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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

"Hi Resolution - A New Year's Studio Meet and Greet"

Updated: If you are looking for my studio remodel project, scroll down...I talk about it in this studio-tour blog-hop....then you may want to hop to the other artist blogs to see their working studios. It's a treat!

Thanks for stopping by!

If you've been hopping through the other artist's blogs in our group before you came to mine, I bet you've already enjoyed so much before landing here. Your last stop should have been Phyllis Dobbs blog. If you happened upon my blog before going through the other blogs in this fun hop...may I suggest you start at the beginning Aaron Christensen's blog and enjoy the journey.  We are having a "Little Studio Tour and Meet and Greet." I have some incredibly talented and wonderfully warm friends...and I think you will agree too! After my blog, you will visit the outrageously talented Sharon Himes.
Samantha Walker copyright 2011
Now that we've made it through the holidays...and we've entered the New Year...I've had the chance to reflect on my past year with hopes of how I can make this year even better.

Last year...
was such a fantastic whirlwind of a year, with so many exciting things happening in my licensing business. In addition to continuing my design work in fabric, paper crafts and home decor, I added two more regular licenses. I am thrilled to be designing cut and emboss dies for Spellbinder's Paper Arts.
Samantha Walker copyright 2011
What's my big project this year?
This year, my husband and I decided that we would finish our basement, which will include a whole revamp of my studio space, and add a man-cave for him.

So Why remodel?
We've been in our home for a while, and our kids our getting older. We are looking for a place to to entertain older kids and their friends.  I'm also looking forward to creating a creative space that works. I started working more...and my space wasn't sufficient to all the kinds of work that I was doing. It will be so nice to finally have one central area that I can design, sew, craft, play, work...etc.  I've been divided between areas as my computer is currently upstairs...and all the crafty stuff is downstairs.  Bringing it all together this year is going to be fabulously fun!
Samantha Walker copyright 2010
Well...this is what my studio used to look like...
In all it's uninspiring glory, and not connected with my computer area--which is upstairs in the office. It would be a great place if it were just a hobby space, but my hobby has now become work, and this space just hasn't been very practical these days. I spend a lot of time traveling between the computer upstairs and this space here.

It was also the only room finished in our basement. You had to walk across the entire unfinished basement part to get to this room that was finished by the previous owners. I was grateful to have it...but it was time for a total makeover. 
Tearing down walls...
We decided to tear down the closet wall, and put the door on an entirely different wall. The closet area, will become my main crafting area. Here's a crude drawing of what I hope the crafting alcove will look like when it's finished:
Collecting used items:
I've been buying used cabinets through local classified adds and have been putting the area together with the pieces that I've collected. The turquoise cabinet in the middle is a kitchen buffet cart that I'll be painting turquoise and distressing. The cabinet group in the middle is a bargain I found on an IKEA glass cabinet and two side cabinets. I also found 4 file coordinating file cabinets for my room...two will serve as a base for holding my countertops--we will put bead board on the outside edge to make them look nice. My husband will help build some shelves to connect the cabinets.  The panel on the right side wall is a fold down ironing board that mounts between the wall joists.  It will fold over the top of the counter, I'm using every inch of space I have.  

This is what my room looked like a few weeks ago...
So in this picture...I'm standing in the area that used to be my closet looking into my room...
What a mess!   The contents of my studio and a myriad of other basement contents are under that tarp! You've heard the phrase you have to make a mess in order to organize a mess. It can only get better from here...right?
You can see the full effect of tearing down that wall here...
Yup...the walls are completely gone on the closet side. We had to install a beam and a post...because evidently, the front wall of the closet happened to be a support wall.  Dang...
Framing it in...
Here, we've framed in the back crafting alcove and built the post that holds the beam right into the wall. You may wonder why the strange cut-out shape on the backside of my room...we have a clever idea of adding a kitchenette with a restaurant booth in that alcove.  If you use your imagination...that black post thing-y in the middle of the alcove will attach to the wood support between the wall joists to hold up the table between the booth seats. We have literally measured the furniture on both sides of the wall to determine where the walls will go...there won't be a wasted millimeter of space when we are done. 
A room with no doors...
In the above picture, you are looking at my room but can't see in. The wall in this picture is where a fun sliding barn door will go...if you haven't figured it out already...the room has no door at present...we boxed it in on the other side too, where we rebuilt the closet area into a craft alcove. 

So right now, if you want anything from that room, you have to go through the wall studs to get it. 

Unfortunately, all the Christmas wrapping paper is in there under the tarp somewhere, and I still have lots of things to wrap. I felt as magical as Santa Claus with the ability to go through walls.  Not really...I felt more like the abominable snowman getting a nice white coating of dust and trying to squeeze through the studs while holding boxes of wrapping stuff. I made it back through to the other side, but the box didn't. I had to grab single rolls, one by one through the studs. It's going to be crazy around here for the next few months.
In this photo, I'm standing where we are going to cut the space for the barn doors in my room looking out to the room that will be next to mine. This will become our wide open family room.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the more interesting window side of the room. It is light and bright for a basement.  My ultimate goal is to get the basement not to look like a basement in the end.
The Plans:
You can see what I mean from using every last millimeter of space...and building our walls around furniture. If you visited my blog a few weeks ago and saw the post on my studio remodel then...I've modified my plan a bit as we've moved along on our project.

Updated to add... This was just one of 9 posts detailing my studio remodel project.

If you want to catch up on the whole project you can read more in these posts here:

The beginning plans sketched out (don't laugh at the timeline here...Putting it together has truly been a process.)
The story of the Printers Cabinet and Armoire (the debate to paint or not to glad I did not paint!!!)
The Floors this post
The extras 

Thank you again for stopping by! I am grateful to those of you support my products...I wouldn't have the opportunity to design for these companies, without those of you who choose to create or decorate with my designs...Thank You!  For those of you who aren't familiar with my designs, and this is your first time visiting my blog...Thank You also for taking time to get a little glimpse into my world.  I appreciate you too!

The next blog on the hop is Sharon Himes, make sure to pay her a visit...she is a You'll love here art studio in a quiet hideaway! 

If you get lost....
Here is a complete list of the bloggers participating in this studio meet and are in for a treat!




  1. looking GOOD!
    love the window seat!
    thank you for giving us a peek!

  2. Great design plan! How cool to be able to design a studio from scratch!

    Thanks for sharing your space!

  3. Samantha, that is going to be one amazing space when you get it all completed! WOW!

  4. wow what an exciting project Samantha, can't wait to see it when it's finished (probably not as much as you, though!)

  5. Your new studio will be worth the wait! I can't wait to see it finished. You are right about making a mess to get started.

  6. Samantha what a great space!! Can't wait to see all complete.. How exciting!!

  7. Samantha, I can't wait to see it finished. There's nothing like having a space all "YOUR OWN" especially when it is a place to create! So glad to be on this hop with you -looking forward to meeting you at CHA!

  8. Samantha, I loved seeing the place-in-progress! We don't often see that and it helps to understand just how much planning goes into crafting and art studio. I can't wait to see the finished space!

  9. I love that you shared this in all its unfinished glory, Samantha! My studio space is unheated and unwired at this point and I'm hoping we'll get the drywall up this winter!

  10. Samantha, "crude sketch"...really??? You crack me up! What a wonderful space this will be when it's finished. How lucky to be able to start from scratch! Can't wait to see it finished!

  11. Samantha, what a wonderful undertaking. You must be so excited to get in and make it a "home". You are already so very talented, having a new inspiring space is just going to launch you into creative nirvana! Enjoy it and thanks for hopping with all of us! It's been a pleasure.

  12. So great to see the process and I can't wait to see the final product. Thanks for the peek.

  13. Samantha, what a wonderful space you are creating this is really beautiful and exciting. Do you make house calls? Thanks for sharing.

  14. great space Samantha - Oh to have a basement to dedicate to design...almost worth the move from CA. I bet you are soooo eager and excited to see it all come together. Enjoy the fruits of all your labor.


  15. Anonymous2:55 AM MST

    Hi Samantha - Wow, such an undertaking on your studio project. It's going to be great! I'll bet you are eager to see it complete. I've been there so, I appreciate the effort it takes. It will be well worth it. I look forward to seeing the results. Thanks Samantha.

  16. Thanks for sharing Samantha. Can't wait to see the finished results. Any studio with a central island workbench is my idea of heaven!

  17. Anonymous8:59 AM MST

    LOL! Samantha, oh my! You will HAVE to have a follow-up with before and afters! This is going to be a great space!!!

    Hugs, Diane


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