As I was talking to Rob the other day I realized just how much time I spend in my office/craft room. If I keep going the way I am, I’ll have spent most of my life in my home office as we figured I spend 10-13 hours a day working on most days. Oh, and there are at least a few hours on a “day off” spent in the office. It amazes me just how many hours I will work to stay away from a traditional 40 hour workweek :) This blog is so much work and now I’ve got so much more on my plate with new opportunities. It’s a bit insane, really.
Perhaps it’s being a new person in a new city but I haven’t made any friends, yet. I’ve recently met a neighbor who is so sweet (and going to help me learn Spanish, yay!) but finding people I can relate to here is difficult. A lot of the people I meet don’t speak much English and I don’t speak much Spanish (yet!) I’m also a little bit terrified of what goes on just 6 miles from my home, over the border in Matamoros. Having seen car chases with, literally at least a dozen cop cars flying down the highway and reading things on the internet and hearing stories locals tell freaks me out pretty hardcore.
I get so freaked out that I have a tendency to wait until Rob can accompany me to town rather than running all over the place by myself like I’m used to. I’m told that the violence rarely spills over to the U.S. and I’m sure I’ll get more comfortable with time. But as it stands right now, I spend almost all of my time at home when Rob is at work. And, yep, you probably guessed it, I’m sitting at my desk staring into a computer screen or head shoved into a white box making a craft and taking pics of it along the way.
So along with my new love of color and all of the time spent in this particular room I’ve decided to doll the place up a bit with every color of the rainbow. It’s hardly finished and that has a lot to do with the fact that I am decorating a lot of the wall space with things I make as I go along. So wanna see where I’m at right now?
Here is the before. Remember that? It’s super clean and I LOVE it. BUT I started to have an issue with my fresh, beige cubes getting dirty. The first instance was as I hammered the lid back onto a can of stain and splat! A spray of brown went across 4 of them in one go. I was so irritated with myself but with all of the things I handle daily like paints and dyes it’s just not going to stay beautifully neat and clean.
So I ransacked my stash of paints and grabbed the ones I used for my dining room table and my starburst wood shim mirror and then got a few more samples mixed up at Lowe’s so I had 10 colors of paint that would work in a rainbow ombre type of thing.
Now these tubs are fabric outside and cardboard inside. If you get them very wet the cardboard inside warps something awful. To paint these I’d recommend using paint straight (don’t add water to thin it like you might normally with fabric) and use a stiff paint brush. Rather than brushing the paint on, push the brush into the fabric turning in a circular motion. You’re essentially rubbing it into the fabric. Don’t put tons of paint on the brush, it will go a long way to stain the fabric so you don’t need that much. Allow the paint to fully dry between coats.
Now these are the first tubs I painted and my cardboard warped a bit on the purple ones giving them a bit of texture. But it’s honestly not terribly noticeable in real life so I’m cool with it. Just in case any of you are curious, that big white box is my lightbox I use to take pictures of the projects I do. I literally sit right in front of it with my head shoved in there and glitter things up or whatever :)
If you’re a blogger looking for a way to achieve clean white backgrounds, I got this Table Top Photo Studio Photography Softbox Light Tent for about $30 with shipping and I love it. Since it’s fabric I’ve stained it up a bit and it won’t last forever but it’s lasted a good year as of April 17 so that’s not bad at all! I have 3 of these silver clamp shop lights to illuminate the box from the sides and top. When things get crazy I will have plastic tubs of supplies out and I place them beside the box and clamp the lights onto them rather than having them rest beside like I can when the area is clean.
Also in this picture are the fisherman from Cozy Blue I embroidered and fancied a hoop for framing, the $1 frame I drilled holes in and cross stitched that has a pic of my Momma, sister and me and a painting I got from Hello Henney that says “Walk Your Talk” that I freaking LOVE! And you can kind of see my kitschy strawberry clock and another Hello Henney painting that says “Get it, girl.”
Now because all of my plugs are behind my desk shelves it makes it difficult to plug in my hot glue gun. I’ve got an extension cord running from the outlet through one of the cube shelves so that I can easily plug things in. There is a lot of slack so that I can actually use it in the middle of the room if I am working on something really big. It normally stays in the shelf so that it isn’t out when it doesn’t need to be.
And the tote that is open up there?
I made a box the exact shape and size of the inside and this is my trash can. I leave the tub half pulled out when I’m working and my trash goes to my right when I’m working on my computer and then it goes immediately to my left when I’m working/crafting in my light box. I shove it back in when I’m done and there’s no trash can in sight! When it gets full I just dump it in the dumpster and keep on keepin’ on.
The tubs also hold a TON of my crafting stuff. Each will hold 4 photo boxes I snap up at Michael’s when they go on sale 5 for either $10 or $12. Now putting them in as is means that the lid comes off and things spill out so to remedy that they have a strap of elastic holding them shut.
Just like you’d wrap a present, tie a thin piece of elastic so that it crosses the top like you see. It’s super easy to remove and get right back on as long as you don’t tie it super duper tight.
Over to the left of my desk is my Silhouette that stays out all of the time since I have a dust cover that keeps it nice and clean. You can get a Silhouette brand dust cover for $7 or less on Amazon. Since my dad made cord holes in this desk when we originally built the desk back in Oklahoma I can keep the Silhouette constantly plugged in but I also have the cord for my sewing machine through the hole too. It’s secured with a clothespin so that the cord doesn’t slip back through so I’m not pulling shelves out from behind the wall and digging for it. When I need to sew I just pop it right there and I’m good to go.
Because I keep finding little things that I use regularly and hate digging out of the tubs I got some little wall hung organizers from Michael’s. Unfortunately they don’t have them anymore but if they did I’d highly recommend them. I expected to have everything crafty in there but I have found it’s a good place for my book keeping supplies like my white out tapes. I’m constantly using lip balm so I even have a few tubes of that easily accessible! Above is a really pretty calendar I snagged at the $1 bins at Target and just below is my jar of “Frankenstein’s Phlegm” I made last October. I love goo and putty type toys and I have something easy to play with in all of the rooms. It’s also good for working out my dominant hand as I have some issues with it.
Oh, and a quick tip, this is a rental home and Rob and I are allowed to hang stuff and whatnot but we didn’t want to buy fancy blinds as we probably won’t have any windows this exact size to put them once we move. Instead of traditional blinds I snagged some temporary paper blinds that I love. They filter the light so I can have them closed but still have a bright office or I can open them up and keep them up with my handy dandy clothespins (I seriously use these things EVERYWHERE). Since they are paper you cut them with scissors easily to make them the right size. We also have a light blocking black set of paper blinds for our master bedroom and it is dark as all get-out in there!
I have a mason jar of crochet hooks and I’ve also got a lovely set under my monitor Rob and I snagged when the Walmart Supercenter went out of business a few months ago. And that gold tape dispenser I got from Hobby Lobby but don’t buy it because it’s a piece of crap. I just keep forgetting to buy a new one to replace it with!
As far as decorations go I have this awesome moose head I got from Hobby Lobby, an embroidery piece I got from the Port Isabel flea market one Sunday and my first original piece of art by Amanda Evanston a.k.a. Aunt Peaches. That painting is totally my most prized possession. Doesn’t she look fab on that wall?!
Over on the wall by the closet I have another cube that has 4 tubs in it where I keep my WIP stash. One has things in progress, another for coming up soon. On top I have the felt flower bowl I made that I keep my scrap embroidery floss in, 2 of the succulents I painted the pots for (and one isn’t doing so well, boo!) and another Port Isabel flea market find in that fabulously colorful metal pooch! Oh and there is the saw because it was in a tub but I sliced the crap out of my thumb so it’s now in full view so I don’t hurt myself on it!
One of the cubes in this shelf is nothing but my embroidery stuff and I even have my “go bag” that hangs on the door right beside the shelves. It’s a canvas bag that has my current project that I can do when we go for long rides in the car or I have to sit in a waiting room for any length of time. Right now I’m working on a heart made from French knots.
Were you wondering why in the heck there was a box on the table? That’s because it happens to be Mar’s current box. She’s seriously in it all of the time and even is right now as I type this in the dark! :) We got some kitty goodies from IZEA and she was kicking stuff out of that box before I could remove it all as she had already decided to claim it!
Now this throw used to be Marla’s but Carly kept pulling it off of the desk to sleep on herself so it’s become hers. Mar has her box, though, so she seems to be perfectly okay with that. I made that marbled IKEA chair a while back ago with Mod Podge and it is doing so well. It has been in here because it was Marla’s throne for a while and it survived cat claws amazingly well, nary a scratch! It’s amazing because as matchy, matchy as this corner is it doesn’t match anything else in the room! I’ve found that I love having a chair in here, though, and am on the lookout for something cozy or colorful to replace it with!
And so there she is… my colorful office that is jam packed with craft room storage that is out of the way and convenient. And now every time I notice all of the colors of the rainbow at my knees I get a big ol’ goofy smile on my face! After all, I might as well enjoy the space since, by our estimation, most of my life will be spent in here!