Friday 25 April 2014

'Creating Space' (OR: redecorating because I could no longer move for 'stuff'!]

Hello again.

Continuing the 'it's-spring-and-it's-about-time-I-got-motivated' theme [which I started earlier this month with my 'Get Up and Mow!' post] ... I've been re-thinking and redecorating my craft room / office.

Although ... seriously ... I don't really feel 'grown-up' enough to call it an office. It sounds so ... well, so 'official'. Mature. 'Proper'.

And that's actually part of the problem I'm trying to address with this redecoration project.
Yes, the walls needed a new lick of paint, the floor a steam clean and the cupboards a de-stash. But, to be honest, my head needed a spot of clearing out too.

When we first decorated the room I had a full time job in Education and crafting was just a hobby; a decade later my situation is completely reversed ... and it was about time my room reflected that.

And so ...

... I've begun the mammoth task of sifting and sorting; of debating and donating; of prioritising and, eventually, prettifying. And, along the way I've been taking photos and sharing them on my Facebook page - but I thought I'd share the on-going story with you here too.

Anyway ... here's a look at the first 7 days of my #CreatingSpace project [not necessarily consecutive days ... I've been fitting it all in around actually continuing to (try to) work in there! 

DAY 1: The most vital part of any project!!
Just begin! Do something!!!! Anything!! ... so I dragged everything out of one cupboard ... and threw a lot of old paperwork into the recycling.
If you saw the photo I posted on my Facebook page today - of the gigantic tag which came attached to my new coat - you'll know I have a thing for clothing tags. And here's further proof of that ... the collection I've amassed for 'future' projects ...
[Anyone know exactly when the future's due to arrive?]

DAY 2:
All those 'blank' items need to live together ... for when inspiration strikes!
DAY 3: Indicative phrase: "I didn't know that was in there!"
Earlier in the day I made the happy re-discovery of a packet containing these handmade ceramic beads and buttons which I'd bought from the Harding House gallery in Lincoln one summer holiday ... and clearly forgotten all about! It was a very welcome reunion and then later in the day ...
... I found this entirely random selection of items ... lurking ...
In case it's not patently obvious these are: 2 goodness-knows-how-old-they-are toffees, a glow-in-the-dark shooting star and ... a photo, printed using my PoGo printer, of some bottles of antacid sitting on top of a freezer full of pizzas in Aldi.

You may well ask why I have this. I may well not entirely be able to answer ...

 DAY 4:
Now all the bubble envelopes I need for my Etsy shop orders can live directly above the shelf  containing the products. Makes sense really ... especially when I'm trying to get 'serious' and streamlined.

DAY 5: The cavalry arrives ...
James spent his entire Easter break [except for Sunday ... hey, I'm not that demanding] helping a very stressy woman to:
  1. empty an over-stuffed room ... then ...
  2. analyse every shelf unit on the IKEA website seeking out a better storage configuration than the one we already own [FYI: there wasn't one!] and ...
  3. paint the walls with the paint she chose [FYI: 'Grey Hints']
And as if he hadn't already been patient and marvellous enough ... 

 DAY 6: Think: Groundhog Day for decorators ...

On Saturday morning, the day after we painted the room I went in to see how it had dried ... and my heart sank.

It just was NOT the colour it looked like in the tin. It was much colder and more lilac than anything called 'Grey Hints' had any right to be.

So I left the room, wondering if I could just live with it.

"What have you done?" asked James and full of suspicion [clearly I must have had the same body-language as when I've managed to hurt myself in a freakish clumsy incident or when I've broken something ... ]

"Nothing" I replied.

[Insert here a long drawn-out conversation where I deny everything and he simply doesn't believe me ... and then I eventually confess we wasted an entire afternoon ... and then I cry a bit.]

I say I could try to live with it and then this happens:

"Do you LIKE it?" he asks. I shake my head.

"Do you WANT TO like it?". I nod. [BTW: Isn't that the best question? I might have put up with second best if he hadn't put it like that!]

"Get ready." he says, like a parent says to a child who won't get ready for school. "We're going to get some more paint".
 And finally for now ...

DAY 7:
Almost without planning I've reverted to team colours with the room d├ęcor . Team Zebra that is ... and the green and blue accents around the place have now been replaced with black and white. Including the paper-covered boiler-cupboard doors:
I might do a separate blog post about the doors [the cupboard doors that is; not the rock band from the 60s] ... so if you're interested in them ... I'll show you more later.

But in short [who said 'too late'?] I've made a pretty decent start at #Creating Space, in my room, and in my head since I started this project. I'm hopeful it's going to mark a fresh beginning for me and for just the hand-picked, important, useful and useable 'stuff' I decide to allow back in!!!

Just promise me you won't go and look in my spare bedroom for a few weeks ... where everything that I've tipped out of my 'office' has been dumped on to every available surface ...


I've already heard from some of you about how you're planning to redecorate / redesign your creative spaces too so, as always, feel free to link me up or share your tales on the subject with me. 

And if you're already the proud owner of a welcoming workspace ... what was your secret to getting things 'just right' for you?

Julie x


  1. I'm with you on this Julie. I've also repainted the next day.. colour is so important and you have to live with it and feel comfortable. Glad James was so understanding and helpful here!
    I have a cabin in the garden which is my craft space. It's currently chaos and due for a major de-clutter and organisation. I also have plans for future use and want to take a week out to focus on this. Meanwhile I smiled a lot when you said everything has been put into another room while you finishing what you started. I have one half tidy bedroom and one I can't get into the doorway! It's my birthday today and instead of a present my son has offered to roll up his sleeves and give me a hand. Over the weekend I hope to make a difference. Keep up the good work and I'll share my craft space when I can find the floor! Good luck with making yours beautiful and look forward to seeing your space finished.

  2. Loved reading this and look forward to see how it ends up. My study/craft room needs a lick of paint too but not sure when that'll be. Now shouldn't it be getting "mowtivated" rather than motivated?!!

  3. I always get excited by renovations even when they are not my own :). Good job with the repainting - so not worth living with something that makes your heart sink. I find mess demotivating so my best tip for myself - in case it is any use to you in the future - is to take most of the contents of a room out into another but stored neatly in boxes and crates (doesn't need to be organised, just visually neat and tidy) otherwise I end up with two rooms in a mess not one. Looking forward to the next instalment in your room and your life :).

  4. It sounds like you are getting on really well with this project! I use the dining room for my craft stuff and a few years ago decided to organise it better. Cos we do need to eat in there form time to time! I went through everything and got rid of loads, and put all of each thing together, like all paper filed together, all ribbons in 1 drawer etc. Now I try to go through it all each year, and put things back in their correct place, and throw out things I don't want. Just sold 2 large boxes of stuff on ebay!

  5. What a post to read today - when the plan is to reorganise as much of the house as possible - starting at the top and working down (after I started at the bottom a few days ago and couldn't move up any of the stuff that had to move up due to lack of space!)

    Love what you are doing and looking forward to seeing the end result.

  6. Now I see why you liked my tag card :D
    Thanks for sharing your reorganisation with us I feel the need to do this with the contents of our wardrobe!!

  7. Keep going :) It's going to look so great. I see you are a Mr Sheen girl too - had a discussion with my Mum recently about how we tend to buy the brands our Mums used and that was one of the ones we were talking about. No Pledge here!

  8. I got about 90% of the way through decorating my guest room/ craft space. All the creative stuff is organized, but I want to put up some display shelves.

  9. Oh I do so envy you a whole ROOM - for your creative stuff - even if it is masquerading as an "office"! I am with you on the re - painting though - we have done that so many times in our home! Just has to be done - you have to have colours you can live with! Jen x


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