Tales From The Disabled Crafter – Part 2

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This inspirational story from Sarah was first shared in 2016 with The Professional Crafters Guild in which Sarah is a valued Sapphire Member.
Did you miss the first instalment? Find it HERE

So a few days ago I ventured into the neglected craft room. In truth it has been a waste land for stock, materials, rubbish and other oddities that just needed to be left quickly whilst I was in hospital.

White Fairy Tea Light Lantern Click Image To Buy

Craft rooms are lovely and a luxury not every crafter has and I know I’m lucky to have one. In truth I convinced my husband (I will say he didn’t wince too much in the arm lock) to part with the spare room to give me a craft room. It really became a need, during the day I am restricted upstairs and when I first started out I started with just the canvas printing which was a ‘clean’ process, so we put the printer in the spare room and run it from there. Now, although my canvas printing is popular, it’s not a constant demand and as I said during the day I’m restricted upstairs and needed to keep my hands busy. So I started playing with other crafts, like my diamante work, and hand painted glass. This in turn also helped me in several ways. I have found ways to keep my productive parts of the days busy and by also creating a mixture of crafts it created temptation for customers to come back and buy other creations allowing me to build customer relationships but also repeat trade.

Dinosaurs Nightlight Click Image To Buy

Now, I’m going to try and put into words how much a craft space means to me and means to craft with my conditions. If my body was fully functional, I would be able to work as I used to, I could get up in the morning, get ready, set out my crafts, work for a full day and pack away all my gear at the end of the day. Sit down with my husband have some dinner chill out and finally go to bed. My body can no longer work like that, there are days that getting up in the morning becomes a problem, so if my crafts were all packed away, just getting out everything I need could use up my productive part of the day. By having a craft room, full of a variety of accessible crafts allows me to be productive for the limited productive time I have in the day. Now on bad days I also craft from my bed (and I do), having the craft room next door again makes it easier for me to remain productive.

Well, we get to a few days later and my craft room no longer looks like a tornado got loose in there. Yep I did say a couple of days; it did take me that long. Firstly I have to do things in short bursts and rest in between, but mainly I do not like to part with anything, everything may be of use one day. I mean I am often left in a situation that I throw something out, and then in the following days it turns out I could have put it to use. Anyone else? Ahh, you see it’s not just me who’s a craft hoarder. In itself this hoarding leads to storage issues, that many Knicks and Knacks need homes and those homes have to be accessible for me, and despite many requests my husband tells me we are too poor for me to have an entire crafting house (though sometimes it looks like I’m already there).

I am also a gadget freak, I don’t mean in having the latest snazzy phone or a TV bigger than my house. No, I am a gadget freak for craft tools and aids and I have become great at taking something and putting it to use for something else. You see not wanting to pack away equipment and materials has made me find ways to make this happen. I purchased from an online auction site a shop display stand that we got heavy duty breaking wheels for and this is my main working bench. It’s perfect for standing height and can just be pulled out into the room or pushed into the corner. Plus I have an ironing board, well an old one that was going to be thrown out. We removed the cover and mounted a piece on MDF to the top.

Why does this excite me so? Well for me this is brilliant. If I need to stand I or sit I can easily adjust the ironing boards height to suit, it’s been one of the best gadgets for me to craft with.

Dolphins Nightlight Click Image To Buy
Wedding Gift Nightlight Click Image To Buy

I also use lots of ribbon to trim my Illuminated glass blocks. Now, as I said, I don’t like packing things away for the energy spent getting things out and putting away again. But in addition I’m useless at remembering the variety of ribbon I have (I’m talking 40mm wide 20mtrs on a roll size and 20+ types), so I never thought I’d get hubby to be putting gutter up in my craft room (yes the type on the outside of your house). You know what, gutter is awesome for holding ribbon spools, much better than hanging it on dowel rods where it’s always the middle spool you need and have to take all the others off just to get to that one. So although currently I have guttering attached to my twin slot shelving, I have plans, mwahaha she laughs rubbing my hands (ok not really evil plans but I thought I’d try). I noticed that I am running out of shelf space and floor space, yet… the ceiling is under-utilised. So I have invested in a couple of bike ceiling pulleys (surprisingly low cost pulley system). One will be set up to hold dual sections of gutter that will run the length of the ceiling (just think of all that luscious ribbon it will hold). The second will go over the resting place for my workbench on wheels, and I am currently hunting for an old wooden ladder which I will overlay with a strong metal mesh. This will then give me a racking system where I can hang my ‘S’ hooks for drying crafts and my hanging mini tin planters than can hold tools, pens, brushes and other crafting tools freeing up much needed space from shelves and of course creating more space for new items. Oh, and shhh, please don’t tell the hubby.

So Crafters out there, are you hoarders? Do you have your own gadgets? And for those that know crafters, do we seem insane to you?

Saz

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