A few people have asked me lately for an update on my studio space that we built nearly 4 years ago now (holy time warp). And with my member spotlight up on the MQG site (hi everyone!) I thought today would be a good day to show how my use of the space has changed.
When we first moved into this house in 2008 this was just an unfinished basement space. At that time I did not have my business, so it was for a bunch of different crafts – papercraft, weaving, sewing, etc. TJ promised me that this would be one of the first spaces we renovated, and a couple of years later, with a lot of help from his dad, it came to fruition. Looking back at the first few days in the space it looks so bare! Here is a comparison of then and now:
So different! I am actually really shocked myself. 4 years of use an a new business really has changed things. So here is how I am using the spaces:
By the door where I had my easel and my home Singer machine, I now have Penny (industrial straight stitch) and Sebastian (industrial serger). This change is obviously a direct result of my business. The little unit that I was using to store books is now our bar upstairs, and I have the Billy bookcase for all of my fabric storage. The big table we built for the home Singer is now where my loom used to be:
The loom has been unceremoniously usurped into storage, which I am not happy about, but I was out of space. The plan it to convert our tiny dining room (that we have used once in 6 years) into a weaving room. But it will have to wait for a few months until the spring shows have finished for me.
You will notice there are a few more machines on this table now too. The home Singer pretty much sews labels on my pieces now, and Agnes (15-91 Singer) has become my main quilt piecing machine. I love the setup that I have for that now – Aurafil thread, great machine, and a guide for lining up half square triangles and binding. My featherweight also lives on this table when not in use, as I still need to work out a permanent storage solution (her case is still pretty stinky).
The shelf unit that TJ built for me many years ago is still being used to hold yarn, but a lot more fabric has taken up the spaces:
The red polka dot boxes (ikea) are for each of my guilds. I keep everything I need for each guild in a box, so that when it comes time to go to a meeting I just grab everything that is inside. That way if I need to return a book or take something to another member I don’t forget.
My cutting table set up has changed very little, and it is still really functional for me. I have my wood rolling cart at the end now to hold a couple of different ribbon dispensers we have made and also my snap press. This has been working really well for me.
Under my pin board is now a different storage system that I just installed a couple of days ago:
This is just one of those cube units from Lowes. I am using it to store my custom projects that I have on the go for my customers, along with a couple of my projects. They were getting out of control laying on every surface of my studio, so this keeps them contained but lets me have a visual reference to show where I am. I have this thing about having things on floor level though, so I am going to do a bit of an upgrade on this piece in the same way that Young House Love did – framing it out with some wood to match the flooring around the outside of the box, and adding some chunky casters to give it enough height (it is a bit too short now).
You can also see that my pin board is well used – I keep every thank you card that has ever been written to me. They live on the board for a while, and then I have an album I put them in. A little feel good thing. 🙂
The door unit in the center of the room (this is bump-out for the upstairs fireplace) is still pretty much being used the same way that it was before, except now it holds a lot more work stuff on the bottom (office supplies, empty cardboard bolts, etc.
The flooring is another decision that I have been really happy with. This floor gets abused what with having scissors, rulers and tools dropped on it all the time, rolling chairs sliding between machines, and having my small loom dragged over top of it. It has a few nicks and marks but I seem to be able to touch those up with a sharpie. And it is really easy on my feet and back standing on it all day. And it also doesn’t feel cold, even though this is a basement. (Admittedly, that is likely because of the crazy amounts of insulation TJ and his dad put down. But still, it has a warm feel). I would totally recommend cork for a workspace like this.
If I was going to change something it would be the lights. We put in 8, and I think the space could have used 10. And I would not have used halogens, as they are expensive to replace and do not last very long. Luckily, they now have LED’s that fit my sockets, so I am replacing them as they burn out. The LED’s will help keep it cooler in the summer too.
Still so happy with this space – it is a great place to spend my days (and many evenings) working away.
Do you have any favourite studio spaces or things you would like to do in your own space?