Posts Tagged ‘workshop makeover


Results of the Second Annual Shame-A-Thon

…and here we are, 24 hours later, with a studio that, if not exactly clinical in its cleanliness and order, at least won’t get me on an episode of “Hoarders”. And to all the people yesterday who said it didn’t look THAT bad, and I should just revel in the chaos, let me say that  disorder can be a good thing, but when it gets in the way of productivity and moves into the realm of health hazard, it’s time to clean.

Now–time to mess it up…



The Second Annual Shame-A-Thon

Hey kids!  iIt’s time for the second annual Studio Shame-A-Thon! Here’s how it works: I’m posting pictures of the current state of disaster in the Fobotorium, and in 24 hours, I will have to post pictures of it all cleaned up and organized or be FOREVER SHAMED.

A few tips if you want to conduct your own Shame-A-Thon:

1. Do it on a dreary, rainy, cold day, so you won’t have all of Mother nature distracting you. CHECK.

2. Get a good recorded book to listen to to make the time past more quickly. “The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain, about Hemingway and his first wife during the Paris years. CHECK.

3. Have an even worse task in mind that you really should be doing, so that this will seem like fun in comparison. Deciphering all the mailing list names and email addresses from the last two shows and entering them into the database. CHECK.

If you don’t hear from me by noon tomorrow, send out a search party, ’cause I’m buried under an avalanche of junk. Oh, and don’t let the patches of bare wood floor fool you–the wide angle lens makes them seem bigger than they are.MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA


Where Women Create Fobots

workshop 002First off, I want you to look at this picture, and then scroll down to “What. A. Dump.” and compare.

Back now?  Good.  Because this all happened in ten days.  Ten long, grueling, backbreaking days.  And it is sooooooooo worth it.

Jo Packham, editor, and Ryne Hazen, photographer, stopped by last Thursday to cover my studio for the magazine “Where Women Create”.  I’d met Jo over a year ago, in the dark ages when I was exhibiting at licensing shows, and she liked my work and the pictures I’d sent of my illustration studio.  She had NO IDEA about the Fobots, and let’s just say she hadn’t seen anything like them or the workshop where I make them.  In fact, her exact words upon seeing the workshop were “Oh my god.  We are going to have to bump you up.”  Apparently, each issue has to be carefully balanced to avoid featuring too many studios that look the same.  No problem there–this place doesn’t look like ANYWHERE else.

workshop 003The walls are blue now, and have robots drawn on them in chalk to look like blueprints.  My talented friend Lisa Stewart, of EC Stewart Designs, has a fabulous video on her blog that shows you how to add unsanded grout to flat latex paint to turn any surface into a chalkboard.  Check it out for yourself at . Two project tables from Pier One have been upfitted with wooden boxes to hold all of the small stuff, and are topped by a recent flea market find–a library card catalog for the even smaller stuff.  The lovely and talented Phil hung some of our trade show track lighting over the workbench, which now has a formica surface that is –thank god–impervious to all the liquids I keep spilling on it.  There’s a cool new ceiling fan that’s very deco/robot looking.  And two steel shelving units hold all of the crap that once covered the floor.

So I lost ten days of production.  Big deal.  I can now ACTUALLY FIND STUFF, and the time spent cursing and searching for that thing, ya know, that thing with the dial and the knobs….that’s been cut waaaay down.


What. A. Dump.

The only way to fully appreciate the dazzling “after” pictures soon to come, is to have a peak at a “before”. 

workshop-beforeThis is the workshop where the Fobots are created.  It started out as an exercise room, before we came to the realization that we both exercise harder when in a group setting, and joined the YMCA up the street.  For a long while, it was “The Room of Shame”–the room where things were unceremoniously dumped, rather that put away or moved to the basement where they would have quickly become covered in mold and mildew.  When the bot business grew too big for the ironing board in the laundry room (where we ever that small?) it moved to this room and quickly took over all available floor, wall and shelf space.  Not that there was much to begin with (space, that is), and the mauve walls were really better off covered.  I mean really, nothing says “late eighties” quite like mauve walls.

And I probably could have continued like this indefinitely.  Business has been booming, and to do a total room makeover without the aid of one of those reality TV shows would have meant a serious delay in production.  But then I got the email.

Ages ago, I’d met someone from Stampington, a magazine publishing group.  From their website:  “With 30 diverse art and crafting titles, Stampington & Company is your source for creative inspiration! From paper-crafting and mixed-media art to doll-making and art-to-wear, our family of publications explores a broad range of artistic media.”   And now they’re publishing a new magazine called “Where Women Create”, and want to photograph my studio!  Notice I said studio, not workshop. My studio is actually in pretty decent shape. Well, it would be–I’m hardly in it any more. But the workshop is where it’s happening lately, and I really wanted that to be included. So for the last five days, and with the help of my dear friend Greg Moore, who wields a mean paint roller, the Fobotorium (Fobotery?) is being organized and transformed beyond recognition. When the photographer arrives on Thursday, not only will you be able to walk on the floor without the need for a bulldozer or tetanus shot, but I’ll have everything organized so that I can actually find it and it will look fabulous!  It’ll be robot heaven.

Of course, the overflow has all gone into the guest room, which now looks much like the above picture. Don’t come stay overnight for a while.

July 2021

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