Saturday, August 15, 2015

Crafts Anyone?

Craft spaces are near and dear to my own creative soul so organizing this darling craft cabinet for a special child was a little dream come true.



While there are many craft supplies available in here, they are hard to find in the piles.  There are also some items that don't belong...e.g. canning jars and a purse.  Just because it fits, doesn't mean it belongs.

The goal was to make it easy for this child to see the choices available to her, find the supplies she needs and have them organized so that she could work independently.  Ah, this is what we all hope for our children, isn't it?

What's in the drawers?
Scarves & ribbons for make-believe play.  These went into a tote in the playroom.

Oh my, a crafty junk drawer!
The first step was to pull everything out and sort it into categories.  Some items were easily discarded such as wrinkled paper and used up projects.  Others were saved as memorabilia for a scrapbook, such as little drawings.  And some were donated, such as extra unused bottles of  glue.  When you're not sure if you have it already, it's a temptation to buy more. 

It was clear to see after sorting, what items needed to be in their own spaces.  These clearly are the craft items that bring this child joy.

Origami paper

Workbooks, coloring books & sketchbook, Tray with pencil sharpener and pencils to be sharpened. Tray with note pads/post its.  Tote filled with colored pencils, glue,tape, staples etc. to carry to her workspace table and chair.

What became of the other drawer?  Just a few cherished items including her own labeler!  A child after my own organizer heart.
Junk drawer no more!
                Hidden amongst all the piles were all these colorful tins that once contained tea and biscuits.  They add so much beauty to these now empty shelves.

Lots of room for craft supplies as this child grows and develops more interests!
We also found quite a bit of spare change for that adorable piggy bank! 

We sorted out this messy paper file into categories of white paper, colored paper, construction paper and cardboard and installed it.  It is not shown in these photos.  Every child needs lots of paper!

 Wow!  What a difference a little empty space makes.  No need to fill it up, just breathe and enjoy.


My favorite moment was when all of the calendars and notes were removed and we shined up the beautiful glass windows underneath.  Visual clutter wears down our energy.

Now this cabinet beckons to be opened, whereas before it kept us away.

There is talk of paiting the interior a bright yellow and lining the shelves and drawers with pretty paper.  When we mindfully take care of our belongings, the joy they give us grows!  I can't wait to see it unfold.

Amidst all the clutter, we discovered this find!  Time to celebrate!

Click to hear it!

What was your favorite space to work in as a child?

What space would you like more organized for your child to use?

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Traveling Trunk

Very soon, I will be driving across the country to deliver my youngest to his college campus and move him into his dorm room...this is only a small part of the load we will be carrying...ahem.

Clearly some organization is needed.

Behold the traveling trunk!  I say traveling because it has been in my family for 3 generations and has traveled to Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, & Wisconsin so far, as well as 2 colleges; University of Michigan and Michigan State University (Go Spartans!)

They don't make them like this anymore, real metal on the outside and real wood on the interior.

Remnants of stickers from Interlochen Arts Camp, where my mother attended as a camper.

Real leather handles and markings from being mailed UPS to Camp Timbertops and back
where I worked as a counselor; teaching rock climbing/ropes course for 4 summers.

When I took possession, the interior looked something like this.

I love this vintage 1950s print now,
but my 20 year old self did not.

So I changed it to this.  Contact paper circa 1982
My youngest is not going to
enjoy this print as much as I did.

   So I changed it again.  Contact paper circa 2015.  Contact paper has been around forever.
I chose a neutral gray.  Gray is trending.  We are so on point.

Notice the real wood pieces on either side?
Try as I might, the contact paper wouldn't stick to them.  I think they look better this way, don't you?
HINT:  Turn off the fans when using contact paper!   It was a hot and humid day and as we don't have air conditionning in my art studio, I had a fan running full blast.  Let's just say that contact paper and wind don't mix. 

I also got out my toolbox and reattached this broken hinge.  This girl has skills.

Then I got the most brilliant idea!  I created a surprise inside the lid.  I stuck postcards of our little town and pictures of family and friends; even our dog is in the mix.

Another brilliant idea came to me...
Wouldn't it be fun to have all the guests at his grad party write messages in here?
Ah too late the grad party was 3 months ago.  (Somebody do this for your senior.)

And now the best part!  Nearly everything from all those shopping bags, fit inside the trunk!

And the finish.  He's all packed and ready to go.

Trunks make excellent companions for college students.  They serve as storage as well as a seat, or even a table.  I hope my youngest loves it as much as my mother and I.  Isn't it amazing it's lasted this long?

Do you have a trunk?  What are you storing in it?
Where has it traveled to?