The Studio Makes a Full and Speedy Recovery

comments: 164

Studioblue2Oh my. I really can't believe it. I don't know how the room went from this to this in only three days. Actually, I do know how. It practically wiped all of us out. But it had to be done, and it had to be done quick, because Andy only had one day off to paint, and I had two to put back together. We had been talking about painting the studio for several months. How it was possible for me to pick the exact same paint color that I picked for the pantry about two years ago I'll never know, but it turns out it is the same -- River's Edge, from Behr.

Studioblue31 I'm fairly sure I've never been so happy. Or relieved. On Sunday morning Andy went to work and I started trying to put things back into the empty studio. I finished last night around five. I needed to heavily edit my stuff. I brought two huge plastic boxes or extra fabric to the Back-Tack party, brought probably another four boxes of general stuff down to the basement, and threw away probably three. It was just too much. I never want to let that happen again. I do have two enormous cabinets in Andy's office full of felt, yarn, patterns, stuffing, supplies, things like that.

Studioblue29This studio is a full-on working studio, not just a craft room. It has to hold all the paperwork, the computer, the packaging stuff, the cardboard boxes, all the mounds of materials, everything I need to run the business. As such, it gets so overrun with stuff that it is hard to actually work in it. I used to have curtains, and pictures, and artwork, and all this extra decoration that I thought was cute. But for this re-do I wanted as little as possible actually up on the walls because it gets so cluttered with the necessaries as it is. This cabinet of stacked calicoes looks like an exquisite monument to impracticality to me, but I don't know how else to store little pieces of fabric and have it at my fingertips, do you?

Studioblue27All those round white boxes up on the top shelf need labels, and I think what I'm going to do is make some labels on the computer, print them on iron-on paper, and then iron them onto pieces of felt, or if it's readable, pale calicoes. Then I'm thinking I'll affix those to the boxes with removable double-sided tape so that when I want to change the contents of the box I can easily switch out the label. These boxes and jars are filled with sewing notions, paints, fake flowers, cagelet supplies, trims, embroidery stuff, rubber stamps, paper stuff, rick-rack, buttons.

Studioblue18I'm so excited to get back to work in here now. Isn't it amazing how having enough room to do things makes such a big difference? When I was growing up, my sisters and I sewed with our little sewing machine on the floor. We made dresses and patchwork quilts. We sat on the edge of my futon, watching Beverly Hills 90210, eating Domino's pizza, ironing on the ironing board in my mom's room, where her ancient sewing machine was. It was always about 90 degrees in there. My dad would turn on the attic fan and our patterns would blow all over the place. When someone would come in the room, they'd have to step over the sewing machine to get into the back of the room, which snaked around the corner. It was kind of fun, actually. In hindsight only, of course. I do miss 90210 though.

Studioblue5This office-supply arrangement is pretty precious, I know. But what can you do. You always set things up this way and are really good about putting everything back in exactly its place for a few days until it all gets messy again. But this time I'm determined to be good! I must be good! It's hard though. Worth it, but you really have to pay attention if you don't want it to get out of control.

Studioblue6_1 That silhouette was made by my mom when I was three. I need to take it off that board and put it on some acid-free stuff, I think. Maybe even retrace it. That basket below it? Filled with ribbons. I'd thought that they would take up less space if I took the ribbon off the spools. I was wrong about that. They don't. This little paper mache mannequin came from a store called Willow Nest on the way to the beach. My mother-in-law bought it for me as a surprise, several years ago. I sobbed when I saw it. It is one of my absolute favorite things, ever. Ever. I just love it.

Studioblue22 I'm excited. Don't hate me because it's beautiful! Or, if you have to, it's okay -- I don't think I need friends now that I have Miss Blue Room here. I'm glad we didn't wait any longer to work on it. The best part is that we spent no money, except for the new paint and a new garbage can. It was a little bit of a painful process -- oh the aches and pains  and moans and groans that rung through the house you can't imagine! But a few Aleve and a good night's sleep have worked their magic, and it's all good now. I wish I could work in here all day today, but I must get moving and make it to the shop on time this morning. I've barely left the house in three days. I think I forgot how to get dressed.

Studioblue33 Thank you for taking the tour of my "new" studio. If anyone needs me, I'll be here, hugging myself with total, unabashed joy.


oh, now, that's FABULOUS. Just amazing and inspiring all wrapped up into one shade of blue.


somebody pinch me. Is this a dream? You should charge admission to a room like that. I'd gladly pay to see this in person. p.s. Please fix up my room under the stairs in that same blue. I'll be there by Friday.

Hate you, yep :) but can I come stay? I'll be quiet, you won't even notice I'm there drooling over the ribbon and other yummy stuff....really ;)

I am totally jealous but how could I possibly hate you for it! I had a tidy out of our office/studio/spare room last weekend and moved all the furniture round and I just sat in there on the floor for an hour looking around at it and feeling all warm and glowy. Mine isn't half as nice as yours so I am just wondering how long you will spend sitting there and just feeling glowy?

A room like this is definitely an inspiration...thanks for the tour!!

Jealousy...oh dear god such acute jealousy! Your dedication to sweetness, even in the storage and organization of office supplies, never ceases to amaze.

Such wonderful things are going to be born in this room, I can feel it.

Your studio is amazing! I love the colors.

Crystal says: May 23, 2006 at 08:20 AM

Amazingly beautiful!!!! I aspire to have a room like that one day... :) Really, really wonderful.

It's like a candy store! I read your blog frequently and you are so inspiring! That is the room I could die in!

Your studio is absolutely beautiful and so inspiring. Lucky you. And I don't hate you because it's beautiful. I hate you because you watched Beverly Hills 90210 when you were LITTLE (ha). Jeepers! Shows from my (early) childhood included Gunsmoke, Laugh-in, and the Sonny and Cher show!!!!!

It is gorgeous! :D I can't stop looking at the photos of your beautiful, beautiful working studio!

yum! your room looks like a bowl of ice cream, and i want to eat it all up. how pretty everything is. it makes me want to clean my own studio.....

Absolutely gorgeous! You are so lucky! The hard work was definitely worth it. Everything looks so fresh, clean, and bright. Thanks for sharing!

Oh! It's like something out of a magazine... I've always tried to cheer myself by saying "rooms like that don't really exist - not in real life." Oh my, I'm afraid they do.

Wow! Beautious - I love that color. I painted my bedroom a similar color and I know what you mean about feeling completely happy. Well done.

Simply beautiful + charming!

wow, alicia, it looks amazing. I wish I could get things together as nicely. It looks like the perfect spot to feel inspired and creative.

Now get to work!

Goodness !what a treat !

Complete EYE CANDY here this morning and I have not even read the delicious words I know will go with it !

ohhhh thank you for my daily dose of "wonderful" !!!

X (smooch blown from my hand)
Love, S.

For the calicos, how about baskets? I use them in my own studio (I show a sliver of it on my weblog under "contrast"). I find them handy to keep the overall look neater, even if the fabric in the baskets is jumbled and unfolded. You can use a basket for each color. Your studio looks wonderful and fresh! You'll surely be inspired whenever you step in the room!

the studio looks sooo amazing ... I could sit in it for hours just admiring every detail **

Amazing!! You and Andy should feel proud of all your hard work -- I think even smugness would be forgiveable! Lovely.

Oh my, it's wonderful!! I love this room so much. Amazing job!

So lovely! I'll have to look at the photos more closely. When you take on a room like that, don't you just want to sit and stare at it when you're done? I would. I am inspired to take on my mess of a studio now!

Alicia, your newly decorated craft room is making me very envious! It looks soooo lovely - you and Andy did such a wonderful job! Give yourselves a hug from me too!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at