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I've been asked a number of times to share pictures of my "studio". There wasn't any point, tho; you wouldn't see anything but piles and stacks and boxes and bags in piles and stacks.  You couldn't see the floor.  You couldn't see the counter top. Literally.  Yes, it was that bad.  Why?  Well, because I'd rather spend my time creating, than organizing things, or cleaning up after myself–blech!  Where's the fun in that?  And, I preferred to invest in product and toys, than the stuff to organize and store said product and toys.

My "studio" is roughly the size of a walk-in closet.  Keep in mind, it's nothing fancy; some day, when I win the Lotto (*snort*), I'll have that beautiful Pottery Barn Studio (Like this. With this.) I dream of.  But, today is not that today.  And, I'm sure 5 or even 10 years from now will not be that day, either.  LOL!  Guess I need to buy me some tickets. *chuckle*

What can I say? *sheepish grin*  Over time, chaos creeped in.  It didn't happen overnight; it was months, which turned into years, of bad habits and a propensity towards hoarding.  Eventually, I had to climb over the piles and stacks, a lot of it spilling out of the space that was once the happy creative place I had originally moved into (8 years ago), just to get to the little 9 x 12" space (Yes, that black cutting mat!) on the counter where there was some flat surface, in between the stacks & piles, to actually stamp anything.

My other problem? I would hang onto what I thought were "usable" scraps, but had no designated place to store them.  So, they'd pile up all around me. I have since emptied the top drawer of an Iris Cart of all the hard copies of patterns/templates I'd collected over the years (if I have an electronic version, why on earth am I hanging onto half a dozen hard copies of each of 'em????).  I also need to jury rig a cattle prod that automatically shocks me if I try to save anything smaller than, say, 1/8 of a sheet of card stock.*

My husband casually said, "All I want for my birthday, is for you to clean up your studio, and get all this crafty crap that's spilling out of it, back into it or entirely out of here." I think I stunned him, when I committed to having a crafty yard sale by placing an ad; I couldn't back out of it then.  And feverishly, for a week straight from dawn to midnight (no lie), began mucking out the studio.  I knew it would take at least a week to get it to functional, at the very least.  It is by no means "pristine"; I'd probably need another full week straight to achieve that.  But, functional ain't too shabby, and I'll take that. *wink*


This is the view when I step just inside the door way and look to the right. The countertop had to be pretty narrow in order for me to actually be able to walk in and move around freely in this space. It's made from 16" deep shelving, set atop 5 3-drawer units, spaced apart the whole length. When I started mucking, you could not see any countertop whatsoever. You also could not see, and could not walk, on the floor.

*The top drawer of the Iris cart has been cleaned out so that I can organize my paper scraps inside, by color, in folders; no more piling on the counter. The bottom drawer houses an assortment of mondo-size lever punches.

Above that, hanging from the pegboard mounted to the wall, are some hardware drawer units that house jars of glitter, microbeads, and other tiny miscellaneous items.

This is from the opposite end.  My laptop has now been restored to it's original location.  You can see the upper perimeter shelf that is used for additional storage, and I have fishing line strung in the braces so I can clothespin designs that either inspire me (from friends), or need some dry time.  Pegboard is mounted to the wall directly above where I work and is for hanging frequently used tools.  There's a narrow ledge that my most frequently used punches sit upon, directly beneath that.

The little drawer units hold things like smaller, less frequently used punches, specialty ribbon spools, embellishments, tools too big or awkward to hang on the pegboard but I don't want taking up counter space, embossing powder tubs, envelopes, etc.  My A Muse ribbon spools are threaded onto dowel rods, sitting on curtain rod brackets mounted to the wall.  I can easily slide spools on and off, see it/access it easily, and it keeps the counter top free.

A black wash cloth, strung to a drawer handle is right next to me when I stamp so I can clean my hands off quickly as I am working.


To the left, is my cutting station so I can keep my Carl DC-220 readily available for mass cutting, and my Big Shot is at the other end.  Card stock is now stored inside the cabinets (to prevent fading that might occur from sunlight), as well as my collection of dies and Big Shot accessories, so I can easily pull those out and die cut like a maniac. You also could not see anything atop that station when I started mucking; the cutter and the Big Shot were buried under piles that reached up to the underneath that lowest shelf above there. ACK! There were also piles and stacks in front of it; I couldn't get the doors opened to save my life.

The drawer units above the cutting station house all my A Muse stamps.  Each unit has 5 shallow drawers that hold only 1 layer deep of stamps (no stacking!) so that I can easily find what I'm looking for.  My stamps are organized according to themes, i.e. home, floral/nature, animals, masculine, feminine, party, backgrounds, graphic elements, etc.  Linda had recommended these to me a number of years ago, and took me to Storables where I promptly bou ght 6 of 'em.  LOL!

At the very far left, and not really shown, is a free-standing cupboard with shelves inside.  It houses miscellaneous craft supplies & materials that I don't use on a daily basis. Like the cutting station, there were piles and stacks so high in front of it, I couldn't open the doors, nor could I reach anything hanging on the pegboard on the wall immediately next to it.

I'm hopeful, this time around, now that I've *finally* purged a great many items I hadn't used in a loooooong time (I could purge and organize even more, but I'd need another full week, like I said), that I will be better at putting things away when I'm finished, because I really do like being able to walk in and around in there without climbing.  I like being able to open drawers and cupboard doors.  I like having counter-space, and elbow room again.

Far from perfect. Or pretty.  But, functional.  And, stamp-happy once again.

  1. YEA!! congrats on the purge!! and finding your floors!! :) Great space!! Thanks for sharing!!


  2. Your room looks great and you made my day with your comments. Good, funny laugh-inducing comments! Thanks for sharing with us!

  3. YOu’ve inspired me once again JUlie!!! This time to do something about the mess in my back room…I love your idea of a shallow workspace, because really, if you have stuff up and off your work surface (and easily accessible) then you don’t need it taking up precious creative space!! I love the idea of the shelve on top of storage carts/cubes!!! I have a lot of these things too…..Home Depot here I come!! BRILLIANT!!!!

  4. Bright and sunny… it’s so you Julie (Cheerful). It looks like a fun place to be for sure.

  5. Your space looks incredible, Julie!! I sooo need to get motivated to “muck” through my “stuff” as well. It’s so hard to let some of it go, but I know I would be so much happier to be creating in a tidy space. Enjoy yours! :D

  6. gorgeous! you’re always an inspiration Julie – and your neat and functional space makes me yearn for a little mucking time myself! thanks for sharing!

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