Behind the Scenes of Curbly.com: Shelly's DIY Workshop

Behind the Scenes of Curbly.com: Shelly's DIY Workshop

In the final days of our "Work_____" series, we thought it was only fair to give you a tour of the offices, studios, and desks of the folks that make Curbly happen. So, have a peek at the spaces where our articles are researched and written, photos shot and edited, mistakes made, things learned, and the DIY community built.

created at: 01/24/2011

Name: Shelly Leer, aka ModHomeEcTeacher

Location: Indianapolis and Carmel, Indiana

What sort of activities or projects do you work on in this space? In the workshop: lots of sewing, upholstering, painting, building, sanding, teaching classes and photographing process shots. I do most of my photography, editing, writing, emailing, etc. in the office area.
What's your key to staying organized and productive?  Take breaks every hour for water, change of music, just a break from working by myself. I write a master To-Do list on Sunday nights for the entire week and then make a daily list early every morning. I wake up around 4:00 am. I've discovered I can stay focused, alert and productive in the wee early hours. I work until about 9:00, have breakfast and then work until noon. I'll take a lunch break, exercise and then usually start work again around 7:00 pm.
What's a feature of your workspace you couldn't live without? Music and many different sized stools to work at different heights.
created at: 01/24/2011
If you had one wish to grant your office, what would it be? Right now I'm in desperate need of a mini fridge and microwave. I have a feeling my husband will get me a mini convection oven so he can continue his tradition of baking cookies for my classes.
Do you work in other spaces than this? Other rooms in your home? Coffee shops or public places?   I can't work out in public spaces, I get way too distracted with people watching.
How do you balance workspace vs. home life? Do you keep them separate, or is it all just part of your life? My work is so much fun, it's difficult for me to NOT be doing something work related all the time.  However, I do understand how important it is to balance work and step back to get perspective and fresh inspiration. 
Do others use this space? Often? For what activities? Lots of classes and workshops are planned for the space. I'll also have open shop hours when students can come and work on their projects for an hourly rate. Eventually, I may rent out the giant table area for other classes. One of my friends is interested in renting the space for teaching photography classes.

created at: 01/24/2011
Curbly's "Work_____" month caught me smack dab in the middle of moving into my own studio work space.  Here's the deal: I'm a homebody. I loved working from home. The upholstery classes I teach have outgrown my home studio, which is my basement.

It's going to take a few months to get used to my new digs. When I get homesick, I remind myself that I get to go to work, be creative, and I'm my own boss.  It works every time.

created at: 01/24/2011
Coming up with a cleverly industrial decor was daunting. A big wide open space needs some dividers, but nothing that blocks the natural light from all of those old, original steel windows. (By the way, Jenn Air started right here in this space.) I contacted Morgan from The Brick House to help me with a design game plan. I'm no where near finished with all the DIY projects we have planned for the space, but it's feeling cozier every day.

My upholstery classes started up again last week. My husband kindly built all the upholsterer's sawhorses for me in his spare time.

created at: 01/24/2011

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DesigningMom on Jan 27, 2011:

Julie don't worry, I have those jumping keys on my keyboard too. They're never in the right place when you need them.

Judie v on Jan 27, 2011:

I will feel so much better when I learn to spell.  LOOKS Great.

Judie v on Jan 27, 2011:

I love, it just loods great. 


ModHomeEcTeacher on Jan 26, 2011:

Stools go under the big work table and I put them next to everyone's sawhorses so if they need to take a break while upholstering, they can sit.

ModHomeEcTeacher on Jan 26, 2011:

Chris--Sawdusty zone is the photo where you see the workbench, second to last. Heck, there's so much room for sawdust, it can be anywhere! Can't wait for you to come an visit.

Chris Gardner on Jan 26, 2011:

The light is amazing. What a great place to take photos. Where do the tools sit in the space? I'm having a hard time placing the sawdust-y zone.

Janet Schneider on Jan 25, 2011:

The studio looks wonderful. I can't wait to be in class. The sawhorses and white metal stools -- wow! Congratulations on realizing your dream.


ModHomeEcTeacher on Jan 25, 2011:

Designing Mom, Elseajane and Bruno,

Come on over!!

DesigningMom on Jan 25, 2011:

Shelly, it's so nice to know your name so I don't have to call you "Teach" anymore. Though it was certainly meant affectionately, it is nice to know your real name.

What an awesome work space you have. I'm so jealous and I'm not the jealous type at all so that says something. How sweet of your hubby to bake cookies for your students.

elseajane on Jan 25, 2011:

Hey Teach, I love the new digs. Congrats! Still hoping to pickup a class from you this summer, then I can enjoy it myself. EJ

ModHomeEcTeacher on Jan 25, 2011:

Big, scary and exciting.

bruno on Jan 25, 2011:

Love this! Great to see your space!

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