Monday, August 20, 2012

Handmade Home #9: My Work Space

The only bathroom in our house is off of a bedroom for some reason. Since we didn't want anyone walking through one of our bedrooms to get to the bathroom, we made that room a shared office (rather than a guest room or a bedroom for Eden). We really have appreciated that room over the last 4 years. 

I enjoy creating things, things for my family and things for our ministry. Jimmy put together a beautiful space for me to work. I get lost there!
When we first moved in my space looked like this:
It was really impractical. I hid everything behind the screen because I thought my supplies looked cluttered. Since becoming a mom I sew mostly just during nap times. My projects are broken up over shorter periods of time. I needed something more efficient... to make all the little bits of free time I had count. Besides, I had a 3 walled cozy nook and I wasn't taking advantage of it.
For my 30th birthday, Jimmy hung shelves on all 3 walls. He also had a desk made for me. We wanted to try out a new carpenter to see if he would be a good one to build our kitchen drawers. 
Well... he messed up the dimensions of this desk and he evidently didn't let the wood dry out because it has warped and separated over time. I still adore my desk, but he won't be making our cabinets where precision is more important. 
A metal worker made the hairpin legs, which I love, and the drawer hardware. I think these are the drawer pulls I'll use in my kitchen... I can't decide. 
We found the fan in an antique store while we were on furlough in KS. Our office is the hottest room in the house. This fan saves the day! I only plug it in when my boys are sleeping so that we don't lose any fingers! The heart tin full of pins was a gift from my mother-in-law years ago. 

I found this 50lb piece of wonderful in a paca (thrift shop) here. It doesn't have a piece of plastic on it. 
I'm working on a patchwork upholstery job for it with the corduroy scraps from the boys' owls. 

Now for the colorful part of the tour. Sewing supplies are beautiful. They shouldn't be behind a screen! For my 32nd birthday. Jimmy built me this ribbon holder. 
It's a piece of art!
I never had much ribbon until we found out we were having a girl. Do little girls need this much ribbon? Absolutely! For all of their hair bows!
Ribbon is pretty cheap here, but to further feed my new hair bow obsession, my mother-in-law has sent me dozens and dozens of spools of ribbon... which I appreciate! 
I keep my embroidery floss in sections of PVC pipe that Jimmy cut for me. I have stock piles of things because I usually either pick things up on furlough or when we are in the capital. 

Jimmy put metal rods through all of my shelf brackets that hold rope and twine.
Before Jonah and Silas started potty training we always kept the office door shut. Now it is the most interesting room in the house to them. They love to play with anything on this shelf.
For storage containers I use old cans, PB jars, an old kitchen utensil basket that Claire passed on to me, metal buckets, mason jars, old bicycle baskets, and big clear plastic floor cleaner bottles that I cut the top off. 
 Jimmy gave me those test tubes for my 31st birthday. I taught Chemistry before we were married, so I think they are kind of cool. They hold interesting buttons or earrings I find here that I use for the center of E's hair bows.

This is Eden's favorite part of the nook:
 She loves staring at that stack of felt! More PVC for yarn day I'll fork out money for the wide pipe for the bigger yarn.

I found this wood box in Guate. Jimmy stained it for me. 
It holds ALL of my thread (which they don't sell in Petén, so I kind of hoard it) and sewing notions. 
My inspiration board is a vintage frame my mom found for me. She knows I never saw an oval frame I didn't love. Thanks Mom! Jimmy went on a long search to find the cork for this frame. 
All of my cutting tools are hung on a nail next to my sewing machine and serger. All of my small bolts of fabric are stored below on a thrifted bookshelf. The wrapping paper is for pattern tracing. 
My larger pieces of fabric are wrapped around pieces of plywood Jimmy cut for me and stored behind my dress form. 
 The crates below the back shelf are old fruit crates from the market. They hold current projects. FYI: old dirty produce crates from the market are filled with scorpions! Don't bring them into your house unless you like surprises.

That green shirt has been on my dress form for 2 years. Since having this space I have been able to finish things much faster, like my brown knit skirt I made during a nap time last week:

I'm so thankful for my sewing nook. It's somewhere to relax, create, and lose track of time. My husband knows me well. He was so sweet to set this space up for me!


  1. Wow, you are so well equipped! I can't have my stuff out since Dante gets into it and starts projects and loses the scissors, pens, etc.
    LOVE the PVC pipe idea! When I get a bigger place, I'm so doing that.

    1. My boys are ALWAYS in my stuff. Silas cut all the leaves off of my favorite houseplant and decorated the edge of one of my shelves with permanent marker=)

  2. The PVC pipe is perfect - I might have to do that!

    I love all the color in the room!


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