Friday, 15 July 2016

Where Bloggers Create Party 2016 - Welcome!


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 (this is where I used to work).  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 and goals blog.)

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....

Under my desk I keep various bags and an old thread storage container thingy (not shown), and this bag of hoops and frames.  Next to it is my folder of art papers and card, there's a roll of silk fabrics (protected with brown paper) behind it and another roll of completed needlework that needs mounting or otherwise housing.

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 love miniatures, but haven't room for a dollshouse, so I have some displays that I alternate every so often.  This one is my favourite and I plan to make a little scatter cushion for this lovely chaise longue at some point and perhaps a hardanger runner for the sideboard.

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:

The top of the bottom section holds all my counted thread work fabrics, all in bags according to type and with a label on showing how much I have of each colour and count etc.

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!

Drawer number three doesn't have much in the way of regular fabric in, although it does have 'helper' fabrics like interfacing, Bondaweb, Romeo soluble fabric etc.

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.

Sometimes I work sitting on the sofa behind my desk and other times I work at my desk with my fancy, professional set up - balancing my common or garden embroidery hoop between the desk edge and my belly!!! There are advantages to being out of shape, I tell you! Saves me a packet in specialist equipment, especially as I like to rotate my work regularly (haven't mastered the trick of stitching in any direction) which would be a nuisance in a fixed work frame.

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


Rachel said...

I think you may genuinely have more stash than I do - although it's hard to be sure, since some of mine is in the loft. When I have that studio it's coming downstairs....

Bohemian said...

Your Storage Drawers are so visually stimulating, a Feast for the Eyes. As someone who is also attempting to downscale I will have to come visit your Lifestyle Blog to get tips. I'm a terrible Editor and thus my attempt to become more of a Minimalist rather than a Maximalist is still very much an ongoing Metamorphosis. I too am currently feeling quite displaced in my New Studio Spaces as we recently moved and I had to leave my Dream Studio behind, which was very difficult. Starting over is both exciting and daunting so I Hope to be duly Inspired by Karen's Blog Party Participants this year. Thank You for taking me along on the Tour of your Creative Spaces. Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Team Clark said...

You are so wonderfully organized! What an amazing space!

Stephanie said...

Wow, everything is so beautifully organized {{smiles}} It was truly a joy to get a peek at where you create - thanks so much for sharing with us.

Happy creating! Hugs!

Marrianna said...

I think I was a magpie in another life because I love all your shiny threads and fabrics. I especially love the wood drawers from IKEA. Your organizing skills are amazing and your work is wonderful. Thank you for sharing your space with us.

Anonymous said...

Oh, rats, I was just in Leeds last month. Spent a day at the Industrial Museum with a friend and her daughter. We could have dropped in!!! :)

Cynthia Gilbreth said...

My goodness, you are so neat and organized! I'm still unpacking (almost finished), and agonizing about thread storage and organization. I almost went nuts living in an apartment, I don't know how you do it.

Cindy said...

Such beautiful detailed work! My fingers and eyes do not work that way anymore! Thanks for sharing your space! I too have been downsizing over this past year, though not as much as you! Hugs!

Rhonda said...

It is clear you have a passion for your art. Wonderful tour, thank you.

Something Special said...

You are so talented. I love your embroidery work and I love your space. The inside of your drawers look alot like my drawers. Hugs to you

Louise Oakes said...

You've managed to out so much in a smallish space and you're so organised! I have serious thread envy, especially of your cotton perle spools and you have the DMC linen threads!
Thank you for sharing your creative space💜

Diana Seal said...

WoW Elizabeth, your embroidery work is just amazing!
Beautiful space and I agree, I wouldn't part with the wooden thread box
ether, it sure looks like a treasure chest to me!
Thanks for sharing!
Have a great weekend!

Carol said...

I adore your beautiful thread box, Elizabeth! I'm also loving your colorful selection of embroidery floss...eye-popping color!


Consider It All Joy said...

I do not believe I have seen that much thread anywhere besides a store. What a delightful collection and variety of types and colors. Also, I love the beautiful thread box. Thank you for sharing your space(s). Blessings, Cindy

Gretchen said...

I can't believe how well you fit everything in. I understand your quest for minimalism. I have quite a lat of art things but I am learning to keep what I enjoy and give away things that I have tried but that do not excite me.
Your thread collection is a joy to look at. And I really like the clear boxes with blue handles. Thanks for sharing. I will be visiting often...

Theresa said...

You have some great organization happening. Love all those threads and your wooden thread box.

Diane L said...

Your room is so nice. Those threads are so pretty and neat. Your work is beautiful. Di

Karen Valentine said...

Thank you so much for joining the party Elizabeth! You have shown such a wonderful way to create no matter how much (or little) space you have! Because really... it's all about making a place to be creative in isnt it??

Love Bears All Things said...

Hi, I'm a first time visitor...I follow Sandra Kaye and saw this blog hop on her blog...I like seeing others' work space...I like miniatures also and don't have a doll house...recently found some single rooms on Amazon and would like to do a craft room display sometime...I may buy one of theirs and add and subtract from it. They have a cover and would be easy to display...I enjoyed my visit here and will look at more of your content.
Mama Bear

Terry said...

Hi Elizabeth!

Thank you for opening your door and letting us in to your creative spaces. I am envious of your embroidery thread stash.

With gratitude,

Magpie's Mumblings said...

What fun to drool all over your thread collections and also to be envious of your storage system. Thanks for the tour!

Marlynne said...

Congratulations on Creating with just a small space! Just shows Where There's A Will There's a Way!

Maureen H. said...

Thanks for sharing your space and showing how you make it work with a small space. I JUST moved and no longer have a dedicated craft room so I will have to get creative with my storage etc... I am not a mimimalist, but I am trying to stop buying and use what I have, while slowly working on letting go of some of what I already own. I find it hard. I admire you for not being so attached. Maybe someday I will get there. . . I truly enjoyed your tour and am so thankful you joined WBC!

Doni said...

Elizabeth, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing your craft space! Thecthreads...just a work of beauty in their own right, so pretty and shiny! Love your vintage sewing box full of them! Lovely space! Thank you for sharing it with us! You are so very talented! Hugs! Doni

donna joy said...

I wish i was that organized! thanks for sharing~

Gwen Simmons said...

Hi Elizabeth,
This is my first visit to your blog. You are so organized. I admire that trait in others so much as I aspire but mostly fail in that area. I am loving the rainbow glimpses into your threadbox (so cool) and storage drawers. it thought my daughter had a lot of threads, but your selection is amazing. Thanks so much for the tour...
All the best,

Cathy said...

Great organization, which is important no matter what the space is and also important to have at least some space for what is important--creating!

Cathy ♥

Gillian Salmons said...

I love the beautiful 'tidiness' of your working space - and I love your delicate embroideries

D1-D2 said...

I always love seeing your workroom :)

Lace Age Girl said...

Hi Elizabeth, I love your brightly coloured threads organised like a rainbow. It is such fun to have every colour to chooose from. Thanks for sharing your well-organised creative space :)

Cathy said...

I did enjoy my visit to your creative space! Great organization and I love your thread collection. Thanks for sharing!

Sherry said...

Thanks so much for sharing your space. I just loved looking at your drawers of beautiful colorful threads. I think they are fun to just look at and would be hard to part with. I am going to take a look at some of your earlier blog posts before leaving today. I am inspired to be a little more organized.

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Thanks so much for sharing your space!! Love all your organizational pieces and how you have your fabric stored!! I also love your miniatures as I DO have a Victorian Doll House!! What a great creative space!!


Judys Lace Creations said...

Being a hoarder (but reforming!!), I really do admire your restraint! I used to be a teacher, and having lots of resources meant security for me. I have been de-stashing for years it seems, but still I look around and find I have loads left.I wonder if I could ever be as disciplined as you.I tried following your other blog, but it wouldn't work.
I have your blog on my blogroll.

Vicki Boster said...

Elizabeth-- I'm totally in awe of how you've taken a little space and created such organization. I think you've taken organization to a whole new level!! Your threads are stunning- gorgeous colors. I know how you feel about those threads, I'm the same way with my yarns. Your work is so exquisite....