I managed to clean my "studio."
HA! Bet you all thought I was going to say I finished my exam. Nope, not yet, but I'm aiming that way.
Some friends are coming over, some who have NOT seen our house before, or my "studio." That always makes me laugh to say "studio" because for real? NOT!
We have a nice sized raise ranch style house. We have a nice sized basement, an "L" shape comprises the finished area. The unfinished area holds: my "pantry" (large metal shelves to hold my dry goods, canned goods, boxed goods, extra pans, paper goods, etc.) a washer/dryer, storage, hanging racks, a storage closet, NEW water heater, furnace and a "dorm fridge" which holds soft drinks and bottled water.
The "L" shaped area holds: craft storage, craft storage, art storage, art storage, shelves of stuff, weight bench, Pilate's equipment, antique rockers, wall to wall book shelves, doll house, large TV for games, videos, etc. and two computer desks... oh and a file cabinet and more shelves for homeschooling books, supplies, curriculum, etc. As you can see.... A LOT. Next to the fish tank I have my vintage enamel topped table set up, and next to that in a recessed area in the wall I have some book and board bookcases using baskets to keep supplies sorted. Tonight I emptied each and every basket, wooden box, sewing drawer and enameled pan in order to sort, organize and clean up. If someone wants to look at my work area I'd rather them study what I have made or am making rather than to study my HUGE PILE O' MESS! Oh yes! The last 6 buying trips I have just dumped bags, bins and boxes on the floor and left them. I have walked around, worked around, piled around and all but lived around those piles.
Today they are gone! I have only three teeny tiny piles on the floor: one for a friend to sort through, one for gifting and one large enamel ware basin which I have yet to decide on (it's holding my knitting and a piece in progress at the moment).
And yes, I said the last 6 buying trips. Although I have quite a bit here I don't necessarily have all I need for what I'm working on at the moment. So, this past weekend my dearest sweetie took me to a large antique/collectibles show in order to fill up a bit. I spent just about what I had budgeted, but HALF of that was for Christmas presents for the kids and my sweet in-laws supplied funding for a portion of the rest. (It was my birthday gift from them.) THANK YOU!
I found BUTTONS and BUTTONS and BUTTONS and ... well, more stuff. I can't list the presents because the kids read this. But, I did find two mini lanterns... pencil sharpeners which the girls loved, a mini photo in a metal frame circa 1857, a vintage shoe buckle all sparkly with rhinestones, vintage leather baby shoes (was looking for those for my next piece), post cards (of course!), and... well, hmmm, that's about it. I know I know.. but that's really all. I think...
Seriously, the last button man about put me into button overdrive. I spent over $50 on his buttons and that was AFTER he marked a $55 button card down to less than half-price, sold me 12 bake lite buttons for less than the first 6 cost and generally made me giggly and happy like a little kid when mom hands him a dollar as the good humor man drives up. Yes... as a good as ice cream on a hot summer day. I have christened this man the "button king"... maybe I should call him the "button emperor." I have never met anyone more knowledgeable about buttons. I am so glad I did my homework! (Thanks April for telling me any number of times to "look it up in a book" because I did and I knew more about the buttons than I had before. ) He made a profit, but I spent less, CONSIDERABLY less, than I might have. And now I hope to complete more of what I have been working on. When I do you'll see pictures here.
Speaking of which... I'm still trying to learn about generating traffic... both here and at ArtFire and Etsy. If you all have any good advice I'd love to hear it. But, in the meantime I'm reading blogs and not being so all-fired stuck on myself. I'm enjoying reading others' posts and I'm trying to step outside of my little world I had built.
Well, those are all things a little push will do. Now if I would only take that test...