Friday, May 30, 2008

Where We Create: Behind the Scenes of NC Triangle Etsiers

Behind the scenes of Etsy shop Jennerosity, aka Jennifer Nelson

How would you describe the space in which you create?
In a word, INSANE!! Since the birth of our second child, my craft space, which formerly occupied my darling son's bedroom, is now a corner of our master bedroom. I try to keep it confined to my craft table and tall metal wardrobe that's absolutely crammed with supplies, but somehow things start to meander, and I've got works in progress collecting dust on my dresser, a kid oven for baking clay pendants in our bathroom, extra crates on the floor for those extra things I might need to use soon, etc. Since I'm the mother of 2 young children who like to play alongside me, I've set up a card table next to my craft table where I try to keep them occupied with a "kids' craft", in order to keep them out of "Mommy's crafts." It's a crazy way to create, and my little one often gets pulled up onto my lap while I'm making things, which really makes things interesting, but I cherish these days with my kids, because they won't always be little, and I'll always be able to make stuff.

What is your favorite thing about your space? My favorite thing about my space is also my least favorite: its closeness to my living space! I have to admit, as crazy as it is, I love being able to run over to my craft table immediately after stepping out of the shower, for the times that I'm inspired while washing my hair! I love the multi-tasking aspect of stooping down to play with my son and his "Little People" toys, and then jumping back up and finishing a project while he's engaged in play. One day we'll be able to finish off our attic and I'll have my own space upstairs to create in. Even then, it will also be part of a family area, a playroom, so I'll always enjoy still being part of the family interactions, even while "working".

How do you keep your space organized?
Every now and then, before starting a new project, I do a thorough clean-up of my area, even wiping down the craft table, and usually will find one area of my supply wardrobe to organize too, while I'm at it. Somehow the act of organizing things helps turn on the creative juices and gets me ready to go again. I use tons and tons of cheap plastic shoeboxes to store my things in, inside the metal wardrobe. Another plastic chest of drawers holds inks, pens, adhesives, embellishments and other things that I use frequently.

Do you have inspiration pieces in your space? If so, what are they? I keep pictures and other finished pieces on a bulletin board near me, but it badly needs to be refreshed! What inspires me most in my space is also a storage item: this kids' hanging organizer for small toys, that I converted to a place to hold many of my favorite treasures for creating: different sizes of dominos and bamboo beads just waiting to be decorated, kits of various ephemera to add to pieces, and all sorts of fun doo-dads, all housed in little see-through pockets so I can get inspired to try new things, just by looking at this thing.

Is there something else you'd like to share about your space?
I keep a boombox underneath my craft table. Listening to music while creating is important to me for staying relaxed and inspired. (except when my toddler crawls down there and starts messing with the buttons, cranking up the volume or switching the channel dial on me!!)

Please check out Jennifer's Shop!

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