Saturday, 13 February 2021

Craft Room Tour 2021 - Meet our new creative space

It's been a long time coming and goodness knows my messy craft room stopped me from creating for far too long, but finally, my room is now a functioning space.  It took some work to finally get to this spot.  My craft room had become something of a nightmare where I bought craft supplies and just quickly opened my craft room door, chucked them in and swiftly closed the door again before everything could spill out.  I was utterly ashamed of how I had let my room fall into total chaos.  I hated the deep pink carpet that was there when we moved in and the awful peeling pink wallpaper and the furniture was just way too big for a smaller than box room.  

So, on the 1st of January 2020 (yes...a year ago now, lol) my lovely Scrubby said "Right, I'm taking to that room and everything is being pulled out.  It needs a fresh start".  I've never loved the man more, teehee.  We donated the over sized table and 2 chest of drawers and we knew that the carpet would need replacing and the wallpaper removed.  But the beginning of the "Art Studio" transformation had to begin somewhere.  It started with the over abundance of craft supplies I had.  Honestly, it was completely sinful the amount of supplies I had, and I would have needed 3 lifetimes to be able to use it all.  So I Konmari'd all my stuff and I'd say I sold two thirds of my supplies on Ebay.  Such a weight was lifted once those supplies left my house, figuratively and physically, teehee.  And thank you to all the ladies and gents that bought items from me.  I hope you are getting many hours of joy from the items you bought.  It took us quite a while to sell everything as there was so much and we did it in batches so we wouldn't get overwhelmed or make mistakes.  But we finally got everything sold that we wanted.

Once we donated all the big and bulky furniture, it was time to take measurements and decide what furniture, flooring, paint etc., that we wanted.  Thanks to my recent Ebay sales (and my Scubby sold a lot of his hobby stuff too), we had enough to buy wooden laminate flooring and new furniture.  I was finally getting close to the type of room I always dreamed of.  Although, the room is pretty tiny, 9Ft 7" (297cm) by 6Ft 3" (194cm).  In fact, the room didn't have a straight wall in it given that the width of the room was 6ft 3" (194cm) at one end and almost 6f t 5"(198cm) at the other end.  That made measuring and putting down the flooring a great jigsaw piece.....but I had nothing to do with that, teehee.  

As time marched on, it was tough going as shops were starting to close for the first lockdown in March 2020. We just about got our laminate flooring.  It was, thankfully, delivered a few hours before lockdown began.  However, we weren't so lucky with our furniture. 30 mins before our delivery was due, we received a text message from Ikea saying they had cancelled our order as deliveries needing 2 delivery people was being suspended.  It meant for over 3 months, the room just sat empty, without furniture.  So getting the room finished took much, much longer than either of us anticipated.  But there were more important and urgent things going on in the world, so me not getting my desk from Ikea was not a priority.  But thankfully, we did eventually get everything we needed and boy do I love it.  The room looks incredible now.  My Scrubby (Scrummy Hubby) did such an enormous amount of work and I couldn't be more proud of him.  
Here is what we did, what we bought and where you can find it.
Please don't judge me.  I know it's a mess.  But this was during the packing up stage.  You know the old saying...It gets worse before it gets better....well, this was awful....but it does get better, teehee.
Sorry this is a dark one, but there are brighter ones below.  It's a very small room, but this is what we are working with, lol.
This was the old carpet.  Excuse the wallpaper trimmings but we weren't trying to keep it tidy as it was being pulled up, lol
This was the old carpet.  Excuse the flecks of wallpaper trimmings but at this stage we weren't trying to keep it tidy as it was being pulled up, lol
Wallpaper is starting to vacate the building.  This wallpaper was so old, that when my Scrubby started to remove it, it all came off in sheets.  This was here when we moved in but we just kept it at the time as this room wasn't seen by anyone other than us, lol.  There is nothing more satisfying than seeing wallpaper come off in one long, continuous strip.  
The wallpaper is all stripped and Scrubby preps the walls ready for painting.  It's a South facing room so although it is a teeny, tiny space, it gets a lot of light.
The wall colour is called Boudoir by Johnstones and is a grey/taupe-ish colour.  I love it.  It really freshened up the room and again makes it look so much bigger.  Sorry the photo isn't great.  It's extremely hard to get a good photo of a greyish wall, teehee.
There is a built in wardrobe in this room which is actually quite big as it goes right over to the left of the door.  But it's a bit of an awkward space to keep as a wardrobe....but we have plans for it.
This was what we found underneath the carpet once it was pulled up.  We also decided to remove the curtains completely and we will be replacing them with vertical blinds.
Excuse Scrubby's leg there, teehee.  I'm so happy with how this floor looks now.  It so incredible!  We decided on flooring from Martin Philips and the floor we decided on is called Harbour Oak Grey.  It's such a gorgeous floor and really brightens up the room and makes it feel so much bigger.  It's incredibly easy to keep clean too.  You would not believe the amount of pins and hot glue strands that were weaved into that awful old pink carpet, teehee.
I'm sharing the space with my Scrubby but his hobby doesn't take up as much room as mine.  He wanted his furniture to be very minimal and not bulky.  So, for his desk he franken-monstered a desk.  We originally were planning to have the desk, wall mounted, so the leaf could be placed down whenever it wasn't in use.  But we quickly realised that the wall the desk was meant to be affixed to, was a complete nightmare to drill into.  So we scrapped that idea.  Instead, we bought 4 table legs from Ikea and added them to one of the leaves from a Norden kitchen table, making it a stand-alone desk.    And it works great.  We then bought 2 of the Ikea Skadis Pegboards and the accessories to go with it and his little painting station is ready for use.  Ikea Pegboards, Accessories, Desk top,Ikea Norden tableIkea Table legs
I needed a bit more storage as I do so many different crafts.  I had watched a video on YouTube from The Crafterpreneur who redid her sewing room and added an Ikea fold down Ivar desk to her room, see video.  I immediately thought that it would be perfect for our room, as it could fold away if we needed to use the room as a spare room.  So my Scrubby got to it and built the Ivar.  It was incredibly easy to make and is a perfect piece of furniture for all my crafty needs. Ikea Ivar foldable table.  The vertical blinds were made to our specific dimensions and were purchased from Kingston Blinds Limited on Ebay.  We bought the black out blinds so the room could be darker, if needs be.  You can buy them here

I already had the Ikea Hemnes cabinet previously and I wanted to keep it as it was a fantastic storage unit. As you can see its stuffed full of cardstock, laces, alterable boxes and tonnes of fabric.  This cabinet is a beast and can hold so much, lol.  Sadly I can't seem to find my exact model on Ikea anymore, it must have been discontinued.  But here is something similar, if not larger, in the Ikea Hemnes range
The next issue I had was storage for all my dies, templates, paints, stains, mixed media supplies etc.  I didn't have the room for another big unit, so I decided to think in, the size of the items I needed stored, and I decided on buying 3 of the Ikea Gnedby units.  These are probably used for dvd and cd storage...but not in my house, lol.  They were perfect for my dies, paints etc.  Plus the height of each little cubby can be easily adjusted to make room for whatever you are storing.  
I was taking advantage of height this time around.  These units are 202cm (6Ft 6") tall but only 20cm (7 7/8") wide which is fantastic for a small space.  If you don't have much floor space, take advantage of the height of your room and store up.  They have worked out so great.  I love them.  Plus, as well as being secured to the wall, they have little hooks on top so you can hook your shelves together for added stability.  And being able to adjust the size of each little square has been fantastic for my much larger dies.
I already had the wee Raskog cart from Ikea.  I think every Tom, Dick and Harry has one of these.  But if you want the link, here it is....Raskog turquoise trolley.  It's a fantastic little cart.  I keep all my tools, like scissors, pencils, paint brushes etc., on the top.  That way I don't clutter my desk with tools and I can just roll it next to my desk if needs be.  The other sections, I have stored fabric that I just wrapped around some chipboard.  It holds a surprisingly large amount.
Sorry about the dark photo, but it's dark under my desk, teehee.  I also had the little metal drawer unit previously.   It fits perfectly under my desk and supplies me with surprisingly, a lot of storage. I did not add the feet to this cabinet, as it would have made it too tall to fit under my desk.  Here is the link to it, in case you want one.  Ikea Helmer drawer unit.
The only other thing we did was add Ikea Hyllis shelving to our built-in cupboard.  I don't have photos of it, but there is a built-in wardrobe in our room.  It's a bit of a weird shape, as it has the door into it, but then the cupboard goes quite far back to the left of the door.  It was always awkward as a wardrobe as the clothes would get stuck away at the back and were hard to access.  So, we did a clothes clear out and decided to utilise the wardrobe as a walk-in craft storage space.  We added 3 of the Hyllis units which are incredibly cheap!  Just £10 each for metal framed shelves.  I'm pleasantly surprised at how much weight they can hold because when my husband first built them, I didn't think they'd hold much.  But they really do.  So we've made the build-in wardrobe into a sort of walk-in craft storage cupboard and its working out so well for us.
We wanted the light in the room to be perfect, particularly for my husband when he paints, so we added a daylight bulb to our main room light.  The daylight lamp that is between my Scrubby's desk and mine was bought from Amazon.  It's clamped onto my desk and can swivel in all directions, so it can be moved over my desk or his.  It also has a magnifying lens on it which is perfect for him painting his miniatures.  It's an Ex-Pro long Reach professional illuminated lamp with magnifier and can be found on Amazon.
My desk area obviously has a tonne more stuff, lol.  And although it looks busy, it is organised chaos, lol.  I added some pvc sheeting type stuff under my chair so that the rollers on the chair wouldn't mark our new floors. My chair was bought second-hand on Ebay because I wanted to have a really well made, perfect for posture and comfort kind of chair which meant for me was a Freedom Humanscale office chair.  Now, these chairs are incredibly expensive to buy from new.  But there are a lot of them on Ebay and other sellers online that sell them second-hand.  A lot of the second-hand websites I saw sold them refurbished with new fabric added.  But I found one that was practically brand new and spotless for a fraction of the full retail price.  And the seller was willing to send it from Manchester to me in Northern Ireland for free, which was incredible of him.   

Well, that's the room finally complete.  And now it's time to have fun.  Thanks for stopping by.  If you have any questions about anything I've shared, pleased don't hesitate to ask me in the comments or contact me directly through the blog contact form at the top right of this blog.

Toodles Noodles......Lee aka Loops xx

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Saturday, 30 January 2021

More handmade Bunnies & Bears....Oh My!

 What about ye folks, it's Lee here. Welcome back. I know, I know! I shared these types of cutie patooties in my last post, but as I gave those away as gifts to my nieces and nephew, I just had to make some more. If you want to know all about them, where I got the pattern etc., please click HERE  to see all the information in my previous post.

I made a few wee modifications to these ones compared to my first ones, like fabric sleeves on the bunnies but, everything else was pretty much the same as my first ones. I made their outfits using beautiful fat quarter fabrics from Disney for all of them except, the wee bear with the brown polka dots. They are beautiful fabrics, really great quality, thick cotton fabric which was a dream to sew.  I don't know how I manage to make them all look different, as I'm using the same bunny and Teddy Bear pattern, but each time I make them, they look so different.  Maybe it's their own little personalities shining through, teehee.
I don't think I did quite as good a job with this little guys face, but he's still super cute.
These are the cutest Bambi dungarees I've ever seen.  I wonder could I make a Lee sized pair? 
This is also Disney Fabric, from the Cinderella range.  I decided to add little sleeves with gathered cuffs.  I love how they turned out and I think I like adding the sleeves to the dolls.
Does anyone remember Sooty and Sweep?  I'm giving away my age big time here, lol.  Does anyone else think he looks like Sooty?  Maybe it's just me, lol.
I love his long scarf and the teeny wee patch of Disney fabric on his Dungarees
This little lady got the Cinderella fabric.  I also gave her sleeves too but this time I left the ruffle cuffs off.
I will definitely make more of these in the future but for now I think it's time for me to move on to some new projects.

Well anyway, that's it from me folks. Hope to see you again soon. 

Toodles Noodles..... Lee aka Crafty Loops xx

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Friday, 1 January 2021

Handmade Bunnies & A Teddy Bear

What about ye folks, it's Lee here and welcome back to my blog. Firstly, let me wish you all a very Happy New Year.  Let's hope 2021 is a kinder year for us all, and we stay safe and healthy. 

I want to share with you some wee cutie patooties that I made as Christmas gifts for 2 of my nieces and wee nephew. The girls are both 4 years old and the wee boy is only 6 months old.

These are not my own designs but I do want to tell you about where I got the patterns because I think the creator is incredibly talented and generous. I happened to be watching Micheline from Michoumakes and she was sharing some cute little makes that she had sewn up, when she kindly gave a shout out to the actual designer.

Before I go on, on a personal note, it is incredibly important to me and all us creative types that we give credit where credit is due. Now I know nowadays it's hard to come up with an original idea. However, if you are inspired by another crafter or artist, under Copyright Law you are legally obliged to say where you got your inspiration from. So please, if you are inspired to make something, having seen it from someone else, please do them the honour of crediting them. It only takes a second and it'll mean the world to that person too.

Anyway, off my soap, box. Micheline said she got her FREE pattern from Lisa on her YouTube channel, PayItForward. So I went along to have a look and oh my giddy aunt, I fell in love with the wee bunny and Teddy Bear. The patterns are completely free and the videos are incredibly detailed and easy to follow. Lisa doesn't ask for anything in return for her free patterns, just that you pay it forward and do something kind for someone else. What a beautiful gesture.  So I want to pay it forward by making these for my nieces and nephew and giving Lisa a massive shout out and encouraging you all to go over and check out her channel. Tell her Crafty Loops sent you. 

Boy oh boy am I glad that I came across Lisa's channel. I've never made a doll with a pattern before. I've always just come up with my own designs and to be honest, they're never that great teehee. Now, my makes aren't perfect by a long shot. Sewing is very new to me. But even with all their imperfections, I like they're so cute and perfectly imperfect. I did change a few things but I'll explain that down below.

Check them out.

The bunnies are for the girls & the bear is for the wee baby boy
My first task was to cut the pattern pieces up. I wanted to make the little Teddy dungarees first and I'm so chuffed with how they turned out. Instead of using the snap closure that Lisa uses, I just sewed the straps down with buttons. You can add snaps if you know you want to change the bear's outfit. Click here for Lisa's tutorial. 
Now the heads are made. I actually didn't reinforce any of my pattern pieces with fusible interfacing like Lisa suggested. My felt is really thick and it didn't need it. I also left out the stuffing from all the ears too.....mostly because I forgot, lol....but once I realised, I preferred the ears without stuffing, as it made it easier to sew, for me anyway.  Plus the ears were softer because they weren't stuffed.  But you stuff yours, if you wish. 
As suggested by Lisa, I added safety eyes to them as these are being given to a baby and 2 young kiddies. So I didn't want there being any choking hazards. I also didn't used the bear nose pattern as I felt it was too big for his face.... Because of my doing.... Not the patterns fault. 
Then I simply followed Lisa's incredible video instructions and here are my little cuties. As I said, they aren't perfect and, by the time I got to the last bunny, I was slowly improving, lol. 
Unfortunately, I didn't quite stuff his little head enough so his wee face and nose are a bit soft looking.  But I just love his little blue eyes and his turned up Dungarees.  I want to make myself dungarees now, teehee.

I wanted to add a little Artistic signature, so to speak, on the bear & bunnies.  I added a little square patch to the back of the bear's leg......but then forgot to add it to the bunnies.  Oh well, hopefully I remember to do it the next time I make these.
Look at that happy wee face.
This was the last bunny I can probably tell as I improved my stuffing technique and made sure she had plenty of stuffing in her wee face.
The wee skirt is meant to be removeable but I was very aware that it might be the first thing to go walkies or missing.  So, I added a couple of tacking stitches on both sides of the skirt, at the waist and just sewing a few strong stitches onto the body of the bunny.  That way the skirt won't come off and end up lost.

I think they turned out so cute and I will definitely be making many more of these in the future. Well anyway, that's it from me folks. Hope to see you again soon. 

Toodles Noodles..... Lee aka Crafty Loops xx

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