Studio Dog

Studio Dog
Studio Dog, a photo by Red Tail Designs on Flickr.

Indiana when he was a wee pup, taking a nap in the studio.

Let me set the scene

for you: It’s December, the wind is swirling snow around my numb fingers as I braid horse hair out in my cold backyard. Why would I endure the nasty weather outside when I have a perfectly good studio inside? Because I was housebreaking the newest member of our family, Indiana.

Treat bags to hold all of Indiana's training treats.

At the time, Indiana was not yet a studio dog. He ate my craft supplies, stole my horse hair and generally got into a lot of trouble in when we made our way to the third floor. In short, I got nothing done when he was up there because it was like having a 2-year-old roaming around my studio. He also couldn’t keep out of the food or the litter box of the cat who maintains the penthouse suite, not to mention chasing the cat across my craft table was great fun.

Fast forward 5 months and Indiana (as in Indiana Jones, not the state) has become a certified Studio Dog. He’s housebroken (and even rings a bell to go out) and understands the studio time is my time. He’ll comfortably sit at my feet and chew a bone while I craft. The cat food and litter box are still tempting, and chasing cats really is great fun when you’re a dog.

The snap on the drawstrings lets me snap it onto my belt when we're out.

I put my crafty skills to work to make some treat bags for Indiana to hold all his training treats. They’re simple little sacks with drawstring closures and snaps so I can snap them on my belt when we’re out for a walk. I made them of my most favorite fabric ever, the dog fabric by Heather Ross. I wish she’d bring it back, as this fabric is now out of print.

After the rough run with pets we had in 2010–our 13-year-old Labrador retriever and our 10-year-old cat went to pet heaven–Indiana is a nice reprieve. He’s a super dog that is easily trainable and loves the kids. He’s sure my 4-year-old is just another puppy and probably better trained for the studio than my kids.

Studio Complete?

The fabric area of my studio complete with brand new bulletin boards. This Ikea shelving and orange boxes are perfect for this area.

My custom bulletin boards are finally hung!

I feel like my studio might almost be done. My husband and I started redecorating our third floor over a year ago with new paint, carpet, shelving…the works. It’s been a very slow process because we did most of it ourselves.

The bulletin boards are at the top of the stairs, so it's like an art gallery as you enter the room.

The chunk of it was done last spring but organization eluded me for a long time and it took a while to find the right shelving. Bulletin boards were my last big push and, of course, I couldn’t just buy cork from Staples. They had to be fancy-pants bulletin boards I made myself from stuff I found here and matching fabrics. I chose three Ikea fabrics and then made a mosaic using those fabrics and some Laura Gunn scraps that Kristen was so gracious to give to me.

And finally they are on the wall.

It’s sad that both my husband and I have grandfathers who were carpenters, yet neither of us can hang a coat rack without worrying it’ll fly off the way and whack us in the forehead.

Luck for us there are people like Chris Fairchild from In Order to Organize.

All my jewerly supplies in one area neatly labeled. I need one more piece of furniture to marry the beading area to the sewing area. Coming soon!

Chris owns a personal organization and personal training business right here in Easton. Not only can he put holes in my 100-year-old walls without worry, he can organize, build, plan and create. Chris organizes any aspect of your home, business or work flow.

In spring, Chris talked me through how I use each section of my studio and what would make the most sense in terms of storage and organization. He helped me decide on shelving, and I plan to have him make shelves for a closet and a wall shelf above my sewing machine.

That’s his other great talent. Chris can design and build custom pieces for your house.

He hung my bulletin boards for me and I am eternally grateful. I assisted him as he figured out the spacing (does holding a level count as assisting?). If I’d hung them they’d be crooked, and I’d have to lie that uneven spacing is art at its best.  Instead he measured and drilled and they look beautiful.

So is my studio finally done? I suppose as done as it’ll ever be. I have a few boxes to unpack and I still can’t find my rotary cutter, but that may just be a casualty of reorganizing.

The kids supplies and crafting area is on the left side of the table. It's not as tidy-looking as I'd like, but it's functional. Once everyone can read, I might transition to more orange storage boxes.

Phase 1: Paint and Carpet

The carpet is in and the walls are painted. Yeah! Here are the results of phase 1 of my studio remodel.

This project began with repainting the peeling ceiling in my husband’s office. Before we knew it, the project blossomed into an entire 3rd floor remodel.

This is the closet wall without carpet. I finally got my orange wall! I nearly painted my daughter’s room orange a few years ago, but my husband had the foresight to see that our pink-&-purple-aholic wasn’t going to outgrown that anytime soon.

I finally got to paint a wall in my house orange. I love it.

My new Ikea Norden table folds down on both sides. I imagine this being very versatile with kids crafting on one end and me on the other end.


This is the sewing corner with walls painted but no carpet.

The  future sewing corner.

And the sewing corner with sewing machine in place. The crates of fabric will have a new home soon.

Finally I can have my sewing machine out ALL the time.

Finally I can have my sewing machine out ALL the time.

Ripping out the stairs carpet was an exercise in frustration. Each surface had a separate piece of carpet held on with about 50 staples. Ripping it out without throwing myself down the stairs was the most strenuous part of this whole project.

The stairs going to my studio were covered in a lovely pinky-red carpet.

The stairs going to my studio were covered in a lovely pinky-red carpet.

The naked stairs.

Every dot is where a stapled needed to be pulled out with a pliers. Fun!

I ran out of momentum after the carpet went in. Where to put all my crafting and business supplies? Luckily help is on the way. Monday I meet with Chris from In Order to help me figure out how to organize my studio.

Under Construction



Yes, I’m still here. Not hiding under a rock or in a cave. Not even still buried under the blizzard from last week.

I have, however, been lost in painting and ripping up carpet. My studio is getting a makeover, as is my husband’s office. So all this noncommunication has been the result of spending every free minute scraping, spackling, painting and putting up new lights.

We’re reaching the home stretch. Paint is on the walls (color, even!), new carpet stretches across the vastness of the 3rd floor and my husband is anchoring bookshelves to the wall in his office this weekend.

Photos of the transformation will follow shortly, so stay tuned!