Studio Tour Part I

My husband and I moved into our old 1920's house last November, and it's been a long process of fixin' it up and making it 'a home'. I blogged last Thanksgiving about my new studio space (previously used as a bedroom for an elderly woman) and was just unpacking boxes then. So, finally i've got things sorted out and thanks to some spring cleaning efforts, I present to you *my studio* in a 2 part (or possibly more!) series. (you can click on the pics for slightly larger ones)

Let me begin the tour with ye olde feedsack rag ball~ ahh, pray tell what mysteries lie inside it! I bought this great-looking solid rag ball for it's fabulous synergy~ i couldn't resist the fascinating wound layers and the mind-boggling array of colorful feedsacks in this self-contained "material world" (pardon the pun). Temptation got the best of me and I did unwind a few lengths to grace the necks of some teddy bears.

The hardest working gal in "sew" biz: the Pfaff 130! The most important appliance in the house, next to the Bodum French Press :O) A 1950's semi-industrial workhorse, the Pfaff has been my 'old faithful' since the beginning. Gotta give props to lovely Deb Beardsley (Beardsley Bears) who recommended the Pfaff when i was a fledging hand sewer (with cramping fingers) looking for a sewing machine. I tend to believe old things were made so much better.

Another hardworking part of the team: my sewing table. It is solid oak and originally used as a school table long ago~ there was petrified chewing gum underneath the tabletop to prove it! It is taking a beating from the heavy Pfaff, which I constantly push towards and away while toggling between machine sewing and handiwork. Athough the table is 72" long, I only work in the small area in front of the machine, under the task lamp.

One can never have enough thread, oui? Though there always is that *one color* you just don't have and must run to the store, like vivid lemon yellow or pastel purple.

Neatly folded mohair and organized (albeit overflowing) supply bins.. (wait, is this really MY studio?? lol!) It is infrequent that i can even see the floor, but sometimes it's good to find out if a floor is still there!

Under the sewing table is where all the pom poms are born (and dust bunnies too, but we won't discuss that right now). A giant tub of yarn, yarn, and more yarn... All kinds; wool, cotton, acrylic, variegated, blends. I made cardboard dividers from flattened boxes, but keeping the yarn untangled and in their proper 'zones' proved impossible. With this abundance of yarns, i have thought about learning to knit, though i've yet to crack open my copy of "Knitter's Handbook".

Delightful, hand dyed assorti of wool felt. Most are dyed on white wool, and others dyed colored wool (the neat lime-olive shade, 3rd from top, was a 'happy accident'.. sometimes the outcome is unpredictable, but we like unpredictable).

Some examples from my vintage ric rac stash. All the Trimmings "for women who sew".

Sweet little spool of baby pink ric rac.

Over time, I accumulate lots of little odd shaped mohair scraps, so I group them by color in ziploc bags. This way it is a lot easier to find what you need for that certain bear or project.

Big tin of old buttons. Warning: do not attempt to count! 2nd Warning: do not attempt to organize!

Ever hear the saying "It takes fifty gallons of sap to make just one gallon of maple syrup"? This is what goes through my head as I sift through hundreds and hundreds of old buttons, looking for the special few who will be worthy enough for the prestigious position of sock monkey eyes (see small pile of dark buttons to the right of photo).

I leave you with a portrait of "Dandelion", one of my earliest 'antiqued' sock monkeys, from the debut 2005 group. Hope you enjoyed seeing the inner workings of my studio! Next tour we will explore whats in all those small tins, boxes and jars (cos i'd like to know too! LOL). Have a lovely day! ~ til next time, pp


Kingfisher Farm said...

Hey Peng Peng, great progresss. Do you hire out your orgnizational skills?? Nevermind, I think I know the aswer to that! LOL! When do we get a birds eye or cats eye view of the whole enchilada?? Pam

Peng Peng said...

the enchilada is awaiting the salsa! Will be sure to post a bird and cats eye view in Part II :O)

theresa said...

I loved this peek into your world. Thanks for showing us--can't wait for part two! I love seeing the spaces where people create.

KSedlak said...

Hello Peng Peng

It's so fun to see your studio in progress. The mohairs are beautiful and I love the tin of buttons.
Dandelion is adorable in her yellow hat. She seems quite happy about that.
I look forward to viewing part two.

Mica Garbarino said...

don't you just love old sewing machines, buttons and trims?? Everything looks so delightful... it's truly a blessing when one has a special space to work in. great work !!! Mica

Melissa & Emmitt said...

Hi Peng Peng!
I LOVE your studio! It is so inspiring and fun! I love all of your supplies.
I think you would love crochet. I think it is alot more fun and easier than knitting.
:) Melissa

Trish said...

I love your workshop area! My Mom had an entire old kitchen with all the cupboards full of fabric remnants and old tins full of buttons, etc. so I grew up around such an environment. I miss that - I have no room for such a place. But...I still hoard buttons and other tiny treasures...!

Peng Peng said...

my mom is visiting me next week from Pennsylvania, and bringing me *more* old buttons and such! can't wait to sort through it all :O)

Mare said...

I love Dandelion...and all of your dolls. :)

Anonymous said...

so cute!:)))))I love it! That's actually really cool!