As you walk through the double sliding glass doors, I have divided the room into an area on the left which contains my computer area and opposite that is my sewing machine area. I use the same chair for the sewing machine (opposite) as it's height-adjustable and ergonomic.
My creative space opens onto an open living/dining/kitchen area. When the children were toddlers I kept the glass doors closed to allow one room to remain non-baby-proof. During their daily naps I would escape to create for a while. Now that they are older, the doors are mostly left open.
First I'll show you the left side...the sewing bench with shelves above.
The room is a work space as well as a creative space. It's used for card-making, collage, making fabric collage wall hangings and books, embroidery, sewing, mending, quilting, making teddy bears and dolls as well as lining flute cases, using my computer for book-keeping, organising and editing photos and music. Pinterest is a favourite activity, too.
Our home faces a wilderness of dry schlerophyll forest which surrounds us with peace and birdsong, with the ocean waves in the background when the surf's up.
On the left (below) is my computer desk.
I spend quite a lot of time at the computer doing work-related activities, so I enjoy displaying things on my workbenches when I'm not using them. When I sew, I set the ironing board up just outside the doors, and it only takes a few moments to move displays to make free space on the benches.
The work bench for my sewing machine is an L-shape of 19mm craft wood (MDF) which is screwed over several 'op shop' drawer units.
The sewing machine sits on a recessed shelf so I have a level surface for quilting. I made a simple thread bag to catch messy offcuts.
It's tied around the machine, and uses velcro to shut it when not in use.
I made a beautiful patchwork sewing machine cover, but now it's covered with a display of my favourite doilies and laces.
Over the years I've collected quite a few tarnished pieces of old silver which isn't so fashionable any more - candlesticks, bowls, and trays of different shapes and sizes.
I like to glue pieces together to make tiered displays for lace, sewing knick knacks, old jewellery, ribbons and pin cushions. Tarnished silver and vintage lace go well together.
A close up of an embroidered pin cushion I made years ago...
Gorgeous porcelain roses...
One of my favourite pastimes is hunting for old furniture to re-purpose. This is an old library card catalogue (which I think came from Dee's Funk'nJunk at Ulladulla). It now holds coveted quilting fabrics, sorted by colour. I covered the front of the drawers with special quilting fabrics.
This set of sewing drawers came from a dilapidated old Singer sewing machine cabinet in a junk sale. I rescued the drawer units off it and put them together using part of its top for a base, and adding a new top. I decided to paint it shabby chic white and distress it to hide the new timber top. It's great for storing ribbons, stationery and sewing scissors.
Small drawers attract my attention at junk sales. They are great for displaying bits and pieces... the more worn-looking, the better!
Doilies are something that bring joy to my heart - the loving work of women who have spent their time and talent to make their world a more beautiful place.
Lace treasures spilling over like a waterfall...
I take great pleasure in creating vignettes of pretty lace and objects. A favourite quilting book is draped with an exquisite piece of lace, a Birthday card from my Mum and a piece of wool I embroidered years ago. It was on a bear's belly, but I've decided to give it a new lease of life - probably in a future fabric book.
Vintage scales (broken!) displaying sumptuous laces...
Vintage books are another passion I enjoy. They feature in my displays around the house, and I love to browse their musty pages, too!
Now to take a look at the paper crafting area to the right...
There is a high bench I can stand to work at or sit on the tall stool. It used to be a nappy changing table but I added a large MDF top to extend the bench space, and the large cutting mat is stuck on with double-sided tape so it won't slip. I use it for cutting paper as well as quilt blocks.
At the right you can see CD covers which contain clear stamps, labelled on the spine with tape. The small drawers contain shells, buttons, ribbons, found objects, paper flowers and other tiny bits used for collage.
On the tall chair is a vintage photo of a baby called Lorraine. She is a treasure given to me by a wonderful vintage shop dealer, Dee of Dee's Funk'n'Junk. She was sad that this picture had been abandoned in a clean-up after Lorraine had passed away at a ripe old age, with no children to pass on her precious mementos to so they'd be appreciated. Dee knew I would cherish it, so she generously gave it to me - and made my day :)
I'd like to share her with you (to use in your artworks, not to resell) as my first give-away... I'd love to see what you make with her. If you left click on her, then right click, you can save her to your computer at a higher resolution.
Vintage sewing machines are works of art, and I have just two - this lovely Jones which came without its cupboard sits in pride of place in my crafting space. I also have a Singer treadle from my grandmother which I'll share with you another time.
Here are some of my creations, collections and flowers from my garden...
I live on the South Coast of NSW, Australia, with my DH, three children and two RSPCA rescued cats, Gypsy and Willow. Gypsy is the bold, naughty one, while Willow is the timid grey one. They enjoy the comfort of drawers, quilts, pillows and laps.
When our children grew out of their bookshelves I decided to add them to the back of my sewing bench for storage and display. These baskets contain doilies, scarves, fabric scraps and lace cut from second-hand clothes, sorted by colour, with the prettiest on top. I've hung some special doilies on the front of each basket just to appreciate them every day...
It can be a challenge to find things when they are tucked away in various pretty boxes or drawers. I try to keep tools and materials together near their relevant work space, and I like to label them where possible. The higher shelves where I can't reach easily are for displaying things I don't need to access much.
Here are some yummy seam binding ribbons which I mounted on a dowel glued into a round craftwood base. I just unwind the ribbon in their place as I need a piece.
A needle case I embroidered nestles among vintage lace, sweet pink tape measures and a velvet rose...
Here it is in another vignette with old wooden cotton reels and huge old pinking shears on a box I covered with quilting fabric.
Fairy children and babies populate my creative space. I cut them from cardboard and give them butterfly or moth wings and a cardboard stand. Next I add glitter, feathers, jewellery, lace and found objects. Wings symbolize freedom, and babies have been a source of inner healing and growth for me.
I've always been interested in the past and pestered my parents to tell me about 'the olden days'. It's my good fortune to be the caretaker of both sides of my family's family tree photos and info, and this has fostered an appreciation of vintage photos and the memories and stories attached to old worn things.
Thank you to Karen Valentine for hosting 'Where Women Create 2016'. Drop in to her blog My Desert Cottage
and browse the other creative spaces on the 2016 tour.
I can't wait to enjoy this year's tour...