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Tuesday, March 19

this is what I was thinking...

So, I lamented my studio mess and confessed to letting years go by with furniture that not only didn't work, it leered at me from the corners and dared me to try to make it work. As my business grew and I added items to my list of goodies, more nooks and crannies needed to be found. Then I added collage which really threw things into the maelstrom. Collage requires bits and pieces of odds and ends to be within grabbing distance. They need to be handy so that as you are looking for just the right bit to finish off a piece it leaps up from the pile and calls to you.  The only thing my supplies were calling was "help" So, after watching years of renovation shows, I realized that what needed to be done was a demolition. I would have to strip the hulk of its stashes of stuff, dismantle it, take all the supplies from their corners and cubbies and toss them into a free for all so they could be seen and stored anew. I gathered bins and boxes and buckets and proceeded to search and destroy. Russ came upstairs, gasped and wondered when I had lost my mind. I told him not to worry, just get the hutch off the top of the hulk. I had a vision.

I surveyed the chaos with grim determination and a sense of certainty. I could see it. Russ came up with a sledge hammer and crowbar (the hulk would not die, it had to be pounded into submission) He had trouble seeing what I saw. I think he was contemplating setting a match to it but we do live there after all.. I had to work that night. Just a few hours, but it was a welcome break from the dust and oppression of what I had created. The sound track from Les Mis was playing in my head... I showed the picture of the demo to a co worker and he paled and gasped. Oh, ye of little faith. While I was at work, Russ scooted off to the home improvement mega store and when I came home he proudly showed me the new counter he built that skimmed over the desk portion of the hulk, a file cabinet and my mat board shelves. A whole wall of counter. With the hulk gone and the desk flush against the wall it was like doubling the room size. I was psyched. The next two days, I organized, labeled, cleaned, swept, tossed, re-imagined. The demo was a good idea. From total chaos comes comes inspiration. Or was it desperation? Anyway, here it is:


  The rugs are for my dogs to sleep on. They like to keep me company. Oliver's little bed is tucked in the back right hand corner. Jutting out on the right is my mat cutter. If you could see to the far left, there is metro shelving with cut mats and mat boards, organized by size.

That doll on the right side counter? That's Wanda the Walking Doll. My grandparents gave it to me when I was just a few years old and I was never allowed to play with it because it was "special". Mom would bring it out every so often and wind her up and let her skate along the floor and then back in the box she went.  She hangs out with me now as a reminder that you take beauty when it is offered.  Some things are not meant to be saved until later. She winks at me now and then, I swear.

Friday, March 15

what was I thinking??

As it is every Spring, my studio needs to be transformed from the end of season chaos to the fresh beginning serenity I crave. This usually involves a couple of days of heavy cleaning, reorganization and tossing of paste hardened brushes and glued-together scissors. It is a chore I dread every year and I whine about it every year but I am happy and smug when it is done.

So what did I do this year? Is that not enough? Nooo. I have been working around a behemoth computer station that belonged to my son when the attic was his. Removing it seemed to be like trying to get that boat you built in the basement out of the house.. Then, while I was whining and puttering, I looked closer and realized (after 10 years) that the top part could actually be removed. I called Russell up to confirm what I was seeing. Yep, piece of cake, he concurred.

This is so embarrassing to admit. I have grumbled about that hulking thing for 10 years! I made efforts to utilized the shelves and cubbies in it, but it was meant for technology, not scraps of paper and book boards. The worst part is that its height meant it could only go so far against the slanted attic walls, robbing me of precious feet of space.

With the "hutch" part gone, the desk could be moved flush to the wall, I would have more space, I could use the flat surface to organize supplies. Simple? Well, so it would seem. But first I have to empty that out, stash the stuff, make room by moving boxes of paper off of other shelves and on and on...  aaarrgh! As of today, you can't really even get in the room.

I may take a picture. Don't judge me.

Today I must finish this. The season is fast approaching. The Small Press Book Fair is in a couple of weeks. I can do it.