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10 years ago, my dream studio space came true

10 years of having my dream studio space has changed how I work, play, and enjoy my time.

We moved into our dream house 2 months after I turned 40 and one month before Jeff (my husband) turned 40. Who knew 40 was going to be such a great year! (we also got engaged on my 40th birthday!) But it got even better a few weeks after moving in...we built my dream studio from the patio attached to our 1950's house!

What it looked like 10 years ago, after I adjusted some things and unpacked all my arts and crafts stuff. Only one kitty on my desk way back then.

cat sitting on art studio desk
Mrs Leo as a young lady, watching over the studio

What it looks like today! More shelving and counters added, a few more chairs, a couple monitors, same cat in a bed and a new kitten hiding (can you spot her?)

cat sleeping on studio desk
Mrs Leo as an old lady, napping

So here's a little back story to help you understand just how much this space means to me...

Before moving to Roanoke, VA, I lived in a bunch of places. Started in a very small town in Ohio where I was born and raised. I had a nice sized bedroom where I did almost all my arts and crafts. I got a nice drafting table for my 16th birthday and used it every day. When I moved to Virginia in the early 90s, I had a teeny tiny one bedroom apartment with my ex-husband. I kept that old drafting table but we used it as a dining table. It would be years before I had an actual work space that didn't second as a kitchen or bedroom. We eventually bought our first house in the late 90s and I had a studio space in a loft upstairs next to the laundry and our son's baby room. It was cozy. It was crowded. But it was only a studio, not shared with any other activities in the house. And yet I still did most of my work downstairs on the couch or the kitchen table to be close to my new little baby and all the housework.

Flash-forward many years and many states, cities, and houses. I always had a space. A room or a corner of a room that I called my studio. But not until this city, this house, did I have a dream come true studio!

Making the dream studio space my own...

When we bought this house, the realtor knew I'd love the screened in porch. She knew I'd want to turn it into my studio space, and she was correct! My dad is a handy man and was willing and able to help build my dream with the help of my super handy (and adorable) husband! So after living here for just over a month and many sketched out ideas, we got to work building my dream studio! There were of course a few furry helpers. We needed all season windows, a door, insulation in the attic, electrical outlets, and of course, desks and shelves! I designed a large T shaped desk workspace with storage underneath. With all these windows we could do a lot of upper shelving but I'm super short so now I don't need a step stool! The main desk is a full sheet of Birch plywood, 8 x 4 feet! Plenty of room for drawing, painting, sewing, and cat beds.

My studio is over 200 square feet with large windows on three sides, a full glass front facing door, which makes for fun squirrel and bird watching for all the fur babies. There is even attic space for all my extra bits and bobs. We added an air vent so I could get heating and cooling, the cement and broken tile floor stays cool year round so I wear slippers year round too. And there is always a dog bed on the floor for whichever dog gets there first. Sometimes I bring in another so they don't have to share.

Here's what it looks like 10 years later. Pretty full, always a lot of dogs and cats, we almost need to add another room to the house!

Having dream studio isn't always rainbows and kittens, but it's pretty close!

Every since I was a little girl scribbling in my endless supply of coloring books, I dreamed of one day being a big fancy-pants doodler. I had no idea I could run my own business. No idea I could work in my jammies all day. No idea I would live in the mountains and have as many kitties as I wanted! But I did imagine a space where all my crayons and colored papers and ball of yarn would have a place of their own. And that I could sit up all night and color and stitch and and create an endless world of cuteness. And finally, at the age of 40, after endless moving, the break-up of a bad marriage, worrying about decisions I made or decisions that were made for me, I found my dream. In more ways than one.

If you're a creative person and you long for you dream studio, it's out there, waiting. You'll find it one day, or you'll make what you have your dream come true. As long as you can create in it, and you let your passion guide you. Every studio space I had until this one, was always good enough, but this one is definitely my favorite! In another blog post I'll share photos from my past spaces, some hold found memories, others not so much!

In case you're wondering, "do you share your space?"

Yep! My son hosts DnD in here, the desk is huge and we can close the door if they get too loud, lol! My husband and son and friends like to hang out while I work, sometimes there's snacks! And of course never a day goes by without a kitty or pupper in here to keep me company. It truly is a completely happy space!

Thanks for going on this little adventure. I plan to continue sharing on a regular basis, sometimes personal things like this blog, sometimes arts and crafts related topics, and maybe even some blog posts about my kitties!

Let me know what other topics you'd be interested in, and I'll do what I can!

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1 Comment


You're a survivor and are living your dreams! And having us old people able to help build your studio was a fun project! Keep up the scribbling!

Love ya!

the art of cute
beckadoodles and Mrs Leo cartoon heads
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