Thursday, October 25, 2007

California Dreamin'

I think I have mentioned here before that we are Disneyland fanatics,and the 6.5 hour drive from where we live in Northern Arizona isn't a long a enough trip to prevent us from getting annual passes to the park every other year.
Amongst the things I love about Disneyland are the stories "she" tells... the rides, of course, the music, the landscaping, even the windows of the shops that line Main Street evoke that "fairy tale" feeling.....

On our last visit to Southern California in August, we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit the beautiful city of Pasadena to attend the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Here are some pictures....

And of course no trip to the area would be complete without an antique shopping spree in Orange.

I love this original old diner... good food too!

I thought of all my blogging friend when I saw this too cute display in one antique shop. Ah... this makes me want to get out my paper mache and star working away.

Now, how could one possible be in a bad mood after seeing the picture of this vintage grumpy chicken candy container?! I think I'll try to make my own version of this little guy in the spring.
Just imagine the delight these spooky goblins inspired in children of Halloween past....

Gotta love this rebellious bunny, complete with top hat and what looks like a cigarette!!!!

Be back with more soon :-)

Friday, October 12, 2007

At last! A room of one's own!!!!

I am so excited I have barely been able to sleep these past few weeks. After 14 years of creating on the dining room table and having to spend more time cleaning up than crafting, I finally have a little workspace of my own!
Last year, I tried to modify our sun porch/patio into usable craft studio space, but alas, much like Goldilocks's plight, (and thanks to the lack of insulation in that room) it was either too hot or too cold. So instead of blissfully creating away until all hours of the night, I wound up trucking all of my supplies in and out. And much to family's dismay, especially during show season, little bits of clay, scraps of ribbon, and glass glitter were EVERYWHERE.
So a few weeks ago, I was sitting upstairs in a very tiny converted attic hallway space where we had placed an old couch and all the kid's video game stuff, and it hit me... with the right kind of cabinets and containers, this could be a cute little craft studio/home office. An essential bonus for me is that the space is located practically in the center of the house, just at the top of the stairs, with my children's rooms on one side, and my husband's music room on the other. I hated the feeling of being sequestered off in the back away from everyone, so this was a great alternative. My mind never stopped spinning from that point. I got out a measuring tape, a sketch pad and a pencil, and started drawing. I could fit a couple of cabinet and shelving units here, and a work table there. With enough planning, we could still keep the games, TV and couch in the space. Off to my favorite thrift stores and to Target I went, to find all the components we would need.
Over the next couple of weeks I spent evenings after work and dinner assembling the million pieces that are required when you buy shelving from Target, and painting my thrift store finds. I also scoured the house for little odds and ends collected over the years, as well as favorite treasures purchased from artists. And at last, my cozy little workspace is done. I took pictures of what it looks like now, because once I actually start working in it, it will NOT look this clean ever, ever again :-).
This space is very small and L shaped, just at the top of the stairs....
A small worktable cloaked in gingham sits at one side of the little couch under the solo window in the room. The worktable houses all of my pens and pencils, paintbrushes and sculpting tools, as well as my laptop, which gets put away when its time to sculpt. The shelf hanging on the wall was from a favorite thrift shop.

On the other end of the couch, I was able to stash a little bookshelf where I store books and music. On top, along with a CD player, you can see a clever artistic collage from Little Melfie . The little 1940's glass hobnail lamp was a garage sale find. The thrifted and painted picture frame houses vintage valentines, and pictures of my kids, my husband and my sweet grandmother. Below is a shelf and tin bucket, also from a thrift store. At the very top I hung one of my favorite treasures, a chalkware bluebird, which I picked up from the Rose Bowl Flea Market back in August. I slid an old TV tray in between the couch and bookshelf, for when I need extra workspace.
Another view of the work station area.... Can you see one of Jenny and Aaron's fantastic cake paintings? I love being surrounded by so many wonderful things.
Directly across from the couch is a built in shelving space, where I was able to store cube units from Target, baskets, my favorite "how to" books (as well as some Vintage Children's books), and the TV. The cube units were awesome. They actually were easy to put together. The 4 drawer unit houses all of my paper clay and polymer clay, while the 4 shelf unit is perfect for stashing scrapbook and collage paper. Each of the baskets stack and hold essential supplies like glitter, glues, sewing needles, doll eyes and etc. Below the shelves I tacked up a length of polka dot fabric so that I could hang up more vintage valentines and postcard art. Behind the gingham curtain we store all of our family board games as well as the kid's video games..

On the other side of the little room I was able to stack four closet cabinet units from Target. In the first set of units, The drawers house packaging and shipping material like packing peanuts and bubble wrap. The shelves house finished and works in progress, and the baskets house paper mache boxes and Styrofoam balls. Closer to the wall, behind the cabinet doors are my (rarely used) sewing machine and fabrics, a giant ugly bottle of gesso, and Cotswold wool for Santa beards. The sliding out shelves hold my polka dot tissue paper, paints and pasta machine (for rolling out sheets of clay). At the very top white photo boxes are stacked an labeled indicating the supplies inside, such as armature, ribbon scraps, crepe paper and the like.

Above the work table is painted white peg board for storing ribbon on a dowel and a treasure trove of scissors and tape.

A closer view of the "it took me forever to assemble" closet shelving units from Target. The cute little bunny was purchased from a talented "The Peppermint Tree", an Etsy artist whose work can be found here.
I love that ornate picture frame. It was one of these gold ones that you occasionally can find at a yard sale or thrift store. I picked this one up from the Salvation Army.
I hope you enjoyed the little tour. I love seeing pictures of other people's work spaces, so if you have pics on your blog, or Flickr, or elsewhere, please let me know in the comment box so we can visit your studio!!!

Now that I am semi-organized, at last, I need to get back to work!!!

Have a great weekend everyone. Check in on Sunday night to see the book swap slide show :-).

Thursday, October 11, 2007

More wonderful swap goodness

All the way from Canada, I received these wonderful books from the sweet and generous Karen.

She sent me three lovely bookmarks.. this little crocheted bear is so sweet.
I love the old woodcut quality of these pictures.

And, if one wonderful package weren't enough.....from the amazing Amy, who happens to live in one of my favorite places on earth.
This bookmark is so pretty. And the books have the most wonderful illustrations.

Pictures like these inspire me to want to make dolls all day!!!!

What a wonderful swap experience with the best swap partners a girl could ask for.

Thanks to everyone who sent me their pictures. I am working on the The Vintage Book Swap Slide Show and will be posting that on Sunday night! Thank again to all who have participated.

Finally, my PFATTmarketplace page has been updated. Blog friends get free shipping and 25% off. If you place an order please let me know that you read the blog :-). Have a wonderful day everyone.

Coming tomorrow, my craft studio makeover pics.. its whats been keeping me off the computer for two weeks. I can't wait to show you!