From this, to that...

Sukey 2 saw the photos of my new studio on Flickr, and asked for details of how to build the desk and paper hanger. As you can see from the schematic drawing that my husband made above - this may be more difficult to explain than I thought! But, it was fairly easy to make.

We bought four 4x8" sheets of 3/4 inch MDF board, and three sheets of 1/4 inch MDF board. I wanted the desk to be really long, so we made the desktop 8 feet long and 2 feet 4 inches wide. Also important was the paper storage - I wanted lots of flat drawers. So, what we did was basically make a "cube" measuring 2 feet 4 inches high, 2 feet 4 inches deep and 3 feet 5.25 wide from the thicker MDF. The cube was butt jointed together and had a backing to make it extra strong and secure. On the sides and back of the cube, we attached "brackets" made of small scraps of wood that would later hold the shelves. How many of these you put in would depend on how many shelves you decide to make. For paper, the shelves only need to be a couple of inches high, and we included eight. We stuck each side of the cube together with carpenter's glue and further attached with wood screws once the glue had dried. We cut the thinner MDF into 3 feet 4 inch shelves and placed them on the brackets.

The other "leg" of the desk is another set of shelves. My advice in making these would be to decide what you are going to put in them, and then make the shelves to fit. I envisioned baskets fitting perfectly in the slots, but couldn't find any in the exact dimensions I needed. The method is basically the same as the paper storage cube - glue, then screw. The height and depth are the same, it's just the width that differs. Also, the shelves would be made of the thicker MDF to support heavier items. Finally, everything was primed and painted and became the desk you see above. Phew!

This may be oversimplifying things a bit, but hopefully, it gives you a bit of an idea of how things came together. I am feeling a bit sleepy, so I'll explain the paper hanger in another post. It's a bit less complicated - I promise.


Living in a disco...

At about 8:30 pm tonight, the disco ball that I hung from my chandelier as a Christmas decoration was reflecting light all over our dining room. It was so pretty, and it lasted for only a couple of minutes. I'm glad that I procrastinated about this - it's staying up.


New Studio - Part Deux

Sorry, I hope that this isn't overkill, but I thought that I'd talk about my new studio a bit more. I'm really enamoured, I keep peeking in there and checking things out. Anyhow, this is a view of the other side of the room, with all my Japanese papers hung up on dowels. You can also see my &*%$! filing cabinet that we finally managed to get up the stairs - with great difficulty. I'm glad we did though, because so much stuff fits inside.
I've displayed a few of my favorite things on top, including my cherry blossom lantern and hello kitty alarm clock. I also got to use my craft booth sign again - more cherry blossoms.

This here's my cork board. I freshened it up with a coat of white paint and I think that makes everything pop even more.
One of my albums - I hope to make lots more of these in here.
Milo likes the new space too - he comandeered a spot near the window, and stole the fuzzy leopard print cushion that I used to sit on. What Milo wants, Milo gets! I've got a few more photos of some room details over on my flickr page.

I'd just like to finish up this post by saying that you can create a great workspace on the cheap. The materials for my new desk cost only about $200, and apart from my cutting equipment, no one piece cost more that $50, most were actually under $10! For example, the paper hanger is made from cheap wooden dowels and lengths of chain hanging from curtain hardware. I had to scout yard sales, junk shops and clearance sales to get most things, which can take a long time - but that's half the fun. Necessity, or in my case - cheapness, is the mother of invention! If anyone is interested in details on how we made the desk and paper hanger, I'd be happy to share - just leave me a comment!


New Studio - Part One

The long awaited new studio is finally complete! I've been planning it for ages, and Martin built me the desk a couple of weeks ago, and I've been pulling everything together since then - but it's done! The rest of the house is a shambles - but my studio is done! The thing that really makes the studio great is the desk. Martin worked really hard on it, and I love it. It's 8 feet long (!), dwarfing my previous work surface which is now the cutting table you see in the middle of the room. The new desk has got big shelves for baskets and books but best of all...
Do you see that curtain? It's hiding... Lots of flat paper storage! I am so happy to finally have a place to store my flat papers. I couldn't afford to buy new flat files, or find any used ones, so Martin rigged this up for me and I think it's great. I've covered it with a curtain because I didn't want to paint every single shelf - I know, pretty lazy - but there are a lot of shelves! There's lots more to show you in my new space, but right now, I need to kick back with a cup of tea and relax. I'll show the rest tomorrow...


Hurry up!

That's a note to myself. I've been working on getting a new studio together for the last couple of weekends now (that's my old one, above) and I can't wait to have it finished. It's nearly there, but a few frustrating things are holding me back. The main one is that I can't get the filing cabinet I got from work up the stairs. It's a neat old filing cabinet, and it's going to be my main storage unit in the room since I won't have the cabinets along the wall that you see in the old studio (which will now be the spare bedroom). Also, I opened the new blinds I got for the room and discovered that there was no hardware, and, the baskets I bought don't fit in my new, custom built desk - so it's back to the shop I go. Sigh. But - I am hoping to have all of these issues sorted out by the end of the weekend and show you some photos soon.


Weird Things

I've been tagged by Tash at Poppyseeds to list 7 random things about myself. For some reason, I thought I had to say 7 weird things about myself, so that's what I did. I am a bit sleepy, so I'm not going to go back and change them now. Anyhow, here goes - both random and a bit weird -

I don’t have prescription sunglasses so I wear really big sunglasses over my regular glasses and everyone laughs at me. See Exhibit A, above. Really bad photo - and you can kind of see my real glasses under the sunnies. No wonder everyone laughs.

I have really long toes. I can pick things up with them, curl them into a fist and nearly splay them out into a Vulcan-type salute. See Exhibit B, below. As you can see, I am also ghostly white, even in the height of summer.

I love salt. When I was little I used to make salt sandwiches on white bread. Recipe – Salt one slice of white bread, top with another slice of white bread. Enjoy! Where were my parents? Actually, I could kind of go for one right about now…

I almost always wear mismatched socks because I can’t be bothered matching them up.

I’ve had a monobrow since second grade. Thank goodness for waxing!

I hate ketchup. The look, the smell, everything. I don’t even like sitting next to someone who is eating ketchup, but I am getting a bit better about this.

I always have to be reading something or I feel totally lost. In the absence of books or magazines, I will read cereal boxes – anything!

I won't tag anyone else, but you are most welcome to play along anyhow. Maybe just write one weird thing in the comments? Thanks for tagging me Tash, it was fun. And now, good night!


Kitty Lovin' Blogs

I recently received comments on my blog from Sabine of Cats & Quilts and Danielle of Pussman & Co. Both are from Belgium, are children's book illustrators, and both love cats! I'm glad that they commented on my blog, because I've loved discovering both of their blogs. They do such wonderful illustrations, and share lovely craft and project photos. I would recommend checking them out!


Warning - Gratuitous Puppy Photos follow..

My mom bought him this outfit. The back says "Ready to Snuggle." Not very dignified, but he seems to like it.


Button Swap!

I received my sweet vintage button swap package from Joan of roseandpie. As well as some lovely buttons, it included great paper scraps, stamps, tags,ribbon and cards. All my obsessions bundled into a lovely little package. Thanks Joan!

Long time, no blog

Sorry for my unexplained absence from the blog. We had some holidays last week, and went away to the beautiful Annapolis Valley here in Nova Scotia. We had a great time staying in a cute little cottage on the beach. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos, because my camera ran out of batteries as soon as we got there, and I had forgotten my charger. It also rained a lot, but we relaxed by reading books, drinking wine and eating, lots of eating! Above is a photo of what our view from the cottage would have been like on a sunny summer day.
We went for a drive one day, and discovered this grouping of little hobbit cottages. This one is called the Blue Cottage, and they were built by Charles MacDonald, owner of a local concrete company. I can't describe how strange it was to come across these fantastical little structures in a fairly isolated little spot. The cottage can actually be rented for holidays - maybe our next trip?

I've also been very busy making books, and Martin has built my new studio table. It's all very exciting. I hope to paint it over the weekend and get the studio set up ASAP. We had a great holiday, but it's good to be back.