Updated 9 December 2021
Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the craft room progress update!
A little bit about me
Did you know I spent the past 14 years living overseas?
I always wanted to travel. When I was in high school, we had two foreign exchange students at our school. One day after a volleyball game, I watched a friend explain to the Japanese exchange student how to order at Subway. She confidently went to the counter, placed her order, and specified which toppings she wanted.
That she could do it so easily amazed me. I imagined myself in a different country, being at a new restaurant, and I could not see myself being so confident in that situation. Traveling soon became a new, important life goal for me.
My first international trip was spending a college semester in Manchester, England, then backpacked by myself throughout much of Western Europe. (My parents were terrified. I wasn’t often alone though; I met fellow travelers everywhere.)
My future husband and I connected over our love of travel when I came back to the US. A couple of years later, we decided to do a semester in Jönköping, Sweden; then we traveled to Denmark, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, the Slovak Republic, Poland, Belgium, and the Netherlands, before moving back home.
We got married, we bought a house…. and then we had the chance to move to Shanghai, China. We sold the house and put a few things in a storage unit.
Nine years after arriving in Shanghai with just a few suitcases, we moved to Antwerp, Belgium. We left as a family of five and moved everything with an ocean freight container.
We had another baby, and my dad brought me a Cricut Maker during one of his trips to visit. I promptly started using it to make “Team Minor” gear for our family.
In Europe, many people use biking as their main form of transportation. I used a cargo bike to haul all four kids to school in the morning. (Public school in Belgium starts at 2.5 years old, so just the baby was at home with me.)
Five years and a global pandemic later, it was time to move back to the US. Back to the place where I’d been born, but hadn’t spent much time in for the past 14 years.
Honestly… I was terrified.
How are we supposed to fit in? My 10-year-old asked, “How do I explain to people that I was born in China, went to school in Belgium, but now have to go to school in America?”
The older kids went to an international school, with grades of 10 kids… and almost every kid in their grade was from a different country! Their new school has 170 kids in each grade.
The younger two kids went to a local school. My kindergartener had three years of full-time school in Dutch under his belt, and my 3-year-old had a full year of local school already.
School in the US was going to be a huge change for all of us.
After a summer of living in my in-law’s basement while we searched for a home, we moved into a big, log-cabin-style house with lots of natural wood. This is the first place that my kids have lived that has a yard with grass!
Setting up a new home in South Dakota
Above the great room is a loft… which I have claimed as my craft room!
I’ve never had such a big space for crafting. In Antwerp, I had most of my Cricut and computer stuff in a wardrobe.
The Cricut Hanging Blade Caddy was designed to fit my small space!
Many electronics have different voltages (the US uses 110 v and the rest of the world is 220 v) so I’ve bought a new sewing machine and the new Cricut Maker 3. I put my Cricut Joy (which is dual voltage) in my suitcase so I’d have a Cricut with me while we were getting settled.
Now the big question is… how do I set this space up?
I found a second-hand dining room table to use as a main crafting surface. Hubby installed three shop lights so it’s nice and bright.
But how do I organize boxes and boxes of supplies, ranging from markers and paper to vinyl and fabric?
How do I deal with the sloped roof, which makes it difficult to access things if they are stored next to the walls?
Any ideas or suggestions are welcome! Just leave a comment below.
Update: 9 December 2021
You gave great advice to put shelves on wheels!
You can’t tell from the photo, but the shelf is about two feet away from the wall. This way, I don’t bump my head every time I load or unload my Cricut. I store the large rolls of commercial vinyl in the narrow space next to the wall.
Paper scraps go into the top shelf where you see the scissors. I want to save the scraps, but they covered every flat surface until they had a designated spot.
I love this cart.
I designed the vinyl roll holders and am so excited to share the SVG with you!
Unfortunately, my Cricut errors out when it’s about 40% done cutting the chipboard with the knife blade. Cricut customer service will be sending out a new machine.
But tell me… would you want to make something like this?
How do you store your vinyl?
The paper shelves (in the above photo) are something I’ve wanted for ages!
I started coveting them when I saw Jennifer Maker’s Tower of Power. I had my husband cut 48 boards for the shelves and 96 pieces of molding for the sides. Unfortunately, her directions to hot glue the molding in didn’t work for me. My cabinet was too smooth.
After cutting 96 pieces that weren’t going to work, my husband wasn’t exactly leaping from excitement about more cutting.
Guess what I used?
“Tumbling Tower” blocks! I’ll explain and write a tutorial later. It was easy and cheap. (What do I do with 96 pieces of 1/2 inch molding now?)
The taller shelves are even further away from the wall. That works well for my Hanging Blade Caddy. My kids use the space behind it for their own little art room hideaway.
A new explosion box is being created! Can you tell what the theme is?
What theme for an explosion box would you like me to design?
Let me know in the comments below.
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