Keeping It Real

You know…because I usually don’t. Winking smile

I’m in the middle of a couple of projects that are not turning out as fabulous as they are in my head. And I’m annoyed. I’ve spent way more time on them than I intended to. One of them is not even for this site…it’s a guest post I’m doing elsewhere, which only adds to the pressure. And the annoyance.

So, in an attempt to clear my mind and do something else yesterday, I headed down to my sewing room. My sewing room is in the very furthest corner of the basement (sometimes I go a week or more without setting foot in the basement), so it’s out of sight and out of mind. Plus, you can shut the door and hide the mess. Usually.

View from the hall

I can’t believe I just posted that.

And it gets worse. Let’s start with this mess:


I had 2 lovely IKEA shelves mounted to the wall. Only my kids decided to use them for doing pull-ups. And they spontaneously (yeah right) fell off the wall, bringing all the contents down with them. Did I mention I had tiny little drawer units full of needles, sewing machine feet, snaps, etc on said shelves?

And then there’s this situation:


I know. I KNOW!


Someone dumped out my scrap bucket…


Really? That’s the least of my worries.

P.S. The remote for that TV is missing somewhere in the room, so I can only watch the one channel it’s stuck on (local CBS affiliate).


I spent 3 hours down there yesterday. I spackled. I vacuumed. I filled an entire big black garbage bag and 3 boxes for DI. And it’s still not done. Not even close.

I need IKEA. I need baskets and bins.

Or maybe I just need an intervention.

A bomb?

I WILL finish this. Hold me to it.

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  1. YOU. ARE. MY. HERO!

  2. Cherie@DragonfliezCreationz says:

    I just reorganize my crafting area… Teeny tiny space… and it took me all day. I can imagine what you are going through. Are the kids helping? ;-)

  3. LOL! Well, even in its current state, your sewing room is a thing of beauty! I have sewing room envy… I sew at the dining room table.

  4. Holy Crap Char!! My eyes are bug-eyed wide open and my mouth is too!! This is too incredible… I can't believe that your space is a total disaster and worse than mine! I honestly didn't think that a studio could be in such a state – AWESOME!! You get a Platinum Star!!!

  5. Last week I posted a "keepin' it real" post too. I also showed my craft room/office in a mess. I think more bloggers need to do that. Thanks!

  6. Mandi@TidbitsfromtheTremaynes says:

    Does it make ya feel better if my entire basement looks the same?

    I think I love that craft room. That red cabinet rocks.

  7. UtahMillers says:

    LOVE it! Although I am still jealous that I don't have a craft room to mess up. I'll just sit here and crack up over yours. Funny how things spontaneously break at my house too.

  8. Sourkraut says:

    You poor thing! I know you'll get there and restore that room back to its previous beauty! Love your craft desk, by the way. You've got great stuff to work with once the magic of Ikea intervenes and helps you organize everything.

  9. You can totally do it!!! My mom had a sewing room that she ignored for a good 15 years… it just got worse and worse. So for M-day I helped her reorganize it all, it's such a nice feeling to have it all accessible. You can so do this!! Little bit at a time, go you!!

  10. I'm intrigued by your ironing board. Do you use it for something other than ironing?

  11. K. the Littlest Crafter says:

    I wish I was closer by so that I could offer to help. I love to organize…of course keeping someone elses space organized is a lot easier than my own :)

    I am jealous that you have a whole room to yourself though – all my stuff is all over the place!! Hang in there – you can do it – you should get yourself one of those posters ;)

  12. Margo Tinnin says:

    Good to know it's not just me!

  13. mycuprunnethover says:

    I just recently organized my craftroom. It looked as bad as yours, it was so bad I wouldn't let anyone in there but me because I was afraid they would get hurt. Everytime I tried to start cleaning it, I was overwhelmed. But I watch the clean house show and this time I did it like they do it and it totally worked.
    If you have a space, mine was the hallway and dining room take everything but the furniture out of the room, this is the most important part EVERYTHING out. Have two boxes one for give away, one for trash and a place to put your keep items. Go through everything either put it in one of the boxes or the keep place. Then go through all of the keep items and sort them in piles according to how you want them together (vinyl, certain types of fabric, ribbon, embellishments, etc,) what would be the most functional. Look at your piles decide where you want them in the room and then buy or repurpose a container for them that fits their contents and where you want them and then label it.
    I now for the first time in 5 years I have an organized, labeled craft room.
    Hope this helps!
    Denise :)

  14. Holy crap! I don't know whether to break up with you or love you even more.

  15. It looks like my 'eventually craft room' which currently has a bath, tools, old wall cupboards, bedding, scrapbooking supplies, old toys, old clothes and the like strewn all over the place! I too am having difficulty with a project as well. I have almost done it but may start it again from scratch!

  16. Kristi@living-blessed-life says:

    I think I just fell in love with your blog even more!!! I love that you posted this. Helps me remember you super hero crafting bloggers are real people that have messy houses too. Makes this 'wanna be' feel better!

  17. Wow! Even in that state, it looks like you have an awesome room! The color, the storage, the space!!! It's lovely!

  18. I only know you through your blog, but I think you're fabulous! Thanks so much for keeping it real. Some blogs have a way of making me feel terrible and wondering where some women get the time to be so flippin' perfect (housekeepers?). You create wonderful stuff, but you share the up and the downs and I think that's awesome.

  19. My craft room used to look EXACTLY like that. The only time it ever got clean was when were trying to sell it and it needed to be clean for showings. When we're moms it's often the last place that gets attention, because we don't eat there and guests don't come over to sit in our craft room and chat.

  20. Nicole Jones says:

    My old hairdresser had a cute plaque in her salon that said "I can't be creative & clean at the same time!" So true. Ps- what paint color do you have in there? It's just what I've been wanting for a room in my house!

  21. Char @ Crap I've Made says:

    The paint color is called Shallow Pool. I don't remember who makes it, because the guys that painted our basement had it color matched by their supplier. I love it, though. SO much.

  22. …and this is why you are the queen of being real!! Love ya!!

  23. I once had a boss who looked at my ridiculously over-crowded desk (piled literally a foot and a half high), delicately stepped around similar piles on the floor, and told me messiness is a sign of brilliance.

    If it makes you feel any better, my room is in similar disarray right now. I've been working like a fiend lately, so not much time to clean, but it needs to get presentable again soon.

  24. glad it's not just me! wanna trade disaster areas?

  25. I spent the day doing the same thing. I have the problem though of only having a corer in a room and one closet in my DD's bedroom (she is only 2. She doesn't need a closet yet, right?) The 4 kids love to play in my mess which just makes it worse. It will so good once it's done though!

  26. The Yoder's Four says:

    When I had a craft room, it totally looked like that all the time. Makes me feel better.

  27. Thanks for sharing. My space, which is a desk in my bedroom, is way messier than I care to admit as well. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.

  28. Thanks so much for posting that.
    You know I keeping hoping one of my friends would call Clean House.
    I can just picture the look on Miss Niecy's face, Mark saying he'd need thousands of dollars, and poor Trish freaking out cause there's nothing worth anything to sell.
    *deep sigh* I guess none of my friends love me.
    Love your blog!

  29. Can I just say that my favorite part is the random bumbo sitting atop the big rolled up thing? hehe- love it!

  30. So glad it's not just me :)

  31. Duzza Bear says:

    Thank you for that! And to Tanya, perhaps the most intelligent man I have ever known was a university professor of mine, and his office was such a disaster you could barely even get in the door.

  32. Tam @ Sew Dang Cute says:

    That could explain the back pain today.

  33. Beedubya says:

    This post makes my palms sweaty and makes me feel like hyperventilating. LOL!

  34. Stephanie says:

    Looks like you've got quite the project on your hands! I can't wait to see the "after" pictures! By the way, I do love the room… I wish I had a sewing room that big!

  35. I LOVE this post! I don't feel alone anymore.

  36. Carla Hegeman Crim says:

    I think we might be twins separated at birth.

  37. Here On Crow Creek says:

    Bless your heart Char:( You hang tuff hun. You get in there and you just do it;) I cant wait to see the after pic:)

  38. Cheryl B. says:

    Char, I have your room's twin at my house. My scrapbook room is just as bad. It has become the "catch all" room. I go and I work and no one can tell I've done anything in 3 hours. So I ignore it hoping it will go away. I can't find my stuff because it's hidden but it's in there, I just know it. You have inspired me. Thanks so much for being honest and brave enough to do that. We will overcome…….

  39. Marianne, aka Ranger Anna says:

    So you're normal. Deal with it. Or take my route–don't deal with it. Either way, it's just a room with stuff. Have fun dreaming up new and cool stuff for down there. :)

  40. Katie @ Hippos and Dinosaurs says:

    Oh dear…you are SO BRAVE for posting this. Granted, mine has looked nearly that bad before…I'm just not sure I'm brave enough to post it;)

  41. jacque4u2c says:


  42. Laura @ ON{thelaundry}LINE says:

    I'm laughing because I totally feel you. My previous craft room looked like an episode of hoarders as well. Admitting you have a problem is the first step ;) I've threaten to bludgeon anyone who uses my new prettier craft room as a dumping grounds WITH A HAMMER.

  43. ninjadesigns says:

    you're the best… and so very funny :D
    my area often looks like that, though i've commandeered the kitchen table instead of working in my room upstairs. :S

  44. Three things I love about your post:
    1. Your "That's what she said sign."
    2. You are human.
    3. I know there is some really really cool gadgety/sewy things and fabrics in that room.

  45. Rosie and Derek says:

    Ha ha, I love it! It's nice to know that you are human after all– he he. I feel like I'm constantly battling clutter like this all the time, especially since the baby pulls things out faster than I can put them away!

  46. MotherMay says:

    I think one of my crafts every couple of months is my craft room! Hehehe!! My starts looking like a tornado went threw it :) Can't wait to see it all organized and maybe I can get some ideas

  47. Melissa says:

    OMG, if your craft room looks like this, I can't imagine how much your head is spinning! I can totally relate though! Sometimes it's tough to start a new project with a clean slate (room and head included:) But then other times, it's totally necessary! Thanks for sharing…

  48. Been there…. a lot! I wish we could all "beam" over to your house for coffee and a group intervention clean-up party!

  49. The Mang Family says:

    You aren't the only one! My CRAP errrr Craft Room looks exactly like that! It has become the store-all room! It's totally unusable at this point. I don't have the energy to deal with it right now, so we just keep the door closed. Someday soon I hope to attempt to reorganize! Thanks for sharing that life in blog-land isn't always perfect! =)

  50. I'm in the middle of moving oldest to the old guest room, the baby to the oldest son's old room, and my hubby discovered that I had minor (err…MAJOR) hoarding issue in the guest closet. Because every old frame or decoration can be reused, right? As for my craft room, too visible to the rest of the family so I have to keep it up (uhhh…sorta!)

    Thanks for making me laugh out loud! Really!!!!

  51. Kimberly says:

    I love that you posted this! :) It makes me feel like someone else understands my home (which pretty much looks like this room).

    FYI: Target has some really great brightly colored metal pails in the $1 section… they would match perfectly!

  52. Jennifer Robin says:

    Are we related?

  53. Nicolette @ Momnivore's Dilemma says:

    i just adore befores. really. there's something viral going on in blogland today, because this is the 4th post I've read about "keep it real"…over at

    imperfectly perfectly

    life, crafts, and whatever…

    now off to tackle the pure hell that is my bedroom at the moment.

    i look foward to your happily ever after.

  54. If it makes you feel any better, that's an awesome wall color you chose! Love it! Thanks for sharing :)

  55. Barefoot Apron says:

    atleast you have a sewing room. It just usally takes up my dining table and half my kitchen. One of these days I will be able to buy instead of rent. So be glad you have the space for all your stuff. Even if most of it is on the floor or not. LOL

  56. Thank you for posting this…I've been too afraid to post the pictures of my craft room. I need a huge kick in the pants to get moving on organizing my craft room!

  57. Kalleen at Second Street says:

    Thanks. You always make me feel better.

  58. Rebecca says:

    I had a Keeping It Real post this week also. My crafty space {read: messy kitchen table} was also featured. LOL I love this.

  59. redheadtina says:

    Somebody already mentioned it, but that "That's what she said." sign? Epic awesomeness. Steve Carrell filmed his last episode this week. I'll stop crying. Soon.

    Wait, this has nothing to do with anything.

  60. Valerie says:

    I am so glad I'm not the only one living in a mess sometimes. Thanks for your honesty.

    I wish I had a craft room!! Not yet, though.

  61. I am so proud of you for posting your craft room! Mine is so much worse! Thanks for the inspiration to get my cleaned out!

  62. It took a maid 4.5 hours to clean my house today. I so know where you are coming from!

  63. Good Time Charlie says:

    I LOVE it!! This is honesty at its best. You can do this, you can do this! Can't wait to see the transformation.

  64. I LOVE that you are so honest, I would give you a hug right now but… You have lifted a weight off my shoulders. Your room looks just like my sewing/crafting/home school area at the kitchen table! I kept telling my husband that it's a woman/Mom thing but he didn't believe me until I showed him your blog post. I LOVE it!!!!!

  65. quiltncat says:

    Thank you so much for posting this!! I just did the very same thing on my blog, and I still cringe a little bit when I think about other people seeing it, lol. But it needed to be done.

  66. crafterhours says:

    Yeah, this might be more along the lines of "enabling" than "holding you accountable", but I sooo love that red cabinet! I literally gasped when I saw it and forgot everything else I saw in this post. What was it about again? How awesome you are? Yeah, that must've been it.

  67. Steph Jacobson says:

    Thank you for posting this–glad to know I'm not alone in the messy craft room department!

  68. Legacy Leaver says:

    And this, my darling girl, is why we love you. <3

  69. OMG. My craft room is almost identical with clutter, but with a different paint color.
    I know a few people mentioned it allready, BUT that red cabinet. I LOVE IT ! You must tell me what, where, when and all the details about that cabinet. Can't wait to see the after pics of ur room.

  70. Katie Mitchell says:

    My room looks the same way. I have so many projects that I want to do, but don't have the time to clean up the mess!

  71. entegans says:

    i'm surprised no one's suggested this yet, but i think the only thing you really need is a door lock! a sewing/craft room should be a sanctuary, not a mess! unless of course that mess was made by YOU!

  72. jenpetersen says:

    Char-seeing this room reminds me of one reason why I think you are awesome. You are a REAL person to me-not just some perfect blogger person out there who has a supposedly perfect life.

  73. MICHELLE says:

    Oh, my goodness! The remote to the tv in my basement is missing as well. I'm stuck watching the same channel as well. Oh, and my sewing area looks like yours. :)

  74. motherclark says:

    my mum has a sign in her house that says " dull women have immaculate houses."

    I must be the most exciting person in the world!

  75. SewCalGal says:

    Can you create step by step instructions for how you organize this as I certainly need help on my end. LOL!


  76. I am cracking up b/c we have a structural engineer coming to our house tomorrow and my "office" looks SHOCKINGLY similar to your sewing room. I said to my husband that I hoped he wouldn't need to get in that room… he said he would just tell him it was the junk room.

  77. Wow. I think I would strangle my kids if they messed up such a wonderful room that bad. (I only have one so far, so I haven't experienced it yet.) Keep cleaning and organizing! Speaking as one in a little apartment who would kill to have a room like that, you should totally be enjoying it!

  78. (Big sigh of relief) I feel better. Thanks!!!

  79. semuflax says:

    For some reason, I can’t see all of this content, stuff keeps hiding? Are you taking advantage of java?

    cheap clomid

  80. Tanya B. says:

    Are you using the ironing board to hold thread???!!! (Well at least is that your intention?) If so it’s BRILLIANT!! I’m going to have to share with my sis-in-law the professional seamstress!!

  81. I am way late to the party here, but I cannot thank you enough for posting this. My craft area/home office/scrapbook room is a HOT. MESS. and I’m so ashamed of it. You lifted my spirits and made me feel less alone. Seriously.

  82. Don’t feel bad…I post pics of my house like that all the time. My place right now looks like a prime candidate for hoarders. See the problem is I live in this itty bitty freaking house…which I bought thinking for some strange odd reason that I should downsize and live a simple life. Yeah that lasted all of 10 days. and now that the market has plummeted I can’t sell…besides who is crazy enough to buy a one bedroom house anyway? LOL Well anyway I am in the remodeling phase and I am doing everything I can to increase storage space in this joint. I wish myself luck on that one. LOL.
    PS your story abut the kids taking down the shelves is exactly the reason why i am so glad my kids are grown and gone…they managed to destroy everything I loved….and strangely enough… the things I really didn’t give a hoots nanny about?….I still have it. LOL

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