I Led Three Lives . . .


 . . . said the sturdy wooden cabinet.


In its first life, the cabinet held a television in someone else’s home. 

About four years ago, I became interested in scrapbooking, but I didn’t really have a place where I could do scrapbooking or where I could store all the “stuff” involved.  (Less storage and even wall space in this house.)  So, Hubby decided to build me a cabinet that would hide all the clutter, would give me a work space that didn’t have to be cleaned up after every use, and would look nice enough to put in the guest room.  He decided the easiest way to do that would be to buy a used cabinet and just alter the insides.  So, we went to a furniture consignment shop and found this nice used TV cabinet.

In its second life, it was a scrapbooking cabinet. 

We brought the cabinet home and Hubby make a very sturdy (he doesn’t believe in flimsy) oak pull-out work surface in the part of the cabinet that had held a TV, and installed a flourescent light in the top.  Voila — it became a scrapbooking cabinet.  By the way, you’ll notice that it didn’t totally lose it’s “roots” as a TV cabinet.  Hubby also installed a small TV on the back wall so that I could watch it while I scrapbooked.  Perfect.

Now that I had my cabinet, I tried traditional scrapbooking for a while, but it just didn’t “click” with me.  (Translation:  I wasn’t good at it.)  But, I stumbled on the idea of making greeting cards out of the scrapbooking supplies.  So, for a year, I used my little work station to make cards for family and friends. 

Here’s one I made for a 60th birthday . . .

. . . on the outside


. . . and on the inside


Not fancy, but people seemed to enjoy receiving a card that was obviously no-doubt-about-it-yep-Sandy-printed-that handmade.

For a whole year, as each birthday approached, I would think about that person and what they specifically brought to mind — a sport, music, travel, career, etc. –and then I made a card for them that addressed their uniqueness.  It was fun — I had found a new hobby that I really enjoyed.

But, then the second year rolled around.  And that’s when I realized it was alot harder to come up with a unique card for a person a second time!  Unfortunately, it now became clear that this was a hobby that was going to get harder with each passing year because, after I got past the “easy” stuff about each person, I would have to start coming up with new unique things about them, OR I’d have to start doing the kind of we-get-paid-alot-of-money-because-we’re-good-at-this writing that Hallmark writers do!  Suddenly, this was seeming more like a job than a hobby!  So, my cardmaking evolved to just making cards for special occasions, like for this milestone birthday.  The cabinet was now definitely under-utilized.

In its third life, it’s a sewing cabinet!

This transition wasn’t nearly as hard as the first.  I just had to pack up the scrapbooking supplies, store them in a closet and put the sewing machine and it’s attendant “stuff” into the cabinet.  I am going to use my new sewing work station to make some Christmas gifts, and Hubby has started saying, “You could make that.” about some things that we used to buy (like tableclothes), so maybe this will be the last transition this cabinet will make.

But, you know, a cat has nine lives — so there may be other “lives” for this cabinet too.   Hmmm. I wonder if an easel would fit in there.

12 Responses to I Led Three Lives . . .

  1. Beth says:

    Now, that is really cool! I would LOOOOVE a sewing cabinet like that.

  2. Pam says:

    Great cabinet! I think our lives are a bit like that, different phases, different functions at various time!

  3. Sandra says:

    Beth — I think it’s cool too. I just wish using it would magically make me better at sewing! 🙂

    Pam — Yes, I agree — just like that!

  4. Beth says:

    Are you sure it won’t? It looks a lot like a certain magic wardrobe I like to read about… 🙂

  5. Sandra says:

    Ohhh, I like that thought. I’ll let you know if it works! 🙂

  6. Hilary says:

    That’s perfect. I love buying used items at yard sales and would have more of them if I had more space and if I had your hubby’s genius!

  7. Amy O says:

    We have a similar tv cabinet. It is such a beautiful piece of furniture that I don’t want to just place it at the curb. Thanks for the great idea.

  8. Belinda says:

    Glad to see that your sewing hobby is evolving. Great idea for a TV cabinet. When you want to go fabric shopping, let me know….it would be fun.

  9. Sandra says:

    Hilary — I’ll be sure to tell Hubby that you appreciate his “genius” — he’ll get a kick out of that. He is pretty good at that sort of stuff.

    Amy — Great! I’d love to see pictures if you make one of these too!

    Belinda — Ha! I’ll let you know when I could up with some PLAN for something so that I have something to buy material FOR! But that would be fun — I love looking at material. I’ll definitely let you know when I come up with something.

  10. This is really nifty, how you’ve intentionally made great use of your cabinet. And you’ve done what all the organizing gurus recommend: you have allowed your environment to reflect who you are today (one who sews) and not who you were yesterday. Good job! You’re inspiring.

  11. Sandra says:

    Thank you, Lynn. You make me sound so . . . organized! Your “. . .allowed your environment to reflect who you are” — that’s a pretty heady compliment for a messy who just tries to keep her messes behind closed doors! 🙂

  12. […] I wrote about its evolution from TV cabinet, to scrapbooking cabinet, to sewing cabinet  here. […]

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