Studio Saturday – Humblebeads

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

This week’s winner is Blanche and Guy! Congratulations! You have won a pair of wood and ceramic earrings from Lorelei Eurto.  Send Lorelei your address and she will get your prize right out to you.

I actually get to show off my studio today!  We are having a resin play day in my studio.  This is one of the many rewards of taking the time to actually clean up a bead cave – you can have friends over without dying of embarrassment.

So what made me snap and decide to clean up my bead mess, that looked like this just two weeks ago?

You are seeing the picture right?  Is there really any question as to why?  I am one of those create-in-the-clutter kind of gals.  But it wasn’t working for me any longer.  I was losing things, buying things over that I already had and for crying out loud there are only so many places one can pile things. 

I had to have incentives:
1. I wanted to create a more inspiring space.
2. I had company coming to stay and this doubles as the guest room.
3. I promised myself to submit my photos to Studios magazine when it was done.

How did I do it?
1. Cried and complained.
2. Worked one corner at a time.
3. Threw away, gave away and packed away the clutter.
4. Cried and complained.
5. Told people what I was doing so I couldn’t just stop.
6. Stopped crying and complaining and just plowed through until the room was done.  It took about a week to organize 5 years of clutter and beady mess.

What is the most important part of my studio makeover? It was organizing my room so that I can work more productively. 
1. Everything I need and use on a daily basis is within arms reach. 
2. Everything is clearly labeled and has a place.
3. It’s super easy to pick things up as soon as I’m done.
4. I have many trays that can stack up to hold projects that are in progress.

Is it working?  Yep, a week later and I’m still picking up as soon as I finish a project.  The table is clear and ready for the next round.  I’ve made jewelry and beads all week and had company.  What do you know – old dogs can learn new tricks or is it that wild beads can be tamed?

What is one thing in your creative space that you can not live without? Leave a comment for a chance to win a grab bag from my Etsy shop

Written by Heather Powers, www.humblebeads.com.

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46 Comment

  1. Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Wow, Heather, what a transformation. I'm jealous–Lindstrom tools! Your studio looks wonderful and doesn't it feel good to have everything in it's place? I love your new fox beads and the little hedgehogs are great, too. Thanks for the tour of your studio–gives me incentive to work on my bead space. CJ

  2. Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Oops! The one thing I can not live without in my creative space–music. Soothes the mind, transports me to places I'd like to be–like the ocean beaches around Carmel or Mendocino.

  3. Reply
    Carol Creech
    March 20, 2010 at 11:28 am

    What a beautiful studio! Organizing helps so much. I should talk…I don't have a set space yet…just some parts of my living room/desk area that I use for my day job at home. 🙂

    I actually think I can't live without having whatever supplies I am currently working with organized for easy grabbing since I just do a few minutes when I can. Sunshine is also a vital component if it's handy!

  4. Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Your studio looks great! When I am creating the day away, the one thing I cannot live without is a nice mug of tea! So soothing and relaxing!

  5. Reply
    Malin de Koning
    March 20, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Hi, it has been so great to follow the total make-over of your studio. It has come out absolutely super. I am in the process of setting up my own one in a new room in the house. Haven't figured out yet how to keep my tools. That magnet solution of yours i will copy. Yesterday i was out all day and when i got back my husband had put up the shelves where i will store my beads. That was GREAT! Will post photos on my blog soon. Anyway, what I can't be without is the beading mats. I would like to have a huge one covering the whole table. Nice soft surface and the beads stay where you put them. If I would need another surface i just put a tray or piece of wood on the top.

  6. Reply
    Patricia Wood
    March 20, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Wow! What a makeover – so beautiful!! Congratulations!

    The one thing I cannot live without while creating a glass of water and many many beads and different wires spread all around:)

    Have a wonderful week-end,


  7. Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Love how your space turned out – looks great! The one thing in my space that I can't do without is my new worktable. I had trouble being productive because my desk was my worktable…so, there was too much temptation to just watch TV or play on the computer. Now, my back is to the TV and the computer…I can listen to the TV (MUST have some kind of noise) and only use the computer for a quick break when I need it.

    It's made a HUGE difference…

    Thanks for sharing your new space!

  8. Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    You did a great job of organizing, and I'm a little jealous at such a beautiful studio!

    I rely on bead storage since my studio is really our dining room, and also doubles (triples?) as my display room for home shows. Needles to say, everything must be portable. I use clear plastic fishing tackle boxes for bead storage. Beads are sorted by color or metal type, and the clear boxes allow me to see what's in them, saving me the trouble of opening each one to find a certain bead.

  9. Reply
    Michelle Mach
    March 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    The one thing I can't live without–good lighting! I now have a floor lamp Ott Light and that has made a huge difference. I can actually see what I'm doing–and find things that I accidentally drop on the floor!

  10. Reply
    Azure Islands Designs
    March 20, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Wow…your studio is amazing, so bright & cheery looking!!!

    Mine has looked like your second photo for the last 3 & half years…:0), I guess I'm a "create-in-a-clutter" kind of person. The problem for me is if I don't have everything around me I can't find anything…so I guess I can't live without my clutter!!! :0)
    Enjoy the weekend…

  11. Reply
    Jen V.
    March 20, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I just love how happy you seem in your newly organized space! I have to move again in June, so it'll be a gnashing-of-teeth experience over the next few months to try to pare down my excess (can you really have excess of beads or pretty paper??).

    My can't-live-without item: my wire cutters. They've become my most precious tool. 🙂

  12. Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I always love to see how other artists organize their studio space. Good job. It looks nice! I couldn't work without good lighting. I've got track lighting that I can adjust, along with OTT lights, and early morning sunshine.

  13. Reply
    sandi m
    March 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    What a great transformation – beautful!!
    You've gotten me thinking of possibilities to finally move my work space out of the dining room and kitchen.
    As for my creative space – I need some noise: music or radio.

  14. Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Awesome studio transformation …can you come over and do mine? 🙂 The one thing I can't live without? Just one? I'd have to say my Ott light, can't make what I can't see.

  15. Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    My space will never ever be that organized!
    The one thing I could never do without are my binders of saved articles and photos I have collected over the years. They are my source of inspiration. I just leaf through them for ideas or colors when I need help.

  16. Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    I thought I had a messy office, but yours has me beat. I am dreading cleaning it up-the piles just keep growing. My bead board is ridiculous at his point. What I can't live without–reading glasses! I don't use them to read, but I NEED them to bead!

  17. Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Nice space. I miss mine. We sold our home in N Idaho where I had a very large studio. We now rent a house in OR with no studio at all. My art is in every room of the house. OK not the kitchen or bathroom. LOL
    Enjoy your space.

  18. Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Your studio is reeeally nice, Heather! I couldn't live without my Sterlite drawers. I have lots of them.

  19. Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I can`t live without ziploc bags. I use them to store beads and projects, since I don`t have a studio. Your space is great.

  20. Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    I am posting your list of hows and why-fors in my own bead-cave. I need to get myself some organization too! We indeed have more in common… I am a bead-in-the-clutter kind of gal too. And your before space is shockingly like my all the time space…. an intervention is needed since I don't have to use this room for anything other than beading.
    I don't have it yet, but my antique Hamilton printer's cabinet (3/29 is the day I drive 6 hours to get it!) will likely be my new fave. And in my old studio I had a wall o' metal (from my friend at the local heating and cooling place) that was very important. I plan to have that again, just as soon as I can.
    I love the tools on the strip…I have one of those (someplace) and that would be great!
    Enjoy the day!

  21. Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    I can't live without the table my husband made for me using kitchen cabinets.

    Thank you

  22. Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    I'm in that same position now. I have about 2 square inches left on my table that is clear. It's more frustrating everyday. I've been avoiding my studio. I've got to stop the complaining and crying too and just do a big clean. I'm glad to see it CAN be done. thanks for the motivation.

  23. Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    I've read about clean creative spaces. I read about your $45 makeover (I just scored a ton of free peg board from a neighbor doing a garage overhaul). I read all this and I just can't motivate. I've long since also realized that someone else's motivation is not my motivation. So…how do I start??? I think I can paint the peg boards…

  24. Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Hm, my place looks exactly like the "before" picture, only I don't need 5 years to create that kind of clutter – more like 5 weeks *g*
    The new studio looks awesome, congratulations on getting that done! I just had to sort papers today, so I know the feelign of plowing through a work that I hate…

    Thing I can't live without… the boxes I use to sort my beads. See-through, a lid for every compartment, and 4 of them are actually sorted by colours so far – I'm working on the rest, it helps a great deal.

  25. Reply
    March 21, 2010 at 12:10 am

    The first thing I cannot live without is a great light. Next is music. I absolutely cannot work in complete silence.

    Such a great job! I am so impressed and inspired!

  26. Reply
    March 21, 2010 at 12:50 am

    Your space looks great! I recently got my own studio (okay, it doubles as my office), and I could not have got it organized without my clear plastic shoeboxes from the Container Store. I love 'em, I can see what's in each box without having to pull it off the shelf, and I also use them for portable projects, so I can dash out at a moment's notice and have something to work on. I keep one stocked with the necessaries for each type of work I do, and another one filled with ziplock baggies of projects-in-process, so I can just pick one, drop it in the tool kit, and go.

  27. Reply
    March 21, 2010 at 1:28 am

    My Ott light……can do nothing without it!

  28. Reply
    The Joy of Nesting
    March 21, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Congratulations on finding a wonderful studio hidden in that room!! You rock!! 🙂 I must have a wee bit of classical music playing 🙂

    Pattie 😉
    Mazatlan Mx.

  29. Reply
    Joy aka Goddessjoy
    March 21, 2010 at 1:46 am

    Ahhhhh, it must be in the air! I did the same thing to my 'studio' about a month ago. I was lucky though, my mother lives with us and she LOVES cleaning! Two days of 8 hours each and things were all done. It's freeing to have things organized, isn't it? The thing I can't love without in my creative space? Inspirational bits and pieces in the jars on my table! I drop little bits of shells, wood, glass, whatever strikes my fancy, into small jars and keep them on my table to pilfer through when inspiration is hard to find. Works like a charm!

  30. Reply
    March 21, 2010 at 2:59 am

    I could not live without an unfinished lathe-turned bowl my father started but did not finish. He made gorgeous woodworked bowls. He passed away from dementia last year — having the bowl holding findings on my bench lets me feel connected to him creatively and reminds me of who he was before the disease.

  31. Reply
    Lucid Moon Studio
    March 21, 2010 at 3:01 am

    I have enjoyed watching your studio be transformed. It's always fun to see other's creative spaces. I would have to say the thing I can't live without is my bead storage boxes. I have all my beads sorted by color and within arms reach. Thanks for the giveaway!


  32. Reply
    March 21, 2010 at 3:53 am

    Way to go with the organization! I have my studio/workroom turned upside down – in the process of trying to get more organized. In my experience, I first have to tear it all up in order to fix it. This has been going on for days already & I might be halfway there! Thanks for the incentive. The one thing I can't live without is my pretty comfortable chair that has a heating/massage pad in it for when my chronically hurting back won't let up & let me do my thing! The pad covers the whole inside of the chair so its a lotta help when I need it. Thanks for sharing your lovely newly organized space.

  33. Reply
    March 21, 2010 at 4:58 am

    My garbage bowl. It saves me so much time and effort, I just throw the little odds and ends that I create during the creating process and toss them in the bowl as I work. I empty the bowl every week or so into a large garbage bag. It's the one thing that I can't live without, and yes, I stole the idea from Rachel Ray… 🙂

  34. Reply
    Tali Shchori
    March 21, 2010 at 5:30 am

    Your studio looks fantastic! I work on the dining room table, which forces me to clear up at least twice a week. I am dreaming of transfoming the kids' play space into my beading space, once they are a bit older. The one thing I really can't do without while beading is having eye contact with whoever is in the house at the time.

  35. Reply
    Donna Davis
    March 21, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    The one thing I need are my round nosed pliers.

  36. Reply
    March 21, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Your studio looks terrific! Nice job!

    When I am creating, the one thing I can't live without is color — colorful glass beads and glass rods, colored wire, colored fibers. I love the way color always brightens my day and gets me really energized about what I am doing.

  37. Reply
    March 21, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Wow – I love how your space looks. It really can be a bear getting things straightened but I find it easier to find things which means I can work longer making things!! I love the magnatic strip – great idea. I have some beautiful crystals on the window ledge in front of me and they always help me.

  38. Reply
    JujuBee Jewelry Designs
    March 21, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    This is a wonderful makeover story… My workspace gets this way every once in awhile but I have to say, when it's too bad, I cannot work. My brain won't let me create until I do some sort of organizing.

    Thank you for sharing your challenge with us!

  39. Reply
    Do Be Do Bead Do
    March 22, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Your studio is lovely, but that does not surprise me considering what comes out of it and who it belongs to. As for me, I'm one of those people that can create just about anywhere when my muse strikes. So, for me, all I need is my muse!

  40. Reply
    March 22, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Lots of light! and it's so much easier if everything you are working with is within hands reach…

  41. Reply
    March 22, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    FANTASTIC transformation!!! you should be proud. i liked the way you listed why you did it,and what you got from doing it.i think i might give it a try,and see if i land in an area like you did.GIVE YOURSELF A PAT ON THE BACK,YOU DESERVE IT!!! Job well done!!!!!!
    i applaud you……

  42. Reply
    March 23, 2010 at 12:41 am

    WOW! Your studio is fabulous! And SO organized…I can't even believe that "before" picture? I'm a pretty organized person however my workspace is not so spacious so things can get a little hairy.

    One thing I can't live without though is my ipod…music really motivates me. Keep up the good work!

  43. Reply
    diane hawkey
    March 23, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    You are an inspiration (Ok in am a little pissed at you for abandoning us sloppy artists and joining the ranks of the organized.)
    Someday that will be me

  44. Reply
    March 24, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Oh, how inspirational your space is! I tend to be a create in clutter person too, and while I love it, I also hate it & long to design a functioning and efficient studio space. Maybe, with your studio tour as an incentive I'll organize a bit! 😉

  45. Reply
    March 25, 2010 at 12:14 am

    This may sound crazy, but the one thing I can't live without in my workspace is little plastic zip baggies. I have a dedicated table to put my bead and tool boxes, but that table I actively work on is just another end table that's used by everyone else in the living room as well. I always have to clean up what I was working on when I'm done… which might be the secret to keeping a space clean, because I never had to clean my desk down here, and that quickly fell into disarray. Those little plastic baggies that I often receive beads in are lifesavers. I put works-in-progress in the bigger ones, along with components being used on that project. I put beads I want to keep aside in the smaller ones.

  46. Reply
    Susan Z
    March 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I can't live without my books–craft books and magazines give me lots of ideas for new things I want to make. Wish my "craft" room looked as good as yours. Mine is very tiny and I do both paper crafts and beading, therefore it is very full. I love your beads-especially the sea related ones.

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