Tuesday, July 30, 2013

TOURING MY SCRAPPY, HAPPY PLACE...








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.  

My Scrappy Happy Place (Sewing Room)

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)! 

message white board
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.  
 
 Valances to match my border


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.   
Sewing Machine Cover
Sewing machine cover and matching lumbar pillow in my sewing room 
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!

sewing tool organizer and magnetic pin holder


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!




Beside the rocker is my closet.  It was once VERY organized but has fallen into some disorganization.  I really need to bite the bullet and clean it all up!  In front of the closet I have my "design wall".  While it seemed like a good idea to put a flannel curtain in front of the closet (there when you need and pulled back behind the rocker when you don't), the waviness of the curtain makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the blocks to stick.  I end up having to pin them in place, which makes it a royal pain when rearranging blocks.  Some day I WILL have a SOLID design WALL, lol.


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!
















32 comments:

  1. What a great space. I love all of the sweet touches. I am sure you can spend hours in there!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Shannon. This room is truly "Me", and you're right...I could spend days and days in here if I didn't need to eat and sleep, lol.

      Delete
  2. I love seeing other sewists spaces. Yours is truly charming. My space is extremely functional but not so pretty. One of the things I would love to incorporate into my room is a place to sit for hand stitching or reading... Maybe someday...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I agree. I ADORE looking at other sewists' spaces. I used to sit for hours and hours and flip through Flickr photos of sewing rooms. It gives you GREAT ideas for ways to upcycle in your own space...cheap! Which is the only way I can do it! Unfortunately I lost a lot of the sites when my computer died. Hopefully I can find them all again soon. And don't forget, a can of spray paint can do an awful lot for very little.

      Delete
  3. Just here visiting from your QB post. I love your sewing room. Lovely tour guide by the way. I love all the personal touches. It seems as if you have everything working for you just right. I never thought of just spray painting reclaimed items. I don't really love to paint. But, spray paint...I am just imagining the possibilities. Maybe someday I will have a sewing room of my own. I just love the thought of that. For now, how sewing machine will travel. Thanks for a peak into your little slice of heaven.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you, Judith! I'm so glad you liked the tour. Believe me, necessity really is the mother of invention. The rest of my house has been decorated "from the store", with everything from furniture to knick-knacks picked out in a shop. My sewing room has been done "on a budget" and honestly...I like the way the room looks much better than rooms that were put together in someone else's mind! This room truly is ME more than any other room of the house. I hope some day you can have your own "slice of heaven". Just remember with a little ingenuity, and a can or two of spray paint, you can create something lovely from a lot of mismatched pieces.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You have a lovely space. Thanks for the tour.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you, and thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have enjoyed looking through your sewing room! i wish my desk were unkempt like yours... at the moment I can hardly see my actual desk. Fabulous idea to store pins in a shot glass with magnets. I'm sure I have a couple of shot glasses buried in a cupboard that I could use and next time I'm at IKEA, I'm going to check out the gate leg table. There's a spot in my room where I'm sure I could fit one. Thanks for the ideas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love my shotglasses, lol. When I am shaking badly I have a hard time getting the pin into a cushion, but the magnet just grabs the pin from my fingers and holds it so I can't miss! I just looked at Ikea's site and it is called a Norden Gateleg. They have it in white or wood. It is $179, which is $20 less than when my folks and aunt bought it for my Christmas gift! Nice when things go down in price!

      Delete
    2. I've featured your sewing space today...
      http://www.threadingmyway.com/2013/08/threading-your-way-features.html

      Delete
    3. Oh, Thank you,Thank You, THANK YOU! I am honored to be featured on your blog!

      Delete
  8. As did the others, I love your sewing space! Thank you so much for the tour. What wonderful ideas you have for recycling. Again, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You have made great use of your small space! Thanks for the tour.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oooh I love your organize you are. I have a room but not nearly as neat as yours. I love your white desk!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You! Thanks for visiting my Scrappy Happy Place!

      Delete
  11. I love your sewing room. It's so pretty! I need to make a pretty cover for my machines but haven't gotten around to it yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will get around to it whenever your fibro/lupus permits. Take care and don't push yourself.

      Delete
  12. I see that you have fibro. Me too. I have fibro and lupus. I'm 45 and was diagnosed about a year ago (though I was sick for awhile). Some days really stink don't they?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooohh...I'm sorry you have fibro too! I have fibro and "some type of rheumatologic disease". What? They don't know. I have elevated C-reative protein, occasionally elevated sed rate and am EXTREMELY steroid sensitive...symptoms get better in less than 24 hours after taking a steroid pill. I have a redness to my face that comes and goes (picture further back in my blog). Three separate doctors have suggested lupus, but every test comes out negative. So, all they know for sure is I have fibro and some type of rheumatologic disease. You're right...some days really stink. But I am thankful for the days I can get out of bed. Right now I am being weaned off of steroids again, so I expect things to be getting worse, as they have both times in the past that I have been taken off steroids... Take care and hang in there!

      Delete
  13. Stopping here from the Quilting Board. I love your Scrappy, Happy Place. My favorite part of the tour? "The ironing board that came back still in its plastic wrapper. Why did I EVER think a teenage boy would iron?" I have three sons--I understand! I know what you mean about having a place that is very "you." I just converted my daughter's old BR into my craft room/guest room, and it's really "my" zone. I really like your sewing machine cover!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! At least I know my kid was not the ONLY wrinkled clothing college student out there, lol. The first time I saw college kids, boys and girls, going to 7:00 am classes in their jammies I just about died! They had no discomfort whatsoever walking around campus in flannel jammie bottoms, t-shirts and fuzzy slippers! Yup...I'm getting old, lol.

      Delete
  14. Thank you for sharing!! Nice space, so pretty & organized. Yesterday I passed up a 4-cup coffee maker with a replacement carafe at a yard sale (still in box for a few bucks) & now I regret it! I could have put that in my sewing space! Great idea with the Keurig. You made great use of the space & what a sanctuary. Enjoy!
    Diana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Don't you just hate when that happens? I came home from the thrift shop thinking that I should have gotten four more skeins of embroidery thread at $.25 each. They will probably still have some left when I get back, but not the selection they had yesterday as the salesperson was filling the container while I stood there! HOpefully another small coffee maker will cross your path!

      Delete
  15. Your space is so inviting! Thank you for sharing it with us on The Studio Spotlight Tour. ~Heather

    ReplyDelete
  16. Lots of great things to see in here! Thanks for sharing your sewing space with us.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Loved the tour! My daughter went off to college with the same ironing board, but her's returned very well used. Not for ironing clothes (she could care less if what she is wearing is wrinkled), but she has been sewing a lot!!! That makes me proud!! She even wore out the iron I sent with her!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Ahh, I have a much larger space than you do but I think with more room comes more disorganization...sigh...I wish I had your ability to organize but I admit I am a packrat...

    ReplyDelete