Wednesday, April 21, 2010


"First comes the thought; then the organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination."

-Napoleon Hill-Yesterday I stood in the doorway of my new studio space wondering how in the world I was going to get everything all sorted out and put away. I could not see even one square inch of the floor or the eleven foot counter! I was eyeballing an old battered suit case pretty hard and thinking of running away from the whole project.That's when the idea hit me that this massive mess could be the next reality show on television! I could be a contestant competing for a clean room! There could be like challenges and everything! I can see it now...

First I am introduced to a massive mish-mash of a mess and given the challenge to " Clean it up!" by creating a crafty closet that is not only functional but stylish. I get two days for this challenge with a budget of $40.00, using what I already have on hand, a shopping trip to a home improvement center with 15 minutes to shop, and a handy man model to fashion the project. The snarky host will say, "Make it work!" and, I am off and running away with this project.(BEFORE)

A mad dash to the home improvement center nets one gallon of premixed paint, a box of flooring found on clearance for $10.00, and seventeen shelf brackets with a few cents to spare in the budget.

Back home the drama begins, the old flooring must be chipped out of closet, but wait, snarky host enters to announce that there will be a twist to this challenge, I will not be making over just one closet but two! Surprise, there will be a small addition to the budget, a whole $10.00! Yes! Another trip to nab that other box of clearance flooring before another contestant sees it! Done and done!

After much chipping and stripping the old floors are up, walls are quickly painted and edged. The handy man model comes in with an extra set of helping hands. He lays the flooring in a snap. Much debate goes into the next part of the challenge on the repurposing of the previous shelving to "make it work" for the new spaces. After much measuring and cutting, instillation begins. Drat, not enough material, there is going to be a huge gap in the middle and you know how fussy those judges are about about quality construction and flawless design. Never fear, I get innovative mixing something old with something new with the result of a modern vintage vibe and I win for the basic design of this challenge!(DURING)

Since I won that challenge I am not getting eliminated in the next round. In pops the snarky host to announce the next theme. With a flourish of his head, the host reveals the materials to be used in the next challenge. "OK people, you get a yard stick, two rolls of paper, and vintage beaded collar. Make it work!" What? Is he serious? "Just kidding!" What you really have to do for this challenge is to dress your model in a vintage inspired garment, think a picnic with Jane Austen, as well as make a stylish statement coordinating accessory for her to wear! Models come on out..."Sandy, meet your model, Inez. Inez, Sandy. Be sure and use the blue supply wall very thoughtfully, you can choose from any of these three categories to create your statement piece, wood, metal, or miscellany. Surprise me!You will also be creating a shoe for your model to wear. Here are your size 10 1/2 A shoe lasts, a bag of leather scraps, and your sewing supplies. Oh, and by the way, everything must be sewn by hand! Time is ticking people, make it work!" I hear a snicker from one of the head judges who is listening in, she knows this is an impossible task, the models have no feet! "Just kidding! There will be no shoe cobbling for this challenge."

I thoughtfully measure my model and decide to give her a vintage skirt. I get the garment ready but wait, there is an issue, she has too much junk around her trunk and the skirt won't fit!
So I quickly toss it over her head and pin up the fullness into a peasant blouse and drape on a beribboned, bejeweled, bird book mark. Now that is a statement fashion accessory! No, this will never do, too hippy chick and not enough Austen flick. This means I have to start over, no time for lunch!The snarky host pops into the room to check on my progress. "Nicely done, Sandy. The cameo is an inspired touch. Carry on!" I did not win this challenge, I took the theme a little too literal, better luck next time.

The last and final challenge is finally presented. Enters snarky host, "Good morning! For today's challenge you must use as your inspiration materials; a vintage decoupage purse, a flower frog, and a bunch of twigs. How exciting! You must incorporate one or more of these elements into your over all finished design. Use them thoughtfully and make it work! And remember, the judges and I will be watching!" My vision for this one blurs a little bit.These people must be crazy! I now know why this show is called Project Run Away, it makes you want to run away from the mess of it all and these crazy challenges. I spent a little time banging my head on a bottle of glitter during which I hear snickering coming from over behind the yardstick again. It is the snarky host watching me have a melt down. I straighten my sassy southern self up with a toss of my tulle and I think, "I will show him a thing or two!" As I dive into the fray of this last challenge I hear little whispers and comments between the head judge and the snarky host who are hiding out and watching what I will do next. They say that I will never ever make it all fit properly. I will buckle under the sheer pressure of the competition. This gives me just the drive I need to focus on the finish line and to keep my eyes on the prize - a stylish yet organized studio supply closet! With grave determination and sheer grit I dove into the mish-mash massive mess (say that three times in row really fast!) and did my very best.

I nervously presented my finished project before the snarky pin head host and the head judge. They quibbled over the design aesthetics and over the fact that I only incorporated two of the three inspirational pieces. One of them suggested "tacky" due to the plastic containers but the other recognized the economy of using what was on hand rather than replacing it. They can be such babies... In the end, my presentation for Project Run Away went well...(AFTER)

AND I WON!!! The closet is done!

...Returning to reality I realized that I had daydreamed my way through an unpleasant project and that nobody in their right mind would ever go for a show like this. I can now see every square inch of the floor and counter top with only a few more things to organize and then I will be officially moved in. I can now move on to the fun part - staging the studio with special decorative touches that will inspire me to be creative!

I hope you all have a happy day!

Miss Sandy


LuLu Kellogg said...

I could stay in that closet and play all day! Sandy, you did a wonderful job. It looks fabulous and you can get to things easily and quickly!

My favorite thing was the stand with the shoe forms and the twigs around the base...LOVE THIS!


Lori said...

that looks SO great Miss have lots of fun things to play with in your closet there...carry on...

Vee said...

Oh my heavens! All of this beautiousness and a post like that, too? Pardon me while I go bang my head somewhere. It's delicious, Miss Sandy!

Barbara H. said...

Wow, what an awesome storage closet!!!

Marge of Emmas Nook and Granny said...

I so enjoyed this post! The narration was so creative and the end result is fabulous. I am inspired!

Vickie said...

Miss Sandy I think you should leave the closet doors wide open all the time! It looks fabulous and you should fire your snarky host!

When you get done with your room, can you come and organize me???

Lorrie said...

"In every job that's to be done, There is an element of fun, You find the fun and SNAP, the job's a game"

And what a wonderful game you made out of this chore, Sandy. I'm cheering for you!

Lululiz said...

I never thought I would say - Lock me up in a closet and leave me there! But that is one closet I could happily live in. Wow, what an amazing job! The post was so funny, loved it.

Brynwood Needleworks said...

What a fun post to read, Sandy! Can't wait to see more photos of your organized studio. Inspiration, for sure!

myletterstoemily said...

you had me going there for a minute.
and you don't know how to cobble?

tsk, tsk.

love your new closet. well done!

Lady Farmer said...

I don't need to watch tv today! I just saw the best show right here!
That was too fun!
What a great job and wonderfully successful closet organization!
I have several closets that could be your next challenge! ;~}

Tina said...

oh - I loved your post Sandy.
I love your closet too, what a clever idea. Your new studio is going to be GREAT. Can´t wait to see it all.
Wishing you a wonderful day.
xo Tina

The Feathered Nest said...

Sandy!!! The closet looks WONDERFUL girl!!!! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us, this studio is going to be amazing, I just know it....hugs and love, Dawn

Lisa said...

Well my friend, you 'made it work'! At least the smarmy host didn't say
Auf Wiedersehen! Love the closet, what I would do for that much storage space! Lisa
BTW, I burned the paper & didn't even set the garage on fire! I'll be posted experiment results soon.

Sarita Boyette said...

What a cute story! and I love your closet - it's just beautiful!

kathy said...

what a delight few minutes to spend with you today -- aggh organizing is the bane of my existence --How lovely this is --
Can't wait to see the rest --
Blessings - KAthy - ga ♥

Sonya Badgley said...

Hi Miss Sandy,
Your closet is awesome! I agree, keep the doors open. It is definitely something to show off! I loved how you made a game out of the whole ordeal. You're so talented. You should contact HGTV! Maybe they can create a new show from this. ;P
Thank you for sharing with us.
Blessings, Sonya

JD/ Jill said...

Great post, as always, a fun read too.

Unknown said...

Miss Sandy,

That is a fantastic closet, great idea. Loved the story and the pictures.
Thanks for sharing

Decor To Adore said...

Oh if only my own closets could be as lovely.

Your touch truly has fairy dust.

Anonymous said...

You had yourself a big ole mess there, Girl! LOL! Think of all that stuff you forgot you had!

You inspired me to actually run the vacuum in my studio yesterday! I couldn't see the rug anymore!

Happy creating, Sandy!


Anonymous said...

I've got a big move ahead and the thought of relocating my studio is frightening. You made the idea of reorganizing fun. Thanks.

Connie Eyberg Originals said...

Nicely done. I enjoyed visiting. Connie

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