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.

IMG_0051

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?

IMG_0053

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!

Advertisements

New Toys For Christmas

Now that the hubbub of the holiday season is behind us, it’s time to get back in the swing of things and start writing and creating on the regular again. I haven’t done much writing, but I have been creating because Santa (my hubby) was really good to me this year. I got new tools! I know that some girls would think tools are a terrible gift, but I couldn’t be happier.

The two most exciting items are a set of wood carving knives and my wood burning pen.

img_8121

I have been wanting to experiment with these two mediums for a while, so I’m super pumped to finally have the opportunity. I haven’t done much yet, just a little playing around with some of my own designs and very basic techniques, but I’m looking forward to learning and growing this new skill set.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress. I also have some other projects in the works that I’m pretty excited about and I can’t wait to share them with you as well.

Keep creating!

Sew Proud

I am currently on a cross country adventure, but I thought I’d quickly share a project I finished before I hit the road. I’m not a seamstress. This will not be a sewing tutorial; you do not want to learn how to sew from me! That being said, I’m pretty proud of this finished product.

I bought an IKEA kids table and chair set for my granddaughter for Christmas and I wanted to make it just a little special. I decided to make cushions for the chairs.

I bought my fabric and foam cushions at Hobby Lobby for about twelve dollars. I bought extra fabric for another project that I will finish and post when I return home.

I bought these supplies quite awhile ago and didn’t get started because I had an idea but no actual plan. My hand was finally forced because I ran out of time. After some head scratching and rethinking of my idea, I decided to just keep it simple. I basically made snug fitting pillow cases and sewed the cushions into them. I also made some ties out of the same fabric and sewed them into the seam and then zigzag stitched over them for extra strength.

When I was finished I felt like they need a little something so I raided my daughters button stash and gave them a bolstered appearance.

They are definitely not perfect and a more skilled seamstress could have done a much better job, but I think they are cute and my three year old granddaughter will love them. I can’t wait to see them on the chairs.

I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season and feeding your creativity.

Keep crafting and keep warm!

Christmas Tree Farm Sign

I am very fond of the current farmhouse decor trend, especially all the Christmas stuff. (I mean I do live in a farmhouse, so…) I have seen vintage inspired tree farm signs EVERYWHERE and I decided I wanted to make one of my own so I could personalize it. And, as we all know, I am a cheapskate so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on this project.

I scored a big time find at Goodwill recently and I decided it would be perfect for my sign. It’s a fairly large oval embroidery hoop that I picked up for $3.99. I also found a large round one and I bought that one too. I had a canvas drop cloth that I purchased last year but never used, so I cut pieces out of that to stretch in the hoops.

 

Once I had the fabric nice and tight, I broke out my handy dandy overhead projector. (another awesome Goodwill find) and lightly traced on my designs with a pencil. after that I set up shop at the dining room table with my craft paints and brushes.

IMG_7337

It was a bit of a time consuming project, and it’s not my prettiest work, but overall I am pleased with the rustic charm of the end result.

 

On to the next project!

Green Thumb

I’ve been working on a couple of thrift store finds that I’m quite excited about. I’m turning two candle holders into plant holders…plant art…plant sculpture? I’m not sure what to call them, but I’m pretty happy with the end result.

The first one is a wall mounted piece that cost me about three dollars.  It has the little spikey things in the bottom of each circle that is supposed to hold a candle. I thought about trying to cut them out, but since I used pots with drain holes in the bottom, they don’t pose a problem and I left them as is. I painted the candle holder with some copper spray paint I had left over from my daughter’s wedding. (She did copper before it was “in” and I had to spray paint some of the decor; she’s always been on the cutting edge of cool) The pots are just inexpensive terra cotta pots that I picked up for eighty cents apiece at the home improvement store.  I painted them with the white latex paint that I always have around the house. When the pots are in place, they tip forward just a bit; not enough to fall out, but I secured them to the frame with some copper wire just to be sure.

The second one is a table top candle holder. It was also about 3 dollars and it did not have spikey bits. (Yay!) I sprayed it with off-white paint that I had from another project. I should mention that I sealed both candle holders with a matte clear coat. These pots are also from the home improvement store.  The bottoms of them are painted with some gray “oops” paint that I bought at Menard’s for fifty cents. ( I always head back to the paint department when I’m there, I’ve found some really great colors) The rim of the pots were painted with some craft paint that I also had left over from the wedding. I thought about adding some highlights on the stand, but I really like the simplicity of it so I’m going to leave it as is.

 

Now that these items are done, I’ll be working on a small shelving unit and a couple of projects with burlap coffee bean bags. I’m also in the process of reorganizing my shop, so I’m keeping busy but look for another post soon!

Feeling inspired 

Life has been busy. I started a new job and am studying for certification exams; it hasn’t left much time for creating or writing. But today I got inspired. My daughter got married in May and like most newlyweds, she doesn’t have many Christmas decorations and she loves Christmas…so I made her some.


The letters on the Noel picture are cork and they are from the banner that was hanging at her high school graduation open house. The candle holder is from her wedding. 


It was fun getting my hands “dirty” . I hope the inspiration keeps coming!