Aug 29, 2013

New Space, New Passion, with a Little ROLL Playing...

For those of you who emailed me or left comments, wanting to see the result of my sewing project that I started a couple of months ago...well today is the day. The "project" was more about creating a new sewing space than   actual sewing itself.

Like so many other creative spirits, my creative mind wanders much wider than my narrow abode can handle. After a long rehabilitation of knee surgery last November, I decided to take up my very long lost hobby of sewing. I can rest my knee, while trying to relearn skills that I haven’t used in 30 years! It wasn't long before I realized that sewing took up quite a bit more space than my writing and photography career.

I also realized that I liked having all my textile goodies within sight and my reach while designing my projects. However,  the more I dug them out, the more I took note that I had no place for them all: Scrap materials, threads, buttons, trims, vintage lace, tablecloths, yardage, and bolts of fabric from all those years of designing for my clients and from my travels. 

You may remember a few posts back my starting a project? You can read about that adventure here called  "It was a Crime of Passion."

My sewing projects quickly turned into treasure hunting as I rediscovered my textile stash that had been packed away in plastic bins that now took claim of my living room. I spent more time searching and less time sewing and pooped out before my projects really ever got started!

After weeks of this material mania mess, I decided that our tiny “dining area” was going to be my new sewing area. But my big dilemma was how to turn that area into something I wouldn’t mind looking at everyday, not have it look like a “craft room,” while not losing my only dining area since I do enjoy cooking and entertaining guests. That is a large order to ask of a tiny space.

Right smack in the middle of my remodeling brainchild, I got a wonderful email from my good friend, and creator-of-all-things-good, Jo Packham. Jo Packham from Where Women Create has partnered up with and gave me the opportunity to review some items that I think my readers would love. Knowing my creative and talented readers, I felt this would be a perfect time to share some of Create-ologie's items with my readers, who will undoubtedly be as thrilled with the selection as I was! 

I also have a special coupon just for you! Save 10% off your entire order by entering "Elizabeth Maxson" at the checkout on   

And so I am going to share with you  a peek of what I found. I was thrilled that I discovered two perfect Create-ologie pieces for my sewing/dining room dilemma: Rolling furniture! They are great assets for my sewing needs and I could easily roll them out of the room when I wanted to entertain! 

I always loved the industrial look and I found this industrial console table on wheels as the perfect extra worktop space I need while providing extra storage underneath. 

When I am wrap up a day of sewing, I simply put my project underneath and cover the table with my antique grain sacks! 

The matching industrial shelving unit also on wheels is the perfect size for my yardage and I can roll it next to me while sewing. I love the way my textiles look on it and it fits in perfectly with my decor. 

While perusing, I also stumbled upon this great glass/bottle drying rack I am using to hold all of my trims! What a perfect solution for my need to see my stash and have it near me while I designed my projects. It turned out so beautiful, I keep it in the room all the time. 

I needed some of the  shelving in my china hutch for sewing items, so out came my silver goblets to make room, and onto the drying rack they went with their stems wrapped with my trims. Triple bonus! I get to admire my goblets, they hold my trims, and and now I have more space in the hutch for more sewing goodies. 

When I am in the mood to entertain, it takes no more than ten minutes (yes, I timed it to see), to toss my sewing items on the console table, roll it into another room along with my matching rolling metal shelf, toss a cover over the table, pull up some chairs, set the once sewing/now dining table, cook some fab food and wait for friends to arrive for a tasty meal. For bigger gatherings, I am thinking the console table would make a fun buffet server, rolled to the side.

I’ve been showing you just “sneak peek” shots of my space... are you now ready to see how the whole room turned out? 

Like I said, I needed a real sewing space that I can live with daily, but do real work in, but still have a place to dine and entertain:

So, when I my tidy up my sewing area, it looks like this:

And when I am happily playing with projects, it looks like this:

And within only ten minutes, I can turn it back to a dining area like this:

What freedom to have a creative corner to really play in, mess up, and have all my sewing stash within an arm’s length away. Yet, it cleans up quickly, blends in as an extension of my living room and not as an interruption to our daily living. I found a lot of practical and creative ways to store a lot of sewing items that are right in the room, out of the way, and look as though they are just part of the decor. 

I will share how I did this with many more tips and lots more photos of my creative storage areas in an upcoming issue of Where Women Create, which I will show... 

Tips on my practical storage ideas...

Show you how to use what you already have:

And how you can recreate what you have into something new:


There is a whole part of the room that I haven't even shown you one bit of, but it will be in Where Women Create. Here is a sneak peek of that recreated area:

It gives me great pleasure to have a creative sewing space in our tiny bungalow, and yet I am able to serve dinner for friends as well.

And I am loving that I pulled out my French gum ball fringe which, many years ago, once hung in my kitchen in my apartment above my store.

One really nice surprise of my new area is that I didn’t expect to get so much pleasure just looking at my new space when I am watching TV, only a few feet away. Also, I am so happy that I not only did I not “lose” my dining area, but actually gained more space with just a little creative roll playing!

If these items inspired you...then you haven't seen anything yet!

These fab work lamps, I found at World Market. They clamp on the table, which I love because it allows for max table space. They are super bright and I can easily adjust them, swing them, or turn the lamp towards my project.

Please take a gander at and do a little (or a lot) of fun shopping. I promise you, you won't be disappointed.

I have a special coupon code just for you! Save 10% off your entire order by entering 'ElizabethMaxson' at checkout on I have no doubt you will find the perfect item that you just can't live without. And what a great place to start early shopping for Christmas gifts as well.

And yes, I will be showing a few things I have sewn in the near future...until next time...may you find a creative space that allows you to express your passion and your unique talents.

from my house to your house 



must love junk said...

Elizabeth, you are a genius!! Your new space is breathtaking! I can see why you enjoy just looking at it (not to mention how functional it is!) Who wouldn't want to create...or entertain...or eat in there?! :)

Monica said...

Oh my, that is simply amazing!!
Inspiration flows across the miles and the pond, from your beautiful cottage in America to my cottage in England, where in just one week I have to set up my new studio from scratch. Your ideas are brilliant, thank you so very much for sharing your talents with us!

Sandi said...

What an amazing space and idea Elizabeth! Love it!!

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

E, you are so creative, I love this!! I may to have to steal (I mean borrow) some of your ideas.

Debra said...

I LOVE your photography, and can't wait to see what you are sewing!

Rhonda said...

What an amazing transformation! I love a dual purpose for a room because most of us do not have huge spaces to create in. This is genius.

Gorgeous photos that linger in my head all day.

I'm so lovin' those industrial pieces, I mean, that cart is to die for.

Kim said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I love your new and functional room. I am a sewer as well. I have always tried to set aside at least a corner somewhere in my home to do my sewing. It seems that my dining room in my current home is the best place for light and cutting out materials, etc. Your space is so cool. I should try and figure something out for all the things I need to do the job properly because they are sitting in boxes in the attic at the moment. You have inspired me to try and put something workable together. I am anxious to see what you have sewn. Have a good weekend.

Letters from the Shore

Jillayne said...

You have created something magical here Elizabeth - a beautiful oasis in your already lovely home... the light filtering in, the sunlight and shadow highlighting a treasure trove of possibilities - I love looking at stacks of linen and lace and wonderful textiles - there is something so inspirational about dry goods; anything that can be imagined can be created.
Tiny stitches and little buttons...
inspiring beyond imagining...

pballard said...

I am in love with your space, style and blog.. Thanks for inspiring me with each post..

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Elizabeth, your studio, your style, YOU are FABULOUS. I am so happy to be following you and your journey. I hope to one day send in an article to Jo and to see if she'd be interested in my workspace. I love your scissors, your twine, your METAL WORKTABLES! Oh the beauty you are sharing today!

Have a super day creating for that's what we are here to do: CREATE! Anita

Boxwood Cottage said...

Aw Elizabeth that gum ball fringe - I'm so lovin it - ever since I saw you using it on a mantle frame for a new years eve decor/vignette with lot's of old alarm clocks on top! A picture I will never forget! Now there is another picture I will never forget and that is the one of your fabulous dining room turned creative sewing space with the gumball fringe in the windows. Too f fabulous and inspiring!!!
Love the things you chose from too, I laid my eyes on that 3 tire rolling industrial shelf/cart over there but can't afford it what's with the overseas shipping costs and all, well for now my rolling metal ikea cart will have to do, although I like your rolling table and shelfs old industrial style far more! It's so convenient to be able to roll these furniture where ever you just need them!
I hope your knee is not bothering you too much anymore!
Now you have me all curious about your upcoming WWC article and the tipps you're going to share there.
Happy sewing my friend!
xoxo~ Carola

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Thank you ladies for the lovely comments! I enjoyed reading every comment and know that it is appreciated. It is nice to know that my tiny space inspired some of you to rethink about creating your own space - that is the biggest joy I get....knowing that something I created has inspired others to create their own thing as well.

Please know that I find your blogs very inspirational, but even more, very heart-warming. Takes time to share so much and you all do it so well and generously.

Thank you again for visiting - if you happen to remake your sewing or craft area, I would LOVE for you to share it with me!!

Big hugs to you talented ladies
Elizabeth :-)

cathypentonatelier said...

OH WOW!!!!! Can this little Aussie come and move in :) it looks incredible !!! You still are and always will be my greatest inspiration...Love to you xo

Anonymous said...

I'm just a bit confused. The dining table you show and the sewing table do not seem to be the same table. Do you move tables in and out as well? Love the look of your sewing area and how it ties in with your regular decor. Thanks for this wonderful post! Marie

Burlap Luxe said...

What can I say other then I wish I were there in your space so I could touch the beauty you created here. I have to say you pulled off a new sewing space with the ability of quickly change it back to a dinning area. Love the industrial feel along with the pieces you have up styled into handy accessories that aid your easy organized sewing area.

Elizabeth, would your sewing area worked in your office area turning that into a private space allowing you to privately closing it off? I think I am in love with your open new space and access to reach for things or answer the door near by or attending to food being prepared but I also think I may miss that soulful KINFOLK like dinning room and its soulful tone it lends to the homes decor.

I often saw myself as a visitor, sitting and listening to dinning conversation while taking in the surrounds of your extended entertaining areas.
I am looking forward to what you sew up and it's influence it has on our daily needs, or inspiration. Love that your area feels like I am spying in on a small factory sewing area in a warehouse where unique designs are a given.

I am going to go check out the link and see what there is for what my inspire my shopping and gift giving :)

Take care beautiful friend, by the way I noticed your linen shade long ago when you sent photos of the vision plaque with eye glasses hanging above it.

Thank you for sharing your grace and beauty with me leaving a comment that joys.
You inspire the best, loving your stone ware, yellow-ware milk pitchers set to dine, your primitive folk art feel mixed with French brocante is a perfect blend in perfection.

Lots of love,


Elizabeth Maxson said...


You are too sweet - but I am glad to have the sweetest (talented) friend! I love what you are doing with your passion and even happier that others are seeing what I saw years ago.

Much love and hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Marie,

Thank you so much for stopping by! Your are only half right and I explain the table situation in the WWC feature. But yes, the sewing table IS the dining table! I just cover it. However, if you are looking at the first image of my dining room (with the gramophones on it) then yes, THAT is a different table that is no longer in the dining room. I needed more space and found a larger farm table that works great....! Thanks for asking!

Big hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Dore,

You always take time to really "visit" with me in your comments, and I so appreciate it, as I know how busy your day is. To answer your question about my office, yes, I did consider that - for a few seconds. But my office contains too many things that I actually need in there, thus leaving NO room for any additional sewing items, fabric and so on. But mainly, the light in my office is good only part of the day where as the dining window light provides a great source all day long.

I love that you imagine visiting with me at my home someday...I can't tell you how many times I imagine calling you up and asking if you want to go to lunch because I am in town and want a hug! :-)

Thank you, my caring friend, for sharing so much of your talent - and so often! I really admire you in so many way.

Big hug and lots of love

Burlap Luxe said...

Well, Elizabeth you m'y friend are way to kind to me and all my butting in with my input and ideas...can't help myself lol!
Perhaps someday soon we will get together and share up close ideas and inspiration.

You my friend inspire the best, and i always leave saying if wonder woman can do this ... I can too! ( you being that Wonder Woman )

Off to try and inspire my weekend with a project our two, oh and if you sew up something I hope it's those something's we can purchase :))



Anonymous said...

I found your blog awhile ago and I wish to thank you for sharing your incredible creative talents. You are a true inspiration and your words, pictures, etc. are admired greatly.

Georgia Gibbons said...

i LOVE LOVE LOVE those industrial carts. incredible.

Kelley - a very JunqueyGal! said...

What I love most is that you showed how to continue to live within your own space, rather than moving onto a bigger space. I live in a cozy condo (cottage!) and can identify - I took the foyer/alcove and made a sewing space. I also like to see stuff (so much prettiness it is easy to become distracted!) - so I can make a big mess. I may need to add wheels to make for a speedier clean up though. Thanks for your fabulous inspiration! Rainy day here - what to do? Sew pretty things or organize pretty notions... win/win!

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Dore!

I would be one very blessed gal to have you "butt" into my life for all my days left....I hope you never stop! :-)

As far as my sewing projects, I am pretty certain that any sane person would pay for my sewing "skills" at the moment...still learning...but loving it!! I just bought two very old and very cool patterns today (1920's originals) and can't wait to carefully unfold them, and get them copied so I can use them. I am pretty sure they are too fragile at this point to really use the original....can't wait!

Big hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Thank you Joan for taking a moment to leave such a lovely comment! I am overjoyed when someone new "discovers" my blog and even more happy when they like what they see. I think you will find that I have some of the coolest, most talented, and generous sure to check them all out!

Come back and visit any time!
Big Hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...


I know....aren't they great? I love them too and I think they are the kind of style that would actually look good in any decor!

Thanks for leaving a comment, very appreciated.

Big hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Oh Kelley, I envy your rainy day...I LOVE those days...great to stay inside and putter around. I would love to see your foyer transformation! I am always happy when I can find a way to make a section of a house (or room) work for me. This house is my 17th address in 25 I've had a lot of practice of "trying to figure out what to do" with different (and uncooperative) spaces.

Thanks for sharing and it makes me happy to know that others "get" the issue with NO space...most of us just don't have that huge, separate, fab studio...but that doesn't keep us from creating.

Big hugs

Bohemian said...

What Inspiration you have Shared and I unanimously agree with several of the other Readers, you are Pure Genius GF! Love your Creative Space slash Diningroom and you've Photographed it so Beautifully!

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Thank you Dawn for the lovely comment. I am glad the room may have provided some ideas for my creative readers. Now I have to really find some serious time to sit there and sew! I have a lot to learn yet.

I hope you are having a safe holiday.

Big hugs

Burlap Luxe said...

Thank you lady "E"
I too will have you in my heart as to who you are and what you inspire the rest of my days as well.

As for the 1920 pattern it can also be enlarged and reduced. There was a time when my mother sewed everyday for 4 children as well as working her young years in a bra factory making bra's and panties, to ten take her career life in the direction of designs.
I sew but limited as well, I always say there are No Mistakes in homemade, shabby at its finest.
I am sure your work will be at its finest, in all it's shabby beauty.

See you soon
You can go to my etsy on my sidebar and see the Christmas stocking pattern I designed using my daughters leg and foot for a pattern making the stockings 25" inches long very old world in imagination.
I made them last year and had left overs, and now working on some linen ones, I tattered the grey canvas one, and listed white Mattelasse ones as well.

Joyeux winter sewing to come, may you be blessed with vision to create.

Your friend

Claudia said...

I love what you did, Elizabeth! Gosh, I love those rolling units - I can see them in my upstairs hallway studio space. Cause that's all the room I have in which to stash everything! And the bottle drying rack is amazing. You have created a space that serves a double purpose, my friend!


Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Dore,

Can you mother adopt me??? You are so blessed to have such a talented, creative and "homespun" influence in your life! She sounds adorable and has such an interesting life...tell her that she is getting another daugter...ahahaha.

I LOVE your stockings! Very vintagey and lovely! I am trying to find time to sew but have spent DAYS in the kitchen putting up tomatoes and will start canning apples tomorrow, Harvest season over here. But I can't WAIT to get back to my sewing.

And just today, a very good older friend (73) just bought me a gift he found at an auction and he thought of me. I am so touched he went through the trouble of getting me a lovely 1910 Singer sewing machine (I will take pics - it is the most ornate machine!) and it works too!

Until next time, my talented and lovely friend,
Lots of hugs and love

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hello Claudia

Always so nice to see your smiling image! Glad you liked the space - a big compliment coming from you and your great talent of remaking spaces in your lovely home. I hope all is well in your world and thanks for sharing your lovely images with us as well.

Big hugs to you always

Mrs. Kelley Dibble said...

Resourceful ingenuity! And don't forget-- fabulously beautiful. So E.M., for sure. It's "you" through 'n through!

Truly given to hospitality, too! Good girl!

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