Tag Archives | workroom

Decluttering the printing surface

the piles of junk on my worktable - before pic

Ick! What a mess!

I thought I’d share a few pics of my workroom.  This is what my printing table normally looks like.   As though an art supply shop had vomited all over it.  With some haberdashery chucked in for good measure.

messy worktable

Hmm, a bit messy, eh?

Every so often I have to have a good clear out or it gets too much to create anything there, it seems to mess up my head as well.

stripped back to the bare bones

One afternoon I decided to clear everything off and put the dropcloth in the washing machine.  This is what the print table looks like underneath all that clutter.  Wow, wish it looked like this all the time!

P1020688

I have a large piece of MDF laid on top of the table, and a piece of carpet underlay over that, which creates the soft surface for printing.

P1020693

Here is the table with a clean dropcloth on top, bearing the dyeing marks from a previous printing session or ten!

Wish I could say it still looks like that now, but unfortunately it is more like the top photo again… that clean table top lasted less than a day.  But it definitely unleashed some creativity…

Collages continued

I layered the collages a bit more yesterday – I worked fairly quickly and improvisationally because I was sitting there umming and ahhing and not actually glueing anything down so I decided just to get on with it and then see what I thought of them!

Here’s the blue one – I wanted to do something with leaves as I am so drawn to them at the moment.

collage with leaves

I may add more or do something else to this one.  Not sure yet.

This is the one with the brown background.  I like this better in the photo than I did yesterday looking at the original!

brown collage

This is as far as I have got with the green one but it isn’t finished yet…

green and yellow collage

I also made another background.  This uses some of the mulberry paper as well.

another collage

In the latest studio reorganisation I turned my table 90 degrees and put all the paints and related stuff into an old vegetable rack.   I like this.

cluttered table and paint rack

You can see how much clutter there is on the ‘collage table’ at the moment!  Plenty of stuff to keep me going for a while!

And of course moving the paints left some shelves free for my ‘inspiration’ files and notebooks…

shelves in studio

Wall tidy

I thought I’d put a picture of the only thing I’ve sewn in the last few weeks (apart from turning up the hems on umpteen pairs of trousers and mending DS2’s coat).

It is another sample for the ladies of the sewing studio in Zambia for Health Help International.  Ron is there now and took it with him.  It is one of those wall tidies which you can hang on the wall and use to store small items in pockets. 

wall tidy made from Dutch wax prints with elephant motif

I have been busy this week, tidying and organising my studio yet again (well, I prefer to think of it as continuing the tidying rather than reorganising everything Yet Again….).   Instead of organising my cotton fabrics by colour, I decided to do it by value.  Reading Lisa Call’s blog inspired me.    I ironed them all and folded them into approximately the same size.  Sorting them was relatively easy after that.    Looking at them, I have come to the conclusion that I have far too many in medium values and not enough at either end.  

After that I was energised (inspired, no doubt, by all the fabrics I had forgotten I had!) into sorting all the other sorts of fabrics, which previously I had organised by colour, into each type of fabric… the rusted fabrics have a container to themselves.  I enjoyed stroking the silks and rediscovering the shiny fabrics, the velvets, the scrims, the sheers….  now I just need to use them in something and not just return them to the shelves….

Photos to follow….

Studio reorganisation

In my head, anyway….

I spent a long time this morning looking at the Fiberarts Magazine studio competition photos – PamDora is a finalist in the Best Stash section.  Then I thought about what my studio looks like…

Unfortunately, the work table (where I do my designing and cutting etc) looks like this at the moment:

table covered in damp newspaper

It has been raining for about 5 days solidly and we have a leaky wall above it (or a leak in the roof of the bay window).  The wall on that side faces west where the prevailing winds come from, and when they blow strongly the wet comes through.  It needs a special waterproofing paint on there about every 8 years – unfortunately we can’t do this now till the summer and it all dries out.  Hopefully.  Meanwhile, this is my work area:

pink carpet with melted iron shape on it

A pink bedroom carpet (it used to be a bedroom).  And yes, that is a melted iron shape on it.  Needs hoovering too….

I stress about my studio about once a year, when everyone else is making goals for the coming year and assessing what they did in the previous one:

This morning, I sat down and sorted out what uses I made of my studio, and the various areas I need in it…

Storage areas:

  • Fabric, papers, threads, beads, etc etc
  • Equipment
  • Paints etc
  • Works in progress
  • Notebooks, inspiration sources etc
  • Completed quilts etc

Work areas:

  • Sewing area
  • Pressing area
  • Designing/cutting area
  • Wet area (at the moment this is either the kitchen or the floor!)

Admin areas:

  • Framing and finishing
  • Catalogues, invoices and other stuff
  • Information, entries to competitions
  • And all the stuff on my computer!

I’m glad I’ve sorted all that out because at the moment all the areas are too mixed up and some things just don’t have anywhere to live…I’ve got quite a big room (about 15 foot square) but I need to work out how to make it work.  And I need a design wall.  Or something.  At the moment it is a floor!  Still – just shows you can do anything anywhere…

Still a way to go yet though…

PS.  I really like Live Writer!

Some impact!

I had a bit of a sort out. I put lots of things away and the floor is now reasonably clear. I also had a go at organising my cotton fabrics into colours. Last year I read some of Joen Wolfrom’s The Visual Dance and I tried sorting out the fabrics into shades, tints, hues and whatever the other one was… But this just served to thoroughly confuse me so now I have them all back into colours again. Here they are on the floor round the colour wheel.

colour wheel in the middle of the floor surrounded by piles of appropriately coloured fabrics

Now they are all stowed neatly away on the shelf in their little baskets. Sometime when I feel like doing it, I will take each one and sort them into values within the colours. I think sometimes that I prefer sorting out fabrics to actually doing anything with them…

Untidy studios

What is it about this time of year that seems to breed untidy studios? Mine definitely needs a good tidy up. Look at it last year. And now. It’s going to take a good reorganisation to get this sorted out.

lots of junk on brown table

Most of this on the table should be put away somewhere.

untidy floor and shelves

The floor is gradually disappearing again…

Nice little storage baskets

blue basket with lots of fabric bits and pieces in it

On Wednesday I went all round town looking for nice clear boxes to store my fabrics in, sorted by colour (to replace the shoe boxes they are currently in). I couldn’t find anything the right size and they were very expensive – about £5 a box. But then I went into a local poundshop and found these at £1 each – just the right size. So I bought 12 of them and seem to have cleaned them out because I went in for a few more to replace the other shoeboxes in my studio (a great user of shoeboxes I am – the kids’ feet grow too fast). But they didn’t have any more… In this one are the various painted and melted bits and pieces left over from this week’s Elements class.

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