Collected updates: Front door, organizing school papers, new artwork

Wood front door finish cracking

I often have little bits of things to say or small updates that don’t really warrant posts of their own, so I thought I’d start an every-once-in-a-while series just to talk about the small stuff.

Front door update

I’ve been meaning to do an update on our front door. I refinished the whole thing in the summer of 2011, and now it looks like this.

Wood front door finish cracking

Sad face. We have no roof on our porch, and the door gets full sun exposure all day, every day. Still, I’d hoped that all my hard work would last longer than a few years. I’m trying to pump myself up to at least sand it and re-seal it with some higher grade polyurethane, but maybe that will be a project for next spring.

In positive news, a storm door is on order and will be installed before the year is out. And that is the only thing giving me the courage to refinish again.

How to organize school papers

Organizing school papers

With Elise starting Kindergarten, the school papers have been piling up. I don’t save the fliers or school notes after I’ve read them/recorded dates off of them; most of them come via email anyway. But her drawings and schoolwork needed a place to live.

I found this accordion file I already had and just started filing away the papers. I’m starting a new section each month, but I didn’t even label the divisions. I’m sure at the end of the school year, many of these will get recycled, but right now, it’s hard to know what’s a keeper and what’s not, so we’ll just hold onto everything until then.

There are enough slots that I also added her school handbook and other such info for reference.

Salvaged wood assemblage art by Erin Heaton

New artwork

One final note, I started making some new art pieces from broken picture frames and other salvaged trims and scraps of wood. I am super excited about these. Making them is like putting together puzzles. I’m waiting to see if I am accepted to a craft show before listing them in my shop. Gotta keep my stock pile just in case.

I’m hoping I get accepted, and sorta hoping I don’t at the same time. Last year, I spent so much time prepping my show inventory that I burned myself out by Black Friday, and my Etsy shop just sort of sat there during the busiest shopping season. I feel like I have a better handle on things this year, but time will tell.

Fabric covered bulletin board

Fabric covered bulletin board

I promised Elise a bulletin board for her room more than a year ago. She always wants to hang things up, but we really don’t have a good place to display her artwork and such. When it came down to it, this project probably took me less than an hour to execute. Woo, go mom. Teaching the kids patience, for sure.

Basic boring cork board

The basic cork board came from Dan’s grandparents’ house, but it needed some dressing up.

Fabric to cover bulletin board

I dug through my fabric stash and found remnant that barely fit the dimensions I needed. It’s like it was meant to be. I painted the frame with some craft paint, then hot glued the (well-ironed) fabric to the face of the board around the perimeter. I can tell you, the old me would have never gotten paint on the cork as shown above, and would have made sure those fabric edges were a lot neater. But lately, I have thrown out the pursuit of perfection in the interest of saving time, and it’s a change for the better.

Fabric covered bulletin board with edges trimmed

I was going to use some ribbon or trim to hide the raw edges of the fabric, but my coffers came up short. Then I remembered I had some of these bamboo slats leftover from when I shortened window shades. They are thin enough to cut with scissors, so I trimmed them to size and hot glued them in place. And done.

Fabric on bulletin board

Everything for this makeover was free/reused/leftover, which gives this project bonus points. Always love to use stuff already in the house.

Bulletin board in kids room

See more of the girls’ room here >>

p.s. Thanks to all who’ve responded to my Reader Survey. It’s always nice to hear from readers and learn about what types of things you enjoy seeing here.
If you haven’t taken it yet, I want to hear from you! Go take the survey! >>

2014 Reader survey

2014 Lansdowne Life Reader Survey

Would you mind taking a brief survey for me? It should only take a few minutes, and it’s completely anonymous (if you want it to be).

It’s been more than a year since my last reader survey, and it’s your responses that help me decide what to post here. I don’t get a lot of feedback or comments day-to-day, so reader survey responses are really valuable to me.

Whether you’ve been reading Lansdowne Life for four days or four years, I’d love to hear from you!

Yes! Take me to the survey!

My home printing studio

My Home Printing studio

Welcome to my print studio! This space is also in our basement, but it’s a finished room (the only one in our basement). I’ve shown this space here a few times before, but it used to function more as a straight-up office and sewing space (hence the thread in the photos below), but I have not been sewing very much as of late.

Home printing studio with drying rack

The desk is taken up by my large archival printer. The literature sorter is a relatively new addition. It’s a cardboard shelving unit meant for a classroom, but I use it as a drying rack for prints. (They actually are dry to the touch out of the printer, but need several hours to dry fully.) Just like the shelves in my painting studio, the rack is working really well to free up surface space.

Home office studio

This table surface is where I do my trimming and print packaging. I also write, design, and do other computer work here on occasion.

Home printing studio

This is a “clean” space (as opposed to my messy space), so there’s really no glue or paint in here. It is a total luxury that this is also a kid-free zone, but in truth, it kind of has to be so that I don’t end up with crayon or stickers on everything.

Print packaging area

See more workspace posts >>

Visit my Etsy shop to see my prints >>

My home painting studio

My home painting studio

I kept thinking I was going to “decorate” this space, add art on the walls or something on the floor. Well it’s been months since I set out to do that, and it hasn’t happened yet. But there are reasons I haven’t prettified things. Big art would interfere with the areas I have designated for picture taking. Plus this is a painting studio, so a rug or something on the floor would likely be a mistake from the get-go. This space is what it is. Undecorated.

Painting studio drying shelves

So welcome to my studio! This is where I create. This is my workspace. It’s raw. It’s a basement. This is not a craft room. It has an uneven concrete floor and drywall walls that haven’t been finished or painted. It is not magazine perfect. It is real and ever-changing, growing organically all the time.

Works-in-progress at my work table

But you know what? This space is great. This space allows me to spread out, to make a mess and leave it until the next day when I can continue making a mess. There are no kids allowed. This space allows me to store loads of raw materials and supplies and bits of junk and shipping boxes. And in that regard, it is perfect.

Photo area and drying shelves

I’ll point out some of the more subtle areas here. The wood panel to the left you may recognize as my photo background, if you’ve ever glanced at my Etsy shop. This is where I take all of my product shots. Strange facts: it is actually a door to another small room, and it was already here when we moved into this house.

The drying racks/shelves you see in the back I found at an antique mall a few months ago. They were just what I needed, and this works-in-progress storage system has been working so great.

Work table for packing and shipping

I have a second work table that I primarily use for packing and shipping (hence the postal scale and the boxes underneath), but it’s also often covered in whatever I’m working on. I have a hard time keeping surfaces clear for long. Just ask my husband. I also abhor a vacuum, it seems.

Not pictured, I have a couple of bookshelves for storing finished goods. I didn’t take a photo of the fourth wall for some reason. Some things will remain a mystery, I suppose.

Coming soon: Some shots of my print studio. Stay tuned!

See more workspace posts >>

See how we closed in a garage door to create this space >>