"The Cream Puff"

"The Cream Puff"
"The Cream Puff" was shown by request @ Liberty Art Gallery, Long Beach Ca. April '12

Saturday, March 1, 2014

How Do You Eat An Elephant?

                     One Bite At A Time, Of Course!
   Welcome to Sharyl's Jewelry and Reflections  "Clean-Up,Fix-Up Challenge" reveal.

           I made a dent.

It's a long way from where I would like it to be...

                                                    but it's a start.

    So I started by reorganizing my kitchen cupboards.
     Sounds silly since this was a challenge to clean my studio, but here's the deal......
     My kitchen was set up for a boyfriend I had when I moved in who was a chef. 7 years later, the chef long gone......I had never reclaimed the kitchen.
    My studio, which is technically my dining room, has taken over the kitchen, but it's really just projects piled on the counters.

    Then a few years back I had an infestation of these itty bitty little flee sized bugs called Tobacco Beatles. They got their name because they are notorious for getting into humidors and tunneling through cigars.

    No Tobacco for them here, but it turns out that they like any kind of dry goods
          Hot Chocolate
          ....... and the list goes on and on.
                                      They were in everything
    Small enough to fly in through the vent over the stove, and I live in a building with a hundred units.
    I had to completely clean out my cupboards.
    I haven't seen any of these buggers in years, but to this day, if it's not sealed in metal or glass, it goes in the fridge.
    (I'll share a little tip I discovered. Storing things like chips and cereal in the fridge keep them endlessly crispy.)
    Leaving an entire kitchen cupboard holding nothing but a handful of canned goods.  

                 It sort of became my junk drawer. 

    I rearranged the dishes in another cupboard to make room for my canned goods and spice rack, and managed to turn this-> 

         into this.

   Leaving me with ALL THIS SPACE to work with. 
                   Yeah!   My 1st small victory.

     Now we move over to the tool bench.

    All the bottles that are cluttering up the drawers, go on a Lazy Susan in the cupboard, freeing up those drawers for all the new tools my brother bought me for Christmas.

        See. There is a method to my madness.


    The tool bench has been tidied up.
    This is the collection of tools looking for new homes here.
    That's okay. I now have empty drawers to work with.


All my Sari silks and Kimono silks, and pre-felts got ironed, sorted, organized and hung on the back of my door.

    I made this letter organizer/iphone dock/pen holder from copper sheet for a challenge in the foldforming central forum on facebook.

    It's mounted to the side of my refrigerator with magnets.

I also got my magazine rack mounted to the wall.


    Between the two the mail will be contained.
    I still have to sort and organize the stack of paperwork.
    That's okay. There's a table to work on now, and a place to put things.

    One bite at a time.

What was once my spice rack......
    My collection of anamorphic vegetables and politically incorrect faceless Asian children, salt and pepper shakers, all sit empty now because of those  nasty little Tobacco Beatles.


My kids have a new job now. As the keepers of headpins.

    My enamels have been living here on my work table for almost a year now. Open. With a baking sheet over the top.
    The powders come in these little plastic bottles, but you can't dip red hot metal into plastic.
    You can buy fancy metal cans that come with lids. But that means cash, which I don't have to spend.
     So they go into catfood cans to work with. I have plenty of those on hand.

   A friend just found these lids for me. 3 packs, at the 99cent store.

    Total cost $8.

  I spent most of the day today, with this little cabinet kicking my ass.
    It was a donation from my brother. Thank you.
    He lives in a warm dry location, while I live near the beach.
    The drawers were a little tight when I got it, and after being here, and living in my bathroom, for a year.....
                                      Moisture + wood = Swelling.             Argh!

    After spending half the night containing and labeling all my enamels. Then getting them all organized in the drawers...... I couldn't get the drawers back into the cabinet.
                  OH CRAP!

    Doesn't help that we're in the middle of a major thunderstorm.
    I however was determined.
    I got out my electric sander and spent hours sanding the hell out of it.
    Still the drawers wouldn't fit.   : (

    Now what?                                                                                Google is your friend.

    I found suggestions of putting a light bulb in the drawers to dry out the wood.
    Eight drawers.........that would take way too long.
    I wanted this fixed, and quick.
    I opened up my oven door and cranked it up for about an hour with the cabinet and drawers stacked right in front of it.
    Worked like a charm.

I just hope I can open the drawers again later to get my things out when I need them.

    My wire collection all got tamed and found a new home.
    As you can see, the initial cupboard I started with is coming along nicely, and there is still plenty of space there to work with.

    This I actually did a while ago, but it's one of my favorite features, so I wanted to show it off.
    I found this really cool wire rack on clearance at Marshall's. It's mounted to the side of my work table and tames all my handspun yarns.
    At first my cat thought it was his new bed. I had to break him of that habit real quick.

    Also older, but I wanted to share some fun jewelry display racks.
    The wrought iron scrolls are actually curtain tiebacks. I found the set of 3 on ebay for $10.
    The Chinese checkers board is made of tin, and magnetic.

              I made good progress.
    It's not nearly all I had planned, but....... you know the expression. "Best laid plans of mice and men".
    Of course there are all those other piles, that got shuffled, to sort through still.

             My place is small.
                             My stuff is big. 

It's kinda like a Rubik's Cube......
    You have to shuffle all the things to get what you want where it's supposed to be.
    I'll keep at it though........
               one bite at a time.

                  Thanks for stopping by.
Have fun exploring everyone else's creative space.

                     Studio Tour 

Host: Sharyl McMillian-Nelson … http://sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com

Donna Millard http://fyrebeadz.blogspot.com/

Beda Hendrix ... https://www.facebook.com/SasijuhlsThings 

Ann Schroeder… http://www.beadlove.wordpress.com

Pamela Rachelle… http://crazycreativecorner.blogspot.com

Kristin L Oppold… http://www.yayjewelry.blogspot.com

Heidi Kingman ... http://heidikingman.blogspot.com

Andi ... http://strungoutjewelry.blogspot.com/

Patricia Buchanan Click “Blog” on the menu bar athttp://www.braceletstoo.artfire.com

Helen Simon… http://helensharvest.com/

somethingunique ... http://somethinguniquebylana.blogspot.ca/

Renetha ... http://lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com 

Kathy Lindemer ... http://bay-moon-design.blogspot.com

Swapna Dinesh … http://www.swardaa.com      

Linda Landig ... http://lindalandig.wordpress.com/

Ann Schroeder ... http://www.beadlove.wordpress.com/

Beti Horvath ... http://stringingfool.blogspot.com/

Sam S ... http://samsbeadshopandjewelry.blogspot.com/ 

Christina Miles ... http://wingsnscales.blogspot.com/

Islandgirl ... http://islandgirlsinsights.blogspot.ca/ 

macmillanmarie ... http://www.macmillanmarie.blogspot.com

Emma Todd … http://www.apolymerpenchant.com

Neena Shilvock … 


Dee Clark… http://biz-e-bead.blogspot.com/ 

motidana ... http://kalaabhushan.blogspot.com/ 

Here Bead Dragons ... http://beaddragons.blogspot.com/

Carol D. ... http://dillmansdallies.blogspot.com/

Pam Sears ... http://crazycreativecorner.blogspot.com/

Nan Smith ... http://wirednan.blogspot.ca

AliMc ... http://northwoodscreativestudio.blogspot.com 

Kari Asbury ... http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com

Shirley Moore ... http://www.beadsandbread.blogspot.com

PyxeeStyx ... http://travelingsideshow.blogspot.com/

Jayne Capps … https://mamasgottodoodle.blogspot.com

Louann Elwell 
... https://plus.google.com/117746558861718110652/posts

Rain ... http://honeyandollie.com/

Lori Bergmann ... http://www.LoriBergmann.blogspot.com

Helen Simon… http://helensharvest.blogspot.com/

Arlene Dean ... http://aglassbash.blogspot.com 

Sandra... http://city-of-brass-stories.blogspot.de/ 

Alicia ... http://www.allprettythings.ca

Natalie Pappas ...  http://blog.nkpdesigns.com/

Mike Flint ...  https://www.facebook.com/bagomag


  1. small space, big stuff, same problem, different country - what can I say - other than, great job - esp using the oven :)

  2. Loved your post! I managed to clean off one little table. Oh well. Also, I have a fairly big house, with even bigger STUFF. He he.

  3. it looks great, what you have done, is done beautifully. Keep up the good work!

  4. Your studio is looking great. I like the idea of storing your wire on the back of the cabinet door. Are the held up on nails or did you figure out a way to hang them with causing nail holes?

  5. You've made GREAT progress in organizing - I'm impressed! My studio is a disaster at the moment and projects are spilling throughout the house. I, first, need to clean out the storage room in the basement so I can move some things down there. Time, just need time.....

  6. I am so totally impressed with your studio transformation! We've talked about your space challenges before and I admit, I was wondering how you were gonna work your magic. Bravo! *applause*