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A Room of My Own

If you are an avid artisan, craftsman, seamstress or anyone who loves to create, you are aware of the sometimes “overabundance” of materials and supplies one can accumulate.  Even if you’re just a hobby crafter, it doesn’t take much for projects to get out of hand, especially if you don’t have a designated space from which to work. 

Having a place to organize everything – a place to see a project through from start to finish without having to relocate or without everything right at hand – a place to step away and focus on your work, is the dream of every craftsperson.

I am blessed to have such a room – a room of my own.

As some craft rooms go, it’s not much, but after years of setting up my sewing machine in a corner of the bedroom, painting on the dining room table, having supplies scattered in every nook and cranny throughout the house, and many an unfinished project due to the inconvenience, my own room is like a little slice of heaven.

It’s not large at all – roughly 9’ X 10′.  In fact, it’s just a converted bedroom I snarfed the instant my son moved out.  I even re-purposed his old furniture!  He jokes that I barely gave him time to get out the door and reminds me that I always told him he would have a room to come home to should he ever have need.  I’ve assured him that my promise stands – he’ll just have to bunk with the sewing machines.

I think what I love the most about having a room of my own is that I can have EVERYTHING in one spot!  No longer do I have to dig fabric out of boxes stashed under beds or rummage through baskets of thread searching for the right color.  Paints and brushes are organized on shelves and all of my patterns, notions, embroidery designs, etc. have a place of their own.  What a difference that makes, not only when it comes to convenience, but enjoyment.

I mentioned that we re-purposed our son’s old bedroom furniture.   It was a perfect fit for my needs – a very large cupboard, desk with overhead shelving, and a free-standing shelf.  (my hubby built all three pieces)  A fresh coat of paint and they look great.  The room is designed for function and, because there is A LOT in a small area, everything is strategically located so as to maximize storage and workspace.

My embroidery machine lives on the desk and provides just enough room for creating the embroidery work I do for my music box business.  (Hop on over HERE to learn about them and check out my store at Music Box Moments)  An old bookcase tucked underneath holds extra threads, tools, and my collection of Ideals magazines I’ve saved over the years.

The free-standing shelf is perfect for all of my fabric folds – sorted by color and right at hand.  The big basket holds scraps I’m accumulating for when I tackle my first postage stamp quilt, while patterns and books are stored on shelves on the bottom.

The cupboard is my life saver!  I have SO much stored in there and, while it’s anything but Pinterest-perfect from time to time, it’s easily organized because there is a space for everything.  Ribbons, musical movements, laces and trims, business and packing materials, threads, mending projects, and tons of fabrics – orderly and behind closed doors. 

We’ve even made use of the closet space!  An old door cut down to fit inside with custom shelves on each side provides an extra work table with storage for paint bottles, brushes and tools, craft supplies, and more.  The best thing is that I can simply close it all away when not in use.

It makes me smile as I look around the room and realize that we didn’t spend an extra dime to achieve this space.  Every single thing is repurposed — the furniture, our old kitchen table, which is my main work space,

my antique treadle that holds the small ironing board, and the add-on table for my sewing machine and shelf above the door, cut from an extra sheet of plywood we had in the shop.

The rocking chair from the nursery when the kids were small is where my hubby stops to “visit” when I’m working.

Everything has a place under the categories of organized and accessible but, I wanted to take the utilitarian concept a step further.  I wanted my room to be a place that is also comfortable and aesthetically pleasing as well – a place in which I can be surrounded by things that make me smile. 

I spend a lot of time in this room.  It’s where I write, create, attend webinars and classes, conduct business, and daydream. (I also wrap Christmas gifts here the week after Thanksgiving, which makes for utter chaos.)  That said, I like that I’ve been able to incorporate a number of things I treasure to make my workday environment inviting. 

The print tray holds vintage spools and sewing notions. 

The little vignette on an upper shelf is comprised of a few button tins, a shaker lady for ironing, and some vintage pin cushions. 

Another shelf holds my Grandmother’s china doll, my collection of Eloise Wilkin Little Golden Books, and an old cast iron flatiron. 

My embroidery hoops are hung on vintage glass knobs and my Grandma’s roll-top sewing box, still filled with goodies, rests at my feet. 

My children’s handprints are on the wall.  It’s a happy place to plan, work, and rest.

And here’s one more reason.  Perhaps you noticed that, on my work table, there are binoculars.  What is the purpose of field glasses in a sewing room, you might ask?  Well, here’s why…

This is the view from my window!  I am absolutely blessed to have this to look out on every single day, every single season.  In the Winter, it is still and calm, but during the coldest days, skaters pass by and winds rattle the window.  Spring brings crystal clear water, turtles on logs, and the sound of Spring Peepers singing all night long.  The Summer is green and slow, with bullfrogs and night owls and trash panda raccoons. (into everything)  Autumn is my favorite!  Even when the temperatures start to drop, my window is open – to the smell of woodsmoke and wet leaves and Fall breezes.  Geese return by the hundreds and the deer are active most. 

I have spent many an afternoon with the window wide open, elbows propped on the sill with binoculars, observing, learning, and relaxing when I’ve needed a break from the task at hand.  The window and the view it offers is, perhaps, my favorite thing about my room and I think there would be few to disagree.

Do you have a special retreat?  A craft room, studio, sewing room, office space, or even a small corner that’s all yours?  Have you customized it to reflect your needs and likes?  I encourage you to do it!  Everyone needs a place of her own and I hope you’ve enjoyed a little glimpse into mine.

Hands to Work, Hearts to God, Blessings to Be… Shaker Blessing

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