Craft Supply Pack Rat

I’ve been both lazy and productive lately. After finishing my room, I started checking a few other things off my bigger to do list while taking some break days in between.

Finally, after months of it sitting unfinished and ugly, my garage door is completely painted. It no longer looks like we are under constant construction around here. That was a huge “need to get this done” item off my list. Most everything else is “do it when I feel like it” and doesn’t have the kind of time related pressure that the garage door was pushing.

I’ve started lining my recessed area drawers in felt, which looks awesome and does exactly what I want it to. I’ve also finally figured out what I’m going to be storing in a lot of those. All my jewelry pieces that I made, but never sold. I’ll eventually get around to listing them somewhere, but I like to keep things organized and those little drawers are perfect for that.

One of the side projects I got dragged into was helping BG come up with her Halloween costume plans. Because of course she is doing things that require she have more than one. Thankfully, all are relatively basic since she wants them for dance but still has to actually dance in them. Besides tossing around ideas, that didn’t need much work from me except for one. I’ll be posting more about what I worked on soon, but am holding off to not accidentally give it away before she gets to wear it.

Of course, I took more time off after that as I’m trying really hard not to burn myself out with too may things now that I finally have the time to sit and breathe. Sadly, my inner creative demon isn’t letting me rest for long.

Today I decided to start trying to go through my yarn and get it organized into the storage containers I bought for them. Turns out, I WAY underestimated the amount of yarn I have and I don’t have nearly enough containers. I’m probably going to need to slightly rethink how I want to store and organize what is left, which means I will need to get more and/or different containers.

Not that any of this entirely surprises me because that yarn isn’t the only thing I’m needing to get organize and have space for. I did build an entire room so that I had the space to play with all that stuff I have. I’m worried that even after I get that closet built that is supposed to hold all those other things that don’t go into my cabinets, it isn’t going to be enough to store everything.

I might have a teeny problem letting go of anything that is even remotely art or creative related. If I think I can use it in a project, even if I don’t know what that project my be, it sticks around and probably multiplies when I’m not looking. I seriously doubt I’ll be allowed to build an entire room just for storage. My Hubby just might find his patience and support limit if I try.

Orderly And Logical… Yeah Right!

I think it is completely typical of me that I can’t do things in any kind of “normal way” and my craft room project looks to be right in line with MY normal.

A project like this should really have a nice linear kind of a process. Come up with a design plan. Research your resources like contractors or materials. Get any needed quotes and schedule work or start buying materials if you are doing it yourself. Begin working. Simple, right?

Yeah, that isn’t exactly how I’ve done things.

I have struggled so hard with the design for starters. I have SO many things that I do and I needed to take all of them into consideration when laying out my workspace that it was nearly overwhelming. That was just for a basic layout. I also had to figure out good lighting for all those different types of work.

If I do any silversmithing, I need the right kind of direct light for the little details, but I also need to make it dark enough for when I’m firing something to see the color changes in the metal. While that direct lighting would also be perfect for sewing, I’m not getting any fabric even close to my nasty jewelry bench. Not happening! They need to be very different spaces. But I also needed really good general lighting for the whole space.

In an effort to try and solve that problem, I bought a really nice main light fixture and installed it in my completely unfinished space just to see if it is going to work (it is, thank goodness). This alone has already messed up that linear process as I’m buying and installing stuff well before other needed things have been done.

I couldn’t plan out the rest of the lighting, which is needed to be able to get a quote from a contractor, until I figured out exactly how I was going to lay out the rest of the space. That meant I had to figure out how I was going to tie that nasty jeweler’s bench and firing station (two separate pieces) into the rest of the space. Both pieces are kind of just pieced together. My workbench is really just a top that I’ve got sitting on an old desk. It’s functional, but not even close to decent looking.

That made part of my decision making even harder. I really wanted to try and make use of what I had and keep my overall cost down to reasonable, but what I had wasn’t great for different reasons depending on what it is. The jeweler’s bench top, firing station, random cabinet that was designed as a microwave stand, a crappy folding table, an industrial looking but also crappy storage cabinet that originally lived in my garage, an old dresser, and a very nice, but not practical antique dining table that is in need of refinishing. None of which gave me any kind of real storage I desperately needed.

I’ve kind of just been sitting on a lot of this for a while now. Ever since I got the light fixture a couple of weeks ago, I hit a “no progress” wall that I couldn’t get past.

Then I saw a photo of a room, no clue what it was actually for, but it gave me the base inspiration for the finished look I really wanted for my space, something I hadn’t been able to come up with until then. And a look that is SO very different from anything else in my house, which is odd for me.

It gave me a real direction to go and I was able to start working on some real design plans. It helped to funnel me into a direction, but I was still scattered. I still had to work out how much I’m doing myself and how much I’m having done. I did manage to settle on doing all the cabinet, flooring and finish work myself (after hours researching tools and material costs), and having all ventilation, wiring, framing and drywall done for me.

Deciding that, I told Hubby to let me know when we got coupons from our home improvement store, so I could start buying the tools and get them at a discount. We got a coupon like two days later, so I already have tools on the way (even though I’m SO not ready for them yet!)

When looking into options to get my bench top to tie into the rest without being ugly, I was forced to consider a full on rebuild. I was already planning on building a base, but I was struggling to get it to work with my existing top. My options were, leave it as is and have it stand out like an ugly sore thumb, attempt to add a surface that would tie into any other surfaces I’d use in the space, or I could completely rebuild.

The first option was already out for me because I really need this to be a calm, cohesive space or I’m always going to feel out of sorts in it like I do now. That and the look I’ve settled on is awesome and I didn’t want to mess that up. The second option is the less expensive option, but it wouldn’t be exactly the same because I have to have a surface that can tolerate the heat of a torch, which limits my options. Those aren’t options I want for my other surfaces giving the space too may colors and textures even if they were similar. The final option would be so much better aesthetically, but would cost more and go against the whole trying to use what I had.

I spent the last week doing research on materials so I could decide on which option I was going to choose. I wasn’t liking my options for resurfacing my bench top, but I had a couple that might work. In the process of looking at full rebuild options, I ran across some butcher block kitchen counters that had an incredible deal going on right now. After spending the day attempting to work with the available sizing to see if I could even get it to work and then figure out how expensive it was going to be, I now have a basic counter/table/workbench layout set and counters on order because I’m going with the rebuild option.

So I am going to have tools and surfaces purchased and here, but I haven’t even begun to play with the actual electrical layout or the rest of the cabinet designs, let alone researched and gotten quotes from contractors. I have some vague ideas of finishing the design, but I’m nowhere near ready to even think about starting to build.

I’m so backwards sometimes!

As crazy and chaotic as I’m making this, I’m absolutely in love with how it is unfolding so far. I’m going to be able to stain and finish those counters to match want I want to do on the floor. I don’t have flooring picked out yet, but I have the general color and look I want.

I also discovered that my existing bench top will work perfectly in our garage for a true tool workbench. I need to modify it and my firing station a bit, but the materials will be used. Right now I have plans for nearly all of the stuff in my current space, even if it isn’t in that space, so that is also a huge bonus.

I’m giddy that I’m finally making progress.

Renovations

Yesterday was the start of a huge, deep cleaning and tossing out project. FINALLY after way too long, Hubby and I went through the basement and created our piles of trash vs. donate vs. keep. We are now ready for someone to come and get years of stuff we haven’t known what to do with or how to get rid of it.

Continue reading “Renovations”

Consolidating

Part of my recent rework here has been an effort to consolidate several of the places that I’ve been attempting to maintain across the internet. That means trying to move lots of images of my various artistic endeavors. For now, I’ve added a few galleries to my menu under Art, but I’m not certain I’m going to keep it like that. Continue reading “Consolidating”