As the winter air bites at my nose, I can't help but recount the tale of how my brother's Hulk costume turned our Halloween into a memorable debacle, sparking the idea for today's playful "Doodle for the Day". It's these whimsical moments that light up the path to our latest episode, where I guide you through my home's transformation and the crafty chaos of organizing a creative sanctuary. Get ready to chuckle and nod along as we talk about flipping staircases for future cinema dreams and repurposing beloved family heirlooms into artful corners of inspiration.
Our cozy conversation meanders through the nooks and crannies of personalizing spaces for passions like 3D printing and sewing, all while relishing in the creativity that flows within our walls. Imagine breathing new life into vintage finds and crafting a jewelry-making corner that would make even the most seasoned designers swoon. Join us as we stir up the creative pot, encouraging you to carve out your own crafting haven and share with us the unique ways you've turned your space into a hive of artistic buzz. Let's nurture our collective spirit of curiosity and creation, turning every nook into a masterpiece of innovation and every gathering into a festival of shared crafting sagas.
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LinkedIn: Tracy Dawn Brewer
Hey, welcome back to Britishly Made. We are still in January and I am in a winter cleaning mode and I wanted to share a little bit about what that means for my creative space. So let's dive into our Doodle for the Day, where I talk about that with our little one-a-draw app. Give me a prompt my favorite Marvel character, if they were one of the mean girls, oh my gosh, on Wednesdays we were pink. Oh boy, marvel, marvel, marvel. I think I'll have to go with Hulk. I have a love for green and I also love when my husband put purple underlights on my green truck. So it always reminds me of the Hulk because when I turned those on, it reminds me of the purple shorts that were drawn on the comic book character in the 70s and stuff. My brother was the Hulk for Halloween when we were little. My mom painted him all green and he had dark hair and he was just this, oh so cute. And then she couldn't get the paint off. I don't know what kind of paint she used and I can remember her trying to get paint remover to take it off. I don't know, I just remember it being such a mess. He was a cute little, you know little Hulk. I remember being cold, like he couldn't walk around without a shirt on, but she painted him green. The Hulk, okay. So that's the direction I'm going with mean girls. I don't know what character he'll be. He's so big and strong so maybe I'll have him holding a little ball here. Oh goodness, the Hulk is bad, anyway. So, yes, in the new year, putting decorations away and such, I am totally in a cleaning and reorganizing mode. It kind of hit in between Christmas and New Year. I had the time off and I wanted to tackle our basement. We are blessed with a ranch home. That was intentional when we got our home about seven, eight years ago, we wanted a ranch and we have an 1800 square foot basement. Here in Ohio it's not really uncommon to have a basement. Ours is 13 cores, so it's got really high ceiling. So if we ever get the gumption to finish the basement, we'll be able to put a nice height of ceiling in the basement and it won't feel like you're in a cave and enclosed. So one of the things that we did gosh, I think it's been two years ago is that we flipped the staircase from the entrance where it came into the house, or where you came into the house from the garage and you went straight to the basement. On your left-hand side, to the staircase on the opposite side there was this weird little alcove and I'll try to share some pictures to explain. It was just like this ledge and it was very deep and it was just this big shelf. So when we cut the hole out of that and took that ledge out, it was like a mirror image and all we had to do was take the staircase and turn it the other direction. So now you walk into the house around the kitchen and then you can go into the basement and you have a much larger, I guess, platform area to bring things into the basement. We had no way to get. We had this section or we need to take downstairs. We're gonna finish off like a TV theater room down there and no way to take that downstairs because you couldn't come into the garage and make the turn to go down the stairs. It wouldn't fit. Now you can. We can bring it in the house. We can bring it all the way into the house, plenty of room to make that turn and go down the stairs and until we add the railing and finish like the little half wall where the handrail will be. It's so easy to get things down there and I'm taking advantage of that by taking down tables and countertops and cabinets and shelving to make space for my creative stations is what I'm calling it, because there's tons of room down there and there's tons of stuff. That's the problem. We have had the girls move in and out and come home from college, move away, come back, move away again, and all of those moves they've brought home furniture and things that they had with them and household goods and clothes from when they were teenagers, and just stuff. And then I have my own stuff and I could never blame my husband because he did not contribute to the massive amount of stuff that is down there, because he was deployed and he was gone, so he brought very little into the mess of stuff that we have accumulated over 12 years. It is me and the girls, so yeah, so we have had, I think, two dumpsters since we've been here seven or eight years when we've renovated the house and have thrown away not only the construction stuff but just things that we didn't need anymore, donated tons of things, sold things, just gotten rid of things until I'm in that mode again. So I have been cleaning out closets and I have been cleaning out the basement and I have been reorganizing the basement. When we took the flooring out, it was like a laminate floor upstairs and we had put a new floor all throughout. We did that ourselves years ago. I kept that flooring. I took it to the basement because I knew I'd want to put it on the basement floor just for something over the concrete to give it a little bit of warmth, because concrete's cold. So I put that down during the break and then I've been putting the furniture that we have down there on it and I have tons of free stuff. I have tables that he's either found when they were throwing things away at work that make great workstations. Neighbors have given me things when they've renovated. I have a huge L-shaped countertop with cabinets. A friend just give me a third cabinet because I needed one for the little L coming off of the long piece of the countertop. So that's going to be my cutting station. The only big thing I have bought down there is a drain box In 2016 or 17,. I wanted one of those cabinets. That was a craft station that you could close and it has my sewing machine, my serger, my Cricut. All of my felt, all of my fabric findings all of that stuff is in there. The tops are just covered with stuff. Right now, because I have sewn so many things and made the girls the green kids stuff, I haven't closed it. Since I put that thing together. There's a sewing station and everything else I've either gone to restore, which I absolutely love. Restore it benefits Habitat for Humanity. So if you have a restore in your area, what a treasure they are to have to find affordable things that you can refinish, repurpose, reuse and just awesome storage. There's a lot of independent sellers around here that I follow that have great pieces for nothing $5 for a set of shelves and they're just finding things and reselling them. Facebook Marketplace, of course, is a great thing, but there's also lots of Facebook groups and pages and I found this out through my daughters in Seattle. It was. They call it a buy nothing page, but it's like a Facebook group and you go on there and people will just post I don't need this anymore, does anyone want it? You're like, yes, I'd like it, and then you go pick it up and it's amazing. So someone started that around where I live. They call it a common table and so you go on there and you join and you listing like I don't want this anymore, would anyone like it? And then you just put it out on your porch or whatever for a pickup. It's phenomenal. And there's things that I've given away on there, there's things that I've received on there. I think that that's awesome. So definitely check that out. If you have that in your area, I think that that would be wonderful. If you don't have one for you to start, and it's just like you just manage this page and it's not like you're advertising things for sale. Sometimes somebody will be like look, I have this, it's brand new, I'd like to try to sell it. And then you go off of the site. I'd like to work on that, just let people know. But mainly it's free and it's really neat because in Seattle they also have another page and I can't remember the name of this one. But it's like if you need a certain tool, for example, and you have that tool and somebody posts I need an electric screwdriver to assemble something, literally, somebody says I have one, I'll put this out there, come get it, use it, and then you bring it back. This is in Seattle, everyone a humongous city, and I don't even know what to call it the confidence that you have that someone's not going to steal. It is incredible. I was out there with my daughter. She was getting married and I needed to repair no, I needed to alter her dress. That's what it was. I needed a sewing machine. I'm like, well, I think we could probably rent one. She's like, no, let me go to this page. Someone's like, yep, I have a sewing machine, come get it. It was, in this case, shit thread everything. I was able to alter her dress and we took it right back. I was like that is wonderful. I love that service thing. I think that's the sweetest thing that people are like look, I have this, you can borrow it. It's just this honor system. This is a huge city and people just bring it right back. It's just wonderful. I love those ideas. If there's something that I run across, I don't need this anymore. I don't want this anymore. You listed on the common table or the buy nothing pages and you can repurpose that through someone close to you and your neighborhood or community, but definitely doing a lot of cleaning. And I want to really praise the fact that you work from where you are. I love seeing amazing studios that are she-sheds and these dedicated spaces. I remember what's in the notebook Okay, I've got so many tainted so I think of when I start talking. But when Allie's art studio is set up and she sees that, that's the most romantic part in the movie for me over everything, I lost my mind thinking, holy crap, he knew how much she loved to paint and created this space for her and just floored me. I loved that. So I absolutely love seeing a beautiful, cool, curated studio. I just ran across one that was a sewing studio and I had to tag my neighbor in it and it's really neat. It has all of these vintage sewing machines, like on these shelves, displayed all the way around and all I kept thinking was like I could have used those shelves for fabric and all of my notions. And why are you showing all of these displays? I mean, she had a huge sewing area too, but I'm just like I could have used that for storage. I'm so terrible. Oh my gosh, I would. I would love that. So I am turning my lower level that I am blessed to have for storage in sections that we aren't using for storage and for the core shelves, which we have built many of in the last couple of years down there to put all of the different holiday decor and the kids stuff on, and we have the exercise space and all of that we're working on. But I do have segments for my different creative stations, even created a station for my husband for his 3D printing. That was his Valentine's present last year. It was a 3D printer and he's done so many cool things with it and I'm like, well, if I'm down there working, that'll encourage him to come down here and maybe work on his miniatures, because he has all kinds of like military miniatures and dioramas that he makes or his 3D printing and we can be down there together because we love, like I wanna say, crafting and creating together. We do that a lot and so not only am I still finishing this area for him to be able to like watch movies and to display all of the Star Wars stuff that we have in our movie posters and we're working on that cool space, but if you're down there doing that and I wanna sew, it's so nice because we're in the same space together and we're right there, so I love having that available. But I have a crafting table which, again, this is a table that was my mom and dad's dining table and chairs when I was growing up. I mean, it was there forever and it's now one of my crafting tables. So I do a lot of painting and gluing, reading ornaments and things on that. And then I have my dream box, my selling station, and that's for my surgery, my embroidery sewing machine, my Cricut, and my machine takes digital files too so I can do embroidery with that. So it has a computer and stuff there. And then I have my cutting station, which is the countertop and the cabinets that were given to me, and it's wonderful to have like a concentrated place that I can use like my roller cutter and stuff. So I love that. And then I have a workstation that Brian brought home to huge wooden table and they use it for tools and stuff and it had this like cracked laminate top and I peeled that off and so that's another assembly station for a lot of jewelry and I can like quickly clear that off. And it can also be a wider cutting table when I have like blankets and things that I need to make that needs more width. So that station is there. And then I got a desk that raises and lowers with electric. You should hit a button and that has my miniatures on it. So I have three doll houses on that table and so if I don't want to sit, I can stand and like get an eye level so I can like see instead of kneeling down, and so I can just push a button and that desk raises up and I love that. And then Brian's 3D printing station and his craft tables are there and just have different chairs and different styles of stools that I'm using. I have these organizers that were I guess they were closets or just independent storage. They have hanging bars, but I have tons of fabric samples from a friend who gave me all of their upholstery pieces like the examples, the samples that they used when that part of their store was closing, and they're all on hangers. So all of those are hanging there and I use them to do like miniature upholstery and I make bags and totes with those and so all of that fabric is filling two of those and they have drawers and shelves and everything is stacked and it's just full of stuff like that which I love. And then I got two tall bookshelves that have, you know, boxes and books and things like that from Restore and from a couple other like independent resellers. They I think they were $5. And I have things on that. And then I have this pantry that has a folding table that comes down and that's gonna be a jewelry station that will be able to like I can bring that table down when I'm working on something, but then I can organize all of my beads and jewelry findings and all the tiny little things and keep that up and separate from all the other like bulk ornaments and paints and stuff like that. So my easel was there and all my paints can go on one of my storage units and that is all just organized. So it's just phenomenal to have all of these places that I can just separate everything and find it quicker. Setting up the stations that are taking a while and then going to each station and like cleaning them up and organizing. It's funny because I found a rolly kit. Does anybody else love the vintage? It looks like an octagon, I guess, and it's made by Joy I can't think of how you say her last name from the KVC and she made this thing years ago, decades ago, and it rolls out flat and it's like a tackle box. It has all these compartments but then you can roll it back up and nothing gets separated or lost until I'm going to put all kinds of jewelry stuff in that and then I can just sit into the cabinet and I just think that it's the coolest thing. I got one of those on eBay and Green and it's purple, greater purple, my Hulk. So that is going to be another organizing. I really do love organizing. If you go on Instagram right now and even, I think, tiktok, I can't remember I've shared what I have been doing and where I'm at and normalizing the basement workspace, because that is what I have and that is what I am embracing. And that is the point of my episode today is that you need to embrace where you're creating right now and dug on it. If it's a dining room kitchen table, if it's a TV tray, that's fine. If it's something that you need to put away every night and take back out and that's where you are right now, that is totally fine. You create in the space that you can and you embrace it because that is what works for you and that is enough. That is. What is important is that you find it and you make it work for you. You embrace that because that is enough. That is what gets you motivated and gets you excited to create. Go with that and appreciate it and share it. Tag me, let me know. This is my space, this is what I have and it is all I've got and I am proud of it and I will celebrate it, because that is what's important is that you've made time to create that spot for yourself and people respect it. If they see that TV tray out and your work is on it, they're not going to go knock it down or take it down or like you know what are you doing. They're going to be like oh, you're in a creative mode right now. We're going to respect that and that is what's important. And so that's what I want to make sure that you normalize today is that your creative space is what you have right now and it is worthy of being seen. It may not be in a magazine, but it is in your heart, and so it is on my heart to celebrate it. And that's what I want to make sure that we're doing today is that I don't care if it's one little corner. If that is what you have, make it what you need it to be, to give you all the creative juices that you need to keep going, because that's what's important. You just need that space. I don't even care if it's like one of those little carrying desks, like a laptop desk that you set down and you're creating on Good for you. Make it yours, make it important to have that available when you need it and embrace it, because that's what we need. We need to celebrate one another in the spaces that we have and in our mindsets. That is enough, and so I just wanted to celebrate the creative spaces that we're making for one another and making sure that in the new year, you make them the best that they can be. You put your stickers on that shelf and on that laptop desk or that TV tray. You decorate it up, you make it what you need it to be. It can be clean lines. If you want minimalism and you want things to be put away when you're done and take that out when you're ready to create, totally fine. That's what I'm trying to actually create in my different locations, because I'll get to the point where like, ok, I need a spot to create and I end up on my dining room table again, and that's OK too. But I love having everything at my fingertips and knowing where things are. I am totally one of the memes that was like oh, you know, I forgot I bought all of these, all of this stuff that I needed to create this with, and I have these supplies already. You know how many pairs of scissors do I have? You know how many rolls of tape do I have? Or glue sticks could I find? Whatever it is. So it is great to get organized that way, and that's the goal for myself, and so maybe that will encourage you to make the spaces that you need in your life, to give yourself permission to create, and that's what's most important. So make your life Brutally made with the space that you have and create your studio with what you have right now. Don't wait to create because you don't have a space to do it, and just make that space. That's what's important. Create anyway, make happen what you need, happen with what you have and get creative. If you're looking for something posted, if there's something that you need, share it. Let me know. I have a nice network of people across the country. Maybe we can help you find what you need. You know, let's help one another find the things that we need to make the spaces that we need in our creative lives. That's what we need to do, so I love sharing these ideas and where I'm at with you, and I hope that it encourages you to continue to pursue what's on your heart. So stay brutally paid. I will talk to you next time. Bye.