Appreciating Tight Spaces

My house is bursting at the seams. Currently we are sharing our living space with my daughter’s family, and that can make even a large farmhouse seem a bit small. Under normal circumstances it’s challenging to find a quiet space to craft, write or read and things just got even more difficult.

I have a small room on the main floor that is my dedicated craft room/office/library, but it’s one of those spaces that is pretty worn and dated, it’s not laid out well and needless to say, it’s a tad bit crowded. It definitely isn’t a space that I would say nurtures my creativity. It needs a little love and a little life breathed back into it, so it’s time to freshen it up a bit. Which means I need to empty the entire room. I cannot even explain how much stuff I have managed to cram into that little room and the thought of getting EVERYTHING out of there is a bit overwhelming (insert all the pouting/crying emojis here).

I began the process of clearing out the space this past week. Since it’s starting to warm up (well supposedly…it’s currently snowing), I’m boxing up all my craft supplies and tools and taking them out to my workshop in the barn. I think it will be nice to have everything in one place; it’s too bad I can’t leave it all out there year round. The barn gets too darn cold. Also, I am not very inclined to be in the workshop in the winter because it can be downright miserable even with the heat on, but I digress. I have also relocated my office and a microscopic portion of my library to my bedroom. At first, I was very annoyed and unhappy about trying to squeeze more stuff into my room, but now I’m starting to think I may just keep it this way.

I have downsized my desk. I usually use an old kitchen table because I like to spread out, but there was no way I was going to get that into my room. Now I’m using an old mission style library table that’s been kicking around the house for the past 26 years. I had to reduce the stuff I have on the desk, but I have the essentials, so I guess I really don’t need the big table after all. My printer is tucked under the desk, it’s still easy to reach and I actually like having it hidden away down there. I also brought up my armchair and footstool, along with about a dozen or so of my favorite books. Now, in the morning,  I grab a cup of coffee and head up to my little hideaway to read instead of sitting in the living room among all the commotion of family life.


My cozy little corner.

I used to love being in my room when I was young. I would spend hours in there reading, writing, listening to music and anything else I felt like doing. It seems kind of silly to me that I forgot how nice it could be.

My bedroom is about as far away from the hubbub as I can get. So, while at first I was feeling pretty grumpy about squeezing one more use out of my bedroom, I am now appreciating the opportunity to have a little peace and quiet during the day.

I’m sure I will be spending a lot more time planning, dreaming and writing in this space. I imagine that being up here is also going provide some fresh perspective and inspiration, at least I hope it does. I don’t even care how long it takes to finish the project downstairs. From where I sit, everything is working out just fine in my tight space. Plus, I have a fabulous view of my barn and trees so how can I complain?


Oh yeah, I moved my banjo upstairs too. Now maybe I can practice without assaulting my family’s ears!

Did I mention that I’m also painting my living room and stairway next weekend? I know, I know, I sound like I’ve finally lost my mind, but the kids are visiting with my son-in-laws family for a few days. It’s an extremely rare opportunity to have a child-free zone to work in. I love that little granddaughter of mine, but I just know that I couldn’t handle all of the “help” she would want to give me.

After writing down all of the commotion that’s going on around here, I think I’m really going to appreciate retreating to this tight space!


Planning & Dreaming & Learning, Oh My!

Lately, I have been focusing on planning and product design and have not done very much making. I enjoy all of the facets of the creative process and embrace the importance of each; but the hands on actual making is my favorite part and I think I may be going through withdrawals. (Maybe I should break out some craft supplies this afternoon and scratch the itch a little.)

Currently,  my inspiration is coming from mid-century modern design and nature. Weird combination, right? I love the clean lines, vivid colors and graphic designs of mid-century modern but I also love the textures, shapes and ruggedness of the great outdoors. (My idea of the perfect vacation would be a camping trip in a vintage Airstream travel trailer) So while my current interests seem to be somewhat at odds with each other, I’m determined to find a way to marry the two. I’ll keep you posted on the success and/or failure of this endeavor.

I’ve also been practicing my pyrography and wood carving skills. It’s challenging and a bit frustrating to produce items that aren’t what I consider beautiful. I am not what you would call a patient learner, but I’m improving so I just need to stick with it. Eventually, I will like what I am producing…I hope!


Mid-century modern, oh how I love you!

That’s a quick and pretty unexciting update of what I’m working on right now. I hope to have some actual projects to show you soon.

What have all my creative friends been up to lately? What’s inspiring you right now?

My Workshop

I’ve been spending some time out in the barn this fall getting my workshop set up. (So has my loving husband. I’m so glad he puts up with my shenanigans!)  I’ve had a shop out there for a while but it wasn’t set up to my liking; I was just using it as is and there were things being stored in the space that really didn’t belong there and they took up a lot of my space. Junk was cleared, workbenches were relocated and supplies were reorganized. I super happy with the end result and I can’t wait to spend some serious time out there making things!


Now that it’s getting colder, I wanted to have a way to heat the shop, but it’s a pretty big room in a drafty old barn so I needed to get a little creative. The shop has a ceiling mounted heater and I have hung some moving blankets across the center of the room to temporarily create a smaller space to heat during the winter months. I picked up the blankets at Harbor Freight and I hung them from nails using medium sized binder clips. It’s working out pretty well and I’m glad that I can now use the space year round.

Speaking of using my shop…I better get out there and make something to blog about!