Finding A Creative Workspace

finding a creative workspace

I was recently asked by WeWork to write about my creative workspace.

WeWork are a company based in New York that provides inspiring office spaces. They’ve recently opened some beautiful offices in London which you can take a look at here.

When I agreed to do this, my first thought was, “Well, it had better be a Pinterest roundup then!” as my tiny corner in my living room is rather humble.

I changed my mind.

Although the Pinterest things are beautiful, they do not represent reality for most people, those of us with kids, messy husbands, pets and out of control craft habits.

So in the interests of staying real, encouraging you all and not pretending that I live in some kind of parallel Pinterest universe, here is where I do my sewing, making and blogging!

*** DISCLAIMER: I tidied up first! ***

Sewingfinding a creative workspace

This is the little corner of my living room where my sewing machine lives.

As those of you who sew will know, being able to leave your sewing machine out makes a huge difference to how much sewing you do. It means that if you have 10 minutes you can do a little bit more on a project you are working on. If you have to get it out then pack it all away again, that can take 10 minutes!

Some new seating arranged differently freed up that corner so I was able to bag it for my sewing machine!finding a creative workspace

The desk is a computer desk that we bought from Ikea about 15 years ago. Laptops had made the computer desk redundant so it was hidden away upstairs, in bits. It was also an unattractive shade of orange, but couple of coats of Annie Sloan paint soon put that right!

As you can see, my sewing machine does still have to share with the printer.

The chair is one that somebody gave us a long time ago. It was going to be thrown out. I have plans to paint it to match the desk but I haven’t got round to it.

The basket became free after a sort out and the large drawer is actually a cardboard box covered in paper.finding a creative workspace

The draw below is a fabric storage box, also bought from Ikea a few years ago.

In the bottom of the desk is my old sewing machine, an elderly Singer that was retired when I got my new one. The folder contains patterns that I have made. I would like to say there is some kind of organisation in the folder but there is not.

So I’ve got my sewing machine and my bits and bobs to hand!

Makingfinding a creative workspace

When I’m cutting out or making something that doesn’t require the sewing machine but does call for a level service (ie not my lap!) I use the dining table. Our dining table is also in the living room as we don’t have a separate dining room and there is a piano in the kitchen where a table might go.

As well for as eating and making stuff, the table is used for homework, playdough and Boy 2’s science experiments. The curious things in the jars on the table are sodium bicarbonate stalactites, an egg having its shell dissolved in vinegar and some kind of green slime.finding a creative workspace

It gets cluttered quite quickly, especially during the week when we don’t need the whole table at mealtimes. Stuff gets shoved down to one end and I have a tidy up on Sundays before lunch.


I read somewhere a while ago that for writing (I’m a contributor for a sewing magazine as well as a blogger) that you should have a desk in a designated area. I took this on board and sorted out a little corner of the utility room between the boiler and the washing machine.

I’ve since decided that some rules are maybe made to be broken and perhaps this is one of them!finding a creative workspace

I do most of my blogging in this armchair with the laptop on my lap. It doesn’t cause any problems as I’m usually beavering away in the early morning while everyone else is still in bed, or in the evening.

I have a cosy throw (you can read the tutorial for making one here) and Boy 1 made the cushion. There’s a spot for my cup of tea, there’s a lamp and it’s close to the fire. If I was sitting at a desk and I was cold it would not help my productivity. Being comfortable and warm does!

What I Like About My Creative Workspace

It’s not as pretty as the ones on Pinterest, but I like it anyway. These are the things I like about it.

  • I can leave my sewing machine out meaning that I can sew whenever I have a few minutes and not necessarily a big block of time.
  • The desk didn’t cost anything except for the paint because we had it already.
  • The storage was mostly free or it was stuff we had already.
  • The armchair is comfy and it’s in a warm and cosy spot.
  • The table is nice and big and close to the armchair and the sewing machine.

Best of all though, it means that I can do my stuff with my family around me, which I actually prefer to being shut up away in a different room somewhere.

finding a creative workspaceTips For Finding Your Own Creative Workspace

It can be very difficult finding somewhere to make stuff, especially if you live in a small house and you have a family, and it can be expensive kitting out a craft room.

Here are some tips if you want to set up your own creative workspace but don’t know where to start!

  • Identify an area in your house that is underused. It doesn’t need to be a whole room! Try under the stairs, utility room, hallway, a corner in a bedroom.
  • Consider rearranging some furniture to make some space.
  • If you need a desk or a table for a sewing machine, look at what you have already. Even if it’s not perfect, will it do? Or could you adapt it?
  • Cover cardboard boxes in pretty paper or fabric to make storage boxes. Or you could sew some!
  • If you’re a blogger, cosy up an armchair with a lamp, a throw and a couple of cushions and mark it as yours by plonking your laptop on it.
  • If you have to clear things away, break a project down into bitesized chunks so that you can still do a bit when you have a few minutes.

Where do you make stuff? Do you like it or have you got plans to change it?

Burlap And Lace Wreath

It’s wreath time again! This time I decided to make a burlap and lace wreath.

Up to this point I have had my Dried Fruit Wreath up on my door. I haven’t been too worried about taking it down because it’s not too Christmassy.

Finally however I have got round to making a new one!

It is a simple tied wreath, similar to the autumn themed one I made.

Here’s how to make one!burlap and lace wreath tied wreath

How to Make a Burlap and Lace Tied Wreath

You Will Need: a wreath form OR a wire coat hanger OR some garden wire, strong tape like Gorilla Tape or electrical tape if you are using wire or a hanger, lace, burlap ribbon, gingham ribbon.

1. If you are using garden wire or a hanger to make your wreath form, you will need to bend it into a circle about 20 cm in diameter. Use the tape to hold it in place.burlap and lace wreath tied wreath

If you are using a coat hanger, you will need to untwist it and cut the hook off. If you don’t have wire cutters, keep bending it back and forth until the wire snaps. It might take a little while but it will happen!

2. Cut your ribbon into lengths of about 10 cm. If you are using burlap fabric instead of ribbon, cut it into strips approximately 10 cm x 2 cm.

3. Starting with the burlap, tie the strips onto the wire. Space them out evenly. I tied mine in clusters of 3 with a single one in between.burlap and lace wreath tied wreathburlap and lace wreath tied wreathburlap and lace wreath tied wreath

4. Then start to fill the spaces in with lace.burlap and lace wreath tied wreathburlap and lace wreath tied wreath

5. Tie on some lengths of gingham ribbon at regular intervals.burlap and lace wreath tied wreathburlap and lace wreath tied wreath

That’s all there is to it! It’s very easy, see?

Obviously with a diameter of 20 cm it is quite a small wreath. You could make a bigger one but you will need more stuff to tie onto it.

burlap and lace wreath tied wreathburlap and lace wreath tied wreathburlap and lace wreath tied wreath

You might also like to take a look at these wreath tutorials:

Autumn Wreathautumn tied wreath burlap and lace tied wreath

Spring Wreathspring wreath tutorial burlap and lace tied wreath

Dried Fruit Wreathdried fruit wreath, citrus wreath, natural christmas burlap and lace tied wreath

Burlap Wreathburlap wreath burlap and lace wreath

Summer Wreathsummer door wreath burlap and lace tied wreath

Christmas Wreathhow to make a christmas wreath using dried fruit to make christmas decorations

This post contains affiliate links.

I’m Co Hosting Share It Sunday 47!

I’m very happy to be co-hosting Share It Sunday 47 with Rose from Fine Craft Guild!

This week I have posted 2 tutorials! The first one is for a fabric diary cover. It’s made from scraps of fabric left over from a previous project and it has a pocket for a pen too! Although I made mine for my Moleskine diary (which is fine, just a bit boring!), you could just as easily make one to cover a journal or a notebook.fabric diary cover notebook journal share it sunday

The other tutorial I posted shows how to crochet shell edging. It’s one of my favourite crochet edgings and it’s very easy to do!how to crochet shell edging scallop scalloped share it sunday

Now I’m looking forward to seeing what you have been making this week!

:: Adjustable Dress Form Stand :: SHARE IT 47 features ….!

Before we get to the adjustable dress form stand (and how Anna turned it into a dress form christmas tree ~ well, almost ~ ) let me take a minute to introduce this week’s linky party. Thank you all for sharing your amazing contributions to date!

How to Participate, Get Featured Next Week and Get Free Advertising & Promotion

Our party etiquette gives loaded of giveaways and freebies for you. We ask you to be a somewhat active participant so we can do this.

SHARE IT – Linky Party Etiquette

Here is the new party etiquette, with LOTS OF GIFTS FOR YOU! FineCraftGuild shareit linky party etiquette

SHARE IT Linky Party Badges

You can grab your party badge to post on your blog, or just use a text link. That’s fine too.

Click in the text box on the right, Ctrl A (to select all), and Ctrl C (to copy). Then, paste the code on your blog. Thank you for doing so.


Party Host

Adjustable Dress Form Stand - linky party at FineCraftGuild.comAs per always, your party host is Rose, from Fine Craft Please follow me. Here are my social media buttons:

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Party Co-host

Artist Trading Cards as Valentine Cards featured at

This week’s linky party winner is Anna from Tea and a Sewing Machine (love that blog title). Please follow her too. You’ll find her social media buttons on her blog, as well as the party feature…


This Week’s Party Feature: …

Adjustable Dress Form Stand

Everyone who has a dress form has had Anna’s problem, at least to some degree. I laughed out loud when I saw her solution and it’s just so brilliant.

Adjustable Dress Form Stand


How to Make Your Own Adjustable Dress Form Stand

For more pictures and the how-to make your own adjustable dress form stand, hop over to Tea and a Sewing Machine.

In my home, we use our dress form to showcase favorite clothing, pieces we have just bought, ‘what to wear tomorrow’, jewelry, handbags, cardigans, and hats we have no time to put away, plus anythings seasonal/whimsical… What we have discovered that if we keep it loaded but balanced, it stays put well. A bit of weight seems to help stability. We also put it in a corner, so that bumping into it is less likely. Nonetheless, if you have no space to leave your dress form out and on display, Anna’s solution is perfect: pack it up and go. Or, to leave Anna’s solution on permanent display, as with a real Christmas tree, I’d put a skirt over that ‘ugly plastic’. I am thinking of some nice and drapey velvet at the bottom, which would add to the bottom weight of it.
What do you think? What are you doing with your dress form? Any issues with the stand? What are you doing about it? Leave us a comment below.


SHARE IT 47 – linky party

And now it is time for this week’s SHARE IT! party. You can use the social media buttons on each image to share your submission on social media and pin your idea.

[inlinkz_linkup id=561123 mode=1]

Thank you again for partying with us!! I appreciate you sharing your wonderful ideas.



When you link up, this means that you love for us to Pin, G+ and/or otherwise promote your wonderful photos & ideas across social media platforms and on this blog, and you are giving us permission to use your photos and ideas for this purpose. Typically, themed-features will/can be promoted on an ongoing basis. Those that are featured in next week party in the party post are typically promoted during that party week. Exceptions apply.

Regards, Rose
Fine Craft Guild

How To Crochet Shell Edging

how to crochet shell edging scallop scalloped

How to Crochet Shell Edging is the first in a series of 4 tutorials I am writing about different crochet edgings. If you hang around to the end of the series, there will be a free pdf printable of these edgings plus 2 more!

Edgings can be used to decorate all kinds of things, from baby blankets to headbands to crocheted bags. They can be even be added to things that are not crocheted, like hand towels and tea towels as a pretty trim. Heavier weight yarn will give a chunky effect. For something lighter and lacier, you could use embroidery thread and a tiny hook.

Shell edging, also known as scalloped edging is one of my favourites! It looks lovely and it’s very easy to to crochet shell edging scallop scalloped

How to Crochet Shell Edging

Please be aware that being British I have used British crocheting terms!

The edge that you are adding the shells to will need to have a number of stitches divisible by 3.

1. Make 1 chain, then skip the chain and the next 2 to crochet shell edging scallop scalloped

2. Into the third stitch, crochet 5 to crochet shell edging scallop scallopedhow to crochet shell edging scallop scallopedhow to crochet shell edging scallop scalloped

3. Skip the next 2 stitches. Into the third stitch, make 1 double to crochet shell edging scallop scallopedhow to crochet shell edging scallop scalloped

4. Skip the next 2 stitches. Into the third stitch, crochet 5 to crochet shell edging scallop scallopedhow to crochet shell edging scallop scallopedhow to crochet shell edging scallop scallopedhow to crochet shell edging scallop scallopedhow to crochet shell edging scallop scalloped

As you can see, the 5 trebles into 1 stitch is what makes the shell pattern.

5. Skip the next 2 stitches, then into the third stitch make 1 double to crochet shell edging scallop scalloped

Keep going in this way until you get to the end or, if you are crocheting in the round, back to the to crochet shell edging scallop scalloped

Instead of a double crochet into the last stitch, slip stitch. If you are crocheting in the round, slip stitch into the first chain of the to crochet shell edging scallop scalloped

I used shell edging on this little bowl to pretty it up! The tutorial for the bowl can be found here.

How do you like to use crocheted edgings?

How To Make A Fabric Diary Cover

Even though I have called this post How to Make a Fabric Diary Cover, you could make one to cover a journal or to pretty up a plain notebook.

I made this fabric for my Moleskine diary. The diary itself is fine, lots of space to write my lists, but it’s not pretty. It’s not hideous, it’s completely inoffensive! It’s just a bit plain.

Having sorted out my fabric hoard the other week, I found scraps of fabric that I’d forgotten about, including these lovelies left over from a project I made for Sewing World.fabric diary cover journal notebook

I didn’t enough of any one sort to make a whole fabric diary cover, so I made a bit of a patchwork instead. The cover is lined and there are pockets to slide the cover into. I originally had plans to do something with elastic but I realised (in time, thankfully!) that pockets would be an easier option.fabric diary cover notebook journal

How to Make a Fabric Diary Cover

1. Even if you are making your fabric diary cover from scraps of fabric, it’s easiest if the lining is one piece. Using your diary as a guide, cut a rectangle from the lining fabric. It will need to cover the diary and overhang the cover by about 1.5 cm all the way round (1 cm is the seam allowance, the rest is just extra).fabric diary cover journal notebookfabric diary cover journal notebook

2. Using the lining as a guide, arrange the pieces for the outer and cut them out. Remember to include a seam allowance!

3. Sew the pieces together. Trim the seams and press them open as you go. Check that the outer is the same size as the lining.fabric diary cover journal notebook

4. To make the pen pocket, cut 2 pieces of fabric about the same width as the spine and long enough for a pen. If you are not using a directional print, you could cut one piece twice as long as you need and fold it in half.fabric diary cover journal notebook

5. With the wrong sides together, sew around the sides and bottom. Trim the seams and turn out.fabric diary cover journal notebook

6. Tuck the raw edges inwards and top stitch. This will be the top of the pocket.fabric diary cover journal notebook

7. Pin the pocket to the outer where the spine will be. Sew around the sides and bottom of the pocket.fabric diary cover journal notebook

8. Cut the pieces for the pockets to slide the cover into. They will need to be the same height as the lining and outer. Each pocket needs to be about half the width of each half of the cover.fabric diary cover journal notebook

9. With the wrong sides together, sew one edge of the pocket to the edge of the outer. Repeat for the other pocket.fabric diary cover journal notebook

10. Sew the other short edge of the pocket pieces to the lining. Trim the seams and press them open.

11. Fold the pocket sections in half. Match the seams where the pockets join the outer and lining and pin.fabric diary cover notebook journal

12. Sew along the top and bottom, leaving a gap at the bottom. Trim the seams and turn out. Pin the opening.

13. Fold the pockets inwards along the seams and pin. Top stitch all the way round.fabric diary cover notebook journal

14. Sew a button onto the front of the fabric diary cover.fabric diary cover notebook journal

15. Using ribbon or a piece of elastic, make a loop and fix it to the back. I couldn’t decide! Ribbon looks nicer but elastic is stretchy. I used them both by stretching the elastic as I sewed the ribbon to it.fabric diary cover notebook journalfabric diary cover notebook journal

You could make a bow or use another button to hide the ends.fabric diary cover notebook journal

I just have to remember to actually use my diary now!fabric diary cover notebook journalfabric diary cover notebook journalfabric diary cover notebook journalfabric diary cover notebook journal

You might also like these posts:

Nesting Storage Boxeshow to make nesting fabric storage boxes

Autumn Patchwork Cushionautumn patchwork cushion

Appliqued Flower PurseAppliqued Flower Purse

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