Come behind the scenes at My Creative Cottage for a #CraftRoomTour and see Sarita's craft space.
Everything has a story behind it. From the 8 ft. long ceramic top counter that I purchased for $50 when a stamping store went out of business to my great grandmother's wash stand and antique table. There is a lot of history embedded in my space.
Tell us about your space
My Creative Cottage is set in the woods of our backyard. Located behind our 1900’s farmhouse the 400 sq. ft. space started out as an extra garage storage area. When my husband was deployed to Iraq with the Army National Guard in 2004 my friends and I turned it into a gathering place to scrapbook. Upon his return in 2005 we worked together to transform it into my ideal workspace. He is a skilled electrician and handy man so we were able to do a lot on a very small budget. I have some great track and recessed lighting. I also have a total of 15 electrical outlets. I often joke and say some women get flowers as a symbol of love, I get outlets and light bulbs.
Aside from my husband, a lot of hands have come together over the years to make my space what it is today. A dear friend sewed my custom curtains and table covers. She since has moved away but I think about her every-time I look at them. My space has evolved as I have over the years. The more I learn about myself and how I work I am not afraid to try new ways of doing things. I am always looking for the most efficient way to operate in my space.
Currently, I have 2 6.5 ft long tables that I use as a workspace for my larger projects like barn wood signs or to place layouts on as I work on scrapbook pages. I also capitalize on this space for teaching classes and demonstrations.
I maximize my space by having standing work stations. I also gain a lot of storage. Each long table is made up of 2 square tables that I found when a Senior Living Center was redoing their decor. SCORE! I raised those tables with bed risers under the legs and have much needed extra space for bins which house lots of treasures, materials and supplies.
It doubles as a workshop and retail space during the holidays. Currently I am teaching DIY classes, mostly rustic wooden signs and farmhouse decor. I also host kids birthday parties and get togethers with friends and family, all revolving around crafting. My cottage is very much a shared experience.
I gladly share my space with my friends, family, students and clients. The whole reason the cottage came about was to share it with other people. Every Christmas season it is transformed into "Santa's Workshop" complete with a gift wrapping station as well.
My room is set up into different work zones. There is an area for my painting supplies, cricut area, scrapbooking materials, inks, kits and heat press. I prepare sample projects for classes as well as custom orders. I am always working on something. This way I can work on multiple projects without having to put items away in between.
I do word art through barn wood signs, typography blocks, t-shirts, pillow covers, stamping, scrapbooking, home decor projects, seasonal decor, paper crafting, painting, up cycling, trash to treasure projects and furniture re-dos.
I do everything except sew in this space. I keep my sewing machine in my office where I can sit and work.
What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?
We added crown moulding, curtains, removed the garage door and added a permanent wall with windows. I chose a sweet leaf green for my walls because it almost works as a neutral and goes with most things in my cottage.
I use fabric to add warmth and character but also to hide a lot of my storage. I have a bench with pillows to make it homey. Old 6 paned windows garnish my walls as decoration. My grandfather who has passed loved photography like I do, so I hang one of his vintage cameras to remind me where I come from.
How do you keep organized?
I used to have a lot of my supplies out on shelves and peg boards but for me it was too much. It was too hard to focus.
I try to keep the majority of my supplies in clear containers, otherwise it can be an out of sight, out of mind situation. I also use vintage suitcases that double as storage. I make sure they are clearly labeled. They are placed up high and I keep seasonal items in them that I do not access often.
I have to be really good about putting things back where I got them, otherwise I spend a lot of time looking for things.
Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?
Don't wait to purchase the perfect containers. Use what you have and make it work. Don't have the perfect labels? Use Post its in the interim. No matter what system works for you, everything should have a place and everything should go back in it's place. Organize according to how you do things. Your room needs to work for you. Be a place you are motivated to work in and inspired to create in.
Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?
Almost everything I create revolves around my cherished Cricut Maker Machine. This allows me to cut and create with a variety of materials from paper and fabric to metals.
Second possession on my list is my heater. I live in Wisconsin LOL!
My favorite artwork is a framed scrapbook layout of my girls that captures a very special moment.
Several of my wooden signs are on display. Some are made with reclaimed wood from our old barn so they hold special meaning.
I like to find nooks and crannies to place inspirational messages and words in frames and on small blocks of wood.
How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?
Pinterest of course- I have a secret board for projects that I want to try. I can't give everything away lol
Evernote is my favorite application web software to keep organized. It allows me to take clippings from the internet and organize them into electronic notebooks. I take pictures of ideas from older magazines and file them there as well along with other types of media.This is the best way for me to prioritize ideas, projects and to do lists for all things creative and work related as well as around my home.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Old school magazines. I have quite the collection.
I like to walk around really unique and quaint shops to be inspired. I love to look at their displays.
I see inspiration everywhere, billboards, magazine ads, commercials. I get a lot of color inspiration from fashion and home magazines. I love to mix patterns and keep up with color trends through the Pantone website as well.
Music lyrics, quotes and books that I read also lend to my creative process.
If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream space?
To be honest, I already have my dream craft space. However, since you asked, I would love plumbing in my space to include running water, sink and a bathroom.
Would love to add a sliding glass door on to the back and create a sitting area to take breaks and enjoy all the nature surrounding me.
I have often dreamed of having wooden floors, but that is low on the list.
Whose craft room would you love to explore? Send us a message!