Craft Studio Inspiration

{Photo by Marij Hessel, via My Attic}

Today is the first day of my spring break, and I'm just wandering around my house, feeling sort of lost. There are too many possibilities, and I can't decide what to do. 

I'm talking about my craft studio/dressing room dilemma. I shared photos of my dressing room in this post, and I mentioned that I'm considering changing my dressing room into a craft studio. Crafty projects are very important to me, and the more hobbies I collect, the more space I need to accommodate them. It would be so nice to have a space dedicated to making a mess, where I can leave my supplies out and not feel like my mess is in Rand's way (this is what is currently happening in our dining room). Plus, the projects I'm working on, like weaving and macrame, would be so much easier if I could give them a permanent place. Macrame projects need to be suspended from the ceiling, and weaving projects need a set up that is a pain to put together each time. Besides, I'm a blogger. I like to take pictures of all the stuff I'm working on and share it with the world. That upstairs room gets amazing light, perfect for taking beautiful progress photos.

Clearly, I'm leaning toward the craft studio idea. Really, the big question is just: If I want a craft studio, where am I going to put my clothes? I have a clothing rack, shoe shelves, a scarf rod, a chest of drawers, and a dressing table. I could part with the dressing table, but where is the rest going to go? Here are the options I've come up with:

+ Option 1
Move my clothing rack, scarf rod, and shoe shelves to the bedroom dormer, and hang a curtain to separate the space. This would create a closet out of the dormer that would be next door to Rand's closet. I would still have to part with the dressing table, and it would be crowded. Plus, I'm worried this might make the bedroom, which is already pretty full of stuff, look even more cluttered.

+Option 2
Clear out the walk-in closet in the room that is being used as a dressing room. I believe the shoe shelves, clothes and scarves could all fit in there nicely, and I could probably fit the hooks that hang my purses. The dressing table would still have to go, but this would open up the rest of the room for a craft studio. This option requires that I get moving on a flea market booth/garage sale/ something to help me clear out all the stuff that is in that closet right now.

+Option 3
Leave the dressing room as is and set up a craft corner in the dining room. This basically how it is now, but I always feel like I've left a big mess in the dining room.

Big decisions. Let's look at more inspiration photos for the craft studio I'm dreaming of.

{Photo via Simply Seleta}

{Photo by The Happy Home}

{Photo via}

{Photo by Tif, via Paper & Stitch}

{Photo by Cotton Bottom Mama}
Mmm.. organization, bright walls, lots of light. It's going to take a lot of coffee, but I think I could make this happen. What do you think?

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Everything I Know About Ripping Up Carpet

Monday I had a snow day off from school, so I decided it was a great time to rip up my hallway carpet. It's a small space, but it felt good to get moving on this giant project, since I'm planning to remove the carpet from all our upstairs floors and paint them white. 

When I first started ripping up our carpet, I was a little scared. I had no idea what I would find under there. I had to use some trial and error to get a good system down, so today I'm sharing with you everything I know about ripping up carpet. It's not much, but it's a start!

First, you're probably going to need a pair of pliers, a flathead screwdriver, and a hammer. A box cutter would also be a great thing to have, if you're working room by room, like me. I'm just cutting off the carpet in each doorway so I don't have to tackle the whole thing at once. 

This picture makes me sad because that was my favorite screwdriver. Just minutes after this picture was taken, I dropped it down the vent. I'll never see it again. 

Pick a corner and start pulling up the carpet and the padding.  You'll probably find these annoying things, called tack strips, along the walls where your carpet was installed, along with some staples. Whoever installed my carpet got a little staple-happy, but fortunately it was just along the walls. 

Use the hammer to wedge the screwdriver under the tack strips and pull them out. I discovered that prying up the strips in spots that were close to the nails in the tack strips worked best. The would pull the nails out and the strips would come up in one piece. No matter how you pull these up, just be careful not to poke yourself or damage your floors with your screwdriver. 

Use the screwdriver and the pliers to pull up any staples. No matter how hard I try, I have always missed a few. Fortunately, I'm painting my floors with a brush, so I'll get plenty more changes to catch anything I've missed. 

This stressed me out a little. These tack strips were underneath the piece of metal that was between the carpet and the new wood floor in the bathroom. I was able to pull them out with the pliers, but I'm going to need fix that gap somehow.

Again, I'm so glad I'm painting this floor!  I originally painted the stairs for this reason-the stairs were all sorts of mismatched wood. This strip at the edge of the stairs is a completely different type of wood and it's going in a different direction. Trying to match stains would be a pain, but when I'm done, it will all be white.

The floor was so dirty! I swept and swept, but it still needs mopped, just so we can live with it until I get around to painting.  Someone was not very careful with drop cloths in the past, so there's another good reason to paint the floor. Soon, I hope to paint this floor just like the bedroom floor. Maybe it will brighten up this sad little hallway!

Still to do in this hallway:

+ Caulk along the edge of the floor and any gaps in the floor.
+ Fill the nail holes and any flaws in the floor with wood filler.
+ Spray paint the vent cover. Maybe black?
+ Repaint the hallway trim (BM Simply White) and hallway walls (BM Moonlight White).
+ Sand the floor, then check for any holes I missed the first time around.
+ Apply two coats of primer.
+ Apply three coats of floor paint in Simply White.
+ Sand away the painted runner on the stairs, and prime and paint the stairs Simply White.
+ Do something to give this hallway some oomph! Maybe a great light fixture or a black wall or just something to make it special. We'll see.

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Thrifty Finds // 8

Saturday was spent thrifting up a storm around Springfield with my lovely new friend Jessica. We hit Vendor's Mart on Glenstone, STD Flea Market, 1/2 Price Books, CD Warehouse, and this creepy little place behind a fence that just had a handwritten sign that said "Flea Market." It was a pretty successful trip, I think.

Here's what I ended up with.

Tough Smoker Guy drawing-$5
Vendor's Mart

I love this guy. He looks like a rock star, smokin' and everything. Right on! He doesn't care what you think!

Vintage Decorating Books-$1 each
Vendor's Mart

These decorating books from the 70's are amazing. I keep seeing so many things in these books that my mom had in our house when I was little and I think, "I love that thing! Whatever happened to that?!"

This is New York-$1
Vendor's Mart

This is my favorite find of the day. This children's book from 1960 shares all the great things about my favorite city, all with Mad Men charm. Includes beautiful pictures of an outdated NYC skyline, plus some beer and cigarette advertisements on Times Square, just for fun. Still working on convincing Rand that we belong there, so this book might help.

Missouri State Framed Print-$5
STD Flea Market

For only $5, I couldn't pass this up. This thing is huge. I offered it to Rand for his office, and he accepted. I think it is the view from National, looking southwest across the corner toward Grand. If I'm right, it show houses in an area that is now a parking lot, so I wonder how old it is. Second favorite find of the day. Go Bears!

Records-$1-$2.50 each
STD Flea Market and the place known only as Flea Market

I need to write a post about my new love for Carole King. All these records were in great shape! I got Linda Ronstadt-Simple Dreams, Carole King-Tapestry and Rhymes & Reasons, Paul Simon-There Goes Rhymin' Simon, and Jim Croce-You Don't Mess Around With Jim.

Mid-century Glass Carafe-$3
Vendor's Mart

This thing was so beautiful. It had little swanky gold diamonds and asterisks all over it. Then I brought it home and broke it. I set it down without removing the newspaper it was wrapped in. A few minutes later, I guess I forgot there was a beautiful carafe in that newspaper, so I brushed the paper out of my way and knocked it over. I cried for a few minutes.

I also picked up a copy of Jhumpa Lahiri's collection of short stories,  Unaccustomed Earth. I've almost finished the first story. So far it's wonderful!

Thrifting makes me so happy. I spent about $30 total, but for me, it was more fun than a shopping spree through the mall. Searching and digging for treasures, giggling about the strange stuff you discover, the rush of spotting something you love, then rushing for the register as if someone else may try to grab it out of your hands... I would always rather be thrifting.

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The Loom Journal

Lately I've shared about how much I love woven wall hangings. I've played around with macrame, and I'm still very interested in learning more about that, but I've gotten a serious urge to explore weaving. I follow MaryAnne Moodie and Brook and Lyn on Instagram, and that daily dose of the beautiful things they're creating has made me want to try it out.

As with most new adventures, I was hesitant to spend much money until I had a good idea of what I'm in for. It turns out that looms can get pretty pricy, so I started exploring ideas for how to make one myself. At first I had this plan to build something out of wood, but then I realized that I already own something that might work.

This frame was $3 or $4 at a garage sale one summer, but I accidentally broke the glass before I could put anything in it. I liquid leafed it and thought about trying the empty frame thing, but I couldn't make it work.

To turn this frame into a loom, I measured and marked every half inch on each short end of the frame. Then I hammered in these small nails that I found in my basement.

I saw the nails placed in two staggered rows on some looms like this, so that's how I placed mine. I'm still not honestly sure what options that will give me, but I went ahead and did it.

Next, I wound some thick jute around the nails, zig-zagging back and forth between sides. I used all the nails, although now I think that would make it hard to place the finished product on a dowel rod (like I said, I'm still not sold on the alternating rows of nails).

This first piece has just served as a practice piece so I can practice the techniques I've learned watching YouTube videos. I just grabbed the yarn I had stored in my classroom to practice with, but it wasn't long before I realized that cheap acrylic yarn isn't very pretty on something like this. For my second piece, I picked up some prettier cotton and wool yarn (more on that later). I wrapped the yarn around the first thing I saw-a crochet hook-to create a shuttle to pull back and forth.

So that's how I built my first loom. Since then, I've gone through two test pieces and finished my first complete wall hanging. I'm currently working on my second piece, so I'll be back soon to share what I've learned and what I've made.
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