Making Do

When I first unpacked my studio, I quickly realized that I could either take a couple of days to do it, or a couple of months if I fiddled with every little detail. I went with the quick and dirty method of just getting stuff out of the boxes and into some kind of order.

Now as I work, I'm fine tuning the space, making a few minor adjustments, and maybe actually getting rid of some of the stuff.

But as I thought about how to make the space work for me, I bought the current issue of Studios, from the Cloth, Paper Scissors people. There are some really fine spaces in there. But they're full of "perfect" things like just the right antique, or thousands of dollars worth of cabinetry. I'm not in that place, either financially or mentally. I want to make do.

So I'm working with what I have as much as I can. I have spent probably $150 all together, on some new plastic storage boxes and on two sturdy shelving units. And I did have some good bones--a sewing table my husband built for me, as well as a cutting table.

But here are some cobbled together things that cost me nothing and it works:

This started life as a stereo cabinet. Since we didn't need it for that anymore, we put in some extra shelves and now I have a place to store paint and lots of little stuff.

This cheap trunk was one my husband took to college 35 years ago. It now holds rolled up old work of mine. One of the handles is missing, so I tend to set it on end like this. It was sitting right next to my ironing board, and I noticed that it was the perfect place to put my distilled water for my iron, spray bottle, sometimes a pair of scissors.

Last week I finally set up a stereo in the space--using stuff we already had. So now my MP3 player is hooked into a 30 year old amp, chugging away through equally old speakers. There's something kind of cool about all my music being on that itsy thing, and being played through old equipment.

And the table it is sitting on is made by adding a pair of fold up legs to a hollow core door we replaced in our former house--the paint streaks you see on it are because it's where I used to finish furniture. And the wire stand around the stereo? An extra one from previous cabinets.

So I'm making do as best I can. I'm trying not to buy much to make new art; it's working in general, although I am pining for a few things...

If you've read this far, I should mention that Blogger tells me this is my 100th post. Woohoo.


The Idaho Beauty said...

Love it! I have an old stereo cabinet 1/2 that size that now is the stand for my old dot matrix printer. Because the back is open, I can stack the fan fold paper on the top shelf and feed it out the back into the printer. The bottom holds more printer paper and old quilt calendars I can't part with. My old footlocker from college holds among other things, the longer lengths of fabric I got on sale that could always be used for backings. Yes, I highly approve of this kind of making do!

And congrats on your 100th post. Is that all? I thought you'd been blogging longer than that. Did you notice I reached my 600th post and 3rd anniversary? Go take a look - I'm giving away some postcards to celebrate and you could be a lucky winner...

Cate Prato said...

Congratulations on your new studio! I hope you were able to find some inspiration from Cloth Paper Scissors STUDIOs. As the editor I want to point out that not all of the studios are "perfect" (though we all like to dream, don't we?). Lots of the artists in it "make do"--like Lesley Riley who works on her bed! We also have lots of tips for repurposing furniture and storage units. I would love to hear more about how you have repurposed and made do for your studio, as you get everything set up. We are always looking for great tips from our readers. Best Wishes, Cate Prato, Editor, Studios