In My Studio Odds and Ends

Beware…woman on a mission

My Mum came for a sleepover last weekend. We went up to Kyneton to see my work in a group exhibition; we had lunch with a friend; we chatted; we ate yummy food; we had a lovely time.

My studio (aka the Playroom!) doubles as the guest room. So to have Mum stay, which I love, and is so important to me, I have to make space to unravel the sofa bed. That means packing up and moving my stuff out of the room, dumping it all somewhere else.

After the success of getting the hall sorted I am on an anti-mess campaign. I was determined to not just throw it all back into the room after Mum left. I was a woman on a clean-up mission!

The first step was to put up a window blind. I did this without killing myself or my Fella and only a truckload of swearing, especially after I realised I had screwed the attachments too far apart.

Next I sat and pondered how to organise the room better. The answer ~ that I needed shelves ~ binged into my brain. On to the computer, where I soon found the answer to my dreams. Clicked on “Buy me” and two hours later I had picked two of them up from the local branch of one of those global behemoths.

I love to jump into things and was on my way to assembling the first one. I had the pieces all laid out when we were offered an appointment at the Falls and Balance Clinic that day. The Fella is priority so there was no hesitation in saying yes.

Back to it the next day. The book cases came together easily ~ much less swearing than getting the blind up!

This was the some of my disorganised stuff


The work in progress (sorry if this photo gives you a touch of vertigo!)


Finished, but on the floor


Next came the fun part of deciding what to move into the little cubes.


My work table fits nicely up against the wall. However, it means I have to sit with my back to the widow. Firstly I don’t like working in my own shadow. Secondly, I don’t look at the treasured stained glass window that my Dad made for me. I wonder too whether having most of my art materials on my left side will be a problem. Anyway, I’ll try it.


There is still a lot of mess left, but I am determined that I will sort through each box and basket and messy pile.


For now I am basking in the delight of a very clean and very tidy work space. It’s amazing what a woman on a mission can achieve!



Some of you may not know that I write a fortnightly letter from my studio. Well, it has been rather erratic over the last months, but I am going to get back into the fortnightly schedule. i hope to write one this weekend. So, if you would like to know more about my art, you can sign up here. You even receive a free drawing of one of my ink feathers.

51 replies on “Beware…woman on a mission”

I tidied up stuff around 6 months ago when I decided that I could ditch a lot of things in other rooms, from shelves – they are certainly not cube like…

They have semi-worked but I really need to refix them again…as yesterday I couldn’t remember where I rehomed some jewelry supplies, especially since I could see that the box they were once in was now holding paper supplies…

Sounds like having visitors stay is actually a key opportunity, except I don’t have any spare bed-type furniture…

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It is definitely a long time coming, Catherine. I have put up with the disorganisation for too long. The problem was I could find the things I needed, and turn a blind eye to all the other mess and tangles. I didn’t want straight shelves as they would have been too limiting. I wanted to be able to put in boxes and (neat!) piles that don’t fit on bookshelves. The cubes are perfect!


Oo-hoo! I’m back just in time to see your work space get a going over and it’s looking good Anne! I’ve spent more time these past six months clearing and sorting and making the space work for me than I have actually creating….. It’s become my favourite hobby 😀 I like those wall shelves you’ve acquired going up is such a good thing to do. As is facing the window when you work and having beautiful things to gaze upon when you lift your eyes from your work. I think the swearing is mandatory isn’t it? It makes things go together better 🙂 xo

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I love a good swear, especially at inanimate, recalcitrant objects!
There is something so satisfying about having these big sort outs ~ are we channelling Alys when we get so organised?! I understand how it takes over the creating. However, to be able to create we need to remove the barriers, mental, emotional and physical. So indulge your favourite hobby, and then let the creating flow.

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I did the big cleanout a few years ago and it was such a relief. But it’s time to do another one while things are not so overwhelming as last time, so I’m hoping you have inspired me…I’ll ask me later 🙂 Enjoy the new work space!


I love that I have inspired you! You have to keep on top of these things, don’t you? I find my enthusiasm dwindles when I get to those things that can’t be easily pigeon-holed, the ones that seem to have no where to go except a messy pile. Do you find that too?

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I have very similar shelves holding sewing equipment and many shoeboxes of scraps sorted by colour, plus all my current project baskets, and I wouldn’t be without them. Regarding the light and tools-on-wrong-side issue, could your work table not be under the window with the shelves on your right? It’s not knowing the room layout that makes me ask these stupid questions, but so often others can see a layout solution because we haven’t seen the furniture in a particular arrangement ‘forever’….

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I understand about not seeing furniture arrangements. When I taught I stayed in the same room for a number of years. The next teacher rearranged it so that it was so much better…it had never entered my head to move things around. So I could be blind to other arrangements. However, the sofa bed sits under the window, and there is no where else for it to go…or is that just me not seeing the possibilities?! I will have to ponder this one.

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That’s so true. I have changed things around, and am able to look at the window. It’s much more pleasant than staring at the shelves and baskets on the wall behind me. All organised for the next 10 years!

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I have those cube shelves all along one wall of my workroom. I love them.
My workroom also used to be a spare bedroom and we had a sofa bed in there until I decided it was taking up too much valuable crafting space so gave it away. 🤣
Good job the girls have left home now so I don’t have to be so inhospitable in future.

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I would love to get rid of the bed, but I wouldn’t dare while Mum is still wanting to come and stay! She’s the only one I have the spare bed for, and as she is 93 I want to spend as much time as possible with her. And having her here inspires me to clean up!!


Those shelves look great, Anne. Could you scoot them down to the other wall so your table fits under the window again? I’m assuming from your post that the window is directly behind you?

Now I feel as if I should do something about my workspace too. See what you’ve done. :p

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Unfortunately no…the sofa bed is under the window. My table comes out from the wall, allowing access from both sides. The issue is that the other side, so that I would face the window, backs onto more shelves, and now the space is too tight to sit. Ahh, but maybe I could move one of the new shelves down….that might be the solution. Thanks!
Glad to inspire you to clean up your workspace too!


lol – I didn’t do much but happy to help. My office looks like a cross between a recycled paper dump and a cattery. Definitely needs some work. Unfortunately I’m up to my eyeballs in debris from the hail storm. Will post some picks soon. It’s a mess and all flammable.


I saw the pictures, and appreciate the task you have ahead of you. It is bad enough to have to rake up all the debris, but to know that it will only add to your bushfire load is awful. Anyway, you seem to be able to write fantastic stories in your recycling dump/cattery, so maybe it’s the way to go for you!


Yeah, this run of horrible weather has affected us all, one way or another. Speaking of my cattery, Golli is currently sitting on his cushion on my side desk, and Mogi is in her basket on the floor underneath. Meanwhile, I’m watching young magpies through my window. They’re eagerly hunting through the fresh grass for bugs. For the moment, at least, all’s well with the world. 🙂


It’s that stuff that daunts me…the maybe I will use this or I want to keep it, but don’t know where is belongs. I am good with organising the big things, the things that fit together, but not good with the other. I usually end up with an ‘odds and ends’ pile, that is always a mess. Maybe I should just toss it. 😲

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Oh, that made me smile Laura! There are still a couple of things to do, including a slight rearrangement to solve the light problem, but then…into it! Oh, and dodging a few medical appointments!

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It is so satisfying Tammie, and I always wonder why I leave it so long….like years! I seem to be on a mission to fix up so many things that have been let slide and have annoyed me for so long. Getting the carpet in the hall and bedroom has opened the flood gates!

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Kudos to you for doing a super reorganization of your special space. Those cubes will hold a lot of stuff. I find my sewing room has to be redone on a regular basis…maybe I just don’t have enough storage bins either. Thanks for sharing.

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The trap with getting more storage bins is that you put more stuff in them! i admire people who do a regular clean out/clean up. i obviously need to invite my Mum over more often! I am seeing her today, so I can amaze her with what I have done so far. 😊


i really understand not being able to muster the thought process. i have to get to the point where, not only is enough enough, but have the mental space to be able to see the solutions. Those things need to collide together for me. For me the cubes are a good idea because they allow me to put similar things in the one cube.


I do feel very blessed to still have her in my life, Sharon. She is 93, and still very active. I want to spend as much time with her as possible. I think she is already planning her next stay! She’s the one I get my organisational drive from.

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I am on a similar mission to you Anne, so I’m devouring every bit of inspiration I see! Your cubes are just the kind of thing I will be aiming for. From a large Swedish place…? I have thrown out so much stuff – it starts being painful and becomes a sense of freedom!

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Thanks Renee. It was a lovely visit with Mum. We get along very well and it is always a pleasure to be in her company. As she is 93 I am conscious of the finite time I have with her ~ although the way she is going (last year she bounced back from a month stint in hospital with pneumonia) she will be here for quite a while yet!


I like seeing how you gave problem solved and what you have done. The cubes are stylish and practical. Sadly there is no space for them here. That lack of space and my inability to accomplish anything among disorder means my stuff at least looks in some semblance of order but I have been known to lose things because I can’t remember where I’ve stored them. I’m pleased you were able to move the work table so it’s at the window.

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I am very happy with them, and of course, it has freed up space on other shelves. I have empty spaces ~ that’s a first! It is annoying to have to riffle through stuff to find something, especially if you have to move piles of other things to get to them.
It is lovely to be able to see my Dad’s window.


I love having a good clear out, re-arranging the storage and so on. Then I spend months cursing because I go to where the widget was and it isn’t there and then I have to remember where it lives now. It also takes several goes to get the best arrangement of furniture by which time I need to start the whole process again! I love your cubes and when my daughter moves into her new house I can see me being called upon to assemble several of those units as I know she likes them. I am so pleased to hear it is fairly simple! Enjoy your new space and your Mum’s visits.

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That made me smile, because I really understand it! You mentioned having several goes to get the furniture right….I tend not to do that. I have rearranged things so I can sit facing the window, but I doubt that I will move things again. I just never think about it. All my furniture has been in the same configuration for many years. Inertia sets in quickly with me!
The cubes were easy to assemble. They came with drawn instructions and there was a video too. The combination of both made it easy. And of course they come with all the bits you need.

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Well done, Anne! I think you’ve caught the organizing bug. I’m glad your Mum could come for a sleepover, and happy, too, that you’ve found an easy way declutter for future visits. I have a set of sheets and towels that I keep in a drawer for guests, to that I’m always ready to go. You can also buy soft-sided bins to go in those cubes to store “guest room” items, along with other smaller things to reduce visual clutter.


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