Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Making the most of a small space.

 For several weeks I have been scribbling away in my tiny "studio at the top of the stairs".  This really IS a small room at about 9'x 15' and the longer I stay in here, pulling out reference books and papers and this and that, the more cramped it became. It got so that I was maneuvering around an obstacle course  and sliding in sideways just to reach my worktable.  I determined to  make a CLEAN SWEEP and ORGANIZE the whole mess, before continuing any further on my work.

My first job was to pull out all the books and anything that wasn't in a proper place and plop it all on the floor. What a mess!

Now, it may seem crazy ,especially in such a small space, but I actually brought in  a large cupboard  and placed it  right next to the Hoosier style cupboard. This cupboard will hold lots and lots of stuff!
 Organized chaos, that's much better.

I'm a big believer in having lots of boxes, of all sizes. Each one of these will be filled with bits and bobbets, snippets and snaps and doodads galore!
 Boxes inside boxes... are one of the best storage solutions.

  See what I mean? Even these tiny Altoid boxes are holding  tiny paper cuttings,

 and this old seed box contains  finished scherenschnitte ornaments and bookmarks I have made.

Little "scrapbooks" hold my patterns,

  and the Hoosier cabinet has many drawers, I have filled every one of them!

 The funny thing is, my most used supplies are, quite simply, paints and brushes, pencils and paper, scissors and rulers.  So.... why do I have ALL THIS STUFF??!!

   Because, well , gee, you never know when you might need a rubber stamp..
  I must confess, I love rubber stamps.

And this little basket of critters really comes in handy when you don't have a live model.

And this shelf of shells and butterflies and nest and eggs and feather and pebbles and acorns,etc, etc. etc...
are quite useful when I really need to draw said items in an illustration.
 As I said before, organized clutter.

 I was able to fit over 300 books on this  bookshelf, all placed according to subject matter or author.
  WHY do I need all these books? Well, I am constantly pulling out a reference book or a children's book from an illustrator I admire, and there are so many I admire, it encourages and inspires me. In fact this corner shelf is devoted to two of my favorites, Beatrix Potter and Jill Barklem.

I find much inspiration looking at other artists work. This room is FULL of other artists work, WHY? Because I like to surround myself with beauty, humor and delightful things. 
 A cork board FULL of delightful things. ( thank you Deborah and Anita and Valerie!)
 Antique teddies and toys above the newly moved cupboard.
  Now these blank paged books are simply wonderful to use for writing, sketching, journals, or pressing flowers.  Most of these are from a company called Oberon and are tooled leather with gorgeous designs on the cover. 

     You will need a nice book mark... thank you Rainy!  
Of course, no studio is complete without a place for the studio cats to take a little snooze in between walking through your paints, laying on your drawings and knocking over your tea cup. 
 A basket on the floor beneath the bookshelf will do just fine.
  And maybe keep them off the nice CLEAN fabric atop the cabinet.
This is quilt fabric derived from my book Hopalong Jack. I have designed 3 lines of 
 Quilt fabric, but it is so time consuming, I no longer have the desire to do it.
Speaking of kitties, these keep the drafts out of my little room... we have a very old house and I need to save my heat!

It took 3 days to pull this room together, but I am pleased with it,
 All of my art and craft supplies are completely and utterly tidied up and placed out of sight. I even know which boxes everything is hidden in!
 And the amazing thing is that even though I brought in another piece of furniture, the room actually seems larger than before, after rearranging things.

   I think I am ready to get back to work!
 For many years, my workspace was a table in my kitchen, and that was okay with me. But I am so much happier in my little "room at the top of the stairs". You don't need a lot of space, just a little  imagination and pretty boxes, shelves and drawers!


  1. What a glorious post. I loved every word, every glimpse into your wonderful room, every vignette of sheer delight. Your reasons for having the inspiration you own resonates inside my heart. I agree totally on why you must have the wonderful objects of inspiration. I too have a small room upstairs very much in need of organization. I started the project just last week. Your ideas and arrangement very much appeal to my need for pretty.

    I am sure that now when you are there, your creative muse is very happy indeed!

    Happy Valentine's Day.


  2. Lots of lovely things in special places, I have that Nature Diary in my book shelf, cheers Marie

  3. Fantastic ! I like your hoosier and all the little room ! You like boxes and have a lot of books : like me ! :) This is a very beautifil place for work...and dream...
    Bravo Jeri.
    Nice Valentine Day for you.

  4. OMG...what wonderful stuff...I love it all!
    I am just like you..
    and love boxes...my hubby does'nt understand
    but I know now I am not the only one collector of everything beautiful..;o)

    Happy Valentine's Day

  5. I love your small sweet space. This little clean up, rearranging project, was just the break you probably needed to keep your creative juices flowing. You did a fantastic job.

    Happy Valentine's Day Jeri ~ FlowerLady

  6. What a wonderful job you did organizing your "stuff". Beautiful things too.
    Under what name can your quilt fabric from long ago be found?
    Happy Valentine's Day!

  7. You have evidently organised your tiny space beautifully! It all looks marvellous, like stepping into one of your paintings. Every box you have for storage is a work of art in itself and all the amazing things you've collected as inspiration so lovingly add to the absolute magic of your special space. I think I'd be contentedly able to pass many hours and even days carefully exploring all you have in there. I'd be very good, I promise. Each thing would be looked at lovingly and then replaced, neatly packed exactly as you'd had it.

  8. That was a fun tour. I felt like I was 8 years old again with the excitement of all the enchanting things to look at. Your furniture is gorgeous. I love those big pieces. You must be in a little part of heaven when you spend your time in this area. Love it! Hugs, Deb=^..^=x5

  9. Well you put me to shame! I must do a clear out also. I am sure you will feel more energetic and creative now, good chi.

    I enjoyed peeping into those cupboards and all your lovely itsy bitsy things, love those notebooks too.

  10. It's a wonderful space! So cozy and inviting. I truly love to be surrounded by books. "The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serentiy of books." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    I could spend many hours in your studio looking at all your wonderful things.
    Happy Valentines Day!
    xx, shell and the bunnies

  11. Oh, Jeri - every pic you've shared is filled with the kinds of things I LOVE! What joy it must be to create in such a beautiful space!!!
    ~ Zuzu

  12. WOW!! This post screams RE-VISIT many times!
    Just like your illustrations...DETAIL!Nooks! Crannies! Fun! Secret treasures! Many "worlds" of exploration! Smile!
    Sweet Hugs and Blessings,Linnie

    (same books)!! Hee

  13. Precious friend...I SO KNOW THIS DILEMNA of organizing! We are in the middle of it now, hence my tardiness!!! THANK YOU FOR VISITING MY POST YESTERDAY....I am so behind in responding and I haven't had a chance to make my rounds as I usually do in the morning because extreme fatigue has caused me to sleep until 4:30, not enough time to blog and get ready for the teaching day! LOVE TO YOU ON THIS WONDERFUL DAY!!!! Anita

  14. What a delightful space... I could whittle away hours in there with all of the lovelies:) It was a pleasure to peek into your world.

  15. Dear Jeri
    You have accomplished ALOT! It looks simply magical! How could you not be inspired, surrounded with all this beauty! I love your cupboard you brought in.. I see we both enjoy boxes.
    Wishing you a happy Valentine's Day.

  16. Bravo on a job well done. I could spend days busily going through your lovely collection of books and lovingly touching all your inspiring bits and pieces.

  17. Every single thing in your studio is so cute! I loved seeing what your studio is like and how well it's organized. You really do have so much inspiration both indoors and outside.

  18. This is wonderful! I've been planning to better organize and spruce up my tiny creation corner. I feel inspired by your post and ready to tackle to the project. Now I'm eyeing the Hoosier cupboard and pie safe in the kitchen and dining room.

  19. I HAD to come back to give justice to this wonderful post. I was at school, trying to visit dear friends on my lunch break, but I am home now, relaxed and able to take in this wonderful space of yours. Us artists (teeeheee....if I can include myself) need our special spots. I so understand making due with a small space. Now that we have our two extra rooms, it has allowed me to have MY OWN work area to write, in a CLOSET!!!! BUT I LOVE IT JERI! IT IS SMALL, MY OWN SPACE and I can decorate it with all my animals and stuff! I will show you pictures soon. Happy love day dear friend, Anita

  20. I come again to see your secret castle... wondefuuuullll ! I love it !
    I wish you a Sweety day,

  21. Love your gorgeous, inspirational workspace, awww, want to go into my studio NOW! It needs organizing too!

  22. Dear Jeri,

    What a wonderful nook you have! Will you come help me organize all my bits and pieces, too? ;)

    Thank you as always for inspiring me with your vignettes.



  23. Hello Miss Jeri!
    Your Studio is Wonderful! A perfect place for Inspiration! Your Edwardian Lady Book is Truly a Treasure!
    Happy Belated Valentines Day!I am sorry I have fallen behind on getting Back to you. Thank You for Your Patience with me. My Katelyn has been sick and Sporting a significant Fever. She is feeling a bit Better today. Relief!
    Thank you so Much for your Visits and Support! I still can't believe That my piece will be Published!
    Please Greet my Hopalong Hollow Friends!I am Anxious to hear more about Miss Fionna an Master Hamish!
    Happy Wednesday!


  25. Hi Jeri
    Wanted to stop in and thank you for your beautiful thoughts about Feathered Fantasy.. It is always so nice to hear what others see in a piece of work. I thought I would use just a couple of colors and it seems I always end up with soft colors. Your comment was truly appreciated..
    Enjoy your evening

  26. HELLO GORGEOUS ONE! Oh, the women in my family all went SILVER TOO! Their hair was not a gray, but a glimmery silver that I hope will crown my head. I am getting the lighter shades on the TIPS of my black locks and you know, I LIKE IT! It is the first time in my life that I will have LIGHT HAIR!!! YIPEEEEE! Teeeheee...I have always had this RAVEN black hair which is great, but being having this color in the midst of BLOND cousins was always strange. I always wondered if I was adopted! But my daddie's strong SPANIARD genes took over in me!!!! Ahhhhhh.....your spring has sprung dearest friend! Well, here I am thinking,hmmmmm.....this is February, this is a tease....because we had the most gorgeous weather last week with Saturday evening feeling like a late spring evening! Then, POW! Yesterday we got socked with 10 inches of snow! YEP, gotta go out today on my day off to shovel! There were chubby little rabbits out early yesterday to nibble on the exposed grass, but then the flakes started to come down and now those bunnies will have to settle on the cotoneaster bush they have been whitling away all winter. Poor little mates!!!! HAVE FUN SWEET FRIEND!! Anita

  27. I love your room, you did a great job making it just the way you wanted. I especially loved the box of bookmarks. I really enjoy them. No good book should be without one. Have a great week!


  28. Hello Jeri
    You must be Working Hard and I am Sure Going through a Lot of Tea. Just stopped by to say Hello! Hope you are Staying Warm. We will be getting some snow at the End of the Week...I am Ready for Spring!
    Happy Tuesday almost Wednesday!

  29. OOHHH walking in the meadow "sigh" how nice,...smile,.. new growth.. how I look forward to new growth (said in one of those longing whiney voices)hee ;-)
    It has been too cold here these past two days.Brrrr
    Well, Mamsey Bear would most likely be delighted if you decided to try keeping bees!
    You know they really are actually pretty easy keepers! The Italian ones are so gentle.(I don't even wear netting or gloves
    when I work with them) They have a way about them that "cause" you to be calm. (It's weird because I am a total freek out when Yellow Jackets are around)!! Hee!
    Hugs ,Linnie

  30. Ok, just as I got my husband to come in and check out what is wrong with my commenting, IT WORKED.

    I LOVED perusing all the photos of before and after. So fun to see how you handled it and I love the new organizaton. The cupboard, the boxes (I have the same seed boxes), and so many other things.

    This was great. Now are you busy, busy?


    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  31. Jeri, how lovely your studio is, a treasure trove indeed. This post did make me smile. My own studio is oh so similar, in that it is very small & overflowing & my very own obstacale course. Though i am resisting the urge to tidy mine, as we are soon to move! I love your use of space & all the lovely boxes, it will make hunting for anything a real joy!

  32. Dear Cousin Jeri,

    What a wonderful room to create in! Your old cupboard to organize your supplies is perfect! Just love the hoosier with all the old chocolate molds within and the Jeri Landers bolts of fabric atop! We have to admit we have some of that fabric ourselves! We envy your old seed boxes and love the scherenscnitte ornaments! Just love your basket of old farm animals and toys! We have a couple of old Uncle Wiggily games, too. In 2nd grade my teacher always read from Uncle Wiggily and we always looked forward to more!

    Last Saturday we had such high winds, some gusts up to 60 mph, dear little Bushky would have been blown away and never come baaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!! Even the birds, when they flew at all, were flying in reverse!

    Your cousins,
    Diane and daughter Sarah at the Corgyncombe Courant

  33. OOOOOOHHHH...Gardens of the World; I have only caught snippets of that while living in Boston and seeing Ms. Hepburn gracefully take us on a tour....well, I just love that workspace and you know me, don't you? I am so content with my little cubby that is fashioned out of a closet in my harp studio! I am rather slight, so I fit in it! teeeheeee! I LOVE MAKING SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING. Hey dearest, how are you and the gang? Busy drawing? I have not drawn in weeks but now that our building is over and just slight details left, Tea Rat and Rattus should be coming back. Thank you dear heart for coming by..peace, Anita

  34. Greetings Jeri
    Thank you so much for coming over to meet Bella and your kind words.. I really enjoyed getting back to needle felting. Yes, you should take up needle felting, all you need are the felting needles, or do you have them?

    Oh I would love to have some wool.. How very kind of you to offer.. I would be more than happy to pay you for it. I am sure it is beautiful. Yes, do let me know the next time you sheer..
    I just love your studio Jeri.. Everytime I see the photos here it makes me smile..
    Enjoy your evening,


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