Come behind the scenes at Behind These Eyes for a #CraftRoomTour and see Cindi McGee's studio in Goldsboro, North Carolina.
I LOVE the light in this room - the window looks out onto my rose & perennial garden, and our pasture where I can see the horses and chickens. There is always something soothing to see out my window! A small space, but well "stuffed" - my studio is packed with storage of assorted types - much of which consists of vintage pieces that belonged to my grandparents and great grandparents.
Tell us about your space
It's a small space - about 11' x 11'. But it's all MINE. My sweet husband created built in shelving in the closet for all my paint, and wide shelving for storage of tons of other creative supplies. You might notice there's not a work table.... that's because I honestly work best on the floor - always have! Working at a table is awkward for me for some reason.
What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?
My walls are literally covered in memories. Layouts of my pets, cross stitched pictures by my loving and talented mother-in-law, a poster my mother had in her office for years, and pictures she gave me for my office when I used to work in the business world. The newest edition is a framed copy of the June/July 2016 issue Polymer Cafe magazine with my Makin's Clay® poppies on the cover - it's taken me almost 16 years of submitting to magazines to make a full cover girl status - and I admit, I'm proud :0)
How do you keep organized?
I honestly cannot say that I DO keep organized..... often it looks like a tornado has gone through my studio. I do try to get things back in their place as often as I can, as I love the feeling of a clean and organized space - just waiting to be messed up again in my next creative frenzy! I also have an "overflow" shed in the yard where I store a lot of my "extra" materials - big boxes of Smoothfoam™, glassware waiting to be etched using my etchall® products, canvases, wooden items, slate, etc. waiting to be used on a project. If the temperature changes don't effect it, and it needs more space to be stored, it goes to the shed!
Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?
Shallow shelving for paint is a HUGE help - I organize by color and paint type, and it saves me so much time finding just what I need. And, it makes it so much easier to put the paint away afterwards. My ribbon is all stored in mason jars by color. Other than that - it's just cabinets, with assorted storage containers inside, drawer units, and lots of covered storage containers on wide shelves in my closet. I have a cabinet dedicated to each of my main "crafts/materials" - one whole cabinet for Makin's Clay®, one whole cabinet for jewelry making materials, one is all adhesives, and one is all ribbon. Fabric is stored in the vintage trunk. A vintage dresser is my "tool" storage unit. Craft punches are kept in a vintage card catalog box.
Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?
My studio is full of special pieces of art - many of which were made by my boys when they were very young. As I mentioned earlier, the walls are covered in special pieces - each with a memory attached. I do have a few pieces of my favorite art also displayed - Makin's Clay® flowers I made to top my wedding cake last summer, a painting I made way back in high school in 1983, and a few other pieces. And there are also some special treasures tucked in here and there that my close friends will recognize!
How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?
It's all in my head. Sometimes it makes me crazy trying to get the ideas out of my head and into reality. Years ago I had notebooks of things I had printed off I wanted to try, etc. But I never ended up using them. These days I do have a Pinterest account, which is obviously a great source for inspiration. But I very much believe in doing things differently, and experimenting with materials to see what I can do with them. I love to mix-media in unique ways. I'm not the type of artist who wants to just make something the way someone else has already made it.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere. In nature, in architecture, in fashion, in flea markets full of old furniture and rusty metal pieces awaiting new life. I literally notice creative details about things around me everywhere I go, and I reflect back on things I've seen when I start my creative process for projects.
If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream space?
More space/larger room..... so everything could truly be all together in one area. I currently have my sewing area set up in another room, and as I said, lots of materials stored in an outdoor shed.
Small renovation project: Paint the walls a beautiful teal/turquoise, replace the carpet with a hardwood floor, and install a utility sink.
Self-cleaning/organizing.... push a magic button and everything gets put away while I sleep at night lol!
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