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LooLoo's Box Handcrafted Jewelry: Artisan Jewelry, from Sterling to Steampunk

Friday, April 27, 2012

It's a Messy Workshop Blog Hop!

Messy WorkshopOne of my favorite suppliers, B'Sue Boutiques, has coordinated this fun Blog hop where a bunch of us jewelry artists 'come clean' (pun intended) and show just how messy our workshops can be; it's your chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at where I and my fellow artists make our magic by hopping from blog to blog and seeing the pictures, videos and stories we have shared. At the bottom is the list of all the participants with the link to their blog; simply click on the one below mine to hop to the next, and so on. Please feel free to leave comments on our blogs; just don't be too hard on us, OK?

Myself, I create in the eye of a hurricane and it shows.  When the rubble gets so bad I cannot carve out a square foot of clear space, I stop working and start putting things away.  However, what usually happens is that in handling my bits & pieces something will spark an idea and I'm off and running, and once again 'making' instead of 'cleaning'.  My workshop is rarely ever really 'clean'.

So without further ado, here's a tour of my Messy Workshop! Click to enlarge the photos... if you dare.  ;-)

From the street one would never imagine the chaos within.

The house was built in 1912; we're throwing it a birthday party this summer.
Those upper front windows are my workroom.

Or would you?  That's a pretty unruly garden, with over 200 varieties of old and antique roses; I am not the 'lawn & shrubberies' type.

My workroom is on the second floor, but let's start downstairs where I have (yet again) taken over the dining room.

Dining Room BEFORE
Yes, it really morphed into THIS.
Sigh... this is what happens when Neal and I decide to play with my stuff; it all starts to gravitate downstairs.  It will probably stay there until we have a dinner party and need the table back.

Time to head upstairs.  Now before we enter my workroom, I have to warn you to prepare your eyes for extreme ugliness.  The wallpaper was old and decrepit when I bought the house 22 years ago, and it has been the domicile for two teenage boys (stepson and my son, in turn).  Both picked at the wallpaper.  The house is 100 years old and the walls are the original lathe & plaster - both boys tried to hang pictures by hammering nails into the walls... which broke the plaster.  As a result, this room looks like a French bordello that has been bombed by the Nazis.  Don't say I didn't I warn you.

From the left of the door, clockwise:

This lovely wallpaper is flocked... as if the red & gold weren't bad enough.

The door leads to a walk-in closet; that just a bunch of random crap on the old daybed.

Chain hangs on the back and end of these little shelves.
Yes, that is a clamp-on shop light at the top of a 2x4. The ceiling fixture is broken.

There's always at least one coffee cup.  Hmmm... I see I was working on this!
L to R: Wire & Chain, stones & beads, shipping envelopes & gift boxes in the dresser, metal beads, filigrees, etc. and door into photo room
My small photo tent; there's a larger on on a big metal desk to the right.
I see I was photographing an ArachneMachina 'Pectus' spider pin.
At least I have lots of space and when we are done it will be an efficient workroom, with work surface on all four walls and dedicated areas for tasks like resin work & soldering.  Most will be set up to work standing, to save my back (with seated areas for a few tasks) with storage beneath and pegboard on the walls to hang tools, chain, spools of wire and such.


Despite the chaos, there is an underlying organization and I am able to create beautiful things here.  I work in the eye of the storm, where it is calm.  When I am creating, I couldn't care less about peeling wallpaper; the vision in my mind's eye is all I can see.  And I am OK with that.  :-)

Here's a few of my latest creations!

ArachneMachina 'Jugulus' RoboSpider Necklace
'The Dark Heart of Steampunk' (I made this one for myself)
ArachneMachina 'Auris' Steampunk Spider Earrings Sold, but there's more...
Flora & Fauna Brooch - Sold
Flora & Fauna Cuff - On Etsy

 Yes, lots of bugs.  I'm going through a phase that I hope never ends.  :-)

----- ~ * ~ -----

Messy Workshop Blog Hop Links

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B'sue Boutiques

Robin Delargy, LooLoo's Box <------ You are here

Kim at CianciBlue

Jennifer Jazwick-Smith, Hudathots

Mary Shannon Hicks

Tracy Swartz

Jacqueline Marchant

Lynnea Perry Bennett

Terry Matusyk

Laurel Steven

Dr. Brassy Steamington

Pamela Takeshige

Kris Lanae Binsfeld

Outre Art

Linzi Alford

Deb Davis

Tamara Jones

Harry Wood

Gerry Nickerson

Elizabeth Owens-Dwy

Georgene Lockwood

Charisa Sloper

Jennifer Justman


Mary Deis

Cheri Reed

Sondra Kolner

Sonya Ingersoll-Stille

Lori Anderson

Sandra McGriff

Shelly Joyce

Joan Williams

Kashmira Patel

Deb Beechy

Ginger Bishop

Kelli Jacobson

Natalie McKenna

Andrew Thornton

Mary Govaars

Kate Mulligan

Lisa Lodge

Tami Luchini

Monique Lula

Lee Koopman

Jayne Capps

Susan Lloyd

Cynthia Wainscott

Stephanie Amanti

Alicia Marinache

Sam Hamp

Lennis Carrier

The Milo, my ever-present Workshop Assistant


  1. You do some very beautiful work out of the red and gold room. Maybe you shouldn't change that wallpaper it may hold ancient mojo.

    1. I'm going to be covering any exposed walls with painted pegboard, so I won't need to touch it at all. It can still exude its ancient mojo through the holes in the pegboard. :-)

  2. Well, Robin! you did not disappoint! What a lovely home you have---mess and all. You can keep the flocked wallpaper, though! HA Of course....I didn't show you guys the upstairs in this place--much! Believe me, we've all got many rooms for improvement. I just love your style, I love your rambling garden and it was great to see your photo tent. I know you spent a little money on that but the quality of your pix are so great, totally worth it. Now I want one! Thanks so very much for sharing everything and all your fun commentary, I am so glad you are a part of what we do here at B'sue Boutiques. You really are. ;-)

    1. Thanks so much, Brenda Sue! I'll blog more about the gardens when the bloom comes on. :-)

  3. I have a buggy thing going on lately too! Only they are running across the floor of my basement work shop! Love your post!

    1. Fortunately, the cats keep the spiders in check. I hope mine will be even half as well organized and storage-rich as yours one day. :-)

  4. You know from now on when I think I have too many supplies I'm going to come here and look at pictures of your stash. It makes me feel normal. And inadequate. I need more stuff obviously.

    1. Obviously! What's funny is that I didn't think I had a very impressive stash at all. :-)

  5. I love your house, and your gardens...and I think that wallpaper is lovely!!!. Your house and your workspace work well for you, and your creations are gorgeous. I love the spider series :)

    1. Ah, thanks so much, Terry! After 22 years in this house I really can't imagine ever leaving. It is adapting to my needs very well. :-)

  6. I love that house and garden! Wish I had that much room to work in. My house is very small and makes my mess look so much worse. Love the spiders. Already told you about my family and spiders. They are beautiful! I think you have a real treasure with that house.

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! It's a work in progress; it got a new kitchen almost 5 years ago, next up is a new roof. As for the gardens, well, I think the weeds are winning.

  7. I smiled when I saw the dining room table! Mine looks like that all the time...my family has to watch out for stray beads mixed in with dinner. Makes me feel "normal"

  8. Thank's for letting us tour. I did not have the guts to show my daybed covered in stuff, or the dining room table... Really cool house. I enjoyed reading your post.

  9. Thanks for sharing your studio space. Your dinig room resembles mine in use.

  10. I love your front garden and your spider jewelry. You are lucky to have so much space to create in.

  11. I love your house and that fabulous wallpaper. And, I absolutely love your work. Very cool to see the "mess", love it!

  12. Love all that space! What a beautiful home! Your spiders are wonderful! I'm in awe of that first one!

  13. Thanks for sharing your space with us! I love your steampunk spiders as well. And it is SO gratifying to see that so many of us have messy workspaces!

  14. I absolutely positively LOVE your house! It's what Rick and I had hoped to buy when we moved here but it wasn't to be. And your dining room table looks like mine. I used to work exclusively at the table, but then moved everything, but as I sit here typing this, I see that half of the dining room table is yet AGAIN taken over with beads. Sigh.

  15. I love your house!, specially your funny wallpaper, it will match perfectly with my old carpet in my workshop!, thanks for the tour!

  16. I love your house and garden. Wow on all the materials. Everything is great!

  17. What an incredible home you have! Love the spiders!

  18. Awesome, Robin! I love your beautiful house - is it a Craftsman? I work just like you do - no matter how much space I have I always manage to fill it up so I only have a few inches of actual working space!

  19. French Bordello bombed by the Nazis. If that isn't an environment for a creative soul, I don't know what is. Love the light box. Now I see where those professional photos come from. Loving the new spider series. ~ Dr Brassy

  20. Oh my flocked?? You had me there as I have personally worked with the stuff. Love the spiders! I really need to invest in a light box. Something to add to the list. ;)Thanks for sharing! Warmly, Tracy

    1. Yes, flocked. The main floor was entirely yellow & white flocked with pea soup green shag when I bought the house, can you imagine?

  21. Nice space......I love the windows. I need a photo ten. Thanks for letting us enjoy your space. Sonya

  22. First of all, your home is gorgeous. Your wild workspaces make me happy! I can see where you are headed, and it will be awesome when you get there!

  23. Love the house--even the flocked wallpaper and the wood floors. .. inspirational! Love the workspace! What fun! No wonder you have so many fun ideas! Thank you for sharing!

  24. Okay, love the bugs, hate the bugs! (spiders both fascinate me and freak me out, they move SO fast on those multiple little legs!)
    Wow, they are SO cool and you can find all those little gears on your table? Heh! Nice to know we creative types are consistent (I shudder to show anyone MY table!)

    1. Oh my yes, I feel the same about spiders - sick fascination and abject terror. I'm fine if they stay put and don't startle me, but get one on me and my head explodes.

      Aw, your table couldn't be any worse than mine.

  25. I just told my hubby over the weekend "since you hang out with me in the work room(10x14), why don't we move it to the living room no one uses anymore", it's much larger...lol

    1. Sensible! I'm guessing you didn't manage to sell it to him though, am I right? ;-)

  26. Ewww spiders >.< lol What I want to know...is how, with an entire room dedicated to your mess.. er.. studio... did your dining room/workroom get THAT messy?! * looks at own mess* Err...never mind .. silly question ;)

    You know...I actually kinda like the red and gold flocked bordello-type paper... which is weird cause... I'm not a fan of red or gold let alone bright colored walls lol I can't believe that room houses two teenage boys and still has ANY of that paper left on it! They must have kept most of it hidden under layers of posters ;)

    1. Yeah, well, the paper that's still intact is stuck on really well. And yes, they had posters... but mostly I think they just stopped seeing it after a while. it became like... well, like wallpaper. :-)

  27. I adore your house! So cozy and the "Nazi" room is great! And lots of creative space I think. I think your cat wants to keep that heart necklace ;) Great tour!

    1. Thanks Beanz! I like it too, except for that pick-to-death ghastly red wallpaper. And the holes in the plaster. :-)

  28. Such a beautiful home! And an awesome studio (I don't see much of a "mess" there though ;-)

    Thanks for the tour and a very happy birthday to the grand home!

    1. Thank you! True, the mess mostly moved downstairs to the dining room. :-)

      I'll pass our birthday wishes on to my Grand Old Dowager.

  29. First of all I love your house (jealous, jealous). I'm a vintage nut and I live in a house built in the early 90s, NINETEEN 90s.

    But your studio doesn't look messy to me! Must be that a creative mess makes sense to the rest of us or something. Your work is beautiful and I loved seeing where it all happens.

    1. Thank you! Oh dear, a vintage nut in a newer house - that's tragic! :-)

      Well, the workshop isn't so bad only because most of it gravitated downstairs. :-)

  30. I love your house! I really like your spider earrings, so cool and creative! Thank you for sharing your mess :)

    1. Thank you for visiting, as well as for your kind compliments. :-)

  31. my house is 95 years old!! i love your creating spaces, your house, and your cat!!! a great post!

  32. Love your house and garden. Milo looks quite content and your workshop looks pretty neat to me. Non moving spiders are ok with me...

    1. Non-moving spiders are the only kind that are allowed anywhere near me. Milo is always content, because he has me, his Doorman, Food Dispenser and Personal Petting Technician. :-)

  33. Hello : Jacqueline here , I love your blog and really love your creativity your jewelry is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing...bye for now and Happy Crafting

  34. I loved all of your pictures. I feel the same way about my kitchen tile as you do about the wallpaper. It is 70's orange yellow and brown (I do not like yellow). I love the dragonfly cuffs, they are beautiful!

    1. Oh my yes, the '70s were a proud era in design history... NOT!

  35. I love your house, would love to work in your flower garden. I love your workspace, your home is absolutely beautiful...

    1. Cherie, you can certainly come play in the dirt any time. How do you feel about weeding? ;-)

  36. You have a very pretty house! Love the gardens! =) I'm a big home grown rose fan! =) And I LOVE your dining room! That just seems like an awesome place to create at! =) It's funny that you say the table probably won't get cleared off until your next dinner party. That's usually when my stuff gets picked up, is when we have friends coming over. And even then, I'm usually apologizing for some mess or another! LOL

    You have some really great creations! While I have an aversion to spiders, I think yours are really cool!

    Great job and thank you for the wonderful tour of your mess!!! =)

    1. Thank you! The gardens are going to burst into bloom in about a month; spring flush is my favorite time of year! Plus, eating outside means I don't have to decrapify the dining room table, yay!

  37. Milo is getting ready to pounce on one of those spiders. I like bugs, but not spiders, sorry. Some other kind of bug for me! I love your house, 100 years old. Too COOL for words. And inside. Your dining room is way cool. You have so much space to work in. I like it!!

    1. Milo has four other feline family members, so we don't see too many of those big floor running creepers, thank goodness. I wrote an entire blog post on my 'relationship' with spiders... it is not a warm one. These are therapy, ha!

      I love my house, too. If I win the lottery she'll get a facelift. :-)

  38. I love old houses, I live in one myself. Peeling wallpaper equals character! Thanks for letting me visit! I love your workshop. I didn't do the blog hop because my bead studio has been taken down due to illness. It is in the process of returning!

  39. Yup your wallpaper is pretty much "flocked" I'd say. Love it though- and all your space , and your lovely rose garden. I have the exact same light box setup too :)
    Thanks for sharing
    from Linzi
    of www.magpieintheskyspoilheaptales.blogspot.com

  40. So, you have lived with wallpaper you are not thrilled with for 22 years? I guess I have a few years to make it through then before I get some updates around here.
    After 15 years in the last house with pepto pink walls in a boys bedroom, I moved before that was corrected.
    Have only been here 9 years.

    Happy Birthday to your house!

  41. Wow, your house is amazing! And I love the tangle of roses outside, so beautiful! And it may be chaos, but it is definitely charged with creativity :) Your work is amazing!

  42. I think your workroom looks very cool! Love your creations too!

  43. Your workspace is amazing! Love the flora and fauna cuff.

  44. I really enjoyed the tour of your workspace and house! (Still working on hopping!) Love the authentic vintage feel. It was fun to see how you organized your workspace!

  45. I really love those spider earrings...wonderful yet brilliant idea...thanks for sharing