It has been some time since I last spoke to you, hope you are all doing well and enjoying the weekend.
Last week I taught a workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was a great success, what lovely ladies – will share some photos with you next week.
If you are like me you love to peek inside others’ spaces so this week I am going to share with you my studio where it all happens. A few weeks ago work began on some overdue renovations to my office/studio space which is located up the stairs (you all know of these stairs, there are 23 of them and I ascend them each time I need to scan a step by step photo for embroidery instructions:)
My business was starting to outgrow this space and I was encroaching into the spare room next door, which meant I generally discouraged guests coming to stay as it meant clearing a space for them to sleep! The next step was either to find new and larger premises or make some much needed changes so that we could once again welcome guests into our home. My ever patient husband agreed that I could make the changes as long as I did not knock out too many internal walls!
My aim was to make the space as clean, uncluttered and organized as possible – is this not something that we all aspire to but generally can’t manage to achieve? Let me put your mind at rest that my home in general is very “lived in” – (“embroidery forever, housework whenever”), but it was essential that this space be orderly so that I can in turn be efficient when it comes to dispatching orders, keeping stock of materials, and of course designing, designing designing – which is just my very favorite thing to do. I chose to keep the colour scheme very neutral and opted for a pale grey for the walls with accents of black and white.
The last 3 weeks have been a flurry of activity upstairs with painters, carpenters, and workmen which has made it very difficult to get any work done, in fact I had to close the shop for a few days as it was nigh impossible to ship orders. But finally it is all completed and I am so thrilled, it is my little haven away from the rest of the world where I can revel in everything embroidery related.
The acrylic drawer units that you see here house all my embroidery threads – they are not new I had them made some years back by a kitchen company. Each drawer holds a colour and because I can see through them it is easy to find what I am looking for.
I had a huge cleaning spree and got rid of so much “stuff”, I can recommend it – it really is very freeing. One of the things that I had a huge stash of was books – as with all of us embroiderers we collect them over the years. They have been a wonderful source of inspiration, research and knowledge to me, but the interesting thing is that with the advent of the internet (and of course Pinterest) I find I don’t refer to these books as often as I used to, so I was quiet brutal with getting rid of those that no longer had a use. I plan to donate them to the guild library where members can make use of them. Now I have a nice little bookshelf unit on the wall.
I have a huge stash of Inspirations Magazines spanning over a period of about 14 years, many of which I have contributed to over the years and would, could not part with – so they have been given their own special shelves. They are a wonderful source of reference and inspiration and keep me up to date with whats going on in the embroidery world. If you are thinking of what you would like for Christmas treat yourself and get a subscription!
The other thing of course which we don’t really need anymore is files? All my files are now stored in folders on my computer so I was able to free up a ton of space by parting with those and of course that means no more punching and filing which was my worst job anyway! Things have come a long way since I first moved into my office 11 years ago – I now have little helpers for everything – a label printer for printing postage labels, a scanner, printer, computer, ipad, projector, photo tent, daylight magnifying lamps, online banking and so much more – it really does make life much easier, what would we do without technology?
All the stock for the Etsy shop is now housed in neat plastic drawers with labels on so I can see at a glance what I am looking for when packing orders ready to ship.
One of my main problems was storing large bolts of fabric, boxes of packaging, envelopes, thread etc. This was overcome by converting an area of passageway outside the office into a walk in storeroom.
I have some of my favorite pieces framed in the house but I wanted a way to display finished pieces of embroidery without having to frame every single one! I covered my old memo board, courtesy of lovely Pinterest ideas, but am still looking for an efficient way to display these. If any of you have ideas on this would be grateful if you could let me know.
Christmas is fast approaching, and I have re-stocked the Etsy shop in preparation as last shipping will be end of next month. I have not forgotten your second Provencal embroidery landscape that so many of you have emailed me about – working on the whitework book at present but hope to get going on it really soon.
Meantime, wherever you are in the world, remember “Embroidery forever, housework whenever!” Keep smiling and happy stitching! Trish