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Come behind the scenes at Just Make Stuff for a #CraftRoomTour and see Nora's craft room and office in Orange County, California.




I have a lot of favorite things, but I think how open it is to the rest of my house is at the top of the list. This room is almost like a loft. It has double doors (although we took them off) and this kind of peculiar “window” that overlooks our living room downstairs.


Tell us about your space

My room is not very big, about 14’x10’, and it’s all mine.

What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?

It started out as a craft room, but as I finished my degrees and started working as an adjunct professor (I teach Sociology and Women’s Studies), it has become about 75% a place to work and 25% a place to craft. Good thing I really love my work.

When I am crafting, it’s usually making cards, wrapping a gift, making holiday or party decorations and scrapbooking.

I spent years as a chronic re-arranger…constantly moving furniture around and trying new ways of organizing. In 2014 we had new laminate flooring put in downstairs and I decided I needed it upstairs in my room too. This meant rearranging once again and I haven’t touched it since. This is way beyond a world record for me.
I think, because I tried so many ideas over the years, I knew what I really wanted and needed.
First, is a ceiling-to-floor fresh coat of super white paint. Bright and neutral, so there is plenty of visual room for color.
Second, is the countertop height workspace with a glass top. I learned over the years that it’s best to be standing while working on a craft.
Third, is clearing out the closet space to make it a little nook. It was a big sacrifice in storage possibilities, but it makes me so happy to have a cute spot for my husband or son to sit down and talk to me.

How do you keep organized?

I clean up. A lot.

I have learned the key is to never have too much and to have a place for everything to be put away. This room can have stuff everywhere and still be completely straightened up in 10 minutes. It also helps that I genuinely love the process of putting everything away in its place. It’s relaxing for me.

Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?

Invest in the places and containers to hold it all…drawers, shoe boxes, files, trays, labels. It may be more fun to save your money for more fabric, yarn or patterned paper, but it pays off when you can find everything easily.
The other trick would be clean out often and donate supplies you know you will not use. It’s easy to be a bit of a hoarder with craft supplies, because you love them and could use them someday…but better to just keep less of what you really love and always have it organized and ready to use.

Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?

“The beast”
The 72-drawer card catalog my husband found for me when he was helping a family member move. It is super-duper heavy, hence its nickname, but it is such a cool storage option for rubber stamps, ink pads, tags, and other crafty supplies.
The painting over my desk is another favorite. It’s Henri Matisse’s “Goldfish”. I fell in love with it when I was traveling with my dad as a young teenager. He bought me the framed print at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and we dragged it back across the country to California. I am far from a young teenager now, so it’s getting pretty faded, but I love it more than ever.
The dual computer screens are far from a sentimental possession, but they are a favorite since most of the time I am sitting at my desk prepping lectures, grading student work and developing ideas for course activities.
Finally, I love my plants in here too. I love to see them thrive as the sun pours in the window through the afternoon hours.
As for my own creations, on the tiny gallery wall at the doorway there are three things I made. I also have my stack of current scrapbooks under my counter. Then, on my desk, I have my planners. I love to craft those up and have actually made my class planner from scratch.

How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?

My answer is pretty boring…pretty much just Pinterest. I follow a bunch of blogs with Feedly, then pin the ideas and recipes I want to try.

Where do you look for inspiration?

I think we live in the best time in the history of ever for being inspired and finding ideas. I will most often search for something on Pinterest and then absolutely enjoy every minute of the brainstorming process of how to tweak or combine ideas to make something.

If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream space?

Wish One: More time to craft. I have a wonderful room with lots of supplies, but only so many hours in the day and a lot of them are taken up with my teaching responsibilities.

Wish Two: A bigger room would always be fun. If we win the lottery I am going to build out into the high ceiling of our living room to increase the space upstairs. I will also be making our master bathroom into a clean, white, spa-type haven with the best tub ever when we win the lottery...but I guess that has nothing to do with crafting.

Wish Three: You know, honestly, I cannot come up with a third wish for this room. I am a pretty darn lucky person to have a space that I love.


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