Up Close with Snuggly Monkey

Posted Sunday, July 10, 2011

Let’s step beyond the online store front, and see one of the ways that an Etsy Artist finds to fit a home business into a home. Welcome to the ‘Playroom’, an appropriate name for a studio that houses Claudia Martinez of Snuggly Monkey’s sewing accoutrements, but also the family’s board game collection and library, as well as serving as their movie watching space. This room even transforms into a guest room - the miracles of an aerobed and a folding cutting table!

Her shop is a vibrant kaleidoscope of handmade toys and accessories, and her studio is versatile enough to handle Claudia’s wide range of interests, everything from fabric goodie bags for her daughter's birthday party to a vampire-fairy costume for her sister. Stamping, needle felting and crocheting, along with a whole lot of experimentation fill her house with prototypes. Some make it into her shop and others ... well let's just say her girls are really good sports about playing with just about anything.

Formerly the home’s carport, the previous owners remodeled it into a lovely sunlit room with radiant floor heating. Claudia crept into her girls' space over the years, finding room for a small folding table in the far corner that could be easily stored away. Then came the cutting table, and storage... each piece added slowly so her daughters wouldn't notice that they were losing play space.

The centerpiece of her studio is an enormous old wooden school desk purchased from the local university library at a surplus sale. Her husband completely refinished it, leaving it looking brand new. The serger fits perfectly in the old typewriter space, the drawers hold patterns and gadgets. All of her notions are nicely stored on the shelves above the desk, along with a good portion of her quilting fabric stash. It has all the conveniences of those fancy schmancy sewing tables that cost over $1000 and it only cost $5!

Her equipment includes two beautiful Bernina "vintage" sewing machines. Her main machine is a Bernina 830 Record and the second is a 910. The 830 is older than she is, but an upgrade from the 1950's singer Claudia learned to sew on! She loves old machines that are all metal and mechanical parts, including being able to maintain them herself.


They are workhorses that can sew through anything she puts in front of them. She admits she would like a more modern computerized machine, able to do fancier free-hand quilting and embroidery, but she’ll never give up the Bernies.

Sharing the space with her daughters is a love/hate issue for her. They do a great job of respecting mommy's sewing stuff (for the most part), but care must be taken about what is left out and within reach of the 18 month old! This can be tiring when working on a quilt and everything must be picked up when Claudia stops her work. She is also mindful of leaving large pieces of fabric within reach that very quickly become capes, tents, etc...

At the same time she enjoys having her creative space in their play space because it gives them a chance to see what she does and become interested in it. Her 5 year old wants to learn how to sew and make things on her own. She asks if her mom can sew her a Tigress costume (from Kung Fu Panda) instead of buying her one.

Claudia is also lucky to have a very supportive husband who understands how important her creative space is to her. The girls are learning to respect that space and that the sewing machine is not a toy. Knowing her children are growing up with the idea that they can make things themselves with their own hands is an unexpected benefit of the shared space.





'Snuggly Monkey' by FairyGodmother4Hire



CIJ SALE - Fabric Coil Baske...
$12.00

CIJ SALE: Waldorf-inspired S...
$30.00

Sleepy Bear Fabric Block
$5.00

Ouchie Pouch (Hot and Cold T...
$7.00

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

5 comments:

Snuggly Monkey mama said...

Thanks so much for this! It turned out lovely. What an honor to share my sewing space with you all :)

The Klassic World of Bare Sock Crafts said...

Thanks so much for sharing Claudia! I just love your desk, it looks really functional! :)

FairyGodmother For Hire said...

I sooo have desk envy!

Michelle's Zoo said...

Ah I love your sewing space! I wish I was so organized. Very jealous of your Berninas!

FruitsOFtheBLooM.etsy.com said...

I really LOVE seeing the studios everyone works in...and how nice this is, Claudia! Keeping the 18 month old safe must feel like an eternal job, thankfully (and sadly) they get older quickly! ;o) Thanks for sharing this with us!

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