I don’t know about you, but I love peeking inside the studio space of other creators and makers. I’m curious about how they support their practice and what inspires them. Often I come away with ideas for my own creative retreat.
A little background
Built in 1893, our home is known locally as The Periwinkle, the restaurant that was here a few years back. Originally however, it was the general store for this area for almost 80 years. That means wide open spaces, big rooms and loads of personality.
The upstairs (a full 3 bedroom apartment plus) was to be our daughter’s space so we bought it to serve as two homes. However, plans change, something came up for our daughter and suddenly all that space became one home again.
The truth is we wouldn’t have considered a house this big if we’d thought it was just the two of us but intuition and serendipity has never led me astray. I now have the studio and office space I’ve always dreamed of complete with inspiring views to feed my creative heart. In addition we even have private guest space for visitors!
Talk about feeling blessed!
Come in and let me show you around
Welcome to my creative space. We haven’t painted or changed much yet, except for the heating system and some of the lights,which means you’re seeing the “Before” view. My plan is to share the progress as I put my own touch on the place.
Climb the stairs and you’re immediately in my office where I run my business and write this blog.
This is the only room in the house that’s carpeted. Not sure why that is but it sure cuts down on noise and echoes, which will be handy when I start podcasting again. My gramma’s platform rocker sits in the corner, waiting for visitors and the shelves are filled with some my favorite books.
Looking back into the office from the other side, you’re standing in the studio doorway. You’re only seeing about half of the window in this picture. It’s a big window looking over the village and lighthouse. Also, lots of light! The sill is wide and right now I have two big bowls filled with stones I’ve collected on my walks along the shore. As you can see I’m still looking for places to hang pictures and such. With such big windows and tall furniture, wall space is at a premium.
Also, my planning calendar takes up a lot of room. You can’t read it from here but there are some pretty juicy ideas written there. Fun plans to help us both dive deeper into our creative practice, so stay tuned!
This space seems very ‘business’ at the moment so I want to jazz it up over the coming months to reflect a more creative state of mind. I’m thinking a chalkboard wall right were the calendar is. Victoria Lynn Hall has one in her studio and I covet it!
My Fiber Studio
This is where I quilt, sew, knit and eventually, will dye my own yarns and fabric. It even came with a sink area so it’s perfect!
When you come into the space there’s an area with a chaise lounge, my journal materials, music and of course, the cat. It’s where I like to start my day. At some point, this may move into one of the bedrooms because I’d like this space for worktables but for now, it’s just right.
I keep my yarn stash in the old bookcase which makes it easy for me to see. I pared this down a lot when we moved but as anyone who works with yarn knows, the stash has a will of its own and tends to grow when you’re not looking.
On the other side of the room is my quilting/sewing area. I originally wanted this space for painting because the view out that window is spectacular, looking across the Bay to the cliffs. But faces east and the morning light is just to bright to get a good read on my colours. In the end, however, I feel this setup is way better.
I love solving a problem by repurposing something
Before we moved, I did all my cutting on a kitchen island, far removed from my sewing machine. One of the first things I wanted when we got settled again was a cutting table.
After (most of) the boxes were emptied and the dust cleared, Heber found this old counter/table in the basement. We figure it’s left from when this building was a restaurant.
We dragged it out into the yard (Literally. It’s very heavy), gave it a thorough cleaning and moved it upstairs, where he painted it. Turns out the weight is a bonus. It doesn’t have to be bolted down but it doesn’t move. However, I can still slide it out of the way when necessary.
A simple organizing idea
My ruler collection had outgrown the holder I originally bought to corral them. I added 3M Command hooks to the sides of the cutting table.
Now they’re always within easy reach when I need them. Once Heber gets a few other things done around here (like building a laundry room) he plans to add a shelf underneath to store interfacings and battings.
The Odd Corner
I have this alcove area which isn’t being used for much right now. I can see a design wall here but I’m keeping my options open at the moment.
The Painting Studio
Finally, here’s the smaller room just off the fiber studio where I paint.
It faces north and the light is perfect for painting. Heber also installed an overhead LED light that lets me work long after the sun sets.
I like being surrounded by my art, so I’ve displayed some of my work on narrow Ikea shelves. That has to change and soon. They’re developing ‘swayback’ leaning against the wall. Last time I was in Ikea I purchased their wire hanging system for curtains (Dignitet) and once we get it up, I’ll clip them to the wire until I scan them for printing. (An Etsy store is in the works.)
Right now, all I’ve really done with this area is set it up to paint. I haven’t made a lot of decisions about what’s needed beyond a table and some shelving. Plus I’ve got my eye on those banker bookcases for displaying quilts which means I’ll need a better system for my painting supplies and sketchbooks.
Finally, I can’t let you leave without sharing the views. They’re almost the best part!