Spring Cleaning My Studio

This post is part of a Clean-Up Challenge and blog hop hosted by Sharyl McMillian-Nelson of Sharyl’s Jewelry on ArtFire.

This is, for the most part, a reprint of a post I did for the Art Jewelry Elements blog.  I had hoped to continue my organizing efforts and have more to add to this today, but I ran out of time.  If you are reading this on Saturday, I am vending at a show today.  And well, you know how that goes.  Preparation for shows takes over everything else you may have hoped to accomplish.

But I’ve got a good start on the clean-up effort and I’ll work toward finishing up after the show.  I’ll post my progress as I move forward.

If you’ve been following my posts then you know that I’ve been experimenting with polymer clay and torch fired enameling recently.  I’ve also been slowly adding a few metalsmithing techniques to my skill set.  This is all wonderful except…. When I set my studio up in our spare bedroom I had mega-tons of beads, but no torches, hammers, enamels, polymer clay, pasta machine etc.  Well you get the picture.

As I added more things that didn’t have a designated space, my computer desk got overwhelmed with junk tools, metal and clay.  My computer got ousted to the living room, my studio floor became littered with papers, magazines and whatnot.  Add this to the fact that I am  not a naturally organized or orderly person and you have chaos!

It was getting so bad that I couldn’t even find space to work. I was becoming annoyed and thus began avoiding my studio. I finally had enough!  That’s when I saw that Sharyl was hosting this blog hop!  The timing was perfect.  So I began burrowing out of the mess.  Unfortunately I didn’t take “Before” pictures right away.  The pictures I do have were taken about a week after I began Operation Studio Renewal.  You know how things actually get worse before they get better?  These pictures attest to that.

I’m not all done yet, but I thought I’d post some mid-project pictures, to show the progress so far and to help hold me accountable for finishing what I have started.

I’m actually typing this post at my desk, but here’s what it looked like near the start of the project.

And this evening it looks like this.

Here’s a daytime shot from earlier this week.  I’ve got the polymer clay pasta machine on the left side of the desk.  It can stay set up there, but out of the way.

The  polymer clay and tools were scattered all about, but they are now nicely corralled on shelves to the left of the desk. Here’s what the shelves looked like before I went to work on them.

The shelves were not a complete disaster, like my desk was.  They were somewhat organized, but I needed to make room for the polymer clay and enamels without having to invest in new shelving or expensive storage items.

Another goal I had was to reduce visual clutter, as well as physical clutter.  I think I’ve accomplished both goals here.

Let’s start with the top shelf.  My before picture shows that I had the same white plastic storage drawers up there initially, but they were all stacked at varying heights.  And then there were smaller purple storage boxes stacked up on the right side of the shelf.  Its hard to see in the before picture, but on the left side of the top shelf was also a round plastic jar of furnace glass beads.

I removed the purple boxes and the furnace glass and I spread out the white drawers so they are all the same height.  Now the eye can rest on that shelf comfortably and not be jarred by all the conflicting heights, colors and storage boxes.  The only non-white item now is a wood and papier-mâché diorama from Mexico that is on top of one of the storage drawers in the corner.

The 2nd shelf down is mostly empty right now, but that’s OK.  I’m not done cleaning the whole studio yet and I might still need the space.  One trick to give yourself extra space for smaller items is to use hanging wire baskets that hook onto the shelf above.  You can see that I’ve used one of these above the second shelf.

I’m quite pleased with the 3rd shelf.  I picked up a number of these inexpensive, white cardboard boxes at IKEA.  They are a bit tedious to assemble, but they are sturdy, come in at least 3 sizes and are white, to go with the other things on the shelf, (though they come in colors too).

I moved all my polymer clay supplies into these boxes and used my trusty label machine to label each box.  There is still extra room in the boxes for more, as I expand my stash.

Although I forgot to take a picture of it, I’ve also cleared out all the clutter that was on the floor by these shelves.  One can now reach them without danger to life and limb! ;)

 I’ve also organized a shipping station for items purchased in my online shops.  I used to keep padded envelopes, bubble wrap and tissue paper in baskets under my work table.  Thank you cards were next to my work table.  Business cards were on my antique printers cabinet, postal tape was in the kitchen.  Oy vey!  One of the cardinal rules of organizing is to put like with like.  This is so much better!

You are probably curious about where I actually make my jewelry.  I’ve just barely started organizing it, so it’s mostly still a wreck.  But you will notice that I’ve cleared a small bit of real estate in the center of the table and even this little work space has re-sparked a creative drive in me that I welcome.

So that’s it for now.  I’ll do an update when I finish the task. I look forward to visiting the other people’s blogs who joined this clean-up challenge. And I’d encourage you to do likewise, (see links below).   I know I’ll pick up some cool organizing tips from them and that I’ll gather increased motivation to get this job done!  Thanks Sharyl for hosting this challenge!

I am always delighted to read your comments!   Hope to hear from you.


Linda Landig Jewelry – ArtFire 
Linda Landig Jewelry – Etsy


Participant List:

Host: Sharyl McMillian-Nelson … http://sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com

Donna Millard http://fyrebeadz.blogspot.com/

Beda Hendrix … https://www.facebook.com/SasijuhlsThings

Ann Schroeder… http://www.beadlove.wordpress.com

Pamela Rachelle… http://crazycreativecorner.blogspot.com

Kristin L Oppold… http://www.yayjewelry.blogspot.com

Heidi Kingman … http://heidikingman.blogspot.com

Andi … http://strungoutjewelry.blogspot.com/

Patricia Buchanan Click “Blog” on the menu bar at http://www.braceletstoo.artfire.com

Helen Simon… http://helensharvest.com/

Kashmira … http://sadafulee.blogspot.com/

somethingunique … http://somethinguniquebylana.blogspot.ca/

Renetha … http://lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com

Kathy Lindemer … http://bay-moon-design.blogspot.com

Swapna Dinesh … http://www.swardaa.com

Linda Landig … https://lindalandig.wordpress.com/

Ann Schroeder … http://www.beadlove.wordpress.com/

Beti Horvath … http://stringingfool.blogspot.com/

Sam S … http://samsbeadshopandjewelry.blogspot.com/

Christina Miles … http://wingsnscales.blogspot.com/

Islandgirl … http://islandgirlsinsights.blogspot.ca/

macmillanmarie … http://www.macmillanmarie.blogspot.com

Emma Todd … http://www.apolymerpenchant.com

Neena Shilvock …

Dee Clark… http://biz-e-bead.blogspot.com/

motidana … http://kalaabhushan.blogspot.com/

Here Bead Dragons … http://beaddragons.blogspot.com/

Carol D. … http://dillmansdallies.blogspot.com/

Pam Sears … http://crazycreativecorner.blogspot.com/

Nan Smith … http://wirednan.blogspot.ca

AliMc … http://northwoodscreativestudio.blogspot.com

Kari Asbury … http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com

Shirley Moore … http://www.beadsandbread.blogspot.com

PyxeeStyx … http://travelingsideshow.blogspot.com/

Jayne Capps … https://mamasgottodoodle.blogspot.com

Louann Elwell
… https://plus.google.com/117746558861718110652/posts

Rain … http://honeyandollie.com/

Lori Bergmann … http://www.LoriBergmann.blogspot.com

Helen Simon… http://helensharvest.blogspot.com/

Arlene Dean … http://aglassbash.blogspot.com

Sandra… http://city-of-brass-stories.blogspot.de/

Alicia … http://www.allprettythings.ca

Natalie Pappas …  http://blog.nkpdesigns.com/

Mike Flint …  https://www.facebook.com/bagomag

New Jewelry Studio

My husband got the idea that if we moved our furniture around a bit, I could have a room all to myself for my jewelry work and an office.  So we moved his stuff out of the future bead room.

Moving the printer out of the new bead room
Moving the printer out of the new bead room.

Then we moved my things into the room, including the drawers from my antique Hamilton printers cabinet.

drawers from my antique Hamilton printers cabinet
Drawers from my antique Hamilton printers cabinet.

Our dog, Chochi, supervised the move.

New studio

The walls were a dull, light brown, so I decided they needed a fresh, light color that would make me feel cheery and peaceful.  I scooted the furniture to the middle of the room, out in the hallway and into the master bedroom.  Then I painted two of the walls a light turquoise blue.

painting the walls
It is hard to photograph yourself painting!

The next day my friend, who loves to paint rooms, came over and we finished the other two walls.

painting my studio walls.
I get by with a little help from my friends.

Now I am slowly bringing my furniture back into the studio from the bedroom and hall.  I’m organizing everything as I put it away.  On one side of the room I have my bead table and it is pretty well organized now.  The other side has my computer desk and some book shelves.  That side still needs working on.  But I think I’m far enough along to share some pictures with you.

Here’s my work table.  The “parking” sign was a gift from my husband for Christmas!

All the art on the walls was done by family members or friends.  It fills me with joy to be surrounded by their creativity.  I haven’t hung everything yet.  There are more photos by my husband, screen prints by my daughter and paintings by my brother. The painting on the right is by Angela Pierce.

The wooden boxes on the right are from IKEA.  I plan to paint them white (furniture and storage painting is phase two of this project).  I also plan to paint my bead table white.

My jewelry work table.
My jewelry work table.

As you can see, I have labeled all the drawers.  Can’t live without my label machine!  The handmade vase above the boxes is filled with pussy willows and was a gift from the friend who helped me with the painting.

Wooden boxes from IKEA
Wooden boxes from IKEA

The white shelves on my work table are actually shoe shelves from Fred Meyers (I think that is just an west coast store).  They assemble easily and I use them all over the place.  You’ll see them in my closet, as well.

Shelving on the work table.
Shelving on the work table.

The closet holds some of my other crafty interests:  paper crafts, basketry, silk painting (dyeing) supplies.  I used the shoe shelves to extend the storage on the shelf above the clothes railing.  Two of my hand dyed silks are hanging to the right in the closet.  If I have space, I’d like to hang them up on the studio walls.

The closet in my new studio.
The closet in my new studio.

My beloved Hamilton printers cabinet is to the left of my work table.  I store all my art beads, pearls, gemstones, seed beads and crystals here. The painting above the cabinet is by Susan England.  It is from our favorite get-away in Costa Rica.  One of my silks hangs to the right of the cabinet and I wove the basket that sits on the floor.

My Hamilton printers cabinet.
My Hamilton printers cabinet.

The last picture I’m going to share is the light box where I photograph my jewelry for posting in my online shop.  This light box is just the greatest thing!  I can now take pictures in all light conditions!

My desk and computer area are still a mess.  I’ll share pictures of that side of the studio when I’ve got it all organized and clean.

New studio
Photo light box.

I hope you enjoyed this little studio tour.  I welcome your comments, suggestions or questions!

Bead Table Wednesday: Disorderly Conduct (in the studio)

BTW: Disorderly Conduct

…in the studio

If you read the interview with me on the Pacific Northwest ArtFire Guild Blog, it will come as no surprise to you that my work surface is a constant disaster.  I usually have numerous projects going at once.  And I’d rather design jewelry than clean up after myself.  I did include a studio picture with the interview and it looks half-way decent, but I neatened things up before taking that picture.

So I’m coming clean about not being clean.  Here’s how the studio really looks!

handmade jewelry in progressHow do I even find what I am working on????  Here’s a close up of the mess on the left.

Messy table top with handmade jewelry in progress.

Here’s the little blue bowl that is on the upper right in the picture above.

Black bracelets in a blue bowl
Work in progress

These bracelets were commissioned by a friend’s mother.  Her mother had bought a similar bracelet from me and received compliments from her friends.  So she decided she wanted to gift her friends with matching bracelets.  The only problem was that I couldn’t find the exact same black and pink floral beads – I only had 1 left in my stash.  These are similar and I hope they will be OK, (I do like the originals better, though).

I’ve finished one bracelet and just have to add the clasp to the second one.

Handmade bracelet by Linda Landig
Black and pink custom bracelet

Here are a pair of heart earrings I am working on.  I don’t like that extra silver ring above the heart.  It looks too gangly to me.  I may remove it.  What do you think?

Handmade Heart and lampwork earring
Heart and lampwork earring (Lampwork by Radiant Mind)

And last of all, I’m already laying out ideas for a heart necklace.  The photo makes the ceramic heart look blue, but it is really lavender and it pairs well with this lampwork bead, which I’ve had for a long time, (unfortunately I no longer remember who made it).

valentines day necklace in progress
Ceramic heart (by Bohulleybeads) and lampwork glass bead

Well now you have the truth of the matter.  I make pretties while I act disorderly!

I'm very creative(source: Pinterest)


Visit the BTW Flickr group and see what others have on their  bead tables.

link to BTW Flickr group

Bead Table Wednesday: New Metal Components

New Metal Components From

Melinda Orr

I’ve recently been getting to know Melinda Orr on Facebbook and some of her wonderful metal components are on my bead table today.  However, they were just in a heap on my bead table, so I decided to share them with you in a little more creative manner.

etched and patina'ed copper for jewelry
Melinda Orr copper components (red & black beads from Shipwreck Beads, leaves from Unicorne Beads)

To be truthful, I had intended to show you a pair of earrings using two of the patina’ed rectangles.  However, I decided that I didn’t like the way that they turned out (too long and bulky) so I took them apart.  Back to the drawing board!  Hopefully I will soon have something to show for my efforts!

You can find Melinda’s wonderful components, toggles and more at Melinda Orr Designs.


Visit the BTW Flickr group and see what others have on their  bead tables.

link to BTW Flickr group

Bead Table Wednesday: Gem Faire

BTW: New Goodies

I went to the Gem Faire in Tacoma last Friday and I have all kinds of new goodies on my bead table now.  I’m fairly cautious at Gem Faire, because many of the gem dealers don’t have store fronts or websites and I see a lot of gems that look dubious to me.  One booth had beads that were obviously glass, but were billed as quartz, (but had garish bright non-quartz colors).  Other dealers looked quite reputable.  I really didn’t need any stones any way.  They have good deals on Swarovski crystals and I picked up several strands.  The oval beads (below) are Chinese crystal.  The rest are Swarovskis.

new items from Gem Faire
Swarovski and Chinese crystals.

Unicorn Beads always has a booth at Gem Faire and they have great deals on their discontinued lines.  Unicorne Beads specializes in handmade lampworked Boro (Borosilicate) glass.  At a nearby booth, I also picked up one strand of moukite – my only gemstone purchase.

boro glass beads
Unicorne Beads and moukite

Here’s a close up of some of the boro beads.  Pretty, huh?

Lampwork beads
Unicorne Beads

I finished off my shopping spree with 4 feet of brass chain and 2 feet of copper chain.  The ceramic pieces below are from Summers Studio and they arrived in the mail this week, too.

ceramic beads from Summers Studio
New chain and ceramic beads from Summers Studio

Now I can’t wait to get into the studio and start creating with all these new goodies.


Visit the BTW Flickr group and see what others have on their  bead tables.

link to BTW Flickr group

Bead Table Wednesday: Picasso Jasper Jewelry Set

BTW: New Goodies & New Jewelry

Kristi Bowman Components

OK, I admit it.  I’m completely smitten with Kristi Bowman’s copper components.  I already have a bunch that I haven’t yet made into jewelry, but when she had a sale last week, I had to get more!  So here’s whats on my bead table today.

Handmade copper jewelry components
Copper components by Kristi Bowman Design

Whispers Necklace and Bracelet

I also have a necklace and bracelet set on my bead table.  They are made of one of my favorite gemstones: Picasso jasper (aka Picasso marble).  This grey stone has endlessly fascinating black lines which crisscross through it, like some crazy road map.  It looks awesome with wine red garnets and a bit of metallic gleam from Thai Hill Tribes silver.

The “Whispers Necklace” has quiet colors, like whispers in the evening.

Whispers Necklace
Whispers Necklace
Whisper Necklace
Picasso Jasper is so beautiful!

The “Whispers Bracelet” has contrasting diamond and oval shapes.

Whispers Bracelet
Whispers Bracelet


Visit the BTW Flickr group and see what others have on their  bead tables.

link to BTW Flickr group

Bead Table Wednesday: Blue Owl

~-:¦:-••-:¦:-••-:¦:-• Here’s a link to  my Bead Soup post. •-:¦:-••-:¦:-••-:¦:-~

BTW: Blue Owl Bracelet

The little green owl bracelet that I wrote about in mid-September sold last week.  I was kind of sad to see him go -you know how you have favorites? – but fortunately I had already purchased a new blue owl from ceramic artist Marti Conrad.

The new bracelet is under construction now, on this Bead Table Wednesday.

Blue Owl Bracelet
Blue Owl Bracelet

I’m using mostly Picasso finished periwinkle blue glass beads, but on one side there is a lampwork glass bead and an amethyst.  On the opposite side there will be a dangle of blue lace agate, Czech fire polish glass and a brass spiral.


I encourage you to visit the BTW Flickr group and see what is happening on other bead tables.

link to BTW Flickr group