Showing posts with label unique shelving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label unique shelving. Show all posts

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Real life problems: Yarn Storage

I started to get a bit overwhelmed as I really was drowning in yarn!


Warning the following four images are just gratuitous yarn shots! 






Let's get back to the real life problem. Almost one year ago, I had another beautiful baby boy. My other boys are teenagers so our house had become a more grown up house. We have a playroom for the xbox and massive telly required by grown up boys and apart from lots of sport equipment toys were rare these days. 

Our house had become a bohemian and lovely space. Comfortable, quite messy in a sit-down-and-be-cosy-friends-always-welcome kind of way and I had (have) a lot of hobbies and half done projects which require equipment. This worked out pretty well but once we started to add; changing mats, toys, nappy storage, toys, new baby washing piles, toys, jumperoo's, toys, bouncy chairs, toys, pram, did-I-mention-all-the-bloomin-toys! I started to feel out of control. 

I like the toys, I don't think we have that many just coupled with my personal style which is quite cluttered anyway it soon felt too much and not in a good way. My son has inherited some of my personality as he loves to get every toy out, scatter cushions on the floor, empty the nappy storage (all clean items - don't worry) and we were spending most of our days living in this...





There was a while, where I thought - it's fine, he's going to have awesome orienteering skills! But it has started to get to me more as he moves around more. I want him to have space to play and I want to have space to sit on the floor with him. 

This was the catalyst for coming up with a solution. I love problem solving - it takes time, but I really enjoy it. I have spent a long time thinking through and decided that I needed to change up the furniture as it wasn't working and repurpose some of the items. I had all my yarn in a beautiful old bohemian 1970's storage unit which reached the floor. I decided this would work much better for toys and then started to think about how I could store my yarn. I like to see it, as it encourages me to not go and buy more yarn for small projects as I often have what I need already. If I hide it away, I would go yarn shopping much more often and I don't need to do that. 

I tend to make quite a range of crochet projects - toys, amigurami, blankets, flowers for my shelves and so on. Quite often my projects don't need masses of wool, which means I end up with quite a lot of half balls of yarn and I have started buying lovely hand dyed skeins of wool as they are just gorgeous and I have those rather than lots of different balls. 

I estimated I had around 100 balls of wool to store. As I am a shelf-maker (you can view my etsy store here)  I decided to come up with a wall mounted solution which would display these 100 balls and still be easy to access. I did NOT want them to all fall out every time I took some yarn from the bottom of a shelf. 

Firstly I carried out some market research and looked into what storage is already available. None really. A lot of people use Ikea shelving and while that works well in the main, it doesn't stop wool falling out. There are some beautiful glass fronted vintage armoires which work very well but I don't have £1000 to spend and wouldn't have the floor space either. 

I also asked people how much yarn they had. The answer was a lot! So I started to draw bigger shelves than I'd originally planned. I counted my yarn and there was nearer 200 balls to store too, once I'd rounded up all the stray carrier bags with balls stashed in them. 

Here is an image of my very first design. It worked really well except the elastic wasn't quite covering the way I needed it too. Some balls of wool were at risk of falling out as I reached for another. 





These two pictures above show me testing the shelves in my own dining room/ craft room. It was quite messy as there were 200 balls of wool scattered about the place and that's when I took the picture of me drowning in yarn. 

Teenage son had a lovely time chucking balls of wool at me and then photographing the results! 



You can see above that I used mirror plates to hang my shelves. I always use these as I find them long lasting and sturdy and with this shelf it can be completely invisible when the wool is in there. 

I decided to add more elastic and kept to a strict design, so that the shelf looks beautiful. I didn't want the elastic to detract from the yarn, and chose to make the shelf available with either black, white, pink or clear elastic. 

Here you can see my finished product, in use, in my own home. 



I've tested it out and it works. Nothing has fallen out. All 190 balls of wool (of varying sizes - some full balls, some skeins, some small ones and some chunky yarns) do fit in. There's even a little space to add more! 


This wall makes me so happy every time I see it now. It's a practical problem solver and a work of art! 

My yarn storage shelf is now available for sale on Etsy and all the product features are listed there. I've also protected the design so I am the only person who can sell these. 

I'm really excited to share my problem solving with the world! 





Wednesday, 22 February 2017

I have a shop

I've actually gone and done it.

Set up a shop.

Of my own.

An etsy shop. It's here; destabled.etsy.com

I'm so pleased to have taken the leap. I worked hard and followed a free course from Etsy, called Etsy Resolution. It was brilliant, I met a group online of other people in the same boat as me and we all supported each other. The support continues and I need it.

Here are some glimpses of the images I have used for my shop.





I have to admit to feeling scared as I pressed publish. (On Valentines Day, no romantic meal for us, I was working away on my laptop and husband was looking after the baby. No, sadly he isn't in bed at that time. Feel for us).

I've learned so much over the last two years of product development, made so many mistakes and often had to tell myself if it wasn't hard then it wouldn't be worth it! But, that means I feel like I put a little bit of myself into my work. You know, kinda like a Horcrux in a not so evil way! 

So now, I need to add more products, take more photographs and learn how to become a marketing genius. No pressure! 




Thursday, 27 August 2015

How I make my handmade shelving, Part Two.

This is Part Two of how I make my handmade shelving. You can read Part One here if you haven't already.

So safety first, I forgot to say in Part One, I do wear goggles. Here I am with photographic proof. I create an awful lot of sawdust and eyes and tiny particles of wood do not mix. Plus I really need to be able to see what I am doing clearly.




Looking good eh?



Once I have drilled the holes it's time to sand the wood. I like my shelves to feel good and look good so it's a step that I don't skimp on.




I create lots of sawdust.



Then I hoover it all up. That power hoover is very satisfying. Are you getting a feel for the sounds of my workshop too?

Then I need to create my dovetail joints. I wanted the shelves to feel smooth and I liked the idea of making them fit together just out of wood. There are no nails or screws or anything like that holding them together, it's just the dovetail joint and a little bit of glue. Just like most high end or antique furniture. If you have an old chest of drawers or cupboard with drawers - these will be the joints holding those drawers together. They last a long time.

I created a timelapse of me making the dovetails so you can see here. I spend a lot of time laying out prior to this point - using the old saying, measure twice, cut once.



This is a very speeded up timelapse by the way. I'm fast and efficient but not that fast!



This is what each joint looks like when it is first put together.



And this is a whole range of yourshelves waiting to be glued. I used to do this all at once but actually it is easier to do this as I dovetail now.





Then I leave them to dry for a night. The next day I check for sturdiness and they are always very strong indeed.


Oh I love this moment, a wall full of yourshelves. Each hole cut and sanded and each piece matched into the right other 3 pieces. Now to choose which shelves become which colour!




Here I am with a pink one.



After all this it's time to let the paint dry with a well earned feet up time.



And then I get my hooks out and crochet some circles to replace the wood knots with wool knots.

Do you like what I did there?


Then, luckily there are some magic elves who attach the crochet in the night! I wish.


Finally each shelf gets a final sand and a coat of clear wax on the outside unpainted surface.

Then voila - a finished shelf.



I'm so pleased with them, each and every one is loved. I hope you love them too.


Monday, 24 August 2015

How I make my handmade shelving, Part One.

Handmade is often a time consuming process, filled with love and pleasant moments. Let me talk you through how I make my shelves.

I start with the wood itself. I have a lovely local timber merchant and they help me to pick out the pieces with lots of knots in. At first they thought I was a bit crazy, but now they recognise me and have given me a regular discount as they like my product! Shop local folks.



I'm looking for pieces of wood which have a range of knots, but not so many that the wood is weakened and which have knots in just the right places and in a range of sizes. I'm picky.




This was a great piece of wood. One of my favourites from my last batch. It's looking at me.



Then I measure and cut each piece. I make the decisions on size based on each piece of wood, and that is why no two shelves are ever the same, as no two pieces of wood are ever the same.



Here I am in action with my trusty jigsaw.



And then I end up with a pile of pieces of wood. Here, they are laid out in fours so I can make sure I have four sides that fit together. For this reason, the way the wood itself shapes the process, I tend to make quite a lot at once, rather than one by one.




Then it is time to drill the holes. This takes time. Quite a few minutes on each hole. I use different saws and some holes are bigger than others, depending on the size of the original knots.




This is quite a large knot, for example, so I would use quite a large hole. But can you see how the grain of the wood shapes around the knot? This carries on to my finished product and makes the hole in the shelf and the grain of the wood combine for a beautiful shelf.



Essentials - coffee and a drill. Love that they match colour wise.




This is part way through the drilling. Still looking at me.



This is what is removed. They are all different sizes depending on the knots removed. Sometimes I centre them, sometimes I feel they would look better slightly of-centre.

I make a lot of decisions during the process and this is why each shelf is unique.





Saturday, 15 August 2015

My first craft stall

I ran my first craft stall. I did it! I braved it out and made everything and put it all out there to see what people thought.

It was scary but being scared is often a good thing. It's about feeling like I am pushing myself and then realising that line is way behind me. It's empowering.

I made 27 yourshelves and designed and made a gazebo in case of bad weather. Well, the weather must have been on my side as although it was slightly windy, the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day.

I wanted to launch in my home town, it just felt right and I always try to trust my instincts.

Here is my stall. Destabled became tangible!



 
Told you the weather was with me. Look at the patterns the sun created?


 
I was very proud of the colours. It all held together very well.


 
I made handmade labels too. Each one unique, obviously.

 
And put some ornaments and books around the stall to give people ideas about how my handmade yourshelves could be used.
 




 
I made a pretty big signage board, but in hindsight I wish I'd done another one explaining how they are all handmade, with the knots removed, so all are unique. I'm going to make something that tells the story better for my next fair.
 
 






I also thought of a use for the leftover holes, surely there is a scientific term for these? I made them into really funky hooks. They can be used as either coat or bag hooks (or-really-to-hang-anything-with-a-handle) or as cupboard knobs. I marketed these as nothing is wasted and people seemed to get on board with that ethos straight away. One guy told me "nothing is wasted - love it!".




Then I had faith in myself. I knew it would be good, and it was. Happy me. The comments from the public were amazing - 'awesome', 'funky', 'different', 'really effective' and 'cool'. I smiled a lot. The best bit was when an older guy who looked like he knew what he was talking about checked out my dovetails and told me I had done a good job. Made up!

Oh and then Darth Vader came shopping. I mean who doesn't launch their business without a representative of the force!