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My New Craft Room

My New Craft Room

When Nate and I bought our house this past July, one of the bedrooms was in pretty rough shape. It had a behemoth wall cabinet built around a bed that fit into the center. I remember Nate’s dad remarking that it looked like the drawers in a wall at a morgue, and my first thought was this thing had to go!

Behind the bed was exposed wall and mortar. We even discovered a small hole where we could see light from outside! We found little critter poo in the area behind where the previous owner had their bed. I had total heebie-jeebies following that discovery! The first step was to ensure that there were no openings to the outside where critters can enter, so my dad filled the cracks and holes both inside and out. That went a LONG way to giving me peace of mind!

Where to start?

The room was poorly painted in a funky celery green color that was dirtied with age, with patches of the former paint peeking through. Our first inclination was to tear everything out and gut that insanely HUGE cabinet. After careful consideration, we decided to repair everything, repaint the room a soft gray with white accents, and try to work with the massive shelving (that was actually very well constructed). The previous owner had built the cabinet by hand out of solid oak, so the quality and construction was excellent. We all felt it would be a shame to completely destroy it. But what to do??!

The idea of facing this DIY project was a bit daunting, yet, when we started to disassemble and remove the drawers my mom came up with the idea of using this as a yarn storage wall! That had me shifting into 5th gear with an excited, “YES, PLEASE!” So, Nate, myself, my mom, and dad reinvented this wall unit into a yarn storage and turned the bedroom into my new studio/craft-room! It’s a night and day difference, and I couldn’t be happier with the results!

 

 

A little hard work never hurt anyone. It can however make me scream.

We started with the carpets. We rented a Rug Doctor and shampooed the carpets several times over. Once the floors dried, my dad removed the remaining drawers and hardware, leaving empty openings in their place. He measured and cut the wood for each “shelf” that needed a bottom. Then, we inserted each shelf into its cubicle and secured them with nails. We had 23 to reconstruct. I left two of the bottom drawers intact for notions, crochet hooks, and other supplies.

We decided then to paint the room. Since this room eventually will be my filming studio, I could only choose from white, cream, or gray paint so the lighting didn’t cast a strange color on my videos. So, I chose the soft gray with white trim. What should have been a simple paint job, was a disaster. One, we had to wash years of grime off the existing walls. Two, it took more than 3 coats of the light gray to cover the green color beneath. Three, I stepped off the ladder and the can of gray paint tipped over spilling and splashing paint EVERYWHERE all over the carpet! I screamed!! What a mess to clean up!! It took two full days to finish painting this small room. I still have a bit of trim to fix, paint, and replace, but overall it looks 100 times better than it did!

The Fun Part

Now the task of filling those compartments of my wall unit was next. My mom and I unpacked boxes upon boxes of yarn and began organizing them into colors. That took hours and hours! I think I went up and down the step ladder a hundred times that day. My legs were burning by the end! But what a difference it made! It transformed from being this massive thing with cold, empty caverns, into a wonderful warm, colorful work of art (haha!). My excitement just grew by leaps and bounds!

My dad and Nate repaired the back wall and constructed the table where I will be filming. They custom built the table for me to work and do my tutorials. They also added lighting fixtures to illuminate my work area. Once that was complete, my mom and I began to add personal touches to the room. The first thing to be hung on the wall was my Silver Play Button I was awarded from YouTube for surpassing 100,000 subscribers. One of the last pieces to be done was changing the ceiling fan into a hanging light fixture. We also accented with a black room darkening curtain so we can eliminate light coming through the window while filming. Soon the room began to truly come to life.

 

 

Finishing touches

Over the course of the past few weeks, I added a big comfy chair and additional artwork to the room. Most of the items are second hand or gifts that add to that personal charm to make this space my own. It is one of the coziest and happiest places in our new home. It is the perfect place for me to spend most of my time!

I am still transitioning between homes as I still live with my parents until our wedding. In 5 months, I will be getting married and will be moving ALL my yarn to our home permanently and those shelves will be full! YARNutopia will have a new home with a new beginning! I am excited to make these changes not just in my personal life, but in the life of our online community! Lots of exciting things to come and I am so happy to share this journey with all of you!

We still have to add some finishing touches. I will be keep you updated on more changes to come as well as posting about the day we film our first tutorial in my NEW studio!! Thank you for joining me and sharing this adventure!

Let me know stories of your own home DIY projects! Have you remodeled a room? Share in the comments section!

This post contains affiliate links, which I may be compensated for when you make a purchase. That means if you click on any link and buy from the linked websites, I will receive a small percentage of the value of your order. The amount you pay is not changed. Thank you for all your support in clicking the links in my blog!! You all are so amazing!!

My dad will continue to be the videographer, editor, and photographer for our videos.
Support YARNutopia today so we can continue to bring you clear, quality crochet tutorials even after I move into my new home!
There will be an added expense of more travel and hopefully this won’t deter our ability to provide consistent videos on a weekly basis.

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WIP in Hand: To Commit or To Quit?

When we were children, my two older brothers and I were given many opportunities to try out any extracurricular activities we wanted. My parents’ rules were, if we decided to try something new, we couldn’t quit the entire season. We had to stick it out even if we didn’t like it. We NEVER had to go out for it or try it again if we hated it, but once we joined, we had to finish. It was a lesson in not giving up, not quitting, not letting your teammates down, and a whole lot of life lessons bottled up in that one rule. It was good and bad. Good because I found out that I enjoyed being part of the chess club and became the chess club president, but bad when I realized my athleticism consists of how hard it is to dodge a volleyball coming straight for my face. Yeah, that smarts.


My mother is an avid reader. On average she is able to read three books a week. She told me long ago that when she decides to read a book she has a rule; once you commit, finish it. Even if it’s challenging, once you begin, don’t stop until the end. That rule, again.

I am to crochet, what my mother is to books. Crochet is my passion, my delight, my respite and relaxation from the crazy chaos of life, but my threshold for commitment has yet to reach the standard of sticking it out no matter what on each project I begin. I have a half dozen WIPs (Work in Progress) as we speak, maybe more, all unfinished and no definitive plan to finish. I need to re-learn that rule to commit and finish, but my attention span is different with crochet, and it isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Sometimes, the easiest thing to do is walk away and leave a project alone for a little while…or a long while.


Several years ago, I purchased beautiful wool. I had begun to make lovely granny squares with the intent to put them together for a blanket; this was BEFORE I started the 365 Days of Granny Squares Project. Those early squares are still waiting in a basket to be made into that beautiful throw I always planned to get to.


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I started a butterfly project a month ago, it sits in a bag unfinished because I didn’t like the shape of the thorax and it was frustrating to frog and change it over and over so I tucked it away for an “I will revisit this someday” project.


As I sort through my crochet and craft area, preparing to transfer several things to my new home, I am surprised by how many projects I have stumbled across that I have yet to finish. A partially finished cowl, a graphgan, a cute start to a hat, a baby blanket in its early stages. What in the world was I thinking?! It’s a bit sad really, I have a great beginning but no ending to these lovely pieces that sit in boxes waiting to be brought back to life.

I have resolved to get to work on finishing what I started, to revive that rule. Maybe now is the time that each project can be brought back with the potential that was always there, it just took this time to realize it! The future is bright for those lost works in progress! My work is cut out for me, but a stockpile of great material awaits our YARNutopia community! I see lots of tutorial and pattern potential!

I know I am not alone when I say I have a few projects left unfinished. Are you that “commit and don’t quit” crochet artist? Or are you the one who has your works in progress on hold to revisit someday? Share here on your strategy on tackling your long lost WIPs (Work in Progress)!

~Nadia


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Getting into the Crochet Zone: My Crochet Playlist

Getting into the Crochet Zone: My Crochet Playlist

Crochet is probably the most relaxing and meditative tasks I participate in on a daily basis. As an online blogger and YouTuber, it is part of my routine to design, create, film, and teach crochet. In order to truly find my zone and get a project complete, several factors have to align for my crochet day to be as productive as possible.

Quiet please, I’m counting!

It is no secret that concentration is a must as we crochet and create. Counting our stitches can be made more difficult if we are surrounded by distractions. I have come to a point where I am pretty good at multi-tasking, so even if there is a flurry of activity around me, I am still able to focus and count. One of the main factors that helps put me in my “zone” is music.

Having some type of background noise has been very conducive to my productivity. I notice that it has become almost more difficult to have complete silence while I create versus having some type of music or noise going on. Oftentimes, even as I travel, I carry my device with earbuds so I can have music on the go. This is an integral part of my creative process.

Music for every mood

The following is my crochet playlist for any mood that suits me.

If it’s a rainy or lazy day, and there is no pressure to finish a project my favorite artists to listen to are:
1. Billie Holiday (I’ll Be Seeing You and God Bless the Child are two of my faves!)
2. Whitney Houston (I Have Nothing and I Will Always Love You are two of my faves!)
3. Frank Ocean (The Entire Channel Orange album and Solo on the Blond Album are my favorites!)

If it is a day packed full of work and the pressure is on to finish my projects, my favorite artists to listen to are:
1. Bruno Mars (Uptown Funk and That’s What I Like are my faves right now)
2. Drake (Fake Love, One Dance, Hotline Bling, and Work with Rihanna are my faves)
3. Beyonce (Run the World, Formation, Flawless, and Baby Boy are just a few of my favorites, but she’s the best!)
4. Jason Derulo (Whatcha Say, Trumpets, Ridin’ Solo, and In my Head are some fast tunes)

 

Songs for crocheting in the car: #RoadTrip
1. Juicy by Biggie Smalls
2. Coffee by Miguel
3. And I am Telling You by Jennifer Holliday
4. Can’t Believe It by T-Pain
5. Words I Never Said by Lupe Fiasco
6. Have you Ever Seen the Rain by CCR

When I am filming video tutorials and go off camera to complete a section of the pattern before filming again, I turn music on and my go-to artists are:
1. Kendrick Lamar
2. Adele
3. Rihanna
4. The Weeknd
5. Amy Winehouse
6. Mike Posner
7. G-Eazy
8. Michael Jackson

Everyone is different

Everyone has a different taste in music style, or may enjoy a different background noise; others may prefer to work in peaceful silence. Whatever the case, it is all about making our environment as enjoyable as we can to do what we love!

Share how you enjoy your time crocheting. What makes you the most productive as you create? Do you have favorite music that puts you right into your “zone”? Share songs so I can add more to my playlist!!