Thursday, September 17, 2009

Why I Craft...Inspiration...My Workspace

I picked up a copy of The Crafter’s Companion (edited by Anna Torborg) at the public library yesterday and it has really inspired me to write a post about why I craft and why I blog. For those of you who may not have seen or heard of this book, it is a lovely grouping of projects and patterns each by a different designer/crafty blogger (including Amy Karol of Angry Chicken who I have a bit of a girl crush on). One of the book’s most original and thoughtful aspects is that there is a 4-5 page write-up by each crafter where they explain why they craft, what their inspirations are, and describe their workspace. It’s really very wonderful and I really love how quite a few of the contributors mention that they keep a blog because it enables them to feel part of a crafty community – akin to an online sewing circle.

I remember crafting from a young age, I was an only child and so it was left to me to amuse myself (this is also how I developed an obsession with books at such an early age). I would draw, paint, and play with sticks, pompoms, glitter, and glue. Of course you can find the obligatory glittered macaroni glued to a paper plate in my past (or my Mother’s closet), but I was always happiest creating and building things that came from my own imagination. I would build my Barbie dolls three story houses made of stacked cardboard boxes; using wallpaper, carpet, and linoleum scraps to cover the surfaces. I would sew small quilts for my miniature dollhouse using 2 inch fabric samples and de-wadded cotton balls for batting. I once made someone stand for 6 hours while I “hand-sewed” a dress to them; and for my first prom I made myself a drawstring purse.

My Grandmother taught me how to sew when I was about six; we made little clothes for my dolls and trolls. I watched my Mother embroider and knit, and picked those skills up while watching her. I didn’t sew or really do much of anything that was creative during my Undergraduate because I thought I didn’t have the time for it. Since graduating I’ve begun to pick it all up again and have found that old creative spark has blazed up and now I can’t even imagine not doing it. I wish I had kept up with this passion while an Undergraduate because I really believe it would have helped me during that time.

I find inspiration in everything. I love to keep up with crafty blogs to see what others are doing; these wonderful crafters always have the greatest ideas. I look at trends and fashion to try and see where they’re going in the future. I look to the past, especially the quilts and samplers of previous generations; the women who made these timeless articles were incredibly skilled and their use of recycled materials is amazing. Often when I look at a piece of fabric or a special notion, a project or idea starts to unfold in my head – hence I have quite a bit of fabric that is earmarked for a specific project, but hasn’t been touched yet.
I don’t have one dedicated workspace in our apartment – unfortunately there just isn’t the space to have everything in one place.

My sewing machine lives in the kitchen, generally on the kitchen table (very rarely in it’s case beside said table).

All of my fabric is stacked in some small built-in shelves in the office. Awful looking, isn’t it?

The desk in the office is where I do my watercolours and is generally where I iron too because I’m often too lazy to pull out the ironing board.

On top of the DVD shelf in the living room I keep my sewing books, a vintage Pyrex bowl full of felt, another vintage Pyrex bowl full of vintage notions (for display really), and my thread holder. I really love looking at all the colours of thread sitting there.

I keep my tools, ribbon, bags of batting, and other notions and supplies in collapsible boxes under the loveseat in the living room. I wish I didn’t have to, but it seems the only way, and I do quite a lot of crafting in the living room because of the large floor space. Here’s a little collapsible box of knitting.

I hoped you enjoyed that little tour of my workspace(s) and every room in our apartment other than the bathroom and bedroom (are you surprised I don’t keep supplies in those two?), I really should refold all that fabric - that picture is b.a.d!

I originally started blogging because I wanted to record the books that I was reading, and then decided to expand to include my love of crafting. Blogging allows me to share my thoughts, and creativity and to be in contact with other crafty souls. I’m really happy with all of the lovely crafters that I’ve found online, it makes me feel like I’m part of a community and my own world-wide sewing circle. I find comfort in knowing that I’m not “the only one” and inspiration abounds when I read those blogs. I’m lucky to have met a couple of wonderful ladies over the past few days who are in the same MI program as me and who share my love of crafting – Erica, Effie, and Irina – you girls are awesome!

Some of the most inspiring (and crafty) ladies I’ve found through blogging are: Dionne, Vanessa, Amy, Anna Maria, Heather, Emily, Kirsten, Ashley, Erin, Cathe, Lolly, Larissa, Camille, Paula, and oh sooooo many more!


  1. What a beautiful, inspiring blog. You're an artist.

  2. Well I am glad you came to the Blog World, and love that we've crossed paths through it.

    I love your workspace! Look at all that fabric you have, wowee!!!

    And that book, The Crafter's Companion, looks awesome!

  3. i loved that little tour and am particularly in love with ur kitchen table facing the window overlooking the tress. What a calming place to work at!

  4. You have so many comments I went and read several other of your other posts before this thing even loaded. And what is it I have to say to you, lovely young have crafting in the genes girl... and why bother getting nervous or anxious in life when you can relax and create? Lovely and fun. Thank you for sharing...I was in the spring quilt show and it brought me to many lovely blogs...yours looks to be one I'll want to visit again. take good care!

  5. Window views help with creativity, don't ya think? I have to look "Seams to Me" on Google. The title is fun...