As we slowly settle in to our new studio space, I realize just how necessary organization is to a growing business. We jumped from 400 square feet to right around 1600 (I know—still can’t believe it myself!), and with the long-awaited elbow room (literally, we could elbow one another in the old studio as we packed, strung, and photographed necklaces at our adjacent desks) came some unexpected communication challenges. Long gone are the days of posting a sad little dry-erase board on the wall with the week’s to-do’s listed for the entire team (all seated within 7 feet of its hanging spot) and knowing in mere seconds how our upcoming days looked schedule-wise.
I’m a visual person, and while I am sure that iCal and Google-whatever is awesome for syncing everyone’s activities, I still use an old-school daily planner. I live for writing lists, filling in events, and seeing my weeks/months/days at a glance. With a pen. On paper. With me everywhere. Huge dork.
In any case, in this new studio, we needed something much larger than our old $5 dry-erase dud…like, for instance, a wall-sized calendar that we could all see from across the room. (Our new roomy room!) Purchasing giant whiteboards or chalkboards seemed unnecessarily costly. (Read: I’m entirely too cheap to pay for something I’m sure I can make for myself.) Couldn’t we just paint a calendar on the wall and fill it in each month? Here’s where my lukewarm feelings for Pinterest suddenly became much, well, warmer. Who knew that place could be so handy…and who knew people had so much time to make things? Gracious…I make things for a living and even I felt like an enormous slacker checking out the endless DIY projects, blogs, and posts out there.
After a couple of minutes searching, I stumbled upon a genius idea via Pinterest on a charming blog called “Our Fifth House,” (which plenty of you likely already know about, and I’m incredibly late to the party, perhaps…) and when I saw the author, Carmel, was a transplant to the Bluegrass State, I knew I had to pay attention. A fellow Kentucky gal couldn’t lead me astray. A giant, see-it-across-the-room calendar crafted in chalkboard paint spanned an entire entry hall wall, allowing her the option of updating events throughout the month, at a glance, in yo face. Though her enormous calendar was amazing and exactly what I had in mind for the studio, it dawned on me that with exposed brick running the length of our space, painting a grid on that crumbling (but beautiful) surface just wasn’t going to happen here. Bummer. But you know how those tricky blogs can be…I kept clicking around to see what else Carmel had been up to in that ol’ Kentucky home of hers, and saw another project that caught my eye and had my gears turning.
Apparently Carmel had a disaster in her dining room that left a few dings in her wall (I wasn’t nosy enough to get the backstory, but it looked pretty bad,) so she decided to cover them up with a few panels of chalkboard that she made from inexpensive door mirrors. Jackpot. I combined two of Carmel’s crafty ideas into one, creating a giant calendar for our exposed brick walls using four long mirrors (from Target…around $5 each), spray-painted with chalkboard paint (easy to find at Lowe’s or Home Depot,) and hanging them horizontally using expandable plate hangers, nailed into the brick.
The OCD, neurotic, dork in me is in heaven. I love filling in all the dates—two months at a time—and I’m pretty sure the Elva Gals in the studio think it’s nice to know what is going on in this crazy place each week. Elbow room AND organization…we are living large.
~And, Carmel, if you read this…thank you for the ideas and inspiration…glad to have you in the Bluegrass (and on Pinterest!)