CYC AIR: Happy Place With Niki Dionne

Imagine walking into a colorfully immersive environment made entirely of fiber, exploding with vibrancy and texture. As you walk from room to room, new adventures await you in art installations you can’t help but sink your hands, and mind, into. 

The Craft Yarn Council is excited to announce a new partnership with Dallas’ premiere experiential art exhibit, Sweet Tooth Hotel, to bring an immersive fiber experience to audiences across the country. The new installation, titled “Intangible,” opened June 2020. 

“Intangible” showcases an all-female lineup of some of the top fiber artists from around the United States, including yarn-bomb extraordinaire London Kaye (Los Angeles, CA), Fiber Artist Niki Dionne (Dallas, TX), Muralist and Illustrator Alli Koch (Dallas, TX), Fiber Artist Jackie Lawrence (Denton, TX), Installation Fiber Artist and Yarn Bomber Hannah Busekrus (Austin, TX), Crochet Designer Twinkie Chan (San Francisco, CA), Textile Designer Molly Sydnor (Dallas, TX), Dallas Yarn Bomber Co-Founder Sally Ackerman (Dallas, TX), Knit Artist Joanna Lin (Dallas, TX) and Embroidery Artist Kara Herman (Denton, TX). Each artist has been given a dedicated space to create their own whimsical world completely made from fiber and are the first cohort for CYC AIR (Craft Yarn Council Artist-In-Residence program). 

Since each of the artists used large quantities of yarn for their installs, we wanted to do a special series of Happy Place blog posts to dive into how each of them stored and organized their yarn. Read on for our CYC AIR Happy Place with Niki Dionne, aka @actualfootageofme! Niki is a fiber artist, illustrator, and also the Director of Communications and Social Media for the Craft Yarn Council!



How many skeins of yarn did you receive for your Sweet Tooth Hotel installation?

Over 500 skiens.


What brand and fiber content did you use in your installation?

In my space, I used two yarn brands. The poms are made primairly of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick. The ceiling and hanging peices of my install are made using LoveCrafts' Paintbox Simply Chunky wool mix.


What colors did you use for your installation?

There are a lot of different colors in my space, but I'd say the most used color was green (my favorite color)!



What system did you use to organize your CYC AIR yarn for Sweet Tooth Hotel?

I tried to keep my yarn organized by color as much as possible, but I often ended up sorting colors out by pom!


What furniture or storage systems did you use to organize the yarn you received?

In my space, I use an Ikea storage system. It features pull-out mesh baskets and shelves!


Do you or have you ever found it difficult to manage or organize your yarn?

Oh absolutely! The more yarn you have, the harder it is to manage! On top of that, I'm not the most organized creative, and like most of us, yarn isn't my only passion, which makes for interesting messes sometimes.



Knowing the amount of yarn you were going to receive, how did you find an organization system that worked for you?

I knew I wanted something that would allow me to access my yarn easily, see where certain colors are located, and function in a small space. I had mentally bookmarked my drawer units on one of my many Ikea trips, and I knew now was the time to invest!


How do you like to de-stash?

Honestly, I haven't really done a destash (embarrassed emoji). It's a serious problem. I think the closest thing to one was when I brought a big bag of yarn to Warm Up America! during my last apartment move.


Do you work in the same space where your yarn is stored? Why or why not?

Yes. I'm lucky enough to use our second bedroom as a home studio, so I like working surrounded by my work and materials. Plus, my husband hates when I drag my work throughout the house. I do have a few knitting WIPS by my bed!



How important is a well-organized yarn corner/office to your mental wellbeing?

It's pretty important. Although I find comfort in my organized chaos, when it gets to the point where you can't find what you are looking for, that can lead to a lot of stress and loss of creativity! I find I'm most productive and prone to inspiration in a freshly cleaned and organized studio!


Where did you purchase everything shown in the photos you submitted?   

Ikea + Facebook Marketplace (we love a good garage sale).


Share any tips or advice you have for someone who is trying to reorganize their stash.

Enjoy it! I know cleaning and organizing can often be a chore, but set the mood before you start organizing! Put on some music, light some incense, or pour a glass of wine. If you have family members, especially nieces or daughters, recruit them to help you, and offer free goodies for helping. That way you are killing two birds with one stone (what even is that analogy?) destashing and organizing!



Cover photo courtesy of TA Visuals. All other photos courtesy of Niki Dionne.