Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Crafty Solution

Recently, Benny and I were discussing the state of the kitchen table. It tends to be my craft work area/landing zone for all that everyday crapola that comes in the house... junk mail, jury duty letter and parking pass (yes, I get that joy next week), recipes we want to try, etc. I tend to be a "piler" while Benny needs a space to be free of clutter. He's put up with my craft junk covering half the kitchen table because he knows I need to leave a project unfinished at times, and because I like to be in the same space with him when he's working on the computer or watching TV. But I realized that it would make him tremendously happy to have a clear kitchen table, and I'd like seeing the space neat and tidy also.

So, this past weekend, we took about an hour to organize my small collection of stamping supplies that had recently taken over one end of the kitchen table. (I forgot to get a before picture of this... sorry for all of you who love before and afters. Just imagine all your junk mail piled up with stamping supplies and a few random leftovers from Christmas decorating and you've got the general jist.) Thanks to Benny's mom, I had recently acquired some fabric covered storage crates (from Costco, where else?!) which I used to organize the paper, envelopes, and stamps.

Then we moved Benny's dresser (it had been emptied at the time that we installed the closet system last year and had never made it's way to the basement... we're hoping it'll find a new home with a friend or a food pantry client--the dresser in it's previous location is above) in front of the window for the time being. We carried the small sewing table that was getting little use in the upstairs guest room down to that corner of our bedroom. With it positioned on the wall adjacent to the window there's plenty of natural light, but I added a small desk lamp for some additional lighting for evening work. The small drawer is great for storing embossing powder, ink pads, decorative scissors, etc. and hides all that clutter well. I love the tape dispenser that's got the pre-cut tape that I can grab with one hand while holding things together with the other, and I added a coaster for the glass or water or mug of hot tea that I always seem to need when I'm in the throes of a craft extravaganza.

I'm going to add a pen/pencil holder to the desktop when I find just the right glass container, and I want to get a desk calendar/blotter to catch all the random pen scribbles and ink from the stamps. Eventually, we'll add some floating shelves above the desk for additional storage. (I'm thinking something white and clean-lined, Ikea-esque, that would blend with our trim and not seem too out of place with the traditional lines of the table. What do you think?)
Right now, I'm bringing a kitchen chair in when I want to work, but our plan is to recover one of the chairs in the basement with our tax refund and some cool striped velvety upholstery fabric my mom purchased for us a while back.

I love the fact that it's allowed me to keep the kitchen table uncluttered, which keeps hubby happy. It also means that my craft area is on the same level as the TV and kitchen, so that means that I can visit with Benny while I craft or check on whatever is baking in the oven without running up and down the stairs.

But on to what you really want to know... how much did we spend?

Table: free (originally from my house growing up, so from Mom)
Storage crates: free (thanks to my mother-in-law)
Desk lamp: free from college days
Coaster: free (it was one of a set of four picture frame coasters--I used wall paper samples instead of pictures to add some texture)
Caster cups: $2 at Wally World (these were to protect the soft bamboo flooring from dents)

Not too shabby for working with what we've got! Have you done any fabulous transformations by just shuffling things around your house? Do you have any grand ideas for the shelving we want to do one day? I'd love to hear from you!

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