Happy Tuesday! Stacey here, with a tutorial (using the term "tutorial" very loosely today) about organizing a creative space. I shared some photos of my space a few months ago and received some questions about what I had in all of the different containers, so here's a run-down of what I have going on in my happy little space!
The room that I use for my scrapbooking and other crafty endeavors is the "formal dining" room in our home. I cannot imaging having an entire room devoted to something that we already do at our big table in the other room next to the kitchen (the informal dining area?), but I am sure that there are people who think it's crazy to fill up an entire room that is designed for eating with pretty paper and glue and stickers, etc.
A little history...The first dedicated creative space I ever had was in a tiny hallway where the washer and dryer were supposed to go in the first house we ever owned. I loved having that little place of my own for sewing and scrapbooking, and I rearranged my meager crafty possessions with as much regularity and passion as I do today. I always feel creatively "fresh" after a little session of moving my stuff around...
So. The next creative space I had was much larger because it was part of our finished basement. I set up about six 6-foot-long tables and organized my scrapbooking supplies and some homeschool materials. I think that this is about the time I began to love my labelmaker so much.
But then we moved again. And again. And again. Every time we moved, I had a little better idea about what worked for me and what didn't. I learned that no matter how much space I gave myself to work in, I'd always end up with a little 12" X 12" square cleared on the table and supplies everywhere else. I learned that no matter what I did, a "school room" set up in my house would soon turn into a "resource room," and then it would finally become a "storage room" where rejected curriculum went to die. I finally let go of the guilt associated with having a creative space for myself but no school space for my homeschooled kids. I needed my space and they just did not need a school room. (FYI: I think it took me a solid seven years to figure that out.)
Okay, so here I am. Occupying the very first room in our house - I mean, when you walk in the door, you are immediately knee-deep in scrappiness - it cannnot be ignored. Usually a man will pretend to ignore it (and hope that his wife somehow doesn't notice a ginormous space completely dedicated to craftiness because then he might have to give up the security of his own unused "formal dining" room at home). A woman will usually exclaim over it in some way and proceed to tell me that she loves scrapbooking (or cardmaking, stamping, sewing, etc.) or that she is completely not creative.
Sometimes I wish that my special room could be revealed only to people who I want to share it with - instead of everyone. Even the delivery people (bringing more October Afternoon goodies!) will comment. I did almost put doors on this room back in 2007, but it's a sad story, and I don't really want to share it again today.
Okay, so on to the organization!
I am a fan of plastic drawers. They make life just so compartmentalizable. I think that they can be ugly, though. As much as I like shabby, vintage stuff, shabby, vintage drawers just cannot be cute. So I opted for my second favorite visual approach: ROY G. BIV. Love Roy: Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Indigo. Violet. The day that I realized that I could do ROY G. BIV on my drawers, I was on Cloud 9. Cloud. Nine.
But what's in the drawers?? The top drawer in each column holds alpha stickers in that color. The bottom drawer in each column holds solid, whole cardstock in that color. The second-to-bottom drawer in each column holds colored scraps for that color. The rest of the drawers have patterned paper, wooden stamps, hand-stitching supplies, and completed layouts that haven't made it to the albums yet. Some of the drawers are even empty! An empty drawer means that I am not "maxed out" spacewise, and that's a great feeling!
A word about paper storage: I have newer papers, along with the coordinating rub-ons, stickers, journaling cards, and embellishments sorted by manufacturer and then by collection in my drawers. The front piece represents the collection, and because I am quite visual, this really works for me. I keep October Afternoon scraps in a drawer maked "OA Scraps" and all other scraps get thrown together in a drawer or thrown away. The vertical paper storage containers hold older (but still beautiful!) papers, also stored by manufacturer. When papers get moved to vertical storage, their coordinating accessories and embellishments get placed in a drawer for like items.
On the top shelf near the end, there are some accordian files. There store memorabilia for each child in our family. I also have one for my husband and one for myself. The ribbon tied on each handle tells me whose memoribilia is in each container.
The canning jars make me happy, so they stay. They have very small embellishments inside, sorted according to color. If I need something from one of these jars, I just dump it, sift through the contents, and dump it all back into the jar. Simple.
I made a little work space under the shelves - my first like this one. I am still trying to decide if I like it or not.
My sewing spot is just that. There are bobbins, thread, and sewing stuff in the little drawer in the table I have the sewing machine on.If I don't leave the sewing maching completely out and ready to go, I won't use it, so out it stays.
I've been doing some research about painting concrete because I'd like to tear up this carpet and experiment with painting the concrete floor. I am thinking a checkerboard patter. If I do, I will definitely share!