Mouse in the House background

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Studio tour, continued

More studio pictures -- here's a view from the stairs at the doorway. The studio is three steps down from our dining room. The blond cabinet on the wall in the foreground holds some of my vintage packaging collection. The crockery holds yardsticks, art papers and anaglyptic wallpapers for book making. The chippy yellow chair is mostly for standing on to reach things (I'm short.) The area to the right, in front of my countertop island, is pretty messy. I need to work harder there!

Studio view from doorway

To the left of the stairs is a poster from an antique toy exhibit my husband and I saw in Paris almost 30 years ago. I brought the poster back in a tube that barely fit lying diagonally in my luggage.  The poster hung in my son's room until he moved out, and I have enjoyed it in my studio since.

Studio entrance from dining room

Shallow drawers hold rubber stamps by theme in acrylic photo frames. This tray holds face stamps. Another holds travel stamps, etc.

Shallow drawers hold rubber stamps by theme

The wonderful typography and colorful graphics on old commercial packaging is very inspiring to me. I've always admired vintage packaging and have collected examples for a long time. Among other things, these shelves hold a corset box (with a PINK corset inside!), and a men's underwear box (empty). Many of the other containers -- Sloan's Linament and Theatrical Blending Power, for example -- still have at least part of their original contents.

Vintage packaging 

More vintage packaging

Vintage inks, pens and stampers

Vintage cameras and a book I made from an animal crackers tin

Okay, you've seen the neater parts of my studio... Here's how messy the work area usually (always) looks! in this photo, it's full of ephemera items and pictures cut from magazines and junk mail for use in Remains of the Day journals and other book projects. I like to run a lot of items through my Xyron machine at once, to use the adhesive efficiently.

Work area with journal parts 

I couldn't get on a ladder high enough to show you the huge mess I made when painting patterns for Mary Ann Moss's Sewn class!  (It was -- and still is -- a FUN mess!)

Playing with patterns for Sewn class

Hope you've enjoyed the two-part studio tour. Soon we'll be back to our regular routine of sharing ephemera scans. Have a wonderful, creative day!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Where this blogger creates!

I'm thrilled to participate in Karen Valentine's "Where Bloggers Create" event for 2013. Click on the logo on the right to visit My Desert Cottage to see all the creative spaces featured!

When my antique card catalog cabinets and art supplies threatened to take over the guest room, the kitchen, the den and -- frankly, our whole house! -- my husband suggested we add a room to our home.  We built my dream studio off our dining room --  with high ceilings, lots of windows, and an exposed brick wall (the one that used to be the outside of our house!)

I'm excited about giving you a peek into my happy place.

Below is one of my most treasured furniture pieces, an oak 42-drawer apothecary cabinet. On top is an antique display case with sliding glass doors.  Here it has some of my rubber stamps, but sometimes it showcases a collection of vintage art supplies. It's fun to change it out. On top of the showcase I keep art parts such as Scrabble tiles, Bingo numbers, and other game pieces in vintage jars.

Antique apothecary cabinet, showcase and vintage jars for game pieces and supplies.

To the left of the apothecary cabinet is a vintage oak postal cabinet designed to store postal forms. Instead of drawers that pull out, these panels lift upward like a roll-top desk to reveal what's inside. In these spaces, I use acrylic picture frames as trays for rubber stamps, filed by subject.

Vintage postal cabinet stores rubber stamps by subject

I'm very fond of card catalog drawers -- they're great for organizing small items like office supplies, art supplies, and small tools. I've been lucky to find several card catalog cabinets over the years, and I have put them to good use.

Vintage card catalog cabinets hold small tools, supplies

The postal cabinet below is one of my favorites because the drawers are large and deep, and because it began as a dull, dry, ugly cabinet and I brought it back to life with lots of furniture oil, elbow grease, and help.  In a photo, it looks like a card catalog cabinet, but the drawers are much larger -- 8 inches wide and 2 feet deep!  Each drawer has a small brass plaque that reads "Files/Auditor for the Post Office Dep't."  

This intriguing brass label is attached to each drawer

Large postal cabinet with drawers 8 inches wide and 2 feet deep.

Along with drawers and cubbies, other favorite storage pieces are my collection of plaid picnic tins from the 1950s and '60s.  These colorful and useful tins hold everything from tax paperwork to seasonal rubber stamps.

Plaid picnic tins are handy for out-of-sight storage

Vintage packaging is a great source of inspriration. I love the bright colors and cheerful graphics.  These are some funky collections in view around my studio.

Old games and toys in a red toolbox.

More vintage games and toys in an old gas station map case

Vintage office supplies in an old battery display shelf

More vintage office supplies in a spice rack

Vintage art supplies 

I love this ticket roll.  Tickets cost 9 cents plus 1 cent tax!

Vintage children's watercolor paint sets

Back to the working space in my studio, here is a countertop against the brick wall that was once the outside of our house.  It holds my Genesis Trimmer and other tools, plus a very tongue-in-cheek sign about keeping the area clean.  (Trust me, the counter is RARELY this clean.)

Genesis Trimmer on counter against exposed brick wall

Hmmm, Blogger is not allowing me to upload additional photos to this post, so it looks like I will have to continue the tour in a second post....

I hope you've enjoyed seeing what I have shared so far.  More to come, if you aren't tired of seeing OLD stuff!

To be continued.