Archive of ‘Home decor’ category

Studio Tour

IMG_6626Well, obviously my studio isn’t the kitchen, but I thought it was important to lead off with this photo for a few reasons. One is that Ryan gets home from work while I’m still wrapping things up and he usually opens a nice bottle, pours me a glass and sets to work on that evening’s dinner. No, he not a Stepford husband, he just happens to be an amazing cook and the entire family prefers his grilled duck breast with balsamic reduction over my boiled pasta noodles & Prego, hands down. I also started in the kitchen because that’s where the door to my studio is.

The entire house is sunlit and bright, with the exception of the finished basement. That is my lair. As you descend the steps from the door in the kitchen, you can look up to catch your last glimpse of natural light… IMG_7255The basement is divided into two sections, the finished area where I work, and an L-shaped unfinished area that surrounds it, where the washer/dryer and storage is. Coming down the steps and looking to your right, you’ll see this: IMG_7256See my little window up there? That’s it for light, but I’ve got space for days which makes up for the miniscule Hopper window.

If you come down the steps and turn to your left, you’ll see this: IMG_7257My stamping area and supply room. I’ll admit, I vacuumed the floors and tidied loose papers before taking these pictures, but there is no tidying the supply area. Boxes, bubble wrap, mailing tape, packing peanuts… it just takes over despite my best efforts at shelving and organization. The butchers block is where I do all my metal stamping, wearing those highly fashionable pink earmuffs. When I started in stamping, I didn’t bother with them, but after walking around with ringing in my ears for a week straight, I realized that they were a must.

My collection of steel stamps are on the shelf to the left, and if you were to turn around from where you are looking in that picture, directly behind you is my silver closet. To some it may look like something off of an episode of Hoarders, but to me it is a thing of beauty: IMG_7258This is the current haul in a constantly rotating inventory. And yes, every last one of those boxes is full to the brim. I Love (with a capital ‘L’) vintage silver. I would roll around in it, but I’d probably injure myself, so instead I just open the closet and sigh happily.

Closing my magical silver closet and heading into the main section of the studio, you would look back and have this view: IMG_7259The two doors you see lead out into the unfinished L-shaped portion of the basement. My work table gives away my not-to-subtle fabric addiction as well as a peek at some coffee-sack totes I’m working on for an upcoming craft show.

If you walked over to the work table and all that delicious fabric, then turned around, you’d see this: IMG_7260Yes, more fabric of course, but also a comfy velvet couch which is the best upgrade I’ve ever added to the studio. In our old house it was an isolated area. But now that couch is usually home to my children, who keep me company by reading or playing video games there. Also in this picture you can see my knitting basket by the couch. I put that there because I had the notion that in my down time I could curl up on the couch and work on knitting (something I do just for me, not for the shop). But that cream-colored cowl peeking out of the basket was supposed to keep me warm this past winter and sadly it’s not even halfway complete.

Turning slightly to your right, you’ll find my desk, which is also where I do much of my packaging. I keep my finished pieces in the bookcases along the adjoining wall, so it’s easy to find someone’s order, print the label and wrap everything up right there at the desk. IMG_7261Speaking of those bookshelves… here are the rest of them:IMG_7262In addition to my ready-to-ship silver, the bookshelves are a monument to nearly every crafty idea I’ve started and keep thinking I’ll return to. I could probably stock a craft store with the contents of the far right unit. Now, if you look to the very right of that picture you’ll see one of the two doors that leads to the unfinished area. This is where I do my messy work, like polishing silver (the smell is…. pungent) and etching glass. In the main area here there is white carpeting, but out there, its bare concrete, so I can safely rinse down the area after etching  (breathing glass dust is not a good idea). But I’ll warn you… this is an unfinished space: IMG_7263Yeah, not quite as cheery out here, but I adore my antique butchers block and it is great to keep the messy work separate.

And that’s it (for now). I have some new things in the works that will likely lead to some re-arranging and reconfiguring, but for now this is where I go to work. At the end of the day I go upstairs and close the door. And when I hear the click as the lock catches, it’s like the sound of someone turning off the “Open” sign.

Furniture Heaven

Well.. down the hall at least! The Holiday Season has begun in full swing (in retail that is), and the walls in my home office/studio space seemed to be closing in on me. Surrounded by boxes of bubble mailers, 120 gallon bags of packing peanuts, sewing machines, fabrics, etc, and with new supplies arriving every day- well, it was time to relocate. Luckily we have a very large formal living room which we hardly ever use, so Ryan and I spent a full day this weekend and switched the two rooms! It is a little strange to walk into the house and have a workroom staring you in the face, but it is more than double the size and it meant I needed (emphasis mine) new furniture.

Furniture shopping to me is what shoe shopping is to most women, so I’ve been in heaven. The room is still far from complete, but I will share my new additions now and then the finished product once I have it all sorted out.

First up is this desk. I love love love love it. You can’t really tell from the picture, but the top has three marble panels. It’s also pretty enough on both sides that it could float out into the room (not an option in this house because of space, but down the road maybe). Made by Four Hands, a company that uses  reclaimed materials and eco-friendly construction.

The desk will soon be flanked by two of these campaign bookcases (supposedly on a UPS truck as I type). At last I won’t have to rummage through heavy boxes of silver to fill orders. All the boxes will be neatly arranged (not stacked, yay!) on these shelves. One side will have finished silver and the other will have my supplies. I’m thinking about painting the silver chests so that they look more unified. I’m torn between yellow or coral (I want them to contrast the aqua of the desk).

I also bought a small but sturdy butchers block table to hold my embroidery machine, which has freed up a lot of desk space. BUT.. my favorite buy has to be this:
It’s an antique butchers block from a US Naval warship. It is about 600 pounds of maple goodness. Made by Michigan Maple Block Company, every US naval ship from the 1800’s until the 1980’s had one of these on board. For me, it is the perfect spot to stamp my silver. I stamp several hundred pieces of silver a week, and I used to do it hunched over my metal block on the living room floor. My back is very happy with this purchase.

And that’s it for now. As soon as the bookcases arrive and I get everything nice and tidy (spoiler alert: my workspace will never be neat and tidy), I’ll post some pictures of how it all came together.

Wine Table, As Promised (at last!)


There she is at last! To be completely honest, we finished the wine table in early July. But it is summer which means birthday parties, vacations, holidays and all the rest of it. Every time I would think of something I wanted to blog about, I would stop myself and remember that I promised the table would be next. Even still, I am cheating you a little because I’m only showing you our finished results. The full photo tutorial will follow (the kids do go back to school next week after all), but for now, feel free to bask in the beauty of a fully functional home wine-tasting table.  With honeybees, natch!
On one end there are French lemonades for the kids and on the other, French wines for us. I put potted plants down the center when it isn’t full of ice and bottles. The color of the wood will patina over the next few months and I might even give it an interesting stain in the spring.

We toasted with Malbec and Pinot Noir of course, but we’ve also recently discovered Vouvray. It tastes like a non-cloying Reisling.

The honeybees were a happy accident. The gutter we bought to use as the center didn’t work at all and we thought the project was a bust. Then I remembered the planter my mother had just bought me and it happened to fit perfectly. I called her to find out where she bought it and raced out to see if they had more. By chance, they had the exact number and sizes needed to fill the center of the table. Clearly fate means for me to drink my wine al fresco.

I love this wine stopper. I make all different types which I sell in my shop here, but all these pictured are from my personal collection. I discovered this old hot water faucet handle in the attic of my mothers Victorian house, so it was far too sentimental to sell.

I hope you forgive me for taking so long with this post. I will do my best to get the how-to up soon. My husband and I made the entire thing from scratch so there’s lots of room for personalization to your own tastes. Until then, cheers!

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