It’s only taken two years, but I finally have an office space/craft room.
There are no before pictures, but you can take my word that it was a mess. Three moves in three years left me lacking motivation. Plus, there was that nagging thought, “Are we really staying put here?”
That question was settled shortly after our landlords asked us if we wanted to buy the house. Our first response was “no!” Fixing up a very old house seemed daunting … BUT not as daunting as moving AGAIN. So we changed our minds and here we are, making things truly our own. I should clarify, that for the moment, making things our own is not anything like a “Chip & Joanna Makeover”. I’m talking about pulling things out of boxes and using what I have to create a fun, usable space. Chip & Joanna we are not. Nor is this a Pinterest-worthy craft room … I didn’t paint any furniture, build any cabinets or make anything match. Like I said, I just organized what I had.
Two things in particular have inspired me to organize my “creating space” where, next to my garden, I spend most of my time when at home. (Notice that I did not say that most of my time is in the kitchen. My Guy, sadly, will vouch for that.)
The first inspiration? Leftover glass jars from a yard sale last year. We helped a friend sell decades worth of possessions. Among the junk were boxes and boxes of canning jars, but after watching 3 or 4 boxes quickly walk away, we must of hit the saturation point with those who like to can in our community. Suddenly they were the most ignored item at the sale. Feeling bad about the possibility of sending the jars to a thrift store (but not bad enough to start canning myself), I decided that I might just need them after all. So while some would see them well suited for green bean or peaches, I have filled my jars with buttons.
Having them out and organized … well, sort of organized … is meant to inspire me to keep on creating. This is probably weird, but I love to just sit in my desk chair and look at them. Makes me happy for some completely unknown reason.
Second inspiration was a shelf.
The shelf was among Mom’s possessions. We lost Mom to illness this year and have been sorting through her things as she left instructions for us to do so.
I think it was the shelf that used to be under the kitchen window on the back porch of my childhood home, although it looked different somehow. A cheerful spot on the porch, it was sad and cast off in the corner of the dark storage room, weighted down with neglect and dust. Like a whimpering puppy in the pet shop window, it begged me to make it useful, and I’m quite pleased with the results.
The shelf is cheerful again; the keeper of some of my favorite things, like the button-filled-jars. What you see in the pictures is just the tip of the iceberg. I started collecting buttons as a kid. “Everybody needs at least one thing they collect,” Mom always said. My one big jar of buttons was forgotten when I went off to college, but Mom kept collecting for me. The results are rather overwhelming, but have led me to creating button magnets and button pictures … mostly Christmas trees and cows (you can hunt for a partially visible cow in one of the pictures … the trees are out right now). And I’ve tried my hand at something off the cuff like the owl below.
This whole space has become about favorite things; things that inspire me to write or to craft or just to be thankful. It’s a jumble really … but now, a much more organized jumble of things like …
Family photos. There are couple of doozies of My Guy, discovered when our daughter invaded his selfies folder on his phone. It was for a good cause though, as he had taken quite ill and was in a comma for several days. She “threatened” to post one of his goofy selfies each day that he didn’t wake up until he came back to us. Thankfully, I think he heard her! When I get stuck on a project, whether writing or crafting, I push back my chair and look into the faces of people who have shaped my life and find new vigor.
Journals. Journal writing started in 3rd or 4th grade. It has been very sporadic over the years but has resulted in a big box of musings. What will I do with them? I have no I idea … I hardly ever look inside of them. But somehow they made it into “favorite things” category.
Books. Among my favorite authors are Jan Karon, Ray Bradbury, O. Henry, Beverly Clearly (as in Romana the Pest), C.S. Lewis, and books about Abraham Lincoln. That’s an odd assortment, right?
Cookbooks. They should probably be in the kitchen, but that would be for someone who actually cooks. I look. I don’t cook (much). Think that has been well established in this post.
Scrapbook papers. I don’t even keep scrapbooks any more, but it feels neglectful to walk past one of the $5 sales at Michaels and not bring home a new collection of beautiful papers. Part of the magic of this room is having things on hand should inspiration strike.
Stacks of my photos, They represent more and future projects … some of which I hope to frame and several which will become greeting cards. I used to do that in the past and am finally coming around to time with the camera again.
Paints. Kind of falls into the scrap book paper category.
Baskets. Do I need to explain why I love baskets?
My dad’s journals. What a treasure trove they have been.
Old family letters. Old … like my mom and dad’s generation … when people actually wrote to each other … when long distance calling was only for emergencies and texting not even dreamed of.
Paper clips and scissors … must haves in my life. I get huffy when all of my scissors “walk off” and feel panicked when low on paper clips. Like I said, must haves!
Lots of light …especially in the morning.
Do you have a “creator’s space?” What do you like best about it? Feel free to post a picture and share what you love about it.
Finally in full disclosure, I did not include the photo of the stack of school supplies and past lessons stacked five crates high and three crates wide behind the door. Oh well … progress is progress, even if there is more work to be done.