Getting Organized

I love my studio … it’s in the living room, so I can watch tv or chat with my husband while I work. And, I have two huge windows for plenty of natural light.

But, those big windows also mean I have virtually no wall space to hang anything.

I do have lots of table surfaces, but they are always piled with stuff and I am always having to move things around to work.

I’m not complaining … I love my studio. But I’m sure people think I am a slob when they come in the door and see my stuff everywhere … It’s hard to explain to non-artistic types that I must work in a mess because 1. I always have more than one project going at a time; 2. I am always adding to my collection; 3. I need to be able to see my stuff in order to be creative; and 4. even if I had a 6,000-square-foot room for a studio, it would probably not be enough room. It is the nature of crafting.

Needless to say, I am always on the hunt for ways to find more space in my tiny house. So, when I saw a little shelf unit at Green Door Studio in Brighton, I knew I needed it. I neglected to take a before pic, but it was glossy black. It looked fine, but I didn’t want something that dark, so I painted it.

mason_jar_shelf_candy_spiegel2My friend, Linda Neff, who owns the Green Door Studio, is always trying to get me to paint furniture. She says it is relaxing and calming. I found it particularly frustrating and tedious. I have decided that any additional projects I need painted are going to her. Four coats of paint and a coat of sealant later, I filled it with my collection of antique mason jars, which hold ribbons, twine, flowers, washi tape, buttons and other bits and pieces I need when I create.

Ignoring the damage on the walls (from the much smaller shelf that was removed), I think my space turned out pretty great.


I also realized, after putting everything in one place, that I do not need anymore buttons … despite the fact that I was shopping for them last night! I cannot help myself … I love buttons.


Welcome to my Studio

I live in a small house originally built as a lake cottage — without a basement, attic or garage. At about 800 square feet, it is the perfect size for two people who enjoy spending time outside of their home shopping, dining out, traveling and doing all of the other things “city folk” enjoy. In fact, we were the first people to ever put a washer and dryer in our house — despite the fact that there was not appropriate space for them. (My husband has to literally climb over the washer to put salt in the water softener.)

But the larger problem is my husband and I are “country folk” who enjoy cooking, growing and preserving our own food. Both of us are avid readers and photographers who are addicted to computers, televisions and other gadgets. We like to go camping, my husband loves fishing and hunting, and I am a bit crafty. It seems every one of our “hobbies” comes with stuff — tents, tripods, folding tables, paper, air mattresses, cords and chargers, huge canning pots, boots, gun cases, scrapbook albums, tackle boxes, coats for every temperature and weather condition, freezers, his-and-hers computers, books, sewing machines, cases and cases of glass jars, drawers full of items to alter, stamps, the list goes on and on … Right now I am feeling more than a little claustrophobic as every horizontal surface, cabinet and closet is filled to the brim.


This is the second bedroom of my house. It is also home to scrapbook albums, kitty toys, a freezer, Matt’s computer, fishing poles, books, hunting gear, canned goods, and medicines and first-aid supplies for both us and our chickens. All of the totes, display pieces, boxes and ribbons are part of my traveling store. They have nowhere else to go … in fact, I normally have a folding table in here, as well, but it was in the middle of my living room when I took this picture.

Despite the size of my house, I have to have plenty of room for crafting. So I took over a portion of the living room.


Granted, it is at the front door, so anyone who enters my house, sees my mess, but the lighting is great, I can craft while my husband watches television and I have plenty of space.

I wanted to share my space to show how even those of us who live in small spaces, with no dedicated rooms can store their supplies.

I keep a lot of things in decorative containers right out in the open …



012And in drawers … 014



and I use every little bit of space, including the sides of my desk. (My Cricut and quilting mats hang on the other side of the desk)018Inside my cabinets are paper, thin dies, Xyron machines and cardstock.


On the other side of my living room are matching cabinets that hold books and pictures and decorative items, but also hold my printer and jars of ribbon, wire, straws, paints and other crafting items.


The cabinets below hold printer paper, ink and labels, alcohol inks, rubber stamps, canvases and a few boxes of photos and memorabilia waiting to be scrapbooked.005


I keep rarely used items, like specialty adhesives, mists, Copic refills, and other items in the closet in the hallway. My Cricut lives in my bedroom closet. Class supplies go in that overstuffed room. And, I have a dresser drawer devoted to jars, buckets, frames, bottles and other items ready to be altered. But most items are kept in the living room where they are easy to grab when I need them!

I hope you enjoyed this tour of my studio. And I hope it inspires you to find a corner where you can work in your house!