Monday, September 2, 2013


Summer is coming to a close, and I'm nesting.

At the end of June I had burnt out, disenchanted with my jewelry business in particular.  

It took my husband to point out that my physical space was a manifestation of my mental state.  Now, of course, I wish I had taken a picture, but at the time I didn't want to immortalize just how out-of-control my studio space had become. 

So I took July off - completely - to clear out my head.  

August was all about rehabbing my physical space.  When we moved into this house, the front part of the house, the one that would become my studio and store, had a liver-brown nappy carpet, and we swore we would redo the floors in the first two years.

That was eight years ago. 

Refreshed and renewed from my break in July, I was finally ready to tackle the dank-ish space where I spend the majority of the day. 

The first step was to take everything out of both rooms and pile is precariously around the rest of the house... all the furniture and jewelry/Arbonne supplies and displays.  The front part of our house looked like something straight out of an episode of Hoarders.  For over three weeks we wound our way around boxes, furniture piled hither and yon - carving little paths to get to the playroom, our TV room and the kitchen. 

We all wore the shin bruises to prove how old this got, and quickly.

Redoing the floors was supposed to take a week and a half, but as these things do it stretched into two, then three weeks.  

I was grateful for the emotional respite of July, because I was down to my last tiny nerve by the time the floors were declared suitable to move in.  

I spent the last two days feverishly organizing and decorating, vowing NOT to put anything back that I didn't love or need. 

Here is my studio space before (I didn't even take a shot of the whole room because the carpet was so bad): 

This was right after I organized it, back in 2011.  It never looked this neat again.

Here is my studio space now: 

My in-home store also needed a face lift.  Here it is before: 

And now: 

I have written about this before, but in rehab I learned about the expression "messy bed, messy head".  The counselors made us make our beds and tidy up our space every morning before we did anything else .

Of course I scoffed at this idea at the time, but I know now they are dead right.  As my physical space deteriorated, I told myself it was "an organized mess", or that it was a result of my "artistic brain".  There is some truth to both statements, but there is a fine line between artsy and out-of-control.  

As I begin this new year (I always think of September as a new year) I feel such gratitude for my new space - both mental and physical. I am blessed that my "commute" consists of walking down a flight of stairs and into a place that relaxes and soothes me.  

I am going to pay more attention to my physical surroundings, having gained a new appreciation for the fact that they are a bellwether to my overall mental state. 

Ladies and gentlemen - the World Headquarters of Shining Strong/Two Little Birds/One Crafty Mother: 


  1. One of the perks to working from home - no requirement to wear shoes. (Sighh - someday...)

    Congrats on the makeover! As someone starting a new venture this year (and yes, September is a new year) I can affirm the need to have a workplace be a sanctuary, a refuge from the clutter of everyday life.

    Thank you for sharing this!

  2. Looks lovely Ellie! Enjoy your new space!

  3. Beautiful! I remember you saying "messy bed, messy head" before and I say it to myself when I'm tempted to skip making my bed.

  4. Beautiful! So light and airy.

    What is the story behind the picture with the heart?

  5. Looks amazing, Ellie! Congratulations!

  6. I like it - it has a very bright and sunshiney look to it - as do you sitting at that desk. And I like the "Messy bed, messy head" quote - I will use that with the folks I work with. I hope your new (renewed) space gets filled up with many new blessings!

  7. Yesterday was the first day of 5774 in the Jewish calendar. L'Shana Tova Ellie, Happy New Year!

  8. It looks wonderful! It's amazing how a change in space can lift your attitude.

  9. It looks so productive now with the natural light streaming in and the shine coming from the floor. Best to you in all the endeavors that you juggle.