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Sara Naumann blog studio photo

My shed/studio on a cold and misty November morning.

I’ve mentioned before that my studio is perhaps a bit less desirable than most…it’s a far cry from the elegant décor of those lovely magazine studios (of which I will admit that I’m very, very jealous). Yet, despite its concrete floor, lack of heat and above-average spider occupancy, my studio is mine and I’m pretty lucky to have it at all—certainly in a city where living space is such a premium. Heck, if it had running water, it would qualify as a studio apartment in Amsterdam!

It’s where I paint, glue, bead, make cards and prep stuff for television. It’s also where I store a lot—and I mean, a lot—of magazines.

Sara Naumann blog magazines Somerset

Just one of my many piles...

Magazines, by the way, weigh quite a bit. I guess I never realized quite how heavy they could be until both of my bookshelves simply collapsed under the strain of years’ worth of Somerset Studio, Cloth Paper Scissors, Take Ten, Craft Stamper and all the others.

Yes, the shelves just gave out. On both bookcases. At more or less the same time.

It’s the domino effect: One shelf collapses, so the shelf below it falls under the weight, and then the one under that does too…and eventually everything goes everywhere—magazines, boxes of brads, canvases, beads (argh) and the rest.

Apparently IKEA bookshelves are not designed to hold a literal ton of Somerset Studio. Who knew?

Sara Naumann blog magazine pile

Is that an issue from 2008? Why yes it is, and yes, I'm saving it.

One suggestion might be to get rid of three years’ worth of magazines, but I just can’t bring myself to do that. My work is in some of them, for one thing, but the majority I hang onto mostly out of habit, and also because I do look back through them and find techniques and inspiration. Also because—let’s be honest—some of these magazines are so beautifully designed and photographed that they’re like art in themselves.

So I poked through the pile of magazines strewn all over the floor and put five in the recycle bin. Probably not the biggest step I could make in progress, but hey.

What to do with the rest of them? And all the other things I stored on those broken bookshelves? Well, last weekend Keith went out to the hardware store and got two of those industrial-strength metal racks—the kind where the advertisement says “Can hold up to 475kilo!” in a cartoon-like starburst.

That should about cover 2010, don’t you think?

Sara Naumann blog shelves magazines studio

My new super-sturdy industrial-strength shelves!