Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Creating creative space...

The new table
I have been busy organizing and editing my creative space, trying to contain it in a specific area of the house. Let's be precious, totally precious, and call it my studio -- even though it is officially the den.
This is my Spoolie.
This all started because I wanted to get a Gidget sewing table for Bernie, my much loved vintage Bernina 830 Record. I did this. And, then, I moved everything up to the den. This is a bedroom over the garage. It is very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. I have a fan and a little heater. I am going to be fine.
The table is facing the large windows and is filled with light when I open the blinds. The window opens and allows a breeze to flow through. I am kind of loving the new digs. It isn't nearly sorted out yet, but I have moved from the dining room.
There is no cutting table space in the new digs, so I will still have to use my giant cutting mat on the dining room table. I think it is a small price to pay.
Because the new space is also the spare room, it has a futon frame for various overnight guests, and a TV for my general entertainment.
It is a luxury to have a place where I can just be on my own. It is also fun to go through some of the stuff I have collected and decide that there are just a few projects that will never get done. I have passed them on to people who might enjoy them.
I have also been working on some projects for A Needle Pulling Thread, including Spoolies. These are my little creations to use up precious scraps and my beloved wooden spools. This is the project I will be demonstrating at the Fall Creative Festival in Toronto this October.
In other news: this month's letters section of Australian Homespun magazine has a photo of my Tilda kangaroos. I am not bragging. 
Mostly, I am justifying having my own sewing space...
In order to use up some fabric I found during my tidy up journey, I also made a few sea urchins from Tilda's Seaside ideas. Still working through the studio organization phase, but I hope to post some more photos of how well I did.
 In the meantime, I am off to get some more recycling bags. I use them to give my donations to Goodwill. I think it is nicer than the garbage bags -- after all -- it is not garbage. It's part of my cherished stash that I am willing to share.

Friday, August 9, 2013

To everything turn, turn, turn ...

Recently, I was tearing apart my messy craft space,  looking for narrow elastic to fix some pajama bottoms. During my search, I found Cath Kidston cotton duck fabric scraps. I acquired them a while ago in stellar ebay auction from a very nice seller in the UK.
About four years ago, I made a couple of string blocks with the narrowest strips. But, then I got busy with other things. And put them carefully aside, to be buried in the layers of carefully put aside things. I found the elastic to do the pajama fix, but I also decided to put my scrap bag and string experiment where I could contemplate it again.
Let me say this: I think organization is highly overrated. I admire it so much in others, but despite my best efforts, I am never completely organized.
So, I deal with an organizational system that makes sense only to me. This method often makes my crafting life surprising and delightful.
Co-incidentally, I was also making some things that needed to be turned right side out. I reached for my much loved turning tools, stored in their unattractive, but effective plastic bag.
That's when the AHA! moment occurred.
I made a fabric tuner tube base from the string blocks.
It is sturdy because I backed it with heavy weight iron on interfacing. It is lined with blue dot flannel, because I love my turning tools, and I want them to be comfy cozy when I am not using them. I created channels so that each tool has a place of its own. The whole thing is bound with binding, and some of it is stitched down by hand. I used hook and loop tape to close it , and one of my treasured, old buttons decorates the front. Despite the weight of all the layers, dear Berni whipped through the whole thing like the dear old girl she is.
Good bye plastic bag. Hello turner tool pouch.