Slow(est) Work

I think there comes a time in a person’s life where they begin to question their reason for doing something, e.g. a career, following a movement, purpose of life.   Sewing and I have had this relationship for a long time.   I know where I want to go with it, but trying to work out the time for it all is a challenge.  It’s slow work!  For me, it’s a frustratingly long process for every stage in the project: the deciding, the cutting, the fitting, the washing and ironing, and the actual construction.  I regularly visit other sewing blogs and it seems they are cranking out these projects like a factory.  I just want to get something done and I want it done NOW.  Yes, friends, I am a product of my generation! 

Instant gratification.

I want it now.


I need it now. 

I gotta have it. 

Umm, why is this taking so long? 

This isn’t done already? 





Drive-thru sewing. 

Well, I had to (have to) take a step back from that, ignore the blogs, re-learn, and constantly remind myself that in my world sewing (and everything else in life) takes time.  I also have responsibilities and other interests that bring me pleasure, Really, what’s my hurry anyway?  It’s not a competition. 

Despite the slow work of sewing, I managed to finish a couple of projects: a skirt (will be posted later) and two craft baskets to organize my out of control pattern collection.  I’m working on a third that you can see in the background.



Colorful fabric from the stash is put to use in Kwik Sew #107.   I’ll be making them until each of those patterns has a basket home.



Of course, I could buy boxes or baskets and it would certainly speed up the organization process, but what would be the fun in that? 


Slow(est) Work

Craft Book Catalog Complete

So I’ve finished cataloging all of my craft books, a task made much easier using a bar code scanner on my phone.  I love that I didn’t have to spend too much time doing it.  Of the knitting and crochet materials I have there were only three I couldn’t find in the ravelry database:

Stoles and Shrugs

Knit it! Felt it!

Mon Tricot Baby Knitting

What’s nice is that instead of opening a zillion magazines and books looking for something to knit I can do a search right in ravelry to see what’s available.  Check out the full list here and feel free to share a link yours!  What’s one of your favorites in your craft book library?



Ribbon in the Sky and Everywhere Else

I had to do SOMETHING about this.


I purchased this I.KEA cabinet (luv it!) so that I could store all my embellishments that I use for scrapbooking, a hobby I don’t indulge in at all anymore.  It houses cross-stitch supplies, office crap, sewing notions, stamps, ribbon, zippers, you name it!

Well, every time I opened the ribbon/zipper drawer I had to deal with THIS:


Tons of little bags of ribbon popping out all over the place when all I want is a zipper, man!

With some old business cards of very sturdy card stock, I did a little “organizing” to make it neater and easier to get to the zippers (that you still can’t see).  It’s not perfect, but it solves the problem.


Back to sewing!


Ribbon in the Sky and Everywhere Else

Studio Redux

I have been a very naughty girl. 😦

I have let my studio turn to crap. I know, 40 lashes with a wet noodle.

Below is a collage of what you see when you walk into my Studio. That thing with the purple case on it? Yeah, that USED to be my lovely, lovely island.

Forgive me, I didn’t want this to be a photo-intensive post, so I made a collage in Picasa.  However, I wanted the collage to have the ability to blow up each picture, when clicked on, for a larger view.  I don’t think it does that and I haven’t figured out how to do it.  Sorry.  😦

Studio Collage by bluedragonwillow
Studio Collage, a photo by bluedragonwillow on Flickr.

Working from left to right, top to bottom:

First pic:  What you see as you first come into the Studio.  You can see my sewing machine in the background (it’s the brown mess with the TV on it).

Second pic:  The “Cutting Station” (to the left of the entry door). This is SUPPOSED to be where I store my Cricut, trimmers, etc. Yeah, it hasn’t quite gotten that far yet.

Third pic:  The top of my Island (which I can NEVER seem to keep clear) and in the background, my “office” area.  You can’t see the desk, but that’s probably a good thing.

Fourth pic:  Island Cubbies.  See, the original intent was to have them all nice and neatly filled with paper, embellishments and albums.  Well, my paper organizers didn’t fit into the cubbies and I did a whole “stash and dash” thing to get other crap out of sight!

Fifth pic:  Back corner.  You can barely see the closet door in the back right.  That closet, currently, is the bane of my existence.  It’s a long (runs the length of the “Paper Wall”), reach-in closet that is to serve two purposes; store office/school supplies, and craft supplies that aren’t “every day”  Right now?  It holds crap.  A children’s table & chairs set (in pieces), leftovers from my aunt’s “estate”, all kinds of other crap.  It’s driving me nuts!

Sixth pic:  My Jewelry Cabinet.  Yep, I make jewelry from the stuff that I cram in there.  It’s amazing I find anything.

Seventh pic:  What you see as you look into the closet.  See those shelves?  Yeah, I thought they were awesome at first too.  Seriously, not so much.  Flimsy and not very functional.  But I have a plan… 😉

Eighth pic:  More closet.  To show you that it goes back.  That’s not even a full shot.  Too embarassed to show that mess.

Ninth pic:  The Paper Wall.  All that paper was supposed to fit in the Island Cubbies.  But, of course, those Crop-in-Style organizers don’t FIT in the %&$* cubbies.  Hence, the wall.

Tenth pic:  The entrance door.  Yeah, that’s a paper bag elephant my son made in like 2nd grade.  He’s currently in 7th.  I think I need to upgrade my “display”.

Eleventh pic:  Close up of my sewing machine.  It needs a little love.  Built in the  60s, it’s not very “pretty” and the drawers are all wonky (not to mention some hardware is missing).  I’m debating about trying to paint it.  Still on the fence.

Twelfth pic:  Close up of my “desk”.  It’s actually a French Provincial Vanity that my aunt gave to my sister, who then gave it to me.  I *heart* it.  I’ve had to strip the paint off of it (it was chipping and I’m pretty sure it was lead-based).  I loved the “shabby chic” finish it wound up with, so decided to leave it, rather than paint.  I should have put some sealer on it, because it’s a little stained from cups and such.  But I plan to “clean” it again and definitely seal it.  Can’t decide whether to leave it, stain it or paint it.  Hopefully something will come to me.  It has a matching chair, but it needs some love too.  I had originally stripped it and stained it, but the stain wasn’t very even (or pretty).  I’m trying to figure out how (IF!) I can remove the stain.  Cross your fingers for me

And there you have it, my NIGHTMARE of a Studio.  Stay tuned to see what I have planned for the space (and what I actually accomplish)


Studio Redux

Studio Redo (part 1)

We had some cold, wet weather this weekend and it forced me to stay inside (if you knew me, you’d realize that’s an incredibly funny statement…)

For some reason, I decided it would be the perfect time to rearrange and reorganize my studio!  You can see previous versions of this FUN (ha!) HERE.

(side note:  I blew out my back a few weeks ago and still have trouble moving, sitting, standing at times.  I am a *complete* idiot).

I started by tricking and then locking all the cats into the basement.  That way, I could leave the studio door open and not trip over the cats as I emptied 90% of the room to the living room (again!).

After the little stuff was out, I unscrewed the countertops from one another and removed them.  Then moved the EXPEDIT bookcases to make a base for a large island in the middle of the room.  Once that was in place, I brought the old vanity (that I’ve been using as a desk for like 100 years now) into the back right corner.  Moved my sewing machine from the entrance wall to the opposide end of the computer wall).  Put the countertop back onto the new island and then smartly snapped a pic (before everything could get all messed up again).  😉

Studio before organization started

Since that pic, I have moved the white drawer unit (under the left window) to the left of the sewing machine (that’s the “desk”-like piece the TV is on).  The little white drawer units (FIRA from IKEA; discontinued) to the remaining EXPEDIT on the left (you can barely see it to the left of the island).  Printer has been moved to the right of the desk (back corner, between the windows).

I then proceeded to bring everything back into the Studio that *should* live there.  It’s not all organized, but the plan is to organize, one box at a time, until it’s all done.  The cubbies on the side of the island toward the computer and sewing machine will hold office supplies and some files.  The side facing the Studio door (that you can see) will hold scrapbooking/craft supplies.  The other EXPEDIT cubbies will hold tools and other crafting supplies.  There is a closet that will hold over-flow (hopefully neatly!)
And there you have it, how I spent my snowy Saturday.  (seriously, I spent 12 HOURS on this room that day).  And miraculously, I didn’t hurt myself.
Studio Redo (part 1)

More Studio Snippets

I worked on my Studio this weekend (when I wasn’t bailing out my flooding basement!)

I have these FIRA units from IKEA.  I love them, but they’re pretty plain.  So, I painted them (a few years ago).  Still too plain.

I had seen some embellished units on Pinterest, so I figured I would do the same!

So, they went from this:

To this:
And finally, to this:
I’d like to eventually Mod Podge them within inches of their lives and maybe add a drawer pull, but for now, this makes me happy.  🙂
My OCD is having a few issues with the un-level-ness of some of the fronts, the creative covering of the long drawer, and that I screwed up with one set of the stripes (one is vertical), but I’m going to tell myself, “part of the charm is from the flaws” and leave it alone.
I *still* have a LOT to do in here and a lot to fit in here, but it’s slowly progressing, so I’m happy 🙂
More Studio Snippets

Studio Progress

You’ve heard me whine about how my craft room/office is a mess and I can’t work in it and that I’m still straddling two different areas.  Well, this passed weekend, I decided to stop whining and start doing.

I started by emptying my basement (the “old” craft room) and carrying everything upstairs.  My living room now looks like this…

When I got bored (or annoyed) with carrying stuff up, I staged the studio (that’s my new name…I like it better than Craft Room/Office 😉 ) So, basically, I made a mess in there too, see…

But moving stuff around like that, in the room, allowed me space to have a war with myself over the layout of my work surfaces.  Couldn’t decide between “L-shaped” or “T-shaped”…

I ultimately went with “L-shaped” with the reasoning that all my cricut and gluing paraphinalia could live on the “L” portion and I can set up a folding table (or my dining room table, when I get a new one) in the open space for more work surface.  The far right end will be the “office” portion (with the computer and the printer and schedules and such).

Look, I hung a shelf too!  (actually, I hung two shelves, one on each side of the window, but I didn’t feel like taking two pictures, so you will just have to believe me).

AND, just to prove that I did some actual crafting too, here’s a picture of a layout (no pictures, yet) that I did Saturday night.  It’s from Lickety Split (bought it at CKC).  It’s festive, without being childish or girly, which is perfect for my Almost-Teenage Boy.  🙂

Stay tuned for more updates (as I actually DO some work…)


Studio Progress

Knitting Needle Organization

The Before: 

All of my knitting needles were organized (and I use that word loosely) in a box top that fit perfectly in one of the cubbies of my Ikea Expedit Bookcase.  They were all in one place, which was good, but I had to sort through a bunch of individual packages to find the needle I wanted, which was bad.  I needed a better system mainly because I wanted it to look a little nicer and free up some of that space in the bookshelf.

So I got the great idea that I wanted to store my needles in a binder.  I went searching for something I could buy and I came across this cool product called the Namaste Knitting Binder Case and I got excited!  Unfortunately, I found out that the case and the binder pages were discontinued.  And I guess that is a good thing because I really do NOT need another bag, much less a knitting bag, at this time.

SO, thus began the process of creating my own binder for needle storage.  It works for me for right now and I hope it works for me forever more because I’d like to spend less time sorting, organizing, and buying products and MORE time on the fun stuff! 

Last thing to do for this project is to create some sort of storage page for the shorter knitting needles possibly out of fabric scraps I own.

Hope you enjoy!


The After:

3" Binder
Insert to hold sock needles, S hook, and a few notions
Circular needles in plastic photo sleeves


Binder page opened
More hooks and Knitpicks Needle Tips
Velcro attatched Knitpicks Cables
Knitting Needle Organization

Craft Room

I was trying to wait until I had pictures to go with this entry, but it’s taking me forever to actually take the pictures, so I’m going to go ahead without them…

I am currently turning an old bedroom into my craft room/office.  I am UBER excited.  🙂 

It took me a while to come up with the paint scheme.  I knew I wanted blue, but picking the shade took some doing.  I finally narrowed it down to a sky blue.  Blue is my favorite color and makes me happy.  Two requirements for a room where creativity will happen 😉

I finished painting the window/door trims last night.  They are white (because I like the contrast and white is easy to use to tie in all the rooms).  I will tape the windows, doors, ceiling and baseboards tonight and hopefully begin painting shortly. 

I’m going to paint a 4’x6′ chalkboard on one wall.  I’m still debating about painting some magnetic paint under the chalkboard.  It’s expensive and I’ve read mixed reviews on it.  The pervasive thing seems to be you need to use STRONG magnets in order for it to hold papers.  A few years ago, this would have been an issue, but my son is 12, I think he knows better than to try to put a magnet in his mouth and swallow (at least, I HOPE he does).

I was going to re-use the desk I’d made a few years ago, but it’s had some “accidents” in the last few months…animal-induced accidents :-/  So, now I’m going to make a desk from countertops and IKEA Expedit bookcases.  The bookcases will be perfect for holding 12 x 12 scrapbooking paper as well as providing ample storage for other items. 

This room has a closet, so it will be a good place for office supplies as well as fabric 🙂

The room used to be my aunt’s.  She had been using a hospital bed for the last few years (before she passed).  I was going to give it away, but apparently, no one wants it.  So, I’ve decided to turn it into a daybed.  It will provide extra seating as well as a place for guests to stay.  (no worries, my aunt died in a hospital, not that bed).

It will be nice to have a room with ample natural light, all my craft supplies out (or stored) in one place and a DOOR to keep the animals from ruining my creations!  🙂

Keep watching this space to see updates!


Craft Room