The Wise Craft Studio
I told you all, right here on this blog, that I was redoing the Wise Craft studio space. I think that was back in January, possibly even December of last year. But then I didn’t mention it again. My apologies to anyone that has spent this year refreshing their screens, hoping to no longer be left in limbo about what finally happened in my studio. I started writing my book and making quilts like mad, and working on this space was put on hold for a bit. But I’m thrilled that I can finally share some images of where I spend my days with you!
A little background for those unfamiliar- This space is almost half of our basement, a roomy 12′ x 30′ (a very rough guesstimate). When it became my studio a few years ago, we painted it completely white, top to bottom. Until this year,there was a small room at the back/South corner of the room. It was used by the former homeowners as a photography darkroom, complete with a utility sink. A few years ago we turned it into a countertop with cabinets underneath, but we began to realize that it really just cuts the room unnecessarily. Plus we never used the storage or the countertops. So, at the beginning of the year, it was ripped out completely (thank you Peter!). A few new feet of space has really opened up this room! It has given me tons more space, and a now have a wall I can use as my quilt design wall, which I can actually stand back several feet and get a good visual idea when I am working through a design.
The North wall of the studio is completely filled with bookcases. We have lots of books in this family and, even though we do a big purge once a year or so, these shelves seem to stay filled. The rest of the room is very open now, and there’s really no place to hide unsightly storage, so I have to get creative. The large cutting table in the middle of the room now has curtains on all four sides to hide what’s underneath it (financials, fabric scraps, fabric dyeing buckets, boring stuff) made from painter’s canvas drop cloths- easy and cheap. Putting up those curtains made a world of difference in how cluttered the room looks overall.
Other creative storage options I’ve come up with so far? Old salesman sample carrying cases given to me by a friend have been recovered in gift wrap and are now used as storage (English paper piecing, templates, table clamps for making quilt sandwiches). A hanging nuts and bolts sorter drawer unit holds all my small jewelry-type craft supplies. I found a $20 bookshelf at Goodwill that holds my packing and shipping supplies, as well as other small things I use daily. I did splurge on a nice desk from IKEA that is a good height and size, and hides all my computer cords in a handle little pocket in the back. I also upgraded to a larger computer screen and a Wacom tablet for my design work and it is so much better on my eyes. The filing cabinet to the side of the desk holds paperwork and patterns. My two sewing machines are set up on a long IKEA tabletop, which used to be my desk. I use the Bernina 550 to do the majority of my own sewing and the Juki is primarily used by Emma to sew clothes. The flat file under the sewing table houses all ephemera and paper supplies.
It may not look like it, but there has been a lot of purging to get to this point. I had three full shelves of fabric when I started and I now have one. The problem with being interested in so many types of crafts as I am is that you can justify keeping anything. Anything! Rocks! Sticks! Postage stamps! But I forced myself to make some very hard decisions and I’m so glad I did. It allows me to really take stock of what I have, get rid of clutter, and get a good up close idea of what I really have. In fact, I plan to schedule a big purge periodically, from now on. I will never be a minimalist when it comes to outfitting my working or living space, but I promise myself to keep doing periodic purges from now on. Only good comes from it in my world.
It is so important to make our workspaces as inspiring as it can be, no matter what size they are or how much money we have to do it. This is by no means a big budget room, and it is truly a workhorse of a space. I’m okay with it getting messy. Some days I am inspired by clean and tidy. Other days I am inspired by the work I left up on the design wall the night before. I am so grateful for this space and every single thing in it.
You can see more pictures on The Studio Page.