Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Office/Sewing Room

I was reminded recently I hadn't shown my storage used in the area where I do mostly crazy quilt projects.  I must admit storing everything one uses for crazy quilting can get, well, crazy.  Supplies multiply when you leave the room and you don't dare throw away any scraps (of anything), spare buttons, trinkets, leftover beads or even the tiny pieces of ribbon because if you do you will need them!

Below are photos from when I first set up my space.  It obviously is closing in on me.  The room is only 10' x 10' and is shared with office equipment and supplies.  I began by taking the doors off the closet and moving all office related items into the closet.  This worked out really well.

I originally had fabrics stored in tubs and on shelves in the closet but it was getting to be a problem keeping the stacks from spilling out and a nuisance pulling out tubs when what I needed was in the bottom tub.  I ended up using a couple of dressers I painted white to store fabrics and other needs.  I have to confess I still have a couple of tubs of heavier/bulkier fabrics in totes stored in the attic.  I also purged some fabrics so that I could get the rest in the six drawers of this dresser.  I have since placed a bookcase like the one to the left on top of the dresser for more storage.  The big giant paper shredder that you see was relocated elsewhere in the house.

Below is the second dresser with another bookcase on top.

The top drawer has misc. supplies such as fabric markers, rulers, snaps and other odds and ends.

The second drawer is full of lace waiting for their place in the world.

A friend gave me tons of embroidery floss and I have it separated by color family in gallon size zip lock bags.  These are stored in the third drawer down.  Easy to reach from my stitching rocker.

The bottom drawer holds rolls and bits and pieces of ribbons of all types.

On the bookcase on this dresser I have some plastic storage pieces containing my sewing threads.  The photo directly below shows six drawers divided into (1) silk/ribbon/fabric floral; (2) beaded flowers, jewelry pieces, trinkets etc.; (3) misc. sewing supplies such as tape measure, safety pins, extra scissors, extra needles, elastic etc.; (4) beaded trims and fringe; (5) cording, gimp and related trims; (6) other little things I couldn't possibly part with.  I also have a couple of containers on top of those that hold misc charms and cabochons.

Above the computer is a shelf I use for batting, interfacing, pillow forms, additional lace, silk flowers, and paper crafting supplies for a project I hope to work on 'one of these days'.


As I confessed said, more has been integrated into this space as I found more that I couldn't live without and it has filled up pretty much.  The wall next to the computer closet has an expandable sewing table which will fold down compactly when not in use.  Behind the entry door is my ironing board and some bags containing WIP (works in progress).  I also painted and added this towel shelf above my sewing machine.  The revolving spice jars on top have my smaller buttons stored by color, the dowels hold my shorter sections of lace (and it is now dripping in lace), and the hooks hold my tags with various stitch samples from TAST.

That pretty much covers everything.  I hope you were able to get some inspiration from this and that I didn't bore you to death.  The room is in total chaos right now because I have pulled out the UFOs (unfinished objects) and have them spread out so I am forced to work on them.  I guess I did forget to mention I store my UFOs and supplies I have used on them to date in some stacking plastic boxes shown on a previous post where Lorraine shared that she uses them for fabric scraps.  The real problem is that Chloe (my cat) has decided to lay claim to my stitching chair.  She is so funny.  We fight over favorite spots all the time and she usually wins.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Organizing - Practicing What I Preach

Well, as the caption says I have been busy practicing what I preach.  I really do enjoy organizing.  These last few months have been a bit of a challenge though.  My mother who just turned 89 moved into an apartment, from a large 2-bedroom split entry house with a huge basement that she has lived in since the 70s and into a 2-bedroom senior living apartment with no basement, garage or shed.  This is better known as downsizing.  It has been quite a transition for her leaving her friends and neighbors in a small town where she spent her entire adult life and into an apartment where she only knew one other person, my mother-in-law.  She is adjusting quite well and being around people every day has been wonderful for her.

Enough of that.  When we moved her, as you might expect, things were just stuck wherever in order to get them put away and out of the way.  Important documents were in unknown locations and everyday items were also misplaced.  Her closets and cupboards were soon very full and disorganized.  It was pretty much chaos behind doors but luckily this apartment has several closets for storage.  I have been in the process of getting things where she can find them easily and placing important documents I find into her safe.

Yes, it can be very overwhelming.  I have taken my own advice and am just doing one section or area at a time.  Because it was becoming a catch-all, I've started in her second bedroom which she made into an office.

She is an artist and many of her paintings were leaned and tucked wherever there was space on the floor.  We began by hanging those.  They may get moved to other locations at some point, but for now they are on her walls, off the floor and out of her way and making the apartment feel more comfortable and homey.

My dad passed away a few years ago so most of his papers are still in the desk and file cabinet.  I decided to start on the closet since it had really become a dump-all.  First I removed all of the obvious non-essential and broken or damaged items and disposed of them.  She had three plastic small drawer sets that contained a mix of items.  These are now labeled and used for copy paper, colored paper, card stock, pads/pens, office supplies, batteries/bulbs, and a small drawer to place documents in that we need to go through later.

Her art supplies were in a variety of containers on the top shelf, so we went through those, discarding out-of-date or dried out supplies.  The remaining items were placed into four shoe box-sized drawers labelled brushes/palette knives, oil paints, acrylic paints and glitter/solvents/misc.  They are within easy reach, waist high so she can easily access them.  The portable easel and canvases are next to the drawers or on the floor within reach and jars etc. that didn't fit into the drawers set on top of the drawer sets.

Our next step will be photographs and frames I think.  She has several small photo frames stacked on her top shelf.  She also has two containers of photos next to her desk and a large box on a shelf in another closet.  When she moved we had taken many of the photos which had been framed out of their frames, condensing the space needed down from two large totes.  I have also been running across photos in drawers and other boxes.  We will go through the photos together so she can choose some to put onto a memory card that will be inserted into one of those electronic frames that displays the photos one at a time.  That way she won't have a bunch of framed photos to dust around and will be able to have all her favorite images to look at, saving space.  A few may get re-framed, but we'll see what she thinks.  We will be able to get rid of many of the old frames and fit all of the photos together into one box.  The archival photo boxes are nice and that may be something we can consider, sorting the photos in some type of order.  Another alternative, although initially time-consuming, is to scan the photos into her computer on a separate external hard drive.  I have done that with my genealogy photos and it is wonderful once organized by family and by individuals.  For the meantime I think they will just go into one box collectively to be put on a shelf.

There is still a lot to be accomplished and those areas mentioned above were done on separate days.  Breaking this process down into bite-sized pieces is the only way to accomplish our goals.  I will try to keep you updated as this progresses.  Hopefully you will benefit either by inspiration to tackle your own space or maybe even help you if you are going through a similar situation.

What has been your latest organizing feat?  I would love to hear.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

My Fabric Covered Binder Completed

My last post I gave some links with tutorials for covering an ordinary binder with fabric.  Here is one I completed.  Even though this particular one isn't for my studio, I wanted to share it with you.  I had created a crazy quilt block for someone as a surprise.  A photo album seemed to be something functional that she would enjoy, so I went about creating a cover for an ordinary photo book.

Below is basically all it took...other than time.  

Now don't you think those binders on your studio shelves would look great covered with a coordinating fabric or even decoupage.  These look much nicer than a plain binder, plus think of the fun creative time you could have creating some!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Storage for Studio Stash

As I was getting ready to add some links here I noticed I have 96 posts and 96 followers.  No significance here, I just thought it was a funny coincidence.  I have been wrapping up some projects from 2012 and getting started on more for 2013 and it seems I have neglected this blog.

I have run across some great links that I wanted to share and I thought that would be a much better thing to do than to show you the (drastic) state of my sewing studio right now.  

One site I especially want to direct you to is  

Lorraine has come up with a fantastic idea for sorting her scraps by color using some bins intended for scrapbookers.  Lorraine bought hers at Mitchael's but also directed me online to Amazon where they are also available.  I get excited just anticipating all the possibilities!  I think they would be absolutely perfect for project trays for works in progress (wip) or for keeping projects together when you travel.  Other items they would work for might include floss/threads, ribbons, stamps, beads, buttons, painting/dyeing bottles, small tools, lace, and glues (just to name a few ~ lol).  There are a plethora of ways you could sort your items as well.  

Thanks Lorraine, both for sharing this on your blog and for allowing me to post the photo!
(Also, be sure to visit her Etsy shop too)

Following are some more links for ideas and inspiration:

Ribbon and bits of trim  getting tangled in a drawer?  This site offers a solution by upcycling those little plastic bag closures found on bags of potatoes, apples, oranges, bread etc. (at least found here in the U.S.).   So creative!

Here is another fun idea for storing pearl cotton thread using tongue depressors (giggle)…

We all know binders are a great way to store various patters, clear stamps, clippings and/or other information.  I have been working on a binder for an aunt which I will share on my other blog.  There is a lot of information on covering binders on the Internet and I thought perhaps you would be interested.  Fabric covered binders could easily be customized/personalized to fit in your studio decor or anywhere in your home.  Following are some links that I found to be clear and easy to follow.  Each has a little different approach.

Fabric covered binder tutorials:
and one using Mod Podge:

While looking for the Project Girl’s tutorial above, I looked further through the site and found some great organizing info and repurposing that could easily be adapted for any craft room:

Find anything that inspires you?  I would love to hear about it.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


I have been rather lax in providing links and was reminded of that when I ran across a couple of great sites which I included with some of my older ones I hadn't yet posted.  I hope you will visit and let them know how you found them and that you find something helpful along the way.

For Ceramic Artists:

Inventory and Storage of Threads:
I am a member of Stitchin Fingers (which is an amazing group by the way if you happen to be looking for inspiration, help, and/or friends in the stitch world – any kind of stitching!).  A discussion was started on tracking and inventory of threads.  Directly below is the link to Stitchin Fingers, followed by some suggested sites…
While there select “Home” to see what this site offers. 

Recycled Ribbon Storage:

Very clever and inexpensive ideas!  Love it!  Go see for yourself…

Martina asked me to share this article she has written.  She has shared some helpful tips for organizing kids’ craft supplies.  If you share a studio or keep crafts supplies for your children or grandchildren on hand, this is for you!

Lorraine at Creative Daily is organizing her beads!