10' wide x 7' high, beautiful, functional cherry wood entertainment center converted into a storage unit

10′ wide x 7′ high, beautiful, functional cherry wood entertainment center converted into a storage unit

A month ago I fetched this beautiful, solid wood “entertainment center” off of a craigslist ad in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I had been searching for about two weeks on Craigslists in Denver, Salt Lake City, Flagstaff, Santa Fe, Phoenix and Albuquerque.   Yep, once I saw this beauty, nothing was gonna stop me; I went and got what I had envisioned and drove it back home.  Everyone thought I was nuts to drive so far, that is of course until they saw it in my studio!

I replaced the storage boxes under the desks; I replaced the various sizes and mismatch of dressers and cabinets; I replaced the disorderly appearance with a unified, beautiful, functional piece of furniture that makes this part of my studio look like (I quote from a family member):  “…wow, this place looks like something out of an old museum…!”

Where the TV is supposed to go...

Where the TV is supposed to go…

I store all my dyeing supplies in one part, my weaving supplies in another, along with my spinning supplies, sewing supplies, beadwork supplies and picnic/camping baskets.  And lest I forget to mention, this wooden ensemble of 3 pieces cost $350 in excellent condition.  The seller said he bought it 10 years ago for $3500.00.


I placed a wooden closet bar across the top and hung three fabric sweater closet shelving


The top shelf inside each end cabinet features a recessed light showcasing all hand-made items including Northwest coast glasswork, beadwork, carvings, pottery and masks.  Sitting on top of the left cabinet is my hand-made Swedish musical instrument called the “Hummel”; on top of the center cabinet is my carved and painted “bentwood box” I made for my mother as a Mother’s Day gift in 1972, and on top of the right cabinet, are a painted box with the “Step Into the Light” NWC design created back in 1981, along with my trusty leather hand-made hat from “Head-N-Home” and my feathered headband made by “Feathered Flies.”

I was always unsatisfied with my previous layout of this part of my studio due to all the mismatch and irregularity of storage.  I wanted something that helped me be more sufficient as well as easy on the eyes.  This has been a pleasure.  If you ever find yourself in the same boat I was once in, do yourself a favor, choose unified beauty!

The grand work table

The grand work table to the left of the grand storage unit

Folks want to know where I live and work because it seems I travel a lot (though I have yet to afford a vacation.)  “Clarissa’s Studio” is a 9-part series showing the 9 areas of Clarissa’s studio where I work full-time and live part of the year in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  As you know by now, I remodeled a 2-car garage about 10 years ago as a studio without running water or sewer system because I had no plans of using this space as a place of residence.  I had no idea that years later, because of big changes in my personal life, I would not be able to afford paying rent anywhere else. so for nearly 4 years I have weathered insufficient heat during the winter and the inconveniences of not having a real kitchen and a bathroom, until someday I can afford a real home.

Over the next three months (starting this past May),  I will introduce you to various parts of my humble 700 sq.ft. sanctuary divided into sections.  Here are the parts of “Clarissa’s Studio Series”:

  • “The Living Room” where I play music, read, crochet, knit and clear out the coffee table to do Tai Chi;
  • “The Office” where I draft proposals, emails, FB,  grants, letters, update my website and post blog entries;
  • “The Sewing Space” where I sew button robes and clothing for the grandkids;
  • “The Weaving Space” for all my Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving projects on various size looms;
  • “The Grand Table Space” where I do large layouts of robe pattern designs and cut the applique for button robes;
  • “The Drawing Room” where I sketch and finalize drawings for robes, paintings, collages and book illustrations;
  • “The Painting/Collage-making” where I create just that, along with printing limited edition Giclee’ prints and shrinkwrapping them;
  • “Clarissa’s Kitchenette” where I zap an occasional Amy’s TV dinner for lunch and I keep a modest supply of drinking water;
  • “Clarissa’s Storage Units” for beautiful and practical storage of all weaving, spinning, sewing, dyeing, beadworking supplies and recent collection of books

The first three  blog entries on “Clarissa’s Studio” series include:

Part 1:  “The Livingroom” at:  http://www.clarissarizal.com/blogblog/clarissas-studio-part-1-the-living-room/

Part 2:  “The Kitchenette” at:  http://www.clarissarizal.com/blogblog/studio-part-2-clarissas-kitchenette/

Part 3:  “The Drawing Room” at:  http://www.clarissarizal.com/blogblog/clarissas-studio-part-3-the-drawing-area/