Studio Makeover: Getting Started

Work table_smallI am fortunate enough to have an entire room (with a view) to devote to my many creative interests, which include quilting, soft sculpture, collage, and painting. I had a clear plan for everything when we moved in last January, and for quite a while my studio worked well. I used the book Organizing Your Craft Space by Jo Packham to think about what I wanted. Then I worked out a scale floor plan that included locations for my many plastic bins. Was I organized when we moved in!

While in many ways my new studio has been great, I have continued to read about studios and storage solutions in search of more ideas for my own creative space. My main source has been the special Studios issues put out by Cloth Paper Scissors over the last two years.

Fast forward to Tuesday (or really, the last few months).  Things got out of control and I haven’t been able to look at the room let alone set foot in it. Here’s what it looked like Tuesday morning:




My sister, who makes glass beads, was just here visiting and we talked about the fact that we both needed to overhaul our studios. We’ve agreed to go through this process together, and I loaned her my magazines to read. I have already implemented some of the wise things she and my brother-in-law suggested to me while they were here.

The suggestion that surprised me the most was: get the books out of the room.  The pictures of the many studios I’ve read about always have shelves and shelves of books in them, so I was keeping all my art/craft/inspirational books and magazines in my studio as well. When I was planning, I kept hoping to squeeze a chair in next to my shelves so I would have the cozy reading corner so many large studios have, but the chair wouldn’t fit.

Once my sister mentioned it, however, I realized I almost never use my books in my studio. I curl up on my sofa to read them for fun, when I am so tired that vicarious creating beats not creating at all. Once in a while, I need to look up the instructions for a specific technique while I’m actually working on something, but that is a rare event.

So, I have already moved almost all of my books onto a book shelf in my guest room, which just happens to have a comfy arm chair next to it already; my reading nook finally exists.


In the process of moving the books, I also did some picking up and putting away. Already, the floor is clear again, there is more space on my shelves, and my work table is (mostly) open. So I can finish pieces I’m working on for our family show in November, although I still have some decisions and changes to make to my studio.  My goal is to post an update weekly, so there should be more studio news this time next week.


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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

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