|This is what it looks like.|
Because I do digital photography and I primarily communicate with the outside world via the internet, I spend most of my time in front of my computer. I bought my Mac back when I first starting to get into Mouse photography and made the excellent decision to double the RAM and the storage space when I purchased it, so, despite taking thousands and thousands of photos over the last four years, it still has plenty of memory left and runs just fine. I have a glare reduction film over the screen and keep the contrast all the way down to make it easier on my sensitive migraine eyes. The desk I bought at Ikea when I started grad school. It's really just a big table, with no drawers or anything. My reasoning was that I could have my computer on one side and use the other half for art projects, like drawing. It has kind of worked out that way. I DO use one half for the computer, but the other half usually ends up being storage for projects and my camera, so while I'm not sitting at the desk drawing, it does function as a station for multiple creative endeavors. (Besides, I discovered that I like drawing while holding the sketchbook or pad of paper in my lap like I used to do back in college when I had zero desk space!) To make up for the lack of standard desk drawers, I have that nifty little upright chest of drawers on the right side of my desk. I took a fancy to it while at an antique store and was delighted when my parents gave it to me for Christmas! It's perfect for all the little stuff and then I have ample drawers elsewhere in my room for files and larger supplies. Mouse lives on top of it, perched on an antique ring box, when he isn't traveling in my camera bag, as he was during this photo shoot. Oh, and yes, I do have a trio of toy corgis in front of my monitor. They came in sacks of miscellaneous toys I purchased at thrift stores while props shopping (more on props later) and since corgis make me smile, I decided to keep them out on my desk. I would definitely recommend a desktop toy corgi trio to anyone who is considering acquiring one.
|The wheelie cart.|
Below my desk I have this super-handy wheelie cart that serves as storage for my scanner, paper cutter, various pieces of paper too large to be stored elsewhere, and the suitcase, originally belong to my great-grandparents, that I use to corral supplies related to packaging my photo orders. That includes plastic photo sleeves, business cards, tissue paper, return address and other labels, c.creativity stickers, and so forth. You can see a little bit of raffia hanging out of the suitcase in the photo. What I love about the wheelie cart is that it stores so nicely under my desk out of the way, but I can easily pull it out to use my scanner or my beloved paper cutter (I manage to generate the kinds of projects that make a paper cutter indispensable), and if I need my packaging materials, I can slide the whole suitcase out with ease. It's a great way to control clutter!
|The shipping station.|
To the right of my desk is what I think of as my shipping station, though it serves more functions that just that. It's where I store my greeting cards and all my camera gear, including my studio-in-a-box (a photo cube with lights), my smaller tripods, and the boxes and manuals that came with my various pieces of equipment. My 8x10 rigid mailers, which seen the most action, are located front and center, while the larger and more cumbersome photo sleeves, mailers, and shipping tubes are leaned upright against the sides. The shipping station is also home to Meece the Chocolate Mouse, an old globe, a photo that got damaged that I kept, and a magic, invisible lamp.
|The bookcases and postcard collection.|
Turning the corner, here's a peek at the bookcases just visible at the edge of the shipping station image. They are large, tall bookcases, and I have completely run out of room and have resorted to stacking books on top of books. The bookcases are garnished with a variety of interesting photos and artifacts that are a pain to dust, and on the wall above I display part of my postcard collection. It's in desperate need of a good curating and I've run out of room on the wall as well, so that's a project I need to get around to one of these days. I've been officially collecting postcards since I started college and I have a number of people who are kind enough to regularly send me new ones. I also buy postcards for myself if I see good ones. I don't know why I like postcards so much, but I do. You are more than welcome to send me any weird or interesting ones lying around. And speaking of weird, if you volunteer as a teacher for kids' art camps being overseen by a ceramicist, you may just receive a seriously funky, goofy-eyed, unshaven, decorative teacup (with polka dots) as a thank you gift!
I'm pleased to say that there is sufficient room in my office for my assistant to have a workspace of her own. Abbey's jobs include sleeping, looking cute, resting her head on the rope bones she loves too much to chew, coming over to say hi and ask for petting when I look up from my computer, and getting dog hair on the books adjacent to her pillow (and everywhere else, for the matter). She is highly supportive of everything I do and an invaluable asset to c.creativity.
|How much is that doggy in the window?|
|This is the view from the window. We gave up trying to grow grass and switched|
to a more natural woodland look, since moss was what grew best back there anyway.
On the wall opposite the bookcases and my assistant's workspace is the window. Beneath the window sits a dresser whose drawers I solemnly swear I will clean out one day. The drawers contain things like CDs, outmoded computer data storage devices, printer paper, stationery, and stuff I can't figure out where else to put. On top of the desk sits a charming group that includes a purple dog I made in high school wearing a purple feather boa that I received as a gift. The giver thought I might be the kind of person who could rock a feather boa, which is true, but seeing as I don't have that many occasions to do so, the papier mache dog gets to sport it most of the time. In the summer, hummingbirds perch in the cedar tree or the barely visible tree just in front of it, singing their creaky little territorial songs and dive-bombing any other hummers that dare to visit the fuchsias and the waxbell. On days when it's bright out and I'm feeling sensitive to light, I have a shade that does a nice job of filtering the light that I pull down to block the view of the cedar tree and humming birds and all that outside stuff.
|The art supply closet.|
The room's closet is located on the wall opposite my desk and I have made the most of that storage space, turning one half into a repository of art supplies and devoting the other half to storing props. The art supply portion of the closet is wonderfully well stocked and well organized. I found those towers of drawers to be an excellent way to make it easy to find and access what I want. I can quickly find various kinds of tape or pastels or wire or beads and none of it gets tangled up or muddled or messy. Bins, like the one holding all of my acrylic paints, brushes, and related supplies, make it easy to pull out all the equipment associated with an activity at once. If I have a painting project, all I have to do is grab the bin. The vintage 1960's era suitcase serves as a sort of filing system for my larger fabric swatches and I love how easy it is to pull out and put away and how charming it looks to boot!
|The props closet.|
When I was growing up, I had a box in my closet that I called my "junk box" and it contained all the weird odds and ends that didn't really have a purpose but that I found intriguing. When I grew up, I was glad I saved all those tiddly bits of this and that because I found their purpose: serving as props in Mouse books. At this time, there are no Mouse books available to the general public. I hope this will change someday. I have a completed manuscript on the topic of colors and one on the alphabet in the works. Technically, the alphabet book has been on hold since my concussion last summer, but I hope that this summer, when I have more energy (I always have more energy in the summer), I'll be able to get back to work. All those funny little useless things I collected have come in handy and I've acquired a great many more! The closet looks fairly chaotic, but I know where most of the stuff is and have tried to make it easy to access things when I need them. I've found those plastic cases designed to hold screws and nails to be very helpful for sorting and storing tiny stuff like Barbie shoes and cheap trinkets and sea shells and plastic dinosaurs!
|The relaxation area.|
My office is not solely devoted to the business of being creative; thanks to my armchair and recently acquired ottoman, it's also where I relax. I can control the lighting and the noise level better here than any other room in the house, so I spend a lot of leisure time in my office away from all the stimulating stuff (like the pattern on the throw pillows on the couch, say) that goes on in the rest of the house. I grew up without a TV and we still don't have one, but since my migraines started and it's become so much harder for me to read, I've taken to watching a fair amount of TV on the internet. And yes, if carefully chosen and viewed with appropriate lighting from a proper distance, watching television shows on my computer screen is easier on the eyes that reading and is a great way to pass the time. I've found that crocheting is another good activity that is easy on the eyes and passes the time in a way that feels productive, so I keep a bag with whatever baby blanket I'm currently working on close at hand so I can crochet while watching shows (whenever possible) on crocodilians. I store finished crocheting projects and books inside the ottoman.
And that, my friends, brings us to the end of our tour of c.creativity's headquarters. If you wish, you can now accurately picture me sitting at my desk sorting through my photos or writing blog posts like this one, spinning around in my desk chair to bounce an idea off my assistant ("Whaddaya think, girl?"), delving into my closet to get some rubber cement, or putting my feet up on the ottoman after I decare that the creative part of the day is done.