The Fun is in Repurposing!

When designing my studio, I could have simply purchased all new items, but instead found great joy in re-purposing and doing a complete redesign using things that I have already enjoyed for years.  For me, designing a work space is first about efficient function and then all about what makes me feel good.  I spend long hours working in my art studio.  To make that time a delight rather than a drudge, I love to be surrounded by things that inspire me, by some of my favorite items I’ve created in the past and by colors that will cheer me up on a grey day.

My inspiration for this color palette came from a beautiful, one yard piece of chintz that is a raw silk look.  I bought it 5 or 6 years ago as a remnant just because… I tucked it away and found it when we were preparing to move.  Unfortunately, I was unable to find any more of the fabric, so I used it as a spring board for the over all design by making three pillows for the daybed/guest bed that is in my room.  Like many of you, I love the put together over a long period of time look of mix and match almost “mismatch” elegance.  It’s hard work getting to that, LOL!  Matchy-matchy is so much easier, but much less fun.

I’m looking for a great source to buy antique glass door knobs or door pulls if you know of one.   I want to replace the pegs on a small wall shelf I have with the door knobs for character and bling.  My curtain rod has a set of beautiful crystal finials, and I would like to find some crystal bling odds n ends to make tacks for my fabric covered memo board on the closet door.  Ideas anyone?

I found the beautifully simple quilt set at  (SEE IT HERE) It’s all cotton and linen and has a lovely scalloped edge on both the shams and the edge of the quilt.  It’s washable (which is great since my all black cat, Shadow, loves to sneak in and nap on it!)  I’ve been puzzling out what I should use for the dust ruffle for the bed and realized just yesterday that our previous home’s living room drapes were perfect to reuse for this purpose.  I’ll be breaking out my sewing machine soon to transform them into their new function.

I’ve had white counter tops for the past 20+ years – what was I thinking?!!!  Every one has gotten stained with paint and though it started out lovely, became dingy and worn (and not in a lovely cottage way).  My sweet husband suggested a granite look formica for this purpose.  It’s already spotted and if it gets scratched, chunked or otherwise stained it just blends right in.  We have 3 short 1 foot wide bookcases that we found in the barn of a previous home and have housed my magazines in every studio since, they’re being reused and mismatched with a white kitchen cabinet.  I’ll tie it all together with fabric under the counter curtains in an old-world european style.   Here’s the curtains I bought to use for fabric and the valance (SEE IT HERE)  The fabric is a wonderful aged butter yellow that leans almost to tan.

Thanks for peeking in.  Hopefully I’ll be able to show you soon how it all goes together.  I’m just going to have to paint some new art to go with the new room… hmmm… perhaps my new peony photos might come into play on that?!

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Catching Up!

I thought I would share a little since it’s been so ridiculously long since I posted here.  I do have a good excuse – we have moved!  I thought I would also share bits and pieces of my new studio as it’s coming together.  I always enjoy seeing where my artist friends work and thought you might enjoy a sneak peek as well.  My color palette in the studio is a little retro.  The wall color is from Martha Stewart’s paints “Smokey Aqua” it’s an aqua that pushes almost to the green.  It’s sunny and bright and goes really well with my totally fun red glitter vinyl 50’s stool we got from Target about 10 years ago.   I have a mix of some great chintz fabrics, the window chintz is butter yellow with tan, pink, burgundy and a touch of red.  I’ll show more of that later when we get the tools out of the way so I can do the important stuff – ie DECORATE!

As we are nearing the end of our family’s move I realize, I hate moving, but am loving it now that we’re almost done.  We moved half an hour closer to town though still very much in the country.  We have another fabulous (though different) view, are near friends and church and enjoy an almost non-stop summer breeze.  There are still boxes in the corners of several rooms, but almost everything now has a place and I’m actually starting to REMEMBER where that place is, LOL!

My sweet husband worked until 1 o’clock this morning getting my art studio nearer to completion.  He has created a corner work space repurposing items that have been in almost every art studio I’ve used for the past 30 years and yet he’s making them new and wonderful.  You would have loved watching him carefully “distressing” my newly painted but repurposed shelves.  He’s mister anal-retentive and he actually very carefully “randomly” distressed them while I just grab a piece of sand paper and go at it.  It made us laugh so much looking at how different we are from each other and yet how well we work together.  I have a couple of in process pictures today and I’ll post things as they get set up and finished.  Any suggestions you might have are greatly welcomed!

It’s been fun rethinking how I do my work and getting a chance to reorganize my work areas.  I’ve thrown and thrown and thrown away some more.  I’ve donated things I realize I’ll never use (like my wooden mannequins for drawing) since I just don’t paint people!

My computer/office work area is public as part of the great central area of the house.  No chance to hide my mess any more so I’ve actually been doing better at keeping it organized.  Wonder how long that will last, LOL!?

I’ve discovered new ways to organize that are working really well with my own natural bent.  Costco has great plastic “shoe box’ sized stacking boxes that are 100% transparent so you can see what’s in them.  I was able to condense all of my crafting supplies into a single shelf in my studio closet and will only need to bring out the box when I’m working on a project.  Soooo easy!  I was amazed at just how much fits into one of those boxes and how sturdy they are when stacked.  Living in the country, lids are VERY necessary as dust is everywhere at all times.  My tools got dirty and dusty in the open drawer system I had before.

The view out my window goes all the way to the high sierra, snow-capped peaks which you can’t see here.  I have a beautiful pastoral view close in and my beloved mountains as well.  The flowers in the window are my window boxes that line the front of the house and patio.  I loved where we were before and I love where I am now.  I am learning with the Apostle Paul -to be content in any state that I find myself.

All of this brings me to today’s devotional thought – sometimes God wants to move us whether we like it or not!  Being comfortable isn’t very high on His list of priorities for us.  In fact, in my experience He’s pretty happy when I’m UNCOMFORTABLE enough to let Him change what He needs to in my heart.  Has that been your experience as well?

I’ve also learned that “Father truly always does know best!”  His plans for me are always for my good and he imagines so much more for me than I would have ever thought for myself.  I’m learning every day to trust him more and to delight more in His surprises.  One of my favorite things about our new location is that I get drop-in guests now.  We were soooooo far up in the mountains that nobody came by unless they had really good reason or time to waste, LOL!  Now friends pop in on a whim and we love it.

Ps 40:3-5
3 He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be astounded.
They will put their trust in the LORD.

4 Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD,
who have no confidence in the proud,
or in those who worship idols.
5 O LORD my God, you have done many miracles for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.


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