Where Women Create

Let me first take an opportunity to thank everyone for your support of my creative efforts this past year.  I look forward to sharing loads of new projects in 2009 that I hope will inspire and also help get those creative juices flowing.

Speaking of creative juices, have any of you spotted this wonderful new publication called Where Women Create ?  It's a wonderful magazine, which features photos of the creative spaces of artists, designers and crafters from all over the country.

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This new quarterly magazine is based on the popular book of the same name.   The original book, Where Women Create  by Jo Packham is a stunning collection of workspaces and crafts rooms. 

I think it's a must-have hardcover for any crafter's personal library and I just love the cover photo.

         Blog wwc book copy

The original Where Women Create book along with the new Where Women Create magazine are a wonderful combination to review, as I'm now faced with transforming a new space into my own personal creative sanctuary. 

We just moved into a new home in November and I'm super excited about one room in particular.

Blog wwc housefront

My "soon-to-be" favorite room in this house is a walk-up attic, which I immediately claimed as my own.  I may put a sign on the door that reads, "crafters and creative spirits only".

However, before I can create anything in this room, I'll first have to find my way through all these boxes.  This is a real organizational challenge.

   Blog wwc clutter


Of course, I am totally grateful the movers were so careful in their packing but it also means that every single item from the previous space is layered and layered in heavy-duty paper for protection.  It seems to take forever to unpack one box. 

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The photo below shows my old space in the basement of our previous home.  It took a long time to get this area organized in a way that really suited me and it was tough to watch all my organization get totally dismantled for the big move.


One of the features I loved most about my old basement space was this large custom kitchen island which was not only a good storage unit on both sides, but a roomy work table top to boot. 

Some people may look at this and see (organized) chaos, but trust me I knew exactly where everything was and it was all at my fingertips.  Fellow crafters know exactly what I mean.

    Blog wwc island

Lately, I've been collecting great organizational inspiration wherever I can find it.  I really like the casual elegance and clean lines combined with the warmth and usability that the Pottery Barn designers come up with.  

Pottery Barn's Storage and Display and Workspaces are two of my favorites in the PB library series.   

    Blog wwc pottery barn

Organizing Your Craft Space is another wonderful book by Jo Packham.  This book is loaded with fun, useful tips on organizing your stash and there are loads of unusual storage solutions too.

I've always enjoyed seeing how other people organize their supplies.

Blog wwc crafts book copy

Another visual treat can be found in the pages of A Room of Her Own by interior designer Chris Casson Madden.  This book is filled with really nice photos and reflections of the personal spaces of some well-known and not so well-known ladies. 

While most rooms in this book are not crafts areas, the book is beautifully presented and a pleasure to get lost in.

Blog wwc madden book

Need a few more ideas for organization?  Check out this recent special issue by Memory Makers magazine called Get Organized.  It's a really helpful resource for anyone trying to get their supplies and stash in order. 

There are multiple articles and tips covering such topics as;  products to keep you clutter free,  scrap more-search less, and purging and rearranging your supplies. 

    BLOG WWC MM mag

My former craft island is also featured in this special "Get Organized" Memory Makers issue along with inspiring organizational ideas from other Memory Makers Masters, editors and readers. 

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I don't have an island yet for the attic but I'd love to find a large vintage-looking one that will work well in this area.  

One nice feature in this space that I didn't have before, is a wall-mounted TV.  With the television now on the wall and off the floor, that will definitely free up valuable floor space.

Blog wwc TV

This mechanical room sits just off of the attic.  It's unfinished but I still think it will be perfect as extra storage space.  I'm keeping my eyes peeled for some sturdy metal shelves to use in this bonus area.

Blog wwc mechanical room

The attic windows provide a nice vantage point for spotting the deer that live in the area and frequently stroll through these woods early in the morning and late evening. 

I envision a day when all the clutter and packed boxes are gone and I can sit at this window and peacefully work away at my desk, which is already parked nearby. 

Blog wwc window


My husband used to call our old basement space the "Bat Cave" because it's where I would disappear for hours.  Since I'll soon be regularly disappearing into the attic , I decided to nickname this new space "The Belfry".  Not that I'm batty, but isn't there a popular expression referencing "bats in the belfry?"

Anyway, I'm happy to say in the few weeks since I first started writing this post, I have made some organizational progress in The Belfry, as you can see in the photo below.

Blog wwc progress1

Looks better, but there is still much to do before there is any real sense of order here. 

Wish me luck in that effort and stay tuned for photos of a newly organized "Belfry" down the road in an upcoming post.

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Meantime, whether you create at a kitchen or dining room table, the corner of a spare bedroom or a large dedicated work space, I think the most important thing is that you are CREATING. 

You are doing what you love and finding fulfillment in the simple act of making things with your hands-and that's something we can all celebrate in this New Year.

Here's to a happy (and creative) 2009!

  • Anonymous

    nice article.. i like your idea in the topic that talk.. very nice layout as well.

  • Andrea Flowers

    I just found your blog and I want to tell you that I am in love with it. Your Belfry is awesome too. I will definately be a regular. –www.mymebaby.com

  • Paige Hill

    Wow! What a beautiful house and a wonderful space! Can’t wait to see what you create! Thanks for your kind words about the book and magazine. I will forward your blog on to Jo. Would you mind if we added you to our Where Women Create blog roll? Let me know and I will get it right up. Have a great day~Paige Hill
    Internet Marketing Manager for WWC

  • Simply K

    Hi Lisa!
    What a beautiful home you have. Your attic “hideaway” is a dream! I know you will make it a wonderful, peaceful and creative spot. Thank you for sharing. Here’s wishing you and your family much happiness, peace and blessings in your new home.

  • kristen - gock's frocks

    what a gorgeous home! I can’t wait to see your finished space!

  • Ellen Crimi-Trent

    wow what a beautiful house and soon to be creative space!! I am so in need to revamp mine but its hard since its the cut-through for coming in the house!

  • Jackie

    what a gorgeous room you’re going to have! Can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s finished!!

  • martha Bilski

    The belfry is amazing! I would love to be a bat on these walls:)

  • sheree schattenmann

    Have fun organizing your new space in your gorgeous home!
    I also love the magazine and have 2 of the books you mentioned. They were great inspriration for me when I set up my space in Germany and now as I set up my new space here back in the US. I wish they featured more storage/studios of those of us that sew.
    Talk soon and Happy New Year!

  • Toni from NC

    I was totally prepared to comment on my joy at reading your post about the new magazine. Then, I saw the pic of your new house. Good Lord! It’s enormous! ๐Ÿ™‚ Lovely. Congratulations to you.
    ~Toni from NC

  • Stacey

    I think the most fun unpacking you will have is when you are up in the “belfry”. enjoy your new space.

  • Heidi Sonboul

    that is a beautiful home. I can’t get over your new craft room. WOW! It’s so big!!!

  • seleta

    Wow, you are one organizing diva! When can you come to my place?!?

  • Dawn

    Wow, your house is beautiful! I can’t wait to have a sewing/craft room of my own. Right now I share with the laundry and cats!!

  • chris

    Your new home is gorgeous & I’m green with envy over your “belfry” work space!LOL! happy new Year! ๐Ÿ™‚ chris

  • Jessie

    I to am struggling with the “space” issue and the best of organizing techniques. As long as it was paper crafts I seemed to have enough space and a large part of my scrapbooking is done on my computer. But as I have ventured into quiling I find my space more and more taken up with different fabric so now im back to the organization design board! Love your space Lisa! Happy New Year!~

  • Neva Cross

    I am starting a scrapbooking Top Site for sites/blogs that offer ethnic and multicultural scrapbooking resources. Lisa Sanford suggested that I contact the Sistahs on her blog list. I have visited your site and would like to invite you to join. If you are interested you can see the site and join here:
    Neva Cross
    The Pixel Framer/
    Cross Design Group LLC
    800 E. Northwest Highway, 7th Flr
    Palatine, IL 60074
    (847) 221-5266
    [email protected]

  • Julie Size

    I love your home! The closest thing to my own space in our living space..is when I am in the bathroom and the door is locked!
    Okay – so I probably posted the best and funniest post I have ever done on my blog…my riding lesson photographed! ..and don’t laugh so loud that I might hear you!
    Have a great week!

  • christina(apronstrings)

    i love your space. i finally claimed a room in my house too. i love it. it’s so quiet and i can get so much done! i am thinking about claiming another (the guest room)for a photography studio. the guests can get a hotel room!

  • Jen Davis

    Wow, what a fun post! Loved getting to see and hear about your old space and your new space looks to inviting…the light is great! Can’t wait to see what you do with the space.
    Thanks too for sharing all the publications, some I had heard of and others I will be sure to check out now!

  • Laurie

    It looks like you have your work cut out for you!!! I can’t wait to see the finished product. I picked up this saying as a young girl and it seems to apply to your situation, “inch by inch, anything’s a cinch!”

  • wendi

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I appreciate the support. I am on blogger not typepad — so I am unsure if the process I use will be the same for you. But it is simple. When making a post there are several links to embed various items: text, images, and movies. I click on the movie link and it prompts me to upload a video. I am not a techy at all so my videos are basic (unedited) and I simply load them. They are from my camera or mac webcam.
    I hope that helps!
    Cheers and have a delightful weekend.

  • berta

    Wow Lisa, what beautiful new space to create in! Can’t wait to see the finished room! Where Women Create is a great magazine! I was haunting Borders, waiting for it to hit the newstand!

  • Mercedes

    This is a good post about the books and magazines for organization. Thanks a lot , I have the book Where women create and I love too.
    I always try to find ways to keep organization around my stash, you know. I have to say youยดve got a very beautiful place and soooo big!
    Thanks a lot for your comment about my toile de jouy quilt. I told about your scalloped border. I have done a post each Wednesday titled “Operation: a home more comfortable” where I show ideas to have our homes better. Maybe you want to check them. Just click on the label ” Decorando” and the end on the right. You can translate with Babel Fish link up.
    Happy New Year and love from Spain

  • Geeta

    WOW, WOW, WOW Lisa!!!
    What a gorgeous, gorgeous home! I’m used to living in tiny spaces (London homes), and I wouldn’t know what to do with a space like that. I’m almost as excited as you are….I’m decorating your space in my mind as I write. You are so lucky to have that beautiful attic room as your creative studio. I CANNOT wait to see how it comes together- I’m so excited, I want to see it all develope!
    Also, thank you for showing your old studio-Again so inspiring for someone that works off the dining table, one tiny computor table and a small set of Ikea drawers!
    So sorry I haven’t been able to get in touch earlier, I have been so busy, but it’s wonderful to have dropped in and be amazed by your new adventure, your new home:)
    Happy new year!

  • Melanie

    What a fabulous home! I LOVE it. Congrats and let us see more pictures when you can take them.

  • Laurel

    BEAUTIFUL home, and AMAZING craft space! May it all come together quickly for you, so you can get back to the business of being creative. ๐Ÿ™‚ I own Organizing Your Craft Space and nearly bought Where Women Create, as well. Thanks for sharing, as always!

  • Debbie

    HAPPY NEW YEAR & CONGRATULATIONS on your beautiful new home! Can’t wait to see what wonderful ideas are inspired inside your new creative workspace! Enjoy!

  • Vicki

    What a beautiful home and that sewing/crafting space looks like heaven. Looking foward to seeing it all set up in the future.

  • Jo Packham

    I want to thank you very much for your gracous post about WHERE WOMEN CREATE. It is appreciated much more than I believe you will ever understand.
    I hope that someday, in the not too distant future, that your creative space will be featured in the pages of our magazine.
    I wish you much happiness and success with all of your creative endeavors.
    Much love always
    Jo Packham
    Founder and Editor-in-Chief
    Where Women Create

  • Teresa

    Oh! Lisa…what a beautiful new home…and what fun you will have creating in the “belfry” once it is to your liking. I can’t wait to see what you do with that wonderful space…you did a remarkable job with the bat cave…just imagine what you will be able to do in the belfry…and the view you have to inspire you often…won’t that be fun!
    I too, have the hard back copy of “Where Woman Create”…I love it! I now know I MUST get the quarterly magazines, too…b/c you can never have too many organizational ideas. What I found interesting is some of the top artist have some of the most practical and unprentitious rooms that they create amazing things from…makes me happy to know…just as you said, “it doesnt’ matter where you create or what place you choose…as long as you are creating”! Truer words could not have been spoken. I just finished REALLY organzing my “craft studio” (something I have put off for a very long time)…now I find I want to be in that room most of the time…finding things to make or create. It is a great size extra bedroom with a wonderful closet that my sweet hubbin re-shelved with those wonderful wire units…allowing tons more storage for all my treasures. I DO love your furniture island piece…it is just the right height for so many projects…I also like the one PB makes for use as an island. We will be moving in a few months…so I’m going to have to re-figure a whole new craft area…but I know I’ll find inspiration in at least a few of the books you mentioned.
    Thanks for sharing…I can’t wait to see everything finished!!

  • Amy

    I can so relate to your post. I, too, just moved to another home in December and I am working on putting my studio back together. Isn’t it funny how we knew where everything was before? Anyway, it was good to hear of another crafter’s adventure in making a new space too. It looks like it is going to be beautiful! Amy

  • Casii

    Oooh, seriously jealous of your Belfry! It’s been my dream to have my studio in an airy attic. Can’t wait to see how it all comes together for you.

  • Tara

    Wow what a beautiful house and how exciting to have another space to organize and create in! I am sorta jealous…in a good inspirational way! Congrats! thanks for all the wonderful resources for organization.
    Enjoy your new “digs” in the Belfry!

  • Betty @ She's Sew Pretty

    Happy New Year Lisa! One of my new year’s resolutions is to be more organized. I don’t have my own “space”. Maybe I need to work on that! I’ll be looking forward to seeing how you get your studio organized. Lucky you!!

  • sewtakeahike

    Wow Lisa! You have a beautiful new home and space there! Lots of organizing work ahead but how exciting!

  • Claudia

    Lisa – Your new space in the belfry will turn out beautifully I’m sure. Your last studio was amazing and this one will be just as wonderful with the bonus of great views! cheers, Claudia

  • Gabrielle Beck

    Congratulations on your GORGEOUS NEW HOME! Where are you located? The beautiful fall colors outside are breathtaking!
    Love your old scrap space, can’t wait to see what you do with your new space.
    I’m hoping I can find the magazine you have pictured, LOVE IT!

  • Sarah

    What a lovely new space you have to work with! The light is fantastic and the view will be beautiful all year. Happy New Year!

  • Michele H.

    Lisa– Congrats on your new home! I just found your blog and so happy that I did! Can’t wait to see you transform your space!

  • Nikki Brey

    Happy 2009 to you and yours as well. Good luck with the room. I can already see that it is going to be great!

  • Cora

    Happy New Year!!!! Congrats on your new home, its beautiful!!! What a peaceful place for creativity.

  • Deb Wisker

    Congrats on your new home and your new space! I think I’d rather be up in an attic than in a basement-even though your cave was the perfect creative space!LOL!
    Can’t wait to see more photos!

  • Karla

    What a fabulous new space! I’m sure you will have it up and running in no time. Your old space was wonderful as well. Must have been hard to let it go but now you will have a fabulous belfry view! Happy New Year.

  • Heidi Woodruff

    Wow, you are going from one great studio to the making of another! I have a small room in our house, and I use a portion of my office…I also have a portion of the real shop as my wood shop. But everything always feel so scattered! I have the three books you mentioned, and love the first one the best. I don’t have those magazines, I need to look for them. So far I haven’t found Where Women Create, our small town makes it tough!
    Good luck with the set up, looks good so far!
    Hugs, Heidi

  • Lovlee Tang

    I am truly inspired! Beautiful house! You and your family are truly blessed. I too have my studio in my attic. It is also finished and ready for me to make it my own. We moved into our house a little over a year ago…and with the new baby (who is now 1 year old) I still have boxes in my space. So I am inspired to move from my dining room table, and into to “A Space of my Own!” Thanks for the resources and for the tips on my blog. I added some more pics. and also pics of a scarf that I painted. The scarf was inspired by the placemats that you stamped. Thanks again and happy new year to you and your family! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Judy

    Happy New Year, Lisa!
    Beautiful house. BTW, I too have discovered Where Women Create Magazine. It is gorgeous. I am giving away 3 autographed copies on my website, http://www.VirtueRadioNetwork.com. Entry deadline is January 10.

  • Lisa D.

    What a beautiful home..and a lovely place to be creative;-) Can’t wait to see what you have in store at the “Belfry”…Wishing you peace & blessing in the New Year!

  • Maria

    Congrats on your new home but I wouldn’t want to be the one to clean all those windows, just leave me in the belfry forever. Happy New Year. At least you can see some of the floor. Can’t wait for more pictures. Sorry to say my space is a corner of our living room but I still love it.

  • June Parrish Cookson

    Hi Lisa,
    Well HAPPY NEW YEAR to you! WOW! I love your home. And the Belfry looks wonderful and very promising. Can’t wait to see what develops.
    I love Pottery Barn and subscribe to their magazine. Lots of great office furniture and accessories.
    I wish you and your family much happiness and success in 2009.
    Cheers, June.

  • gena

    Happy New Year! What a great belfry! And what a beautiful home, Lisa. Thank you for sharing the photos. Isn’t it amazing we all seem to read so many of the same pubs/books? Creative minds think alike? I just tossed that issue of Where Women Create on the sofa where I am headed next. And I have to tell you, if you get here, ever – do visit Castle in the Air on 4th Street in Berkeley. It is so much better than in those photos. I used to work just down the street. The place is a crafter’s heaven. xo. Gena

  • QueenPam

    You have a great space to make your own and the added bonus of the storage space next door. May you enjoy the process as much as the creating! QP

  • Amy @ parkcitygirl

    Your new home and belfry seem very special! I wish you many great memories there ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Cassandra Jordan

    Happy New Year to you! Your new home is lovely! Your belfry will be the envy of all crafters I know! I can’t wait to see your progress!

  • Elena

    Hi Lisa. I love this post. It’s very timely because I just ordered Jo Packham’s book yesterday in an attempt to organize/get ideas for my own space. I’m definitely going to check out the magazine too. Love your new house. It’s beautiful.

  • GeorgiaPeachez

    Awesome! I’m looking forward to lots of progress reports on the “belfry”!! Happy New Year! xo, suzy

  • jeanettesquiltin

    What a wonderful space, thats going to be fun, organizing and creating. Your home is beautiful. You are truly blessed. I have some of those books, love flipping the pages and picking up ideas. Enjoy…

  • Candace

    Oh My Goodness, Lisa! Your new home is fabulous and I just love your “belfry”! I can’t wait to see updates as you gradually get organized, and maybe I can glean some tips from you for my new studio as well!
    Cheers and Happy New Year!

  • Korie B.

    Oh the light in that attic is heavenly!! My studio is in the basement and I’d give anything for some natural light. Good for you!! I can’t wait to see what you do with the place.

  • Sherri

    This was such an inspirational post…I love the magazine and the book “Where Women Create”–and now you’ve given me some great other sources for inspiration. It will be great to see your studio as it progresses…thanks so much!

  • adrienne

    Happy New Year! What a beautiful home you have!!!

  • Ferne

    Great post Lisa! And so timely…this is always the time of year I tend to try to reorganize. I especially love the way the counter was used in your old space. Now I need to find someone remodeling their kitchen and getting rid of old cabinets.
    Happy crafting in 2009!

  • Kaja

    I am pretty pleased with my crafting room at the moment. But, I will sure lay my hands on a couple of those books. Because, there is always room for improvement!!
    The idea of the bat cave isn’t bad. Right now I have a room in the upper floor, but as soon as the children request a room of their own I will be dismissed to the cellar.

  • Terriaw

    I really must get a copy of that new magazine. It looks fabulous! Your new work space is shaping up. That looks like a really great space too. I was lucky enough to get wonderful closet shelving in every closet when we bought our house, and it works great for my craft room. Love the name you gave your space too! Happy New Year!

  • Jen r sanctuary arts at home

    What a fantastic room to create in!!!!! I need a room like that. I hope you have a Happy New Year! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • traci

    happy new year lisa!! you and i are two peas in a pod – i have all the same books and magazines that you talked about. how great is that. i look forward to seeing what you do to your belfry. love the name. i know it will be beautiful!! i think i will look through those books again today. thanks for reminding me.

  • Stephanie

    What a beautiful home and terrific Belfry. With those gorgeous windows I may never leave my space to cook or clean! I’m always looking for new ways to be better organized. Better shelving system in the closet would be terrific. Perhaps this year. Looking foreward to all the goodness you’ll create in you new space. Happy New Year!

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