Saturday Snapshots: London England!

Hi there! If you’re new here, Saturday Snapshots are blog posts that I share periodically during the year that are more personal than crafty. Just a way to help us all get to know each other a little better. Regular scheduled craftiness will return on Monday.

Sewing Room Ideas

(Christmas Day)

I think it’s high time for another Saturday Snapshots post.  There has been a lot going on here “behind the scenes” and I just haven’t made the time to sit down and write about it.

Our Time in London this Summer:

After I sent my fabric “off” to the printer in early July things got really quiet around our house. My oldest daughter was off in London on a Study Abroad program and it was just me and the ‘little’ kids at home most days. No one was playing a sport and the kids were too young for many of the church “camps” so a general sense of laziness abounded for most of the month.


Many of you probably also follow Amy’s blog and know that she spent the summer in England with her family.  I told her when she left to “watch out for roving college students”. Thinking of course that the odds of her running into my daughter were pretty slim (they had met several times previously and knew each other pretty well).

Well.. one day I get a text from Amy with this photo. Lo and behold look who she ran into on the streets of London one day! My daughter. What a small world, and what tender mercy from above. It helped me remember someone is watching over my kids even when I’m not with them.


In August my husband and I flew over to London to pick up my daughter and take a quick trip to the Netherlands on the way home. (My husband lived in the Netherlands for 2 years and is always anxious to go back any chance he gets!)

These trips deserve posts all of their own, but that will have to wait for another day. While in London, we managed to see where Churchill slept during the war  (the War Rooms), where Harry Potter ate dinner (the WB studio tour) and see where many English greats are buried (Westminister Abbey).  Among many many other things.

A Visit to the Netherlands:


After a few days in London, we hopped over to the Netherlands. While there I was very excited to meet up a fellow quilter and blog reader in the Hague! Phyllis (she blogs at Oh Oh Quilts) and I had been “instagram” friends for a while and it was so nice to get a chance to meet her in person.  I absolutely love how this “blog thing” connects you to people all over the world! She has the nicest family and our husbands enjoyed chatting with each other too…



While in the Netherlands, we also got the chance to spend the day on bikes, tour the canals of Amsterdam and eat our weight in good food.


Which brings me to now. After we got home from Europe things started running at a million miles an hour again.  There was the road trip across the country to drop off my college girl, the crazy quick prep for Quilt Market in October and then there was the move…

New Studio Progress:

If you follow me on Instagram I’m sure you saw me talking (errr griping) about moving all of my craft and sewing supplies up to a new room.  When we first moved into our house, crafting and sewing was just for fun and I fit just fine in the small bedroom in the basement.  As my business grew I outgrew the room and was soon taking over most of the basement. Making it difficult for everyone as my stuff was strewn all over.

Sewing Room Ideas

We have a large room upstairs that has no windows and is dark brown (the builders intended it as a movie room).  I had always been hesitant to move up there because of the lack of natural light.. but soon realized it was the best decision.

Sewing Room Ideas

I needed a bigger space for me and for my family too. My husband and kids are kinda crafty too, so we decided it was time for a room for all of us to be able to use.

Sewing Room Ideas

It took 7 gallons of paint to cover up all of that brown! I should not complain about that part as I just “observed” the painting. At times I thought it would never be done. I went with white paint due to the lack of a window- hoping it would brighten up the room a bit more.

I also painted an old entertainment unit with chalk paint… again trying to make it bright and charming.

Sewing Room Ideas

Next came the move and a million trips up 2 flights of stairs!  Luckily, there was only one near disaster as I almost dropped a kitchen countertop on my foot.

Sewing Room Ideas

In general, we just tried to look at all of the trips up the stairs as good exercise. But let me tell you, it wore me out.

Along with moving the room, we moved my daughter into a different bedroom and my oldest into my old sewing room.  As you can imagine, along with all of the moving came a mess that seemed to spread to the entire house. At one point I did not have ONE clean room in my entire house and spend most of the day tripping over boxes and bags of stuff for goodwill.

Many of you have asked how the room turned out… So I went in today and snapped some photos. These are by far NOT Pinterest worthy and I didn’t tidy up, so you’ve got a “totally honest craft room” here. I’m not sure if I’ll attempt to take good photos of the room due to the lack of light. (Any photographers out there want to tell me how to photograph a room with no natural light???)

Sewing Room Ideas

The room is huge but the walls are all slanted so it makes furniture placement a bit difficult. I’ve got a very nice corner to sew (right behind this table is my cutting table).

Sewing Room Ideas

and we kept the sofa in the room (it was a playroom before this).  This gives you a good visual of the layout. Now instead of feeling like I’m ignoring everyone when I’m working on a deadline, my kids can just come and chill on the sofa and watch tv when I work.  It has been really nice for that. I also put an extra table in the back. One thing I didn’t like before was that no one could come to sew with me. This time I left an empty spot on purpose so that I can have friends over.  It also makes a great spot for folding fabric.

Sewing Room Ideas

I added a pegboard for quilt rulers on one of the “low” walls. .. it’s still throwing me off that I can’t hang anything on the walls due to their slope– any suggestions for me?

Sewing Room Ideas

The other side of the room is used for my paper crafting and scrapbooking… I used one of the only flat walls in the room for fabric storage.

Sewing Room Ideas

The blue cabinet sits on the wall and holds the tv… (pretty much everything in the room is from IKEA)

So there you have it… I’ve been a bit quiet this month and that’s why. I think your brain can only make so many decisions a day and all of the “where do I store my buttons?” decisions I’ve made this month have left me in a little bit of an “idea desert”.  The good news is most of it is DONE and I can start moving on to other things. (Assuming the ideas come back at some point *wink*).



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  1. Your room looks wonderful!!
    I just love the chalk painted cabinet, what a great idea 🙂
    You and your lovely family have gone through so many changes and made so many decisions…take a breath and your creativity will be back soon!!! 🙂
    Best wishes!

  2. Melissa,
    I found you through Snap. I Love your word Focus. I feel like I am living a parallel life. I am making a craft room for the first time. I painted a Ikea computer cabinet and turned it into a craft cabinet. I am excited since I have never has a room of my own but finding things strewn all over the house has been a challenge. I have empathy for your situation because, I am in a bit of a split time in life myself. My wish for you is that your life comes into focus. Change in life can be amazing or debilitating. Your Focus will bring you to amazing.
    I can’t wait to see what comes next
    Happy Creating,
    Karen Marie
    Dragonfly & Lily Pads

    1. What a small world it is! I love that we can find so many commonalities with each other through the internet! Thanks for the kind words!!

  3. Wonderful blogpost, so nice to see so many things of a year come by and such a fun and sweet picture of your children!
    It was lovely meeting you and husband and daughter when you were in my hometown The Hague in The Netherlands. Our husbands did hit it off, didn’t they :-)! One day we will come to your neck of the woods and they and we can continue our conversations. In the meantime that wonderful invention that is called the www will keep us connected!
    I love your new sewing/craft room! Such a wonderful space, must be great to spend time up there! Enjoy and we’ll keep in touch!

  4. … and I forgot to comment on your visit to the Cabinet War Rooms in London, that is so special, because not many people go there or even know of this. Onno and I went years ago and it was very special. So another thing we have in common. We love London (lucky for us only a short flight away so we try to go every year) and are interested in history and politics, so these kind of places are often on our to do list when travelling. If you (or anybody else) ever gets the chance: just before Christmas I was in London with my daughter and because it was the recess of Parliament we were able to visit the Houses of Parliament, which was so very interesting. We saw everything including the debating chambres of the House of Lords and the House of Commons, and there is so much history in those buildings, it was a wonderful tour. Just a tip!

    1. We are also big history buffs! My husband has read a million books about WWII and the war rooms were high on our “to do” list when we visited London. I have to say they were one of my favorites! It’s crazy to me that after the war they just “closed it up”… there was so much history down there.
      You are lucky to have seen the houses of Parliament! Maybe on our next trip- it seems there is never enough time!!

  5. Oh I love your room…..your sloped walls are a challenge but the use of peg board is great!
    You could get galvanized steel and hang it on the slopes and use magnets to hang ideas, lists pictures etc.
    I have a big magnetic board in mine, wish it were bigger ;), but it is great!
    You could probably do cork too….would be easier to find.
    I had to ring up a heating place, but they were more than happy to cut it and load it for me.
    For $50 I got a big 8X6 pc….they cut it into 3 pcs to the size I wanted.

    Enjoy finishing it up!

    1. Thanks for the suggestions! I’m trying to decide if having things on a slant will drive me batty or not!

  6. Great space!!! I can’t wait until we move later this year and we are specifically looking for a great basement space so that the entire basement area IS my studio! haha. It’s amazing how quickly it takes up more and more space.

    For the slanted walls I have two suggestions:
    Use the Galvanized steel for large sections, etc. and place magnets on things that wouldn’t be bothersome to have magnets on them (scissors, clippers, needs, etc.)
    Screw peg board up there but make sure you leave space appropriate to put hooks in there (doesn’t need much) and you can use hooks and/or hooks w/string, depending on how high up things are. For example, above your cutting table you can screw in the peg board and pretty much have a “above ruler holder”… kind of like a “hanging pot holder” above a stove or island in the kitchen. You would have access to them on all sides of your cutting table and it would be right above you at all times, in reach for when you are about to cut and forget to grab the rulers! LoL

    Just a few thoughts! You can make the slant work without a doubt! Just a little extra ‘leg’ work! hehe.

    1. The “pot holder” idea is a good one! Thanks!! I kept trying to decide if it would drive me crazy having things taped/pinned up there at a slant… Might have to try the pot holder!

  7. Hi Melissa, I, too, sew in an upstairs Room. It’s my 3rd floor. There are knee walls on three sides and only one flat wall for a design wall and a place for a bookcase. I do have a walk-in closest that I can stash my stash in. We installed two skylights which gave me some terrific natural light. Maybe that’s an idea that will help with your lighting situation.

    Your blog is a fun place to visit.

    1. Hi Stacey!
      My husband and I were talking about putting in a skylight (or two), I’ve been looking at ones online and I think it’s just what I need in there. One question, did you install it yourself or did you have someone do it for you? Is it the kind of thing a roofer installs? I left my 2nd flat wall as a design wall too- it was so tempting to put something on it but I kept telling myself I had to leave it blank or I’d regret it later.

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