Oh So Organized! (Such a delight)

It’s the start of the new year so it’s great to start fresh! Let me tell you how much of a delight it was to overhaul my creative space. I’m oh so organized now that I don’t want to leave…

When everything is all jumbled:

It all started with a box of buttons! Not just any box; but a cherished collection that my mother started many eons ago. This suitcase of buttons was hardly organized and finding a suitable one was always a long painstaking task.

I am so lucky; my sweet daughter-in-law is such a determined organizer! She actually wanted to sit and sort each button into categories! That’s the key to being organized. Everything (buttons here) need to fit into categories and then knowing where those categories are makes finding things very easy!

She divided them into colours and then in each colour box there are transparent bags (always better to have some transparency to any container) to divide them into exact similar buttons and then those of the same size. I was so thrilled to see it so organized that it got me into that ‘organizing kick’!

When you are working away at any project it really warms the heart when you do not have to struggle finding things, whether buttons are anything else. Scissors, screwdrivers, seam-rippers, tape, all those things that seem to hide when you need them! Since I have the feeling I am going to be working in my ‘Creative Space’ for a while before the world seems to open up, now’s a great time to do it (not to mention it’s like -25ºC outside!)

Make it Pretty:

Since I am such a visual person I always think about how the aesthetics are. ‘Can I add a factor of beauty to the function? In the case of the pin-board I decided to do a quick freehand fabric painting; something that isn’t too contrived but fun and loose.

I was thinking what my ‘style’ actually is, and I determined it’s a combination of rustic nature and a bit of boho. I remembered that I had a bag of driftwood stashed away (crazy, ya I know). A quick bunch of hot-gluing and a circle of wire glued from the back made easy work of this ‘circle’. It’s a statement piece since it’s over 24″ across.

Blame it on Pinterest:

I tend to gravitate to nature all the time. Its not always easy to have live plants so some moss wall art seemed crazy simple. Reindeer moss was also in my stash from making the resin pendants and who doesn’t have some gravel hanging around?! Sometimes a quick glue-gun project is quite satisfying. Moss wall art is almost a foolproof way of adding some ‘green’ to your world.

Check out my ‘Pin-board’ with the painted fabric (post on fabric paint coming soon) & the moss wall art. My ‘Creative Space’ is in the lower level since it is really beneficial to be near the laundry room/sink for Eco Printing. It is a large space about 12′ x 16′ and open to about the same size space in lounge/couch area. It is nice to be able to work on something but still feel part of the family as well. That is another reason I wanted it to be quite pleasing to the eye.

This sewing table was a vintage purchase years ago. The machine slides down and the top folds over. There are drawers and thread holders so it’s all organized. When closed it takes only a small footprint. To freshen everything I painted it white.

Let there be light!

When I am in a basement space I need to have a huge amount of light; tons of light! There are LED shop lights hung from the ceiling tiles and this allows for versatility if I move tables. I hate to be limited, so being able to move lights is great.

Adjusting Table height:

I have been mulling this idea of changing my work space for a while and always wanted a higher height for the tables. The rickety folding tables I had always hurt my back when I was bent over them to roll bundles of eco prints. I also knew I did not want to invest in $1000’s of dollars of cabinetry because I may change my mind of what I am interested in later on.

My solution was to raise the 2 folding tables and combine them to hold up a 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood that is prefinished with melamine. There is an iron-on edging that will make it look finished. Imagine a table that is that huge! It was dream of mine forever! I could lay out fabric, or arrange a roll of eco print and still have room to spare! The table legs were extended by heating plastic (with heat gun) pipe just enough to stretch it over the table leg. Once cooled it holds great! They were easily cut afterward and felt applied to prevent from scratching the floor. The board stays put well, but it could be screwed from the bottom. The floor is a hardy vinyl and has been great for years.

To organize the millions of things I use I employ the transparent drawer units. I know they are not super sexy but they do a great job & they are on wheels. They sit under the tables and still give room to sit at the table on a stool.

In my college days we alway had drafting tables with stools so we could stand or sit to work; that is ideal rather than constantly hoisting myself out of a low chair (my knee thanks me)

Huge Table Real Estate:

Call me crazy, but I get super excited when I see such a clean large table waiting for wonderful new creation to take place! The sky’s the limit!

I have collected the suitcases for years. Recently I needed to refresh my memory of what is in each so I made small tags to identify them. They are project supplies for things like mitten-making, slipper-making, stitchery; things I don’t need close at hand. My drawer units have many small things for making purses, zippers, various paint types, sculpting tools, gold leaf, glitter and resin, inks, glues & tape, tools, and the list goes on…

The clear containers are my dried and pressed leaves for eco printing. They are sorted by specie and only need a quick soak to be ready to use. They are like my ‘money in the bank’ and give me joy…

Thread Envy:

I built small shelves decades ago to house the toy cars for my sons room. They are made with thin tongue&groove boards which worked out perfectly for the rainbow of thread colours.

It’s always important to have a good chair. This is the Breva, the exact same model they use in the college. The ring for your feet makes all the difference!

On a small side note; having a small vacuum is really beneficial I find. I love my cord free handheld Dyson

Quick access:

There are some items that artist and crafters need all the time! I like to put those in a cart that wheels wherever I am. I tend to add extra things and need to clean it out often. If you put some rare-earth magnets on the side then you can easily grab-and-go those important tools.

It may look a bit odd to you but everyone has their own idea what they like. If you can make a space for yourself, it can be as functional and pretty as you like. When I am in love with my space I feel much more creative and free from that frustration of mess, maybe it’s OCD but I know it affects my creativity. Let me know your secrets for a great space!

Thanks for coming and seeing mine! I’m pretty sure it’s true – ‘if you have a nice space you are more likely to keep it nice’.

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  1. This made me smile. I’d taken a pause from my own organizing adventure and decided to visit your site. Perfect inspiration and encouragement to take on my button stash that contains treasures from four generations.

    I’ve found that taking a picture of the suitcase and then it’s contents to be useful. They still have their labels (luggage tags that I crafted to match) but it’s so quick to have a quick visual scan for me so I don’t have to rearrange them to find that one elusive item that I’m certain is is one of them. It’s a gift to my mature memory.

    Delighted and basking in the warmth of your space, thank you for sharing.

    1. That sounds great! I was thinking of doing that… but I already have so many pictures that my hard drives are bursting at the seams and finding pictures is almost like buttons… Yes visual is the best! Mature memories are well earned! Thanks for visiting!

  2. Hi, Barb. I like storage with a “history”, too. When I was in college (lo, these many years ago), I worked in a print shop to help pay my tuition. I set a lot of type by hand. I wish I had all that type, now! Imagine how delighted I was when I found one of those old type drawers. I treasured it “just because” and was certain that it would be worth being made fun of for my “hoarding”. It wasn’t even in perfect condition. Well, I have always had a problem with my water color tubes. If I store them flat, when I open the tubes, precious paint gushes out. I don’t want to waste a drop. Now, I set my print case up against the wall and store each tube upright with their labels clearly visible. They fit perfectly, and the larger spaces hold my mediums. Attaching metal clips to the thin crosspieces holds my watercolor brushes upright, poked through the clips’ handles. My little shelves even have room for a tiny rabbit statue and two bottles of perfume. The paint is for my creative side; the type drawer for my college days; the bunny is for my farm in the Ozarks hill country where we raised rabbits; and the perfume is for Oooooo la laaaaa – who doesn’t need a little of that? Room for 71 tubes of paint and 12 bottles of watercolor medium – and pretty as a picture.

    1. Oh! I have drooled at those quite often! That sounds so wonderful! I can imagine that looking at it and it’s little momentoes are extra special. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for all the ideas and tips, because I am currently working on getting organized. This post is very encouraging and helpful. I have a lot to do, and I know it will take a long time to get there. Thanks for sharing
    Happy 2022

  4. I just did some room switching, so workshop (just a small room) got moved. I have one of those lovely sexy plastic drawer units, it works! And like you, I gravitate towards nature. I feel like a 6 year old….I can’t go on a walk without coming home with leaves, rocks, and on ocean front strolls seashells, driftwood and rusty spikes and such. The leaves go into the eco dyeing and the shells and driftwood make it into artwork. How do people live without a workshop or without creating?!! Love to follow you, such an inspiration! Thanks Barb!

    1. Oh, I know that all too well too! Next time I were the jacket I wonder what the heck is in the pocket?! All kinds of treasures are found. In this day & age, it’s much better than buying so much plastic stuff. If not for my ‘making’ I’d prob be in therapy!

  5. I didn’t think through how I use my supplies so when I saw bundles of 12” x 12” fabric boxes, I bought several in beautiful colors. I was smart enough to buy the right wire shelving to hold them. Now I realize what I needed was what you have, clear drawers, at least some on wheels. Looking at your beautiful room, realizing that my 35’ x 15’ space could be like that, I’ve decided to sell what I have and use the money to buy what I need. Wish me luck, please.

    1. It’s been quite a while working at that table and I’m still happy with it. You need to decide if you want standing comfort or sitting, as getting onto stool could be aggravating if you sit a lot. Funny thing is even though it is 4 feet by 8 feet it is often still full of supplies and working project! Those clear drawers are not that pretty but they are really handy under the table and versatile. Drawers can often also slide out to take the whole thing to the table. Good luck!