Welcome both to the Where Bloggers Create Party 2016 (the annual link party where numerous creative bloggers give you a virtual tour of their workspaces and stash stores), and also to my 'compact and bijoux' (anyone else remember that ad??) little home and workspace!
I don't have a studio to work in. Since we moved back to Leeds in February of this year, I don't even have my own room anymore. Thankfully, I decluttered an enormous amount of surplus belongings, especially books, so we were able to fit into this new home. (If anyone's interested in my on-going downscaling of stuff, see my lifestyle blog Fluffy Little Idiot.)
The room I work in is a 3-in-1 of lounge, dining room and my study. Here you can see my desk area. Let's zoom in for a close up or two....
At the back of the desk I have this little, untreated wooden drawer set from Ikea. One of those things that I always meant to 'pretty up' and never got around to doing. On top is a reading lamp, a pot of Derwent Pastel Pencils, my computer glasses, lens cleaner, needlecase and snips, and a cute cupcake pincushion a new friend made for me. There's a six section pencil holder next to it with a variety of art pencils and Cotman watercolours (which I wish I could say I used regularly) and other assorted bumf. Then comes a Chinese dictionary I need whilst studying, a couple of diaries and my coaster.
Want to see inside the drawer set? Of course you do! Well, I would if I were in your room.... :)
The top left two drawers are just gadgets, cables and admin things, then we have pencils, highlighters, pens, tape, staplers, fixative and paper stationery as well as a quantity of language learning flashcards. I have a load more elsewhere. Too darned many! Another thing I need to reduce...
On the right hand side of the desk is this Really Useful Box organiser shelf doo-dah, with an extra nine RUBs on top. Here I store spools of metallic thread (mostly Kreinik), packs of needlework beads (mostly Mill Hill), sewing threads and notions, ribbons, buttons and some spools of rayon machine embroidery thread.
Next to that is my writing pen pot. As you can see, I like to use lots of different colours when studying, working, planning....
Why am I showing you the dining table? Well, this foreground chair is where I sit, not only to eat, but also to use the sewing machine, which you may be able to see on the floor against the far wall, bottom right.
I keep meaning to start making and selling miniature embroideries and textiles. One day. Maybe? Who knows? No-one seems to do miniature hardanger, so I could try that.
I don't really want a whole house actually. If I had one it would mean more stuff, more collecting, more this, more that. I'm a minimalist at heart, but it's hard to be one full on when you're into textiles!
Let's move on to the arts and crafts storage around the room and first up are my thread and fabric drawers, with another thread box (holding all my regular Anchor and DMC stranded cottons, plus all my Anchor #8 and #12 pearl cottons) on the left and the shelves on the right holding four files of magazines and other patterns (down from eight, yay!) and, below the crockery shelf, my needlework books, also reduced in number.
Here are all the treasures in the wooden effect threadbox:
Seriously, they are my treasures! I could part with pretty much everything else I own without much sorrow, but I would be really quite grieved to lose my needlework and art stash!
Along the shelves is some space for my box of Pipers Silks, some more art stuff and one of the boxes holds greetings card blanks. The brown box has other card making supplies in.
Downstairs in our entrance storage area I keep my main box of paints and regular pastels (i.e. not in pencil form) and a box of fabric and silk paints. They're kept here for three reasons: 1) They're away from the heating radiators and less likely to dry up; 2) There really isn't room for them upstairs, unless I start loading up the top of the bookshelves (too cluttered - stressful working environment!); and 3) I rarely use them and don't need them close to hand. It's not far to go if I need them any time.
Back upstairs in the main room again and it's time for a tour of the fabric and thread drawers:
There are also plain weave white, cream and black fabrics in this drawer.
Drawer two holds all the pretty coloured fabrics, most of which are fat quarters (silks towards the front of the row), and patchwork rolls. I don't do a lot of patchwork, but am getting a bit into using them for other things. To be honest, I'm really trying to run the contents of this series of drawers down as I've accumulated a lot of fabric and need no more for a l-o-n-g time!
There are also back ups of oft used threads (some of which are not so oft used and need to be e-bayed...), some dress patterns, cotton molds and about half a dozen embroidery kits, which I also want to use up and sell on as far as I can.
Drawer four, below, contains mostly fabric offcuts bought during my time in Taiwan a few years ago, including the plain, shiny fabrics you see here. (I also got all the patchwork rolls out there.) The other piece are fancy fabrics made in Yorkshire in one of the last remaining mills (at the time). My father used to have a 2nd/3rd floor (depending on how you count floors) workshop above the mill and sometimes got hold of offcuts for me to play with when I was about 11 or 12 years old. I still have some of them and keep trying to think of a use for them. Any ideas?? The mill has now been converted into homes, as have many in the area.
Onto more of my favourite art and crafts supplies - embroidery thread! This smaller four drawer set contains:
Drawer one: DMC Coton à Broder in 4 weights, DMC Light Effects, some skeins of Anchor metallics, organza ribbons, Superstitch 'invisible' thread (mostly used by my hubby to cut cake layers when he makes a Black Forest Gateau!!) and some oddments of Kreinik metallics from a couple of their 'Scrap Bags'.
Drawer two is mostly overdyed cotton threads - Gentle Arts Sampler Threads (GAST), Weeks Dye Works (WDW) and a few Six Strand Sweets (SSS - RIP!!) at the front, Anchor multi-colours and variegateds, some DMC Colour Variations, some Caron Collection threads and the entire 24 skein set of DMC linens, which I collected, but haven't used yet (and have since been pulled from their range) at the back of the drawer.
Drawer three is Anchor Coton à Broder # 25 at the front, #16 in the middle and #5 pearl cotton at the back.
Finally, drawer number four holds the whole set of Madeira stranded silks on the left and the whole range of Anchor Marlitt rayons on the right.
So that's it - tour complete! As you can see, my workspace is very functional and simple. I'm not into a lot of display items as I like to keep things as clear as I can under the circumstances and I find extra items cluttering and stressful. I prefer to work in a 'sense of creative calm', as Canadian minimalism YouTuber, Lia, so beautifully put it. I'm hoping to clear it up yet more in time, especially by completing some of the half worked projects and other tasks that show in some of the photos above. :)
I hope you've enjoyed your visit. Please leave a comment and say, "Hi", especially if this is your first visit here. I've been blogging for just over eleven years now, so there's plenty to see in the archives and pages (tabs below the header photos above). There a number of ways to follow including using the e-mail subscription widget in the sidebar or one of the reader 'add to' buttons.
Thanks for calling in and hope you'll visit again soon.
Where Bloggers Create is being hosted by Karen of My Desert Cottage. If you haven't come from my link on her blog, please click over to visit some of the other studios and workspaces hosting an open house this weekend.
Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2016