Welcome to my workshop!

I love to read books that are personal. I am drawn to cookbooks, garden books, or any book for that matter that lets me peek into the author's personal world. I love to see a map of their garden or how their pantry is laid out. Give me a glance at their desk with their containers of pens, bulletin boards and a list of how they organize their supply closet and I'm on cloud nine! That may sound funny - am I the only one that feels this way? I would rather get to know the unique character of an individual and how they go about things than have an impersonal manual any day.

In case there are any more of you out there that are similarly inclined, I would like to welcome you to a tour of my studio, also known as our Illuminator's Workshop.

At this point in my life I actually have a room for working on all of my artistic endeavors. The cozy little room I used to be in was fine for working alone, but it was pretty cramped when all of the children came in with their projects, which was regularly. Having them in there with me is my preferred way to work, so we re-arranged the bedrooms and used the biggest one for the studio or "workshop." Now there is room for a group. With a husband, six children, three sons-in-law, two grandchildren (and one on the way), all of whom use this room regularly, it's been a great gathering place!

My work spot is over in one corner by the window. I'm surrounded. I face the window when I face my computer (to avoid glare on the screen.)

From that position to my right is a tall bookshelf. This shelf houses the books, journals and notebooks that I currently want a reach away. On the middle shelf, at desk height is my Leaf Collection Log. It sits open on a slanted acrylic book rest that I purchased at Franklin Covey. This is where I keep my clipart indexes and color indexes always open and handy.

My chair can continue to rotate clockwise to the right of the bookshelf and land me facing my drawing table in the opposite direction from the computer. From here I look out into the room. Continuing clockwise to the right of the drawing table is a 2 1/2' x 4' maple work table. Underneath and next to it are three little plastic sets of drawers filled with supplies. Next to the maple work table is another larger maple work table. Around the perimeter of the room are more bookshelves with lots of my favorite books. (I'd rather read than eat!)

For those of you who want an extended view: The curtains and window seat cushion are French blue small gingham. The walls are off white with a French blue molding around the edge of the ceiling, at chair rail height and at the baseboards. When the room was empty, I used a four by eight foot lattice panel as a giant stencil and spray painted a soft aspen green lattice above the chair rail to the eight foot height all around the room. (Idea courtesy Jeanne Bradley!) Overlapping and above the lattice, I stenciled soft violet colored wisteria with soft green vines and leaves. Finally I stenciled soft green ivy growing up from the baseboards in several places around the room.

On shorter bookshelf tops and hanging on the walls are family photos, several Pre Raphaelite posters, a poster of Bronte Country in England and a photo of the English Moors. There are posters of a marble carving by Michelangelo, and a painting of Dante and Beatrice at the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy.

There is a calligraphy poem made by my oldest daughter, Bridey, a pen & ink colored drawing of Christopher Robin and Pooh and a large framed print of a girl reading by a window over looking the sea. Now that you've looked around in my world, and heard more than you ever wanted to know about your hostess, pull up a chair and let's get started!

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