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 my!!! you are AMAZING! thank you thank you thank you for giving us so many photos...have to go stare some more. xo


When can I expect you to come and re-organise my studio? I'll bake more madeira cake and put the kettle on for tea breaks. Please?

This is so amazing. Isn't it so worth it doing it? And look at all your tresures, just waiting to be made into something super awesome. Love it, love it love, and yes, thank you for all the photos!


Totally amazing, and totally gorgeous, and totally expected from you! Only you would design a space so lovely...enjoy!

that looks sooooo great, now I'm inspired to re-do my studio/craft room.

Absolutely charming!! You've inspired me to do something with mine now!

Wow. The transformation is unbelievable. Your studio is so charming. My daughter and I simply drooled over each enlarged photo. Great job.

Oh, wow, it's so beautiful! I wish I had such a pretty room to work in! :)

By the way, what's hanging on the curtain rod near the window? Paper?

gorgeous! absolutely gorgeous!

sitting at my computer, which is sitting in front of my sewing machine which is sitting on top of an ugly paint-chipped table, which holds craft books held up by a brick, and spools of thread and buttons thrown in an ugly green bucket ...weeping....and wishing I had just an ounce of "posie" in my little space...
don't worry, I'll recover, eventually... :)

(okay, it's fantastic, inspiring, hypnotizing..I'd echo hillary's remarks in all caps... but my sweet little conscience won't let me!)

It looks amazing. fabulous. yummy. wonderful!!!!!!!!!!
but you know that....

speechless completely and utterly speechless. Gorgeous. I so want to do up ours now .. It wont be half as pretty but then it will still be pretty pretty!

That has to be the prettiest studio I have ever seen! If I had such a space I don't think I would ever leave the house.

It's like a candy store for crafters! Wonderful!!

It's glorious!

Good work!!

And it's inspiring, because I am about to attack a very full, about-to-explode room, too!

What a stunning transformation! Do you make house calls? Just standing in that room must be an inspiration!

Your room is just gorgeous. And let me be the first to say--90210? I was there, too. Every Wednesday night.

What an incredible room. It looks like a fairy tale.

Michele says: May 23, 2006 at 12:17 PM

Once my sister had a picture of George Clooney sitting on a couch in a fabulous room (Town & Country Magazine, I think) and when you saw that picture you just wanted to BE THERE saying things like "I'd love more wine, George." I've never felt that way again over a picture until today!!! I just want to BE THERE in your studio. Perhaps having a tea party with Audrey and saying things to her like, "I'd love another cup, Audrey." Thank you so much for sharing!!

i can only dream that my studio turns into such a wonderful work space. actually ... now i'm determined to do it too.

thanks for the inspiration!

I've been working on my room for months now and I'm no where close to finished. I still need to plaster some holes and hang shelves. I will dream of the day when my room looks as happy as yours does. Enjoy!

love it! love it! love it!
Congratulations on your improved design space! It's beautiful!

I am SO moving into your studio! Can we say heaven???

Glad you survived the trauma! It looks fabulous, of course (too good to mess up, in fact!).

How incredibly, unbelievable, unforgettable beautiful and gorgeous A! The whole room just feels like fresh air!

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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