Wednesday, 19 August 2009

History of a Den

Oh goodness, I'm realising how much time I have on my hands when I'm child-free! But I am missing my Munchy one, though I think he is not missing us as today he's been to the beach, watched Punch and Judy and ridden on a donkey. Jealous, moi?

With all that time on my hands, I've been wandering round the HenHouse like a lost sheep. It doesn't help that it is infernally hot in London today. Charlie-Boy was once again fast asleep, stretched out on top of the sewing I started this morning so I was looking for something to do. I started watching a film, Doris Day in "Don't Eat the Daisies" which I saw years ago and remember being charmed by. But today I was restless. I had the telly on (daytime telly is virtually unheard of in this house) whilst I crocheted my latest granny squares into the blanket-in-progress but once that was completed, I was fed up and went on the prowl again. I ended up on the top floor in Mr HH's den/the "railway room", which before we had the laptop (which is generally in the Den), was also the room in which the old computer resided. On that computer are lots of old photos which I've never worked out how to get onto CD. But dear reader, I was ready for the challenge and boy, I had hours to spare!

I'm sorry if you are fed up with my Den but I don't think I could ever be fed up with it so tune out now if you choose! It was Lesley who got me thinking about the origins of the Den as she is setting up her own craft room and I remarked to her that it was good she was taking photos at this stage because I bet her that in a year's time, it would look a whole lot different.

So here we are with the Den today, August 2009. It's pretty much full now! Ok, well a bit more fabric can squeeze onto those shelves. Maybe some more books over there. For inspiration. Very important to keep up to date with the latest trends, you know.

The most recent major addition a few months back, probably late May/early June, was the cutting table, aka the Ikea kitchen island revamped with Cath K oilcloth and LA baskets. This has revolutionised the way I use the space (and the amount of places the cats have to sleep ).

Ikea also provided the new yarn storage baskets...

...and the stool, also given a Cath K makeover...

The stash is not looking too bad at this stage. Always room for a few more, I say...

Also about two months ago, the Den took on an interesting "night time" mode. I cannot lie and suggest this helps with after hours sewing but it adds a certain je ne sais quoi when you are a daft girly thing like me!

Of course, the Den is not backwards in coming forwards and had its day in the limelight when the nice magazine people came to visit in June of this year...

And a certain lady blogger friend even travelled a veeeery long way to step over the threshold! (Happy Birthday, by the way, Lesley!)

Around the middle of May, the Den was a hive of activity whilst I was getting ready for the phenomenon that is the Vintage & Handmade Fair...

A while earlier, the first "Christmas decorations" began to appear!

A late Christmas present turned up in January in the form of the spool rack and its colourful threads to brighten up the corner.

Ikea often came up trumps for more storage, this time in the form of the little metal filing cabinet. Those ribbons and buttons don't half have a habit of multiplying!

Somewhere along the way, the chimney breast received 2 pin boards to act as "inspiration" (ie. to stick on all those cuttings and cards - not to mention the Munchkin's voluminous artwork- which otherwise had nowhere to go)! The Bush radio has gone off into the bedroom, replaced by the latest "must have" purchase from Cath K (yes, I know you all spotted it when I tried to sneak it in the other day)! The bags hanging from the picture rail changed as they came and went to homes across the globe. Blogging and Etsy make the world such a small place!

The corner is looking full of bags at this stage when I was avidly bag making but the rack had yet to appear as did the yarn habit!

Long before the cutting table, the rocking chair was in the Den but is now relegated to the landing...

Really getting down to it now...

Here's the Den sometime around September 2008. The stash obviously needs a lot of help and the Bernina is not yet in residence. The ceiling is lacking its festive decorations...

Et voila. Phew! I have little idea when this was taken but here is the photo I found on the old computer today. It must be sometime after August 2007 as this room had hitherto been used as a storeroom for all the stuff we accumulated for the cottage. It is looking quite green outside, there are roses on the table so I imagine it is Spring 2008 thought it could be the tail end of Summer 2007.

Here's to the Den, because whilst the Muchkin's away, the champagne comes out to play!


  1. LOVE your den!!! wish i had a room that size to sew in, I seem to spread arround the house!! much to Gav's distress. Enjoy your champers.
    Love Sophie xxxxx

  2. Love your den! What is it with us girls that we enjoy that kind of thing so much?

    I live alone, despite the whole house is too much mine, my favorite room in the house is my craft room. There I stitch and crochet and have a wonderful time.

  3. Hi Hen, what a wonderful space. It must be sheer bliss to work i your own den as you do. If I were that lucky..deep sigh! Devx

  4. I love all the pretty colors in your work space! The bags really call out to me! Everything is lovely!

  5. Love your work space, full of colour and inspiration. Lovely.

  6. I would move in there and never come out! It is fabulous, so colourful and so organised!!! Rachaelxo

  7. Hi Hen,

    What a fab tour of your den!
    I think there must be many people reading your post wishing they had one just like it!

    I am so impatient, it wont be all that long before we have enough to buy our house, and then I can be let loose with the decorating (not forgetting to take those "before pictures") but it's no good... I am itching to get my hands on a beautiful big kitchen, spacious craftroom, cosy living room, not to mention a new princess room for the little one, and then a new boudoir for yours truly...

    You must have had a great time decking out your den :-)

    Rose XXX

  8. Lovely room - so envious........

  9. Seriously, how could anyone be fed up with nose-ing around your pretty workspace x

  10. Hello Hen!

    Your den is a real wonder you can create such marvellous things, when the space around you is so delightful!


  11. Just spotted the Cath k radio! Not jealous at all!!!!!!!! Wow! What a difference to your den now, so totally different from the beginning! It is a gorgeous space, and I for one, never ever tire of having a good old nosy. Probably best I'm doing it virtually, doing it literally would involve touching everything longingly.It's a den full of creativity and inspiration, and I love that it's evolved.
    So, missing the little munchkin hey? They do create a large void when they're not around don't they? When he returns, you'll be thinking longingly about all the champagne you were able to partake of!
    Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  12. Hi Hen,
    Oh your den is so gorgeous! I don't think anyone would be fed up to see it as many times as you want to show. :)

  13. Lovely den and photos hen. I don't think there is one person that doesnt have a little healthy green eye of this wonderful workroom.

    I could never get bored of the photos of the den or the lovely pussy cats either if i'm honest..


  14. Hen, this is great, and very helpful as well as enjoyable - I often just feel lost when I see a well-organised space like this, and your pics have helped me to see the stages and 'ingredients' involved!

    So, is it raining with you today? We're just heading out for our first dip of the day...

  15. How could we possibly get fed up of your den... I just want to know when you'll start opening up for visitors! I'm sure the queues will rival any London tourist attraction!!

    Victoria xxx

  16. Hi Hen
    Oh how I would love to have spare time on my hands right now. Enjoy it! I still haven't completed my work room as other rooms suddenly took priority. I can't wait for it to be finished and to have a neat and tidy den. I sit at my desk with boxes and piles of fabric all around me. I only like to work in the 'perfect' conditions and do not feel inspired with all this mess around me. Your den looks fantastic. Phoebe remarked on how your looks much better than mine! She too looks at your blog.
    Take care
    Isabelle x

  17. oh you just need a tea tray in a corner with a big tea pot dressed in a warm bright cosy and a pretty vintage plate filled with cakes!! I'd never want to leave your den, except to re-stock!! He he!! Fliss x x

  18. hi just wanted to tell you i love your den and your blog you have a lovley home could you please tell me what sewing machine you have as i am getting one on monday
    thank you kim

  19. Thanks for the little timeline.
    You are a lucky lady. Your den is beautiful.

  20. Cheers to the Den, what would we do without them.

  21. ...if you didn't realize it before this comment...we're all very envious of your wonderful den!!!
    It has to be very hard without the Munchkin, he is such a lovely little boy!

  22. That is a fab den.. I am very jealous as I just have the leaky old shed! (see latest post on the blog!) Lizzie x

  23. Just absolutly wonderful! I love it!

  24. Hasn't it changed, more cosy and creativce by the day. I love you decorations. I dream of having my own space but me and the other half both, so we'll have to hang on until we win the lottery I think.

    Do you know this is the first time I've ever had a CK catalogue direct. Its good (but bad for you!) to know that I've not been alone at never getting one and looks like lots of others are the same. I ring up every time and they swear I'm on the mailing list but it never comes. I rang last week to see when the new one would be out and bingo!

    Lovely stuff but the CK customer service is light years behind (can't use my vouchers online either - grrrr! and they never sent some orders Woody made last Christmas) I woudn't mind but her profits have just gone through the roof.

    Hope you get one very, very soon!

  25. Thank you so much for letting us in to see your den. I really enjoyed it. It's Beautiful.

  26. Lovely post!
    You may want to check out my blog... I have put an award on there for you!
    Laura x

  27. What a lovely space - and what a transformation over the past year or so! It is definitely an odd feeling when little ones go away - you yearn for some time on your own sometimes, yet very small people leave a very large gap when they depart.

    Pomona x

  28. how weird that this has only just shown on my bloglist!! i cant be missing your blogposts thats just not on!
    i cant beleive how different it looked at the beginning im glad ive taken those pictures of mine now thanks for the idea - can we have more pics off all the new fabric you have just bought please ;-)

  29. Just Lovely, I am working on a room of my own right now, but had to stop to finish something else. We may have fabric stores here in the U.S. but we don't seem to have the other lovely bits you do there,china and such. I do love the teacups you used for the candles.

  30. Loved the virtual tour of your den! My 'stuff' lives in a multitude of boxes and bags in the hope that one day it will have a better life:)
    Lesley X

  31. Your den is just gorgeous, it is a room full of touchy, feely, play! I could spend the day just gazing at its loveliness!

  32. Your crafting space is like a dream! So cheery and pretty. Thanks for sharing it with us.


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