Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Craft Room

Well, I am finally going to post some pictures of my Craft Room. Mostly so my little sister can see the minor changes made since her visit here a few weeks back. It's not the "magazine" craft room I have seen others post, but it is mine and it makes me happy and that's what really counts. 

My husband & I built the room twenty-something years ago in our basement. Twenty-something years ago when I liked to sew and make clothes. When we bought our house the entire basement was unfinished. Before long we started sectioning it off and building spaces. One end is now his den. Originally the opposite end was walled off and he had his workshop in there. But as time went on he outgrew the space and we had a detached shop built out back. Once that was complete we walled off half of what was his shop and turned that half into my sewing room. The other half remained a small garage area, and by small I do mean small. The only car that will fit is a very compact compact. When my husband went through his mid-life crisis he felt the need to buy a Miata convertible and he kept it in the garage, and it was a tight fit. Now that space is storage for ice chests and grand-kids battery operated jeeps and such.

When we turned my half into a sewing room we put up luan plywood and laid a linoleum floor. It is the only living space in the basement that has a linoleum floor. And with good reason - linoleum is not that easy to lay if you can't afford to rent the right equipment. And back then we were still raising kids and really couldn't spare that extra so we had to roll the ridges and lumps out by hand. We also installed stock cabinets bought from a home improvement store as well as stock laminate counter top. Once I started setting up my sewing room I realized I needed more storage & work surface but because of the cost of more cabinets we opted to build a frame for the counter top and slid some metal file cabinets under those. And it all works fine. 

But time passes and people change, things change, jobs change, children grow up . . . in general, life happens. And over the years I fell out of love with sewing. I will mend something from time to time, but I have no interest at all in making a garment from scratch like I did so many years ago. I started sewing clothes as a teenager because, being from a family with seven kids there wasn't always money for the latest trends so I figured out how to make my own tops and alter jeans to make them match my tops so that they would/could be considered "pantsuits" since that was the only way girls were allowed to wear pants to school. When I was pregnant I made almost all my maternity clothes and when my children were pre-school I made almost all of their clothes. I could buy a yard of fabric from a remnant table and make a pair of snap-crotch short leg overalls for little more than a dollar. Catch a sale on Health-Tex shirts and my children were always dressed cute. But somewhere over the last twenty-something years I fell out of love with sewing and slowly my sewing room accumulated a lot of stuff that didn't really have a home anywhere else in the house. 

Fast forward to Dec. 2008 - I am fortunate to be in a position where I can take an early retirement. One of the first things I decide to do in my retirement is pull out my scrapbooking materials that had all been packed in a closet for about 10 years. I started scrapbooking back when Creative Memories was all the rage and everyone was having CM parties and crop parties. I really enjoyed scrapbooking, but it got pushed aside after I took a promotion to management in 1997. With the promotion came job requirements that ate into my free time and left me so mentally drained at the end of every day. I also had to make business trips several times a year. Usually the better part of a week, but some trips were for 2 weeks at a time. I was too busy to even think about pulling out my scrapbooking stuff just to have to pack it all away again. 

Now that I was retired I wanted to get going with it again. But again, life interrupts. Six months after my retirement my father-in-law passed away and my new job became P.A. to my mother-in-law. She was so lost and at times she seemed so confused about life and what she should or could do. Just about the time I think we have all the business handled she starts having health issues. And, as much as we have encouraged her to consider assisted living, she will have nothing to do with it. Fortunately though, things have settled down into a regular routine for us now. 

So scrapbooking was back on the front burner. I set up a folding table in my den and started trying to organize half of my small den into my scrapbook space. Oh, I forgot to mention my den, didn't I? Yes, well . . . my den is the room that was my son's bedroom as he was growing up. So we are talking about a room that is basically 11'x12'. A small room that already held a 3 section entertainment unit with TV & stereo, a computer armoire with high back desk chair, a 32" three drawer chest, 2 small bookcases, a wooden file cabinet that doubles as an end table and a love seat. The entire perimeter of the room was covered and then I go and add a 6' folding table and two Sterlite 7-drawer organizers. All that was just making me feel so claustrophobic I was quickly losing interest again. But knowing how much I once enjoyed scrapbooking I knew I needed to do what I dreaded - clean up the sewing room and move my scrapbooking downstairs.
Easier said than done, but finally I managed it, after several weeks of work with no less than three pick-up truckloads to the dump and about six truckloads to the local non-profit. I also spent one entire day scrubbing the linoleum back into a decent condition and two days repainting. It was already painted white, and even though the paint was not damaged, it had yellowed with age. I painted it white again. I thought about painting it pink, or lavender or some of both, but in the end white won out just because, to me, it makes the room much brighter. So, after reading all that you are now entitled to see the images, but don't expect the sounds of awe or angels trumpets since it is really just a basic craft room. But it is mine and I am thrilled to have it! :)

This view is what is on the left-hand side as you enter the room. Shelves for a lot of my supplies. The two purple boxes on the top shelves hold wood mounted stamps (one day I plan to remove them from the wood blocks) and spare supplies such as tape and Xyron adhesive and such. The middle left shelf has two clear boxes. One full of ribbon and the other full of assorted embellishments. The middle right shelf has 4 smaller storage containers with stickles, alcohol ink, metal brads and embellishments and my Just-Right stamp sets. Bottom left green container holds Tattered Angels Glimmer mist. Next to that are five plastic storage binders for my stamps. I also have a square box with odds & ends, my Croc-a-Dile and my picture guillotine there. The bottom right shelf has jars with buttons and my ink pads. This is also where I drop quick items such as my regularly used "Thinking of You" and "Miss You" stamps that I use for my Operation Write Home cards. And then we get down to the counter-top where you find three magazine storage files, my shoebox I use for stacking my OWH cards as I make them, the Xyron, Cuttlebug, baby-wipes (I use these to clean ink off my stamps mostly, but also for wiping the counter off or anything else that needs a wipe), my scissor storage and a mesh basket catch-all.  And on the right hand side of the shelves is my bulletin board. I used the peg board that was already there and covered it with eBay material and eBay ribbon. Good place to show off a few cards. Oh, don't look under the counter. That's just storage of some miscellaneous craft items, my old storage/tote that once held my scrapbook paper and a large storage box full of picture that really need to be sorted.





This is the view taken from standing in the door. You see on the left edge the bulletin board mentioned in the first photo. Next to that are three more shelves - mostly storage. Top shelf had two storage boxes full of picture. Middle shelf left side is my embossing materials. Middle shelf right side is gift wrap tissue and ribbon. Bottom shelf holds two open baskets - one holds a spare roll of paper towels and the other holds painters tape, a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a can of bug spray (it is a basement so creepy crawlies like to visit from time to time and they get greeted with enough spray that they can swim home). Below the shelves is a utility sink. Moving to the center you see my Pink Cricut and on the "Flying Nun" shelves above my Cricut are my carts and Cricut tools. Next is a stack of scrapbooks that are all "in progress" and my Cricut mats hang on a nail above them. Far right is a PC, I don't like it because it is slow as molasses, but since it is all I have available it will do. In this picture you can also see my sewing machine.



Here we see the third wall of my room. Picking back up with the sewing machine you can see beside it a pink tote that holds my Copic marker collection. Next is the table I sit at to color stamped images. On the table are the two Sterlite 7-drawer storage units, which if you count them, are now 6-drawer storage units. I had to remove one drawer to make them fit below the paper storage. But waste not, want not - I stacked those two drawers and my hubby cut a top for them and they are also on the table with all my paper stacks stacked on top. I keep the mini stacks in those two drawers. And I love my new paper storage. I had to wait about six weeks for those paper racks to get here from back-order, but I do love them. And the closet unit in the corner holds stuff, just stuff, like beach towels, a couple of boxes of stuff I brought home from my office when I retired and my nursery ensemble (which isn't in there right now because it is loaned out to my daughter to use for her new grand-baby for when he comes to visit her at her house.



There is no picture of the fourth wall because all it would show is the opening into the rest of the basement, the edge of a mirror my hubby is going to hang over my sewing machine one day soon, the end of my ironing board and my laundry space. Nope, no picture of all that - lol. So, there you have it. My Craft Room. I hope you enjoyed that little tour.

Footnote: I call it my Craft Room because I seem to do more cardmaking than scrapbooking these days so I really can't call it My Scrap Room. :D 
Oh, and here is a small peek at where I was trying to work:
(NOTE: This is not the 6' table I had in here to start with. My MIL needed my 6' table so DH bought a flimsy 4' from Wally World for about $20 - you get what you pay for as they say. Just made me more determined to finish my craft room - LOL.)
Kinda sad, I know.

14 comments:

  1. WOW!! You have a great space. I love that you have tables and even surface space to leave your sewing machine and other tools out and plugged in. I wish I had enough room to leave my sewing machine out... I think I would use it more, if I didn't have to drag it out each time...

    ReplyDelete
  2. OOooooooh I see the paper racks...they look so GOOD! Your CRAFT room is great...it's not the size of the room it's your ability to create that impresses me. You still are one of the most talented people I know! Love you bunches....Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  3. I enjoyed reading your story, you have a way with words, keeps the reader interested. Congrats on your space, it looks lovely. Having been in an 11x12 space myself, I know what you mean about claustraphobia.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I too have a designated craft room with oodles of supplies. I have large binders (3)on my counter to help organize. Binder one holds ideas for making upcoming cards. Binder two holds a record of all embossing folders in stock. Binder three holds pages of stamped samples of ALL stamps which are catagorized by occasions so that I can locate what I want, when I want. This saves oodles of time looking through my stamp sets. Finally all my stamp sets are labelled alphabetically so that I can cross reference with my stamp binder. I know I'm anal about cross referencing but it saves so much time. Also lets me know what I have in stock so that I don't re-order a stamp set I already have. Finally, all my punches are on towel racks attached behind my door.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, so nice. I am envious. I would love to have just my own room. I am waiting for retirement four to ten more years, seems forever. Congratlations and Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very nice craft room! Lots of room to play!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I just love to peek at people's craft rooms - yours is great. Love the quilted looking display board. I bet you never want to leave you playroom!

    ReplyDelete
  8. WOW! You have a great craft room! Lots of room to play and so much storage, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. wonderful room...and i loved reading the back story and how it all evolved for you

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't see a thing wrong with it. I'm jealous.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you so much for posting a realistic craft room! I don't have thousands of dollars to spend on one, either, and I really, really like yours! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you everyone for such wonder comments! I do love my space and I'm glad everyone else likes it too. I do count myself blessed to have to space available. Thanks again! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a wonderful space, and story! Thanks for sharing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. It is not what others think of our crafting area but, what we think about it....that is where our inspiration comes from.

    I took over the dining room area as I did not want to be isolated in a room away from the rest of the family. I love being able to work and keep up a conversation with DH or kids and to "listen" in on his tv programs and get up to glance if something catches my interest.

    My "crafting" room has become a storage room for all the crafting things I am not using such as, beading supplies, knitting etc. I get what I need when I need it and bring it downstairs. When I am done, I return it.

    Congrats on your crafting area...may it bring you enjoyment for many years to come!

    ReplyDelete