Antique storage options for creative supplies

When an artisan has a plethora of items from which to choose from to create all the goodness it can be a real challenge to find ways to organize and store such items. And I’m the kind of person who needs lots of things to choose from when creating. My process is one of starting out with a key vintage or antique piece and then trying all kinds of different beads and other supplies to go with it. I play around and figure out what looks right to me. As I’ve said, it comes from my soul and this means listening to it as I try various combinations.

As a lover of vintage and antique I most prefer to display and store items in something old. When my parents moved to a care facility they weren’t able to take much of their furniture with them, leaving many treasured pieces for us kids. The favorite pieces I wanted I would have to wait for, because my mom was able to use them when she moved to an assisted living apartment after my dad died. I will come back to those later. So, my oldest sister lives in a small home that was already quite full, and she lives three plus hours away so her choice of an antique dental cabinet was appropriate, but she had to take time to make room for it, then to rent a truck to haul it to her home. In the meantime I got to enjoy using it for creative supplies! I don’t have a photo of “our” actual dental cabinet, but amazingly was able to find one just like it through Google Images. Without further ado, here it is:

antiquedentalcabinet

The top portion of ours has an old, black-spotted mirror, which also adorns the front of the lift-up lid on the right side. So many drawers to hold and organize a variety of things. I stacked fabric pieces in the lower, tall area with the door…so easy to see what I had that way. Each drawer held different categories of items….the larger bottom ones were just right for decorative papers, one of the small drawers for sewing supplies, etc. I was sad to have it go, but I did finally get my replacement pieces. I would have much rather had my mom keep them in her apartment in assisted living, but she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and when it had progressed to a certain point it was necessary to move her to the care facility portion in a private room. She still has a few pieces of her furniture and a couple of shelves with much loved items that she collected with my dad over the years along with some books and such of her father’s. We are grateful for this because she loves to sit and look at her collection, rearrange pieces her and there and it makes her happy.

So, what did I lovingly receive? Two beautiful pieces of antique Irish pine furniture….a long cabinet with drawers and bins that was likely in a general store of some kind at one point and charming shelves to hang above it. Right now it’s all very cluttered and so incredibly dusty and I hesitate to show photos of them, but I’ve decided that it’s just the way they are right now so I won’t worry about it. Over the next few weeks I will be removing *everything*, dusting it all and lemon oiling the furniture. Perhaps I’ll post “after” pictures ~wink~

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Charming antique Irish pine shelving

And, some close-ups….

The things on my shelves are a combination of things I collect and make me smile along with supplies for creating.

The things on my shelves are a combination of things I collect and make me smile along with supplies for creating.

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My small collection of finials and a few of my rabbits. I actually have a lot of rabbits….I was born on Easter and my mother started my collection when I was a young adult. More about them in a future post.

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I also adore vintage bottles of all kinds. Some are functional, like the one holding push pins and the unique one with the yellow top that holds wire wrapped beads. Others are purely for decoration and some are even supplies for creative adventures.

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I love the tiny shelf at the very bottom….just right for tiny things.

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Vintage and antique books are such a treasure!

Here is a look at the other piece with the drawers and bins. These photos really do not do it justice. And of course, it looks so much better when freshly lemon-oiled!

Here is a look at the other piece with the drawers and bins. These photos really do not do it justice. And of course, it looks so much better when freshly lemon-oiled!

Cabinet with a cool handle that turns to open

Cabinet with a cool handle that turns to open

Wonderful bin handles...and on top of the drawers here there is a piece of wood that pulls out to use as a little desk area. It sure comes in handy sometimes!

Wonderful bin handles…and on top of the drawers here there is a piece of wood that pulls out to use as a little desk area. It sure comes in handy sometimes!

I use a variety of containers to organize and store small items. Here are a few (and once again, very dusty)

The top box is a vintage cigar box that was my grandfather's, so it's very special. It holds small plastic bags used for shipping items.

The top box is a vintage cigar box that was my grandfather’s, so it’s very special. It holds small plastic bags used for shipping items. The bottom box is tin…I found it at a yard sale for 25 cents and I love the art on it. It holds glues, resin, etc.

I have three medium to large printers trays (one is faux but works nonetheless) to keep all kinds of treasures such as old watches and parts, bits of old jewelry and other found objects. I also like to use old teacups, china bowls and pitchers to organize items.

I have three medium to large printers trays (one is faux but works nonetheless) to keep all kinds of treasures such as old watches and parts, bits of old jewelry and other found objects. I also like to use old teacups, china bowls and pitchers to organize items.

Oh, the dust! Vintage muffin tins are perfect for organizing vintage and antique beads and charms and such!

Oh, the dust! Vintage muffin tins are perfect for organizing vintage and antique beads and charms and such!

Bead organization! I covered this plastic organizer with vintage map paper and added some great containers on top.

Bead organization! I covered this plastic organizer with vintage map paper and added some great containers on top.

And now for a little “just for fun and inspiration”. I like to surround myself with items and words and pictures that inspire me and make me feel good. Here are a couple of examples:

An inspiration board filled with quotes I've found, things people have sent to me/given me and pictures I like from magazines and such. Included are a little love note from my husband, a postcard from my mom and  a newspaper article in which I was interviewed at an arts festival.

An inspiration board filled with quotes I’ve found, things people have sent to me/given me and pictures I like from magazines and such. Included are a little love note from my husband, a postcard from my mom and a newspaper article in which I was interviewed at an arts festival (my photo is the small one to the left of the article)

A corner area where I hung a little vintage chair that was my parent's, then topped it with vintage books and bird and rabbit items. A mixed media piece by another artist hangs off the corner and a muslin banner I made with "peace' and decorative stamps hangs over one of the rungs. I've stretched a wire across the corner and hung items from it that I love (including a handmade card from my sister, a photo I took when we lived in WA state and some vintage items etc)

A corner area where I hung a little vintage chair that was my parent’s, then topped it with vintage books and bird and rabbit items. A mixed media piece by another artist hangs off the corner and a muslin banner I made with “peace’ and decorative stamps hangs over one of the rungs. I’ve stretched a wire across the corner and hung items from it that I love (including a handmade card from my sister, a photo I took when we lived in WA state and some vintage items etc)

I will leave you with a few pieces of jewelry that were sitting out on the counter….

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What do you use to organize your creative supplies?  I’d love to hear about it. Peace to your hearts, Sara

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About artsychicksw

please visit my about.me page at www.about.me/SaraWindsor
This entry was posted in Art, Handmade Jewelry, Jewelry, Mixed Media Art, Vintage and Antique and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Antique storage options for creative supplies

  1. Winter Owls says:

    Sara, I looked for ages at your wonderful collections and storage solutions, so much to see! I especially liked the vintage muffin tray idea, I’ve never seen one like that. Like you, I have an old printer’s tray, I use it to store buttons in. The dental cabinet was fascinating, I’ve never seen one before. Your Irish pine is lovely and I’m sure a special memory of your family home.

  2. What an awesome post, Sarah! You’ve given us a look inside your heart and soul. It’s a very intimate thing, to share the things that occupy one’s shelves, drawers, desks…very courageous. And therefore, even though I had planned to do this before I stopped by, I hereby bestow upon you the Warrior Child Award. Unlike other awards, you don’t have to do a darn thing, unless you want to pick up your awesome cool widget here https://mentalhealthwritersguild.wordpress.com/the-warrior-child-award/ So here’s the deal: IF you are a member of the Mental Health Writers’ Guild (and if not, I respectfully suggest that you ought to be), THEN you can bestow the Warrior Child award to whomever you deem worthy.

    Love xxxxx Laura

  3. artsychicksw says:

    Laura, You have really touched my heart with your lovely response . I’ve never received an award like this before…I’m just amazed you would award it to me. I appreciate so much that you did and your suggestion to join the Mental Health Writers Guild. I never thought that my blog could “qualify” (for lack of a better word) for that. I haven’t been blogging for quite some time but I would like to get back in the habit of doing so. I’d love to share about how creating feeds my soul and helps me to deal with depression and chronic pain. I want to hone my writing skills, too. I tend to use way too many words and go on and on (and on). My brain fog tends to come through in my writing 😉
    Again, thank you. I appreciate you so much! Peace to your heart, Sara

    • Aw shucks. You were really the first person I thought of. You wage war on your own private front every moment of your life. So if this inspires you to write more, I will have done my part. I love your writing, and your candor. Looking forward to more!

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