Friday, August 26, 2011

Topographic Table

My studio is... well... it's practical. It's not lovely, airy, sun-soaked, or spartan like all good studios are supposed to be, but it gets the job done. My studio is the messy pony tail of the workspace universe -- It ain't pretty, but it helps me get my work done.

I work in the basement of our home. Sure, I have to supplement the lighting with lamps. And sure, I have workout equipment, an old t.v., dusty VHS tapes, and a stray sock from the laundry chute as my twisted feng-shui backdrop. Who cares? 75% of the year it's the perfect temp -- if on the cool side, I can crank the stereo without waking the kids, I can write off the "overhead" as a business expense, and most importantly, it's big enough that I can fit all my stuff here and I don't have to share with anyone.

So, it was a little fun when I actually made some changes to it recently. I occasionally take EVERYTHING off the 8-foot table and give the surface a good scrub. After staring at the wet marks evaporate from the faux-woodgrain tabletop, I was inspired to paint it white. I found some old white paint the former owners had left and laid on two, gooey coats of it in one day. From its age, my misuse, or something, the paint did not spread very nicely. Some parts were wonderfully white, while other parts hinted at a darker layer beneath. I'm an impatient re-decorator, so instead of applying yet another layer of paint on, I uncapped my Sharpie and went to town. Drawing (literally) from all my experience with contour maps over the last 4 years, I topo-fied my tabletop.

It still isn't spectacular, but it's brighter, more creative, much less faux-woodgrain, and totally Crafterall. After editing the "stuff" I need on the table and replacing the bare essentials, I can honestly say that it was worth it. Something about it says, "Yup. This is for real, y' know. This is your job. Now go, kick some butt."

I am o.k. (for now) with the fact that my studio will never look like Martha's or any of the dreamy spaces I've seen featured online. I do want to work a little more, though, on paring down even further, finding more out-of-the-way places for my less-frequently used tools and materials, and getting the whole place to jive a little more. If I'm going to spend 60 hours a week down here, I better darn well enjoy it! Maybe I'll get around to a complete "before and after" post when that "after" feels complete... say, in a couple years or so. *wink*

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Although I've never had a paper route (it doesn't count that my brother hired me a few times to help him with his), I fully accept the moniker "Papergirl" given to me by the kind folks at Midwest Home magazine.
They featured me this month in their In Town section, and I've heard from many lovely folks who've stopped in the shop after reading the article. While I have been fortunate enough to have been featured before on numerous blogs and web sites, there's something extra special about being mentioned in print. I guess it's no surprise as I've always had a love for tangibility and paper. ;) I've got my copy saved and stashed away. Thanks again, Midwest Home!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Introducing CrafterAlt!

This has really been a long time coming, and, while I'd thought about waiting until we had a really full lineup, I'm so pleased that we've got the first few things ready for you and I just can't hold it back any longer.

My dear friend, Kendra of No Moniker (formerly Green Post), and I have teamed up to create a new offshoot of Crafterall. Call it a branch, a grafting, an offshoot, a hybrid, or just one heckuva clever collaboration, and know it by its name: CrafterAlt.

CrafterAlt is a new body of work made completely from my paper scraps. The line will include frameable 8 x 10" art pieces, foldover cards, bookmarks, journals, tags, and loads more. Between Kendra and I, we've jotted down close to 50 different items that we could make and market, all of them entirely recycled, entirely handmade, and entirely gorgeous.

We've started with the simple beauty of the silhouette of my home state, Minnesota, and we will work to produce more themes and images as we go along. Stay tuned for more posts about the process we have to produce these pieces, the other ideas we have floating around in our minds, and updates as we continue to roll out more works.

I'm thrilled with the quality and beauty of these pieces so far. Everyone I've shown them to remarks that they look even better in person too. The best part? I get to work with an amazing artist and paper wizard to create something new and beautiful out of what I'd otherwise dump in the recycling bin. How many people can claim that?


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