On Crafting in a Small Space and Opening an Etsy Shop

Crafting in a Converted School Bus 2
Ha! I love how tidy I made this picture look. I don’t know if you really want to see what crafting looks like when you live in a bus full time. Read on for the real story.


I’ve been tucking half finished knitting projects into book shelves and baskets ever since I married Steve. In most scenarios, knitting would be considered a tidy, non-space intensive craft. In the bus, however, the amount of yarn and roving that I like to keep around can be a point of marital strife. For some reason, Steve gets annoyed when the lid to our bench/storage box doesn’t fit due to the large amount of fiber I’ve stuffed into the box. I get annoyed when he wants me to shrink my stash.

Did you think I would have wise words about how to fit your crafting habit into your tiny home or apartment? Well, I don’t. It’s hard. It’s frustrating. I want to spread out and create. I don’t want to have to put my sewing machine away after a couple hours of work. I don’t want to have to pick up my needle felting supplies just because it’s time for dinner.

But when I really face up to it, this kind of control is probably good for me. If I had a whole room for making, I would probably finish even less projects than i currently do because I’d hop from project to project, always planning to “come back”.  What’s more, with room for more supplies, I’d be tempted to start more hobbies.

While working at the Grunewald Guild, I had the chance to take art classes in a variety of mediums: oil painting, watercolor painting, bookmaking, song writing, and poetry. Plus, I got to see other artists doing stained glass, ceramics, print making, weaving, silk painting. I could go on. When I told my Grandma, an accomplished watercolor painter and quilter, about my new found interest in a variety of art forms, she said something like, “That’s great. You’re preparing for retirement.”

While I doubt “retirement” as we know it now will exist when I come of age (it’ll be the work house for us), I still think these are wise words. I can’t do it all now, and that’s a good thing. Either there will be time later in life, or there won’t be. In any case, I believe there will be all of Eternity to participate in what JRR Tolkein would call “sub-creation.” And I can always draw caricatures on the streets of Seattle when I’m 75.

Waiting for eternity is alright by me when it comes to most art forms, but with fiber arts, it’s another matter. And that means I need space for materials. The problem has been exasperated since I decided to open an Etsy shop. This gave me permission to order 8 pounds or so of wool roving. Let’s just say wool roving is not dense. As I juggle my Costo-sized box of roving and try to find time to needle felt dolls, Steve grins and bears the extra mess.

But it’s worth it to me! I believe in what I am making: kits and tutorials for outdoor themed, needle felted dolls. When I looked for dolls that would inspire little girls (and boys) to get play in nature, I didn’t find much. Then I learned how to needle felt and I knew it would be a  way to create dolls that inspire both creativity and connection with nature. Needle felting requires no sewing or knitting skills and allows for free-form sculpting.

needle felted hiker doll kit and tutorial Needle Felted Gardener Kit and Tutorial Needle Felted Fisherwoman Kit and Tutorial

Maybe you’ve noticed the new tutorial pages on this website and maybe you’ve noticed that they are password protected. I am offering unlimited access to the tutorials to anyone who purchases one of my kits on Etsy. Ok, that sounds rather grandiose. I’ll be honest, there are only three dolls now, but I’ve got dozens of ideas and I plan to add new designs every month. And I promise that needle felting is a space efficient craft, as long as you’re just working with a few ounces of wool, not 10 pounds.

Sweet heart, look out. There’s more fiber on the way!


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