I’ve heard it said that a clean desk is the sign of an empty mind. NEVER happen around here! I was the little girl who got sent home from third grade with a trash bag to show her mother and the warning that her desk was too messy. The teacher even said that on my report card!

I guess I didn’t learn a lot from that lesson, though, because I’ve not gotten much better over the years. My house is clean (it’s a wonderful invention called a “cleaning service”), but the only thing the cleaners are allowed to do in my studio is to vacuum.

My studio is a reflection of the fact that I never quite decided what I wanted to do “when I grow up.” The only common denominator is that I am a “creative.” What I am being creative about can vary a lot–from Photoshop, to beadwork, to spinning, to knitting, to surface pattern design. So let me show you around.

My studio was purpose-built. It was originally the garage on this house that my in-laws purchased the year my husband and I were married. When they passed away, the house became ours and we moved here full time in 2008.  We live in a sleepy little beach town that’s a summer resort area and populated most heavily only on summer weekends. However, this house is about half the size of the one from which we moved, and had no studio space for me unless I converted one of the two guest bedrooms. (Could not do that, though; beach town=frequent summer guests!)

So, my space is limited, but I try to make the most of it. The studio consists of the room and a walk-in closet. You can see this best as you enter the room.

Looking into my closet from the entrance to the studio

My closet holds my clothes, but it’s also filled with my seed bead storage

Seed bead drawers (with hanger and pieces of clothing!) This really IS a closet, folks!

And it holds a lot of my fiber as well. “Fiber” is the generic term for wool and other materials that I can use for hand spinning (yes, on a spinning wheel, but not quite like the one in Sleeping Beauty).

Some of my fiber storage

Walking back out of the closet, you can see the shelves where I store my Angelina and firestar fibers. Angelina, for you non-spinners, is a tinsel-like fiber that seems to reproduce like bunny rabbits. I try to keep it locked up, but if I let a single strand out, it clings to everything in sight. I also have a variety of unfinished beading projects–each one stored neatly in its own project case, just waiting for me to actually get around to finishing it (in the craft world, these are known as UFO’s, but mine are at least labeled).

Angelina, silk, noils, and other spin-ins and a large selection of unfinished bead projects

I have a lot of book shelves in the studio, and sometimes, I can even get to the books. This, however, is not one of the times. I have a few-too-many containers of wool waiting to be spun.

Wool rovings for me to spin

By this time, you’re probably thinking, “so where does she actually WORK?” Yes, I do have a spot. It’s called the computer table–aka beading table, spinning table, art table, and sometimes, dining table!

My computer station

My studio has no room for a television, and I rarely watch it anyway, but the large monitor on the right can also become a TV. Usually, though, it’s just a great place to put Photoshop panels!

In my own little corner

As you can see, I have all the comforts! If I am going to spend at least twelve hours a day here, I might as well make it as cozy as I can.

Behind me are more books and my collection of lampwork beads.

My chair and the book shelves with my lampwork bead collection

I have fibromyalgia. In learning over the years to cope with having no strength to lift things, I tend to keep the things I need all the time close at hand so I don’t need to up to get them. This turns into a juggling act when you realize that I need everything.

I can reach my left hand down to grab my spinner (a Hanson mini-spinner that uses either electricity or a battery pack), my Lazy Kate (for plying yarn), or my large magnifying glass for beading.

My pride and joy Hansen mini-spinner and my lazy kate

On the other side of the chair, I have drawers for art supplies and my sketchbooks, floor space that should be free but that ends up holding all current craft books, my Wacom tablet, and my iPad, and another purpose-built table that holds, among other things, small art supplies and my large yarn winder: definitely an eclectic collection!

Messy drawer storage for art supplies and sketch books

Yarn winder and more art supplies

So, there you have it! You’ve had the full tour… Now when you see my work, you can picture the clutter–or the visual inspiration–that surrounds me!