My favorite crafty bloggers will periodically show their work space. I don't know about you, but I love seeing where others create! That made me think you might want to see where I create.
But then I hesitated. That seemed like getting very personal. You know those close-talkers that can make you uncomfortable? That's kind of how I reacted to showing you photos of my studio if you've never been to my home.
It's not finished. It needs paint, but has been very low on the list of home improvement projects. It needs a new floor. The prior owners splashed paint everywhere when starting to fix up this part of the house. Paint is on the windows, my friends. It doesn't even have heat! We get plenty of residual heat coming up the stairwell, and why would you care if it's heated sitting on the other side of this screen??
I realize that 95% of the people reading this blog are my friends who have been to my house already. That doesn't stop me from fretting over the 5% who haven't and who might still judge me. So I decided not to care if someone judges and found it liberating! Need to do that more often. I think it's a cool space, and really, that's all that matters at the end of the day because I'm the one working in it at the end of the day (and beginning, middle, and every moment I can spare).
The tour will take a few posts, though the space is very very small (a former upstairs bedroom in our house).
No space is perfect. There's no such thing as perfect, really. But this space is mine, and I love it! Beautiful things come out of this space, of which I am very very proud. Maybe showing my not-yet-finished and very un-Martha-Stewart-like space will inspire one of you to dive in and make beautiful things right where you are.
We'll start with where I sew. This is Janey. She's a Janome brand machine, who lets me take plain Jane fabrics and turn them into things of beauty and usefulness. I like her a lot. We get along swimmingly and I would highly recommend Janome to anyone shopping for a new machine. You do not need all the bells and whistles that she comes with, but they make my work (hours per day, keep in mind) much more enjoyable.
This is the main desk area. We are so lucky that the built-ins came with the house. This is set up and wired perfectly to have a computer on the left, my sewing machine on the right. The desk is flanked on both sides by built-in drawers (seen on the right in this photo), and four drawers in the center. As I mentioned, everything needs paint, desperately, but it functions extremely well for now while we get around to painting. Note the bright sunlight streaming in through those windows--it's a very happy space!
Computer area. I'm not going to lie, I moved a few piles of papers in order to take this photo. Most of the time it looks like this, but you've seen photos in previous posts showing how messy the studio gets when I'm on a deadline, juggling multiple projects, or a craft fair approaches (today, all three happen to be true). Usually I listen to NPR (makes me feel smart) or Pandora something or other. If it's a very creative day, maybe Ani DiFranco or Florence and the Machine. If I'm working on a deadline, it might be the Gwen Stefani station to keep me energized.
My sewing space. I have all my frequently used tools handy, plus patterns, inspiration, notes tacked up about how many bags I'm trying to make this week to stay on track for a craft fair, and of course cute photos of my children. You'll have to strain to see them because I'm deliberately not zooming in on them. Can you see all the dots on that window??? Paint. <sigh>
Messy lists, but that's how I roll. To do lists, materials to buy lists, customer orders, things to work on with my Etsy shop--running a small business is so much more than sewing bags! This is one way that I stay organized and kinda-sort-of on top of things.
Family contributions to my studio. The thread spool painting is from my daughter; the embroidered rose is the work of my great-grandmother; and the wooden scissors are a handmade gift from my Dad (I plan to paint them white and maybe put my logo on one of the blades). I think the cover of Threads magazine in the bottom pocket of that organizer is hilarious--how seductive can one really look on the cover of a sewing magazine? And why would a publisher want that look?
The picture in the background to the right is a framed greeting card a dear friend and fellow Navy wife gave me. It's a print from the 40's that says, "Gee I wish I was a man, I'd join the Navy." I love it!
The built-ins are great storage for all sorts of business supplies. Here are some stamps and fabric ink.
Thread and bobbins are at my fingertips while I work. I prefer not to mount the thread spools on the wall because the space gets dusty quickly. They can stay protected from dirt, as well as any sun damage (sunlight weakens thread quickly, not to mention the fading). Want an idea to occupy a preschooler for over an hour? Ask them to sort a drawer full of thread spools by color. Or a giant jar of buttons. Works every time.
Trash drawer. It hides nicely when I need it to go away.
Often I find surprises on my desk. They always make me smile : )
My view when typing at the computer of the Sakonnet River. See--this space is ah-mazing! Worth the crappy paint job. My house is not as big as these!
The view from my cutting table, which I'll show you in the next part of this series. The view will change when the leaves come in, but for now I love seeing the sunrise come up over this water in the morning. Looking at beautiful trees out the window isn't bad either.
Thank you for joining me on the first part of my studio tour!
As co-owner of Stitchery in Portsmouth, RI, I teach sewing classes to children and adults. Welcome to my blog Dancing Threads RI.