November 24, 2009

Big Studio Reveal!

Hey Everyone!

Yes, it has been a whole month since I have written. In that period of time, I have been to Cincinnati for the step by step photo shoot for THE BOOK at the end of October. The trip went well and I enjoyed the process. I think these photos will be a great addition to the techniques featured in the book on various projects. We had some extra time while I was there, so we also shot 3 short technique videos for You Tube to accompany the book. Will let you know more when I do.... anyway, it was fun and the weather there was perfect. The leaves were all changing colors and just lovely...we don't get a lot of that in TX....just green leaves, then brown leaves, and finally....NO LEAVES until spring....but that's okay! We don't get a lot of really cold weather either and even though I think I would like to see snow for an extended period of time, I think I would grow tired of it.

But I digress. There is more that I have been up to in the past month. Getting orders out, running around getting errands completed, and decorating for Christmas. Yes, I am ONE of THOSE people who decorates before Thanksgiving, but it is because I put up seven trees and decorate every room, so I like to get it up early and enjoy it. Perhaps I will take a few photos to share these "decked" halls of mine!

Well, this is supposed to be about the studio, right? A while back I posted about the start of this project and the awesome sewing table I had built, The Sewing Studio, Part I. Well the rest of it is done and I finally have a chance to share the results. It is in a word....FABULOUS! I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it is to have a dedicated space to work. It took us two full (VERY full) weekends to make the island featured in the photos you are seeing. There used to be a bed in this room since it doubled as our guest room, so I have been stooping over a bed to cut out and create designs for more years than I would like to count. I finally decided that this was just pure silliness and decided to get the bed out and make a real work space. I should have done this years ago! It is refreshing not to mention inspiring to go in and work in my studio, and who wouldn't love being able to say, "If you need me, I'll be in my STUDIO!".

To give you some background on this piece, we started with an oak base cabinet from Home Depot. It measures 60" long by 24" deep and regular counter height. It was designed to have a large sink placed in the top. We used that space to create a slot below the countertop to store my cutting mat when not in is ingenious! If you look closely at the photos, you can see the framing for that inset before the top was installed. I access it from the side where the stools are.

When creating the top, I wanted to make it wider than the original 24" so I could have an overhang on one side to sit and make notes about designs and do other types of work. It has already come in so handy. I finished up the last of the illustrations for the book there and the lighting was just perfect! The top is made from 3/4" thick MDF with wood trim added to the edges to make it appear thicker than it is as you can see in this photo:

We added faux beadboard to the sides and back, then I painted the entire cabinet with cheap white latex paint. I wanted to be able to use this piece without having to worry about messing it up, but I still wanted it to look nice. By using this type of paint, I achieved a matte look and was able to blend the oak parts with the non-oak parts. I sanded it pretty heavily to get a slightly distressed look. I even rolled the top with the same latex, then hand sanded the whole thing. It looks like laminate! I was amazed with this result. I have to say I wasn't sure it would work out, but it did.

Notice the faux feet at the front? I cut a piece of wood with the jigsaw to accommodate for the overhang of the cabinet, as I wanted it to look like a piece of furniture. We added it to the front and I distressed it to match the rest....I have to say that we are quite pleased with ourselves for building this thing! As my husband likes to say, "It took about $300 in materials and $5000 in labor...." Go figure!

There is a lot of space to stash stuff in cabinet itself and the countertop is divine for laying out large patterns and cutting out stuff. I am the queen of the castle now!! Hope you enjoy the photos....

And, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Hope you fill yourselves to the gills with all the goodies and enjoy your family and friends. I know how thankful I am to have a successful business doing what I love. Thanks for your support and enthusiasm. It means more to me that I could ever say!!