Terracotta & Twine Tour
Welcome to Terracotta & Twine! I'm in the process of writing up a few different patterns at the moment, as well as re-making a massive wall hanging in my house, so I thought I'd give my brain a break from concentrating and take you on a little tour of the office.
The Terracotta & Twine macrame studio is also my home office, photography studio and the guest bedroom. It's a multi purpose room to the max. I absolutely love this space, so I thought I'd share all the little details that make it awesome and show you some of the things that I find useful. As well as this space, I've also got a little section in our 'warehouse' dedicated to Terracotta & Twine which I'll show you as well.
Before the pandemic, the studio / office / guest room was more of a dumping ground for boxes we hadn't finished unpacking after moving in and pieces of furniture that we couldn't fit anywhere else. Personally, I love a before and after, so here's what it looked like before I turned it into an office.
It's taken two years of slowly adding to the space for me to make it the perfect happy space for creating. So, off we go, let's take a tour!
Because I work a full time desk job, this is where I spend the majority of my days. When I first started working from home, I just had the mid century writing desk and bare walls, so everything else here has been added super gradually over the last couple of years. I love this space now. Even the dead plant that's hanging on for dear life as I try to resurrect it - there are two green leaves in there still, so I'm hoping they'll spring back to life and grow some new not-brown leaf friends.
My inspiration for this space is like...if you picture the house of an old person that's lived a super interesting life and they've just collected things along the way and stuck them on the wall over the years? That's what I'm going for. So, this is my "no planning went into this and one day it will fill the entire wall" gallery wall.
The big hand lettered pictures are pages I cut out of The Happy Newspaper, which if you aren't subscribed to I HIGHLY recommend. It's a literal newspaper that gets posted to you every month, but everything in it is happy news. It's awesome.
That little hippo in the top right was given to me when I went for a look around Bread + Roses - a co working space in Bradford. I'll be holding a few macrame workshops there this spring which I'm super excited about because their space is LOVELY. This postcard was made on a Risograph Printer, which I don't fully understand, but bananas are somehow involved and that's pretty damn cool.
This cute little print was given to me by my best friend. Years ago we watched First Dates and a guy called his date 'treacle' - it stuck with us and now we obsessively call each other treacle and send each other treacle-related gifts at random.
This whole space is just full of little things that mean something to me or make me feel good. I find that it just adds a little bit of brightness to my day if I spend it looking at things that make me happy, so I try and surround myself with as many 'happiness inducing' items as possible. Or as Marie Kondo would say - things that spark joy.
I will say, the handiest thing I have on my desk is this little basket from Dunelm. For one thing, it's super cute. But I use it to store medicine, a lighter for my candles...all the little things I need every day but would look messy scattered across the desk. It's probably one of the best things I've bought in terms of being suuuuper practical whilst still looking great.
We do need to take a moment to feel bad for my poor little writing desk. This used to live in my grandparents conservatory and I inherited it. Because it had been in the sunlight 24/7, it was a little faded when I got it, so I decided I'd sand it down and re-stain it.
I sanded it with an electric sander in the living room of my old little terrace house. It was a disaster, which I didn't realise until I was finished. EVERYTHING was covered in wood dust. For months, every surface in the house would be covered in wood dust, no matter how many times I cleaned. My lesson was learned that you shouldn't do woodwork in your living room.
Because of that disaster, I decided I probably shouldn't stain it in my living room either. Then I moved house in the rain and the poor thing got soaked and I still haven't stained it...so it has water marks everywhere and generally looks a little bit sorry for itself. I promise I'll get it returned to its former glory at some point.
The 'Guest Room'
Honestly, we don't really have guests. So whilst this is set up to be nice for our theoretical guests, day to day it's just the biggest dog bed in the house. Our dog Charlie 100% thinks it's his. This area is behind my office chair, so whilst I work Charlie just sits and looks out the window, sleeps with his head on the pillows and lives his best doggy life.
As you can see, it's also my macrame cord storage area and macrame display wall.
I installed these hooks so that I had lots of layout options for photographing different macrame products and staging them in different ways because it's super easy to switch out the decor on the shelf. You can see this wall in action in the Clayton Wall Hanging photos.
When it's not photoshoot time, I use the shelf to store the majority of my macrame cord. It's not the full collection - I also have a drawer in the living room where I keep the macrame cord I'm currently using as well as random rolls scattered around the house on various tables and window ledges. I like things to have a home though, so when I do a 'big tidy', they all return back to the shelf.
The 'propagation station'. I knew nothing about propagation until I met Abi, one of my lovely customers. I'd made her a custom order of macrame plant hangers and when I went to deliver them to her, I was admiring her plants. She gave me a cutting of one of them and taught me how to propagate it. It's now the big lovely plant that's crawling all over my ukulele a couple of pictures up.
Now I'm obsessed with propagation. These zig-zag cactus cuttings came from a zig zag cactus that I almost killed. I had massively over-watered it and it had serious root rot. All the zig zags were black and rotten at the bottom and shrivelled at the top. So I chopped off the rotten parts, propagated them and now they're super healthy and waiting to be re-potted!
The 'studio' area
Honestly, I forgot to take a picture of this side of the room today, so here's an out of focus picture of me holding a giant macrame wall hanging I made a while ago. I haven't actually shared any pictures of this macrame wall hanging anywhere because it's SO DAMN BIG I can't get a good photograph of it. It's too large to hang anywhere that I have hooks in the house and every photo of me holding it looks super awkward because I'm clearly struggling with the weight of it. So yeah. This is the 'studio' side of the room, please ignore my inability to nicely hold this macrame wall hanging.
So, the studio area of this room, it's a big mostly empty wall. It usually has my clothes rail sat in front of it, which I use to hang my projects from whilst I make them. It's the only non-white wall in the room, as I realised that it's much easier to take photos of almost-white-macrame against a not-white wall.
My intention was to do this wall in a lovely soft beige colour to take pictures against but it actually turned out a kinda light green-ish colour which I'm sure is lovely in the right room, but doesn't really work here. Thankfully, it does look great in product photos, so I kept it this colour and I just kinda...ignore it, when I'm in the room. Hence I forgot to take a photo of it.
Below is a video of this wall in action - a little 'behind the scenes' on a Terracotta & Twine photoshoot. This was for the Oxenhope Mini Macrame Wall Hanging photos - I thought they'd look super cute hanging over a bedside table. So for the shoot, I dragged the guest bed over to the studio wall, brought up one of my side tables from the living room and shot the pictures against this painted wall. As you can see from the videos, the behind the scenes of these photo shoots is significantly more chaotic than everything looks in the finial images.
Okay, so we love this room. Not for aesthetic reasons - it's not pretty in the slightest. But it is SO functional, it's amazing. We use our loft for like...long term storage and then we use the warehouse for storing things we access on a regular basis but just don't wanna have to look at all the time.
The warehouse started with just piles of boxes, until one day we realised we were never gonna do anything but storage in there, so we bought proper industrial shelving, labelled everything up and started calling it The Warehouse.
This section here is my Terracotta & Twine section, where I store all my packing materials, pattern booklets, bits and pieces for workshops - all the business-y stuff, basically. As well as a bunch of empty coffee jars that I'm planning to turn into cute little fairy light lanterns!
So there you have the grand tour of the entire Terracotta & Twine working area, where I make and photograph everything you see on the website! I apologise if this was slightly less glamorous than an episode of Cribs. Unfortunately I'm not yet a billionaire macrame-ing rockstar, but who knows, maybe one day.
I don't know if there was actually any useful content in this blog post, like, at all. But hopefully you at least enjoyed having a little look around and seeing where all your orders get made.
If you'd like to have a chat about anything macrame related or have an idea for a custom piece you'd like to discuss, please send me a message or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're interested in learning macrame, check out my tutorials page, my How To Start Macrame As A Total Beginner blog post, or come find me at a workshop.