Sunday, August 14, 2011

Our Bird House

Junior and I have a three bedroom house in San Francisco (yes, I'm bragging.) When our roommate Olivia moved out to get married, we turned her room into a studio/office/guest room/sewing space/reading nook/crap catcher. In one weekend, we repainted the walls blue, touched up the wood trim, waxed the floor and put up new blinds. It's so satisfying to transform a space in two days!

My goal was to spend as little as possible (especially since we're now paying Olivia's share of the rent.) I rearranged some furniture in the house and brought in a few pieces that had been crammed into other rooms. When you live in SF with roommates, you get used to your bedroom being your "everything" room and space is a luxury. Now my desk could actually live in the office, you know, like normal desks do. I knew I'd need a work table (since the dining room table was now relegated to being used only for meals.) I work at a theatre and we have tons of furniture laying around, just waiting for the next show it can star in. Duh! Perfect! I scooped up a kitchen table with drop eaves, shoved it into my Jeep and carried it up to our third floor apartment. Once I'd covered it in oilcloth and added a tape measurer at the edge, I was as happy as a clam. When I went down into our storage unit in the garage, I found my old wicker chair and a discarded garment rack and dragged those upstairs too. Oh, yeah and that big old picture frame with no glass? Let's add cork and make it a bulletin board. Oh, and all those storage boxes of craft crap shoved under my bed? Let's move them into the office and actually get to use them. Where's that old trash can? Check! Baskets left by an old roommate? Perfect. Metal baker's rack I'd bought a long time ago for costume storage at the theatre? Yes, please! Wait, we need curtains. Oh, yeah. I'm a fabric whore. Let's just dig through my stash, and...yep, done. It was amazing. All these years, I'd been surrounded by the makings of a craft studio and now it was finally here in one place.

Now when I need to work on a project, instead of dreading getting everything out and taking up half the apartment with my supplies, I have an entire ROOM filled with everything I need to be inspired, wildly creative and productive. It's amazing.



The roll-top is my mom's old desk and I love it. I made the little jacket on the wall for my
niece about 10 years ago and forgot I had it. I don't think she'll fit into it any more, so now it
hangs as a reminder to make her a new one.

I used to have printing supplies in 4 different rooms and actually had to pull the printer out
of my closet when I needed to use it. Now it's all stored in an old nightstand.
Paper, cartridges, labels, cables, everything. It's a novel idea.

I know the fabric is gaudy, but it has birds on it and it was free.  
Have you seen how much curtains cost?!

I now have so much space, that I'm still trying to fill it. 

Did I mention we live in earthquake-prone San Francisco? Our house is shifting and this room
is at the front of the building, which apparently is sliding off. These bookcases should be
side by side. THAT'S how crooked the floor is. Thankfully, Junior and I have our rooms at the
back of the house and plan on riding it down through the "Big One."

My dream come true: fabric scraps sorted by color!

I was always scrambling for a tape measurer that'd been tucked away into
a junk drawer somewhere. Now I  keep one here all the time. 

And I TAPED one to the work table! That's my bright orange video camera bag. It's near
impossible to lose track of it because it's so bright. It's out now because I have to
 transfer our summer season of plays on to DVDs for parents. God, I use this room for a lot! 

IKEA. Swivel. Rolly. Sorta modern. Love.

BEST idea ever! I needed a way to keep my blankets wrinkle-free and this garment rack was
the perfect solution. I got a bunch of pant hangers from the thrift store. Now we display our
blankets on hangers at trade shows. I like it because it feels like I'm shopping for clothes when
I flip through the racks. And who doesn't love shopping for clothes?!

Bigger blankets get hung from the picture rail. I also can change them out depending on what
mood I'm in or what season is here. It's like having inter-changeable fabric wallpaper!

I just bought this at Sur la Table. I can't wait to wear it at our next trade show.
It even has pockets.

Sorry, folks. I didn't clean up. It's what's happening now. Coffee, new Halloween fabric
 to make owl wings out of,  owl hat to be photographed, and batteries to recharge. 

Olivia's closet had great hooks and now it stores some of our birdie garland
so it doesn't get tangled. I think Olivia would approve.

Sometimes I cheat and put up a cutting table in the hallway. Junior doesn't seem to mind.
Plus, it gets some of the best light in the apartment because of the skylight. 

Projects waiting to be finished

Old nightstand + new bird drawer pulls = birdtastic!

This sewing machine is my child. I have been up late with it, I have coaxed it through hard times,
it has made me bleed and scream, and I would be crushed if anything ever happened to it.
 Oh, and it has my name on it because sometimes I take it to the theatre, and I want to make sure
no one uses it or takes it away. Never get between a gal and her beloved sewing machine!

This is my aromatherapy. It makes the office smell nice and keeps me calm
when I sew the wrong sides together. 

If you don't have these two items, drop everything and go to Joann's right now.  The magnetic
pin pad is pure magic. I will NEVER accidentally drop a case of pins all over the floor again.
This thing's got my back. I've labeled all my fabric scissors so Junior doesn't use them to shred
documents or open plastic-encased items from Costco. I need my scissors sharp!

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