Sunday, May 11, 2008

Visual clutter in my creative space

I noticed right off the major differences between scrap rooms on twopeas is visual clutter. Some rooms are definitely bargain basements, lots of plastic storage containers in mix matched colors, lots of supplies piled up and no overall cohesive design plan while other rooms look more like designer rooms with trendy paint colors on the walls, fancy Ikea cubby hole shelving units, small fortunes spent on matching basket sets and the obligatory "CREATE" or "ART" letters. But visual clutter was hidden inside those baskets and decorations had a definite theme of color coordination as well as overall style.

I can't compete with those super star designer looking rooms and I'm not sure I would if I remotely could. But I cringe when I see those bargain basement rooms as well. Poor women! I know, I was one of those, everything in plastic three drawer chests stacked in every available square inch of my space threatening to topple over at any moment. So where's my happy middle ground...My lovely space to create...How do I put it together so I'm a designer look studio space on a bargain basement crafter budget? The answer for me lies in taming that visual clutter!

Stamp hutches are a wonder, they can hold a ton of small supplies but visually it's a train wreck no matter how neatly their contents are arranged and displayed. I had a semi-serious Sizzix collection going on, lovingly stored in Sizzix black towers and as my space is limited those towers consumed entirely too much of my precious counter top. I moved them to the floor under a table and guess what? I never used them, out of sight, out of mind syndrome. Towers were quite the investment for me but sometimes you have to just have to suck it up and make the tough decisions. For me it was emptying out the towers and storing my dies in my stamp hutches. Nine empty towers later I have reclaimed my counter top and no longer have to dig under the table to find a die. Progress. Of course my dearest Mr wanted to know if the towers were going to live by the back door now... Of course not darling, I'm going to move them soon (yeah right, like where?).

My answer to the visual clutter of the hutches is to hide it behind a curtain. Being the queen of the save I had the perfect black curtain rod stashed, it's long enough to accommodate the 60 inch wide hutches. I love curtain ring clips and snapped some up from Hobby Lobby in a Fleur De lise design, perfect touch to go with my Eiffel tower votive candle holder, my scrappy chic shopping bag, London clock and sign, not to mention the darling Eiffel tower fabric curtain I made for the door window. Off the remnant table at Hobby Lobby I snapped a large piece of black and white cotton apparel fabric, perfect to go with my turquoise blue broadcloth I purchased to make simple panels. I'll use the b/w fabric in small doses as it's more expensive and since the broadcloth is a solid color more soothing to the eye. Once my panels are made I'm going to hang a poster print of an antique Paris map over the hutches in a frame I dug out of my attic. I was going for the art work hung over the bookcase look but in this case the "bookcases" will be my fabric covered hutches. Next I'm planning to sew more panels trimmed in the b/w fabric to skirt my plastic banquet folding table under the hutches. Then I'm seriously considering panels on a tension rod to hide the space between my base cabinets where I have my paper rack stashed.

My counter top clutter was another issue, it's hard to get around it because even with cabinetry, space is still at a premium and careful thought has to be given to how tools and supplies are used. I know to keep my most often used items near me so I've got those in drawers next to my work space as well as tossed in baskets on my counter top for easy access. My ribbon I've sorted by color and put in mason jars which are lined up in a neat row across my over the sink shelf I use to increase my counter real estate. Visually it's borderline clutter but I'm hoping once I have everything else in place that it will look more on purpose like a design feature vs visual clutter.

The rest of the counter space is taken by three wicker canisters filled with tools and supplies, two cropper hopper file folders filled with stickers and various papers, and some other things awaiting a home. Once I'm able to get those few odd pieces stored then I think the rest will be OK. So its curtain time for me and hopefully I'll get those panels sewn up in record time as I'm anxious to see my ideas become reality.

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