Cynthia St. Charles Store

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Too Many Pillows?

My daughter says I went a little overboard on the pillows.  All the fabrics are hand painted, dyed or printed by me - years ago.  I dug through boxes to find fabrics that coordinated with my paint colors.  Once I got started on this - I had a hard time stopping.  I know it is more pillows than I need, but I love them all and it was fun making them!  I mean, which one would you take away?  I can't discard any of them, so I will just enjoy them!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Lunch Table

I wanted to add a little table for eating lunch or sitting with my laptop.  The furniture is all scavenged from other places.   Most of it stored in my husband's shop.  I love the size and shape of this long narrow table.  It is perfect here with this old captain's chair.  The entryway on the far left of the picture is the passage into the wet studio / kitchen area (which is still a work in progress - trying to get organized in there and figure out how it needs to be set up).
This piece, "Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire" is heavily beaded.  I made it 2004 - 2006 (took a long time to bead) I just love sitting at this table looking at the intricacies of the beading.  I would / could never do that kind of work now.  I have to wear reading glasses!  I don't do much hand sewing any more as it is such a strain on the eyes and also - my hands hurt!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Work Table Again

 This office suite has two smaller offices (doors closed above).  The one on the right is the sewing room I showed earlier.  The one on the left is a work in progress - a big mess cluttered with tools and supplies, the vacuum cleaner, paint cans, etc., currently - I think it may end up as storage for finished quilts.  I am thinking of creating some kind of custom quilt storage for all my work that is currently scattered among multiple closets in my home......  But I could put a long arm in there! ...... Or a bed - and I could move in (or at least stay for longer periods of time)!  Hah!
This space just makes me feel so good!  It really is my happy place right now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cutting Table and Design Wall

Here is a view of the design wall and cutting table /  work surface.  I designed the work table base so that there would be sufficient leg room for people to be comfortable while sitting here on bar stools.  I have one bar stool that I purchased to test my theory and I will eventually add more.  The bar stools come from Target and I am hoping for either a sale or I will pick one up now and then to add to the space.  At this point - I don't need more than the one for myself.

Eventually, I think I may be teaching in this space or facilitating the Artists Way group here.  This work table was designed and built with multiple purposes in mind.  I could even entertain in this studio!  Come for coffee?   I am very happy with the way the work table turned out.  It measures 49 x 97" and is 36" high.

The design wall is 14 ft x 8 ft.  I built a framework of 2 x 4s behind it and the Styrofoam insulation panels are covered in black flannel with Velcro strips on the back to hold them in place on the 2x4s.  The wall here slants at a sharp angle behind the design wall and I built a shelf out of 2 x 4s for stability and storage.  It is a large area and I could store a great amount of bulky stuff behind the design panels.  I thought it would be easy to remove the panels to access things behind the design wall.  However, I am not sure how well the velcro and panels are going to hold up to repeated removal and replacement.  I will have to reinforce them if I am going to be accessing the storage behind frequently.  At this point, I don't need the space, though - so there is nothing stored behind and the panels are going to stay put.

Black design wall?  The one at my home studio is white.  But I have it covered with a black sheet!  I realized I like working and photographing with a black background, so that is what I installed here.  I only hope the light doesn't cause it to fade too quickly.  Time will tell!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sewing Room New Studio

 The main components of the sewing room are now in place.  Design wall, ironing table and sewing table are all built in.  2x4 construction on the sewing table and ironing table.
Eventually, the sewing machine will be dropped down into the table so it is a giant level sewing surface (49 x 97).  I brought my old Janome 6500 in to see if I can be content with it.  So far I have only been reminded of how much I dislike sewing on it.  In my home studio, I primarily use a Juki 98Q.  In fact, I have pretty much worn the Juki out and was already considering purchasing another one.  They run about $700, so very affordable.  I still contemplate a sit down quilter, as well, not yet sure what will become permanent in this sewing area.  I don't want to cut into the work table until I am certain.  Once the hole is cut - it is a long term commitment.
I am thrilled with my giant ironing table that is built into this window nook.  It measures 73 x 42"  I covered plywood with aluminum foil, then a couple of layers of batting and finally wrapped on some upholstery twill that I've had for a decade or so.  Staple gun was my tool of choice for this project.  I will eventually build a giant shelf or two under the ironing table to store rolls of fabric and batting.  I am not doing that until I decide exactly what supplies will be taking up residence in this space so I can customize the storage dimensions.

By the way - I did all this construction 100% by myself.  Nobody else - except I did pay someone to carry the 49 x 79" sheets of melamine up two flights of stairs.  So heavy and way too big and awkward.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Sunday, February 21, 2016

World Market Clearance Sofa

 I looked and looked for a proper sofa for this space.  Needed to be something comfortable, something not too heavy or bulky (had to carry it up three flights of stairs).  I happened upon just the thing at World Market.  Last one on clearance!  Perfect!  The 100% cotton cover is removable and washable.  I could dye it if it starts looking shabby.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Ottoman Made By Me

 I wanted just the right thing for putting up my achy feet,  so I built my own pair of ottomans.  The bases are made of 2 x 4s.  Painted.  The tops are framed of 2 x 4s and covered in plywood, then foam and batting - wrapped in fabric.  Then a hand painted cotton fabric - I did this fabric years ago - Setacolor paints dripped onto cotton broadcloth.  Had just enough fabric stashed away for these two ottomans.  Barely.  So pleased with them.  They measure 22 x 22 x 16".  Super soft and cushy.  I found ideas for their construction online and adapted to my desires.  I even found the instructions for the painting process for the legs and base (rubbing vaseline on the edges of the undercoating so the top layers of paint would rub away easily.)

Friday, February 19, 2016

Slipper Chairs for New Studio

I wanted to create a conversation area in my new studio space.  I don't have any such space in my home studio, which is a solitary work space with lots of storage and work surfaces but only room for me. 

I was beginning to regret my wall color choices....."Wet Coral", "Yukon Gold", "Mermaid's Tail" and "Majestic Grape" - bright vivid colors that are not exactly popular decorating colors.  As I searched for furnishings - I was discouraged by the prices as well as the limited color options. I shopped every furniture store in town as well as all the thrift stores.   I thought I might have to resort to black, but I was resisting black for the furnishings since the design wall is black (pictures to come).  I felt it would be too much black.  So I kept looking - expanding my search to the Internet.  I was delighted to discover these chairs at Target Online in Clearance.  A bargain with free shipping - a bit of a gamble - since it is difficult to really read colors online, but I thought they would be close!  I love these chairs and the colors are perfect for my wall colors!  What a stroke of luck!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Wet Studio / Kitchen

I am gradually getting the wet studio set up.  I am happy to have a sink.  Have added a small fridge and microwave.  I added the built in shelving, too.  This is going to be another messy space.  Paint flinging will be happening here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sewing Room Set Up - The Beginning

I decided this smaller office with good light will be the best location for my sewing machine and ironing table.  Again, I looked for furniture for my sewing machine.  There are lots of sewing machine cabinets on the market, but none of them really seemed right.  I was especially dismayed by the price tag.  So - I decided to build in my sewing machine table.  Just a few screws into the stud wall (can be easily filled and painted over when I move out).  I believe this will be a very stable and comfortable sewing surface.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New Studio Paint Progress

I've been working steadily at creating an inspiring work environment in a commercial office building (which I am co-managing with my daughter).  This space was left trashed by the previous tenant and I spent a lot of time cleaning, repainting, etc.  I chose bright cheerful colors for the walls.  This seemed like a big leap of faith.  I tried to just listen to my internal voice and ended up with some pretty random wall colors.  These are not colors I have in my home or any other space......

Window treatments (above) are made from cheesecloth.  I purchased a huge bolt of 60" wide cheesecloth years ago.  I have not been using it in my work, so was glad to have it available for the window treatments.  Who knew it could be so effective?
After shopping around and not finding what I wanted as a work table, I decided to build one myself using 2x4 lumber.  It turned out very sturdy.  I put wheels on it and painted it purple.  Stay tuned to see how it looks with the top added.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Bit of Blue Sky on Top of the World

 The Top of The World Road is 80 miles long - all of it through uninhabited wilderness.  Very scenic and something to experience.

 Note the rainbow in the photo above.  This rainbow followed us for a very long time - probably 20 minutes or so.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Caribou Herd on the Top of the World

 We encountered a rather significant number or caribou as we drove the Top of the World Highway.  The herds have names, this herd is called the Forty Mile Herd.  We enjoyed seeing these beautiful beasts, as we saw none to this point on the trip (well, a few very far away in Denali)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Top of the World Highway

Not many of the "Top of the World Highway" miles are paved.  Most of it is gravel - and quite muddy this day.  I understand the reason for the gravel roads -vs- paving.  The permafrost is very hard on paved roads - making them terribly potholed. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Gold Slough

We saw a lot of different kinds of gold mining operations.  This one was located between Chicken, Alaska and the Canadian border.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Fireweed Along the Al-Can

 One of my most influential images from the trip is that of the Fireweed that we saw virtually everywhere we went.  It was along every roadside for 8000 miles!  So bright and colorful!  It really made the gray skies tolerable!

I took lots and lots of pictures of the fireweed with the idea that somehow it will be showing up in some of my future artwork!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Chicken, Alaska

 Chicken was our last stop in Alaska.  This place really is in the middle of nowhere.  It is an old gold mining area, but it is still active. 

People in this picture were learning how to pan for gold.  We met and visited with a guy from Helena, Montana here.  It was his second year visiting Chicken and he said he had already found several ounces of gold in just a week.  He was working for the gift shop to earn his camping spot - and he was panning during every spare moment.