Thursday, October 25, 2012

When the system breaks down

I had a system in place last year, and it wasn't all that bad. It was a system of crafting and blogging, photographing and blogging, observing and blogging. Like I said, it wasn't all that bad.

The central hub for this system was the den/office at the front of the house that I'd claimed as my "craft studio" when we moved here four years ago. It seemed like the perfect spot where I could craft, but still check on dinner or throw in a load of laundry.

At some point, the "craft studio" became the "clutter studio", with way too many stamp sets and paper packs and accessories that went unused. I sold off a lot. A LOT! Three hundred stamp sets, and more sheets of paper than I care to count. I promised myself that I'd keep it neat. And I did. Everything stayed in one of two places...a bookcase and an armoire. It had to stay neat. After all, it was at the front of the house, with no doors, visible to every other room on the first floor.

After a while, crafting in the armoire/Harry Potter's cupboard under the stairs felt just too confining. I couldn't craft because I barely had six inches of flat surface to use. I couldn't write because the desk was cluttered with piles. That was just about the time my creative mojo took a vacation.

I used the break to fuel up in different ways. I participated in two weekly bible studies, jumped in to Sunday lessons and worship, explored two new areas of ministry at church, tried to hit the trail for fitness walks every other day, read a lot, and fluffed up the house. It's been a good vacation.

This month, I started thinking about the craft room again.

I decided that what I really needed to do was move my craft space to the basement. It was the perfect solution! My walkout basement has two windows and french doors that face east, meaning plenty of morning sunlight. The back wall of the basement? Totally unused. The perfect spot! I measured and drew plans and started looking for storage systems. I scoured Craigslist and IKEA, made wish lists, and priced it all out. HA! With two sons in college, my dream craft space was just that...a dream.

What happened next was kind of funny. God planted an idea in my head. Instead of coveting what you do not have, why not use what you do have? Great question. But what did I have? I went in storage and looked around. A long, sturdy banquet table. Two wire shelving systems that were not in use. Two Sterlite storage towers with drawers. I measured. Guess what? These items all fit perfectly on my basement wall.

In one hour, I had set up the new system and moved everything down to the basement. Stamps, papers, inks, markers, punches, dies and die cutting machine, sewing machine, ribbons. I was able to move it all so quickly because I had gotten rid of so much in the last year. It turns out that my pared down stash is a lot more mobile now.

Is it now a beautiful space ready for a spread in Where Women Create magazine? Are you kidding? I'm sharing space with a foosball table and a pile of LEGOs. But do I love it? Yes, I do! I have room to spread out and create, with everything I need right at my fingertips.

The best part? I didn't spend a dime to make it happen.

Sometimes, when one system breaks down, God gives us a better system to take its place.

Will I show photographs of my new space? I just might. Will I post photos of cards and other creations again? Maybe.

All things are possible.


  1. I love your story & it's so true! Thanks for sharing Hun!

  2. Thank you for sharing this piece! I too have claimed one of the bedrooms finally vacated by one of our grown children. It's still a work in progress, because my office went virtual in July, so the room represents two big pieces of my life: career and therapy. But the space is all mine! Have fun rediscovering your mojo!

    1. Thanks, Darlene! Hope you're njoying your room, too!

  3. I love reading your blog and I miss your creations. I am excited to once again see the lovely things you create.

  4. Yay for your new space! I love that you used what you had.

    If we all did more of this, we could put a dent in the paper hoarding tendancies that run rampant in our environment! LOL