Art Studios--Writing Room

This is the second room I re-conceptualized. This is what you see when you walk in. I removed the heavy red damask draperies and left only the valance. The room feels lighter. Plus, after having removed 12' of table space and six craft storage carts, not to mention supplies that filled three-8' shelves--you can imagine that it really opened up space in this room. There is still 8' of counter space (2-4' tables) under the window to collect bookish clutter.

The room is a library of sorts. There's a 5'x5' book shelf in the closet as well as 2-3'x5' book shelves and a 3'x3' book shelf and a 2'x4' book shelf. For the first time ever, I actually alphabetized the books on my Young Adult book shelf (but none of the others).

This isn't even a quarter of the books I own, alas. When you've been on the planet for a few decades as I have, and books are your passion, maybe even your mental illness, well--

We also have a storage room that has about 15 crates' full of books that I haven't found shelves for and 7-6' wide shelves full of books. All last week, I was weeding books at my library district's branches. I need to do some weeding at home as well.

The trouble is, it's hard to get rid of books I own. Is it hard for you? I've traded out boxes and boxes full of books over the years, but I still have too many. Some would argue that you can't have too many books. I like those people!

This is my writing area. I write every morning before work for at least an hour. I'm considering changing my schedule to enable two hours' worth of writing. It will mean going to bed earlier and getting up at 5:00 am instead of 6:00 am.

Do you have a writing room? A reading room? A home library? What's it like? Do you spend much time there?


Art Studios--Scrapbooking Room

A recent issue of Rock Paper Scissors: Studios inspired me to separate out my creative pursuits. Two passions, scrapbooking and writing, had been sharing a single, 9x15' room in our house. We have a five-bedroom home--Our three kids are grown, and so my husband and I now live with a lot of unused space. When the kids were growing up, it sometimes felt like there wasn't enough space. Now--well, he and I can be extravagant. I now have two rooms of my own.

This magazine inspired me. It's full of pictures of working artist studios. Studios of people who earn a living with their art, by teaching classes and by selling their works. It didn't give me any specific ideas, but it did give me the desire to see what I could with my spaces.

I spent 20 hours separating out the two creative interests. This is what I came up with for the scrapbooking room. I'll show you the writing room tomorrow. :)

One objective was to get everything possible OFF of valuable counter space. The 8' bookshelves are a great place for most of the supplies. The corner countertop on the right is the official painting/"distressing" area. (Distressing is a technique for the type of scrapbooking I like to do, called Shabby Chic--painting is not distressing!)

Another view of the same wall. I was happy that I could roll my portable embellishment carts under the desktop for storage when I'm not using them.

Paper and ribbon storage. The ribbons are held on 7-spring-tension rods that I put inside a 3'x3' book shelf. The book shelf is sitting on an 8'x3' table--more counter space! There was room for three rubber stamp storage carts under the table.

The final wall has another table, 4'x2' for more counter space. I didn't include a picture because a table is a table.

The room's dimensions are 9' x 11'.


We've Only Just Begun ...

Hubbie and I are celebrating our 36th wedding anniversary today.

After the ceremony in my parents' church, our small cadre of guests went to the Elks lodge for a seafood buffet. An antique fire truck sat outside the lodge. Hubbie thought it'd be cool to have our picture taken.

At our 25th anniversary, the family took us to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner. When we were leaving, a man at another table put a hand on my husband's shoulder. He said into his ear, "The next 25 years are a lot easier ..."

We're finding that to be true. Being married gets easier.


WoW: Crazy by Han Nolan

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I'm awaiting Crazy by Han Nolan, which will be released on September 13.

The Amazon description says, “Fifteen-year-old Jason has fallen upon bad times—his mother has died and his father has succumbed to mental illness. As he tries to hold his crazy father and their crumbling home together, Jason relies on a host of imaginary friends for guidance as he stumbles along trying not to draw attention to his father’s deteriorating condition.Both heartbreaking and funny, CRAZY lives up to the intense and compelling characters Han Nolan is praised for. As Jason himself teeters on the edge of insanity, Nolan uncovers the clever coping system he develops for himself and throws him a lifeline in the guise of friendship.

I love Han Nolan’s books for her exploration of serious issues and her depth of characterization.
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