Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My craft room/office

A few people have asked me about the space I use for sewing and how I stay so organized and on top of things, considering I work full time, have two Etsy shops, have two retail consignment customers, do craft shows, and make a lot of my own clothes and gifts for people. Sometimes I think I'm crazy for taking on so much, but I'm not busy all the time, so I like to make sure I have projects ready to go for when I'm bored. I've been meaning to show off my space for a while but haven't had time to take pictures; it was a lot of work to get it the way it is, and even though it's not perfect, I'm very lucky to have a whole room to myself. I've been more productive creatively than ever before, which, as someone who has struggled with depression my whole life, is important.

In December 2009 I moved from a tiny downtown condo to a 1 1/2 story house in East York. This was a big deal to me, as it finally meant I had a dedicated space to work on projects - my condo was so small I used what kitchen counter space I had as an ironing board and would cut my pattern pieces out on the floor. I had little piles of boxes and projects all over the place. Not ideal. At my new place, I took over a small second bedroom and use it as my craft room and office. This is the before picture, but after we had already ripped out the carpet.

Here's the corner by the door. The small door is for a small closet - because the
house is 1 1/2 stories there is no attic, just a crawl space under the roof. My clothes are in there.

The dormer window (need to make curtains one day, I hate those plastic blinds!) is a bit of an awkward space, but I rescued an old metal card catalogue which fits perfectly. It holds all my photography, drawing, painting and card-making supplies, and other craft supplies (adhesives galore!). The white bin holds all my fabric: my rule is that I can't buy more than what can fit into the bin. And of course, because I'm a librarian, it's all sorted and organized in a very specific way.

This is my main workspace: it's actually IKEA kitchen cabinets and a counter top. All my tools, sewing supplies, mail and packaging supplies, Etsy inventory, patterns and current projects fit here (and yes, everything is labelled). The IKEA cabinets and counter tops were the only items I needed to purchase for this room (well, and the paint).

My two sewing machines (a domestic and a serger) sit on a IKEA countertop, which is on casters, making it easy to move out of the way in case I need to get to the stuff jammed in the corner (big rolls of cotton batting, and a big Rubbermaid bin holding all my craft show display items). The two windows let in lots of natural light.

And lastly, the "office" area. The crawl space closet holds all my junk - I need to make a curtain to hide it. Behind the desk on the opposite wall is a filing cabinet and my printer. I replaced a really awful ceiling light with adjustable track lighting, which is necessary for taking photos - the light bounces off the sloped ceilings and make weird shadows. Painting the room was a challenge because of the sloped ceilings, and one day I would like to put down new flooring, but for now it's fine.

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