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Last weekend, I had a three-day weekend, a mini vacation I gave myself to clean my studio. Because it was, in a word, disastrous.

And now it is, in a word, glorious. And I wanted to share its glory.

In doing so, however, I really need to show you how bad it was. And in doing so, I’m doing something that embarrasses me greatly. But I’m just so thrilled with how it looks that I’m willing to take this one on the chin.

Alright. Here goes. This is what my studio looked like:


View from the door. ((explosion))


Desk No. 1, for packaging things. See my lap top under there? Poor baby. And don’t you just love the Easter decoration? Donald is so confused.


Desk No. 2, where I “make things.” Mainly, I’d just bring the tools I need into the family room and use the coffee table out there. Because, ya know. This.


My closet. Jeff took the doors off when I moved in so I could better utilize the space. That never happened.

That’s my lightbox up against the wall. Not exactly super easy to get to it. As well as a box of stuff I never figured out what to do with when I moved in (I hate those).

OK, now that you’re done judging me, let’s see what I managed to do in three days, shall we? First off, the new view from the door. AHHHHH!! Note the gorgeous roll-top desk (Jeff’s parents finished it years ago, and it was sitting unused in this room, which was a general catch-all room when I moved in. You’ll get a look under the desk’s hood shortly.)


Moving clockwise around the room, we first come to this little white shelf that used to take up space in the closet. Now, it’s full of photo boxes, where I’ve stored loose photos in two of them and wedding memorabilia in the other two. There are old photo albums from high school and some magazine holders for issues I want to save. There are my earring trees for Jac & Elsie and an awesome framed page of The Three Caballeros that will live above the desk.


Further down that same wall is my printer set up on a little three-drawer shelving unit I bought a few years after college. I’ve always loved it — it’s so pretty! — but have just had it stuffed with junk. It now holds Jac & Elsie business cards and postcards in one drawer, regular stationary in another (yes it takes up a full drawer — I love snail mail letters) and the miscellaneous calligraphy pieces I’ve acquired in the third, including sticks of wax and two seals (I’m not very good at calligraphy, but anyone who knows me knows my love of words, writing and letters, so it’s a good gift).

Above the printer is my scratch-off world map, a gift from my parents last Christmas that I wouldn’t let myself hang until my studio became a studio. It’s not quite accurate — I’ve just scratched off the countries where I’ve shipped Jac & Elsie that I can name off the top of my head (U.S., Canada, Australia, Italy, France, Greece,  UK). (The Donald on the printer still needs a home.)

Above that is a pretty stretched canvas I picked up a few weeks ago at, of all places, The Icing. It says “All good things are wild and free.” To quote that Pier I Imports commercial, it speaks to me. (The door is a second one to the bathroom at this end of our house. It can’t open because the carpet is too plush in here. I hide my bubble wrap in that little spot, because buying rolls of bubble wrap so large are nearly impossible to store.)


The roll-top desk I use for shipping. A little better, huh? (For the record, I just got that candle in the mail from JewelMint. It’s Pumpkin Souffle and possibly one of the best smelling candles ever. As it burns down, it’s revealing a surprise piece of jewelry. I can see it, but it’s still stuck in the wax.) To the right of the desk will be a file cabinet, as soon as I buy one.


My light box! The goodies on the shelf beneath the box are all photo props. The top spotlight is hanging from a shoe rack I hang on the wall (how do you do the top light in your light box?). The framed Donald is one of my favorite Don pieces I have. I got it at a flea market the summer I moved here. It’s so absurd that it’s fabulous.

That bit of door you see is a door to the outside. I think this end of the house was added later by the folks who lived here before us, and this was meant perhaps to be a separate apartment? The door is warped by the sun, and the storm door is old as balls, but god it’s awesome to have so much sunshine in here.

The tall skinny shelf is one I found at a garage sale and painted purple just for funsies, and it’s full of different jewelry glues and coatings, notebooks and paper enough to choke a horse (I get journals and notebooks as gifts all the time. They’re such thoughtful gifts, but I’m sort of running out of room. A girl can only write so much). My ABC stamps are in a wooden basket, and as my jewelry how-to books take up a shelf.


My closet! I put my work desk in it. The shelf up top is for miscellaneous craft items (in the purple polka dot bin), my sewing machine and fabric pieces, cross stitch stuff and other miscellany.

I have a small bulletin board on the wall to the left of the desk, hanging jewelry organizers for Jac & Elsie necklaces to the right, and a shelving organizer from Menard’s on the wall just below the hutch. It’s full of the charms I use the most, including rock/paper/scissors, keys and sun/moon/stars. My mother-in-law came over with it one day a few days before The Cleaning. She knew I was doing this, saw it at Menard’s, and thought I might find it useful. (Yes, my mother-in-law is awesome.)


This is the bulk of my jewelry supply storage. Lots of bins from Menard’s–again, largely from my mother-in-law. She used them as jewelry storage, switched how she stored them and gave me five of those red bins. They are perfect for charms, beads and the like because they have so many little compartments.

The toolbox to the right of the small brown shelf is my second favorite thing in this room. I was looking for something to store all my chain. So Jeff and I went to Michael’s, where we found a pink tool box with a large open spot in the top and three plastic containers stored drawer-like inside. But it was $45, and that seemed absurd. Char, my mother-in-law, had just brought over the storage unit by my desk, so I figured we could try there. Oh dear God, Mendard’s is the ONLY place to go for jewelry storage. We found the aisle with all the red toolboxes, and I did a Jaclyn Happy Dance. Then Jeff pulled a grey and gold tool box and said, “Isn’t this the same as that pink one at Michael’s.” Why yes, yes, it is, and only $22. Just because it’s not pink?? WIN.

But my favorite thing in the room is that unit on the wall. It’s full of little see-through drawers, and I have some of them labeled with Sharpie on washi tape. Perfection.

There we go. We have a studio that is clean, organized and makes it so much easier to move around in and work.

And just because I think it’s funny: You may have noticed lots of Donald Duck mentions. Well, I noticed. So I went around and counted how many times he’s in this room. Venture a guess?

Well, you’re too low. It’s 23. And that’s just spots where he’s visible from the middle of the room.

(Thanks to Phase Three of Life for giving me the room tour idea.  You should go on the bloggy tour of her new home. It’s amazing.