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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Where Women Create....

Actually, where I create!  Several years ago my husband and I decided to add on to our home to establish two master bedrooms, one being for my mother during the winter months.  Since then her health and vision have declined, and she no longer stays with us for the winter, but the room above the new master bedroom is still my get-away, my bliss, my studio!

I am a very lucky person to have this room, so I'd like to share it with you!  Come on, let's go upstairs....

As we walk up, you'll see some of my photography on either side of the steps.  These pictures are of one of my favorite gardens, the Fenway Victory Gardens in Boston.  I can change the photos at any time with other themes I love to shoot - the beach, birds, Florida wildlife, or  my pets.

Historically, photography is my newest creative passion.  I'm exploring how to incorporate it into my collages, create collages by cutting and regrouping my photos, and collage by using only bits and pieces left over from these cuttings.

Isn't it fun to think back on how this creative journey began?  As a little girl, there was always Barbie and the crude clothing I would cut from Mom's leftover and rooms I would create from anything I could find in the house, and dead frogs I would dissect with sticks when I found them.

By 12,  I was sewing my own clothing (with help from Mom), at 16 I began quilting, and somewhere in my 30s I discovered stamping.  Then the floodgates opened!  To this day, I have to force myself not to learn something new, to learn more about what I am most interested in.  Do you have this problem?  Oops, I digress, back to the tour....

Oh, what's that big canvas at the top of the stairs, you asked?  The largest collage I've ever created, and one that is near and dear to my heart.  The circle of small pieces is made of inchies collected in a year long inchie trade with artists from all over the world!  At the center I began with January's inchies, and wound my way out to December.    The flowers are napkins!

To the left, as you stand on the landing, you will see two lovely girls painted by my friend (and one of my favorite artists, Christy Sobolewski, aka Gulfsprite).  I own several of her pieces, and have my next order in for one of her cut-out journals.

"Red Balloon", the top painting, reminds me of my youngest daughter, and the bottom one reminds me of my oldest daughter.

We're about to turn to the right to see my large, open space, which is about 17' X 23'.  See what I mean by lucky?  When we met with the architect I asked for lots of windows for natural light to work by, a bathroom with a utility sink, and a closet.  The rest was up to me!

As we turn to the right at the top of the stairs we see my study nook.  I love to curl my legs up in that cozy chair to browse books and magazines, or simply sip something delicious, thinking of ideas for future creations.  This wonderful rug was an estate sale buy for a bargain!  Not fully shown is my very messy sewing table on the left.  That funky sewing seat is a refinished and recovered garage sale find and even has a compartment under the lift-up seat!  The bookcase against the wall holds smaller art treasures and gifts, magazines and books, office supplies, and an old garage sale find manual typewriter.  The bookcase to the right holds more books and magazines, vintage laces and textiles, and other fiber art materials.

 favorite things                                        sewing/office supplies                             Sophia, my Dane

This stash of lovelies rests in the bookcase that walls off my small nook from the largest workspace.  Before I continue, I'll add that I have three of these bookcases, which were purchased for only $30 each from a fascinating little shop that, unfortunately, went out of business several years ago.  Everyone loves a bargain, right?  Had I not been forced to give up my faux finishing business at this time, I'd feel guilty about capitalizing on their loss, but others were enjoying my materials at a bargain as well.  So here's another "stack" of bargains, my old suitcases and baskets, all of which were purchased at - you guessed it - garage sales!

My fabric stash is stored in the suitcases, more trims and larger vintage pieces in the picnic basket (trash picked with pride), and messsages from the heart which I made from them all proudly displayed.

Onto the area that NEVER, I repeat NEVER looks this clean, because when I work on a project it, and everything I think I might want to incorporate when creating it, is spread out and left out!  
One of my favorite investments is the paper cabinets holding this old (yep, garage sale find) art deco glass door which serves as my painting table.  The paper cabinet on the left holds  mostly stamps, on the right, paper.   Parallel to this is another table where I cut, paste, stamp, ink, sort, etc...although, I must confess, it sometimes spreads over onto my paint table....
Lovely little paints, pearl ex, alcohol inks, etc.,
are stored in this
vintage treasure.
The door.....

And the majority of my paints and tools
are stored here.

Oh, my, this is a long tour - I'll hurry it up a bit....we'll jump sides and see where I store my overflowing ephemera, ink, ribbon, etc. collection...

Drawers full of
Vintage text - want

More vintage text
sources - I have
far more than I need!

Where I store my
current inchies,
images and
backgrounds for
Fun stuff!
The far wall on the
right of the studio - storage.
The decoupaged suitcase was
proudly trash-picked
and made new!

A chandelier to re-create,
display torsos, collections
of art, mine and others', on
the closet door.
There is still another table to show you, where I work with encaustics, but it is a mess, so I'll leave you with these images....
Art I have created, traded, purchased, or won,
here and in the photos that follow.

And I have detained you long's time to go downstairs.
Thanks for visiting!


Jan E O said...

I love those old suitcases. Gonna have to hit up some garage sales. Great danes are the nicest dogs. Very beautiful space and glad I visited.

Jan E O said...

Wow, just read the blog below and am truly amazed you got this together considering your hubby was just in the hospital. Take good care of both of you. Jan E O

Terri said...

Wishing you and your hubby nothing but the best and thank you for sharing with us your amazing art room. Wow! TFS!!!

Sushama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sush said...

I just love those Inchies collection..... I really want it to.... How do I get it?????

romance-of-roses said...

Wonderful studio and you make good use of the space. You have a good size studio, wish I had this much room. I am now following you.

Valery said...

Wonderful space with so much natural light. Hope your hubby is ok. Congrats to you for getting this together under such a stressful situation. I really enjoyed the tour and looking at all of your closeup photos. Thanks for sharing.

Gloria said...

What a great space. Really very nice. thanks for sharing.

Rita Barakat said...

How blessed you are to hae such a great space! Just going up those stairs is inviting!!!Hope your hubby is doing better now!

Nook & Cranny said...

Love, love the suitcases and the baskets.
Your space is wonderful, so large but cozy.
Thanks for the tour.

marie said...

What a delightful space. It just welcomes you in...from the beautiful rug, to the comfy chair and the stackof suitcase filled with treasures! Love it all!
Your work is wonderful too. What a special piece that inchies collage is!

Debbie said...

Wow, a place for everything and everything in its place. You have a great space, thanks for sharing!!!
Love the paintings of the little girls!!

Creative Grammie said...

Thanks for the tour of your wonderful studio. You have fantastic storage containers; love the suitcases; love your storage ideas.
Thank you also for sharing your beautiful artwork.

Dawn said...

Love your room is gorgeous and looks so LOVED, and love the Christy painitings, and so proud to see some of my pieces in your lovely space....x

Missed blog hopping and aim to do mor this year as well as care for my blog xxx

Mark Norkaitis said...

Very nice blog! happy I got a chase to stop by!
your newest follower

Mark @ room363