Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ruth Crean - Nice Day Designs Studio

What kind of Art/Crafts do you do?

I make lots of different things. I started out in fine art, over the years I've done illustration graphic design and fashion, but few years ago I started to do much more crafts. I sell a range of women's accessories like brooches, earrings, pocket mirrors and badges at a weekly market, The Limerick Milk Market. I also make up-cycled and customised clothes which I sell in Avaluk Boutique in Inistioge.

Where do you do your art/crafts?

We rent a two bedroom house so that I can use the second bedroom as my studio. I spend my days either at my computer desk, or my craft desk. Since I also sell three days of the week at my stall I do a fair bit of sewing and badge making at the market too, to try to catch up on work. Our house is over 150 years old but it was refurbished to be used as a design office. It has a nice mix of the new and old, and it also has fantastic light which I love.

How do you keep all your supplies organised?
I recently swapped our bedroom to where my studio used to be, it's a bigger room but it was very dark. The move was a great excuse to get all my supplies organised at long last. I'm a ridiculous hoarder, so I find it hard to tame my inner magpie and get things ordered. I took a trip out to Atlantic Homecare and bought these simple pine shelves, they are great for housing all my boxes of trinkets. I then bough lots of plastic and cardboard boxes.

How do you keep yourself motivated to keep your space tidy?

Because my partner moved to Cork for a year to go to college, last year I was stuck with having my studio in my bedroom. I never want to go through that chaos again, so whenever I feel the studio start to get messy I just think back to the nightmare of that room and I remember that a few minutes tidying is worth the effort for my long-term sanity.

Any tips for how to keep art spaces tidy or organised?
These boxes that I use are great. Since I do so many different crafts it's handy to have the supplies for each of my different projects in their own boxes. Then if I'm having a brooch making day I just lift out my thread box and my felt box. It makes it much easier to keep the different areas separate.

I also have a postal station, it makes sending out etsy orders a lot easier. I have my pre-made thank you notes, with my envelopes, cellotape, business cards and return address labels all in a little unit. It takes up very little space but it has really helped as a time saving method, I'm no longer searching around the whole studio for my tape.

Do you get stressed out when your space gets in a mess?
Yes! I'm not a naturally tidy person, I find I have to fight the urge to create a crafty nest around myself. But it wouldn't be possible to make all the different things that I do if I lived like that all the time. My partner John is good at nagging me to clean more too, which helps! This space is a lot more organised than what I had last year so I have high hopes that it has a better chance of staying neat(well as neat as I'm capable of anyhow!)

If you could have your dream space tomorrow what would it look like?
I really love my new room, the light that I have is amazing, my desk faces out onto a wall of glass and there is 5 skylights above me. I would love more space(wouldn't everyone!) but I feel very lucky to work in the room that I have. I also like that my computer is in a separate room, or else I would sit whiling away the hours not getting any work done.

Is there any craft you would love to do but cant due to limitations of your art space?
I already do a lot of different crafts, I think it's time that restricts me more than space. My degree is in printmaking, and I really miss that, but I just don't know where I could find the time to do it, all my energy is focused on my business. I also miss having time to paint and draw, I try to bring some of it into my work, but I miss making art just for the sake of it.

What is the next big thing on your wish list for your art space?
Over time I want to add more pictures to my wall, it's an organic thing, I hang up pretty cards, postcards, prints and artwork from friends. I also want to get some prettier boxes to replace some of the dingy cardboard ones that I have. I also plan to buy a wall planner from Design Birdie to hang near my desk so I can help to organise my brain a little bitter better!

Is there a website for people to see or buy your art/crafts?
Nice Day Designs: badges, pocket mirrors, and wedding favors
Nice Day Supplies: buttons and crafting supplies
Blog: my daily crafty ramblings

Thanks to Ruth for taking the time to take photos of her studio and answer my questions, Thank you! 


  1. I bet you have fantastic light with your skylights and window!

    Hoping to put two into the new studio :)

  2. They make the world of difference...I can't believe the amount of light I have now. Most crafters would think space is more important than light, but I'm glad I downsized to my new room.

  3. I don't have the right lighting in my "Loomin-Area" (the name my husband and sister gave my weaving/craft room.

    I have a loom in the middle of the room and storage in the closet. My Navajo weaving loom in a corner, and my inspiration piece, a Pendleton blanket on a ladder made in Mexico. I still don't have the art on the walls that's in my future. I enjoyed this post. Found you on Etsy just joined the FiberCrazed team. so fun.