Organization overhaul

Throughout the years I have been lucky enough to inherit so many crafting things. Add to that all the things I was also fortunate enough to budget for, and it became a lot! I try to confine everything into my craft room closet, but that became a messy hoard that turned me off from crafting. What to do? Well, sometimes going through a work-life balance transition gets so boring that inspiration hits, and before you know it, you’re knee deep in a chaotic pile of goodies for days. No, I am serious. Piles of goodie madness.

I began by removing everything out of the sewing half.

The other half of my closet is dedicated to scrapbooking; I have small bins in the window seat for other crafting things like clay or painting.

I needed to see everything I had to formulate a plan. I added another shelf, and spaced the ones I had already a tad differently so that I could fit in more organized tubs. Then I tackled one “type” at a time.

I purged as I went but surprisingly, most of the stuff I had was still in great shape (some being quite, quite older then my own self!). With a little more OCD-like organization, my closet became like the Tardis and I could keep almost all of it. But rather than just stashing it to never see the light of day again, it would become perfectly sorted for ease of use!

I realized I needed more storage. I already had an Iris storage cart for my scrapbooking and it was great (not the drawered version, but the kind with independent bins that slide in and fully out of the cart). Why not buy one more for sewing? Turned out I needed two, but hey – I had some coupons! I also purchased two more Iris photo and craft storage bins. I am not sure if they are out of production (I could not find them at the Iris site to link up) but they are around the interwebz. The scrapbooking one isn’t as neatly organized, but it goes like this: sticker letters, chipboard letters, chipboard shapes, other stickers, WIP #1, WIP #2, and WIP#3. Up next is my sewing supplies: DMC threads, craft threads, beads, zippers, binding & piping, and finally tools like clasps, button tape, grommets, fabric weights, magnetic closures, and so on. The third cart is trims: metallic and colorful trims; crocheted and fancy trims; scrap ribbons, cords, pipecleaners, wires, leather cords, sturdy twill tapes, and patches; lace ruffle trims; crocheted and fabric ruffle trims; pom-poms and specialty trims.

I originally intended to just toss things in the bins but I quickly realized that if they weren’t orderly, I would need yet more storage! So I looked to my ever-growing pile of cardboard I collect from the kitties’ wet food boxes. I cut them down to an appropriate size, measured every single piece of ribbon and lace and trim, wrote the measurement on the card, wrapped and pinned them, and then organized by type and color. Yes, that is absolutely crazy, and yes, I have way too much time on my hands. But looking back, I am super proud of how accessible everything is now!

Even the buttons are color-coded. How did this happen to me?!

You’d think that I’d be over organizing after the many days that this took! Au contraire! I tackled my fabrics next, as I had newly inherited way more than I had space for. I have five now dedicated to that purpose. 1) Interfacing + stuffing 2) felts + leathers + velvets + corduroys 3) specialty fabrics like upholsteries 4) stiff fabrics like canvases and 5) cottons.

All sorted by types and colors in (unzipped) ziplock bags so I can just remove the color way I am interested in and easily keep things organized.

It was a lot of work, no joke. It is not something I would have ever done in better weather or when I had a job or anything of the sort, but the stars aligned and it is done, huzzah! I can’t wait to tackle some new projects from the inspiration looking through those items has granted me! And, since that dragged on for as long as it did, I became OCD elsewhere. Junk drawer? Check. Bathroom cabinets? Check. Bedroom closet? Check. Other closets up next!



Latch Hook Hummingbird

I am not sure where this project came from – either when my MIL gave me her old stuff, or when my paternal gramma downsized, or when my parents moved into an RV, or when my maternal gramma was gifting things she thought I might like. I found it when I recently decided to give my craft room a massive overhaul in organization and purge all sorts of things (more on that later). It is an old latch hook kit from Natura National Yarn Crafts sporting a hummingbird (item #p511 if you are curious).

I was a wee bit frustrated because to me, the darker pink yarn is “rose” colored, while the lighter pink yarn is “bright pink”. I even polled Boy just to be sure before I began. He agreed. So more than half-way through, once I realized I was quickly running out of the darker pink, I had to re-do all the pinks! I did not snap a before photo, but this is how much I had done that I had to fix. Grrr!

It was slow going at first, but once I got the dexterity right, it whipped up pretty fast! It only took me a few days to complete, and it is a really easy project for travel.

I do prefer the backside, though. It is reminiscent of needle point, and just looks a lot less messy. I know latch hook was super trendy a while back, and maybe it will become so again. But I am curious if I couldn’t take the same pattern and make a tiny cross stitch design. I don’t see why that wouldn’t work! So that might land itself on my 2018 to-do list.

I have no idea what to do with this now. Any ideas?

Small finishes

You may recall the Monoprice Ultra-thin Light Table pouch I made, yeah? Well, I made it only for the size of the lightbox, knowing I would have to do something for the power adapter. I simply made a small matching bag, and tossed it in a basket that has other power adapters. But, with it in the bag, I know exactly what it belongs to! Why didn’t I think of that with the others?

A second project I completed was from my embroidery guild. It was a winter-themed candlewick exercise to teach the colonial knot (which I had learned I preferred over french knots with my first candlewick project!). After I embroidered it, I was not sure how to make the finish. But then a banner came to my mind, and ta-da!

Yet another thing I did before the holidays was quilt some linen fabric I had chosen last summer for my window seat. I will post more about it once I finally complete it, but I am getting better at understanding the machine!

I hope to be more regular in posting for 2018, but of course, don’t count on it! I know you feel me. But I am joining a weekly challenge for embroidery (Take a Stitch Tuesday ((TAST)) at Pintangle), and think I will plan a Work-In-Progress (WIP) Wednesday weekly which might prompt me to finish some of the ideas in my head. I might attempt one other weekly thing, so we will see how all this goes, how long it lasts, and what I can accomplish. This year was all about adjusting to a new lifestyle, yet once again, as my work-life balance shifted dramatically. But I got all that sorted out now, yay!