Welcome to my Scrappy, Happy Place! I am so glad you are here for a tour. I expect this to be a long tour so I might suggest a quick trip to the kitchen to get a cool drink or hot cuppa before we begin.
When illness forced me to shut down my business, I decided that my old "office" would become my new sewing room where I could create, rest and renew my body. In the year and 10 months since I retired I have spent many hours in here, dreaming, creating, resting, relaxing, crying, laughing, learning, and sometimes re-learning, how to live my "new" life on a daily basis. It truly is my sanctuary.
My sewing room is the smallest of the second floor bedrooms. Honestly, I wish it was on the first floor to limit my trips up and down the steps. But, given that the stairs are my only exercise, I guess the second floor location is a good thing. The room is approximately 11' x 11'. It's tiny...but I have managed to pack an awful lot into these constraints (with some overflow as you will see later in this post)!
As you approach my sewing room the first thing you will see is my hand made message board. Back when J was still living at home our schedules could be incredibly hectic, sometimes going a week without seeing each other face to face! I put the message board on the outside of my door to facilitate communication between Dear Hubby, Dear Son and Me. If either of my guys came home after I had already gone to bed (sometimes quite early if I am having a bad day), they could simply leave a message on my door and know that I would see it first thing the next morning. Since J has moved out it hasn't been used much and may be removed at some point down the line.
Hanging on my doorknob is a small bag I made (pattern from Happy Zombie) to hold my Nook book, Nook book accessories and the accessories for my MP3 player. It is easy to grab if Dear Hubby and I are heading out for a drive or an appointment and I need something to keep me occupied.
The next thing you will see is the most important thing in the room, save for my sewing machine. My coffee maker! A steaming hot cup of coffee can get me going first thing on a bleary-eyed morning or a mild Chamomile tea can sooth me to dreamland on a sleepless night. Next to the coffee maker is a small TV that I use to watch DVD's while I rest. We don't have cable connected to this room, but I am happy to be watching movies instead. Sometimes there isn't much good on TV anyway! The green box under the TV performs two duties: raising the TV to a height I can see easily, and storing Christmas gifts as I make them, hidden away from sight of family and friends! Shhhh...the walls have ears! The rattan boxes from Ikea hold my miscellaneous uncut fat quarters (bundles are kept elsewhere). There is also one box that contains all of my charms, whether miscellaneous or design charm packs. The blue batter bowl holds my first ball of "tarn" (t-shirt yarn). I have a few more t-shirts to convert to tarn and am sure eventually my tarn collection will outgrow the bowl. But I will deal with that when the tarn balls start rolling around the room, lol. The clear plastic box under the bowl holds all of my completed hexies and the cardboard box below that holds items that are for sale in my shop.
Next comes my all-in-one printer. This machine gets LOTS of use, whether I am printing out patterns I have downloaded, scanning in my hand drawn embroidery designs for printing onto fabric or faxing important paperwork to my insurance company or lawyer. The drawers below hold all of the paperwork dealing with my disability, etc.
My desk area is quite unkempt at the moment, but we all have our "junk piles". Right? My paper monster has expanded to TWO piles. I really need to tame this monster and trash at least 12" of paperwork! On the lower left hand corner of the picture you can see a white metal container. The container was a thrift shop score and holds all of my scratch pads. The pink metal tin above it is the bottom of a tin that once held perfume. It currently holds my envelopes, buried under "important" paperwork that I may need in the next week. The top of my desk holds pictures of loved ones, a vase and flowers that J bought me as a young child (he picked it out at the Dollar Store). Next to my smaller "paper monster" you will see a pencil holder that I upcycled from an old milk vase. On the wall, is a pin board upcycled from an old picture frame.
You can't really see the fabric of the pinboard, but it matches the hand made valences and tie backs on my windows and the border on the walls.
In front of the window is a brass trunk that is absolutely FILLED with denim cut from old jeans. I have made two denim quilts for J (a twin sized for his dorm room in college and one for his queen sized bed at home/in his apartment). On top of the brass trunk is a patchwork runner to keep the reflected sunshine in check, my "tea for one" pot, various loose teas and tea holders, teabags, and a jelly jar vase decorated with hand crocheted flowers.
Finally! The side of the room where all of the craftiness happens! My sewing table was found on Craigslist for $60. Both chairs (the one at the desk and the one at the sewing table) are Ikea finds. I was so thrilled with how well they match my room. Speaking of matching... I have tried my best to bring mismatched items together into one cohesive feel...mostly with the help of a can of pink spray paint and some patterns found online and printed onto sticky back paper. The two pictures were found online, printed out and framed. One of the pictures even has a matting made from the same pretty paper that covers the lids of my stacking storage boxes. The boxes themselves were a get well gift received by my husband after surgery. I spray painted them and covered the lids. The teal colored lids you see in the storage bin to the left of my machine are empty peanut butter jars used to store basting pins and two types of pony tail elastics.
On top of my storage boxes is a cute little basket I found in Target's $1 aisles. It holds all of the sewing machine feet that did not come with my sewing machine.
Inside the basket is a small purse which holds my empty bobbins. The kit was included in a Mollie Makes magazine that I got for a great deal at my local quilt shop. I didn't mind that the magazine was a few months old...the patterns and instructions didn't age, lol.
My sewing machine cover and lumbar pillow were made from a few charm packs of Teacakes material, and the pillow was stuffed with old (but new) stockings so it maintains a very pliable configuration, able to sink into the curved back of my chair.
Under my sewing table is a galvanized bucket that I use to hold scraps. Remember, this is my 'SCRAPPY, Happy Place". I just LOVE scrappy quilts, although I have only made one so far!
On the wall above my sewing machine is a thrift store find to hold my pens and post-its. It is just so sweet and girly!
Next to my sewing machine is a divided container to hold my sewing stuff. When I got this container it was white with a pharmaceutical company logo on it. Useful, but UGLY! So once again I turned to my trusty spray paint and transformed it into something that fits beautifully in my room. The paint didn't cover the company logo well, so I printed out an adorable label to cover the wording. As much as I LOVE pincushions and use them in my portable sewing projects, I find it much easier to routinely utilize a shotglass with a magnet attached to the side. Dear J removed the high power magnet from inside two computer hard drives that were being destroyed and I epoxied them to the shotglasses. They are REALLY strong and practically "grab" the pin as it leaves my fingers. I have two shotglasses, one filled with pins and one empty one. The full shotglass sits on my cutting table and the empty next to my machine to store pins as I remove them from my sewn pieces. I just switch them back and fourth as needed. The cute purple pail was found in Target's $1 aisle and is my thread catcher. There is an identical one stored on the rocking chair side of my cutting table to use when I am hand sewing.
Forming an "L" with my sewing table is a gate-leg table from Ikea. It has three drawers on my sewing side and three drawers on my rocking chair side. The top drawer on the sewing side holds all of my rotary cutters. The second drawer holds my sewing machine manual. The bottom drawer holds hardware and 3M products. On top of the cutting table is my tabletop ironing board and iron. This iron/board was originally bought for J when he went away to college. It returned home from college still in its plastic wrapper. How could I EVER have thought a teen boy would "IRON" his clothing, lol? I confiscated his ironing board and iron. The board was covered with plain muslin (ugly), so I covered it in a pretty green material that I received on Freecycle. Underneath I keep the box from a free container of Cottonelle Wet Wipes. It holds water and an old hankie in case I need to "erase" mistakes in my quilt markings. Underneath the table is a six drawer cabinet from Ikea. It holds all of my threads...cotton, sulky, poly, etc.
On the other side of my cutting table is my rocking chair. This chair was bought when I was pregnant with J...26 years ago. It is still my favorite place to rest, relax and hand sew when I'm able. The afghan on the rocker was made for Dear Hubby back in 1981 when we were dating!
Under the table on the rocker side is a basket to hold my sewing magazines and the most current book I am reading. There is a matching basket next to my desk to store recyclables until they are due to be put out in the trash. I AM a tree hugger, lol.
Next to this basket is the tool kit Dear Hubby bought me for Mother's Day. Finally, my own set of tools...all in PINK!
Next to the closet is an upcycled kitchen cart. On top is my new Sizzix Big Shot, a small case to hold some miscellaneous embroidery supplies and a pincushion to use when pinning blocks to my design curtain. All of my sewing notions, trims and Sizzix supplies are in the drawers.
Finally we are back to the beginning, the back of the entrance door, on which hangs my favorite sweater, my super soft, super warm "Woobie" (that is the honest-to-goodness name of the sweater on the company's website, lol).
I hope you have enjoyed the tour of my Scrappy Happy Place.
Stop back soon for a tour of my Expanded Sewing Room (ESR). I told you I had overflowed my space!