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Organizing Your Craft Space Paperback – 10 Jun 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (10 Jun 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402716028
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402716027
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 18.9 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 584,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ann Gorman on 16 Nov 2009
Format: Paperback
If like me, your are just as interested in art spaces as you are in art then you will like to have a good nosey in these art and craft spaces. Some artists have all the luck and the best studios and rooms, with wonderful and unique storage, and art rooms are as beautiful as their work.

This book makes me green with envy, but I still want more and it's a book when I'm fed up with my art room and need some encouraging to clean or tidy it I pick this book up.
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By Book Scout on 13 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The pictures are mesmerising. The book attempts to organise your craft space according to your personality type which seems a bit simplistic. Otherwise a visual feast for crafters.
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on 19 July 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is well worth buying and studying. I have just done a brief review for it at sp4rk1e dot com.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 35 reviews
131 of 133 people found the following review helpful
Useful for inspiration, but not a lot of practical suggestions 15 Aug 2006
By Esther Schindler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Our craft room is a mess. We do a lot of crafts -- quilting, stained glass, woodworking, needlework. Most of the furniture in the room (built to be a bedroom) are castoffs from other parts of the house, or the inexpensive plastic drawers you get at an office supply company. We can never find what we want, and things are "stored" by piling them on the floor.

So you can imagine how interested I was in Organizing Your Craft Space.

I've mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it has a lot of great photos, showing different ways to organize craft rooms. After an introductory chapter, there are chapters devoted to each of several popular crafts: stained glass and mosaics, rubber stamping and stenciling, scrapbooking, paper crafts, beading, yarn crafts and needlework, and quilting. You'll also find photo spreads for "guest artists," people who do that craft professionally, showing how each individual organized her work space.

You can learn a lot by looking at the pictures, and getting your own ideas from them. Even though I found that most of the rooms shown were "let's look pretty" rather than "let's get to work," I had at least one "Aha!" of my own. (Perhaps I can better organize my fabric stash by using one of those hanging closet dividers! And the tip of using metal tins with magnets on the bottom *might* be useful.)

That's a good thing, because I don't think you'll get a lot of inspiration from the text. I had expected a lot more practical guidance, not suggestions like "Categorizing books should be accomplished according to a system that works for you."

For instance, one problem we struggle with is finding a way to store large sheets of glass; the section on stained glass showed a photo of a craft room with a space built-in for the purpose, but did not include any discussion of the criteria in designing your own solution. If I have a large sheet of red fusible glass, a smaller sheet that was cut from it, and some red scraps from previous projects -- how can I inventory them so that I don't look for the glass in three places, or cut down a larger sheet unnecessarily? This book gives me no clue; I'm no wiser than when I began.

I don't think the book is useless, not by a long shot. Some of the general suggestions are worthwhile, though I'm not sure you need to be told to label boxes or to separate items by function. Even if you "know" something, it can help to have someone remind you -- with examples. The photos can provide some inspiration, too.

Would I recommend the book? Hmmm... it's okay. I enjoyed looking through it once, maybe twice, but I don't think it will have a long term effect in getting our own craft space organized.
115 of 117 people found the following review helpful
A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words 4 April 2006
By Stitch Beeyatch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Straightforward advice to organizing your craft space. The book is divided by type of craft: rubberstamping and stenciling, scrapbooking, paper crafting, quilting, stained glass and mosaics, beading, and yarn crafts and needlework. Rooms belonging to guest artists are featured with interesting, but perhaps not unique, storage ideas featured. (The guest artists included Dee Gruening, Anna Corba, Sandi Genovese, Freddy Moran, Susan Pickering Rothamel, Suze Weinberg, and Linda Woodward. Note: no beaders, knitters, crocheters, or needleworkers.)

Ultimately, most of us are probably cross-over crafters and we'll all find something useful in this book about organizing our particular mix of supplies.

Starting with a remedial schedule for organizing your room, quizzes follow. These "personality assessments" suggest style and color for you to use in creating your space. This was the least helpful section.

Styles range from the galvanized steel workshop to pretty shabby chic rooms where supplies are displayed like collections. There is the wild, colorful style of the quilt artist and the sterile wire baskets and butcher block counter look. One room even looked like a store. Gives new meaning to shopping in your own stash!

There were no suggestion for locating the storage or other items used in the rooms.

I am primarily a needleworker, and I was a little disappointed with the suggestions they had for storing needlework supplies (although I suppose we have fewer different types of supplies than scrapbookers, for example). Storing spools of metallic thread in jars may be pretty, it's just downright impractical. There were some other suggestions that I found impractical but others might embrace (like organizing books by color). Most of the "spaces" shown are full craft rooms or studios, but they did feature one or two spaces that are parts of other rooms, in one case part of a bedroom. Something for everyone in this book.
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Looking for organization? Do NOT buy this book! 17 May 2011
By 3dogMum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Organizing Your Craft Space" urges you to "create a functional, inspiring space that lets you focus on crafting, not clutter," so sayeth the back cover.

Groovy. I need functional and inspiring. And organizing.

I have many crafting interests: soap-making, sewing, quilting, counted cross stitch, knitting, leather work, papier-mâché, paper making, painting, drawing, polymer clay, and occasional forays into stamping. Thus, I thought that this book, which features chapters on stained glass and mosaics, rubber stamping and stenciling, scrapbooking, paper crafts, beading, yarn crafts and needlework, and quilting would have many ideas to help me get my often unruly crafting areas under control.

Thoughts that crossed my mind most often while reading this book: "Good Gods, does this woman put ribbons on everything?" and "Again with the shallow boxes and drawers?"

While this book has many lovely photos of lovely studios and workspaces, as well as featured "Guest Artists" who could've been plucked from Carol Duvall's Rolodex, I found it to be a major disappointment in the area of organization. It should rightly be titled "Decorating Your Craft Space," for the author seems to stress visual appeal much more highly than she stresses organization, and the word "functional" belongs nowhere in this book. She's also big into decorating things with ribbons. They're tied around jars and bottles, adorn boxes, attach tags to baskets and boxes, and serve as hanging cords for "storage" systems that look like they'd fall off the wall if you breathed hard on them.

The book offers two quizzes to help you understand your personality type. If anyone cares, I am an "Idealist," which the author says means I tend to be sentimental, don't need a lot of stuff to make me happy (a decent book on craft organization would definitely make me do a happy dance), I tend to prefer refurbishing furniture rather than buying new (OK, this is true, but it's largely due to budget issues rather than desire issues; give me $5000 and turn me loose in the Ikea store, and see what happens!) and "live plants and fresh flowers will give your space a clean-feeling atmosphere, which will, in turn, stimulate your creative mind."

Oh, please.

There is a decent section on determining the set-up of your craft space. It includes recommendations about budgeting and so forth, and recommends the use of paper templates to use in the precise design/layout of your craft space. However, the snazzy pre-printed templates the author uses are not explained. Nor are you provided with resources where you can get your own snazzy pre-printed templates. You're simply told you can cut out your own - from colored paper. I don't know why she thinks colored paper is necessary, but those are her instructions.

The first thing that made me groan was learning that the author "organizes" her books by the colors of their spines. Having worked for nearly 15 years in libraries (public and academic), and being well aware of the fact that a misfiled book might as well be on Mars until someone accidentally locates it, I find this practice to be both ridiculous and the absolute opposite of organization. For those of us who use our books, we need them to be easily found. Unless you have a photographic memory that will allow you to instantly recall the spine color of any given book, shelving by spine color is going to cost you time when you need to find something.

Since I don't do scrapbooking (hate), and I haven't yet jumped into stained glass (want to), I basically skimmed these chapters. The author devotes far more space to both of these topics, while skimping on quilting, and yarn crafts and needlework. Lumping yarn crafts and needlework together, in my opinion, is a major mistake. They each deserve their own section.

In the Paper Crafts chapter, which talks about using "cute paper-crafted tags" as "a great way to label jars and drawers while illustrating your talents in the art of paper crafting," there is a photo of a closet outfitted with hanging canvas closet organizers, artfully arranged with glue bottles and ribbon-bedecked glass jars.

Glass jars...in a hanging canvas unit that's going to swing the instant you touch it. Unless those suckers are glued down, they're going to topple over and out of that organizer. Also, I suspect the paper stacked in those units will slide around when the unit is disturbed, thus crunching the corners and edges.

I said three words upon reading the following on page 125: "Arrange embroidery flosses and ribbons by color and store them in single layers in shallow drawers."

My first word was "What."

My second one was "the."

I'll let you guess the last one.

Arrange not by the manufacturer's color number, which is how it will be listed on your pattern, but by color! DMC Corporation produces thousands of flosses and threads in more colors and hues than you ever knew existed. How can this author recommend storing flosses by color, when it means that you're going to waste time searching through a maybe 50 different shades of green in order to find the #3345 required by your pattern? She says nothing about the many organizing systems on the market. Just "Arrange...by color." Unbelievable.

Equally ridiculous are her recommendations for storing the fabrics upon which one stitches. Although she does recommend storing them rolled to prevent creases that form when fabric is stored folded, she advocates rolling them up and tying them with "a pretty bow." No mention of how one is supposed to keep track of which thread-counts each fabric has once you've pitched the packaging so you can roll `em and tie `em up in the pretty bow. Just tie `em up and store them in a shallow box or drawer.

As for yarn storage, she recommends using hanging shoe organizers or hanging canvas organizers. I guess for a dust-, child-, moth- and pet-free home, this might work. But that's it as far as her yarn storage recommendations. Nothing about wools and other fibers being at risk for moths or other insects; nothing about lighting - especially sunlight - possibly fading some hand-dyed yarns. Also, no mention of machine-knitting at all. Oh, and your tools - needles, hooks etc. - can be stored in a shallow box or drawer.

For pattern storage, she again recommends drawers. Not file drawers. Just shallow drawers. The accompanying photo shows some piece of antique furniture with tags dangling from the glass drawer pulls, identifying the category within. In order to find the specific pattern you're looking for, you'd have to remove the entire stack from the drawer and sort through it.

The quilting chapter is as scant as the yarn/needlework chapter. The photo that made me laugh out loud is on page 135, where a tall, brightly colored storage unit with a plush bunny peeking out of the roof sits maybe 10 inches behind the sewing machine, directly in the path of the fabric that you would feed through the machine if you were trying to quilt. Machine quilting takes a lot of room - a damn sight more than 10 inches of clearance behind your machine. Yes, I know these photos were arranged for the visual appeal - and that's precisely what irks me about this book. Almost all of the photos are visually striking but do precious little in regards to showing you that the space works.

Instead of offering crafters of varying disciplines genuine, usable advice in regards to organization, the author consistently goes for pretty over functional. For those who find inspiration in fussy little tags dangling off jars, drawer pulls, and boxes, maybe this will appeal to you. But I just find it hugely impractical. A big collection of vintage cigar boxes (another of her recommendations) is pretty, especially if you arrange them face-out so you can see the cool vintage designs. But without labeling, how are you supposed to know what's in those boxes? I guess you're supposed to engage your photographic memory - you know, the one that allows you to instantly recall the spine color of every book you own so you can find it on your colorful shelves. If you don't have a photographic memory, you're hosed.

There are some very elaborate shelving/drawer systems shown in this book, but the author offers absolutely nothing in the way of a suppliers' index.

In my mind, being organized is supposed to save time. No time is saved in this book. I like a nice-looking space, of course, but I want to spend my time working on projects, not searching for materials or artfully arranging ribbon-wearing antique mayo jars containing supplies.

If you've got Martha Stewart or HGTV coming to film your home crafting site, then, yes, this book could be helpful in creating a pretty, vibrant-looking studio. But for a working studio of any nature, I find it next to useless.
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Good but companion book is GREAT! 5 July 2006
By Kathy S - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Jo's book on organizing is good - but if you can only get one - get the Where Women Create. You can see a lot of the ideas in the photos in the other book.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Not what I thought it was 8 Sep 2006
By K. Salsbury - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I bought the books in hopes it would help me figure out better ways to organize all my craft hobbies - stamping, scrapbooking, painting, etc. The book wasn't helpful at all. Has a few good pictures but didn't really explain some of the things used. Wish author went into more detail.
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