Friday, December 20, 2013

Sure Sign of Mental Illness and Valentine's Day

Nothing motivates me to clean and organize like needing to avoid making a bunch of cards for Christmas presents.

No. Thing.'s my specialty.

Here are the before pictures. So, so sad.

Yes. It was snowing when I got a wild hair to clean and organize my craft nook. That's the flywheel to my rowing machine in the foreground. I've actually been using that thing lately. It feels good.

But back to the mess.

Leaving my drawers open and stuff on the floor is dangerous. Daisy ate an entire roll of hot pink Doodlebug baker's twine one day, filched shamelessly from an open drawer. It's unlikely she'd try to chew my border punches (they're in the open drawer in the picture), but all that nice cotton paper on the floor beside the printer cabinet is vulnerable.

Here's my desk. Not the worst it's ever been but kinda crazy.

Now, here are the after pictures.

That's so much better!

It's amazing how the green tablecloth improves the space. I'd taken it off to wash it and really missed how it pretties up the space.  I replaced cards on my inspiration boards with birthday cards and left room for the lovely Christmas cards I'm receiving.

The left side of my nook is the work station. The L shape of the two tables works great for me. Everything is convenient, although I do still have to move around, stand up, bend over, etc. Striking a balance between convenience and the need to move was much easier than I expected when I first organized this space, and it's worked out well for the long term.

These drawers house embellishments (organized by color), and the photo boxes hold various cards...OWH stash for future shipments, Thanksgiving Crusade, well as reinkers. The tiny three-drawer unit holds markers, sponges and other stamping accessories that I don't use all that often but like to have close by.

The right side of the nook is storage space. I keep my card stock over here so I do have to move around a bit on a regular basis. The white photo boxes house mostly wood-mounted stamps by theme. The green and white baskets allow me to organize larger projects, store cards that haven't been photographed yet, and keep things generally contained.

I wish my desk looked this clean right now, but alas, it's a mess again.

The tea towel has a story behind it. If you're not interested, simply scroll down to see today's card.

In the early 1990's, when George was stationed at Wurtsmith AFB in Michigan, my friend Wendy was pregnant and due to have her first baby. She went into labor the day before her parents arrived, so I drove to Saginaw to pick them up at the airport and drive them the two hours north to Wurtsmith.

Wendy's parents, Don and Pam, were cool. They were theater people. Both acted, and Don taught theater at university. They had stories--funny, strange stories--and totally related to my fascination (not shared by George) with Shakespeare. The night Wendy was still in the hospital, they came to my place and watched Kenneth Branagh's Henry V. We discussed it afterwards. Delightful!

When they had returned home, they sent me a box full of all sorts of goodness, including this tea towel of the Wife of Bath from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. They'd picked it up in their travels and thought I would appreciate it. Well, duh. A few years later, I wrote my master's thesis on the Wife and her tale.

So now she resides on the wall of my craft nook, a reminder of lovely people as well as my former life as an English nerd. She makes me smile.

Wendy's parents continue to send us Christmas cards...long after Wendy quit. Early this year, I received a lovely letter from Pam telling me that Don had passed away. Pam's Christmas card and letter were among the first I received this year, and I'm so glad she's continuing the tradition.

How wonderful that we've stayed in touch for over twenty years via Christmas cards. Whenever you think about cutting someone off your Christmas card list, remember me and Don and Pam. Those long-distance relationships are precious, no matter how awkward they are to maintain. They are worth the effort.

And now let's shift gears and once again take a look at a Valentine's Day card for the troops. I'll be stuffing envelopes and packing cards for shipping to Sandy on Monday.

Yep. That's washi tape. I'm giving that cool product another try. Just bought six rolls at Office Depot. Maybe this time, I'll figure it out. If not, expect a give-away sometime in the future....


  1. susan loved the photos of your scrap room. it is neat to see where people do the crafts. always love your cards and the simple route is where i feel comfortable. keep up the nice work, love your blog and have a wonderful holiday with your family and dog.

  2. Thanks for sharing your crafting space. The after pictures look great. the before pictures looked pretty good compared to my space. LOL
    Best wishes for a happy holiday season!

  3. Thanks so much for the pictures of your craft space. It's nicely organized. I should be so organized. Your Washi Valentine is very nice. I love the mix of fonts in the sentiment.

  4. Your crafting space is so neat and tidy, even when it's messy! I even spied my umbrella card on your board. Thank you for your card and the little note on the back about your mother's comment. Made my day. I have not joined the washi trend but I like what you did here.
    Heather T

  5. I too am a professional procraftinator. I like your idea of the table cloth, it makes it more homey, and the card is the best and most simple sketch for washi tape sketch for any sentiment ever!
    Merry Christmas!
    Helen x

    1. That table is ugly as sin, and it must be covered somehow or replaced. I hope eventually to redo the whole space with new stuff from Ikea, but that can wait.

      Merry Christmas to you, too!

  6. Susan, I so enjoyed your blog posting and beautiful story. The power of a card should not be underestimated! Thanks for the reminder. PS your room looks great! Maybe I need some snow to get me cleaning!

  7. Susan, I was thinking your messy workstation looked pretty clean to me! Then, I saw the "after" photo and decided that it is high time that I sorted out my crafting gear, LOL! I probably need a few more drawers or storage solutions to clear my desktop of ink, rhinestones, twine, washi, and stamp sets... then I may have more than an A4-size space in which to create. I quite like your simple valentine. I have difficulty with torn edges on washi (I usually use scissors, if I use it). I don't think washi tape was made for me... although I do love to look at it. ;-)

    1. This is my second go at washi. I got frustrated the first time and sold/gave it all away. We'll see if I can deal with more torn edges. I love it when others use it, but for's harder to pull off. I do like today's card's so nice and simple!

  8. So much fun having you share your space [again]. As good as the after photos looked, I really liked seeing the snow through your door. We are in the 80's - therefore, I love SEEING snow. Merry Christmas to you and your's!!

  9. When I shot the after photos, there was too much sunlight coming through the window, blacking out the details of the room, so I had to close the curtains. I was bummed, because it really was such pretty snow!

  10. Haven't left a comment in ages, although I get all your posts automatically. Nothing excites me like a reorganized stamping room! Mine is on Dec. 26th. Meanwhile, I have some gift boxes and tags to make, last minute shopping to do and groceries to buy. Have a wonder-filled Christmas and a stamp-filled New Year!

  11. My craft space would be considered clean if it were as neat as your "messy" space! I wish I could be so organized. I keep the theory that it's my creative genius that is unable to keep order! Merry Christmas!!

  12. as always inspired by your stories and how they impact your 6 rolls of washi tape purchased at Home mind immediately raced up and down the ailes trying to figure what department washi tape would be in...then reread the blog oooooohhhhh Office Depot...I have asked again for a brain this Christmas hope Santa doesn't run out before I finally get mine
    patti moffett

  13. I actually love your room both before and after! I especially love how you display all your cards and the board over your desk! Thanks for sharing I love your card too!

  14. Thanks for the photos of your craft room. I always like seeing how people organize their stamping things. Mine is such a hodgepodge of furniture and storage. And right now it looks far worse than your before photos as I madly make last minute Christmas cards and tags for hand-delivering. I see a January resolution to clean up and reorganize! If you succeed with washi tape maybe I'll give it a try - it totally baffles me.

  15. i'd say you figured it out!
    keep the wahsi tape and keep using it!
    looks great!!

  16. I wish my space looked as good as your before picture. Even when it's organized the room is kind of a mess.

  17. I'm glad I popped over here to see the random washi tape placement because I get to spy on your workspace, which is a not-so-secret vice of mine. Thanks for sharing your space. I love it and I can feel how right it is for you to work there.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!