Thursday, April 7, 2011

Craft Room pictures & Organizing Distress inks

Many of you have been kind enough to wonder over the years what my space looks like. I can never seem to manage photos of the whole thing, so instead I thought I'd share it piecemeal. This little corner is a fave--one that gives you a little peek at my reformation from complete slob to relative neatnik:

It used to look (shamefully) like this:............But lately it looks (mostly) like this:



Do you find crafty cleaning to be a guilty pleasure?

For the last year or so (since we moved) I've been putting more time, bit by bit, into the space and have almost stopped feeling guilt over that. (I've always felt like I should be crafting & blogging tutorials or doing general house-keeping instead of prettifying my craft studio, but having a clean space feels oh so NICE!)

The lay of the land:

The space is about 8 foot by 9 foot. It's the master bedroom of our 700 sq foot condo (she says with a guilty snicker of happiness). The furnishings were done on the cheap [using pieces we already had: 99% mismatched Ikea beaver-puke (particleboard) pieces] ;o). And it's a blissful thing to have "a room of one's own!"

I thought I'd include a pictorial here of one of the little projects that has added to the organized bliss: ink labels...

distress ink tops

My Sweetheart spoiled me with 8 new Distress inks and other goodies for ye olde upcoming birthday. (He keeps teasing me about almost being 40 and calls me "OLD." Can you imagine!?! I'm a spring chicken! :O) His thoughtfulness makes up for his sassy nerve, though.)

Don't crafty gifts make getting older a little bit easier? I never shop anymore except on holidays, so it's an extra big thrill. (I will love these inks that much more: talk to them, feed them and water them, give them goofy nicknames, pet them! teeheehee). Thanks, Honey!

1...pictorial for making distress ink labels
2...a break down of my craft studio corner: "colour shelf"
3...some ideas for curtains: 2 kinds for a creative closet
4...pencil sharpener storage idea

(love up your inks)
make Distress ink labels:

Distress ink Labels CLOSE mel stampz

  • inks you want to label
  • paper (i love Paris Bleedproof)
  • computer & ink jet printer
  • clear embossing powder & heat gun
  • strong double-sided tape
  • wax paper or acetate (or something similar)
  • water & a rag
  • Microglaze or other sealer

Step 1} Make Do It Yourself label "stickers":

A) Print the labels with ink names. I wanted four of each name so that all sides of the ink pad are labeled, that way I can just shove them back on the shelf willy-nilly.

For labels that won't smudge: heat-emboss label names onto paris bleedproof paper (using an inkjet printer or print on a lazer printer if you have it.

B) Cut the labels and adhere them to wax paper with strong double-sided tape.

C) Adhere the label "stickers" to a piece of wax paper temporarily to make them easy to ink & work with.

Hopefully you can see why I like the paris bleedproof paper in this photo
(it let's you heat emboss the printer ink!)
(You can read more about that digital embossing technique here if you like).

Can you see how the letters are slightly raised? That's clear embossing powder & it means no smearing when you ink it up:

Step 2}
Ink the labels. I applied the matching distress ink colours direct to paper and then blended with a little water.

Step 3}
Seal the labels so they will stay nice & clean and not absorb other colours of ink when you work. I used Judikin's Microglaze. It's got a nice waxy quality that makes it a good waterproofer. I rubbed off the excess with a rag. Alternatively, you could use mod podge, gel medium, or another clear sealer. Just be sure not to stick the labels permanently to the wax paper, of course. ;o)

and there you have it...

Custom ink labels.

Step 4} Then simply stick them on the ink pads (all four sides):

distress ink sides

...and here's the shelf where they live,
with their close neighbours the other inks
(sorted into rainbow-ness):

distress ink labels shelf

They are all on old shelves (20 bucks a piece back in the day).
I wasn't worried about damaging the shelves, so the
scissors hang on push pins that are stuck everywhere to
hang things from. It's so nice to have everything within easy reach.

The shelves are conveniently located at the left of my main work desk:

studio work desk colour & media shelf

They are actually along the inside of the closet
(I needed the space, so I took the doors off)

(for 2 curtain layers in a closet)

One convenient thing is that I put up a curtain rod,
high up in side the closet, so that it can all
be closed off for a more clean look.

Hopefully this picture also gives you a better idea of
how the desk is arranged in the closet area:

studio curtain drawn

(The desk is stuck into the closet so that part of it is
tucked away against those shelves
& the curtains hide the shelf of hoard-y goodness.
It's a beveled glass piece from an old broken Ikea coffee table
on top of a junky drafting table hidden with a vintage table cloth.
Working on glass is a joy, since it cleans up ever so easily.)

The other gray shelf there blocks a big bright window
which may seem crazy but is actually a good thing since it not only
increases storage, it also affords a little privacy from
my hundreds of neighbours who are in the condos right out there.
You can see into peoples' places across the way alarmingly clearly.
(Translation: secretly stamping in my pajamas!)

There are extra sneaky curtain clips left empty between
the ones that are holding those white curtains:

Why? The spare clips make it so that I can quickly clip up a
painter's drop sheet that will serve to protect the clean curtains
when I get to painting large canvases etc. (Eventually!)

Here are some other things that live on the shelves:

craft studio work desk colour & media shelf

And this is another one of those little random organizing
things that makes me strangely happy.

A pencil sharpener & shavings holder:

pencil sharpener & shavings tray (antique bottle lid)

It's a little tray that fits in the palm of your hand
(but really it's a lid from an antique bell jar)
It makes for a great thingamabobber to sharpen pencils in.
Works to catch the shavings for dumping in the garbage bin later.
It's glass, so it has a lovely heft to it, but any little container would do.

What's your organizing style?

Things work better, I find, if I plan for my style of organizing (slightly lazy with a chance of intermittent cleaning sprees. Kind of like the weather. In other words, I often save my cleaning for a rainy day--As you know, it used to be that I saved it for a blue moon!) ;o)

Well, thanks for letting me ramble!
Hope you are feeling wonderful.


Noreen said...

Very nice! You've stored an amazing amount in a very small space! Glad to see you're feeling better.

Chelsea said...

How inspiring. Mine seems to be headed in your old way. I need to tackle it! Thanks for the tips and ideas!

Sandra Douma said...

I love it! not only your tip for distress inks but also your space, mine still look like your old one hehehe
I'm in the middle of organizing, but as you know is not just cleaning but finding the right place for the right tool, leaving everything easy to use latter one

DeeAnn said...

I love your craft room. Thanks for sharing. One thing was missing. Where was your fur daughter. :) I thought she lived in there. :D!

Becky said...

What a transformation..:) Your room looks fabulous.

Dotty Jo said...

Looks fabulous Mel - so happy (and ever so slightly jealous) for you! Thanks for making me laugh so much by calling particle board 'beaver puke'... so, so funny! Enjoy your lovely craft space hun, Jo x

Katie_Bolinger said...

Absolutely amazing amount of cleanliness, organization and inspiration here. Love your button push pins.

Adela said...

I envy your patience in organizing your craft area. Mine is literally 4"x6" so everything gets stacked on top of each other and I have lots of digging to do by the end of a project! No matter how much time I spend organizing, it all gets chaotic right away for lack of space. Hope you're doing well!

E.T said...

all i can say is WOW.

Ann said...

So enjoyed reading this Mel - I'm at the before stage working towards the after. Actually my space wasn't too bad till I started doing a sort out and pulling things out of cupboards to reorganise. Now it's a disaster area.
Love your labels - all 4 sides - oh how angelic are you? Not sure whether I can stretch to that but thank you for the inspiration.
Ann xxx

Stamping 4 Pleasure said...

WOW . . . what a GREAT post . . . thanks for sharing your crafty space and ideas with us. FAB. LOVE those ink labels . . . GENIUS.
Hugs, Sandra

vdoyle8 said...

Your space is fabulous!! My studio space is in my basement. It's not too terribly messy but you've inspired me to reorganize - and hopefully, purge some junk. Great post - thanks!

Dawn said...

fabo, dahling!! if I could only KEEP mine organized...snort!
your inks are beautiful, like you, and YEA for C for getting them for you!!


Jane Wetzel said...

this is awesome and so glad u showed us with some tips- Mine looks alot like your first pic and I am currently working on it! Just got as far as the table! lol tfs!

leslie (crookedstamper) said...

I love your organized space! And beaver-barf HAHAHAHAHHAHA!

I think I need to re-arrange my craft room, which, by the way, is also my master bedroom. I moved into the smaller room - my crafty supplies needed, um, more space.

Thanks for the ideas!

radrn said...

"Ikea beaver-puke (particleboard) pieces" I LOVE THIS!

Thanks for all of your inspiration and humor. I've spent hours in your blog learning and laughing.

Teepee said...

Thanks for craft area (aka dining room table) looks similar to your "before" picture unless we have company coming!! I saved your "after" picture for inspiration.

Allison said...

I love all your little ideas. And I must admit, I love to clean my craft room too (except for DP...annoying to organize). Yay for you on the gardening! T has his seedlings started and I am not exaggerating when I say he spends an hour with them each day (20 mins before school, 20 mins after school and some time before bed). He waters them and watches their growth each day (and chatters away at me the whole time!). Here's to simpler and prettier living!

Kristin said...

Will you come and organize my craftin' space? I'm ashamed to say mine looks like your before photo.... Thanks for your sweet comments on my project at PC's 350 Cards and Gifts blog hop! Next time I'm in town, I'll drop some cookies off to you...;)

June Houck said...

Hi, Mel! I love your craft room; the after pic, not the before :)

I wanted to pop by and say "hi".

Shoshi said...

Mel, that's brilliant! I love your room - really organised. I've done something very similar with my distress inks but not on all 4 sides. I've stuck mine on upside down, because I store my inks upside down so the ink tends to come to the surface of the pad.

My favourite organising bit of my ARTHaven is my peg board. I've got loads of stuff on it, all hanging above my table, and I can change things round as I want. I've also got my new rig for my video camera, all set up with clip on lamps, yet to be tried out!

Beatrice, our clever computer-queen kitty, is banned from my ARTHaven. She's far too nosy and climbs all over everything and knocks stuff down and makes a mess!!!

Sabina@Slipstitches and More said...

I absolutely love your studio, it's an inspiring space, thanks for the timely motivation :)

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [09 Apr 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

cristinoel said... looks so beautiful! and i like your idea of coloriing you distress ink labels and the pencils are cute.

Lisa - papergrace said...

Oooh! The transformation of your space is awesome. And there's nothing wrong with having pieces that are inexpensive...even if they ARE beaver-puke. ;)

Love, love, loooove the tip for the Distress Ink labels! Need to label mine. Soon. :D

Mod Podge Amy said...

That room is GORGEOUS! Oh my goodness, I need to hire you :D

Sue said...

wow what a beautiful craft room. LOL you should see my area but it works I will not complain. I have a little box bottom for my pencil shaving. Thank you for sharing.

Priscilla said...

Love how you organized a small space. It looks fabulous. Thanks for the tut on ink the labels. Definitely going to do that!

Vicki Dutcher said...

WOW! WOW! WOW! What is totally awesome is your room layout is MY ROOM! This has been so helpful - TFS!! I love the label idea too~ Going to try that - especially with all 4 sides - one of those "duh" ideas I never thought about!!

khess136 said...

Wow! This is amazing! I'm inspired since Mr. H and I are in the process of setting up my've given me some great ideas. Thank you, Mel!

Kristin said...

Work for cookies? Then I'm your girl - I am a rockin' cookie baker! If you only lived in Ohio... ;)

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! Now that's tidy Heidi and it looks fabu!! I tried cleaning up last week and in one session, it looks baaaddddd again. Hmm??? Your organization is awesome.
Can I ask a question and promise NOT to laugh.... when you have a chance will you write down how you have your stampin up inks grouped? I have wanted to do this but I get confused with what to put with what. Does River Rock go with greens or browns? Crazy I know but true :-) I'd be delighted!
Beth Greco

Arlene said...

Your craft area is a DELIGHT! Love how you've accomplished sooo much! And thank you so much for sharing.

Sue from Oregon said...

What wonderful organization Mel!!! Thanks for the inspiration!

Savannah O'Gwynn said...

OHHHH! Mel--that before and after pic just has my jaw dropped! I want to come play in your studio! LOOOOOOOEV all the inks--and I love how you did the labels! Totally trying this--only thing I don't have is that waxy thing to seal the paper. So must get some of that stuff! THANKS for sharing!! LOVE your studio!

mekei said...

i just wanted to tell you that i think you are wonderful!

Axes DesigNs said...

Wow.. I love your scraproom.. I love the way you store your inks!!!! Congratulations!!!

Deebi27 said...

Thanks for giving my head some fantastic ideas...shelves might be just the trick to reorganize my 6 ft part of a closet where 50% of my goodies art store. My inks are store in bins and I always have to pull all the inks out to find the one I want to use. Your labeling on the Distress inks is fabulous! I'll have to do some real think and talking to my hubby before I make these changes!