Thursday, 19 May 2011

Craft rooms of the real world unite!

Today, I present, Ladles and Jellyspoons, the Perfect Craft Room. You know, the one you find in all those 'oh so Martha Stewart' craft magazines. The rooms with twenty thousand (approx) perfectly white IKEA storage units and Farrow-and-Ball painted furniture in which to store immaculately folded fabric. Yep, just like mine, as you can see here.

                (yep, the wall behind the shelf is ugly brown. and beige. More of which later)

Well, the equivalent for me is three old kitchen drawers, shoeboxes (I don't own that many shoes, that's my husband's habit, lol) and old quality street tins (stolen from recycling boxes up the road. Shhhhh). And maybe the odd basket and plastic IKEA box ("so cheap! let's buy 20 and get some tealights and a washing up brush too!"). I did try folding up bits of fabric (see bottom of picture) but as you can see it's not easy when the pup's around. Oh, and I lost the will to live halfway through folding the fabric...

Some handy hints for your craft room (if you have one, let alone a Martha version) are this. 1. Collect lots of dust. You know, for posterity.

This isn't through lack of use of the sewing machine - it's just that I never have time to put things away and therefore keep them dust-free. If I put things away I would never get things out again, and nothing would be done. Tip number 2 for your craft room: If you really want to find things, keep your 'thrifted antique' drawers open, missus!!! At all times!

(object identification - bendy ruler for pattern drafting, box of sewing machine feet, old tins with stuff in. With their lids on, I have no idea what's inside, sorry. Anyone who knows why my hair elastics are in there wins a prize. Of hair elastics.)

Seriously, how would I find anything otherwise? It's all very well having pretty bits of old sh!t in your craft room, but how on earth can I remember where all my bits are, so to speak? I don't think I'll ever be featuring in your Mollie Makes or your Marthahahaha, but I am happy with what I have. I wouldn't change my little mess for the world (well, that is, apart from the brown and beige which I'm going to have to turn purple at some point).

If you click on the pic, you can see a bigger version, for use along with this handy cut out and keep guide!
1. Scissors. Magic scissors. With a zig zag pinking edge. wooo.
2. Scissors my husband uses and shouldn't because they're ONLY FOR FABRIC!!!!!
3. Horrid beige coloured wall left over from previous occupants. 5 years ago. No, I don't like decorating.
4. Tin of sh!t - ie, all the stuff that covers my workspace as I go gets stuffed into the tin which is why the lid won't shut, which is a shame as the lid has a kitschy picture of roses on it and I'd like to see it more often
5. Ironing table. Covered in a luxury assortment of stuff that doesn't need to be ironed. Such as double sided tape.
6. The table itself is a treadle sewing machine. Seemed like a Good Idea at the time.
7.  More Scissors. Not magic ones. Ones that are stuck together through cutting double sided tape. Ah well.
8. Pincushion (note: it's not in a teacup) and threads ready for dyeing that day.
9. Inevitable Cath Kidston Mug. This one contains a brew which was freshly made - others have been known to be er, 'vintage'.
10. Festival of Quilts leaflet that came in the post. Nope, I'm not going.
11. Smaller Scissors.
12. Machine of Joy and Fun! Cost about £30 and it sews like a dream, and hasn't an ounce of plastic in it. (A real tip: Don't be afraid of vintage machines - they're way better than modern ones, don't go for a big brand, and don't pay more than about £50 for one!)
13. Old duvet cover used as tablecloth to cover a grotty freecycle table - turns out this is not a Good Thing because when I want to move the sewing machine all 6ft of duvet cover joins it for a ride
14. The wall was a darker shade of brown when we moved in. So this is an unfinished attempt to cover it up. Inspiring, no? The colour is this:

cost: about £3,00000000000 per tin from the internet and when you open it there are angel choirs singing. This shade is called 'Rock on Tommy'. Ahem. No, really, one day I'll be painting it B&Q purple. Because I can.
15. Anglepoise lamp. "The original" it says on the side! Which is why I've re-christened it the Angle-Flop lamp. Springs are a bit dodgy. Can't complain for £7 from a boot sale though...
16. Trixie. Every craft room needs one. She's available on request...

Bah to perfect craft rooms ;-) you'd be so scared to make a mess in them you'd never do anything! Let alone have a dog and her paws in there. If you're suffering from 'perfect craft room' syndrome, I can heartily recommend a dose of Trixie paws to make you re-think that shade of Farrow and Ball...;-) Let's rejoice in our messy craft rooms and start a backlash! A craftlash?!! xxx


  1. I think I love you. I have to remember the collecting dust for posterity line. Personally I thunk dust protects you furniture. My whole house is my craft room and I never put anything away I think my OH has finally learned to not see the crap I leave lying about.

  2. Love love love! I do get so intimidated by all the prettiness, and I know my home is never going to look like that. Your set-up seems much more practical for actually making things :-)

    (intrigued by threads for dyeing though – are they part of the process or are you plotting something new?!)

  3. THIS!

    My craft room doubles as a dark room, so as well as four stacking boxes of yarn (plus MOAR YARN that will not fit into boxes) and loads of old craft magazines there's a massive photo enlarger and trays for developing, bottles of chemicals.

    I find the people whose workspaces are messiest are usually the ones who produce things I most admire.

  4. hooray for busy craft rooms that aren't perfect! you really made me smile with this one! I have a higgeldy piggeldy set of drawers/shelves/bags/boxes that serves me well as I know where to find everything - needless to say it's a total tip to the naked eye but it all makes sense to me! xx

  5. I think your craft room looks just great as it..... lived in and worked in, just as it should be! Have a good week. Ros

  6. Hi Stitchedtogether - lol! my husband is long suffering too :-) there is a bit of craft stuff downstairs, in much the same disarray ;-) dust does protect furniture! indeed!!! :-)
    Rhian - Aha, yes the threads are actually to be dyed themselves - I'm working on an embroidery and wanted some space-dyed thread. I'll post about that later!
    Mim - mess is the best! it's more creative that way :-) Sounds like you have to share your room with someone else's creative mess...?!
    Yay Zoe, you're right - it makes sense to us, that's all that matters eh! I'm reminded of the orderly chaos under our desks in the office once upon a time :D
    Aw thanks Ros :D Yes, it's definitely a room that gets used! Rather than looked at ;-) you have a good week too! x


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