My first blog post of 2020!! I set out on a mission to complete all my works in progress toward the end of 2019. I was able to finish them all, just in time to bring in the new year with a blank slate! 🎉 Full of ideas and inspiration, I was ready to move forward and have a productive year. The only thought that kept lingering- no, nagging me was the fact that I needed a dedicated workspace! I was tired of working at one corner of the dinner table.
Then I got an idea. I decided to uproot my crafts storage and reclaim the space as my own. My small, under-the-staircase closet was destined to become my tiny creator’s studio! There are built-in shelves, and just enough room to walk in and spin around. My crafts storage consisted of plastic bins stacked inside, and a mess of readily accessible things on the shelves. The storage system I had was inconvenient and impractical. Honestly, it was downright tacky and embarrassing.
I loosely sketched out a plan for how I wanted my shelves to be organized.
In order to create my studio, I had to remove everything from the closet. Here are pics of the messy/overloaded shelves, and the stacks of bins that I removed.
Once cleared and cleaned, I lined the shelves with contact paper in my favorite color.
I purchased two rolling carts that I could place in the back of my closet where the ceiling is low, while the first half of the closet would serve as my workspace. I neatly stocked up the two rolling carts with some of the supplies from the plastic bins.
I hosted a giveaway and shipped out 12 packages of unused yarn. Sold a bin full of yarn on OfferUp. I decorated my space with plants (artificial of course), fairy lights, and a letterboard. I even have plans to hang a pegboard/succulent wall directly in front of my work shelf.
Everything was coming along so nicely, but there was this elephant in the room that just HAD to be addressed. I had products being stored that were made to be sold. They either never sold, or I never shared them for whatever reason. I was faced with the fact that I needed to do something with these items. I looked at the pile and reminisced about the hours that went into creating each item. Bikinis, beanies, blankets, pouches, etc. Some crochet, some knit; all beautiful things into which I poured effort. Here's a pic of SOME of the items.
So many questions floated through my mind. Was I to donate these items? Could I even donate things like this? Should I give it another go and try to sell them now? Unravel them and harvest the yarn? What was I to do?
I ended up with so many items because I originally planned to be a custom knitwear and crochet designer. I no longer take custom commissions, and I no longer plan to keep a stock of ready-to-ship items. The reasons behind this are enough for a whole separate blog, some other time. Luckily, I have already made my decision about my elephant in the room. ALL the projects that are finished and just sitting around for nothing will be harvested for yarn. Most of the yarn used was Lion Brand 24/7 cotton, which holds up VERY well over time and still looks brand new. (Also, because the items were sealed to be protected from dust they are as good as new) The rest of the items are made with merino wool from Sublime or Sugar Bush. I just can’t bear to part with these scrumptious yarns!
The Plan of Attack
This is my year for following through. In order to set myself up for success, I make a “Plan of Attack” to go with each goal (or idea) that I set. Following through doesn’t limit me to just doing one thing at a time. Committing to the follow-through pushes me to move more intentionally. It pushes me to see each goal and idea through to the very end. It’s a beautiful thing to do what you say you’re going to do.
Here is how I will handle these projects:
1. Photograph each project. This will mostly be for my memories, but it will also be cool to look back at these pics once the yarn is made into something new.
2. Unravel each project and cake the yarn. Store them in their sealed bags with info such as brand and weight.
3. Set intentions for the yarn. Write it out on an index card to be stored with the yarn. I.e. “To be used for a sweater, pending a design.”
4. Remix each item into something USEABLE for myself or my household.
That’s it!! A very simple and reasonable method for tackling the elephant in the room. My tiny creator’s studio still needs some more things setup, and TLC, but this is truly a part of building my studio. Here is a glimpse of how it looks so far.
I will share photos of my finished studio soon on my Instagram @whitneymarieanderson and possibly make a video “tour” as well! If I find the time, I will make another blog post.
Now I’m off to work on some charms to post for sale before I start on this plan of attack. Cheers to the Follow Through!