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.


i just found your blog, but have been to your lovely shop several times - you are such an inspiration. your little shop is just down the road from me - i'll stop by soon and introduce myself! and this new and improved studio of yours is marvelous!

holy crap alicia! dont think ive ever seen so many comments on a blog before! *giggles delightfully*

i saw these on flickr and just about fainted, then fell off my chair, then came back to life and drooled all over my keyboard.

you are *genius* genius i say!! :)))

Okay, am I like the gazillioneth commenter here?! All so well deserved! Your studio just knocked me out and has finally pushed me forward to carve out a room of my own here in our little house. (Move over kids, Mama needs a place to sew!) I was on vacation when you posted, I'm so glad I looked through your archives - I've got to get all the Alicia-ness that I can ;) I can't say it enough - beautiful, lovely, and inspiring studio!

just found this blog randomly, so im a late commenter, but...what a lovely craft room - i'm sure the mood in the room helps to keep your creative juices flowing! you're a lucky girl!

This is so pretty. It really should be in a magazine, if it hasn't already. You're site has so much great info and pics.

this was JUST what i needed to see today! I'm in the process of reorganizing/ revamping my studio... and this just re-inspire dme!

How lovely!

What a gorgeous studio! Having taken three weeks to sort mine out, I take my ribbon-bedecked hat off to you for getting yours done so quickly and so beautifully.

Liss Decker says: June 16, 2007 at 01:04 PM

I love love love what you did to personalize the wall-mounted shelving! It's so smart to have shelf paper on the undersides too, since looking up from a work area, you'd see the underside.
I may sound like a big ole newbie, but my question is, Is the White lacey trim on these wallshelves something storebought that is self-adhesive or did you glue down lace trim? Please do tell! I'd love to re-create the look. Thanks.

I've just been hanging out doing nothing. I've basically been doing nothing worth mentioning. Shrug. Pretty much not much exciting happening today. Today was a complete loss.

Males should be allowed to go shirtless at home only - Or vary with places for another persuasive speech topic

I've just been hanging out doing nothing. I've basically been doing nothing worth mentioning. Shrug. Pretty much not much exciting happening today. Today was a complete loss.

People from other countries have to, don't have to learn English if they want to live here

First let me say: Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Now, for a suggestion: You can make the legs on your tables taller with large PVC tubes that the real legs fit into. You could then put chrome contact paper, or real thin stainless steel sheeting over the PVC covers. I only say this because I know that legs were raised to make it easier to work, but the bricks holding the table up must shift and make it hard to work with accuracy? The PVC (large PVC which is available inexpensively from Lowes or Home Depot) would be more stable AND look better.
Now for labeling the baskets. Here's a teacher's trick: Laminate the label tags then pen onto the labels with PERMANENT pen. Yes, permanent pens. When you want to change the label just rub on some rubbing alcohol, and viola, blank tags ready for the new wording! I just ordered some permanent calligraphy pens to label my own studio redo. And if the permanent pens seem to 'not stick' to the laminated labels, clean the labels with rubbing alcohol prior to writing with the permanent pens. Just be sure to let the r. alcohol dry & don't touch (the oils from your skin will interfere with the pen sticking).

Hello! I realize this is an older post, yet it's brand new to me. I found you first via Remodelholic today,&I then, a half hour later on Apt. Therapy. I was hunting down a specific look,&I rooms which are painted in the turquoise range! Your work space is by far my favorite!
One question? I see you have a vintage dining table on blocks. I'm assuming to be able to work at it standing up?
How did you manage to make your vintage dining table sturdy so it won't wobble, or heavens forbid cause an accident?
I too own a vintage dining table, two, in fact! I love them,& the way you've put your to use is ingenious. Your entire room design is gorgeous! I'd love to know how to make mine sturdy enough to work at standing up, as I'm assuming you did here?
Your room is *still* being used all over the internet as inspiration in 2014, 8 yrs after you initially posted abt it. I'm certain it will be around for a long long time! It has such a timeless appeal. Just so lovely!=^_^*=

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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