My New Craft Room

After seven months of living in our new home, I think it is time to share the craft room with you!  A couple of things had been holding me back.  First, it took awhile to get the space set up the way I want it.  The new “room” is in one part of the unfinished basement and my options were almost unlimited on how I wanted to arrange my massive amounts of stuff.  And then it has just been in the past couple of weeks that I found the perfect little containers to store some of the messier items.  The colorful buckets and baskets you see are from Dollar Tree and Target.  I also had to remind myself that this is the year of flow and my craft room is constantly evolving.  There will never be the perfect set of photos, especially because the walls are cinder block in the background, but I love my room all the same.  As a reminder, here is the blog post about what my craft room looked like at the old house.  You will see many of the same things here of course.

And now I have an entire wall of shelving!  The previous owner used these shelves for storing her canning jars.  Now they hold most of my crafting supplies and give me easy access to materials.  Now that we have carpet, I used our old rugs to create the feel of a room here.  Maybe some day I will get a big rug for down here.  All of my crafting books live on the black shelves.  And the dog gets a bed for just downstairs as you can see.  Although he would much rather sit in my lap while I am crafting.  Here is a close up of one of my favorite shelves:

Next to the shelves is a fake wall created by the book shelf and plastic tubs.  See that grey plastic tub in the far right corner?  That’s the yarn tub.  Yes.  Full of yarn.  And there is yarn on top of that and in the buckets next to it…Now you know why I have to monitor my stash!  You can also see that one of the shelves is full of wedding invitation supplies.  The other shelves hold most of my 12″ by 12″ paper collection so I can sort through it quickly.  And I bought an old Singer sewing machine that lives the original (dirty) carrying case, that is what is sitting on the ground there.

Then turning the corner, this area should look familiar!  The pegboard lives on!  My table is full of card making supplies here in this photo.  Well let’s be honest, it is usually covered in supplies of some type!  The white filing cabinet holds all of my stamps in the top drawer.  On top of the cabinet is a simple shoe shelf from Target.  I use it to store some of my bigger tools and rulers.  And on top there I have the supplies out for making my bridal veil!  You cannot see it in the photo, but in the ceiling I have outlets to plug in the glue and embossing guns.

Then my sewing area is next.  The leather chair rolls between this station and my desk (next photo).  Behind the sewing machine is a serger that needs fixing before I can use it (bought it on Craigslist for a steal).  To the left are my rolling totes for scrapbooking.  I need a better way to organize my thread for sewing.  Some of it lives here and the rest is over in a plastic tub on the main set of shelves.

And here is my desk area.  This desk used to be in the front room at our old house and it was where I worked when I was home.  Now I do not need an official desk at home because everything is at school.  So this desk is a crafting desk!  My Cricut lives here.  I could put my laptop here if I brought it downstairs.  There is a loom on the desk because I am thinking about trying it out before it has a permanent place on the main shelves.  I also consider this my mailing station.  I have my address labels and envelopes here.  To the right of the desk is a sewing machine table that flips open.  Yes, another sewing machine is inside.  I went through a phase where I could not resist the Craigslist deals, clearly.  And my ironing board is permanently set up next to that.

And on the back of the desk hangs all of my finished cards.  The idea to use a plastic shoe hanger is from my friend Pam.  These are loosely broken up into themes of cards like “happy birthday” and “thank you.”  It is so easy to grab a card this way.  And I love having so many options!

Those are all of the photos of my craft room!  That is only about 1/4 of the space in our basement.  The wall with the shelves is actually a dividing wall within the basement.  If you were standing in my craft space and turned to the right, you would see T.’s desk area and more shelves for him.  Then in the other part of the basement we store other household stuff.  This winter the basement has seemed cold (55 degrees F) when I could be sitting upstairs in front of the warm fireplace, but I am sure this summer it will be a nice retreat from the heat.  Thank you for taking a look at my evolving craft room!


2013 Goals – The Year of Acceptance

The past few weeks have led to a lot of reflection about 2012 and ideas for 2013.  Ali Edwards always recommends “one little word” for the year, and this year I am choosing “acceptance.”  For me, it means accepting who I am as a crafter.  With all these years of crafting experience, I think I know some of the things I like to do and some of the things I do not.  For example, I love scrapbooking, but I am just never going to be one of those “one photo super ephemera page” type of scrapbookers.  I know, never say never, but some things I can be pretty confident about.  I do not enjoy quilling or crocheting tiny toys.  I have no desire to knit a complicated cable sweater for myself.  These are things I know about myself.  But in 2013, I want to find other crafting realizations of acceptance.  Maybe I will always have a stash of yarn and I just have to accept that.  Maybe it is acceptable to have hundreds of buttons for scrapbooking.  I want to accept who I am and not feel guilty about who I am not as a crafter.  A lot of knitting podcasters have been talking about the “no guilt” year and “acceptance” is my version of that this year.


So all of that being said, here are my goals for 2013.  After seeing what happened in 2012, I am sure there are several projects I will come up with that do not relate to this list.  But I am excited to make these projects happen in 2013.

  • Keep track of three stashes – fabric, yarn, and fiber.

For the past two years I have kept track of fabric, so that should be easy.  I am not a prolific fabric user.  Last year I kept track of my yarn intake/outtake, which was quite the eyeopener.  It really helps me think about new purchases.  One of the ways I was able to help balance my yarn purchases last year was through buying fiber.  Well 2013 is the year for keeping track of fiber too.  The main goal for all of these stashes is always to use more than I buy.

  • Finish spinning the fiber for a handspun sweater and knit it.

This was something I started working on last spring when I became more serious about spinning and won a new wheel.  I m halfway done with spinning the 32 ounces of fiber and want to finish that.  I hope to three ply the fiber.  Then I want to knit myself a sweater out of it.  It is taking sweater knitting to a whole new level!

  • Do not participate in Campy Loopy this year.

This sounds like a funny goal, especially because I try to keep my goals positive.  But for the past two years I have participated in Camp Loopy, a three month long knitalong where you buy yarn for each project during the summer.  It is a great program because you receive free yarn and discounts.  But it also consumes my summer knitting.  Sure, knitting a sweater in a month is great, but it requires buying yarn and picking a new pattern.  I have plenty of yarn!  I want to knit what I want to knit this summer – no rules.

  • Knit six projects for myself out of the six “brown bags” I created.

Two years ago I knit 12 socks in 12 months, partially due to the incentive of the “brown bags” I put the yarn in.  It was surprise each month what I would get to knit with.  It also required a lot of my knitting time, as you can imagine.  So this year I am reenacting that goal by cutting it in half – six bags throughout the year.  I have already bagged up the yarn.  They are all skeins that I decided “I must knit with this in 2013.”  So that should be fun.

  • Make a t-shirt quilt out of my box of t-shirts.

This goal has been on my mind for several years, but I definitely want to make it happen in 2013.  I am confident enough in my quilting abilities to make it a success.  And it will be a great way to see some of my favorite t-shirts.

  • Create a master list of scrapbook pages that need to be completed and do them.

I am again behind on my scrapbooking pages.  I did not scrapbook as much in 2012 and need to get back to it.  Usually I go on a long retreat weekend to make it happen, we will have to see when I time for that in 2013.

  • Organize my stamp filing cabinet this year.

Almost everything I have is organized into a space.  In fact, some days I have time for crafting, I just use it to organize.  But somehow my stamps have gotten a little out of control in their filing cabinet.  So I would like to organize that in 2013 and be able to see all of my stamps easily.  One of the things I know about myself (part of acceptance) is that I need to be able to see it if I am going to use it on my cards.


Seven crafting goals for 2013, I think I can make that happen!  It is going to be another busy year, but I am looking forward to it.  Hope you are too!

Crafting Goals for 2012

A week into 2012, I think I am ready to commit to my crafting goals for 2012.  I always enjoy hearing other people’s goals before I make my own, so these are very inspired.  And it is time to pick a new word of the year!  Last year the word was “relax.”  That worked well until December when I had a lot of gift knitting to do.  This year the word is going to be “mindful.”  I really want to be mindful during my crafting and enjoy the process.  Besides gift knitting, what is the rush, really?  And yet I always seem to get too deadline oriented with things that are supposed to be fun.  So I will be “mindful” when I am crafting in 2012.

My goals for 2012 are relatively short because it will be a very busy year professionally.  I will be writing my dissertation and getting ready to go on the job market.  So I am going to relax on the goals for 2012.

List of 2012 Crafting Goals:

  • Knit a lace weight sweater for myself without being concerned about the deadline.
  • I have enough yarn for two lace weight sweaters and one fingering weight sweater.  It is about time I start one of these!  For you non-knitters, this is a big goal because I will be knitting something big on tiny needles with thin yarn.  But I am really excited about it and will enjoy the process as I go along.  Now we will have to see when I actually cast it on.


  • Become consistent with my spinning.
  • I learned how to spin on my spinning wheel in 2011, so now it is time to actually become good at it.  I want to be able to knit with the yarn I spin in 2012.  I already have lots of fiber to practice with, which relates to the next goal.


  • Keep track of my fabric and yarn this year with the obvious goal of using more than buying.
  • Last year I kept track of my fabric and that really worked out well.  This year I want to keep track of my yarn as well.  I will try to do weekly check ins with the yarn since I knit much more than I sew.  But I am already on a “yarn and fiber diet” until Camp KIP, so hopefully I will be able to stick to knitting more than I buy.


  • Enjoy my gift crafting!
  • This may seem like an obvious goal, but strangely I like to stress myself out about projects for other people.  Especially where a deadline is concerned.  So this year, with one upcoming wedding and one baby on the way among my friends, I am going to not get stressed out, but enjoy the crafting.  I am looking forward to knitting for a new baby and testing out some new techniques.  And I will not be crafting furiously the night before the wedding – I refuse!  Either it is getting done early or on time.


  • Grow something new (successfully) in the garden.
  • Last year was my first attempt at a vegetable garden and I really enjoyed the process.  There were some issues with slugs.  And starting things from seed is difficult.  But I am looking forward to a new year of gardening.  And I would like to try something new this year.  Not sure what yet!

I think that will be plenty for 2012!  Looking forward to another great year!

2011 Resolutions Update

It is that time of year again – time to check in about my resolutions from last year!  I am very proud to say that I completed my resolutions this year, mainly because I made them so obtainable.  The word of the year was relax, remember?  I had my moments of chaos, but I managed to keep it together pretty well.  And there were no big events to plan this year.  So let’s review the resolutions:


Make the Christmas stockings for my friend T’s family, as requested, before August.


I did finish these Christmas stockings, but in November, not August.  Mailed them to her right before Thanksgiving.


Finish all random scrapbook pages that have not been finished by August.


I did catch up on my random scrapbook pages and feel good about the progress.  There was a page I completed that should have been done in 2005!  Now I just have a few projects from the past year that need catching up, not all kinds of random pages.


Learn how to use my spinning wheel in February.


I think I waited until May to work on this resolution, but I did learn how to use my spinning wheel!  Once the holiday gift knitting began, I had to put it away.  But the next step for this resolution will be in 2012.


Fill my Project Life binder with the everyday things that I never scrap.


Still going strong with Project Life.  I had times where I had to play catch up, but it all worked out.  Because I have only been using one page for one week (instead of two pages), I will keep going with this goal in 2012.  Of course I want to fill the album!


Keep track of my quilting supplies with Stash Reports every week.


I did keep up with my Stash Reports, even though it was much more infrequent than every week.  I only updated when I bought fabric or sewed with fabric.  My underlying goal was to not bring in more fabric than I started with, but I went over slightly by 5 yards.  Vintage sheet fat quarters sucked me in!  Really glad I kept track, otherwise I would have been feeling more guilt than necessary probably.  I did get a lot of sewing done this year!


Make a queen-sized quilt (or duvet cover) for my bed.


I am really proud of completing this project.  I just finished it, but I did space the project out over the course of the year.  This was an intense project at the end with all of the bulky pieces.  But I am happy with the results and looking forward to using this on the bed.  And now I never want to make another queen-sized quilt!


Use the Basic Grey fabric I have set aside to make a table runner for the front room and the matching paper to make the shadow box.


After I experimented with the Basic Grey fabric, I realized it did not match the front room very well.  So I made the table runner out of the same Pure by Moda fabric that I used for the queen-sized quilt.  The table runner actually sits on a dresser, so hopefully the dresser and quilt will be reunited in the same room some day.  Since I steered away from the Basic Grey fabric and paper, I did not make the shadow box.  But maybe I can use some leftover fabric pieces this year to make it match.


Those were the resolutions for the year!  Another fun thing to think about is everything else I did throughout the year that did not even make the resolution list:


  1. The garden!  I created my first vegetable garden in 2011.
  2. 12 pairs of socks in 2011 – I am shocked this was not one of my resolutions, but I stuck with it.
  3. Participating in Camp Loopy this summer (three projects in three months, one of them being a sweater).
  4. The card swap for Paper Capers – 12 different cards throughout the year.
  5. And the long list of gifty things I created for other people throughout the year, mainly knitting projects.


Looking forward to 2012.  Have to pull together my resolution list!

The Craft Room

It’s about time I post some photos of my craft room.  We moved into this house in August and I was able to claim one room as my very own craft room.  It also holds my clothes, but still.  It’s better than sharing a room with someone else’s hobbies!  And we were able to paint it.

First, here is the best part of my room – the peg board. I had this same pegboard in the apartment, but it was screwed into the wall. Here my boyfriend built it to be free standing since our walls are plaster. Yes, I have twelve jars full of ribbon. And then 29 rolls of ribbon. I don’t have to explain the different types of scissors to crafters. The bottom right plastic bins are full of paper flowers and embellishments. Those are Stampin Up stamp containers that I never filled because I keep all of my stamps unmounted.

Here is the full effect of my pegboard and the decorating table from Joann’s. It folds down into 1/4 of the size and can roll. Thankfully in this room I have the space to keep it open at all times. As you can, see that is dangerous. My table fills up quickly.


First I want to comment on the sentence above the closet, “Life does not have to be perfect in order to be wonderful.”  My high school English teacher actually made that little sign and had it above her classroom one year.  She actually had several quotes around the room.  At the end of the year, I took this one with me and have had it up ever since.  It means a lot to look at this sign when I’m crafting.  And to remember her.

To the right of the pegboard is a closet and stacked cubes in the corner. I have fabric in the top cube, yarn in the second cube, my Scor-Pal lives in the third cube with extra cardboard sheets, and the bottom cube holds more yarn. Don’t worry, that isn’t even half of my yarn collection. These are just yarns that I may want on hand for upcoming projects.  Or to pet.

Now we’re in the main closet. The closet slopes so that I have a triangular space. This black container is great, I bought it from a scrapbook store that was closing. It holds all of my chipboard letters, separated out by letter (each drawer holds three different letters). The shoebox is currently holding wedding mementos to scrapbook. And my friend Cathy made that gorgeous tag that I can’t put away for fall just yet.

Below the black container are my scrapbooking bins. All six of them and then some! I love the clear plastic totes. I take at least one with me when I scrapbook. Another one is dedicated to die cutting supplies. Another one has all of my 12 by 12 cardstock. Another one actually has fabric stored in it.

Now I’m spinning you around to see the other side of the closet at an angle. Yes, it’s a little much I suppose. The bottom black containers hold all of my patterned paper. I’m using it, I promise. Then the big clear bins actually hold a variety of things, not just crafting supplies. Some hold old class notes. One of them is my “regifting bin” of goodies. A lot of what you’re looking at is yarn storage. The silver round laundry basket has more fabric, interfacing, and fleece. All of my totebags are behind that. To the far left is my homemade foam board for blocking my knitting projects.

Okay back out of the closet. This is the door of the actual room. More clear storage. In those drawers I have all of my pens, punches, extra glues, envelopes, and my pre-cut quilting supplies. I made the C several years ago and it still seems to go with my room theme. The rectangular panel was hand painted by someone here in town, I bought it from her at a craft fair.

This isn’t crafting! I know, I know. I just wanted to show you how I organized my necklaces and earrings. These are hanging on the other closet door (to the right of the photo you last saw). I picked up the hanger for $1 from Target. And my boyfriend had the wire piece I could hang my earrings from. This definitely keeps me organized. And then the rest of this miniature closet I don’t have photos of because it’s just my clothes and shoes. But it is much smaller than the closet you saw previously.

Working our way around the room going to the right still, this is my dresser of clothes. The fabric that lays on top of the dresser matches the curtains I made for the room.

This is my other favorite part of the room. Each of our upstairs room has a dormer. Perfect size for a card table. And mine is a little sewing nook. I can leave my sewing machine out at all times. The Clip It Up holds most of my scrapbooking embellishments. That was one of those purchases I go back and forth on. It works in this space. It didn’t work in the apartment. I’m glad I have it, but it is pretty large.

One last corner of the room. This is in between the sewing nook / dormer area and my pegboard / decorating table. I’m still playing with the arrangement on my glass shelves, but they are handy for holding some supplies. The shelving piece is from Wal-Mart and was purchased specifically for this space.

Here I have several more glues. Embellishments like buttons and oh…some more ribbon. Anyways. The second shelf has two binders for my clear stamps. One binder is a photocopy of all the stamps I have so I can flip through it quickly to see what image I want. Then the blue binder has all of the actual clear stamps in it. The blue binder is pretty heavy and much more awkward. More stamps are to the right of that. And then all of my paints are in the basket. Most of my paints came from the scrapbook store I used to work at – they were free. I don’t use them that often, but they are handy to have. Other random supplies are on the bottom two drawers, including my ball winder (which hooks to my decorating table with my swift for winding yarn).

Wow! That was a lot. The space probably seems much bigger than it is, but it is perfect for me. I feel so lucky to be able to have this much space to dedicate to my crafts. I don’t think I could ever live in a studio apartment in New York City! Thanks for taking the time to look at my space and feel free to ask any questions for clarification. I stare at this stuff all the time!

2011 is all about one word – relax.

Inspired by Ali Edwards, I am choosing one word to connect my crafting resolutions.  Relax.  It’s that simple.  While I felt productive in 2010 on my resolutions, I also felt stressed about most of them.  I was rushing to finish presents.  I would then get frustrated with a project if it was not going the way I wanted.  And that’s not how I want to feel about my crafting in 2011.  This year will be a big year for me at school, where there will be virtually no time to relax.  So I should be able to relax and enjoy my crafting at least.  That said, here’s the 2011 resolutions list.

  1. Make the Christmas stockings for my friend T’s family, as requested, before August. I have one done so far and need to make the other two.  This project did not get done in 2010 because of time.  The stockings are lined and include trim, which took much more time than anticipated.  So I will get these done by August so she has them well in advance.
  2. Finish all random scrapbook pages that have not been finished by August. For some reason I have very random pages in albums that are not complete.  For example, my graduation album has a few pages without writing.  Must have ran out of time at a retreat I was at or something similar.  So my goal is to finish all of those random pages in albums that are supposed to be finished already.
  3. Learn how to use my spinning wheel in February. I think February will be a good month to focus on spinning.  And the goal does not get much simpler, I already have all the supplies.
  4. Fill my Project Life binder with the everyday things that I never scrap. This is a continuous goal from last year.  When I look back on my scrapbooks, they are filled with events and times I took photos.  Sometimes there are things to say that do not require photos.  My Project Life binder with the individual note cards will help with that.
  5. Keep track of my quilting supplies with Stash Reports every week. Since I have been so great about not going crazy with my new hobby, quilting, I’d like to keep it that way.  So reporting on my stash every week will help keep me in line and hopefully inspire me to keep working on new projects.  And to keep me from building a stash.
  6. Make a queen-sized quilt (or duvet cover) for my bed. This is a big one.  I have been thinking about this since I started quilting.  I have not kept any of my quilting projects so far.  I know I want to use the “Pure” collection by Moda, but I’m not sure what pattern to use yet.  I’m still on the hunt for the perfect pattern, especially if I have to look at it every night.
  7. Use the Basic Grey fabric I have set aside to make a table runner for the front room and the matching paper to make the shadow box. This is a two part resolution, but they go together.  I love this particular line and want to make the two items to finish off the front room and hallway.  Not a difficult set of projects, but they are completely for my own pleasure, so I have to make sure I put them on the list so I complete them.

I think that’s enough goals for now.  I’m looking forward to being more relaxed with my crafting.  And really to being more weekly rather than short creative bursts.  Those are my goals, I will keep you posted on the progress.

2010 Resolutions Update

It’s time to check in on my 2010 New Year’s resolutions, the main reason why I created this blog.  There were a few things that I did not anticipate this year.  1 – Being in three weddings.  2 – Taking a beginning quilting class and making 4 quilts before Christmas.  3 – Moving into a house that needed curtains.  That said, here’s the run down.

Catch up on my scrapbooking before August 2010.  This may sound unreasonable, but I am actually only about a year behind.  I’ve really made progress in the past year.

This definitely happened.  Going to my local scrapbooking events and a few retreats made this possible.  I’m looking forward to getting caught up on the end of this year early this winter.

Figure out a better way to document the year.  For example, scrapbooking every Christmas with a little bit of journaling is really getting old.  I don’t want a scrapbook of every event from every year of my life anymore.  I want the memories and my thoughts written.  So I need a strategy for that.

Well I started using Project Life 2010 by Becky Higgins last spring, but I wasn’t prepared to follow through.  So I went back to my old ways.  Then this December I wrote down a little memory for each day.  Looking back even now at the beginning of the month, I’ve already forgotten things.  So I’m excited to make that into a little book.  Then hopefully that will jumpstart my Project Life 2011.  I’m ordering the new binder so it will actually fit on my shelf and will be visible.

Knit from my stash using 10 in 2010.

I can’t say I followed this exactly since I worked at my local yarn shop over the summer for yarn credit.  But I spent much less money this year on yarn and haven’t bought any for several months now.  And even though I only made 2 out of the 10 patterns I set out to make on my resolutions, I did make plenty of things for myself that were unexpected.  I didn’t go crazy with Christmas knitting this year either.  So that part of the goal happened.  I’m looking forward to using the yarn I love this year.

Follow the instructions in the book Design it Yourself Clothes and see if I am actually still interested in sewing clothes for myself.  If it works out, great.

Did not touch this resolution at all.  I had high hopes for the summer, but that’s when I started quilting.  I still have high hopes for this next year though. And I did do a lot of sewing for the new house, so my sewing machine did get a lot of use in 2010.

Learn how to spin.  Currently, I am slowly learning how to drop spindle.  I would love to get a wheel and learn more about the craft.

This is a very exciting one because I did get a wheel.  For $35 on Craigslist.  Yep, just had to add a few parts and I have myself a lovely spinning wheel.  Can’t say I’ve touched it though.  I did continue to do some more drop spindling though.  Spinning is definitely a goal this winter.

Overall, I’m very happy with my crafting in 2010.  I made my CATS cards every month and made several others, including my Christmas cards.  I designed my craft room in the new house and love that space now.  Thankfully this blog has helped me keep track of the miscellaneous.  I’ll be posting my crafting goals for 2011 soon!