Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Studio Tour/ "Where Bloggers Create"

You have arrived at The Mag Rag studio....come on in! I'm so glad to be participating in the "Where Bloggers Create-2011" party!  (Click on the link to visit lots of other artists' studios...there are hundreds on the tour!  See list in her sidebar).  I'd love to show you around all the nooks and crannies where I create.   I'm lucky enough to have a room dedicated solely to the artwork I do both professionally (illustration, graphic design, textile design)  and 'just for fun' (collage, jewelry, mixed media).  I am a hoarder of SO MUCH stuff, this room is pretty packed full.  My stash has also spilled over into my laundry room (broken china/mosaic), guest bedroom (fabric, fabric and FABRIC), and garage (up-cycling furniture and more), but I will spare you the tour of those scary nether regions.  What's inside this door may be hair-raising enough...
I've decided to just start in one corner and sweep around the room, showing details along the way.  Just as you enter, there is a long counter with file cabinets below and shelves above. 
The bulletin board to to the left of the shelving is a hodgepodge of stuff that inspires me, including odd forks and spoons (my husband comes in and just rolls his eyes), old game-boards (I have about 20 Chinese Checkerboards alone) (more eye-rolling), collages, photos, jewelry ...well, you get the idea. 

I frame favorite collages and keep on the counter.  These images were all reduced and made into soldered charms for friends.
Baskets on the shelves hold stamping supplies, soldering equipment, and more.  The vintage white doll case holds glass and cutting tools.  Lots of game pieces end up in clear containers.
I just had to have one of these Bailey's face cups (below) years ago from Red Robin restaurant.  Now, whenever I see one while out thrift-shopping, it comes home with me!
Continuing along the wall, I have closed cupboards plus my photocopier, printer, and computer.  More baskets and boxes are above the wall of cupboards, holding more stuff that I know I don't need but can't seem to get rid of.
Next to my computer monitor, I've hung some of my mixed-media angel paintings.  I scan the originals and from them make wood-mounted prints and cards.  I usually have a few of these paintings in the works.
The french doors lead out to a small balcony, so even here in rainy Oregon I get lots of natural light. The pennant banner above the doors is also part of my blog header, and welcomes crafters who come to the studio to attend our collage and soldering workshops.
Usually the worktable has a project or two on it, (angel paintings and soldering, or a big project spread out on every inch for my illustration and design business) and NEVER looks this tidy.  Here, my little dog Barkley can often be found, staying close to 'mom'.  For our "Collage College" workshops, this table is joined by another smaller table, and 8 workshop participants gather 'round to do some creating.  During class, it usually looks like this:
(If any of our workshop people are reading this, we hope to have a new fall schedule out soon.  The one in the sidebar is woefully outdated)
As you look at the next wall,  you see more cupboards and shelves and a HOARD of old musty books that I cannot resist lugging home anytime I find them.
I have so many old dictionaries, it is ridiculous.  But I love them for collage and they make me smile.  I also cannot say no to old sheet music, and maps, and wallpaper.  Not to mention scrapbooking paper.  It keeps stacking up, higher and higher.
The baskets hold textiles, trims and laces.  Then there are my tins full of old postage stamps (hundreds of them!).  And cute wooden boxes filled with old buttons sit below the little window.
SO MUCH STUFF.  When I die, a bulldozer will be brought in, or so I'm told (frequently).  The cupboards hold many supplies, catalogs, and bulky stuff.  Since I'm left-handed, I put small built-in drawers on the left side of my drafting table, so all my pencils and pens are easy to access.
My drafting table is the hardest thing to keep organized.  As I work, I am just MESSY, and end up doing my work on any tiny clean surface I can find.  The built in light box is invaluable, and its glass top is great for xacto-cutting.
doesn't EVERYONE keep a bowl of rusty garters on their desk??
The drafting table is definitely the workhorse area of the studio.  Big bulletin board above, with random stuff piled on. A-a-a-and we're rounding the corner almost to our starting point (phew! I'm about you?).
Next to the desk is a storage closet, and where I hang the apron I wear for classes:
More hoarding lurks behind the door, in a semi-organized state--bins full of this and that:

The inside of the door holds several illustrations done for Simplicity Pattern Company.  I spent years as art director of Daisy Kingdom, Inc., a fabric, craft, and publishing company based here in Portland, until it was bought out by Springs Industries, and they did a great deal of licensing with Simplicity.  I still do freelance illustration and design for them and other clients.
I have a lot of skill sets, but photography is NOT one of them....sorry for the lousy pics.  Definitely not my forte!

So now we are finally done with my studio tour.  And I'll leave you with one last photograph which is all too apropos:
The cut-out hand pointing into my studio aptly once read "DUMP HERE"

Thanks so much for visiting.  I know from touring your work-spaces, that I have many kindred spirits out there, and that I am not alone in my fascination for old and tattered bits and bobs and doo-dads and what-nots and everything in between.  My blogger stats tell me I get lots of visitors to this blog, but not many leave comments.  I would really LOVE to hear from you!  And now, I'm off to go peek inside your studios!

Opening Soon: my etsy shop will be offering my angel paintings and prints, as well as soldered 3-d shadow-box bird charms (seen in the upper left column). If you're interested please check back for link!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wee Visitors

I have a long pathway through my backyard, with old trees, gnarly exposed roots and ferns lining each side.  I really enjoy its natural, woodland charm.  Apparently, I'm not the only one who enjoys it.
Over the weekend, I think we had some visitors.

I strolled down the path as I usually do...
...when something caught my eye:
I'm thinking, "What the heck....???" as I look a little closer.
Mind you, neither I nor anyone in my family had anything to do with this little surprise.  I do believe we have fairies in our midst!  What else explains this:
Shell and pinecone furniture inside :-)
Tiny purple dress out front, and itty bitty acorn lanterns, too!
Let's look at the little garden, carefully tended out back:

Complete with little root cellar (click any to enlarge; sorry not clearer photos!)
With a little detective work, I discovered the fairies had some help from a certain special crafty 10-year-old neighbor and her mom.  Apparently, they have had lots and lots of experience with many general contracting jobs in the realm of the wee folk.  So glad their clients chose a plot to build on in my neck of the woods!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Finishing Touches

Today feels like Monday, with a long list of errands to get done for the week ahead.  I need to get the Bird Song tags in the mail soon, so this morning got to the task of finishing them up with a little rubber-stamping:
Simple tasks like this are a wee bit difficult, because my left hand (guess who is left-handed...) is swollen like crazy and the bee-stung welts itch even crazier.  Bees don't just get mad, they get even.  And it goes on for days, with different symptoms each day.  Weird.  And maddening.

My "real job" is rearing its ugly head and insisting I finish a web-site design for a client this week, as well as an illustration for Simplicity Patterns.  Since making cute tags doesn't pay my bills, I better get to work.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Bee in My Bonnet

It was a beautiful weekend, so I decided to put on the gardening gloves and work out in the yard.  As I was picking up a pile of debris, I was suddenly hit with a searing pain.  You guessed it--bee stings.  I had unwittingly disturbed a bee's nest in the dirt with my rake, and had a couple fly inside my glove!  Today I'm over the achy pain, but as I'm itching up a storm, I can count at least 6 different stings, all on my wrist and thumb of my left hand.  All thanks to these guys:

images from The Graphics Fairy
On a brighter note, Happy 4th of July!  Today happens to be my husband Dan's birthday.  I always say he's my Yankee Doodle Danny.