Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Peek at the Workspace ...

I thought I'd give you a peek at my workspace/dining room!

I've taken over the dining room in our modest two-bedroom apartment.  My stuff is spread out everywhere, I hope to reign it in a little with a larger unit that will house everything.  The view that you see is if you were standing on my couch in the living room, looking over its back to the dining room.  The round table is something that's been in the family for years - I have pictures from my first birthday and beyond blowing out candles at this table!  Eventually, I will find a gorgeous storage unit that will fit just about everything and reclaim the dining room  into something that will become a pleasant eating atmosphere without a tower of beads or some other crafting project that's about to topple over you.  In the meantime, I've made good use out of lots of recycled, reclaimed and reused materials for unique storage solutions - with a little flair!

I tend to be a collector of all sorts of stuff.  I've got souvenier pens and pencils, t-shirts, pins and buttons, stamps, Happy Meal toys, and probably a few other things I'm forgetting.  I blame Dad and my stepmum on the 'collection-hording' quirk - I remember Dad's huge collection of buttons and pins (once kept on that big corkboard in the middle there) and my stepmum keeping all sorts of cool stuff - she could use it for something later, you never know.  I'm trying my best to keep it under control!  I've got a great collection of stamps from all over the world, and I've decoupaged some of them onto some mason jars I've been using for random storage.  These unique images depicting important people, places and achievements in cultures around the world are great little inspirations that sneak up on me, much like the rest of the collections I have lurking about my workspace.  See that Silver Surfer on the middle jar there?  That one came from my very first Etsy sale in New York City!

This stuff is just how you'd see it on the bookshelf.  Binders and photo albums full of colour and fashion inspirations and designs from days gone by, as well as keeping track of various projects, initiatives and Etsy sales.  (The World Vision binder there is full of letters from the child I sponsor in Thailand, Pornpanit - and a huge part of the stamp collection, too!)  Second shelf down would be various books and magazines of all sorts of craftiness, mainly beading and jewelry making.  I've got a great collection of BeadStyle magazines amongst various issues of Elle Fashion, Vogue, Cosmo and InStyle that get me inspired with the latest and favourite trends.  (Yes, you do see Zombie Cross Stitch!  Look very carefully on the corkboard in the first picture, you'll see a finished project!)  A few recycled tissue boxes turn into great storage for zipper bags and organza pouches for gift wrapping.  Mason jars and soup tins store various materials and beads; I've hung tags with stickers written with what's in each.  Take a look - you'll find some aliens and ninjas in there if you're careful!   Then, comes the rest of these various collections and stuff I've acquired that will find its way into some sort of project.  That partially obscured Buddha head has been used as a product background for photography, and that colourful Shout! sign you can learn about here.  (It's a great story, trust me!)  A few stripped flutes, vintage jewelry boxes circa 1940s, handmade gift boxes and whatnot are all cluttering that bottom shelf.  All with the intention of a better plan of organization!

Now, if you turn 180 degrees from looking at the dining room, you'll see this small table behind you.  It's set up behind the couch, with a convenient view of the television in the living room.  This little workstation sees a lot of the actual jewelry design and creation itself.  I keep drawing materials and the tools I use most often in decoupaged soup tins and mason jars.  I had also acquired a 'plate cupboard stacker' to hand various jewelry piece I had finished and yet to photograph.  Look closely, you'll see a brass Eiffel Tower I had picked up from Not Too Shabby in downtown Brampton - she's currently covered in bracelets!  The table is covered in a large sari scarf to keep from beads rolling off, as well as to hide the fabric storage underneath I keep in a large bin.  Check out that dremel tool on the right there - lots of possibilities when you have one of these!  My father had bought me the MasterCraft Maximum Router a couple of years ago, and I'm glad to finally have the space to set this up properly and use it to its full potential.  The Rubbermaid drawer unit it sits on holds other beading supplies and is on wheels for easy access wherever I need it.  Handy handy!

Just about everything used in this space is repurposed, recycled or vintage in its own respect.  I have a more contained vision of this setup that won't make everything feel as cluttered, but I'm glad that I finally have the space that I can begin to actualize.  I see a large, ceiling-height vintage-style armoire, with just enough room on the top for picturesque storage.  That and along with the dress form, and I'm almost there!

So, is your space as crazy as mine?

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