Storing Your Supplies Artistically with Lori Anderson

Part of getting ready for artistic ventures is the absolute joy of buying new supplies. Paints, pastels, vintage ephemera, yarn, tons of books, metal-working tools, glass, beads — it’s like Christmas every time the UPS man comes! But with all this largess comes the dilemma of where in the world do I STORE this stuff? Moving into a new house is just not an option, so what to do… what to do.

Something I’ve realized is all of these new supplies are really, really pretty. So I started thinking outside the (paint) box and came up with some new home decor.

I’ve started random collections throughout the house. Here, lovely jars from Pottery Barn full of yarn, waiting for a class in sock knitting….

The yarn was just too pretty to put away in a box, so for now, they’re filling up these jars.
Speaking of jars, I found a vintage fruit jar and I’m using it to hold a treasure-trove of glass rod ends that I was given by a lovely blog reader. I’m holding on to them for a bit, just waiting to mash them up and turn them into frit or pull into stringer for lampworking. In the meantime, they’re pretty just as they are!

Some of my storage options are BIG, like this one — an antique postal sorting unit. It’s huge and I love it. The sorting bins slant slightly downwards, making them perfect for glass rod storage:

Storing your art supplies this way may not be practical. Don’t get me wrong — all of my stash is most certainly NOT on display. Most, in fact, is packed into boxes and unceremoniously shoved under beds or into closets. But considering the beauty we make WITH the tools of our trade, doesn’t it stand to reason that some of our tools and supplies would be beautiful, too?
So choose a few. Find an unusual way to make them an everyday part of your decor. Who knows? It might just be the gentle nudge you need to try that new project you’ve been meaning to start.

Lori Anderson’s is a full time jewelry designer in Easton, MD. Her jewelry can be seen at www.lorianderson.net. She also writes a blog called Pretty Things and An Artist’s Year Off.

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14 Comment

  1. Alice
    July 28, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Beautiful! I love the glass jars holding the yarn. And those rod ends look a little like very well used crayons.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Marie Cramp
    July 28, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Love your storage ideas! One of these days I am going to have to take photos of my studio to share 🙂
    Thanks Lori!


  3. Rebecca
    July 28, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    You're totally right Lori, our materials are so pretty, I wish I had room in my flat to have more one display – or at least, deliberately on display rather than just a sprawling mess!! I'm moving very soon and hoping in the new more spacious flat we are off to, I will suddenly become organised and have a beautiful, designated, neat beading space. I can but dream!

  4. one-eared pig
    July 28, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    I've always been an out of sight, out of mind person, so much of my stuff has to be out. Plus, like you said, it is so pretty!

  5. CrowNology
    July 28, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    How timely! I've just thrown away ugly packaging (or same-ol-same) for jars and floral frogs…My pencils, pens, quills and brushes now sit happily and prettily on my desk…I was going to post a few pics (from this morning) of the sun shinning on them…
    The Summer heat kills me too! I am thinking of Winter *but don't tell anyone! 😉
    Thanks for commenting! Nice to find you…

  6. Charlene
    July 28, 2010 at 9:31 pm


    These photos are all so pretty. It is nice when the items you work with are themselves pretty – and so many things are – beads, buttons, ribbons, thread, fabric. It's nice to remind ourselves that the method of storage can bring pleasure to us visually as well.

  7. Leslii@Studio 23
    July 28, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    How sweet those glass jars look. I really love your storage ideas.

  8. Clara
    July 28, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Your apothocary jars of yarn are making me drool!
    I love the idea of displaying your supplies. I have been doing this for years, though mostly out of basic need, as I have lived in small apartments with very little storage space.
    Materials, be they yarn, glass rods, beads, fabric or paint are beautiful all on their own.

  9. Anonymous
    July 29, 2010 at 2:01 am

    It always makes me smile to look at how creative people can be when "organizing" and sorting their stash. I was once told and have found it to be true that the best thing to do when you have a creative block is to sort or organize your supplies. This type of task uses a different part of the brain (believe it or not the Mathematical part) which gives our creative part a time to relax and refresh…beautiful Lori!

  10. Eve
    July 30, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    I really love those jars storing yarn. This is giving me a massive head of ideas! 😀 Thanks!

  11. missficklemedia.com
    July 31, 2010 at 1:08 am

    I love how pretty you store things, Lori! I am just dying to look at all that glass in person (so I'll be over in a little bit, heehee)!

  12. Cindy
    July 31, 2010 at 4:51 am

    Your storage ideas are really pretty, Lori… and I like how you infuse them here and there throughout your home rather than sock them away in plastic tubs (like me)!

  13. belvedere beads
    August 1, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Ooh, I do like seeing other people stashes. Especially glass hoards – thanks for the peek.

  14. cheap moving boxes
    August 6, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Wow its looking very nice, each and every thing has its own place to keep also in very clean way.

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