(Photos: Laura Malek) I love Ellen Luckett Baker’s craft blog, The Long Thread where she covers all kinds of beautiful craft projects. Inspirational is an understatement when we got a chance to preview her gorgeous new craft space! Read on after the jump for more photos and a Q&A with Ellen!
CRAFT: What kinds of crafts do you do? Ellen: I like to learn new things, so I’m always open to ideas. My children supply most of my inspiration and I credit them with introducing me to my own creativity. Together we experiment with paper crafts, printmaking, embroidery, art and all kinds of recycled crafts. It seems that I’ve turned my children into little crafting monsters who want to save every bit of paper and trash to make something. On my own, I mostly sew. I am currently working on a sewing book for Chronicle Books to be published Spring 2011. CRAFT: Where do you craft? Ellen: My sewing space has moved around the house quite a bit over the past few years, but now I’ve kicked my kids out of their playroom and have taken over the space. When I decided to write a book, I felt that I needed a room of my own. (Virginia Woolf was right.) But we craft all over the house — in the hall, on the porch, at the kitchen table, and often on the floor. My husband is outnumbered with our two girls, me, and Kiki the cat, but he’s tolerant of the crafty messes that we leave around the house. CRAFT: How do you keep all your craft supplies organized? Ellen: [Insert husband's laughter at this question.] I’ve tried so many ways to organize craft and sewing supplies, but I’ve found that I’m just a sloppy person! I’m not very effective when I spend ten minutes looking for scissors, despite having eight pairs in the house. My new approach is to keep all of my fabric in a closet while leaving my sewing space uncluttered. I gather the supplies for one project at a time because I find it distracting to look at an unfinished project while working on something else. Out of sight, out of mind. CRAFT: How do you motivate yourself to keep your space organized? Ellen: Since I created my new sewing room, I have been pretty consistent about cleaning up from one project before beginning work on the next one. Creating a relaxing space that I want to return to after the mess helps me stay organized. CRAFT: What’s one organization tip/tool/trick you swear by? Ellen: I think everyone has different needs. You just have to know how much mess you can tolerate and understand your personal preferences for organization. I had to hide the mess to clear my brain. I can close the door on a messy closet, but I need my sewing room to be tranquil and uncluttered. I think many creative people are naturally challenged by organization and the need to keep everything for use in a future project. I love to recycle, but if I haven’t found a use for something after a while, it has to leave the house. CRAFT: How do you feel when your space is organized? Unorganized? Ellen: I am so much happier in an organized space. We have a regular cycle of mess and cleaning in our house. It’s often one extreme or the other, but having a tidy workspace definitely helps me stay focused. CRAFT: Describe your dream workspace. Ellen: I know lots of people are working from their dining room table or in a bedroom corner, so I’m thrilled to have a dedicated sewing room. Aside from working on a beach in Tahiti, I couldn’t ask for much more. CRAFT: How does the way your craft space is organized affect your crafting/creativity? Ellen: I spend a lot of time preparing to sew. I think about projects in the shower, in the car, make sketches and write lists all before I even cut a piece of fabric. Cleaning up my work space is often part of the preparation. I’m sure that my spontaneous creativity is hindered by this process, but I do enjoy plenty of unplanned craft moments with my kids.