My Workspace – AKA The Dining Room

After making three stripy scarves, I decided to take a little break from felting.  I did some chores and decided to tidy up my workspace, AKA The Dining Room.  I really loved my dining room when it was just the dining room.   The dining room soon morphed into the Art Studio.  I was able to keep all of my supplies in a built in cupboard on one side of the fireplace.  So it did look like a real dining room most of the time. But when I started to paint all of the time, it was easier to have supplies available in trolleys.  That is when the dining room stopped resembling anything like a dining room.  It didn’t matter too much as we could still eat at the table.  We don’t really entertain so that wasn’t an issue and if we did have family to stay, there was plenty of space.

That all changed when I took up felting last year.  I used to store all of my supplies in bags.  Then it morphed to large plastic shoe boxes.  Now I have plastic storage shelves that are stackable.

It was difficult getting everything in frame as the table was in the way and I was backed up as far as I could go.  The stacked shelves have six drawers.  The drawers came in different sizes and I mixed and matched to get the right height.  I could probably use another row, but that would probably be going overboard here.  My wool and accents are color coded and are at the top rows as I use them the most.  Sewing supplies, fabric, beads, odds and ends, felt and pre-felts, needle felting and other bits are at the bottom.  The large plastic shoe boxes now contain items I’ve made like scarves, hats, brooches.  These were supposed to be for a craft fair that got postponed.  I have an antique trolley that I keep my sewing and embellisher machines on.

Above all of my storage, I have paintings I have made over the years.  I had more on the wall, but the wool took over and I had to take quite a few down.  I like trying different ways to paint and I paint for fun.  They may not be to everyone’s taste, but I enjoy trying new things.  I have only ever sold one painting.  My twins have a nice collection of my work.  Once we are able to have car boot sales again I shall have a big clear out.  All of my painting supplies now live back in the cupboard next to the fireplace and I use the trolleys for felting tools.  I haven’t had the heart to get rid of my painting supplies as most of it is Artist’s Quality and expensive.  I am also not quite done with painting.  It is just on pause.

This side of the room has my storage.  I live in a small Victorian house that was originally a two up and two down.  The cupboard on the left is built in and has deep shelves and was probably added when the fire surround was added, which is Edwardian.  The Billy bookcase is from Ikea and has my art books and more art supplies.  The next time I am in the vicinity of Ikea, I shall buy another extension for the bookcase as I have quite high ceilings and can use the storage space. I have felted a lot of vessels.  I have more hidden away.  They are one of my favorite things to make, but I really don’t have anywhere to store them.  I have only sold one so far.

You can now see my dining room table that I work on.  It is Danish and had quite a few scratches on.  There are leaves that extend to make it just over 7 feet long.  I hand painted it in two shades of green.  Before I started painting any type of art, I used to restore and paint furniture for my personal use and for sale.

IMG_6566Here is a photo before the room got decorated to how it is now.   I’ve sold those chairs.

IMG_6090Sorry about the quality of the photo, but the light was reflecting through the window.  I bought the hat and scarf stand for the craft fair and it had been living in another corner of the room until my tidy up.  In this corner where the stand is now I have had an electric clothes airer.  It stays in the dining room in the winter as I use it to dry clothes that can’t be put in the tumble dryer along with wet felted items.  It dries clothes very quickly and I would recommend getting one.  I have the extra large one.  I also have a mannekin in my size.  I have a hat form for pretty much every size of head.  I also have a couple of hand made wooden hat forms, wig forms and some hat shapers.  I really don’t have room for them on this little table I restored and painted.  The table used to live in the living room.  I haven’t had the heart to part with it as it is very cute and useful, but it does have to go as I have no room to walk around the table when both leaves are out.


You can see my trolleys and some more of my art.  I also used to do printmaking.  I also have a couple of unfinished pieces on top of the dresser.  The dresser, as with most of my painted furniture, was a charity shop find.  It turns into a cocktail bar. 🙂  After taking this photo, I moved most of the hat forms to the top of it and put the more delicate hats from the hat rack on them.  I just need to make sure that I keep on top of the dusting as I have nowhere else to store things.

When I first moved into my home, it was just me and the cat.  Now I share it with a husband and two dogs.  I never thought I would try creative things like painting and felting.  Otherwise, I would have bought a house with a garage and loft conversion, or bigger yard with a shed!

I have to say that the amount of items around the house is overwhelming to me sometimes.  One of the reasons I stopped needle felting is that the felties were taking over.  I gave away almost all of them.  I think it all takes over, and unless you are selling them, something will eventually have to give.  While tidying up I had a good clear out of some of my artwork I had lying around for a few years.  It is interesting to see the progression. I had a huge cull.

In this time of self isolation I have had a another chance to think about what is really important.  Creativity is really important.  I realise that I have been really lucky to be able to try new things even though I may be getting on a bit.  Some things I am better at than others.  I am a bit skint at the moment due to the situation, so I am having to use what I have (though I seem to still have loads) and not purchase anymore wool.  When one is limited, one needs to think out of the box.   I will probably be making a lot of hats and accessories until the wool runs out.

8 thoughts on “My Workspace – AKA The Dining Room

  1. Your restored table is a gem – being able to extend to 7′ is great! And we like your stackable white boxes – they’re very neat.
    We liked seeing your photos thank you.

    You could have a mansion and still not have enough room for craft supplies!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ladies! I do love that table. Since I’ve cleaned and tidied up, I almost don’t want to work in it! You are right about never having enough space. The more space one has, the more one has to fill that space! 🙂


  2. This is a fun read, Arlene. You have an amazing supply to keep you creative for the remainder of the year, it appears.
    Here, in California, we are grappling with decisions to close this years vendor & craft shows this fall.
    They are ideal for me to sell my scarves as there is nothing quite like the feel of a Nuno Felted scarf or wet felted scarf.
    My husband makes guitars from scratch & repairs guitars for free for a large high school music program. We await news from the music director about the upcoming school program.
    Our rescue dog (Border Collie) has as more & more trained each day!!
    We have moved from frontier to city life & have adjusted now (took 6 years!!) to a bigger crush of people & their habits. We actually have trash pick up & mail delivery here!💃🏻🎉
    Love Felting & following you. You produce gorgeous items so quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Suzanne! I can get a bit obsessive when I start a new craft and may have gone a bit overboard on the buying! I only have one drawer dedicated to needle felting, but when I was tidying up, I realised that the Corriedale would make nice vessels! Haha! I do like order though. We had a meal in the dining room last night as normally I have a project sitting on it! These are trying times for selling anything. Hopefully things will eventually pick up.


  3. The dining room is my workspace also, with shelving and large plastic boxes everywhere, though it’s a lot less tidy than yours. Thank you for showing us around your workspace, so interesting seeing the different things, and some of your artwork, beautiful things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are welcome! It’s nice to see how and where other people work. You need to use what you have sometimes. If I would have known I would get so involved with Art and Crafts, I would have bought a bigger house! It seems that many people have dual purpose living spaces. My space is only tidy, because I needed to have a good clean! I had wool bunnies everywhere! 🙂


  4. Another one that has taken over the dining room here. I also sew Steampunk outfits so have a lot of fabric etc. I used to make a lot of jewellery so have enough beads to open a shop and don’t get me started in the paper crafting. That’s without the floof! I was going to use the holidays to clear out what I don’t use and do some boot sales with a friend who has the same problem, but sadly it’s now turned into my son’s work from home space so I can’t even get in. I have to take what I want to work with out the night before as he is on the phone as a support technician.

    Liked by 1 person

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