Saturday, June 1, 2013

Saturday Share - My Dark Secret

Yesterday, I commented on our private board that I didn't know what I was going to post about, and felt like I had run out of things to "share"!  Our fearless leader, Jennifer, kicked my behind and said, "don't be silly!" She made several great suggestions, but one thing she mentioned made my heart race, and my face flush.  How could I possibly share my deep, dark, terribly haunting secret? I thought long and hard.  I couldn't show the world, could I?  Wait, I thought, maybe if I shared, I can overcome and triumph!  Okay, here goes...

My name is Melissa Meman, and I have a shamefully disorganized and messy studio work space!  Warning...images may not be safe for some individuals with certain obsessive/compulsive tendencies!

All kidding aside, I truly am a bit embarrassed! But I am looking at this as an opportunity to get my act together and organize!

So, here we are in my main "studio" space...unfortunately, it is not a separate room, but a small alcove off the master bedroom, which means I really can't work in here late night or early morning, as my hubs is a really light sleeper.  We planned to swap out and move my stuff into another room, but it involves a huge overhaul, so for now, I will have to make do.  Plus, not shown, my computer is against the other wall.  It is an old desktop and needs replacing.  When I do, I will re-org that space as well.  As you see from the piles of things, I have been trying to make an attempt to organize, but it needs a lot of work.

Counter-clockwise in the room, my main work table.  The filing cabinet has nothing to do with my work, and hubs has agreed that we will move it to make more space for another shelf.  The wooden box was a gift from hubs and I love is filled to the brim, but I need to situate it so that it is more accessible and I need to come up with a labeling system to know what is where!

This is the table where I usually saw, but as you can see, there are a lot of things that need to be put away, finished, de-stashed, etc!

A little further to the right on the table...a tray of favorite art beads.  You will notice lots of little plastic 11-yo has a Luncheable problem, but the trays come in handy for putting single project ingredients in, and they are stackable!

Here we have a pile of strands I was going through at one point looking for the perfect bead, but now they need to get sorted and put away.

My modus operandi, these days, is to bring projects downstairs. Our kitchen and den morph into one long, open room.  This table is in the informal dining area, in between.  I like working here because I can be with the family and still work on things.

In fact, most of my tools have made it down here and have an almost permanent place here.  An ancient desk organizer is being used for pliers, etc.  It is actually pretty handy. Note the important peanut butter M&Ms.

I found this little shelf on sale at Staples, and I really like it.  It has wheels so I can move it when I need to.  Unfortunately, if  you put heavy things in the drawers they pull out of their little slots, so I have to be careful not to over load it. That second drawer that is partially open is full of fun stuff that I need to sort!

Another pile of plastic boxes of frequently used items.

Last, but not least, my third space. This is in the unfinished portion of our basement.  It is dark and dank, but really, my favorite space.  An old set of plastic drawers, re-purposed from my son's baby stuff holds enamels, metal filigree beads and other "enamel-ables".  My hot-head torch and soldering station is here as well.  Not shown, to the right of this table is a small area with my pickle pot, a smaller crockpot of vermiculite, extra tools.  It was hard to get enough light to get a good shot.

I need to do a lot of work down here to put in a few more safety precautions, don't judge!

Thanks for letting me air my dirty laundry, so to speak!  This has helped me, actually, after looking at photos, to see what I need to do to get better organized.  In fact, I am making a challenge to myself to get these spaces more under control within the next 2 weeks, when it is my turn to post again.  Be sure to stay-tuned for the next episode!

So, what about you?  I know several of you have pristine, pretty studios that you love to work in, because you have shared photos!  I have to admit, I get a bit jealous!  But, I know there are others out there, like me, who are ashamed of their spaces and wish they could get a handle on them.  Stand up! Be counted!  Let me know!  Don't be afraid!  Let's clean up!

Melissa Meman
Melismatic Art Jewelry
Art. Life. Love.


  1. I'm so glad you aired your dirty laundry! hah, I have a blog that has pictures of my workroom, or two of the walls, I am always in a state of mess, and I kind of like it. I know where everything is and it is ok with me until someone comes over and wants to see where my workroom is. I am sent into a panic, wondering if I left my bra on the chair even.... haha,
    I have the mini version of your wooden tool box. I love it, but it is too small, and I also have the rolling drawers, they will never hold enough weight, I love them so much but they are impractical for what I want to use in them!. I also use the lunchables trays, they are just so handy!!!

  2. Don't worry, you are not alone! I am with you! :)

    In fact my friend, sitting next to me, looking on my computer, said: Hey, that looks like your working space!

    I organize it from time to time, but working it just changes over time to be a mess again. There is a fine balance between a highly productive mess (I can't work if I don't see my things and try combinations, empty space is so not working for me) and just... let's say too much! Also after a long working day in the lab I just want to create things and not to clean up. I need this to calm down after a stressful day.

    But I am also surprised how easy it is in the end to sort everything out as soon as the balance is really out of control (or if we have guests to stay... ehm...).


  3. No judgement here. It looks all too familiar, including the basement room for using the torch! I find it's really helpful to actually have all that mess to sort out. When I don't know what to work on next, I start organizing the mess. It becomes almost a meditation and soon I have an idea of what I want to do.

  4. Thank you for sharing because there are lots of us, and I am one! I look forward to being inspired by future posts. My space is so messy I can't really work in it. It is my summer project to organize it better, so I'm happy for any tips. Due to a recent Studio Saturday post by Erin Siegel on Art Bead Scene Blog, I've got a pegboard project in the works.

  5. I saw your first pic and I thought "that's really not too bad, what's she talkin' about?" Then, as I scolled down, my OCD kicked in big time I must admit! LOL!! (I clean my sis's fridge out each time I visit - she loves to have me over!!) But seriously - we've all been here and I think you've got some awesome space to work with and i believe you will get it done on time for your self-challenge. My only studio space is in the master bedroom these days as well and I don't carry anything into another room because I know it would take forever to make it back in where it belongs and soon, the entire house would be my 'bead room'!!

  6. Believe it or not, your workspace looks a lot neater and more organized than mine. I need to get my rear in gear and create a decent space to work in!

  7. Airing your dirty laundry can certainly be a scary prospect but girl you are totally okay I have seen worse. Being one of those OCD people you spoke of I can tell you I did not need to avert my eyes! If I had an area I could spread out in I am sure it would look much like yours!!!

  8. Welllll, count me in. My area is just as bad. Even when I "clean up" it's bad....I take it as a sign of a GREAT ARTIST! :P

  9. Your blog makes me feel a little better about my "studio". I have at least made an attempt to organize my beads, but my work space is filled to the brim. I would love to have a pretty spot to be creative in. If that ever happens I will certainly blog about it. I do plan on do some more organizing and do I dare say getting rid of some items. How many pieces of scrap paper do I need to keep?

  10. This cracks me up!! I thought I was the only person in the world who had used the 'sitting area' in the master bedroom as a work space! I lined the little room with counter top and shelves, intending to convert the garage or another room in the house but so far..... I'm still up there!

  11. Great idea for the lunchable trays! I guess I haven't eaten any since my bead affliction started, otherwise I'm sure that I would've put them to use. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I have a small work space...and it looks pretty much like yours, especially when i have had a productive time ... my hubby goes nuts when he sees the chaos... but I just tell him not to venture that way, or to keep his eyes closed... !! I can never work by putting things back in their place each time... :P

  13. LOL - Melissa, you're not alone! my space looks worse - and no matter how many times I organize it, it ends up the same in a matter of days :) I love the idea of lunchable trays :)

  14. We're all in this together! My printers cabinet post was just the beginning of a much needed overhaul of the whole room. We can all inspire each other!

  15. Peas in a pod! were we separated at birth? If so , you are the "Neat and Organized" one!!!

    xox jean

  16. You can see my before and after photos here:
    I just took one little section and cleaned it up, and then another and another until it was all done. When you are organized your brain is freed up, you can create. Thank you for sharing.


  17. If you think your space is bad, I don't even want to know what you would think about mine! Its SO MUCH WORSE!! I think I am going to have to start saving Lunchables trays. Thats a GREAT storage idea!

  18. Melissa don't stress about the mess. I have seen you do a lot of amazing things. After a move like yours my stuff wouldn't be nearly as organized as yours is. I am sure you will get it under control. I think you need to function in a new space for a while to know how you want it organized.

  19. Wow!! Wow!! Melissa,
    Hi! I'm Leann P. Anderson. I found you on Etsy and I don't mind telling you that I like your set up! I'm a 27yr. polymer clay artist and jewelry maker. I've had a kiln for 3 yrs. now & it's never been out of the box.
    Well, you know, I'll get a ROUND TUITT eventually, hopefully! So, I see you are really a busy lady. I make jewelry, handmade greeting cards & 3D paper flowers for two shops here in TEXAS.
    I wonder, sometime, if I might pick your brain, if you don't mind. There's so so much I need to learn and WANT to LEARN.
    I'm glad to find you on facebook. I'm on facebook and Etsy, too...@ TriplePPPProducts.
    Stop by sometime & let's chat.
    I'm just around the corner.


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