Having confessed yesterday to hoarding far more crafty goodies than I have room for, I thought today would be a good time to catch up with Day 11's blog prompt - sharing our craft rooms. Before I talk about mine (which isn't finished), I thought I'd start by saying whose craft room I'd like - that of the awesomely talented Sarah Youde. I'd also like to live on the coast, so if you ever fancy a house swap Sarah, I'm your girl :-)
In the beginning there was the tiny bedroom, some clear plastic boxes from WH Smith, and some old office furniture. There was one box of peel-offs, one of flowers, and one of die cuts I'd bought on eBay, and on the bookshelf there was one (yes, one) shelf of papers, and one of stamps and random bits. When I wanted to make a card, I opened all the boxes, picked some things, made the card and then tidied it all away again.
Soon the shelves and cupboards were full. The magazines went under my bed to make room, boxes appeared on top of the cupboards, and the most used things stayed on the desk, leaving a creative space the size of a cutting mat. It became known as the craft sty, and it all needed a good sort out. I was demonstrating by then though, and couldn't be without a working room. But wait, if I just moved the desk and essentials into the not quite so tiny spare room, I could sort out this room. Brilliant idea! Err, except that I didn't, I just filled up two poorly organised rooms. Boxes appeared under the guest bed... By then I was doing store demos, magazine work and Create and Craft demos and I needed an extra desk to keep all the work in progress separate. Boxes appeared under the dining table, and when I mentioned the craft room, my poor husband would ask "which one's the craft room?"...
Then along came Bob, so everything had to fit into the tiny bedroom, just like in the olden days. We decided new shelving was the way ahead, but couldn't find anything to make good use of the space, so decided to build our own from MDF. Luckily I have a software engineer for a husband, who wrote me a design program, and a joiner for a neighbour, so all I had to do was decide what I wanted and pick some paint.
Here's the result. I had Mondrian in mind when I designed it, and it completely fills up the only unbroken wall of the room. A true homage to Mondrian would have needed breaks in the verticals, which would have made it too weak, and the bright colours with black outlines that he's famous for would have been too much for the tiny room. Instead I chose three pastel shades - green, creamy yellow, and blue - painted each of the three visible walls in these colours, and painted the shelving cells 'randomly' in one of the same colours with white dividers. I say randomly, but it actually took quite a few goes to make it look random! As you can see from the picture, it's not quite finished. As I was pregnant, we had to use low emission paint, which is sadly also low performance. It needed so many coats that we ran out of time to get it finished before Bob was born and we had to put the room back together to get the rest of the house presentable. When I've had a chance to use it a bit and see how it works, there'll be a matching shelf unit on the opposite wall, and we'll finish this one at the same time. One great thing about them is that they're not attached to the wall, and can be dismantled when we move :-)
The shelves are 12" deep, so I can store my papers nicely, and I decided I didn't want boxes piled more than 3 high (otherwise I never put anything away), and I didn't want any hidden. I also didn't want to waste the space behind 8x8 and 6x6 papers though, so I've put unopened packs of card blanks and envelopes behind them. As long as I keep a working selection of card blanks accessible all the time, I only have to move lots of things to get more occasionally.
In my original design, I wanted doors on all the cubbyholes, with magnetic push latches, so I could have a smooth finish, no door handles, and no risk of fading for my papers. That idea got abandoned very early on! Apart from being a lot of work, it was going to mean spending hundreds of pounds on hinges and latches, which was just daft. Think of the stamps and paper that would buy! Err, I mean, think of the baby clothes and toys that would buy ;-) Anyway, my lovely husband had the brilliant idea of making fabric doors and decorating them with different crafts, so that's the new plan - the shelves will become a long term craft project in their own right, giving me an incentive to try out some new crafts.