Thursday, July 31, 2008

BEFORE + AFTER DESIGN STUDIO












As promised here are very amateur photos of my new studio. I didn't promise Amateur. That's just what you get. Awhile back I told you the story of needing to continuously find new areas of the house as Paula Prass Designs and Mimi's Collection grows. We didn't even make it all fluffed and polished. There's still so much I want to do, but I think those projects will show up in future blogs.

A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS:

My huge inspiration board! My Mini McGyver husband (anyone remember that show where McGyver could make anything with gum and a string? Okay, that's my husband). I imagine it and he brings it into being.
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Galvanized bins over washer and dryer! More inspiration will soon stick there as well.

Lots of storage boxes everywhere! The green containers up above the sink cabinets have tags that are actually discontinued Formica chips. I slapped some paint on them and decoupaged magazine letters to describe the contents. Fun, huh?

The half finished paintings I started of my kids when they were little. They've been in the storage room for years. My husband hung them. Now I really want to finish them. Who wants to stare at unfinished projects. We even still have the original photos attached, so no excuses. We'll see.

My Country Living canvas bag. I got it a couple years ago at the Country Living Women Entrepreneurs Event and I use it for everything. From the Farmer's Market to Design jobs.

Future possibilities to use my upcoming Flights of Fancy fabrics. My husband took a shot looking in the window. Not much privacy...calling out for some cute curtain, don't you think?

BEFORE OR AFTER? I don't keep the door closed anymore.

So, there you go. What do you think?

Monday, July 28, 2008

LOOK WHAT I FOUND!


Okay, I know I've promised you pics from my new design studio, but I have a good excuse ( I think). Here goes.

This weekend Tim and I headed to Ikea to make some purchases for our booth at the New York Show coming up soon. Our closest Ikea has been Chicago, but a new one opened in West Chester, Ohio which is closer for us. We were disappointed in that we didn't realize this Ohio store was a much smaller version of the one in Chicago. Mind you, it was still huge, relatively speaking. However, give me an inch and I'll take a yard. I had things on my list that were either out of stock or just not at this Ohio Ikea. Bummed that we drove 2 hrs. we decided that before we trekked back home we'd hit the Ballard Outlet nearby. Nothing there w/i a price I would pay for damaged merchandise. Then we hit the Frontgate and GrandinRoad stores in the same outlet. That's when I spotted this piece. Not looking for this, but with the whole back busted out it was marked 75% off. So for $100.00 we fit this unexpected last piece in and headed home.

Once home Tim already had beadboard scraps, which I painted and before bedtime he had the new back in place. Today I passed through the dining room on purpose numerous times to get a glimpse at the best deal in Ohio. This is a quick evening shot. You like?

The laundry room is almost complete. Of course what is ever "complete"? Presentable..there you go. That leaves room for updates and changes and whatever I decide to do different.

So here is my Show + Tell for the day: a corner of my dining room that I share in lieu of my upcoming studio photos.

Friday, July 25, 2008

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

Gosh, I had to stop and express my huge gratitude to everyone for such kind comments, both on the blog and many personal emails. It means so much to know I've struck a fabric nerve with you. If I weren't buried in some other projects (the New York show in a couple weeks) I'd sure be working on my next designs!!! Your comments make my creative juices do the happy dance. And you know what that means...MORE CREATIONS for you!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

SNEAK PEEK/ FLIGHTS OF FANCY FABRICS






I so hope you are all satisfied with what I'm showing you. Keep in mind anything can change!
Whew, what a whirlwind the last few days have brought my way. The strikeoffs didn't arrive til after work last Friday. I started Saturday and didn't finish until Monday just in time to overnite my color corrections off to Michael Miller Fabrics. I was slow, I know, but I really had very little knowledge on how to go about the task. Sandi Henderson was so kind as to help once again and Jennifer came in to help on Sunday, as well.
So today I was happy to finally just play with the small pieces I had, and try to envision what I might do with them. But, alas, Kathy called and asked me to overnite the fabrics to them. Jennifer and I have very quickly snapped some shots before we had to box everything up and kiss it all goodbye for the moment.
This is not the only project we have going on right now. Oh no, this is the very busy time of year for designing new products, photography, new catalogs, price sheets, packing and sending crates, shows and filling orders. And I wondered what I'd do with myself when the kids left home!!!
Thank you all for your kind comments and interest. I'd love to hear your thoughts on what you think about the fabrics. Lots more where that came from. Go easy, it's my first try at this fabric thing. Also, colors on several pieces are off and hopefully will come back much better on the next round.
Unfortunately, my Studio reveal is delayed. Woodrow is getting impatient with me, as I'm sure you must be. Hopefully, worth the wait???

Friday, July 18, 2008

THE STRIKE-OFFS ARE HERE!

This morning there was an email from Kathy sent at midnight saying the strike-offs were on the way, sent overnight and should arrive today. I have literally spent my entire day imagining hearing the UPS truck. Finally at 5:15 pm our most awesome UPS guy pulls out front. Jennifer runs out the door and almost tackles him and then when I met up we had another one of our tug of wars in front of Charles (Mia calls him Charlos). We have opened up and initially done our screams and fabric dance. I am very pleased! I know I'll be doing some tweaking, but must say the 1st strike-offs are much better than I imagined. Need to do some weekend things; which will include carressing my new fabrics and finishing my new studio. I love this country! Next week will be full of more bursts of excitement and Flights Of Fancy for you.

DOMINO MAGAZINE; WELL A TEENIE BIT

No, REALLY CLOSE. Okay, awhile back we got a call from Domino Magazine requesting 20 picture frames for a photo shoot. Jennifer was calm on the phone, but once she hung up we did the "We're Going To Be In Domino" dance. We make everything to order, so we were tripping over each other trying to get these out the door in time. So a couple days ago our Domino comes in the mail. Jennifer and I each had an end of the magazine and pulling for dear life. I "let her" have it, since I'm that kind of person...cough.

Jennifer flips through the first time. Can't find anything, so second time she goes through slowly with a magnifying glass (just kidding) and finally found this one frame. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for any exposure for our products, but I can't help chuckle about what we imagined with 20 frames and what actually appeared. Big learning curve over here! Domino is one of our favs, so we imagined...well, you can imagine what we imagined, can't you? Have a chuckle with us, won't you?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

BAROQUE MIRROR MAKEOVER




As I am working on the finishing touches for my new studio I thought I'd share an easy makeover with you. I have not had any extra time for fun projects, so this one just fell in my lap. I ran an errand one day recently and swung into a local "antique" store. I am usually sceptical about what many of these places call "antiques", so expected it would be a very short walk through. However, I spotted 2 mirrors. One a cheap plastic repro for $15.00 and another smaller one for $9.00 (this one was the better find...made in Italy of plaster and in perfect condition). I bought both.

The molded plastic mirror was actually more interesting to my creative needs because I felt free to redo without guilt. Since I am currently liking the idea of "framing" whatever in our displays (notecards, a quote, etc.) I wanted to not confine this frame to one use. Since we do numerous shows around the country I thought this could be a multi-purpose redo.

This was the easiest makeover I think I've ever done. I removed the mirror out of the back easily. Then after washing off any dust/dirt I laid the frame out in the yard and simply spray painted. Since it was a plastic frame I used a plastic spray paint. Took 5 minutes total! This project has so many uses...a magnetic board; cork board; inspiration board; picture frame; etc.

I decided to use this in my studio as an almost transparent addition; giving me the option of easily taking it to a show and returning it afterwards..hardly missed. You'll see when it all comes together.

Monday, July 14, 2008

WOODROW IS POOPED




Yes, Patty, he's being pitiful. Here's a photo after he was done. I admit the thing was heavy, but no need for such drama!

SNEAK PEEK: LAUNDRY/STUDIO

THE SCARY {BEFORE}

This is a photo of the laundry room that was soon to become ours when we purchased our house. Once I took possession, I kept the door closed. At the first chance I painted over the sponged walls. Unfortunately I didn't have any easy solution for that lovely "brick"vinyl flooring so I still kept the door closed. In the last several months it has become necessary for me to create my own studio away from the hub bub. The business has already taken over the living room and entire basement (and during deadlines...every possible surface of the main level). That's when I decided to combine the laundry room with a design studio. Below is a peek at some elements I used. Both the drawer and swivel chair are from Ikea. The work station I ended up with was actually from Pier 1, but couldn't find an image so took the Pottery Barn image which is very similar. The new Samsung washer and dryer is delightfully quiet and doesn't wiggle & wabble across the room.

The floor was my biggest challenge. After much over-analyzing I decided the easiest solution with the least amount of work were the Flor carpet tiles. I love them.
My last image of my sneak peek is of Woodrow, my trusty assistant, helping install the floor to ceiling inspiration board. He took on way more than he could handle, I'm afraid, and was quite stiff for a few days afterward.




I am adding the finishing touches and will soon reveal the wonderful transformation. I wanted to share the {before} and can't wait until it's far enough along for a big reveal!
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