Saturday, October 3, 2009

HeartSong Studio ~ The Virtual Tour

Welcome to my HeartSong Studio! And thank you so much, Quilting Arts and Interweave's Cate Prato [Cloth Paper Scissors ~ Studios] for providing the opportunity to share my humble little space with everyone.
You're getting the still shots version today. I'm just not skilled enough yet at shooting video. And though I can rightfully claim very bad lighting, I also admit to having difficulty setting up shots indoors. Turn me loose out of doors [with my big Nikon], and I can present some very nice end results as regards Nature. So, could this be a psychological nudge that I’d rather be outside? Hummmm. I’ll ponder that more later.
Granted, it is somewhat eclectic. And though some of the furniture was supposed to be only temporary, i.e. my sewing tables, I am quite comfortable here. .I will take you around the room from right to left; entering the room and upon leaving it.

This is the view as you enter the room.

Along the back wall are two of my storage chests and the painted table and chairs, the other one is over to the left juuust peaking over top of my sewing machines, I found at a local second hand store. They were already painted and intended for an outdoors garden setting. But. As my back porch area is not a proper place to serve tea and/or a light lunch [too much traffic] I moved it inside where I can better enjoy its use. And just below the window is my grandmother's thread chest. Well, it's also the step up to the window sill [for the cats] when the shears are pulled back.

My desk, hutch, and beading work table all came to my front door [via Office Depot] in boxes. And yes. I put them all together myself. The hutch serves not only as a display area, but also stores files [in the bottom drawer], and knitted wear in the upper drawer; shawls, scarves, both finished and unfinished projects. Oh! And that's my antique spinning wheel and basket of alpaca roving in the background. I've had to extend out into the hallway.

In the foreground is my beading work table. When I moved into this townehome, I couldn't fit that spice rack anywhere in the kitchen. So, I brought it up here to help organize my beads and findings. This part of the room is also being set up for my forthcoming work in clay. The lap drawer is filled with my beading and clay work tools. And that's a vintage [close to being considered an antique] heirloom pillow top; made by my grandmother.

And all those boxes and tins hold buttons, ribbons, embroidery floss and more. I'm still working on a way to better display my Scissor Fobs and Knitting Jewels [stitch and row counters] than in traveling display cases.

The chest atop the garden table is an antique typesetters desk, which I found at a local antique store about 10 years ago. I use it to store paints, brushes, stamp pads, bricks of clay, etc. But the top part, where the desk top lifts up, is my [pseudo] sewing chest. The other is a replica of the old library index card files. That's where I store my beads and wire, and other various craft related items and tools.

The closet, which shall remain closed for now, houses several tubs of fabrics, photography mats and frames, vases, baskets, and more. Yes, I've no shortage on "more."

The basket of log the cabin lap throw and assorted pillows are up from the kitchen [where they usually reside and are used], as it is time to sew the new Fall pillow casings.

I enjoy decorating for the Autumnal season about as much as I do for Christmas. Last year I did the pot holders. This year it is new pillows.

Here it is! My sewing corner. These tables were supposed to be temporary. Right before two of my lower lumbar discs ruptured [and took me off on disability], I was shopping for the large square work table that matched the desk and hutch. I now feel stuck with them. But at very least, I have them. For which I am most grateful. I use the old suitcases [and numerous hatboxes] to store everything from laces, bindings, and trims to patterns, tear away and freezer paper, and assorted fusible webbings.

Here's that other piece of vintage lace I talked about in one of my last posts. I'm auditioning it for an art quilt. Inspired by a recent Quilting Arts episode on Journaling, it reminded me of a very old piece of lace that waited for me, everso patiently, to decide how and when to use it. I don't remember the guest's name [I'll try to find out and post it here later], but she created a small quilt every week, until she had a year of quilts.

The general items I use most are settled within easy reach. And I keep a foot stool handy to change the position of my legs throughout my short periods of sewing.

My favorite piece of furniture in the whole room. My father was in the antique furniture business for many years; before it basically fizzled out in these parts. This is one of his finds. I fell in love with it. And is one of the first large piece I ever bought. And there's my Lucy. She joined me, again, for this morning's "re"shoot. Actually she is my studio girl. Pearls is taking a nap there, now, as I write. And yes. This chair sits there solely for them.

Actually, I’m ready to sacrifice the desk to the living room; downstairs. So that I can open up space and keep the ironing board set up permanently. Which brings me to the problem with my sewing space. Aside from having to raise and lower it, the ironing board is simply too much of a strain on my back; having to shift [and by that I mean drag] it around.

This is how it looks on any given day. Because of my degenerating discs [and other health issues: OA, FM, & Carpal Tunnel] I tend to leave it out and up. And I work best with it by the window. I like having the natural morning light coming in over my shoulders.

Because I can raise or lower it, I use it for much more than just pressing seams. It's become another work space, in and of itself. But, I am constantly dragging it back and forth and out of the way when I need to access my sewing table. And that takes a toll on me as well.

If anyone visiting can see or offer a solution, I will entertain any and all suggestions.

Here we are, at the close of the tour. This is my home office. The first thing you might notice is that I raised my monitor. Another thing I did [similar to utilizing the iron boarding] to keep myself from hovering and it helps to keep my head in a more natural position. I offer this tip to everyone who feels stress and strain in their necks. If you work regularly at a pc, you need to raise the monitor off of the desk! I did it with glass blocks and shelving board. I'll leave everyone to determine their own option.

There’s also a high back office chair that I’ve got my eye on, at Office Depot, and is another way I can keep myself seated back and in a more relaxed way. Which will take more strain off of my spinal column. And, once I get the new chair for my office, I can move this chair to my sewing corner. I will greatly appreciate the wheels over there.

At the front side of my desk, is my small studio kitchen. No. Not for preparing lunch or afternoon snacks. The coffee pot is for hand dying. The blender is for papermaking. And the oven is for my work with clay.

Behind the manequin is where I hang dry the coffee-dyed laces. It's the back rail from an old day bed. It's perfect to display scarves and such, like my knitting sampler at the top.

Here are two of the handbags I designed last year.

I do hope you enjoyed a look at my studio. I don't know if this is what anyone expected from me. It has taken many years to pull this all together. And, as I have been inspired by so many others, so I too hope someone finds inspiration from my efforts.

Click on the Fall Issue of Studios [to the right] for the links to the rest of the Quilting Arts/Cloth Paper Scissors ~ Studios Magazine's Virtual Open Studio Tour.



Cre8Tiva said...

i so loved the tour of your creative space...what a warm and homey place to all your wood storage...please come see mine when you have a chance...i am having a giveaway....hugs, rebecca

Kim D. said...

Thanks for the tour. Loved your space.

Wendy said...

What a lovely space you have! I especially like the big cabinets - I'm a bit jealous ;)

SewnGracefully said...

Love, love, did I say love your room. Just warm and cozy. I could spend hours there..!!

Martys Fiber Musings said...

Your space is beautiful. What fun I had roaming through your creations.

Barbara Hagerty said...

What a lovely, vintage studio! So much warmth here, and at the same time, fully functional! Thanks for the tour!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I really like your studio! I have a small idea for/with your ironing board. If you go to my studio pics ( and look on the top of the storage cabinet that's under my old xray machine, you might be able to see what I use. It's simply a pad that is sold for use as a portable ironing surface. The top of my cabinet is wood and the pad is perfect for most of the things I iron. I have a full-size board, but very rarely haul it out. Hope this might help you!
Mary Anne

Judi B said...

I posted on an earlier blog today before you had your virtual tour up. I am so very glad I came back to see your lovely studio! I think we must be kindred spirits -- I earlier commented on our mutual love of vintage lace -- but now that I see your space and some of the wonderful things to inspire, I know it! Stop by and visit my blog in the tour and we'll have a virtual cup of tea!

Candied Fabrics said...

Like MaryAnne, I have have a solution for your ironing board. If you take a close look at my video tour, you see that I've lot a very large ironing board, which is a board, wrapped in batting and then rain no stain curtain lining laid upon a small wire shelving unit that is on wheels. I love mine big, but you could make the board any size, it's awesome to be able to wheel it around the room...perhaps something like that would help!

vintagerockchick said...

What a wonderful space with such beautiful antique furniture - I love it. I was going to come up with an ironing board suggestion too. I have a small ironing board (usual shape) with little fold down legs (only about three inches high) that I use on top of my work surface. It's very light and when I'm not using it the legs fold back up and it stands against the wall. Thanks for looking around my studio and your comment, and for inviting me over to yours x

di from di-did-it said...

What a great use of a spice rack! Thanks for giving us a tour of your work area! Sorry I don't have a solution to offer about the ironing board ~ I have, however, seen several creative alternatives while visiting the various studios on the tour this weekend. Maybe something there will trigger an idea for you.

Anke Martin said...

Your Studio Space looks so comfi.....with all the little details and wonderful artwork!
Enjoy creating in there!
Smiles, Anke ;)

Quilt Pixie said...

your studio reminds me of a comfy shop - lots of little bits of eye candy hidden in the corners to explore. I really like your kitchen studio -- great idea...

Sharon said...

You have such a cozy and inviting space!

Magpie Sue said...

Thanks for the tour! I love your table and hutch; I need to find space in my own studio I can dedicate to my beadwork. Unfortunately that probably means removing something else first!

Angela Friend said...

Your space is so special. Last spring, a group of friends and I stayed at a sweet bed and breakfast in the hill country here in Texas, and your studio reminds me of that wonderful place! Thank You for sharing!


Smullis said...

What a great space! I love all the wooden furniture elements, especially that typesetter cabinet. Thanks for sharing your studio with us.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Your studio is Fabulous...the furniture is so beautiful and functional...just love everything!

Gina said...

Thanks for stopping by my studio. I too did not get to all the studios and I'm still going back every day or so and visiting a few more.

I've enjoyed visiting your studio! I really like the painted furniture along with your nice mix of other woods.