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Clearing the Desk: My Creative Space Reorganised

We moved into our house 2 years ago. I unpacked my room and have never had it quite right. The furniture from the old room didn’t work the same, I always seemed to be tripping over things, I could never keep the floor clear, but I had more storage! A giant built in robe and a brand new stand up desk with shelves AND a big cube bookcase.

Turns out the problem was TOO MUCH STORAGE. I had culled supplies you see, but not the storage furniture that held it. It was very very hard to let go of that storage. It’s so USEFUL! I might NEED it!

I should have taken “before” photos, but I didn’t. But I made a video explaining the main organising tricks I used to get the chaos under control.

Summary of tips:

  • Create a hierarchy of accessibility: Put things you use often closer to your work area and within easy reach. Spare supplies and things I don’t use are in less accessible places. Colouring mediums (paints, pencils, pastels, gelatos) are all near my desk and on one shelf.
  • Create safe resting places: When I first started monoprinting (with a gelatine plate), the most frustrating thing was getting paint on things I didn’t want paint on because I had to put the prints somewhere to dry. I also have a feline companion who likes to “inspect” artwork while it is still wet. A string run from one side of the room to the other, a few paper clips and bulldog clips, and I have a handy dandy drying line for the prints to hang from safely. I also hang my stencils to dry after I have washed them.
  • Make stuff easy to put away: Personally I like the ‘toss and go’ method, so open containers are my preference. I also love my plastic drawers that come all the way out.
  • Don’t make it too complicated: Do flowers really need to to sorted by colour AND type? I have two flower categories: flat and dimensional. Buttons all go into the button jar (well button jarS if I’m honest).
  • Visibility is key: The old “out of Sight, Out of Mind” problem. I used to have a very organised scrap paper file. The paper went into its neatly labelled colour category… and never came out again. Now I have a large basket and everything goes in together. When it gets full, I empty some of it out and donate it to the local child care centre.

Life Book 2014: Week 34 Cosmic Smash Book

Teacher: Cat Geller.
I found the composition notebooks at Officeworks here in regional QLD. They are the only exercise book I could find that has the sewn binding. I wonder how our normal stapled exercise books would hold up, especially with the ribbons tied in to help keep the spine intact.

Both Covers P1040541 P1040542 P1040543

The front cover is the piece I made for Serena Bridgeman’s Week 20 class, altered to replace the lotus flower with a heart and the background pushed back a bit with aqua paint and gesso. Yes the title of my book is Brave Heart. The back cover is a page I did recently and is based on a piece of Diane Duda’s art. I am completely in love with my book, especially the ‘gilded edges’. I can’t stop touching it! I think I will use it as an ongoing ‘grumpy dumping ground’, a la, Micki Wilde’s Week 32 Lesson.


The background print was created when I placed the stencil I had just sprayed ink over onto the page. I ended up liking this more than the stenciled design I made. Book pages, because I am obsessed with that look at the moment and then more spray ink through a large alphabet stencil (home made black ink using D&R Acrylic Ink + water). The flowers are a TCW stencil of large flowers that I traced on with regular felt tip pens, then painted over with watercolours. I didn’t have anything I wanted to express on this page, I just like looking at it.

Got Calm?

Have you seen this around?

Something about it appeals to me. It’s classic, vintage, and not to mention very good advice.

Yet I find myself still ambivalent. It’s a bit too… bossy? big-brotherish? serious? Out-dated?

Thankfully we are not having to hide at the bottom of the garden in an air raid shelter, or worrying about a bomb dropping on our head while we’re out grabbing a bottle of milk.

I’ve seen several variations that attempt a modern twist on the old adage:




(rampant consumerism has never been my thing),

(my butt is big enough, thanks)

This is the one for me:


Closely followed by this option:


How to make your 3 year old happy

I had a day off yesterday. It’s the one reliable way to bring me out of a funk – solitude and freedom.

I don’t need solitude of the hide-me-away-with-no-human-contact  variety. I need a piece of time where there are no demands being made on me by anything or anyone (freedom). I don’t make appointments on these days off and I don’t make any definite plans until I can put the plan into action. I don’t make arrangments to see friends. I don’t like to do things that require me to be at a specific place at a specific time (like going to see a movie). If I’m enjoying something I’ll do it until I’m sick of it and then move onto the next thing.

So, in pursuit of this, I dropped Kenzie at Daycare at the normal time, then headed over to McCafe to get a large takeaway latte, decided that a piece or raisin toast looked like a good idea, and then drove to the Bay. I had thought that I might check out World Bazaar and Target, but ended up at some Op-Shops. At the last one I went to I found two items: one hula skirt (pink) for $0.50 and one puppy dog costume for $1.50. The dog costume is a white fleecy jumpsuit with some spotty fur trim and a tail sewed on the back.

I went home after that, ate a toasted chicken, onion and cheese sandwhich on the lounge while I watched 2 episdodes of Modern Family and then went downstairs and made a scrapbook LO before going to get Kenzie from Daycare.

When we got home I showed Kenzie the costumes I had bought – The delight on her face was delightful! She wore the hula skirt for the rest of afternoon, jumping on the trampoline, praticing the “moves”.  Nothing like the swish-swish-swish of a special skirt!! She’s wearing the dog costume right now, watching cartoons.

That’s how to make a 3 year old happy. Take time out for me, do whatever I want and be happy to see her when I pick her up from daycare. Do this so I can experience the endless questions as endearing and evidence that she is bright and inquisitive child and not as exhausting and evidence that she is trying to really annoy me.

Oh, and buy a pink hula skirt for 50c and watch her jump on the trampoline.