20 July 2012

My Studio - Newly Of Late A-fresh

This is a post about inspiration!  Do come along with me as I live out the dreams that inspired me from right here at this Artist's Writer's Retreat in Ireland.  I wrote about it in this recent post, 

There is nowhere like the Beara Peninsula to get your creative juices flowing.  Being surrounded by artists and writers, muses and glorious Irish countryside doesn't hurt either.  So here it is, photos and all, the process and the finished product.

 Before I show you the finished studio, here is how it all started.  This was the view from my desk at Anam Cara in Ireland, where I hung my hat for the month of May.  

This was where I sat and day dreamed.  Now how about it?  Could you help but have your mind go wild with inspiration, plans and desires?  I'll answer that for you.  NO!

The room which became my studio at home came out very nice the first go round if you saw the post on the remodel.  If I wasn't so lazy had the time, I'd show you the before and after pics side by side, but alas, I've got painting and day dreaming to do and a room which inspires me now, so you'll have to go with the flow here.  I promise to make it easy.

The previous studio was organised, I could find things, It looked good, but I had no desire to be in that room.  I think I painted two paintings in the year it sat there.  I walked past the room, which is off the entry hall, and sighed every day thinking what could I do that would draw me in and give me the inspiration to get back to my painting and writing? The furniture was dark which didn't accentuate the the walnut flooring.  The built in nook was functional for storage but not inviting in any way.  There was plenty of practicality but it just didn't draw me in.  I never even went in there to blog - I just sat on the sofa and ended up with a back ache!  So each time I peeked in, I carried on past the room and got busy with my ironing board or some other such task.

Welcome to my studio remodel! Isn't she a beauty! I can say with gusto that I'm satisfied and in love with my new space.  In case you don't remember the first go-round, again, you might like to check out this post I wrote a couple of years ago, showing you what I'd accomplished with an empty room in my then newly remodeled cottage.  Welcome To The Cottage Studio , practical but dark and boring.  It was great having all my things organised again, after everything having been in storage for over a year.  My brilliant daughter Kate was more than generous with her time and helped me get over being a complete, thumb sucking, crying, basket case a wee bit overwhelmed. We'd just moved back in to the cottage after a year of chaotic remodeling and if you can, imagine the job ahead, trying to get your entire life and family settled in again.  It was daunting.   

After a long trip to Ikea where my darlin' Katie Girl held my hand while I quivered with uncertainty,  we measured and shopped and tried to figure out what shelving and desks, etc., would work to hold my many mounds of crap  important arts and crafts supplies.  I am beyond lucky to have my own room to store it in, after all, anybody  my husband could have claimed stake on it for a tool room an office.  Spoiled rotten.  I'm just spoiled rotten and I know it.  Judge if you must but you'll see how lucky I am!

Upon arrival home from Ireland, I excitedly showed my hubs my journal, doodles and all, with all the enthusiasm I always have for starting a new project.  He just rolled his bright blue eyes knowing that this would mean days if not weeks of hard work to finish what I figured we could run home and accomplish by the next day.  Yes, I am that optimistic and enthusiastic, and he is that practical and pragmatic, and he is also, always right about these things.

I like to think we balance each other beautifully :)
Thanks to my brilliant ideas we all lived in complete chaos and this mess for three full weeks.

My entry hall was almost impassable.  I take that back, it was impassable even for the poor dogs.

IMy desk previously, was a looming, dark, cherry stained wood with nooks, crannies and a large return desk for a computer and printer as well.  I had a full sized filing cabinet besides, which was also stained in a dark cherry.

 I had to wear a hot, suffocating mask so as not to breath in all the sanded stain and debris for the two weeks of constant sanding which I accomplished.  This photo shows a piece of the wood only half way to paintable!

I replaced the bottom part of the old desk with this table I stole from my sons room.  Sorry son, I know I know you're not supposed to steal — something in the 8th Commandment or the like, but you weren't using it anyway.  Seriously, you don't even live here any more.  This old table has seen at least seven previous coats and colors of paint and I sanded each and every red, blue, yellow and the last color used, black.  This photo shows the heavy duty primer I applied so I could get down to applying my creamy, dream color

Benjamin Moore's "Kennebunkport".  Light, calming and yes, inspired!  You could just eat it!  But don't.

I stripped the top down to the original wood which I love.  I then used a flat varnish spray and applied at least eight coats.  Now I can set my cuppa tea down without a coaster and I don't have to tell you, this table is pretty indestructible which is how I need it to be around here.  Notice my big ol pleather chair on coasters is gonzo.  I replaced it with a more feminine version of a beachy straw grass chair, in a light grey tone.  I put a soft Pottery Barn pillow my daughter left behind from her college bedroom in the seat and a layered white on white pillow to rest my weary back on.

 Ah, and here is my new cozy nook.  I still have work to do here as I just used an old twin bed we had in storage and didn't build anything in the exact size of the nook.  I hope to figure out a clever way to hang sheers, either from the ceiling or the walls.  The bed comes just barely outside of the nook so I can't do anything with a full sheer that you can close.  Just a hint of encasement which will hopefully blow in the sea breeze and add that soft, special touch.  Any ideas?  Please throw them my way!

 As you can see, I left the large mirror up because it hangs opposite the garden and brings in all the light, reflecting the view and nature beyond.  The bedding I used is Shabby Chic Lavender from Target.  I added a few soft, downy throw pillows too.  The lavender relaxes me and, and the pattern reminds me of when I was a little girl daydreaming about having a house of my own one day.  I have a lavender scented candle and a large lavender plant in the studio now too.

Things are looking pretty inspirational and cozy around here now, don't ya think?

My son the Art Major gave it the thumbs up, so I'll soldier on.  Thanks son!

This is what I see when I'm sitting at my beautiful new desk looking out at the garden.  I can watch the birds in their bath which delights me!

That hammock out there is just itching for some soft pillows and a few fairy lights in the tree, to make it the perfect evening hangout. 

 The birds felt so comfy due to the good vibes ruminating from my studio, they built a nest in my wreath on the French doors and laid two little eggs in it.  I'll keep you posted on those.

They'll be beachy bird babies surrounded by starfish, sea shells and sea glass.  Lucky babies!


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