Sunday, April 1, 2012

A New Workspace {Or A New Desk}

Most of you know me pretty well, so you know that my Etsy shop is pretty important to me. It was a whim of a hobby that I quickly decided to turn into a business. For a long time it didn't make any money at all. But all of a sudden, my little hobby turned into, what I would call, a part-time business. Heck, I even started to turn a profit! I only make a couple of hundred dollars per month but that's enough to warrant me having a pretty cool workspace (even if it's in my unfinished basement)!

So, let the makeover begin!

Here is a before shot of my desk:

My desk was actually a vanity that I bought in San Diego and it was tiny. It was always messy (because I like to create more than clean) and I could never find anything. On the plus side, there were a lot of drawers but they were pretty shallow.

When we moved to Colorado my business took off (probably because I had left my friends behind in SD) so Matt and I started a hunt for a new desk - looking only at garage sales since we knew that my business couldn't support buying brand new furniture. One day we found this desk:

An old wooden desk that pretty much resembles a desk that Matt had as a teenager. It was quite beat up but $20 for a very solid wooden desk was a great deal!

So, my boys got to work...

(This was taken this past November - Ethan looks so much smaller!)

...and created this:

Isn't it pretty and huge?! Matt sanded down the legs since they were uneven and he painted the whole thing white.

But wait! It actually has a feature! Let me show you...

Ta-da! The side door opens and holds a hidden shelf that's on a hinge so you can pull it up to work. I have one of my die cut machines on it.

When I'm done, I can hide it away! No muss no fuss! Pretty cool right?!

This is only the first of two desks that Matt is making me. The second one is half way done and I'm very excited to show you my whole studio space when it's complete.

Oh, and for of those of you who think my new desk looks messy - it's not! This is super clean!!

The 1850 Mile Pinterest Challenge of 2012 - March

Better late than never on this post...

For March, I decided to do an easy project and something seasonal. Thus, St. Patrick's Day + freezer paper and paint = Homemade stenciled shirts!

For those people who don't know about freezer paper, it can be found in the grocery store where the saran wrap and tin foil is. I guess you're supposed to use it to wrap up things like meat before it hits the freezer but what's neat about it is that it's waxy on one side and papery on the other...

...perfect for arts and crafts (which makes me smile)!:

To start, I pulled out some freezer paper and used (with consent) a stencil that I found on thisblog . Whatever you do, make sure you either draw your own image or take from someone who is giving. Do not steal images - not okay.

Anyway, using a sharpie I traced my printed image (on the papery side, of course!)

This was my image:

Then you grab your exacto knife and start carefully cutting out along the inner lines. This was hard for me. I'm not very good with an exacto knife and I found it a bit tedious but with a little time and patience it worked!

Here's what it looked like when I was done with all the cutting:

Then you have to choose something to stencil. The craft store offers many options from shoes and hats to t-shirts to baby onesies. I choose the classic white tee.

After ironing the shirt, I took my stencil and ironed it on. This is the fabulous thing about freezer paper - paper on one side for drawing and wax on the other side to stick to fabric when heat is applied.

Move your shirt to a counter or table and grab a piece of cardboard to put inside the shirt. You don't want your fabric paint to leak through to the backside of your shirt.

Now for the fun part, grab your fabric paint and a sponge and start dabbing the paint onto your shirt and stencil. Covering the areas isn't easy and I couldn't get mine perfectly uniform but try your best.

In many cases, I would just squirt the paint right onto the shirt and dab it in.

When you're done, it should look something like this:

Then the big reveal! While the paint is still wet, start peeling the stencil off your shirt. It should come off very easily and leave no residue behind.

You should be left with a cute and funky shirt!

To make a second shirt (two boys=two shirts), I ironed on the shamrock stencil that I had cut out from making the first shirt.

I applied a thin strip of fabric paint onto the stencil and then I took my sponge and smeared the paint onto the shirt.

When I was done, it looked like this:

For the new frugal us of 2012, this project was eye opening! Cute, simple, almost one-of-a-kind t-shirts for less than $2 a piece?! I'll take it!