'Hello! What's occurring here?!' you may well be asking. Well, I'm in the midst of a major overhaul of my thread storage. I'd come to the point where I was really outgrowing my old system and my needs were changing somewhat too, so it was time to begin a rethink and, as a result of those cogitations, a rework of my set up. This first shot shows my desk as I was experimenting with how many boxes of Mill Hill beads etc, I could get into a 0.3 litre Really Useful Box (RUB).
This second picture shows my new RUB organiser unit (which I'd been drooling over for years!) with five extra 0.3l RUBs and two 0.2l ones nearby. You can also see in the centre right of the photo, that I bought a brown, six tube papier maché storage for pencils etc and had put some of my watercolours in it by this point. I plan to fill up the other four tubes with various pencils etc, but haven't decided on which as yet. Each tube holds about 36 art pencils, (more like 30 for comfort and 'movement'), so there are lots of possibilities. I considered emptying the four Derwent boxes of 24 I had into the tubes and padding them out with others, but I'm not sure that is what I want and need to have at hand. I'll come back to that later on. Threads first....
Here are all of the RUB boxes filled and shelved. The order in the display isn't final as yet as I need to think about what I need nearest to hand and, at this point, the organiser is awaiting Sir's ministrations (i.e. fastening it to the wall for safety), so having the time to think it over is helpful as all the RUBs will have to come out/off for the DIY bit. There are a total of 23 RUBs here, nine filled with metallic spools (mostly Kreinik, but also some Coats, DMC and Madeira reels), five with sewing threads, Bobbinfil and other haberdashery items, five with beads, and one each with ribbon bobbins, reels of machine embroidery rayon, the old Kreinik Soie Perlé silks on their regular spools and buttons/trims/charms. The last two are in the smaller, 0.2 litre RUBs.
In this fourth shot you can see the current state of the older, small four-drawer tower. Basically, I've emptied the original contents of most of the top two drawers into the RUB organiser and the fabric colouring things have been relocated into a 3 litre RUB which you can just see if you look under the desk, bottom centre in the first photo. The craft things in the bottom drawer will be moving into some of the boxes in my old blue craft tote workbox (from which the beads and some other things have been moved out). The remaining reels of sewing thread have also been moved into a new box for now and the third drawer is currently a resting point for some of the threads that will eventually be housed properly in these drawers, such as coton à broder #16 and #25, skeins of DMC and Anchor metallic threads and, later probably, things like Marlitt and some or all of the Anchor pearl cottons. I can't quite decide what's going where yet.
On top of these drawers you can see the box of Pipers Silks I've had for a while, whilst behind is another buy from Hobbycraft this last week in the shape of an art caddy box. It was £5 and I confess to have been considering it for a while, so whilst in the holiday mood during a day out in Hull on Tuesday, I bought both this and the store tubes. In the fifth and final picture, you can see how I've arranged my art materials in the caddy, with Winsor and Newton watercolour tubes in the top cantilever section, W&N gouache paints and Reeves acrylics in the lower cantilever, and watercolour pan palettes and my box of W&N half pastel sticks along with some paint brushes. Thanks to clearing these out of the drawer they used to be in, I've been able to store my fabric dye box and all my mixing palettes (and my spare specs which used to sit on top of the drawer tower) where many of these paints used to live.
I decided to go ahead with my idea for reorganising my stranded cottons, especially as one reader detailed her solution as being essentially the same and working well for her (thanks, Elaine!). However, I can't do it for a while as I really need to have all the threads 'back home' in storage and there are a few dozen 'out on location' (i.e. in WIP project bags) just now. Once one picture is done and the other well enough in progress to make it less troublesome to deal with the needed threads, I'll get to that. Thankfully, that part of my thread collection is independent of the rest and is OK for the time being. Having said that, I got 35 new DMC threads the other day (I can heartily recommend this UK e-bay seller and her prices, esp. as, once you've bought skeins from her once, she offers further discounts for repeat customers) and so it's certainly getting to be a need to reorganise there too.
So, that's one of the things that have been keeping me a bit too busy to stitch or blog much. Although it's a big job, it's coming along nicely and is rather enjoyable work.=)
Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2014