Studio Makeover: The Secret to My Success

So, I have finally got my studio in the shape I was hoping for. The majority of my supplies have been sorted and organized and I know where they are. I’ve been trying to get to this point for months, but the reason it has finally happened is that I got a copy of Julie Morgenstern’s book Organizing from the Inside Out three weeks ago, read it, and followed through.
Morgenstern’s book was full of ideas and advice that really worked for me. She recommends planning and writing things down, talks about the many things that can get in the way of being organized, and offers a great way to think about the room or area to be organized.  Then she gives you specific steps to follow in implementing your plan.
One thing that was really different from any other method I have ever tried is the detailed analysis she has you do before you get started. She has a set of questions to work through before you do anything else, so I sat down and wrote out my answers.
One of the questions is: what is already working? This proved to be a valuable question for me to answer for two reasons. First, it’s positive. As much of a disaster as I had on my hands, it helped me to realize that there were bits of organization I had put in place that were actually working. The second thing it did was encourage me to really try her ideas. It turns out that what was already working actually followed many of the suggestions she makes (like assign everything a specific home, group items by activity, and use an appropriate container). Finding out that I not only was doing something right, but that the things she was suggesting were already working for me made me much more eager to try her system.
When it comes to planning, she looks at a room or area with a kindergarten class room in mind. In kindergarten, there are certain activities that happen in certain areas. Everything you need for that activity is located right there, in easy-to-use storage that makes clean up a snap. So I applied this concept to my studio.

My studio has an overwhelming amount of material to deal with. I quilt, paint, draw, bead, collage, make books, and make art dolls. So I needed areas that would allow for the different sorts of things I do. I wound up with three “activities”: sewing (which includes cutting and ironing fabric), paper arts (drawing/painting/collage/bookmaking), and embellishing (beading and construction of dolls and their props). I decided to use my long work table for paper arts and embellishing, since some of my work combines the two. I put all the paper arts supplies on shelves off one end of the table, and the “embellishment” materials on the shelves at the other end. The other side of the room is sewing, with my sewing desk, cutting table, and notions storage.

My sewing area with cutting table and sewing desk

Having this plan really helped me when it was time to go to work.
Tomorrow: The hard part


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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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