Sewing Studio Reveal

Even before we moved to social isolation and stay-at-home orders, I had a crazy thought. What if we swapped my sewing studio with the master bedroom? And when my friend Cheryl asked if I’d like to join in her annual Spring Clean your Studio Blog Hop, the idea really started to take hold – ne sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to check out the links of everyone else participating in the sewing room spring cleaning challenge!

We live in a 1950s bungalow in San Diego. It is less than 1200 square feet, which was an adjustment when we moved here five years ago from our 2400 square foot new construction home in Las Vegas.

The largest room was the master bedroom, and also had my husband’s desk and computer. The children like to play video games on his computer, which means they’re often in my bedroom when I’m looking for a quiet place to relax. And my office space wasn’t large enough for me to keep my filming lights or tripod up. So as soon as I was done with a video, I had to pull them down or risk tripping all over the legs and cords.

Before moving all the things between the two rooms, I did some measuring to make sure that our bedroom furniture would fit in the new master bedroom. I graphed everything out on graph paper to check the layout. It would be snug, but it would work. Armed with this information, I asked my husband what he thought. He shrugged and said that it did not matter to him. That was all the encouragement I needed!

I’ve shared my sewing space in the past. I move things around as my needs change. You can see past versions here (2018) and here (2016) and here (2014). And here is what it looked like before moving things over. That ironing board is overflowing with … stuff!

It took a full day to move all the furniture and other stuff between the two rooms. The table in the sewing room had to be taken apart. As did the bed. The two doorways were right across from each other, which made some of the logistics easier. However, things had to be done in the right order to make space for the new things that were coming in. At the end of the day it was all moved… but a complete mess.

I spent the next week working my way through the mess. I still had deadlines and commitments to work on, so I needed functional space. The first area that was made functional was the filming desk. It also works as a computer desk, in a pinch.

Because I was doing video meetings, I wanted to have a nice backdrop, so installing everything in this area was important. The background is very similar to what I had in my last space. There is a small cabinet against the wall on the left, with a sugar mold and shelf, and some of my mini quilts. To the right, I added a quilt rack that my mother found for me several years ago. I haven’t had it up in the house for quite a while, and was excited for it to get some use again.

I also love sitting in this space because I have a view of the Clementine tree in the backyard while I sit there. My old room faced the street, so I always had the windows covered for privacy. I’m loving this new view!

Maybe I should wash the windows so I can truly enjoy it?

Because of the extra space, I’m able to keep those big filming lights up all the time. This will be such a time saver when I just want to film a quick video!

And when I’m on camera, I’ll have a fun and colorful backdrop behind me.

A few things in the background that you may enjoy … On the top left, you’ll see the spool holder that was a gift from my mom. Below that, to the right of the heart letter board, you’ll see eight circles. These are from the sewing machine that I learned on, and controlled the decorative stitches.

Below the shelf, you’ll see my Baby Lock Jubilant. I’m an Influencer for Baby Lock, and I’ve named my Jubilant “Saturday.” To the right, in the middle of the photo you’ll see the nesting baskets from the pattern that I just launched. The quote on my laptop is from Gilmore Girls and says “If you’re going to throw your life away, he better have a motorcycle!”

Also, if you look at the very top, you’ll see a spot where one of my ribbons is missing. I finished this wall up the morning that I did my Facebook Live Trunk Show, and one of the ribbons fell down during the live! I still have to put it back up.

And, below the tabletop is the entrance to our bomb shelter. Yes, you read that right – this house was built in the 1950s and the original owners added a bomb shelter to the house. We did go down there once you can watch the video here.

On the left, I installed two large Ikea pegboards for all of my quilting rulers. I have a decent-sized collection, and keep adding to them. I also have my threads, and my glittered deer head which is a nod to my friend Beth Kingston from The Kingston Home.

Above the filming table, you’ll see my camera. I have it clamped on a mount that can move in all directions – but is great for filming overhead when I want video of my hands.

To the right, I have a large frame that I picked up at a yard sale years ago to turn into a design wall. Above the design wall I have an old letter tray that was in my childhood bedroom. In the letter tray are Lego Minifigures that I’ve collected.

Moving to the left is my ironing table. I have a beautiful large ironing table that is perfect for pressing whole quilt tops. I haven’t added decor to the walls yet, just a small design board that is a large canvas covered in batting. On this design board you can see blocks from the Quilty 5k and from the Ruler of the Month.

To the left again is my desk. Actually, there is a corner that is being used as storage. I have bins of paints, glue, old projects, and other items that need to be stored. Also, a wooden cabinet with a small TV on top. This TV gets plugged into my camera when I use a second camera angle, so I can see what the camera is filming.

I have my Cricut Maker on the desk, the laptop I use for school, paints and tools, my podcasting mic, and one of the projects I am working on.

This wall in the room is a dark mustard color. It isn’t my favorite at all. I had painted the other room a beautiful silver-blue that I loved, and so moving to a room with mustard walls is a bummer. I’m sure I could paint these walls eventually – but I’m not ready to take that on just yet!

I am working on putting together a miniature sewing room. Funny that I’m fixing up my actual sewing room while creating a minature sewing room, right?? If you want to learn about the mini sewing room kit, I have a Youtube Video where I go into all the details.

So far I have done the basic furniture assembly and the wall assembly. I still need to tuck away the wires from the lamp, and then I’ll start customizing – adding my own details to the project!

For anyone who wants to get their own mini sewing room, you can find the Amazon affiliate link here: https://amzn.to/39Y5sLQ

To the left of the desk is my sewing space. This is a dining room table that I got at a steep discount because it had a scratch in the top. The scratch is always covered by a cutting mat, so I never notice it! This table is in the middle of the room. In front of the table is a large reclining chair, bookshelves, my husband’s desk, and a large TV. I can see the TV while I sit here and sew, which is lovely. And when my kids are playing computer games, I’m in here with them.

Right now I’m taking a break from mask sewing to try to finish up these pineapple blocks. They are the next Ruler of the Month pattern and I can’t wait to share with you how I set these blocks!

Also, you’ll see my Baby Lock Aria. I love sewing on this machine! Her name is “Sunday.” And if you caught the name of my Jubilant, you’ll see why I say “I only sew on Saturday and Sunday!”

Turn to the left again, and you’re back where you started in the filming space.

I made the marbled canvas quote art several years ago, and it is a great reminder.

Below the quote art I hang all of my Cricut mats, and over the mats is a piece of wooden lattice which I use for storing all my Art Gallery Fabrics selvedges. I’m a proud AGF Sewcialite, and I love collecting the selveges from each fabric that I cut into!

To the right of the art, you’ll see a peek into the closet. That was just moved over yesterday. Moving the closet and making the rest of the space ready for taking photos was a full day of hard work. The closet isn’t at all camera ready, but I’ll show you a peek inside. Because we’re friends now, right?

Eventually, I’ll tidy and organize this as well. But a closet’s job is to be functional rather than pretty. So, as long as I’m able to find what I need without things falling on me, I think I won’t worry about this space too much for now. Too many projects are calling to me!

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this peek of my messy floor in my filming space that I shared earlier this week.

Well, I took a little time to clean the floor and also organize the green bins that were overflowing. They each have different kinds of supplies – clay, paper, wood, party, holiday … simple supplies that are good to have close by. But only if I can find what I need! So I went through them to see what was there and make it fit nicer.

Well, there you go – a full tour of my new sewing studio! I hope you enjoyed seeing my new space. I am so glad I’ve got it all set up and organized. An organized space feels so good to step into, don’t you think?

If you’d like to see the others in the blog tour, check out the links below!

April 1 – Sam Hunter – http://www.hunterdesignstudio.com
April 2 – Marian Pena – http://www.seamstobesew.com
April 3 – Jennifer Fulton – http://www.inquiringquilter.com/questions
April 4 – Martha Wolf – http://Www.pinwheelprodns.com
April 5 – Jennifer Strauser – http://www.dizzyquilter.com
April 6 – Steph Carton – http://www.theelimonster.com/blog
April 7 – Simone Fisher – http://www.simonequilts.com/blog
April 8 – Kate Colleran – http://www.seamslikeadream.com
April 9 – Carlina Moore – http://www.alwaysexpectmoore.com
April 10 – Jen Frost – http://www.faithandfabricdesign.com/blog
April 11 – Leanne Parsons – http://www.devotedquilter.com
April 12 – Becca Fenstermaker – http://www.prettypiney.com/blog
April 13 – Sarah Myers – http://www.quilted-diary.com
April 14 – Mitzi Redd – http://www.reddhomestead.com
April 15 – Jeanette Larson – http://www.Jenonthefarm.com
April 16 – Camille Ainsworth – http://www.stitchinthenw.com
April 17 – Becky Philips Jorgenson – http://www.patchworkposse.com
April 18 – Bobbie Gentili – http://www.geekybobbin.com/category/blog
April 19 – Janellea Macbeth – http://www.janelleamacbeth.com/blog/
April 20 – Lisa Ruble – http://lovetocolormyworld.blogspot.com
April 21 – Debra Davis – http://www.tuning-my-heart.com/blog
April 22 – Rona Herman – http://www.Ronatheribbiter.com
April 23 – Sue Griffiths – http://www.duckcreekmountainquilting.com
April 24 – Sarah Ruiz- http://www.saroy.net/
April 25 – Jessica Caldwell – http://www.desertbloomquilting.com/
April 26 – Tammy Silvers – http://tamarinis.typepad.com
April 27 – Ebony Love – http://www.lovebugstudios.com/blog
April 28 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com

Nesting Basket Pattern Launch

Launching a new pattern is one of my favorite things. While it has been tough to manage all the deadlines during this global upheaval, making progress, if even on the little things, feels like a big thing.

The Nesting Basket pattern has been in the works since 2016. I’ve made them for friends, for fabric launches, and for my own use. And each time I’ve been asked for the pattern, but told the person it just wasn’t ready yet. Well, today is the day! The pattern is ready. It is incredibly simple, fun to make, and you probably have everything you need on hand to make your own nesting baskets.

If you want to make all three with contrasting colors, you need 6 fat quarters. You can see on the pattern cover that I used the middle basket uses the same fabric as the lining of the large basket and the outer of the smallest basket. You can get away with just 5 fat quarters to do this – you need just one fat quarter of the middle inner/small outer fabric. And you’ll want to plan your cutting before you make any cuts.

The fabrics I used for the cover baskets are all Art Gallery Fabrics (of course!). I used florals from Amy Sinibaldi’s Mayfair line, and the lining for the smallest basket is fabric from AGF Foresta Fusion.

You’ll also need 1 1/4 yards of medium-weight interfacing. I used HeatnBond Heavy Weight Fusible iron on interfacing. One 20″ x 1 yard package was enough. You can also use fusible fleece, or a foam-based stabilizer made for bags and purses. Use what you have, the pattern is versatile! And there are alternate handle instructions if you’re using a heavier stabilizer.

You can whip up a full set of nesting baskets in an afternoon. And nothing about the pattern makes you make all three sizes if you don’t need all three. You can make stacks of large baskets if that is what you need, or an army of small baskets if it keeps you organized. I like a large and a medium for small pieces I’m working on at the sewing machine.

The nesting baskets are great for scraps, selvedges, tools, or whatever you like. The largest basket finishes at 6 1/2″ square, and the smallest is 4″ square.

The nesting basket pattern is available for sale in my pattern shop. Head over to purchase your pattern. When you make yours, share it on Instagram and tag me @craftmoore and use the #nestingbasketspattern hashtag.

I can’t wait to see all of your fabulous nesting baskets!

Quilted Pocket Organizer

When Mr. Domestic asked if I’d be part of his blog hop showing off his new line of Aura fabrics with Art Gallery Fabrics, of course I said yes and started thinking of how I wanted to use these pretty fabrics. What I immediately decided was something simple and practical. Because while I love quilts, I have so many that sit in a chest waiting for their day in the sun. And I knew I didn’t want to do that with these beautiful fabrics. So, I created a Quilted Pocket Organizer. This is a simple wall-hanging that it perfect for showing off favorite fabrics, and is super practical as a way to sort mail, keep track of important papers, or tuck items that you will need on your way out the door (like earbuds or a phone charger).

Doesn’t it show off the fabrics beautifully!? I love those gorgeous tropical florals!

Here are the basics for making this organizational wall hanging:

And here are the tips you’ll need to know in putting it together:

Once you cut all your pieces, place a purple and a cream right-sides-together, and stitch along ONE side. If your fabrics are directional, this will be the top edge. Then add interfacing on the back of the purple fabric. This will give your pocket extra body. If you want, you can add quilting or stitching at this stage for a little decoration.

Then layer the pocket together with a cream square when you add the bottom horizontal sashing piece to each. Move the pocket out of the way as you add the top horizontal sashing piece. Once all the pockets and horizontal sashings are stitched in place, add the side borders.

Then you can quilt as desired! I did a little stitch-in-the-ditch as well as supportive quilting on the outside of each pocket to give it extra stability. You can add whatever quilting you desire – just don’t quilt those pockets closed!

Before binding, I cut two 5″ squares that I folded on the diagonal, and put them in the top corners as hanging pockets. All I had to do was add a dowel, and the pocket organizer was ready to hang!

I love how it turned out, and these pockets are so handy by my front door!

Be sure to check out all the other awesome quilters and sewists who have joined in on Mister Domestic’s Aura Blog Party!


Dream Sewing Room

When my friend Cheryl asked if I wanted to be part of her sewing room blog tour, of course I said yes. In part because I really don’t know how to say no to anything… and in part because I really needed a deadline. My sewing and crafting room has been in serious need of a facelift for months, and having a deadline would give me the motivation I needed to get it all put together. Read on to for the story of my new space, and be sure to check out the links at the very end of other fabulous sewing spaces!

Dream Sewing Room! Isn't this the dreamiest little sewing corner? Found over at www.AlwaysExpectMoore.com

For months I have been dreaming of my new sewing and crafting room. About four months ago, we had a flood in our kitchen. The drainpipe in the wall behind the sink in our 1957 Bungalow was made of cast iron, and had cracked. Water leaked into the walls, and soaked the floors. All the cabinets and flooring were going to need to be ripped up. Which was made more complicated because there was asbestos found under the living room carpet, and in the walls. And the glazing of the tiles was found to have lead in it.

The process ended up being fairly involved. My sewing room looked very much like it did the last time I did a sewing room tour in 2016. I had to pack up the closet, which meant my sewing room looked like this:

things pulled from closet

Then, I had to move everything away from the other interior wall so that the bathroom that shares that wall could be re-piped. So my sewing room looked like this:

things shoved in the corner

Before putting everything back, I re-painted the walls. They were a yellow-beige, and are now a soft blue-grey. And, I decided not to put everything back where it had been. My needs have changed since I first set up the room 3 years ago. I do a lot more typing at my desk, so need some real desk space. And I need dedicated work space for crafting. And I needed video set-up, preferably set-up that would work for crafting, and set-up that would work for sewing. I had two months to plan and dream up how my crafting space would look when I could finally move back in.

First, a dedicated sewing space. The machine could stay set up at all times. The ironing board is right behind the machine for easy access. And all my threads are close at hand on the wall. Plus, the backdrop of thread and mini quilts is great for filming video.

sewing corner

Second, a dedicated crafting space. Right up against the window for great natural light in the afternoons. A bright, white desktop for taking photos. This faces the sewing space, so I also have great eye candy.

crafting workspace

Third, a desktop space for typing at the laptop. With a great background for Facebook Live videos and for YouTube videos.

video background

This is flanked by large shelving on either side that hold papercrafting supplies, my Cricut Machine, and printers.

video backdrop

While I do feel a pang of envy when I see my friends have beautiful, all-white spaces with everything tucked behind cabinet doors, I find that this setup works best for me. I’m very visual, so open shelving means I get to see my supplies and be inspired by them. The spaces are all designed to be flexible, I can easily change out the video backdrop by removing the black bulletin board from the shelf it sits on. And above the bulletin board are curtain rods with clips I can use to hang quilts, streamers, or anything else I want to use as a video background.

And while I love having a clean space to start crafting on, it doesn’t always stay this crisp. As I cycle through projects and deadlines, you’ll find different projects on each surface…

This was when I was working on the pizza pillow for Fairfield…

This was when I was working on clay pot craft projects.

This was when I was finishing up my hot glue gun book (which will be out this fall).

And this is what it looks like now!

cleared space

I’m currently working on re-organizing the closet. Having a functional closet in this room will make such a difference in being able to manage the clutter in this space!

Thanks so much for joining me on this tour of my craft room! Be sure to check out these other Dream Sewing Spaces!

April 23 – Lori Crawley Kennedy – http://theinboxjaunt.com/
April 24 – Jennifer Thomas – http://curlicuecreations.blogspot.com
April 25 – Robin Koehler – http://nestlingsbyrobin.blogspot.com
April 26 – Andi Barney- https://www.andibarney.com/
April 27 – Misty Cole – http://www.mistycole.com/blog
April 28 – Carolina Moore- https://alwaysexpectmoore.com/
April 29 – Heather Pregger – https://heatherquilts.blogspot.com/
April 30 – Linda Bratten – https://lindabcreative.blogspot.com/
May 1 – Lisa Reber – https://www.dippydye.blogspot.com/
May 2 – Teresa Coates – http://www.crinkledreams.com
May 3 – Lisa Chin – http://www.lisachinartist.com/
May 4 – Jamie Fingal – http://www.jamiefingaldesigns.com/
May 5 – Sam Hunter – www.huntersdesignstudio.com
May 6 – Jessee Maloney – www.artschooldropout.net/blog
May 7 – Rhanda Parrish – http://www.sewartsyfartsy.com/
May 8 – Sarah Vedeler- https://meaningoflifedesigns.com/
May 9 – Jessica Darling – https://jessicakdarling.com/
May 10 – Melody Crust – http://www.melodycrust.com/
May 11 – Debby Brown – http://higheredhands.blogspot.com
May 12 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com

 

 

Craft Room Tour 2016

What do you call your creative space? A sewing room? Craft Room? Office? Studio? Sewing Studio? I use all of these names interchangeably for the room that most of my creativity happens in – and all of my supplies hang out in. I feel a little pretentious using the word “studio” to describe my space – but I don’t think it matters what you call it – I think it matters what you do with it! Here, I’ll take you on a tour of my creative space!

Always Expect Moore Craft Room tour - lots of photos of the pretty details, plus a youtube video where some of the secrets to a pretty space are exposed!

I’ll take you on a photo tour of the room, but if you prefer, you can watch this video tour. I originally recorded it on Periscope, so I’m not jumping subjects randomly, I’m responding to commenters. Pinkie swear.

We moved into this house a year ago. You can see my old craft room here.I’d done some work to spruce up and organize my space, but when my friend Angie from The Country Chic Cottage started planning her Craft Room Tour, I only hesitated a second before I signed up. The hesitation was because my craft room is notoriously messy (I share lots of #honestcraftroom photos on Instagram, like this one), and I knew it would take several days to whip it into shape. But a deadline was exactly what I needed to work miracles in this space, so I signed up. And then did very little until last week. Sure, I did a little picking up here and there, but not the dump-out-the-drawers overhaul I wanted in here. Yes, there are still areas that need some TLC, but overall I’m thrilled with the work done in here! So, let me take you on a tour! I’ll start with the big table that greets you when you walk in…

sewing table

This table is a dining room table I found at a furniture outlet store years ago. I splurged last year and bout a self-healing mat as big as the top of my table. I love it! Great for working on larger projects. On my table I have some sewing baskets, pincushions, a current project, and my sewing machine. I sew on a Bernina 710, which is a model they discontinued last year. It doesn’t do any fancy embroidery, but it has lots of throat space for sewing and quilting.

The table is in front of two giant windows at the front of the house. They face SouthWest, and get great light in the late afternoon. These windows are the reason this room was the perfect room in this house for my craft studio. The windows face the street and don’t offer a lot of privacy, so I put a thin cotton curtain on each. These provide privacy while filtering the light – perfect for photos! You can see that I haven’t decided yet what the perfect height for the curtain rod is – they’re both at different heights. We’re renting this house – a 1957 Bungalow in San Diego – so I’m leaving the blinds up, but they’re pulled all the way to the side.

On the left of the table is a tall cabinet with wicker drawers. This holds jars, fabric, and projects in progress. On top are my quilting rulers, in a file-folder holder from the office supply store.

And yes, the chair has an apron tied to it. It is this Apron back from the AGF fabric challenge.

To the right of the table is a big ironing board. Behind that is a large cabinet. It stores a few craft supplies, but my favorite are these jars with various items in them. Decorative and functional. Exactly what you need in your creative studio.

odds and ends storage

On top of the cabinet is a big basket for storing Styrofoam.

styrofoam storage

And to the right is my thread storage.

thread storage

Which takes me to this wall of the room.

desk in the craft studio

Another window (oh, the light!), and my desk. This is actually my childhood desk from back home. To the left is cube storage with baskets. They hold all kinds of random surfaces to craft with. Lots of good stuff going on there. In the drawers of the desk I have a drawer filled with glue guns, and a drawer with my metal stamping (you can check those out in the video above). The desk itself is well decked-out.

notes and buttons

Lots and lots of buttons I’ve collected from people at different events, and a beautiful row of Expressionery Stamps. But I’m about to run out of space (yikes!), so I’ll need to figure out a new solution soon.

Over the desk I have an IKEA lamp that has been converted to work as a camera holder to do overhead video. I’ve used it a couple times… and I love it! I need to do more with this.

over the head video

Continuing counter-clockwise around the room is this giant wall of storage.

lots of creative storage

I have a giant IKEA unit with baskets and bins for holding everything. And lots of room on top for scrapbook storage.

scrapbook storage

And a little room for some decor. But it is functional. Ribbon storage, odds and ends of floral in a large vase, and lots of washi tape in a large jar.

decorative storage

To the right is a tall IKEA shelf which I call my “Tower of Power”. One of the challenges of living in a house built in the 1950’s is the “charming” electrical. Our last house was built in 2007, and had two outlets on each wall. This room has 3 outlets in the whole room. Only one has ground. The other two outlets each have only one working socket. That means I have a lot of extension cords running behind furniture! Having all these appliances near the doorway is also helpful for the family – they can print to the printer, and don’t have to wade through a messy craft room to get their printout.

creative storage space

On top are some smoothfoam half-spheres for an upcoming project, and a wine rack holding rolls of vinyl. Then a rack with paper. Then my Silhouette. Then my HP Envy. Then the Sizzix eClips2, Laminator for Thermoweb Deofoils, and my laptop, then (hidden in this photo), the Sizzix Fabi and my Samsung Laser printer, and finally the Accuquilt Go! and a case of paper. Whew! Lots and lots going on in the “tower of power”. Let’s move to the right…

design wall

You see my design wall, which is hidden behind the door when the door is open. Above it I have some ribbons I’ve won. The red one is a recent win from 2015. The two ribbons on the left are actually from a pie-baking contest. That’s right, I’m an award-winning baker and an award winning quilter!

Next to the design wall is my scissors storage. You can make one yourself with this tutorial, and it is crazy useful.

scissors holder

This whole wall is super colorful and busy.

wall of creativity

Next to the scissors storage is a bookshelf that has (from the bottom up), mason jars, block printing and adhesive, paint, a sewing box, and a bulletin board. The bulletin board is from my wedding – we made it to hold place cards for guests almost 10 years ago, and it is still going strong!

The shelf is actually in a doorway – that goes to the half bath. But, we don’t need that entrance to the bathroom, and it is the perfect place for me to have a shelf.

paint in color order

To the right of the shelf is a quilt rack with quilts in various stages of completion. The bottom has a basket with more projects. To the right of that are the closet doors – which double as a quilt wall for mini quilts. Some of these I’ve made, and some are from friends and swaps. I love this use of space!

quilt wall

Inside the closet is more stuff! Lots of fabric, sorted by type and color, and more craft and quilt storage up top. There is a lot going on in here, but it doesn’t have to be picture-perfect, because I like to keep the closet doors closed.

fabric storage

That’s the craft room! Scroll back up to the top to check out the video, if you haven’t already, I chat in more detail about a lot of the items you’ll see in this room. And if you’d like to see more fun creative spaces, check out the other craft room tours over at The Country Chic Cottage.

Cranberry-Orange Scones

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MeAndMyTea #CollectiveBias

Happy New Year! Have you made New Year’s Resolutions, decided on a word of the year, or started a new workout routine? The new year is a great excuse to make some changes in your life… like taking some time for you, and getting more organized!

Orange Cranberry Scones - and Printable Daily Schedule at Always Expect Moore

Those are two of my goals for this year – getting more organized, and stopping to take time for me. Starting off the morning right is the best way to get my whole day set up for success – and so does sitting down with a bite to eat, and a hot cup of my favorite Bigelow Tea.

I made these Orange Cranberry Scones, and a daily plan printable – both pair great with my tea as I take a few minutes to fuel myself for the day, and square away my plans. You can grab the daily plan printable here (I like printing them half-sheet size by printing two to a sheet)… and now let me share the recipe for these delicious scones!

Orange Cranberry Scones

4 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup dried cranberries
zest from one large orange

ingredients for orange cranberry scones

You can find these ingredients, and the delicious Lemon flavored Bigelow Tea, all at Walmart.

buy Bigelow tea at Walmart

Start by mixing the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix in cubes of the room-temperature butter.

butter gets mixed in

Mix until the mixture looks like loose sand. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl, or the mixer blade, several times.

mixed with butter

Add the sugar, milk, sour cream, and egg.

Mix in dried cranberries and orange zest until combined.

mix in cranberries

Roll out dough onto a floured surface, to about 1″ deep

cut into wedges

Cut dough into 8 rectangles, then cut each rectangle in half. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper, and bake for 350 degrees for 20 minutes.bake scones

Now it is time for some tea! Pour hot water into a mug, and allow your tea bag to steep. I like mine with sugar and honey.

I grabbed my printable, and planned out my day… and colored it in while I was at it.

coloring page daily planning sheet

It makes the day so much easier to start it out with a plan! And I love this version, because it allows me to make a list of what I’d like to get done, and then plan it out on the printable. Setting aside blocks of time to get things done in is a realistic way to plan out a schedule. And not scheduling every minute – making sure to leave some “margin” room between and around events helps give a buffer.

color in and plan page

I hope you make it a great day!

getting ready for the day

Go learn more about Bigelow Teas here, and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Holiday Card Checklist

Whether you’ve sent out Holiday Cards every year since you moved out of the house, you’re a lapsed sender, or this is your first time doing a holiday mass mailing, this holiday card checklist will get you from start to finish in sending out your cards!

Christmas-Card-Checklist

If you would like some of my favorite tips – I love picking out a fun return address stamp. I’m addicted to these stamps from Expressionery. They sent me a new one that is especially for the holidays. There were so many options to choose from – but the trees were my favorite!expressionery-stamps-makes-

The return address stamps are a great way for kids to help with cards. Make sure they have a hard surface under each envelope, show them how to line up the stamp, and let them have fun!

kids can help stamp envelopes

When it comes time to address envelopes, give yourself an uninterrupted evening. Put on a holiday movie you love, grab your favorite after-dinner beverage, and relax as you write the names addresses of each of your friends on your Holiday Cards.

addressing envelopes

After you’ve stuffed the envelopes with your holiday card and witty Christmas Letter, it is time to seal those envelopes! My favorite way to seal the envelopes is with a glue stick. No licking envelopes, and they’re sealed shut on the first try!

use a glue stick to seal the envelope

I hope you enjoy sending Christmas Cards to your family and friends. And if you need an idea of what to do with all the cards you get, here is my holiday card book idea.

Babysitter Information Sheet

At the end of last year, I shared a Date Night book over on 30 Minute Crafts. The other half of date nights is babysitters. So, I came up with this simple babsitter information sheet to help keep date night fun and stress free!

babysitter's info sheet

Simple Babysitter info sheet

babysitter contact sheet word doc: https://app.box.com/s/9avk8jbb1imfef2tzsni

babysitter contact sheet pdf: https://app.box.com/s/nkdlmgqyrqnf4l8t9eyj

Craft Room Tour

It has been less than a year since I moved into my new craft space, though it feels like longer. We’ve lived in this house for almost seven years, and my craft room has been in three different rooms. This is the second time I’ve had my craft room in this room! Before moving into this room, I shared a space with my husband. We had a Craft Room/Man Cave combo. Which is like a sewing room with a flat screen TV and an extra desk. But as I’ve done more and more blogging (and more and more crafting), it became apparent that I needed my own dedicated space. Space where I could close the door to keep children away from projects in progress. And a room where my husband didn’t have to constantly see the mess that projects in progress look like! So, I moved into this room, and have been getting settled ever since.

Always Expect Moore Craft Room Tour

Several months ago, Angie from The Country Chic Cottage asked some blogging friends if we’d like to join her in a big craft room tour. I thought it was the perfect excuse to get my craft room done. Because nothing helps to get work completed like a looming deadline, right? And since the deadline was MONTHS away, I had plenty of time, right? I did get some work done each month, and although the room isn’t perfect (I don’t know if it ever will be?) it is presentable, and that’s really what I was shooting for.

So, if you’re on the Craft Room Tour, and you popped in from the last stop over at Mad In Crafts, Welcome! If this is your first stop, you can go to the beginning of the tour, or you can enjoy this post and click on the link at the end to go to the next stop on the tour.

So, ready to take a peek into my space? Let’s get started! When you first walk into the room, you’ll see my main crafting area right in the middle.

crafting area

This is a dining room table I bought at a furniture outlet. It is super sturdy, and gives me plenty of room for my large cutting mat. It is more-or-less centered underneath the large window. If you go back and look at the first picture, you’ll see that the window has a very… um… interesting valence. The valence that is there is the old sports-themed valence from when this was my son’s room. I have plans to switch it out. It is covered by the blinds, which are tucked up. That’s because my son cut the cord from the blinds, so they no longer function properly. Instead of blinds, I have a plain piece of cotton covering the window. This does a great job of diffusing the light when I take craft photos in this room on bright days. On cloudy days, I just flip it up over the valence, and out of the way.

sewing machine

On one side of the craft table is my sewing machine. This is a Bernina 710, and she is brand new. I’m loving playing with this new machine! On the sewing side of the table is a tall unit with small bins that hold various projects in progress. On top of it is a fabric bin that currently holds two quilts that need quilting.

On the other side of the table is my laptop. That’s where I’m sitting right now as I write this!

large shelving in craft room

You might notice that I have aprons tied to both my chairs. I love both these aprons, but never wear them – this way they get a little use, I can enjoy them, and they are close at hand if I ever need them!

Behind the sewing machine is a large shelving unit that I bought at IKEA about a decade ago. I love this shelving unit! It is sturdy enough to have made it through several moves, and has been used in lots of different ways. Currently, it holds lots and lots of craft supplies! On top of this unit are a bunch of wreaths, and two smaller units filled with scrapbooking supplies.

large shelving unit

The cubbies are somewhat organized. The far right cubby holds all my adhesives and glues, the next has kids’ crafting supplies (like pom poms and pipecleaners) in the wipes box, and the last two hold books and binders.

baskets in craft shelving unit

The bottom cubbies have baskets filled with supplies. From back to front: Duck Tape, Therm-o-Web, and Mason Jars.

The other side of the room is just as stuffed!

quilt wall

I have a large rod with batting hung on it. Right now the batting is all tucked up, but when I need it, I unpin it from the top, and spread it out to make a design wall for quilting. To the right of the batting is a mini quilt I made, and to the left are my paint storage racks. Jessica from Mad in Crafts had paint storage racks like these that her dad made for her. I showed the post to my mom, and asked her to make me some! I love how it frees up drawer space, and adds color to the walls!

Over on the right you’ll see another tall shelving unit.

cabinet

Inside are various sewing notions, buttons, ribbons, and more. It looks nice and neat when the doors are closed.

Next to that is my ironing board.

ironing board

The ironing board never comes down. The mechanism for holding it up broke, so I tied it in place with a shoelace (true story). Now it stays up permanently. Which is fine – it gets a lot of use.

Behind it is a quilt rack. It is actually a piece from the crib we no longer use, and the slats are perfect for hanging quilts. Most of these are waiting for something – borders or quilting.

To the left of the ironing board is another shelving unit.

craft shelf

On top are some mason jars filled with pens, pencils, and paintbrushes. And a bowl filled with more odds and ends. In the unit are all kinds of things – clay, styrofoam balls, dowels, maps, flower stems… even some mini pizza boxes! Most of the items in here are things that I hope to use in a craft project one day. It is like a mini hoarding unit. At the bottom you’ll see my serger tucked away.

To the left of that is my comfy chair.

sitting chair

I bought this chair about 15 years ago at a thrift shop. It was covered in yellow velvet, and all the wood was painted black. I stripped off the paint, and re-upholstered it. On the chair are a couple pillows. I made the one on the left as a child. The one on the right was a gift at my Modern Quilt Guild Meeting. Under the chair are a few bags of fabric – all the fabric in these bags has deadlines. There is a quilt, and some projects for upcoming classes at the quilt shop.

Behind the chair is a large bolt of batting, and a bolt of upholstery fabric. Also bags and embroidery hoops hanging from a mirror. To the left of the chair are two more storage bins. The one on the bottom holds embroidery and yarn. The top holds denim squares for a jeans quilt I want to make. Someday.

That brings us to the closet. I’ve been quilting since I was 12, so I have a decent fabric stash. That needs some organization. Ugh! Above the fabric, on the shelves, are boxes filled with stamping supplies.

right side of closet

On the left side of the closet are boxes with UFOs (that is Un-Finished Objects for you non-quilters) on the bottom, and bins with jewelry making supplies on the top, and a bin with my glue guns on top of that.  Also hanging in the closet are more quilt tops. Some need quilting, some just need binding.

left side of closet

Above the closet I have two long dowels of ribbon. I used to have my ribbon in a giant, messy box. This makes it so much easier to find the ribbon I need for a project.

storage solutions

On the right you’ll see a similar solution for washi tape, and underneath the washi tape holder, my scissors pocket storage, which was one of my early blogging tutorials, and I still love.

Partially in front of the closet is a small rolling table. On top is my Silhouette, and a bin of supplies for upcoming projects – reviews for Craft Test Dummies and some more Easter crafting I’m hoping to get done. The top of this table is often used for craft projects. One side is white, and the other side is black chalkboard. I can just flip over the table top if I want a different background.

craft cart

All that leaves us is the area over by the door that we came in!

behind the door

Behind the door are a few mini quilts – the top one uses the Laser Cut Applique, and the bottom one is from the improv piecing class I took. To the left is a ribbon-crossed black bulletin board. I made this for my wedding, and it held all the seating cards. Now it holds all kinds of little treasures! On the left is a tall brown cabinet, on top of which is my AccuQuilt Go! and a rack with my quilting rulers. The drawers hold extra paint, RIT dye, fabric, and other odds and ends. To the right of the cabinet, leaning up against it, are canvases, extra cutting mats, and trays that I use as backgrounds when taking tutorial photos. Leaning up against the wall is extra cardboard for crafting.

WHEW! We made it all around the room… almost! There’s one spot we haven’t looked yet!

under table storage

This is under my table! I have shelves that hold projects, binders, and all my fat quarters of fabric. It keeps them accessible, but away from the sun that might make the fabric fade. To the left of this unit are my two older sewing machines. They are no longer used on a regular basis – but I like to have them handy.

I cram a whole lot of stuff into a relatively small space. That’s what happens when you’ve been crafting and sewing for as long as I have… and when you hate letting things go! While getting this room all spiffed up to show you, I did manage to fill one large box with craft supplies that I’ll be mailing off to a family member. I can’t keep everything forever… it is good to purge every now and then! … just don’t tell my husband I said that, or he’ll encourage me to purge a lot more often. I’m not sure I’m ready for that…

Thanks for joining in today! To continue on to the next crafty space on the tour, go check out Amy at The Idea Room.

Organize 2014: Tips for Using a Paper Planner

Tips for Using a Paper Planner

This is the last day of this week’s cleaning and organizing series that Angie from The Country Chic Cottage, Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage, and I put together. I hope you’ve enjoyed it! In case you missed any of the posts, I shared my New Year’s Resolution Printable, Thoughtful Kit, Simple Expense Sheet, and Christmas Card Book.

As a blogger, I spend a lot of my time online. Either on the computer or on my phone, I have a lot of screen time in the average day. So you might think that I use a digital calendar as well. But I don’t. I’m a big fan of my paper planner for staying organized. A paper planner will never run out of batteries, you don’t have to wait for it to load, I can check it even when my phone has no signal, and can be customized however I like. Based on years of paper planner use, here are my tips… feel free to add your own in the comments!

1. Put it all in one place
The kids’ school schedules, your work schedule, hubby’s work hours, sports, clubs, appointments, guests, holidays – keep it all in one place. You want to know at a glance what is going on, and where.

2. Use a pencil
I always have a mechanical pencil tucked into the spiral spine of my paper planner, and another in my purse as back-up. Plans change, things come up, and using a pencil helps my planner to stay as flexible as I am.

3. Use the monthly view for events
Most paper planners have a 2-page spread that shows a whole month. I use this to write in events. This includes everything listed in #1.

4. Use the weekly view for tasks, lists, and notes
Most paper planners also have a 2-page spread that shows each week. If you’re very busy or are juggling multiple schedules, you might use these pages for more detailed planning. When I have a busy day or week, I will plan it out on these pages. However, most of the time they’re great for other uses. I jot down grocery lists, errands that need to be run, to-do lists, and notes from phone calls or brainstorming sessions. This keeps all my lists handy and archived for later reference.

5. Mark your page
Nothing is more frustrating than having to flip through the calendar to find the right page. Use a big binder clip or large rubber band to secure all the pages on the left. This makes it easy to flip to the current month’s calendar view, but still keeps past months handy for reference.

6. Tuck in important pages
Coupons or newsletters from your favorite stores, your envelope for this month’s receipts, and other important papers can be tucked into the secured left side of your planner. That way you always have your JoAnns or Michaels coupon handy if you make an impromptu stop at the craft store.

7. Use the back pages for future planning
When dates come up that are further in the future than your planner goes, use the pages in the back to start a list of these dates – weddings, parties, school holidays and other events can be listed on a single page. When you buy your planner for the next year, you’ll already have a list of the important dates that need to be transferred over.

8. Keep a master calendar
I carry my planner with me, but I’m not the only one in my family who needs to know what is going on. Each month, I copy my planner onto a large dry-erase board in our kitchen. This is a great reminder for me, letting me know what we have planned for the month, and is a great at-a-glance reference for my husband and kids.

These are my tricks for keeping my calendar organized… keeping me from missing appointments, double-booking or over-scheduling my life. If you have tricks that work for you, please add them in the comments!

I buy a spiral-bound paper planner from the store each year, but there are lots of great printable calendars available online that you can print out and pop into a 3-ring binder if that works better for you. Check out these great printable planners:

Monthly and Weekly 2014 Planner Pages from The Handmade Home

Monthly Calendar Pages from I Heart Naptime (she also has matching Family Planner pages)

Monthly Calendar Pages from TomKat Studio (these are B&W so no need for colored ink!)

Monthly Calendar Pages from Oh So Lovely (5 different color/pattern options to choose from)

What’s in Season Monthly Calendar Pages (also shows you the fruits and veggies that are in season each month)

Monthly Pages from Kate & Trudy (also available: Daily, weekly, and Monthly for a fee)

2014 Monthly Calendar Pages from Elli

Monthly Calendar Pages from The Shabby Creek Cottage

Editable Monthly Pages from A Typical English Home (you can type in your birthdays/holidays before printing)

Monthly Calendar Pages from 30 Handmade Days (she also has a family planner and kid accountability binders)

Monthly Calendar with Family Events Printable Labels

Perpetual Monthly Calendar from SITS Girls

Monthly Perpetual Calendar from Nina’s Design Studio

Monthly Calendar pages from Landeelu (designed to not use a ton of ink)

 

Other planners you might like:

Printable Blog Planner from My Joy Filled Life (costs $4.99)

Life Planning Binder from DIY Home Sweet Home (just about any page you’d ever want)

Monthly Blog Planner from Infarrantly Creative (she also has a lesson planner and stay-at-home mom planner)

Cute To-Do List from Idlized