29 May 2008

behind the music

Okay, not really. But behind the music sounds better than behind the zippy pouches. Or does it? Not sure. Anyways, a little while back Melissa posted about her workspace and I got inspired. See, Melissa's "studio" is actually in her bedroom. I know we've all seen lots of bloggers' beautiful craft studios and drooled over our keyboards at all the natural light, sewing space, large cutting tables, and shelves and shelves full of fabric. Well I have, at least. I, for one, do not have a studio (as I'm sure most of you don't). I am lucky enough to have some space to call my own, even if it's in the living room.

So I thought I'd share a little of that with you all today. I know that I'm very lucky to live in an apartment that's large enough to accommodate this much sewing space as well as a roomy living room with space for a (very) large plush couch.

So my "studio" is pretty much just set up along the wall in my living room. I also have a table and my ironing board set up in our dining room where I do all my cutting and laying out of projects. We don't have a dining room table, so I just use a plastic folding table that I bought last year to do craft fairs. It works fine and I don't worry about ruining a nice table, which I will once we get a real table.

First up is the sewing area--obviously the center of the whole operation. Until about a month ago, I was using a table that was Jared's and worked just fine but was not cute, had no drawers and was too short so I had my sewing machine propped up on a really thick book. Not a good idea--the machine definitely tipped over a few times while I was in the middle of sewing something. So this awesome desk that I just scored last month at my favorite antique store is no doubt an improvement. It's not too big (the last one was much bigger and tended to accumulate more crap), but it's still big enough that I can push the machine out of the way and do a little bit of pinning or minor cutting without getting up. To my left, there is a built in cabinet where I keep some other supplies- stamps, small paper, shipping supplies, etc. I also like that I can look out the window from my seat. Not that there's too much going on on the side of our house- but sometimes there's a funny squirrel. This is also where I have my inspiration wires hung (details on the current wire here).

Next is this awesome storage cabinet that I picked up at a yard sale last summer. It kind of smelled like cat pee for a while, but that seems to have gone away. I love the color and the countertop is this '50s sort of yellow kitchen counter deal (I have no idea how to describe it, I may need a class in interior design). Mostly I keep sewing notions, zippers, my roll of tracing paper, and other stuff in here. It's nice to have another place to pile stuff, and I try to keep it relatively organized. I have piles of fabric to be washed, upcoming projects I want to start, new books/magazines, etc.

Ahhh, the fabric. Before I got this IKEA shelf, my fabric was literally just piled all over the floor and driving me insane. Not to mention it was getting incredibly dusty, which totally defeated the purpose of prewashing everything (which I really really do my best to do- I try to not even put the fabric on the shelf until it's been washed). This shelf really saved me. I've mostly got everything color coordinated and then some random stuff on the top shelf, like wool felt pieces, large pieces of batting, and other random fabric that I couldn't figure out where to shelve. I really find that having everything organized on shelves like this makes it easy to find the fabric I want to use and helps me be more efficient. It also helps me see everything I have, so I don't lose some piece of fabric in a big pile only to find it later after I've already finished the project I wanted to use it for in the first place.

I also have about four good-sized ziploc bags (in the box in the bottom right corner there) that I keep all my scraps in. Because of all the small pieces I make, including cards (where I could honestly make use of a 1/2" piece of fabric) I never throw any scraps away unless they're absolutely too small to be useful. On the other side of the living room, we have an entire wall of built-in glass-doored cabinets, and that's where I have a shelf full of craft books as well.

And in the suitcases, I mostly keep finished products and stuff for craft fairs. The black one has interfacing and batting, and the large tub on the bottom is where I currently keep all my yarn. Is it obvious that I haven't been knitting a lot? That's something I'd like to work on getting more organized, but I just don't really have the space right now. When we move into a real house, I'd really like to have my own studio. It doesn't have to be big. But it would be nice to have a little bit more space, and something that was all my own.

So there you have it, my little "studio" tour. I know it's not that impressive, but I'm certainly glad to not be doing this in the kitchen or on the floor like I was in my last apartment.


  1. nice! my craft space is a corner of our basement "play room". i wish there was room upstairs because i hate not having natural light. i really only use it when i need the sewing machine and to store stuff. if i'm decoupaging or knitting or hand sewing or rug hooking (or whatever), i haul all my supplies upstairs and take over the dining room table. which drives john crazy.

    you've got an impressive fabric stash!

  2. wow -it looks like a great set-up, even if you are in the living room.
    I'm in the dining room alot (which doesn't work so well w/ little kids) and I also have a little space in the basement, which is good except it's in the basement:)

  3. I love the little aqua cabinet!!!

  4. no, it is impressive. think of how many people who don't have a spot for being creative, being pushed, and being thoughtful - and you have it right here in your living room. one of the two-hundred reasons why I love you.

  5. What a great set-up! With my hubby moving in after we get married, I'm getting a little panicky about where my craft stuff will go. I'll probably try to recreate your space (although smaller).

  6. Great post. I almost choked on my pretzels when I read about how your "awesome storage cabinet" smelled like cat pee. HOWL! That was precious.

    You have a great set up. And you know what? If it works for you, then it's perfectly fine. I won't take photos of my craft space until I get it cleaned up. My wife would shoot me if I took a picture today and posted it for the world to see. Honestly!

    Great post and great blog! I'm adding you to my favorites.