Being Creative

I don’t consider myself to be a creative person but some of my friends disagree because they point out all my knitting projects. Yes, I can knit, crochet and spin but knitting a garment entails reading a pattern and I have a logical and ordered mind (most of the time ๐Ÿ™‚ ); this is reflected in the work I do: administration and budgets. But I don’t write patterns or knit freeform. I still stick rigidly to following a pattern. I admire people who can create such wonderful patterns for me (and others) to knit. Now they are really creative. One thing that I have discovered is that I do have a knack for using the spaces in my home quite ‘creatively’. Warning: this is a long post so you’d best settle in with a cuppa!

It started a few years ago with this little area under my internal stairs which I call the Book Nook. This is usually a difficult space to utilise because of the slope of the stairs but I have made it into a functional space.

DSC00556aAnd then it progressed to this area that is directly under the overlapping kitchen shelf and quite hidden away.

11CD DVD shelvesThe shelves now home all my CDs and DVDs. They’re out of the way but more importantly, I can see all of them!

13CD DVD shelvesMy biggest challenge recently has been to try and bring some sort of order to my growing fibre and yarn stash as I was slowly (or should I say quickly) running out of room. So after a lot of ‘creative’ thinking I realised I actually had one room in my home that I didn’t even use!! So I moved a few items into this room and it’s the new place where I can comb wool during summer (as my outside back courtyard is simply too humid). I have even moved some of my fibre into this room. It has a tiled floor so it’ll be easy to sweep up the dirt from any fleece. Okay, enough teasing; here’s the room I’m talking about.

Bathroom 01Yes, it’s my bathroom of all rooms!! I only use the ensuite so this room is really wasted. Here’s where I’ve stored some of my stash.

Bath 01How cool is that idea? The polystyrene box (which holds some alpaca) just rests nicely on the inside ledges of the bath. Perfect!

Bath 02I bought this old telephone table (which also came with a chair) for $20 and it’s perfect for clamping on my two sets of wool combs. These ones are Alvin Ramer combs made in Canada which I bought recently from a member of the Australian Handspinners and Knitters group on Facebook. And of course, there’s also my Valkyrie wool combs that I bought from Karen Severn. Karen is the Australian distributor. (The combs are in the bag on the bathroom vanity and the block is clamped to the table.) You know me, I can’t just have one of anything ๐Ÿ™‚

Bathroom 02The chair that came with the table was quite yukky – dirty vinyl on the top and the chip board base was very flaky.

Chair 02-tileSo I thought ‘creatively’ and bought myself this bread board for $8..

Chair 01And screwed it to the chair frame and voila I now have a new chair which can also be used as a small table!!!

Chair 05Chair 06It will be easy enough to get a small cushion, sew on some ties and tie each one to a leg to make the seat a bit more comfortable. I won’t be doing much sitting in this room as wool combing lends itself to standing.

Chair 07The seat still sits right under the table despite the bread board being slightly larger than the original base. I have considered buying two more of these bread boards and making a new table top as this one is also chip board underneath and it keeps flaking and dropping onto the floor.

Chair 08I even have a small vacuum cleaner which will be ideal to quickly vacuum up those bits of dirt once I start combing.

VacuumNow to my new craft room. I actually have two spare bedrooms and they were both being used as storage rooms for my stash. I really needed a working craft room rather than using the dining room downstairs which was fast becoming overrun and unsightly. So I got my thinking cap on. The main thing that I needed to change in one of the rooms was to get rid of the single bed which was being used as a large shelf and it took up a lot of space in the room.

Single BedAnd to replace it with some type of table. So one day while I was looking on Ebay for a table (as you do), I came across this one.

Trestle tableHow perfect is that? A table that I can fold up if ever I need to and it’s easy to store. Here’s my new table which I absolutely love!!

Craft Room 02That’s my sewing machine on the left hand side. I can actually use it now!! Every bit of space has been utilised even under the table. And you know the single bed I was talking about? Well I put the mattress up against the wall as well as the bed frame. As I looked at the bed frame I had another ‘creative’ thought and came up with this idea.

Craft Room 03Lots of hanging baskets to pop little bits and pieces into ๐Ÿ™‚

Craft Room 04I was on a roll! My next idea which I copied from someone on the Addi King Loomers and Knits Facebook group was to purchase this workbench from Bunnings for $25 to put my two Addi knitting machines on. It’s fantastic as I just turn it around depending on which machine I want to use. And the space directly under the workbench is not wasted as this is where I store the yarn I’m using to make my hats.

Addis 01Addis 04The rest of this craft room is stacked with stash.

Craft Room 07 Craft Room 08 Craft Room 09What I love about this room is that in summer it’s on the shaded part of my home, there’s a large window and the breeze pours through it. I spent most of yesterday in my craft room and even settled in with a pot of tea! Utter bliss I must say.

Pot of tea 02This picture gives you an idea of the size of the window.

Craft Room 01My other stash room is looking neater now that I’ve tidied it up a bit.

Blue Room 01 Blue Room 02 Blue Room 04I’ve even managed to clear this little table so I have a small workspace here too if I need it.

Blue Room 03

I don’t live in a house but rather a townhouse but I am blessed to have three bedrooms all to myself ๐Ÿ™‚

You could say I am quite pleased with the ‘creative’ ways I’ve found to use my limited space. Now the trick is to stop buying any more yarn and fibre!!!

Until next time…

Melanie

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The Stash Storage Dilemma!

We all experience it. We all try to find workable solutions for it. We all pull our hair out trying to solve it. Yes, it’s the stash storage dilemma! How to store your ever-growing stash in such a way so you can find what you want, when you want.

My dilemma has just doubled as I have now spread my stash over two spare rooms in order to be able to seek and locate everything I own!! So, if you’re a friend of mine and you wish to bunk down at my place one night, you’re going to have to bring your own fold-up bed! And be prepared to sleep in the lounge room so you’re not classed as a ‘missing person’ the next day because my stash has devoured you ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are some photos I’ve taken to show you. Stash room # 1. This is the top of the single bed. Each bag/container has a different ply yarn stored in it and the plastic bag contains a beautiful alpaca fleece.

Stash Room 01

This is the floor – full of fold-up laundry containers with different types of wool.

Stash Room 02

Plus plastic storage boxes on top of two bookcases. The plastic is great to see what yarn is contained within each box.

Stash Room 03

Bookcase shelves filled to the brim!

Stash Room 04

Alpaca fleece in the pillow slips and boxes of zip lock bags ready for more yarn! Plus more knitting paraphernalia in the drawers including zip lock bags that contain all my longer circular needles.

Stash Room 05

The three cardboard boxes are filled with sock yarn and a bag filled with Cleckheaton yarn. Some wool tops in the pink bag. And a vacant space so you can actually walk into the room!!

Stash Room 06

My project bags hanging on a coat/hat stand.

Stash Room 07

And hiding behind are four plastic storage boxes filled with my small stash of acrylic.

Stash Room 08

Stash room # 2 – I have recently sold and/or donated hundreds of my books to make room for my stash. A couple of empty plastic boxes just waiting to be used!

Stash Room 09

Notebooks, orange folders containing patterns, straight needles in the yellow box, dpns and small circular needles in the two small plastic boxes, knitting books, orange project baskets and knitting/spinning magazines.

Stash Room 10

More patterns in the orange folders,knitting books and knitting/spinning magazines.

Stash Room 11

Patterns waiting to be housed in their orange folders. The 2013 Knitting calendar with lots of useful patterns in it. My son gave me the 2015 for Christmas so I have lots more patterns to look forward to!

Stash Room 12

Lots of baby yarn stored in this room.

Stash Room 13

More baby yarn…Bella Baby Superwash 4ply merino and only $1.50 a ball!! As you can see I bought heaps at that price.

Stash Room 14

More baby yarn. Can you tell I’d love to be a Grandma!!

Stash Room 15

Love my stash of Cascade Superwash 220 and Lana Gatto Super Soft.

Stash Room 16

And inside the wardrobe are just some of the scarves, shawls and cowls I’ve made over the last couple of years. I must find a better way to store them so I know what I have.

Stash Room 17

Any stash storage suggestions would be very gratefully received. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d love to hear how you store your stash as I’m always after better and more efficient ways to store mine so I can find my yarn when I need it.

To finish, I’d like to show you my latest yarn acquisition from Zen Yarn Garden via Yarn Glorious Yarn in Brisbane of course.

This is the twelfth offering in the new ART WALK Series and features a painting by Claude Monet entitled “Study of Olive Trees”. Inspired by Monet, Zen Yarn Garden’s dyer has successfully captured some of the emotion and colour in Monet’s masterpiece.

Zen Yarn Garden Mone Olive 05

Claude Monet (1840 – 1925), the founder of Impressionism, was one of the most influential landscape painters in the history of art. Born in Paris, Monet met fellow Impressionists Renoir, Sisley and Bazille while enrolled in the studio of Glenyre. Monet painted outdoors to convey the fleeting effects of atmosphere, time of day, and season upon color and light. He represented natural color like a prism, breaking it down into its individual components. He often painted a series of the exact same view under different light and weather conditions.ย [quoted from Art.com]

Zen Yarn Garden Mone Olive pic

I bought two skeins of this Serenity 20 which is aย 70% superwash merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon. Each skein containsย 400 yds / 100g ย and is a fingering / 4ply yarn.

I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas break and managed to sneak in lots of knitting too!

Yesterday, I started this lovely scarf which uses lots of small scraps of my my 4ply yarn.

Leftie Scarf 02

I can’t wait to show you the finished scarf. It’s looking fabulous.

Until next time…

Melanie