Saturday, August 30, 2008


"At many points during our nation's history,
there have been times ~
known in our history textbooks as 'panics' ~
when adverse conditions affecting
the financial and economic sectors of the country
have caused individuals
to hoard more than they need."
- Jo Bonner

Ok, I'll admit it....I have a little problem. Well, maybe it's a tad bit more than a little problem...
I'm a Shopaholic....a compulsive buyer....a hoarder.....a get the picture.
I'm always on the 'hunt' for that special something... that thing that has 'the look'
as I love to call it. Some of the basic criteria that I look for is:
Old... Worn... Unique... Unusual...
has "The Look"... Wonderful Patina...
One-of-a-Kind piece... A piece that has potential... It's a good deal...
I don't know what it is, but it looks like it could be turned into something kewl...
Who knows when I'll ever find something like it again

This is generally my gauge for how badly I want it. If it falls into one of the above catagories, chances are that I'll end up bringing it home. And this is going to sound even more pathetic... in my warped mind, I can somehow manage to justify my purchases. Online shopping and Ebay have been wonderful and addictive places to find treasures, and I can do that anytime I want...during the night... even in my pajamas. These pictures are just a teensy, tiny sampling of some of the things that are hiding in the drawers of that old card cabinet that's in my studio. I know that I have been totally out-of- control with my buying habits, and perhaps that's why I seem to be baring my soul about how outrageous it's gotten. Maybe I need to form some sort of "Shop-Anon" group for people like me. I know I can't be the only artist out there who hoards and stockpiles their 'stashes' of supplies and found-object treasures.

I have now admitted to anyone reading my blog I have a major problem... Step 1 of my recovery.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

...The drumroll, Please!!!!......

"Progress has not followed a
straight ascending line,
but a spiral with rhythms
of progress and regression,
of evolution and dissolution."

(My Studio-Finally Organized with the big metalsmithing table I actually made!! - Note my new kiln on right side by patio door)

I finally did it!! My studio is organized!!!! After tons of procrastination, and hours of sifting through piles of 'stuff',' I can finally go down to my studio without having a panic attack, and I now actually want to be there and work. My studio is located down in the 'bowels' of our house, with a set of large windows and a walk-out patio looking out to the Onion River in our backyard.

(Another view of my studio - this worktable is for stamping/collage/paper arts)

I now have two different work spaces in my studio to work at. The one in the picture above is the area where I can do collage/stamping/paper arts. Behind the folding screen, I have bins and bins full of rubber stamps, and also all my inks, pastels, colored pencils, and markers.

(Yet another view - this one shows my library of art books)

I am fortunate that I've got a large space in our basement that I can dedicate to my art. The large worktable in this picture is my new metalsmithing area. I am proud to say I constructed this baby all by myself! It is about 7 feet long, with a storage cabinet on each end. I purchased 2 drafting chairs, and have one on each side of the table, so now I'm able to invite my artist friends over to have 'play' dates with me! While I was at Valley Ridge Art Studio a few weeks ago, my son came over and installed another 8 ft. flourescent light above this table, along with several outlets on the ceiling. One is a pull-cord type that I can pull down when I want to plug in my flexshaft, etc. It's great not having cords running across the floor to trip on. My extensive library of art books are on the shelves behind my chair, and the table is situated right in front of the patio doors, so I can enjoy the beautiful view when I'm working.

(I found this kewl card cabinet at an antiques was too large to get in the back of our Denali)

I hit paydirt several months ago when I unearthed this antique card cabinet at an antiques shop about 45 miles from our house. The shop has two long buildings, literally piled to the ceilings with antique furniture, with only narrow walkways running between the aisles. The buildings are long, and they connect. The place is filthy with dirt and dust, and is extremely dark and gloomy inside. Picture yourself walking through a dirty tunnel in a dungeon, as you wander up and down each aisle. Unfortunately, the aisles aren't numbered or marked, so by the time you get through all of them, you have no clue where the 'must-have' pieces are that you spied earlier are. Lucky for me, this baby was nestled on the bottom of a bunch of 'rough' furniture near one of the doorways. I had driven my husband's Denali there, as I was on a mission to find a great piece to house some of my 'found object stash.' I knew immediately this would be a perfect addition in my studio.

(Organizing this was no small feat!!)

I paid for the cabinet and pulled the truck over to the doorway where the cabinet was sitting. The guy working there was ready to help me load it up, so I could get it home and start filling it with my found object treasures. It weighed a ton!! It was way too heavy to lift with all the doors in, one by one, we removed all the drawers and piled them in stacks in the gravel next to my vehicle. It was lighter now, but it still was unbearably heavy for us to handle. We finally got it up on the back of the truck, only to discover it was too wide!!!! We tried everything to try and squeeze it in, but I didn't dare force it in too much, because Mike would surely kill me if I scratched the back of his vehicle all up....especially with this big thing! So we eased it back out and back onto the gravel, where I was now getting a little frantic as to how to get the cabinet home. He told me his boss, the owner of the place, could probably deliver it to my house in a few weeks. I, of course, would've liked it immediately, but settled on the '2 week' plan instead. Not to go home empty-handed, I piled the back of the truck full with all the drawers, and hauled them home so I could fill them before the piece was delivered. It finally arrived and was a huge pain to get down to the basement, but it was definitely worth the effort and the wait. Now I have no more excuses to put off creating. So I better get busy!!!

"If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would get done." -Anonymous