Member’s Studios – Messy, Chaotic or Clean?

Member’s Studios – Messy, Chaotic or Clean?

Recently I posted a photo of my messy studio room on my personal blog Permutations in Fiber.  One of our regular forum members and a guest blogger here, Karen L., suggested that she would love to see a post about other forum members work areas. She thought it would be great to see how others used their spaces and whether or not they worked in a chaotic mode like I do or kept things nice and neat. I also think that most of the studio photos you see in magazines and online are really not the way most studios look. These types of photos look like “House Beautiful” or “Architectural Digest”. Do people really work in these studios? So this post is about real, working creative spaces. Maybe it isn’t a studio but just a corner in the house or wherever has worked out for creating fiber art. You can click on most of the photos to enlarge and see all the details.

Here’s the photo of my studio (actually when I look at it looks pretty tidy for me). I am working on a variety of paper collages here. There are several in various stages of completion.

And here are two more photos that show various stages of chaos when I’m creating. I do clean up occasionally but most of the time, I have stuff all over the place. And the room is pretty filled to capacity. I need a bigger space but then I end up using the living room, the kitchen, outside when it’s nice…

This photo is Ann’s (shepherdess) creative space. It actually looks pretty clean to me but she says it is messy. Ann wrote a post about her new space in 2015. You can see more of her studio in that post here. 

Marilyn (Pandagirl) has several different spaces that she uses for creating. Her work table is on the left, upstairs storage in the center and her “paper” room on the right.

This is Tracey’s space with supplies set up for stitching. And look at those yummy colors of roving hanging up behind her machine.

And here is Lyn’s work space. She wasn’t going to send any photos at first because she keeps her space neat and she thought I only wanted chaotic photos. She always tidies up after a project so she has a clean slate when she starts a new one. My table has not been that empty in years. Even when I do clean up, there is stuff that lives on the table. I am impressed Lyn 😉

And you might think, like mother, like daughter. But Lyn’s daughter Annie sent this photo of her work table. She said “Here is my current project on the go.  I’m gradually getting more stuff out as I’m testing different fabrics and colours etc on my picture trying to find the right bits.  I reduced the size of my crafting table down to about a third recently but it’s clearly not working.  A bit like getting a smaller handbag but stuffing it full! I will have a big clear up soon though before it gets really messy again during the next projects. I have recently had a big tidy up so the most of the room is not tooooo bad at the mo but it certainly ain’t one of those glossy mag rooms!”

Here’s a photo of Carole’s (akaCraftyWoman) space. Somehow, everyone’s spaces feel much tidier than mine. Even my floor is usually piled with stuff.

Lyndsay kindly sent these photos of her work space. She says it’s a bit cleaner than it normally is and “who knew I had so many pool noodles?”

Last but not least, these are Karen’s photos of her creative work space. So much to look at!

I hope you all enjoyed getting a glimpse into the creative lives and spaces of some of our forum members. I know I did, I want to get an even closer look and peer into all the storage areas to see all the yummy fibers and take a closer look at all the samples, artwork and works in progress. It’s such fun picturing our fiber friends in their spaces creating masterpieces!






31 thoughts on “Member’s Studios – Messy, Chaotic or Clean?

  1. I think that work spaces are always something that is specific to the person. My spaces are all over the place. Mostly messy. I love seeing how others use their space.

    1. Thanks Carol, I agree, everyone’s work space will be different. That was one of the reasons that I wrote this post to see a variety of spaces and how they are arranged etc.

  2. I really enjoyed this post too Ruth! My roving did at one point in the two years I have been using it, get put into some sort of colour order, I was quite impressed with myself, but it has since descended into chaos again!

    Lyn please tell Annie not only do I still want to sit at her table and look at stuff and put it down, I envy all those boxes of coloured threads, I have two! AND they are in colour order, so you must give her points for that! 😉

    1. Thanks Tracey, I think your roving is very well organized. Mine is mixed in with other colors, other fibers, variety of bags and sometimes mixed from a certain project from long ago, crammed into plastic bins. So I have to haul it all out and root around to find anything. One day I might organize it but it’s doubtful.

      And I was envious of Annie’s boxes of threads too!

    2. Oh ok, when you explain your system, my rovings are extremely tidy! One day when I have a studio/ craft room instead of a dining room, I want my pallet hanging along the wall.

    3. Lyn – Well Annie is obviously an astute collector – a magpie where it doesn’t really matter if something is shiny or not!

  3. Well I’m not alone! My bins of roving are organized by color but that’s about it. I didn’t include pics of my sewing spaces either, just as chaotic I’m afraid. It was wonderful see everyone’s work spaces messy or clean. We know we’re all fiber addicts and creators, but it added a more personal dimension seeing those creative spaces. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Am I the only one wanting to fling back Lyn’s curtains to reveal what treasure lies behind them?! or perhaps just the only one admitting it!
    What a good idea for a post Ruth. It is interesting to see people’s workspaces. I have a room that contains all my fibre and craft stuff but I don’t have a table in there so felting is done on the kitchen worktop, machine embroidery at the dining table and stitching in the living room. This means there is ample opportunity to create havoc, and I do.
    My merino is organised by colour and I did have a box of other breeds and a box of batts but both are full so I have bags sitting around.

    1. Thanks RovingOne and yes, I want to fling back those curtains and have a good snoop. I think lots of people work like you do, as in all over the house!

    2. That was my first thought too! 🙂 I bet it’s REALLY messy behind Lyn’s curtain! I have a “wool room” but it is so messy and overcrowded it is like playing a 3D version of the game where you slide tiles around to create a picture every time I need something, my dining room is not much better, while you can see most of the floor we haven’t seen the table since I was forced to clear it on New Years Eve because some friends came for dinner!
      Einstein had a nice phrase I like to quote whenever anyone comments on my untidiness, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then is an empty desk as sign?”

    3. Thanks Teri! Yes, I like that quote from Einstein too. At least it makes me feel a little better.

      And drat those dinner guests needing the dining room table.

  5. This is wonderful Ruth, it adds another dimension to the Forum when we can visualise each other in our creative spaces. What I didn’t show in my photos is that those two 6’6” x 4’ tables double as storage space…..every inch under them is crammed with materials so you can imagine how messy the room looked before they went in!
    I’m going to go back to the photos now and take a closer look at all the interesting bits that folk have laying around on their tables!

    1. Thanks Karen, I am glad you came up with the idea for the post. My table has storage underneath as well. I use every inch of my space. Have fun perusing the photos.

  6. Great Photos! I might have to borrow a few ideas! Everything I own is piled up in one corner of each room at the moment as we’ve just had new windows put in. It’s half mess/half space. I want to try and put things back better so everything is more efficient, and the spaces work better. I just can’t see it happening, though, because any tidy area just invites creativity, and new mess 🙂

  7. Great to see everyone’s workspaces. I can not believe how neat Lyn is. Well Ruth, one end of that my neat table is just piled and i dare not take pictures of the rest of the room. My wool and fibers are organised but everything else is piled here and there in a haphazard and precarious fashion. I also share my space with a very old cat that tends to knock things over. He is the only cat aloud in. He was born in that building and at 18 he is to old to ask to move. Thats my story and I am sticking to it.

    1. That’s why I have floor to ceiling, wall to wall shelves that are concealed by white curtains so that I can’t see too much stuff. I really can’t work in a cluttered environment.

  8. Loved seeing how everyone keeps their spaces! I’m in the process of tidying up mine (or, should I say, in a perpetual process?) so it’s not too bad at the moment, but sometimes I can’t even see the table. I’m in a forever loop of make-a-mess-feel-stiffled-try-to-clean-up! I can’t work when there’s clutter everywhere but if I tidy things up too much they just seem to disappear from my mind and I forget I have them!

    1. Thanks Leonor, I enjoyed this post too. And I certainly understand tidying up and forgetting all about things. I do that all the time.

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