I’m always interested in containers. In the kitchen I love a good set of Tupperware. The click clacky type. See through, easy to stack. When I had a classroom, nothing gave me greater pleasure than having tidy drawers. Maybe I need to get out more.

In my studio, I love looking at gorgeous snippets of coloured lace or the fraying edges of a piece of hessian. I can’t see them if they’re tucked away in drawers or cupboards so they lounge about enticingly in solid wooden boxes, teasing me, pulling me in, giving me inspiration.

You can’t beat an old suitcase. This one I bought at a market in Totnes and relined it with some bird themed wallpaper. My fabrics jump up and down with excitement when they get promoted enough to be taken out of the drawer where they can now mingle freely with their playmates. Everyone loves a good rifle in there. And why are the best pieces always at the bottom? I also confess to enjoying a good sniff from time to time- is that normal?

Embroidery threads can be stored in so many ways. For years I had them in one big plastic container, all bundled up together. They weren’t happy. I could tell. There were my threads in there, along with my mums and both my Grandmas. Then I progressed to putting colour families in plastic bags. Then I discovered fancy pants boxes with dividers. Oh the joy of having rows of harmonious colours side by side. I bought 2 more this week, a girl can never have enough it seems. I even sent off for a DCM colour chart- really useful. Worth every penny. It’s so difficult to choose the right colour in a shop that has bad lighting. Why are the skein stands always in the darkest corners?

And then there are the recycled shelves. Can’t resist a bargain and I do enjoy a bit of chalk paint, wax and elbow grease. This shelf sits proudly on the wall right next to my machine so it is within easy reach for a quick changeover.

I like a bit of vintage too. This wooden container I bought from a vintage fair. I had no idea at the time what I would use it for but my stitched notebooks seem to feel right at home in there.

Then lastly, there are the frivolous, couldn’t leave them  in the shop, oh so pretty, tiny drawers. They house some of my collection of stamps. Textured mats in the top drawer, incy wincy flowers and butterflies in the middle and small coloured ink pads in the bottom. Ever so useful. I must use them more.

I’m currently reading a book by Marie Kondo about how to declutter your house, and that if you can do this you’ll have a decluttered mind. My mind is constantly full of 101 things at any given time so I’m systematically going through each room in the house trying to be more minimalist. I think it’s working. What it basically means is that everything is being stuffed into cupboards or under the bed- out of sight out of mind. But my new philosophy is that I don’t want to look at anything in the house that isn’t beautiful or functional.

But the studio- well that’s a different matter altogether. Let the organised chaos begin. The more overflowing containers, the better. I need to see colours and textures and patterns and buttons and charms and paint and brushes and papers and cottons and lace and organzas and silks………… and just stuff! I’ll never have enough.

(ps, hope you like the lovely photos, all taken by Victoria’s Cottage.co.uk)