Spring Studio Stroll: Cynthia Shaffer

April 06, 2011, 13:23 pm  Posted by needlearts

Hello and welcome to my home studio. I am a crafter, quilter, garment-maker, paper-lover, painter, constant learner, knitter, and photographer. I live in Orange, California with my husband Scott, sons Corry and Cameron, and the girls…my two adorable Boston terriers, Harper and Berklee.

What is your favorite part of your studio?

Oh this is difficult to answer because I do really really like all the parts of my studio. My computer area is so convenient, set up right next to where I do so much of my photography, and there are large windows that let natural light in. My sewing machine is actually sitting on my high worktable and therefore I am able to stand and sew. This saves me time, since so many of the projects I work on are small and need to be photographed as they are being created. I love that the shelves that hold my bins of stash fabrics, ribbon, paper and on and on, are shallow, so nothing gets too buried. I also like to have my stuff out so I can see it; if it is in a drawer or hidden, then I sometimes forget what I have. I also love the wall color: turquoise!

Is there a system or invention you have come up with in your studio?

Yes, I have a few inventions that I love and couldn’t do what I do without them…well, at least not as efficiently. First up is the tin can caddy that sits on a lazy susan. The tin can caddy hold ALL my go-to supplies and being that it is on the lazy susan, I just spin it around and have access to so many of my necessary tools and supplies. The other thing about the tin can caddy is that the cans are wired on the larger can in the middle, and therefore are up off the surface of the lazy susan, leaving space for my stamp pads, post-it notes, and other low profile tools and stuff. The second system that I love is the table where I do most of my work and the table where I do a lot of photography. The surface is just a laminated board I had cut down at my local home improvement store, but the legs are adjustable sawhorses. You see, I can raise or lower the table depending on what I am working on. For the most part I stand and work, but when I do want to sit, or have friends over and we are crafting together, I will lower the sawhorses and there you have it, a large low table.

Where do you keep things that inspire you?

As you can see, my art and my supplies are out and visible all the time. I love to be surrounded by color, texture, and piles of fabric just waiting to be quilted. I am not a minimalist. I believe that more is more (in a good way)! I can’t pinpoint where I get my inspiration, but I do love my garden, small details, my macro lens, challenges, and deadlines. I also love to think out loud with my crafty friends. Sometimes when I am really stuck while working on a project, I will ask just about everyone I see for his or her ideas–sometimes I get the most unexpected ideas and they will change my plan completely. I love to work on useful projects and often think of the space, person, or place before I begin.

Is this set-up better or worse than ones you had in the past?

Years ago I owned a business, designing and manufacturing sportswear. My work space was huge, but I had little to no time to actually craft. After I “retired” and decided to stay home and raise my small children, my studio was a breakfast room: the dining room table and part of the garage. The room I have for my studio now used to be my kids’ “playroom.” We live in an old farmhouse and the original garage is a freestanding building in the middle of the backyard. As my kids were getting bigger and their friends were growing in number and size the playroom became way too small and that’s when we decided to convert that garage into a “man cave.” At first it was going to be a quick and simple renovation, but then I got to thinking … my kids will leave the nest at some point and then that cave can become my studio…that’s when the French door, fun lighting, and fabulous eggplant colored rafters all happened.

Final tidbit … I’m a dog lover. Every day, as I work in my studio, my dogs are right by my side, reminding me to keep perspective and to enjoy the process.

For a video tour featuring Cynthia, Berklee, and Harper, click here!

Link no. 2 in the scavenger hunt! Click below to find the next birdy!


13 Responses

    Anonymous says:

    Lazy susan – that’s brilliant! And those doggies are too cute!

    sewlindaann says:

    Great interview and space. Love her ideas, I’m going to thrift for lazy susans.

    Jill Luigs says:

    absolutely lovely! so many ideas for me to incorporate also. Thank you!

    Sstewart65 says:

    I love the table idea. I want a drafting table but the adjustable sawhorses is a wonderful plus.

    [...] Click here to see a tour of author, Cynthia Shaffer’s, studio. [...]

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    Star says:

    Your studio is fabulous.  Envy doesn’t even  begin to describe how I feel! 

    Preser says:

    Love your studio!  I want one.

    Barb Eggink says:

    your studio is great and I wish I had such a lovely space.

    lisamd says:

    wow!  I would love that much workspace! 

    Jamie23 says:

    I like your studio but its too smaal

    I think you have mentioned some very interesting details , appreciate it for the post.

    Thanks , I have recently been looking for information about this subject for ages and yours is the best I’ve discovered so far. But, what about the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?

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