Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

April 12, 2006

The space I am in.


A sweet person sent me an email yesterday with a reminder request to show some photos of the place in which I spend the most amount of time. My studio space in this place is off the kitchen – a nice open area where I can go back and forth between the kitchen, the laundry room, and my art. What could be better?

Sometimes my dream is to have a little building right off the side of our house where I walk through a great little garden to get to my studio…coffee in hand…tons of windows…a big comfy chair…and lots and lots of room to create. And then, I remember that one of the things I love about my space here (and in my last house) is that even when I am in my space I am still a part of the inner-workings of our home. I am in the middle of the action, I can see and hear Simon playing, Chris working, etc. I like being not too far away from them.

Right now I am in into open storage, meaning I can see what I have and things are contained within a home. Hence, tons of baskets. Remember this post? That was back when I wanted everything to be hidden away. That is one of the things about living…it is ok to change our minds. And evolve. And go back and forth. I still love the look of all those chests lined up along the wall, but for now, for me, it just doesn't work.


One of the recent additions to my space is a big blue wood table I found at Goodwill. Every day when I go to pick up Simon I have to drive by this store. And every day I take a driving risk by staring over there to see what they have lined up outside. There is always some piece of furniture tempting me to come on over. Last week the temptation was just too much. Paid the $40. Brought it home and it immediately became home to piles.


This space has a nice little corner closet that is working great for storing class stuff. We took the door off and that made a big difference in being able to easily get in and out of that corner. My big tall paper storage is from Display Dynamics. I love that paper holder. And see that cool framed piece there above the paper holder? That is my first original art purchase. And I love it. Created by Melanie Komisarski at Navylane Studio .


My computer desk. My Mac. My kleenex. My coffee.


And the top of my scrap table right now. Always something brewing. Today I am percolating on Studio A for August.


So there you have it for now. If you have questions about stuff you see in the photos feel free to post them in the comments and I will do a follow up post with answers. 

Back to work.


  • 1.
    Leslie said…

    Ali – This is wonderful to see. Thanks for sharing. Your space is inspiring!

  • 2.
    melanie said…

    so love seeing a bit more of your new creative space. :)

  • 3.
    brenda (mizweb) said…

    Looks nice and cozy…love it! Thanks for sharing.

  • 4.
    Carrie K said…

    that is exactly waht I want…thank you for sharing! i dont know which I liked more the pictures or your descriptions!

  • 5.
    Kyra said…

    Where the magic happens….I always love seeing your creative space. Hope your feeling better…:)

  • 6.
    Alicia said…

    My hubby harrasses me about my piles. Its good to see and know that a successful scrapper has piles to. To me thats a good thing.

  • 7.
    Marla Beech said…

    Hey, totally off the subject, but I’m looking for a camera for my website and for personal use and was wondering what camera you use. Thanks. Oh ya–cool work space. Would kil(ok, not really) for some personal space right now.

  • 8.
    ash said…

    hi ali…thanks for sharing your space!
    question…how do you keep your projects in order? I am trying to figure out how to keep my projects organized …thanks!!!

  • 9.
    Jenny said…

    What a gorgeous space, Ali. It looks loved, lived in, used. It’s not “home and gardens”, pristine, surgical. It’s truly the place of an artist. What a joy :)

  • 10.
    Vee said…

    love your space Ali!!
    it is awesome
    q-where did you get your A’s on top of your yellow shelf
    i love how you store things.
    i like open and see thru containers as well
    thanks for sharing.

  • 11.
    Cate said…

    Mornin’ Ali.
    I see my big yellow “A” in there. That makes my day for some reason… lol!
    Love your baskets. I’m all about baskets right now too.

  • 12.
    Jane Schneider said…

    I love that you shared this personal space of yours! I’m in the process of re-doing my space — going with periwinkle — aka “Happy in a can”. We’ll have to see how it all comes together and functions. I love that you have a scale – i collect them – ironic since I spend my life avoiding them (well at least the bathroom variety)! I so tried to find an “A” for you to bring to CKU-A, but after several antique stores and lots of help from the sales staff, none were found. I’ll still keep my eye out!!!
    I’ll post again when I have time (at work now…) to really look at everything in detail. I’m sure to have some questions!
    Thanks a million!

  • 13.
    jen said…

    Do you wander through your space as you work, looking for the perfect this and that, digging through things, or do you gather at the beginning with a certain idea in mind? I feel like i spend too much time looking through things (although it is sometimes enjoyable) and it takes me too long to actually get to work. I’m not always a “planner” when it comes to scrapping…just curious what you do.
    OH, and do you return things to their home immediately after you finish a layout? Please say your desk becomes a big cluttery mess…it’ll make me feel better.

  • 14.
    Jessica said…

    where did you get all the baskets? I am trying to collect baskets now as I want to organize some of my stuff this way too.
    Love your space!

  • 15.
    kim said…

    Hi Ali!
    what a great creative spot you have.
    I too, am a piler. But I did hear a cute reference to my piling personality…a ‘pilit’ (pronounced like pilot). So that’s what I tell everyone I am!!!! I’m a life artist and a pilit!!!
    Have a great day :)

  • 16.
    Keely said…

    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. I see cool things in every one of your photographs. I need to take over a room in my house. I’m tired of having everything “put away”. I want to see it!!
    Still have 3 days to finish on my week in the life album. My goal is to finish this weekend! xoxo Keely

  • 17.
    holly said…

    Hi Ali!
    I love that you take the time and share your personal space! I love your piles of stuff! Makes me feel good about my own!!

  • 18.

    ali…love your studio. and all your cool containers and personal nick-nacks. as mentioned earlier by someone else…it is so lived in and that’s what rocks. surgical=sucks….IMO that is.
    i also have a quick Q…that paper holder, how did you buy that? i’ve tried going to the link before but there is no gallery or way to purchase off the website. unless i’m completely missing it or something.
    thanks for sharing your creative hot spot. it comes at a perfect time for me since i will be moving into my new house at the end of may and then i will get one of the guest rooms to organize as a scrap room.
    thanks A!!
    - g

  • 19.
    Klala said…

    Dude, my space is like a miniature, less stocked version of yours. Eff. That is weird. Except I don’t have a Mac. Or tissues.
    But I have candles! You need to get on that. Mood lighting.

  • 20.
    Lisa Damrosch said…

    I feel like I just stopped by for a visit! So cool! Thanks for showing photos of how it “works” not just how it “looks!” Love that!

  • 21.
    isabel said…

    That’s all I have to say.
    : )

  • 22.
    Sarah said…

    Will you come to my house and organize it for me?

  • 23.
    Rachel said…

    looks fab Ali!! I had to go the route of more open storage too…was forgetting about too many fun goodies. and it makes clean up easier too :)

  • 24.
    Angi said…

    Love that your space is not one of those pristine, un-used looking spaces…You can *feel* stuff happening there. I’m a piler, too. And I love keeping stuff in sight.

  • 25.
    Robyn said…

    Hi Ali – great space. Looks very comfy and cozy. :) Just one question – and it relates to jen’s: how do you find stuff??? It seems like you have a pretty loose system going which I like. Do you just work in there so much that you remember what all you have? Thanks!

  • 26.
    Sarah M said…

    Hi Ali,
    You have INSPIRED me! I now know where to put my craft space and how to organize it. So excited. Thanks a bunch.

  • 27.
    Michelle said…

    Thanks for sharing those pictures Ali. My question relates to some of the others posted. How do you move from project to project? I quilt and scrapbook and sometimes I have so many projects going that I feel overwhelmed. I wish I had a good system for “things to get back to”. Instead I have an giant mess and weeks later I find projects under piles and think “oh! I forgot about that one”. LOL. Thanks again for sharing.

  • 28.
    Joy Messimer said…

    Ok… so I outright giggled when I saw the pics of your space. It made me feel so much better about my “Creative” messes! And don’t you just love luckin’ out at goodwill? And the pics Simon got of you a few post earlier were so cute. I estimate it will only be a matter of time before he shows his mama’s camera prowress!

  • 29.
    Bonnie K said…

    love your space Ali.. you’ve organized so well… wud love to have all my stuff in baskets etc… then I wud kinda knokw what i have.. i have so much stuff, i forget where it all is…. love that blue table u picked up… it’s too cute! I feel good today.. made a canvas, plus picked up some portraits of my daughters today.. good day.

  • 30.
    Andrea said…

    I have piles too, and piles on the piles, and piles on those too!!!
    Thanks for sharing, I’m really nosey and I love to see in people’s worlds!!!!!

  • 31.
    nancy in ks said…

    hey ali, question…
    where did you get the cool yellow wall cabinet for small things? love that…did someone make it for you?

  • 32.
    cindy said…

    Hi Ali. Thank you SO much for sharing these pictures. When you actually used the word “piles” in your description I felt so good about all of my piles. How come yours looks so organized though and mine just look like a HUGE mess? LOL! I really liked Jen’s questions about looking through all of your stuff or do you KNOW what you are looking for? Also, about putting stuff away. I HATE that part. Like you, I went with throwing stuff in a dresser but soon realized that the outta sight concept just didn’t work for me. I am wondering how you sort your “stuff” – for instance, do your baskets have THEMES such as family, sports, etc. or does one basket have ALL of your rubons regardless of theme or do you store by manufacturer?? I feel like I am constantly changing and moving stuff instead of actually creating and it’s making be very cranky!! Also, I noticed that your walls are white – any COLOR that really inspires you to create? Also, if you burn candles at all, what is your favorite scent? Thanks Ali! And by the way, I met Donna last weekend and now I just need to meet YOU some day!!! Donna ROCKS!!

  • 33.
    Brianna said…

    Oh my. I’m going to have to create a place in my room when I move home to create crafty things. But there’s no more room for another table. I may have to delegate my desk for that since I have a laptop.:)

  • 34.
    Tawnya said…

    This inspires me. Is this in your dining room? I would love to transform my dining room into a creative habitat but cant seem to get past taking that space away from my family… we dont really use this space though much… this has certainly got me thinking about this more. The other plus is this space is right off from what used to be the living room but we never used that room either so now it is our children’s playroom… so that would keep me real nearby when the kids were playing. I am tired of dragging my bins all around. Certainly good thing consider I guess. All I know is I want to scrap more often and to still engage my family without shutting them out.. maybe a dining room takeover would be perfect!
    Loved seeing your space. It is truly appealing! Tawnya

  • 35.
    t said…

    ali it looks so yummy. so so yummy. i want to see more pics. is this in your traditional dining room or what?

  • 36.
    Carrie said…

    I’m sure there is a picture of me in there somewhere….

  • 37.
    donab said…

    What a wonderful space. I love seeing where other artists work.
    Hey, is your Timbuktu bag lime green? Mine is. :) Love those bags.

  • 38.
    Jill said…

    I am so glad to see that you have piles! As much as piles drive me nuts, I just can’t seem to avoid having piles too. Piles are OK, right!!! I learned that at CKU Chicago.

  • 39.
    CraftTeaLady said…

    Oh, an organized mess! I LOVE IT!
    I love the shabby idea you have w/ old pieces to make up the containing devices. *sigh* Be-still-my-heart. That is exactly where I want to be… shabby, but not too shabby. Completely organized, but not sterile.
    Right on.

  • 40.

    Thanks so much for sharing your space. It’s awesome! I love that it’s not this perfect lined up craft room. I too struggle with wanting mine to look a certain way, but then it’s just not functional for me. I also need to see everything. I love my peg boards, my paper rack and a fab table I got from a scrapbook store. And now I feel SO much better for not having it look “perfect” all the time. :)

  • 41.
    Marcy Penner said…

    baskets rock!!!! great to see where the magic happens!

  • 42.
    Catherine said…

    Wow! Looks like the space of a LIFE ARTIST!!
    It is warm, creative and inviting! Doesn’t it also invite Simon? How do you keep him from going in there and dumping, exploring, and some more dumping and exploring and doing some “scrapbooking” of his own (if you know what I mean) when you’re not looking? Thanks for the peek!

  • 43.
    Amanda Mankin said…

    looks very creative!! Thanks for sharing, love it that you include pictures with so many of your posts. Hope the percalating was successful :)

  • 44.
    Leonie said…

    delish -
    i love what you say about evolution.
    for me, right now, not taking meat or alcohol is GREAT for me. in the future – i don’t know. i’ll make the decision that is right for me then. choices don’t have to be life-long. i like your affirmation that it’s all good, either way.

  • 45.
    Lee said…

    Ali thanks so much for showing us your space. I love seeing where Artist’s create their works of art.

  • 46.
    island jen said…

    ok, of all the things i really want to know about…that big messenger bag looking deal at the bottom of your table in the first pic….where is that from..b/c i feel like i can fit alot of stuff in a bag that big…hee-hee :-)

  • 47.
    Sarah Bowen said…

    Totally love that you have stuff everywhere, like me, and that you aren’t afraid to show that you are human. I think that it was Einstien who said that ” only a genius can live among kaos” or something like that. I think that is such a true statement, especially for those of us that are very creative, we are constantly thinking of our next project, and need constant stimulation, I think. You know when you go shopping in the cute little “mom and pap” owned shops, they always have stuff everywhere, in shelves and nooks. They always feel warm and like home. I love having my stuff out so that I can see it all.

  • 48.

    I love all the goodies in your space! Being such a celebrated scrapbooker, do you recieve most of your products for free or do you purchase much of it? Curious just for envy’s sake. :D

  • 49.
    mel said…

    What a cosy space. I am stuck in a tiny alcove off the back of my laundry but I love it as it is next to the kitchen, good to snealk in when DH thinks I am cooking dinner and I can see the kids playing outside. Although your idea of a little cottage in the garden sounds fabulous. My dad built my mum one of those many years ago for her stained glass work, I can still remember it well :)
    You have me thinking about the open storage though as I buy things then neatly pack them away only to forget about them.
    One question – how do you fit a 12×12 on your scrap table?

  • 50.
    Tracy L said…

    Wow, this is one awesome room. The additional building that you dream about is exactly my dream. I don’t see that happening anytime soon, I am just now getting my FIRST room to decorate. One step at a time.

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