This photo is from the night before Birdsong 5 in June. I'm just getting around to posting all the pictures of the event, and the timing is perfect to also be a part of Karen's Where Bloggers Create Tour.
I've participated in her studio tours every year and it is a treat to click through the links and visit the other spaces. And I've also been featured in the actual, Where Women Create magazine from being chosen out of this annual event Karen hosts. You can see some of the studio pics from the magazine here. And here are some photos from the shoot for the story.
I always look forward to Karen's gathering of blog workspaces, it's fun to click through and see so many great storage and desk ideas in one place. If you'd like to see how my studio has changed over the years, you can find past tours here.
Since I have shown pics of the studio every year for the blog tour, I figured I wouldn't have anything new to offer this year. But the tour just happened to cross over with me finally getting around to posting the Birdsong set up in the studio, so I thought I'd link to the party after all. These views are a little different than my usual arrangement of the space.
And the room is spruced up for a party, anyway!
Most of these shots were taken at night, before all the guests arrive on Friday morning. Here is the view out of the room's back door, with the LED lights glowing on the new fence that my son built last fall. I keep the lights on a timer, from dusk to dawn, year round, even though I'd first put them up just for Christmas. I like the twinkles and it makes me smile to see them from my bedroom window, or from the studio on nights I work late.
Normally, this is the spot where I have my own work area. For Birdsong, I pack up my personal supplies, shift tables around, set up more tables, and bring out the folding chairs (with their backs covered in cut down vintage pillow cases). The room is right around 1,000 sq ft, and I am constantly trying to streamline the supply cabinets to make more space for people and parties.
The room has changed a lot over the years, mostly in filling the space with better storage solutions and slight shifts that make it a little more functional each time. Here is a link to a recent change in storage, and here is another one about trying to eek out a few more inches here and there. The room is pretty big for just me to work in, but when you consider all the crap lovingly collected supplies that I have, and the fact that sometimes I invite 30 plus friends over to play with me, an inch here or there is important.
The theme for Birdsong is "nature inspired", which can mean a lot of things. And of course, includes a lot of sweet, little birdies. I don't go all out with decor, I just tweak (or tweet?) the existing set up and add some birds here and there. Like these vintage bird brooches on my dress form. I also spritzed her angel wings with Glimmer Mist to turn them into bluebird of happiness wings instead.
Previous years' projects, like this 'nest' banner above the bench, and the birdcage on the dress form add atmosphere.
The collage is from Beth's class a couple of years ago.
The fairies were one of last year's classes, and since we were working on art journals this year, I set many of mine out around the room for guests to flip through for ideas.
I did the same thing in the dining room of the house, I thought that as everyone sat down to eat, they might want to look at my journals before they started on their own books.
Oh- but back to the studio-
I have some favorite vintage wallpapers on the wall in old frames painted white. I like to add some birds torn from aged books to the frames. Usually, just stuck into the edges, sometimes anchored with stick pins.
Changing out the pictures is an easy way to update the room for different holidays or themes without going to any expense or much time at all.
The banners in the front window are from various classes or swaps, and I added "nest" from playing cards for the weekend.
And of course, having art work from the teachers on display is great too! This is what Lori Oles was teaching this June.
Over the years, I have gathered lots of birdsong type decorations, like this 'sing' banner from a swap our first year. And many of my guests gift little birdie tidbits to me, that I can set out in the spring before everyone arrives.
As much as I enjoy all the feathered friends around the room, I try to keep all of the pieces special by tucking them away in the fall. It's nice to have a change for seasons, and when spring comes around again, I love pulling out all of the treasures to sit out around the room.
The tables get covered in white paper (I use gift wrap from Dollar Tree, it is very affordable compared to white craft paper), I toss a curtain over the TV, and hang some pretties from branches wired to the ceiling and from the chandeliers. The branches are permanent, the tied on danglies change a few times a year. I hang shiny brites at Christmas, hearts at Valentines, and sometimes some ghosts at Halloween. I'm not always on top of the changes.... it isn't unheard of to have ghosts swaying above my head at Thanksgiving or hearts still there for Easter...
The birdcages are from a previous class too. I like having the decor up above the work tables as opposed to on them. Once the ladies start getting kits open, and setting out their supplies, helping themselves to a plate of cookies and a cup of coffee, anything else on the table is just a nuisance, no matter how pretty it is. I try to keep the table tops limited to paper towels, wash wipe packets, or lamps and stick to decorating above, not on, the tables.
It's always so festive to have the space set up for a party! Planning an event is also a hefty reason to keep the room reasonably tidy. Working on big projects, shipping things from my Boutique, doing swaps, can all cause major trashing of the studio, but knowing that I have a group coming to visit in the not so far future keeps me inline and helps stop any hoarding tendencies from getting the best of me.
When it is all over, I miss everyone, and the place seems very empty.
It's a very special feeling to have the room filled with creative souls.
And smiling faces!
If you are here from the studio tour, thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy all the fascinating spaces offered on Karen's links. And I hope to see you here again sometime.
If anyone has interest in Birdsong 6, or for the Romantic Gothic Ghost workshop this fall, please email mail me at: Karlanathan@sbcglobal.net and I'll add you to the mailing list for info.
If you'd like extra project kits for Birdsong 5, you can find mine here.