Notes From the Janery Studio
Behind the scenes
Ever have one of those weeks that feels like a Charles Dickens novel?
The ones that open up by saying, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” and end 341 pages later leaving you wondering what happened?
Welcome to my world.
Last month I was beside myself for the mention in Southern Living, which featured our Charlie Cushion in the bright and beautiful Ginkgo fabric - as if that yellow wasn’t happy enough!
And the good news kept coming. Our Charlie Cushions were selling like hot cakes, and, judging by how busy I’ve been, you all love the style and direction we are going with our pet beds.
Then came some unexpected news: We sold out of our Large and Extra Large waterproof dog bed liners!
While this puts a damper (literally) on our waterproof Charlie Cushions, it has presented us with an opportunity to keep improving our flagship dog bed.
It’s just a matter now of finding a new American manufacturer who can match us value for value. And, since we’re already at the drawing board, we’re upgrading all product sizes and dimensions to create an even better bed.
We aren’t shedding tears about this, and you shouldn’t either - and this isn’t just because we’re out of most things waterproof.
It means you’re awesome, we’re growing, and better things are coming around the corner, including…
A huge sale on our remaining Large and Extra Large Charlie Cushions. While these dog beds are not waterproof, their designer covers are still completely washable, 100% fabulous, and only available for a limited time.
We’re organizing our inventory as we speak, but stay tuned; Janery VIPs will be given early access a week before the general public.
We’re all about making the most of it at Janery, which is why we save our scraps, drink lots of coffee, and refuse to sit down for long (even if our pillows are ridiculously comfortable).
If you only remember three things from this post, let it be these:
- You have excellent taste.
- We appreciate your bearing with us.
- If you aren't already a Janery VIP, you're missing out on the super-fabulous-but-super-secret sale. (But you can fix that by joining right here, right now!)
Two weeks ago I attended Quilt Market in St. Louis, MO, to get the scoop on the latest and greatest fabrics, sewing equipment, and more.
Have you heard of Quilt Market? It’s a large fabric industry wholesale trade show, meaning it’s only open to business owners such as quilt shop owners or product makers - like me!
Imagine a football field-sized room filled with fabric and sewing supplies. It’s crazy, right? I was blown away by how many incredible fabrics are out there. I got to meet a few favorite designers, like Amy Butler, Pat Bravo, and Tula Pink, and I tried to act cool after admiring their artistry for years.
In addition to fabric manufacturers, there are also booths for button makers, sewing machine manufacturers, wool makers, thread companies - basically everything we use to create quilts and textile products.
I attended because I needed to see more of what was available in the fabric and sewing industry. Walking the trade show floor is more efficient than spending hours with Google, researching companies, then ordering fabric swatches and supply samples.
What made Quilt Market totally worth it for me? I got to see fabrics that were printed literally the day before the show. They’re so new that I can’t even order them yet, but I’m at the top of the list to receive them ASAP. I can’t wait for you to see them when they become part of Janery’s Fall 2017 collection.
As the name implies, Quilt Market is all about quilts. There are quilts that win awards, and there are quilts made to demonstrate new fabric collections.
Here are some of the amazing quilts on display at the trade show:
This quilt was, hands down, my absolute favorite from the whole event. It stopped me in my tracks. Who knew you could paint such expression in a face just through fabric, needle and thread?
This botanical quilt also had me stopping for a closer look - an easy second favorite.
Manoa Falls Valley by Shigeko Haruki and eight friends of Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan:
You can see even more award-winning quilts here.
Fabric companies take their display booths seriously for this event, crafting elaborate scenes or rooms using their fabrics in all sorts of applications.
This booth, showcasing the new Caturday fabric line by Felice Regina was one of my favorites. So impressive, and cat owners will chuckle at the inspiration behind some of the designs! That wasn't the only pet-themed booth. The Tattooed Quilter also created this amazing wall hanging: And then there was this fun booth by Stacy Iest Hsu: Are you as impressed as I was by the artistry and creativity on display? I can't wait to return to the next Quilt Market for even more inspiration and ideas!
It’s the final day of the One Room Challenge, and I’m thrilled to be revealing two finished rooms here on the blog!
The Challenge is created by Calling It Home in conjunction with House Beautiful, and over six weeks many bloggers work to makeover a space (or two) in their home. It’s my first time participating and I’m so thankful I did. I needed something to motivate me to not just start, but complete the projects and this did the trick!
Paper Flower Bouquet / Nefertiti Print / Black Deco Dog Bed / Deco Diamonds Wall Stencil
Am I happy with my new office? Yes, I think it is fabulous - with the exception of my white rug being too small :)
My goal was to create an elegant, art-deco inspired corner office nook to complement the larger makeover of our long basement rec room. The makeover is happening in three phases: Office, TV room, Playroom. I also wanted to push my interior design skills and try new things, such as a bold black and white statement.
The wall stencil challenged me the most - read more here and here - but I do love the result. I spent hours touching up the stencil with tiny artist brushes, and could do more. It makes my office fabulous, there’s no doubt about that.
Let's peek at what I had before. The image on the left is what is now my office, and the image on the right is my old office corner:
What a world of difference!!! This is honestly the best before and after I've ever done.
In addition to stenciling I removed some bigger items, moved the Janery storage, and purged a lot of office clutter. Both my old office shelves and a random dresser stored a lot of office supplies, most of which I didn’t need.
I built a wooden riser for my desk so that my monitor would be at a healthy height. I can use the space underneath to charge my phone, my tablet, etc. I also tried several fancy gold or brass lamps before deciding I preferred a fun zebra lamp! I’ll share more about that in another post.
Once the new wall was stenciled and I moved my desk and computer in, I realized that the decorative shelves I’d planned for would just cause visual clutter. I pared down my office supplies and stored them in my new filing cabinet and the beautiful white box on my desk.
I initially envisioned big, lush hanging plants all over the space, but during the last week I realized the space was too small for all my ideas. Instead, I jumped on the terrarium bandwagon and had a lot of fun making them! The chains are anchored into the ceiling beam so there is no risk that they’ll fall on my computer.
Now, let’s talk about the art!
I’m slowly collecting pieces I love for the house, and the office is no exception. See that small painting hanging with my terrariums? It’s part of the BOOBS! series by Rachel Roellke of Funnelcloud Studio. The boobs are gold leaf and so much fun in person. She also did the Things That Are Awesome print that is hanging by my studio doors below.
The paper flower bouquet in the vase is by Paper Rose, and I'm blown away by the quality.
And finally, the biggest piece in the space is that large bust of a woman, the Nefertiti print by Juniper Briggs. Words can’t describe how much I love it. My mom always told me she wanted to name me Nefertiti because, as a baby, I had a long neck. The memory of her telling the story cracks me up. When I decided on the black and white theme for my office, I knew this painting had to be in it.
Before you go, let’s discuss the design elephant in the room:
My white rug is too small to completely cover the tile floor and it bums me out. I decided to order a custom cut and bound carpet, but there’s a delay. At the last minute I ordered this this cheap area rug for the photo shoot, which I will save and use for future product shoots.
The one room challenge may be over, but the fun continues with phases 2 and 3. I’ll be finishing the TV area next, followed by the playroom corner for my toddler. I hope you’ll stick around to see the basement come to completion!
PS: My office only represents about a third of my work in the One Room Challenge. I hope you’ll view the reveal of my professional sewing studio as well, which is right off my office! Just step through the french doors, or click here. :)
Also, thank you again to Linda for hosting this challenge. It feels so good to have this space started! Please be sure to visit the other guest participants - you can find them all here!
It’s the final day of the One Room Challenge, and I’m thrilled to be revealing two finished rooms here on the blog - my office and my sewing studio. I’ve divided the “reveal” of the finished spaces into two posts because I had so much to say about each.
But first, the background! The Challenge is hosted by Linda of Calling It Home with media partner House Beautiful, and over six weeks many bloggers work to makeover a space (or two) in their home. It’s my first time participating and it was super stressful but amazingly rewarding!
My sewing studio is the most important part of my One (or Two) Room Challenge, because it’s where I sew all the products for my home decor and pet bed business, Janery. As my business grew, our landlord agreed to expand the room using part of our unfinished basement. I then didn’t put any permanent systems into place because I wanted to work in the room and figure out the best layout, etc.
One year later it was definitely time to implement some long-term solutions and systems. Let me give you a tour!
The sewing studio is behind the french doors at one end of our large basement rec room.
As you enter the room, you see my large and tall fabric cutting table. It's a beast that is about 5 feet square, large enough for me to roll out bolts of fabric.
This was the most important piece of furniture that I built for the space, because it's customized to my hip height. Spending hours cutting fabric can hurt your back if you have to bend over to a normal-height table. (Ask me how I know ;)
I built a picture ledge to hang above the cutting table so that I could display things like my favorite photo of Charlie, who inspired the business, and the covers of magazines that my products have been in.
Oh, and see that gold border around the ceiling? I used gold Washi tape to do that! A perfect renter-friendly solution.
The wall opposite the table has large cork boards made from homasote panels covered in fabric. I use the cork boards to pin up orders, but also fabric swatches I'm eyeing and any magazine pages that make me happy and inspired. (No joke, I've been saving some magazine pages for years just for this cork wall. I also added some strong hooks because some fabrics, like velvet, should be stored hanging so they don't get creases.
The base of my cutting table is a solid block of storage, and though I was unsure at first, I'm now really happy with how it worked out. I took the easy route and built a two-tier table top that fits over a base made with four Ikea Kallax shelving units. It wasn't the cheapest approach to buy 4 Ikea units, but it was the easiest. I don't have time to DIY every single piece of furniture.
I love how the Kallax shelves make my fabric bolts so easily accessible when I'm cutting orders! And I stocked up on square polka dot bins from Target. You can't see it all, but the shelves that don't hold bolts are full of bins holding my lesser-used supplies such as quilting fabrics and materials, and extra rolls of packing tape.
The top tier of the shelves I built, and I made it tall enough to hold my tissue paper and shipping envelopes on the side pictured - while the other side holds shipping boxes.
Below you can see the wall facing the cutting table. The Elfa shelves (from my former office) were the perfect size for this wall, and they hold my bins of fabric scraps as well as my small shipping supplies and stationery.
(See the sewing machine? That's the machine that started it all. . . a generous birthday gift from my husband when we were first dating!)
Having all my shipping supplies within grabbing reach makes a huge difference. If you're running a product business, you need to make the shipping process as easy as possible. Now I can just line up my packages on the cutting table, then grab the hang tags, tagging gun, business cards, package enclosure cards - really everything I put into completing the package.
(My larger products are stored in a private nook in another part of the basement, but they are easy to grab and bring to the studio for packing.)
Psst: Look at the right side of the photo above: my cutting ruler sits on a lip below the cutting table. This is one of those tiny details that actually makes my life SO much easier when I'm cutting from large bolts!
The smaller, nook-like area of the room is the "addition" that our landlord added last spring. It turned out to be the perfect size for the sewing part of the room.
We did a little recycling here, using scraps from an old DIY table as the table tops for my serger and for my sewing machine. The serger got attached to its table with a screw (because it operates at high speed and you don't want it dancing across the table) and my husband built a dropped platform to hold my sewing machine at table height.
These are little details that don't matter aesthetically, but matter from a sewing process standpoint. (I still need to paint the dropped platform for the sewing machine, but no biggie.
Let's chat details for a minute - the pegboard wall storage is another game changer, and I'm sure I'll fill it up over time. A magnetic strip from the hardware store holds my screwdriver and sewing machine feet, and the thread and bobbins are right above it. A plastic drawer unit below the table holds all the zippers I use on a daily basis.
Let's be honest - I'm excited about pretty much everything about this room. Nothing makes work better than having everything you need right where you need it.
Huge thanks to photographer Laura Metzler who does all the product photography for Janery (and makes me feel less silly in front of the lens)!
Also, thank you again to Linda for hosting this challenge. Please be sure to visit the other guest participants - you can find them all here!
The last week of The One Room Challenge is upon us, and I'll admit I am relieved to be nearing the finish line for my sewing studio and office. The theme for week five of the One Room Challenge was basically "build all the things". And paint.
There's a lot to do to "finish" the rooms so I'll keep this short and sweet. I'll share more details on things after the big reveal, I think.
Things that were built, painted, and done this week:
- Spent hours touching up the paint on the stencil wall (with the world's tiniest paintbrush)
- Hung & framed a pegboard for sewing storage
- Painted, sealed, and built a little fence on my serger table (to keep the serger in place when used at high speed)
- Painted, sealed, and created suspended tray on sewing machine table (to make the machine flush with tabletop)
- Built, painted, and sealed a picture ledge for the studio
- Hung fabric-covered homasote panels to create massive cork boards in studio
- Built, stained, sealed a riser for my desk (to keep the monitor at a healthy height)
- Sealed my studio shelves because the paint was tacky
- Shopped for random things I needed, created a massive pile to return...
The spaces are so close to being completed. Now it's a matter of putting everything in its place, which is my favorite part!
Needless to say, I haven't done this all on my own. My husband has helped tremendously, mainly by being fun dad to our daughter while I am out running errands. He also built my sewing machine table, which I am so excited to use. Also, my dad visited for the weekend, and he helped with many projects.
I'm off to put all the things in their place, and then roll out the white carpet in my office nook before my photographer comes to take some photos (of a new product!) in the new space.
I can't wait to share the finished spaces with you next week!
During week 4 of the One Room Challenge I spent the majority of my time fighting to stencil my office wall!
Let’s just say I’m putting the “challenge” in this One Room Challenge.
The studio has posed an interesting challenge. I’ve been trying to keep up with increasing orders, which has been hard since apparently everything I need is stashed in boxes in the other room. I need to get this room finished so that I can start working efficiently.
When my machine started acting up yesterday, I realized it was due for its annual service. I updated shop notifications for customers, and any orders placed starting today will ship after May 8th. Since I still make most products to order, I have to take a “spring break” week each year to get the machines serviced.
I painted and hung my shelves, and started building my new sewing machine tables. I’m hoping to paint them today and seal them tomorrow.
Moving over to the office: After last week’s fiasco with my hand-cut DIY stencil, I ordered a stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils. When it arrived I was excited to get started (again) on my office wall. First I painted the whole wall black, because I wanted the stencil pattern to be white. I also repainted the trim glossy white, because it was showing a lot of wear.
Spoiler alert: I never want to stencil a wall again.
My big art deco stencil had a lot of thin strips in the middle, so I hunted down some Repositionable Adhesive to help the stencil stick to the wall. The first run with the stencil went great.
I was optimistic! I was excited! I was happy to be making progress!
The second run with the stencil went a little less great; the paint roller kept pulling the stencil away from the wall. When I carefully removed the stencil from the wall, it took some of the paint from the first area with it. I waited a bit for the first two areas to dry more, then started stenciling on alternate sides so that no fresh paint would be touched by the stencil.
The stenciling is now complete, but it’s far from crisp and clean. The paint bled a lot, despite all the different methods I tried (dry roller, stippling brush, foam roller). I think I had to use too much paint because I was applying white paint over black. The stencil did best when it was freshly washed, which meant I showered with my stencil 4 times during the process of painting one wall.
I have a lot of touch ups to do - especially to the borders left of the window - after I regain some sanity. Fortunately most touchups will be black paint over white, so it should cover easily. The white isn’t as solid as I hoped for, but it will have to do.
A few of my key accessories and fabrics for the office corner look fab against it, so I’m calling it a win.
There is still a LOT of work to do, so the TV area, and the toddler play area will have to be completed after the challenge. But I already know this was enough to keep me going on the project long after the 6 weeks are up!
My dad is coming to visit this weekend, and fortunately he likes to help me with projects. We’re going to be pretty busy! I think I’m over the hardest work now, and I look forward to the spaces coming together this week.
I'm sharing my progress (and mishaps!) in more real-time via my Instagram stories, so follow me there to stay in the loop and chime in when you have opinions!
Also, don't forget to check out all the other guest participants in the One Room Challenge!
PS: If you're new here, welcome! I'm Jane and I run a fabulous pet bed & home decor business. I founded Janery because I believe pets - and their keepers - deserve beautiful products that fearlessly handle whatever life smears, lays, and throws on them.
Catch Up On Janery's Spring One Room Challenge: