(Photos L to R, captions by Julie Jackson: Two shelves I tidied up for this story; kit thread storage and a clock that doesn’t work, temporary desk: my Steelcase desk won’t fit through my current office door, bulletin board ‘o stuff.) When I first approached Julie Jackson of Subversive Cross Stitch and Kitty Wigs about her craft space, she was pretty adamant that she wasn’t organized and wasn’t sure if she would be inspiring. Thankfully, I convinced her somehow! Read on after the jump for more photos and a Q&A with Julie! Congrats to Julie for her Subversive Cross Stitch book now in Dutch!
(Photos: Thread cones battle cocktails for space, the side panel from an old pinball machine that I jazzed up with old rhinestones and glitter.) CRAFT: What kinds of crafts do you do? Julie: Funky and silly projects are my favorites — nothing serious, all fun. I love crazy vintage stuff, googly eyes, glitter, old rhinestones & sequins, and original ideas whether they actually work out or not. I’ve been through brief stints in knitting (“Dorky Hats by Julie”–mostly odd-shaped hats for friends), embroidery, art car creations, jewelry-making, mosaics, and I used to sell greeting cards that I cut tiny designs in by hand with an X-Acto blade… but that was insane. Oh, and of course, wigs–for cats. CRAFT: Where do you craft? Julie: Wherever the urge hits me–usually indoors. CRAFT: How do you keep all your craft supplies organized? Julie: Ha! This is why I wasn’t so sure I was a good candidate for Craft Spaces–that’s a huge assumption that I’m organized in any way, shape or form. Right now I’m in a transitional space while I get a new office set up, so the organization is not what I’d like it to be. We had our house redone last year and a lot of things are still in boxes… somewhere. But I do the best I can with Elfa and any industrial vintage shelving I can get my paws on. CRAFT: How do you motivate yourself to keep your space organized? Julie: It makes life so much easier and I like things to be as simple as possible (not that they ever are, but I can dream). Also, we just got two puppies, so I’m much more careful since I’ve seen some strange scraps of embroidery thread coming out of them lately (too much information?) CRAFT: What’s one organization tip/tool/trick you swear by? Julie: I love spending too much time and money on good-quality drawers and bins. The guy who started The Container Store is a close friend of one of my brothers, so I grew up shopping with my mom at their very first, tiny storefront. Later I worked for them during summers in college, so I learned a lot about organization early on. This led to frequent and rabid reorganization spells. CRAFT: How do you feel when your space is organized? Julie: Taller. CRAFT: Unorganized? Julie: Overwhelmed. CRAFT: Describe your dream workspace. Julie: Coming soon! We’re turning our two-car garage into my dream workspace this year. I want it to look like a stage set from the old Merv Griffin Show–seriously. With an “anchor” desk and chairs for visitors, those cool asterisks on the wall behind me, and lots of behind-the-scenes storage. It’ll have a lot of natural light from both east and west, and windows that open for lots of fresh air. Those are big essentials to me, and things that I never got enough of when I worked in office buildings. CRAFT: How does the way your craft space is organized affect your crafting/creativity? Julie: For work, it has to be organized because time is important. With all the different kits I sell, I absolutely have to be able to reach for one and know exactly where it is. And I have to have a system that’s easy for others to pick up on for when I have help. I also need lots of great music, non-stop. If I’m working on something for fun, I have to have a clear space in order to think. It’s completely insane right now trying to do all the work for Subversive AND Kitty Wigs out of one room, but I hope by next January I’ll be able to show you my new space. I can’t IMAGINE it won’t be the very picture of organization (ha!) (Photos: Crafty projects: old rearview mirrors make great candle holders, a paper screen made from balsa strips is a fun window covering through which you can surreptitiously spy on the mailman.)