Inside My World

As I madly try and meet deadlines for my next patterns with BariJ, I went through a bit of a studio redo in order to make a good showing as “Sewing Room of the Month” for Art Gallery Fabrics. I thought I’d share a couple of features that I’m particularly proud of.

First and foremost is probably my use of chalkboard paint. I love chalkboards (incidentally I hate chalk…but more on that later) and the ability to write a note to my ever-forgetful self at any given moment.

I painted an entire wall with black chalkboard paint and I absolutely love it!

In addition, I painted the counter/table that I sew on with chalkboard paint, I had no idea how helpful this would be!

Originally, I had a large Ikea cubby shelf thing (you’ve seen them everywhere) on what is now the chalkboard wall. While the shelf provided storage for a lot of crap, it always looked messy and unkempt. I desperately needed another work surface so I decided to cut the Ikea shelf in half and make a counter top out of it to match my existing cutting counter under the window.

One thing I might point out is that all of the Pinterest/Web pictures that show all these organized bins all pretty and cute lined up on shelves with cute little color-coded labels– aren’t cheap. I was facing ten slots that needed baskets or bins and with bins (that I liked) costing as much as $30 and as low as $15 I was facing a huge cost expenditure (at least in my mind). I went back to trusty Ikea and found these collapsible fabric bins for around $7 and ran with it. Additionally, I found some drawer separator/organizer things that are working pretty well as drawers for those top half-shelves — for about $7 a piece at Ikea and the black and white woven ‘drawers’ are from a Michaels 40% off sale. I haven’t finished filling them but trust me, there’s more than enough in the hallway outside of this room right now to fill up another TEN bins.

I would like to label them cleverly but I haven’t come up with a solution yet. I’m sure I can spend another ten hours on Pinterest figuring out how to make a label.

I put the other half (not to let any instant storage options go to waste) under my sewing table and was finally able to sort my scraps by color! (this I really should be most proud of!)

You can see the baskets (old ones that I painted black) in the far right of this photo.

The next thing I’m especially proud of is my “pin cushions” I was always looking for my pin cushion or my magnetized pin-bin and neither was ever where I wanted it, when I needed it.

This pin cusion runs along the counter under the chalkboard wall.

Additionally I put a pin cushion along the cutting table counter.

I’d like to put another pin cusion bar on my actual sewing machine table but I haven’t figured out where to put it that it won’t get in the way when I’m sewing. I’ve considered doing a narrow one along the front edge of the table but not sure how I’d attach it. Any ideas? I’ve thought about posting how I made my counter-length pin cusions, would anyone like to know? Before I skip on to my next proud achievement I’d like to share how I also use the pin cushion as a bulletin board for a few inspiring notes and photos.

 So lastly, I’d like to show you my ‘stash’ my collection of fabrics that I use to inspire all sorts of projects.


I wanted to point out to those of you who love fabric but can’t see it on a daily basis: find a way to put your fabric in view! I was never so inspired as the day I took my fabric out of plastic bins and stacked it neatly by colorway. I also (as hard as it can be…) started using more of my fabric, cutting into those delicious colors and patterns and making stuff! Below my fabric are CLEAR plastic bins (also from Ikea) to store all of my trims and ribbons that are also sorted by colorway.

Lastly, a bit about lighting – lighting is crucial. I need it for not only my crappy middle-aged eyesight but to match colors of fabrics and take photos of my work. I had a challenge in this room (house) because a) I had no hardwired lighting in the room and b) I only had three power outlets. Again, I felt like I was facing a big ticket item when I started looking for non-hardwired lighting solutions. Hello Home Depot. I got these ‘extension’ lights for $6 each. Each light has a switch on the top of the metal ‘shade’ so I can isolate lights as needed and my clever Mister found a remote control system that allows me to turn each outlet on from one place in the room. (I only have one lightswitch that controls one outlet)

We tied the lights to caribeners (no idea how to spell that) and then hooked the caribeners to cup hooks on the ceiling. I will probably cover the cords eventually but I have to finish moving all my crap in first.  You might be able to notice that we basically ran extension cords up the corners of the room and then plugged the lights in. I’m sure the fire department would have something to say about this creativity…

Thanks for looking in, I’ve been avoiding blogging because the header is broken again – seems like everytime I do an update this thing pukes on me. I am great with a lot of things but one of them is NOT web design so I’m just going to accept that fault until I can find someone to help me. Happy cooking, sewing and crafting all!

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Comments: 2

  1. Taylor September 2, 2012 at 8:28 am


  2. Laura January 16, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    It looks SOOOOO good! Now come do my craft room/spare bedroom/catch-all!!!

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