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Topographic Table

My studio is... well... it's practical. It's not lovely, airy, sun-soaked, or spartan like all good studios are supposed to be, but it gets the job done. My studio is the messy pony tail of the workspace universe -- It ain't pretty, but it helps me get my work done.

I work in the basement of our home. Sure, I have to supplement the lighting with lamps. And sure, I have workout equipment, an old t.v., dusty VHS tapes, and a stray sock from the laundry chute as my twisted feng-shui backdrop. Who cares? 75% of the year it's the perfect temp -- if on the cool side, I can crank the stereo without waking the kids, I can write off the "overhead" as a business expense, and most importantly, it's big enough that I can fit all my stuff here and I don't have to share with anyone.

So, it was a little fun when I actually made some changes to it recently. I occasionally take EVERYTHING off the 8-foot table and give the surface a good scrub. After staring at the wet marks evaporate from the faux-woodgrain tabletop, I was inspired to paint it white. I found some old white paint the former owners had left and laid on two, gooey coats of it in one day. From its age, my misuse, or something, the paint did not spread very nicely. Some parts were wonderfully white, while other parts hinted at a darker layer beneath. I'm an impatient re-decorator, so instead of applying yet another layer of paint on, I uncapped my Sharpie and went to town. Drawing (literally) from all my experience with contour maps over the last 4 years, I topo-fied my tabletop.

It still isn't spectacular, but it's brighter, more creative, much less faux-woodgrain, and totally Crafterall. After editing the "stuff" I need on the table and replacing the bare essentials, I can honestly say that it was worth it. Something about it says, "Yup. This is for real, y' know. This is your job. Now go, kick some butt."

I am o.k. (for now) with the fact that my studio will never look like Martha's or any of the dreamy spaces I've seen featured online. I do want to work a little more, though, on paring down even further, finding more out-of-the-way places for my less-frequently used tools and materials, and getting the whole place to jive a little more. If I'm going to spend 60 hours a week down here, I better darn well enjoy it! Maybe I'll get around to a complete "before and after" post when that "after" feels complete... say, in a couple years or so. *wink*



12 years 9 months ago

Great idea and it looks great!

Stumbled across your blog by accident...WOW. I didn't even KNOW that people made these sorts of things, it's a technique I've not seen before. The Re-incarnation Duo are wonderful and your maps are fabulous, too. I'm really enjoying looking through all your pieces, your creativity is inspiring.

All the best,


Hi Marnie!
so good to see you at the no-coast craftorama again this weekend. love the table - it looks awesome!

oh! also loved the QR codes at your booth this weekend. what a good idea! hope the weekend was wildly successful!