Nowhere else I’d rather be, by Deb Katie

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Bad Girls Don't Die(I hope Kristina doesn’t mind that I’m going to borrow her “photo tour” angle!)

I used to have the office upstairs for my writing and the sewing room downstairs for my creative work (well, you know what I mean), but after about two years, the husb caught on and demanded that the space be divided 1-1 rather than 2-0. So I moved the computer downstairs and do all my work in one place.

The downside is that, like Kristina’s office, mine doesn’t get much heat, so in the winter it’s routinely in the low 50s (low ‘teens for you Metric folks). But I crank up the space heater and pile on the sweatshirts and socks, and it works for me.

Katie Alender's deskHere’s my computer desk, where I write (and otherwise compute). You can see some of my favorite things in this picture–the painting of Winston my little sister gave me for Christmas, my frog picture, my fun orange phone, and of course my trusty computer. Also, Winston’s bed. And Winston’s crate. And my crazy quilt that functions as half a curtain.(click the picture for a closer look)
Katie Alender's sewing roomTurn to the right, and here’s my sewing table. In this photo, you can see the sewing machine (covered when not in use), a picture my mother-in-law bought for me at an art fair, Winston’s bed, and my red clock. (clickable)
PhotobucketI looooooove my red clock. I love the color red and love to have little splashes of it everywhere. (not clickable)
Okay, so, yes, if you’re counting, that’s three dog beds. But actually, Winston’s favorite place to sit is directly on top of whatever I’m working on, if it happens to be laid out on the floor. Or he’ll sit next to my chair and bark at me.

In this picture, you can see the height differences in my workstations. I do a lot of my sewing work standing up. So the work surface has to be higher. (not clickable)

PhotobucketThis is my treasure shelf. I’ve always been a bit of a hoarder. But as I get older, I’m working on creating a less cluttered home environment. To that end, I’ve tried to contain my knickknacks on just the single shelf. You can see in the second picture above that they’re kind of spilling out to the top of the shelves… you know what that means, right? Yep, time to get bigger bookshelves. (clickable)
These are my spring-loaded threadsnips. Aside from how fun it is to say, “spring-loaded threadsnips,” these little guys make themselves useful for everything from cutting tags to, well, snipping thread. You have no idea how helpful spring tension is until you’ve experienced it. Also, these are the sharpest little scissors ever. They would love to bite you. (not clickable)
PhotobucketHere’s a closer look at my work table. Non-crafters are probably wondering why I have so many scissors and rulers. Here’s how it breaks down: pinking shears (yellow handle), spring-loaded scissors (black handle), lowest-grade fabric scissors (white handle), medium-grade fabric scissors (red handle), and higher-grade fabric scissors (orange handle). There’s cotton padding at the bottom of the jar to protect the tips.

I would hang them on the wall, but I’m always worried that if there’s an earthquake, they’ll fall and stab Winston, which would be unfortunate. The rulers are a trick of the quilting trade.(clickable)

fabric stashI love color. So I really enjoy having (most of) my fabric out on display, even if it creates a little bit of a messy look. My poor mannequin, Katie Jr., has been wearing that half-finished dress for more than a year now. (clickable)
PhotobucketWe call this “mixing business with pleasure”: sewing books, gardening books, and writing books all shelved together. (clickable)
PhotobucketAnd here’s the view of the yard. I used to sit facing the outdoors instead of the wall, but that got to be very distracting, not to mention that having the desk in the middle of the room used up all the floor space.

Besides, I’m a homebody, not an outdoorsbody. But I do like knowing it’s there. And Winston spends a lot of time watching for trespassing squirrels. (clickable)

So there you have it. The room where I spend hour after happy hour of my time. I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour! And if you’re a writer (or a crafter), may I encourage you to take a little time to make your workspace a place you love to be?

~ Deb Katie Alender

17 thoughts on “Nowhere else I’d rather be, by Deb Katie

  1. I love getting the tour of your creative room/office, Katie! The quilt curtain is gogeous–make me almost want to start sewing again (on the other hand, I think I’ll wait until I have more room).

  2. Yes, Meredith, sewing is definitely one of those hobbies that demands its own space! Someone warned me about that when I first started sewing, three years ago, and I was like, “Nah, I’ll be able to keep it in check.” Well, not so much!

    Glad you enjoyed the tour! 🙂

  3. I love peeking into other peoples sewing areas. I must say, yours is very neat and tidy (is it always like that?) and makes me want to sew right now but my machines are 2 hours away from me!! I’m relieved to see that Winston too has his own space(s) in your work room. I was worried about him.

  4. Poor, downtrodden Winston! So often overlooked.

    My space is definitely not always so neat, but since I rearranged the room a couple of months ago, I’ve had a much easier time keeping it so. I’m really good at putting things away if there’s a place for them. It tends to get really messy while I’m actively working on a project, but then it’s easy to clean up when I’m not in the middle of something.

    So it’s not clean all the time, but it does have regular patches of tidiness. It makes me feel good to keep everything tidy–it’s like respecting the work, if I can say that without sounding like a tool (maybe not).

  5. “I’ve always been a bit of a hoarder. But as I get older, I’m working on creating a less cluttered home environment.”

    I’m totally laughing at this, Katie, (affectionately, I promise) because I’m comparing your “hoarding” (one shelf of a handful of knicknacks) to the rummage sale looking insanity of my office.

    I should have clarified yesterday that my office is actually one wall of “the” office, which also holds a futon (not because anyone sleeps there, but because we’ve got no place else for it but upstairs and it’s too ugly for upstairs) and my husband’s computer and his desk which he rarely actually uses in that room but it’s got to go SOMEWHERE.

    It’s hard to keep one wall looking neat! But seeing how clean and bright your space is, I’m inspired to try.

  6. LOL, Kris, I see that my clever descriptions have blinded you to the two enormous shelves of fabric clutter! Bwa ha ha ha. My evil plan is working! 😉

    I do think it’s worth making your space truly your own. I’m really territorial, so I take it to the extreme sometimes, but I have always loved having my own spot, to do with what I please. Being in a space I love inspires me.

  7. First Kristina and now Katie welcome us in to their work/office area and I’m loving it. You can describe your environment in detail but by showing, well we’re right there with you. And, Katie, your room is as bright, cheery and eclectic as you are…yet Kristina’s correct that “hoarding” is hardly “(one shelf of a handful of knicknacks)!” 🙂

  8. Larramie, I’m glad you like the tour! I love seeing other people’s workspaces, so I thought sharing mine would be fun.

    And seriously, you guys don’t understand–that one shelf is the aftermath of so much purging of person items. Until a couple of years ago, I never got rid of anything. That shelf=growth! LOL.

  9. Oh, no, Eve, my red clock would never dare be that mouthy! It actually sings to me, “Kaaaaaatie, come seeeeeeew something… Kaaaaaaatie, come make a quiiiiiiiiiilt!”

    😉

  10. It’s a combination of neatnesses. I clean up and create messes equally well, but I do tend to try to leave things clean when I’m done. It’s a developed habit… but I do the same thing at work. My desk has to be neat when I leave for the day. And my computer desktop can’t have any extra icons on it.

    So, hmm, maybe compulsion. LOL.

  11. I’d feel right at home in your office. I have a huge wicker basket full of yarn in my office. I love having all the color and texture around me. Or I’m a slob. It could go either way.

  12. Jason, see how I fooled you? Next week, I’ll talk about football–a ball of yarn I keep at my feet! Hardy hardy har. 😉

    Eileen, texture, too! Yes! Well, if you ever come to LA, you can come check your email in my office.

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