Monday, May 10, 2010

Studio Tour

I have been wanting to give you a tour of my in-home studio where KaratStix is created so today I am finally going to show you around. In this first photo this is what you see when you first walk in. I usually sit in the chair in the corner there behind the L-shaped layout of tables/stands with a red carpet under my feet. The walls and ceiling are covered in cedar paneling (original to the house which was built in 1941) and the wooden floor is oak. It is also a good place to store my yarn stash which is in baskets on a shelf above the windows - the cedar keeps the moths away.
When I am sitting in my chair I have everything close at hand. Here is a view of my coloring station where I have a variety of pencils and other tools handy for working on the bamboo tools. The printer which is hooked up to my computer is used for printing my shipping labels, and scanning the finished orders for posting photos in my Etsy shop.

This area in the photo to the left is where I do my digitizing for my new designs and layouts for the orders that need to be cut, as well as all the administrative tasks such as emails, updating my Etsy shop and all the other tasks that take place online like generating postage labels, purchasing supplies, paying bills, etc. I also have a supply of knitting needles here which are used for testing the knitting needle gauges.
The photo to the right is my spray booth. I just swivel my chair around (it is on wheels) so that I am facing my spray booth. It was built by my husband to fit on the outside of the window and has an electric fan on the roof of the spray box. I use an airbrush and a small compressor to apply the varnish on the finished KaratStix pieces. That is a portable Ott light to give me good lighting inside the booth when I am spraying.
The photo to the left shows the drying racks with products drying on them that have been sprayed. I use cut up cardboard boxes as drying boards and then put strips of masking tape to hold the items in place so that they don't move when I am spraying the varnish on them. The drying racks are within arms reach from the spray booth.

The photo to the right is my storage area where I keep extra items waiting to be colored or sold. I use recycled spinach containers as 'baskets' which are see through and just the right size for my works in progress! They stack easily too and are light weight. I also use the lids for trays to stack the parts on while they are being colored.
The final photo is of my shipping station where I pack things up to be shipped. I keep padded envelopes and a supply of boxes on the bottom and some items on the shelf and some on the desk area.
And that concludes the tour of my studio. Thank you for taking time to let me show you around!

Well, you may be asking "But, where is the laser machine?" Thor (my laser machine) is not located in my studio, but at a commercial facility. I will do a post on Thor in an upcoming blog.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentines from the Universe

Wow! What a beautiful bouquet of flowers I have been blessed with!
Many (many, many!) years ago I first noticed what our locals call "tulip trees" blooming in people's yards and I fell in love with them! I wished for all my might that one day I would have one so that I could gaze on its beauty often rather than just a quick glimpse as I rode past and spied one out the window of a car.
As the years went by this tree stayed on my mind and more so when they came into bloom (generally around January/February where I live). Then as life's journey twisted this way and that we were led to buy the house we live in now. We were looking for a duplex and this was the only one that was available at the time and it had the basic requirements we needed so we grabbed it. It was only a 2 bedroom so our son got the cedar paneled bedroom (now my KaratStix workshop) and our daughter got the bedroom that we now use (we used to use the space intended for a dininig room as our bedroom). When we first looked at the house, we didn't know really what was planted in the yards -- it was the weekend after Thanksgiving in 1997 and the tenants were present so we quickly glanced at the layout and size of rooms and the yards were not so important. I did not know that the little bare tree in the corner of the backyard was a tulip tree until we moved in 3 months later.
As I laid in bed on the morning of Valentine's Day this is the view out my window -- I couldn't help but think of the wish I had so many, many years ago and how my life's journey has brought about fulfillment. It was the love of my husband and his children that led me to where I am today and made it possible for me to receive this beautiful, enduring gift. Thank you God and thank you Mr. Snyders and family for loving me! I love you all so much :).