them readily accessible on this caddy.


I am VERY excited to get started using this space, so excited that the tables are already covered with projects and I am about to make a sign that forbids any mess makers entry.  (The Associate and The Teenager)

I would love to hear what you think.



I might need a shorter horse.

With dwindling sunlight and an increasing workload,  getting back in the saddle hasn’t been easy. I don’t own a horse, but I have a fundamentally bad storage arrangement and can barely turn around in my miniature studio.  It’s Time…..  To delve into the dungeon and whip it into shape.  I will try to summon my associates ninja skills, but I’m scared.


outbox me.

Here in the lovely city of Cleveland Heights we take our recycling very seriously. I have been hammering this pretty hard into my children for their entire lives. It has started to backfire on me as they learn more about in school and sometimes mama is lazy. 

This reminds of when my teenager was learning to read and we would practice at the grocery store.

me “if you can’t read the word it is bad for you, and was created in some lab.”

her “oh” “poly soamnsjaihiwinln”  “that sounds bad.”

me “yes it is dear”

her “mom can I have these (insert over processed snack food)?

me “read the label honey, if the words sugar, fructose or corn syrup are in the top five ingredients we won’t buy it”

her “then why are you eating that bag of potato chips mom?

me “lesson is over for today, honey.”

me under my breath (little bleep) 

WOW, sorry that was a major digression.

So back to point, We here in the lovely city of Cleveland Heights recycle everything.  When the printer/scanner/fax/ink sucker finally up and died, I recycled it.  I decided to keep the top of it so I could use it for something. After gathering dust for 6 months, and another printer already driving us batty I used it.  I needed a spot in my miniature studio to collect my paper recycling.


1. I flipped it over and clipped off the hinges with a wire clipper so it would lay flat.


2. covered the hole with some paper and duck tape.

3. hung it on the wall by the door.


maybe I’ll spray paint when it isn’t 90 degrees outside, or not.



big girl desk.

Sooooo. my associate is in first grade now. I can’t believe it.


A couple of years ago I found her this cute little desk for a dollar at a tag sale, and I painted it orange.


Alas, my rough and tumble cohort has banged it up pretty bad.  So because I had nothing else to do in the race to get ready for school I decided to give her an upgrade.  As you know I never throw anything away, and I had stashed this desk when I took it out of my teenyboopers room. Here is a picture of it when it was in her room.


It is huge and begs for clutter, and the drawers never worked properly, so I went for simple. I ditched the drawers and the keyboard thingy.  Using my table saw I cut off 11 inches on both sides and the top, effectively removing all of the schmutz that the previous owner (Ruby) got on it.


I obviously could not reuse the legs but luckily I had some extras from a million years ago from another Ikea purchase.  I then put it back together using the same holes that were already there.  I added some support with these braces that were left over from last weeks basketball hoop installation.


I attached the braces with screws and washers and reinforced it all with this Elmer’s product that I just learned works best joining two different materials.


Finally, I put the original cross support back on using regular Elmers, clamps and a few screws, to avoid the back and forth movement.  I was just imagining her standing on it, I don’t know why she is so well behaved. hee hee. For drawers I rolled in this cute little Ikea storage compartment that I have had for years and has been in almost every room of my house at one time or another. Luckily it slipped right under.  She appears to like it. I do.



so… I was trying my hand at little engraving with my Dremel. Didn’t go so well, I believe I’ll leave that up to the professionals.  So after a quick trip Joann’s Fabrics I discovered they make pens that write on metal. Who knew? I will show you the product of this magic later.  I figured that I wouldn’t put my Dremel back in the dungeon looking like this.


so I cut a piece of packing to size and organized.


pretty boring, I know but doesn’t look so much better!!!

not so pretty, but effective.


With dwindling days of camp left I fear for free time.  Those delicious hours when you can get every thing done are slipping away.  Just the other day I was trying to help my Aunt Laurie do something, and this little person kept tripping up my fragile attention span.  My aunt Laurie being of the awesome variety kept the nudge busy by having her measure everything in the house and then compare the sizes.  Brilliant.  She does have infinitely more patience than I do.  The next day she scooted over with some goodies to keep my associate busy.  The adorable little composition notebook is to serve as her measurement journal.  My tendency to make everything compact and organized got the better of me and I dug up a little tape measure and found a nub of a pencil.  Using the top of a gift box, and some duck tape I fashioned a holder on the back of the notebook to house the all important accessories for proper measuring.  while my associate patiently waited. (She did this, not I)



so there you have it, it’s not too pretty, but effective.


Ironic storage.

I have this super annoying storage thingy in my studio. If you have one you know what I mean


The other day I went to perhaps the strangest estate sale ever. The house was filled with ugliest random furniture, and trust me I can go for random.  I did find this cute little dresser beneath a behemoth lamp.  Modeled here by my associate.


It was my intention to teach her how take the knobs off, but she was uninterested because I told her she couldn’t use this.


For a couple of days I wondered how to make this little dresser my own. I have been known to organize a thing or two, but I usually reorganize it again later and have to change all the labels.  I then thought I would be Ironic and decorate each drawer with pictures of things you couldn’t possibly fit in drawers.  Out came the Pennys and Sears catalogs.


and the Elmers.


I then gave each drawer a coat of glue and had some fun randomly placing images.  I let the drawers dry overnight, and in the morning used an old framers trick my dad taught me.  By gently sanding the edges of the drawer I was able to get a clean line while removing the excess paper.


I need a new camera.  A trip to the bottomless pit unearthed these porcelain beauties.


After trying to get my associate to put the pulls on. I just did it myself.


So here you have it. I keep my tires in the first drawer, my tv’s in the second, my shotguns in drawer three, my roller skates in drawer number four and small children in the bottom.





I have been waylaid by a mysterious specimen. Not quite sure what it was but it hurts!!!! It feels and looks like molten lava dripped all over my RIGHT hand, why not my left? I will spare you the photos, nasty.  Being unable to be still and watching my blogs views dwindle, I had to do something. Its simple yes, given that my good hand is on fire.  ( I am typing left-handed too. slow going ) The scrap-booking bins have been overflowing, but who wants to do that right now?  It’s almost summer.  What I ask myself am I using the most these days, and what is notoriously difficult to keep organized.  Drill-bits, pointy, heavy and sometimes ridiculously small. So sorry, ice tray no more, now you are this.



The handles are a bit wonky due to my blistery digits, but I like it a lot. Thank you to my husband who knew me well enough to not throw away the metal hinges from our old trash can.  All I had to was drill some holes and struggle those babies in.

hope to get better soon.


Room fit for a teen

ruby1When I am doing a room in my own house I am only allowed to use what I already have.  I enjoy redecorating the room for sure,  but the challenge of pulling all the elements and supplies from the bottomless basement or from another room is like a life-size puzzle.  I LOVE PUZZLES.  My 13 year old daughter’s room needed a makeover.  Her budding interests and complete obsession with earrings, Pez dispensers, little monsters and being able to dance in her room were the main obstacles.  So, I went digging.  I found the wood in the garage and cut it to size using a table saw so they shelves were uniform length . I created 3 boxes using discarded drawers I found for the sides.  I bored holes through the boxes so they could be staggered on the wall to utilize the most space.  The boxes vary in height because I wanted to work in some pez and monster storage.  Glue, clamped, painted and nailed, I threaded aluminum camping poles through and mounted the whole piece on the wall. (those camping poles were  loved by my family, obviously I had to keep them for 20 years and use them) I wired green lamp, graciously given to me by a friend right through the pole to save space, and added the 5 light (also graciously given to me by a friend at least 10 years ago.) The desk is a half of bi-fold door mounted on the wall with a camp pole leg for support.  I addressed most of her issues, she loves it and has plenty of room to dance. Oh and now I have more room in the bottomless pit to fill YAY!