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Craft Spaces: Cathy Callahan

Craft & Design

CRAFT: Make Space for Crafting

From vintage-style flower loom pins to mushroom pin cushions, I have always loved the beautiful crafts from Cathy Callahan, aka Cathy of California. Her craft room studio is no different as I eye over and find myself oogling over her beautiful vintage orange owl on her desk and her neat stack of drawers filled with supplies.
Read on after the jump for more photos and a Q&A with Cathy!

CRAFT: What kinds of crafts do you do?
Cathy: A little bit of everything so that means I have a lot of supplies. I also make props for my “day job” so I have all the stuff for that too.
CRAFT: Where do you craft?
Cathy: I have half of a small spare bedroom as my workspace and office. I have a couple of Ikea tables that function as a desk and work table.
For bigger projects and when I have to glue and paint I set up a folding table in my living room (pictured above). I found a “quilter’s table” on sale at Joann’s. (I think it was only about $45.) which has been indispensable – it’s around 6′ x 3′, almost waist height, on wheels and folds up (I store it in my laundry room when not in use). And of course my dining table is also often in use. This quilter’s table at Joann’s is similar. I couldn’t find the same one I had.
CRAFT: How do you keep all your craft supplies organized?
Cathy: This is a constant challenge. I have to set up each time I start a new project as I have no room to always have everything on my work table and ready to go. The best way I have figured out to store things are in small drawer units that are on wheels that I store next to and below my desk. I used to put everything in plastic bins but that became a huge frustration because it seems like I always needed what was on the bottom of the stack.
I tried a few different things out and ended up splurging (on sale mind you) on a few Elfa drawer units. They are very well designed and sturdy and have made my life much easier. I am pretty sure they will last me forever. Off to the side of my desk are some stacking baskets and a bookshelf.
Here are some favorites:
The Helmer drawer unit from Ikea is fantastic. They are inexpensive and have 6 drawers that are perfect for small things like scissors and tools.
The stacking baskets and Elfa drawers at The Container Store are great for fabrics and magazines.
CRAFT: How do you motivate yourself to keep your space organized?
Cathy: Like may crafters i’m a little on the OCD side! I also don’t think straight when I am surrounded by disorganization!
CRAFT: What’s one organization tip/tool/trick you swear by?
Cathy: Keep things tidy and clean up as you go. I am also really big on trays – I often have several projects going at once. If I have to put something aside to work on something else then I put everything in a tray so I can clear my work table for the other project.
CRAFT: How do you feel when your space is organized? Unorganized?
Cathy: I think i’m in good shape right now but things could always be better.
CRAFT: Describe your dream workspace.
Cathy: A place that is separate from my home. It’s a little challenging at times to work at home and sometimes it’s hard to relax when all of your projects are piled on top of your dining table. When I’m in the middle of a big project we eat in front of the TV which is not ideal.
As far as a “dream” goes I would love to have a large studio with a several long worktables and lots of storage. I have had the pleasure of going to workshops at both Denyse Schmidt’s and Lotta Jansdotter’s studios. Those spaces are what comes to mind if I am thinking about a “dream” workspace.
CRAFT: How does the way your craft space is organized affect your crafting/creativity?
Cathy: There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find something. I also think it’s a good idea to have things that inspire you nearby. Things that you collect like magazine tear sheets.

2 thoughts on “Craft Spaces: Cathy Callahan

  1. AmandaDawnAmanda says:

    Does anyone know anything about the prints leaning against the wall in the first photo? They’re absolutely gorgeous! Artist? Website? Shop?
    Any information would be greatly appreciated!

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