We head to Austin, Texas this week to take a tour of Laurie's bright and cheerful craft space and meet her lovely cats.
"My favorite thing about the space is all the light it gets. When I was looking at this house and I came up stairs and found this really giant area at the top of the landing that was just flooded with light, I just knew this was the place for me."
I believe the room was designed as a game room, but they just didn’t know at the time that it was meant to be my studio. I also love that I have to pass through that space to get to both my bedroom and my office, so all the bright colors and all the textures bring a smile to my face every time I go through there. I share the space with my two cats Fiona and Dexter, but they’re pretty good about not being space hogs. If I’m in that space, you can bet there are 2 cats close by.
Is this also your work space?
I have a separate area where I do my design and digital work. I’m lucky that it’s a bright and cheery space as well. I keep a pin board in front of my monitor is always being added to and has things to make me smile or inspire me. It gets a bit messy up there sometimes, but I like having lots of lovely things close by. Two of my favorite things in my office are a typography print (by Grace Hester Designs on Etsy) and a shadow box of the Brooklyn skyline (by Pepper Sprouts on Etsy). I primarily sew in my sewing room. But I’ve also used the space for screen printing, letterpress, painting and handwork. I don’t have big comfy couch or chair to lounge on so hand work like embroidery tend to happen on the couch downstairs.
What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?
Color! I try to infuse everything in my house with lots and lots of color. I’m not so worried about matching styles or about over-designing my space. I just fill it with things that I love so it feels very ‘me’.
How do you keep organized?
I’m definitely a messy crafter. But I can’t stand to walk into a messy studio. A clean start each day really helps to energize me, so I really try to clean up at the end of each day. I can feel a bit overwhelmed if I feel like I’m fighting with my work space, so spending a few minutes each day to put things away really helps me. When I have works in progress, I use note cards for helping me keep track of how many blocks I have/need, or for lists of what I need to do next. Depending on the project and how long I think it might take, a WIP project will either be stored on a shelf or if it has lots of pieces, I may set aside a bin or a box to keep it all together. Not surprisingly, I’m a bit of a fabric junkie. I think we all are aren’t we? I keep all of the fabric I design for Robert Kaufman on bolts on rolling shelves. Keeping them on bolts makes it easier for me to quickly get to what I need for a project or a giveaway. I like to share my fabric, so I do giveaways pretty frequently and its so much faster to cut fabric pulling from a bolt rather than pulling from a pile of fabric I have to stack and unsrack. Then I have big see through plastic bins that I store any of my other fabric in. Like everyone, I struggle to keep my stash organized but try to group things generally by color.
Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?
I used to keep all of my very small scraps in a big bin and it was a giant mess. I never used the scraps because it was such a mess and nothing ever looked very appealing in there… So I saw a great image on flickr somewhere of someone using mason jars for scraps. So I picked up 10 large ones and use them for my scraps. So not only have they helped to keep me organized, they look really pretty.
Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?
I love my green peg board. It was so easy to do (I just painted it and there are 2” wooden spacers behind the board that I used to both attach the board to the wall and it gives enough space behind the board to be able to put pegs in and out). I bought a few inexpensive shelves which just sit on top of a few pegs and used washi tape around the edges to pretty them up. It helps me keep off all of my cutting tools, rulers and my printed ribbon (for packaging) in an easy to get to spot and that way I don’t lose anything. I also have some fun little felt pieces I made up there, so it’s like my own little village. :)
I have few of my creations on display, but for the most part, I’ve displayed gifts that some of my lovely blog and Flickr friends have shared with me. I have quilts from Ashley from Film in the Fridge and from Rita at Red Pepper Quilts. And there’s a wonderful quillow (quit that folds into a pillow!) and pin cushion from Nova at A Cuppa and a Catchup. There’s my Polar Bear Rocket ship hanging from Alex at Teaginny Designs and my selvage whale from With Hugs N Stiches. And I have some wonderful wall hangings, pin cushions and bookmarks that were gifts as well. Each one lives in my studio and I treasure each and every piece. I’m always so touched by people’s generosity and their creativity and feel so blessed when people share something they’ve made with me.
In terms of my own crafts, you might notice in one of my pictures, there’s a resin deer head that I’ve decorated with some washi tape, but every time try to I hang it, my cat Dexter goes insane and wants to try to get to it, so I haven’t figured out a way to display it without making him bonkers. So for now, it just lives tucked into a shelf space and I’m hoping something will occur to me eventually.
How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?
I keep a binder where I have mood boards and inspiration for designs. Its also filled with doodles and other goodies.
If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream craft space?
I really love my space so there’s not much I would change! I might consider adding floor to ceiling shelves and I wish I had a big comfy couch or chair in there. But other than that, I’m really happy with the space.