Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Monday, April 12, 2021
I was asked recently to do a 'Lunch and Learn' for the createminiatures.org. Their theme for April was about Spring Cleaning and Organizing.
I shared my organizing solutions and answered questions via zoom meeting.
The video can be found here.
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
OK, not actually a string, just very small space
My son graduated from college over a year ago and has been living in my studio since. It took 6 months for him to find a job that he wanted. One that was close to my home so he could live with us was a big consideration. The reason is that he wanted to save money and pay on student loans. This he has done.
However I no longer have that separate room to leave my projects out. I still have access to nearly all my supplies and tools. My son put most all his things in storage and just has a bed in the middle of the studio room.
Initially I just had a small amount of things and worked in my bedroom because it had a tv. I had my studio chair and a tv tray. I also used a small area on a shelf that is for the vcr and other things connected to the tv.
During the OLHP (online house party) last year, I moved to our dining room table and had project boxes and my tools taking up close to half the table. But there is no tv there, so I soon moved back to the bedroom.
It is a scaled back and I get things from the studio as I need rather than have everything around. I also put things back in the studio when I am not using them. Staying organized is the main reason to do so. Otherwise, I would take over my bedroom with too many miniature things that I can't get to.
Earlier this year, I did make a major change. Rather than storing my small toolbox (and extra boxes of tools and glue) on a second tv tray, I emptied this taller drawer cart into a smaller one.
I reduced the height of the tall drawer cart because I wanted to be able to easily reach my toolbox while seated on this love-seat. This meant removing one large drawer.
I don't have the drawers re-labelled in this pic. I changed the labels once I had figured out would be in each drawer. It is easy to do, by using isopropyl alcohol to wipe away the marker on the plastic tape over the little sheets. Note the wheels were added back. I didn't have them on before because I was concerned about weight nor needed to move it around. I have had the plastic piece, that the wheels go into, break before.
I now have one drawer of paint and glues
another for cutting and clamp tools (that don't go in my toolbox)
I normally keep projects in photo boxes and still other kits for and parts of the Petite Chateau are. By having a project drawer, I don't need to access a box every time I am ready for the next kit for this floor.
The basement insert for the Petite Chateau just so happen to fit the new project drawer, the rest of the drawer is then for kits and the furnishings. (Even though I finished the basement, it is still in the drawer but in the back due to not having the exterior and garage ready.)
The next level I am working on is the furnishings since the other levels are all built into the house already.
One of the big drawers is for misc items as well like cup for holding glue, a cup of stain markers, extra plastic bags, roll of extra paper towels, etc.
The bottom big drawer I have my dremel in.
Because of my cat, I cannot leave any liquid alone with her for even a few minutes. Recently she spilled a whole can of soda on the love-seat and floor. I was quite frustrated with her and with myself because I wasn't able to work while the couch was drying. I know better, but it happened.
My new system is to take liquids with me, empty them, or make her leave the room with me. Miniatures are not safe from her either, so I must put things away every time I am done for the day. This helps me be more organized as well.
The past few weeks I have been privileged to meet with fellow miniaturists online via zoom mtgs.
This is my 'desk' setup from last night's mtg.
The drawer cart is pulled up to the side so I can quickly access. It has been nice to turn my arrangement around to accommodate the computer. The wheels on the drawer cart are most helpful.
The computer is closed, but yes, it is elevated on an additional stand on the black table. The additional stand helps with my neck issues. I only have the black table for the computer.
When not in a zoom mtg I just use the tv tray at the love-seat and it looks pretty much like this.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Previously I had stored my electrical items in two small cabinet drawers and in my last post I shared that I had moved them to a photo-box. Well, I was fine with that although I didn't have that much stuff so the photo-box was overkill. Then I ran across a small pizza box that I had received a kit in. This box was one I couldn't part with (probably because I save things I think can still be useful for organizing) so I decided the electrical items could go here.
Now in thinking about this (using a pizza box) - it doesn't fit the same as the photo-boxes, but then I have other boxes in my supplies section that don't as well (zip bag storage box and the fishing tackle boxes). Another reason I was willing to move the electrical to a smaller box is, I am not likely to outgrow this box as I don't add to that supply except when I really need something that is generally specific to a project. I did feel the need to somehow divide up the open area. I used a checkbox lid, a jewelry box lid and then two plastic containers. (More about the plastic containers below).
During this move, I also took the time to see what I have and whether I wanted to purge any of it. I did choose to purge some items including some were for 1/12th scale and not LED's. I added the scale items to my donate to NAME box and the other will just go in the regular donate box.
In August, we went camping and I had my son empty the landscaping three drawer cart. I have done this in the past. See how I use these for camping here. I empty each drawer into a plastic grocery sack and then when we come back they go back in the drawers. Those bags hung around for a few weeks and then it was a question: do I bring the 3 drawer cart back in and keep using it, or do I move landscaping supplies to the photo-boxes? This was a debate I had been having for a couple of months. Since the supplies were already out of the cart, I figured it was time to use the photo boxes.
Going through these to make them fit into the photo-boxes was a good process.
- I took the time to combine some smaller bags into larger bags where the product was the same.
- Some of these were due to have purchased at several different times the same product. Or due to it came in a kit.
- Also I had bags made up to sell or swap and then didn't.
- A couple even had product in that because the bag was printed with a picture, I couldn't really tell what was in it. So I switched this to a completely clear bag.
- Some items were in big bags and so those were moved to smaller bags.
- Another thing I did was to review these for scale. I still had some items that were really for larger scale than 1:48 or smaller. Since my focus is 1:48, I felt it would be better to donate these.
- Also I had some dried items that were larger that I gave to my daughter for her projects.
The result of this organizing and culling was the use of 4 photo-boxes for landscaping organized/separated/sorted by color.
In my last post, I shared how I sorted some plastic bits to make things with. But I also had a drawer of plastic containers.
When I was swapping often, I needed to have something to package them in. When I get the swaps back, I receive a variety of packaging. I save most of them to have on hand to package the next time. Plus anything else that was plastic but not really small.
This has all been stored in a drawer of my tall drawer cart.
The 4th drawer down had these plastic items in it.
In the process of the landscaping organizing, I had to get into this drawer and I decided it was time to go thru these items. I had some packaging from my last swap that needed to be stored. So I emptied the drawer and began by putting like items together.
The results was two boxes and better visibility of the items I have. Items that were plastic but not containers, I put them were they are to be used. These were some plastic plates and their purpose was for painting palates.
At first glance this may look like a jumble and hardly better than I had before. But this is organized like items together. It also reminded me of what items I had that could be used for organizing, not just swaps or painting palettes. Consequently I used two of the rectangle boxes in the upper left corner in the electrical box. These little boxes have locking handles (blue). It's a bit of overkill for most of my items and they are super neat, so hadn't been able to find a place for them. But for the electrical items this was great.
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Storage options - cabinet vs enclosed boxes
There were three metal tall cabinets and two shorter, wider ones. The tall ones I really used and the shorter ones I didn't. The main reason I didn't was because I couldn't get to them. Mostly I didn't use them because I didn't ever get around to finding just the right items to store in them because they were hard to get to.
Mounting them to the wall was an option but one I wasn't willing to do. These cabinets didn't fit too well in the black shelves and I wasn't prepared to move them to the white ones either. Once I decided to get rid of my desk and move the black shelves I also decided to get rid of the storage drawer cabinets. But what to do with the items actually stored in these cabinets?
My solution was to purchase more photo boxes. In 2016, I decided that for my project boxes stored in shoe boxes I would replace with photo boxes. I planned that I would do this over time by buying only when they were on sale. I had done so, but used this as time to buy more. There is nothing wrong with shoe boxes. But the photo boxes provide consistent sizes and that is what led me in that direction.
I decided that I would also use the photo boxes for storing supplies as well.
- Ribbon/Trim - keeping the bags I had in the big bin, the only change was to have them 'filed'. But it did take two photo boxes to store all of it. I love being able to quickly find the color I am looking for without having to dig in the big bin. Another thing I did was to give up on the case binder. I really loved the case binders I have but I don't have enough of the pocket pages to fill up. I re-purposed it to another task.
- Flower making - I'm not totally happy with this box, but for now the items from the storage cabinets are moved inot one photo box. I plan to get these 'filed' as well.
- Kits - rearranging things from my tall plastic drawer cart to the photo boxes, I split them into Furniture and Misc. and I 'filed' them using the dividers that came in the photo boxes.
- Electrical - got it's own photo box. I think I may use some smaller boxes inside to help organize this as it is a mass jumble. Another solution I may consider would be the plastic divided boxes.
- Wood strips and bits - all my wood except some wider pieces are now sorted into 3 divided boxes. Yes, 3 because I had them available and also because I had that many scraps in assorted places. I now have wood in 3 places, these boxes, a drawer for larger flat pieces and a large cardboard box for the remaining long pieces.
- Pencils and pens - these were in the cabinets and needed a new home. A divided box worked and a second smaller box for my permanent markers.
- Glitter and sequins - spent a couple of evenings sorting my sequins by color. I know silly, but therapeutic for me. I just love color but prefer it to be organized. The sorting paid off later when I just needed silver and could go quickly to the silver section.
- Plastic bits - I previously had most of all this in a shoe box size cardboard drawer. But this way I can find things easier. Larger bits (that I am less likely to use for smaller scales) are still in the cardboard drawer.
- Screws and such - I previously had two drawers in the storage cabinet. Oh and various other spots around. So I consolidated it all into one single divided box. This one was an odd ball compared to the others.
- Previously, I had a divided box of doors and windows for 1:48 scale but added a second one for other building components. Mostly I spread out the stash into two boxes because I had them, but I also found some of these stored somewhere else so now everything is together.
- Tape - it is in a plastic shoebox. (shown above)
- Clay - these was moved from the plastic shoe box I just mentioned into a 3 section snap together box. This way all the clay and tools are together.
- Kid art - I keep on hand some kid friendly art items like markers, scissors and glue. These all are in an additional snap together set box.
- Small boxes - literally little boxes. I keep these from when I unpack my swaps or other purchases. These then are used when I need to ship something or for the clear ones I will use for display.
- Stamps - I can't seem to part with these (or these pink boxes), a leftover from other crafts. These could easily go in a photo box instead.
- Punches - these needed to move from the cabinet drawers and have found a new home
- Glue and bulky paint - these, for now, are on the bottom two shelves of a black bookcase. I still need to decide if this will be their official home. Can also see the stuff stored in the corner. I left a gap between the book shelf and the wall just for the storage of large flat things.
- Paint bottles - I have been collecting small mail boxes to use to separate by color. I like this better than the bigger bins I had, but I wish they were deeper to fit the depth of the shelf.
- Scissors - the fancy kind and my handle hole punches - these all fit in the top of the medium rack tool box (see below)
- Tools - the extra tools I had stored in the drawer cabinets needed a new home. I finally succumbed and purchased the medium size tool rack system. I decided on the medium size because I felt the larger one was too big, especially since I had the smaller one to hold most of my regular use tools already. I got this one from Michael's with a coupon. I choose to elevate the small one to fill room on the shelf. I do tend to leave my tools out and so the two bins below make for quick clean up. The little shelf was a thrift store find. I also added a piece of foam-board under the toolbox so support the front cover that is sticking out. This is so a divided box has something to sit on. The medium rack box has the front cover removed. These are easy to remove or take off. The shelf above was left that far up to allow the top portion lid to be opened. All my tools including a small hammer (except rulers) are in these two boxes.
That's all for now.
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Friday, April 7, 2017
Studio Update and solution considerations drawer cabinets vs enclosed options
I only moved the desk into the dining room as I figured it might go back to my room sooner than later.
The desk with the top down would block the door to the closet but since it could be lifted up and out of the way, it would still work in the corner and not block the door then. The ability to lift it out of the way was because we turned the desk around so that the pivot was at the wall side not the front. So it still can't be used as an easel. Again this isn't a problem.
About this same time my hubby had started selling on eBay. This desk would then be available to him as well for packing/shipping and also to photograph the items. But he needed a place to store his items. We visited a local thrift store to find some shelves. We got really lucky that we found just what we were looking for and more, at half price even. For him we found a metal shelf and for me two tower units.
Here's his ebay shelf (btw - if you see anything of interest here - email me, a lot of this hasn't been listed yet and I will practically give it away).
The desk moved over from previously in front of the closet to under the window.
I believe these units were part of an entertainment center. The top shelves do not adjust but do have lights in them. The other shelves do adjust using the peg system. I believe that one of them may have had a door as there is extra wood pieces and trim that a door likely hung from and fitted against. It would have been nice to have the door, but I am pleased with them without it.
These two units give me both display shelves and a place for my scrapbook supplies. They were previously in a couple of shelves of the just moved black bookshelf. These units also have doors at the bottom. Since I was going to keep the bike here, I decided that what went in the cabinets must be items I don't access as often. Examples are extra display boxes and some large tools (small table saw) that may or may not stay here.
After several months of working on this, I am finally ready to share more photos of where I am with the other portions of the room. No, the room isn't picture perfect, but hey this is how I really work in here.
That was an interim pic that I was going to post weeks ago, but have moved on to this.
The main difference is moving some of the new divided boxes and other supply boxes lower so I can reach while sitting.
The boxes in the black shelves - most of them are the photo storage boxes that I purchased when the hobby stores run a sale. I actually have some leftover. I guess I need more projects to put in them. Or I could get busy doing more sorting of the remaining areas. LOL.
On top of the folding table is a folding bed table. I got this at a thrift store as well. I so rarely ever used it in my bed, that I tried it on my folding table/desk. I really like that I have the additional space which more than makes up for the loss of the easel desk.
One advantage that I have by using the folding table is that I can easily slide it over to allow a bed roll on the floor (for guests). Or if I needed to it can be cleared off and put away.
As one can see, my studio is ever changing - for a number of reasons. I still have some work to do for this round of re-org, but I am much happier that my stuff is not as likely to get dusty being in boxes.