DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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12 May 2015

My work room

Virginia Woolf once said: A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. I'm not sure I agree with that but I do know that any creative activity is nurtured by a room of one's own.  I think the creative process is more than a space though. I know when I started writing my blog, I did so in our noisy lounge room and that was far from private or my own. Moving to another room gave me the impetus I needed to improve my blog writing and express my creativity in different ways. I was encouraged to commit to the work of the blog and the room itself gave me a place where I could sit and think before I typed. 


For over a decade I wrote on a second-hand, chipped, melamine desk that pinched my arms when I leant on it. I wrote Down to Earth and The Simple Life at that desk sitting on a third-hand chair. You're lucky you were out of ear shot because I let rip at that desk a few times.



And then I decided I needed a change and that I spent a lot of time at that desk and should enjoy being there. I talked to Hanno about it and started planning.


I've set up my room mainly for writing and sewing. I have my computer at one end and the sewing machine at the other. It's just the right combination for me.  I bought two small chests of drawers from Ikea and that is where most of my sewing, computer and writing accessories are. Two small kitchen tables, side by side, have given me enough work space to comfortably work at both ends.


When Tricia was here she tidied out my fabric stockpile cupboard. It feels good to have space for the fabric away from ribbons, lace, buttons and embroidery paraphernalia. As my grandmother would have said: a place for everything and every thing in its place. I wonder how long it will stay like that. I have good intentions, very good intentions, but with fast days slipping away towards deadlines, good intentions are sometimes not enough.  At least I know it won't take much to clean up.


That's the new book document on the computer screen. When I finish writing this chapter I have three more to write, and four more to read and approve the editing. It's been a tight schedule but I work better under pressure and the structured writing program has helped a lot. Otherwise I would have been faffing around making excuses to go into the garden or to sew for a while.


There will be time enough for all those things in July and beyond when the writing is complete and I return to being a full time homemaker. Then it will be a better balance of writing and sewing which I can imagine myself doing for a long time to come in this beautiful room we've created here.

But in all those years when I didn't have my own room I was still creative and looking for places to express it in a realistic way. You have to be able to do that until you have the good fortune to have a room of your own. If you look at two photos up, there is a wooden box at the end of the desk. I have that there because I'm making up a sewing kit to have in the lounge room. I want to be able to work there as well, especially when Jamie is here. If you don't have a space to call your own, claim some. All you need is a spot where there is a place you can sit and work on your crafts, or just to relax and have a cup of tea. There will probably come a day when you will have your own room, maybe like I did when your children leave home and there are spare bedrooms. In the meantime though, take time for yourself wherever you can to express your creativity, to plan your next work project or just to relax and calm down.

I haven't quite finished my room yet. There is still a bit of fluffing I want to do. But there is no need to rush, this room will be here for a long time.


36 comments:

  1. Oh wow! I'm so jealous! absolutely stunning :)

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  2. Your new creative space is beautiful! Right now I work off the dining room table or from the comfort of our sofa. Someday I would love to have a space similar to yours, until then, like you were, I will be content with what I have.

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  3. I like it, especially how the sewing machine is set up permanently so you don't have to get it out of a cupboard or off a shelf before you start. Definitely inspired me!

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  4. That is a very attractive room, I can see how it would be conducive to creativity.

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  5. Your room looks so pretty and functional...and very very tidy! A great space to work in, a lot of inspiration there. Are the tables from Ikea too? I love your shelves at the end of your sewing table, lovely colour. I have baskets with various handwork or knitting projects in that I can pick up easily to work elsewhere.

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  6. It is a lovely space, it looks so light and airy.

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  7. That looks beautiful Rhonda, I hope to have a room similar to that one day :)

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  8. A great work space Rhonda with everything close to hand. A lovely sunny room.

    My spare room is at the back of the unit and rather dark - so I work on my kitchen table in my sunny kitchen. I was lucky enough some years ago to find a solid old pine table, with turned legs, in a friends garage. Covered in linolium which had been nailed down and totally unloved and surplus to their requirements.

    After a bit of work I restored it and wouldn't part with it. It takes over the kitchen space but it is forgiving whatever you do on it. I bake, sew, write, and play Patience on it. My secret is of course that I live on my own so as long as there is space for my dinner plate on the corner of the table - it's fine.

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  9. Beautiful. Very very nice. I know you will enjoy your hours spent in that room. It is just so nice.

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  10. How helpful it must be to have such a lovely room to write in, Rhonda. You must be looking forward to July after these months of meeting deadlines. I am sure it will all be worth the effort put in when your book is published.

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  11. Oh it all looks just lovely, you will so enjoy gradually getting it all just the way you want it, so much joy to be had fluffing about in such a well thought out room.
    Having your machine set up and ready to use is such a great help to creativity and getting little mending jobs out of the way.
    My sewing machine mechanic says keep it covered to prevent dust and grit getting into the working parts and have a layer of padding underneath to stop the vibration from affecting the timing mechanism and you will need fewer services....my Bernina is a 1968 model and is still sewing perfectly.
    What a great arrangement to have your work areas facing the window, so nice to be able to sit and work and plan and ponder with a lovely view.

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    1. One of my projects is to make a cover for the sewing machine, Margaret. These brick walls shed grit all the time. I have a couple of pads here so I'll get one out and put it under the machine. Thanks for the tip.

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  12. Rhonda I just love the way you write and what you write about. It puts a smile on my face when you turn out phrases like 'I let rip at the desk a few times' and 'a place for everything and everything in it's place' as these are the phrases of my childhood emanating (not surprisingly) from my dad and my mum, respectively.

    I have yet to complete my task of reading most of your blog (let's face it you do have quite a back catalog!) and I have started by committing to reading all your new posts as they appear. One day I would love to meet you—I live in Redcliffe and study at the University of the Sunshine Coast so maybe… just maybe. :D

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    1. Thanks Sharon. I'm doing some more talks at the libraries later in the year. Some on the Sunshine Coast and others in the Moreton Shire. I'm sure you'll meet up one day. :- )

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  13. Hi Rhonda love the room .May I make a suggestion with all good thoughts.See that wicker stand on the floor have you thought of hanging it on the wall. I have something similar in my area in a cramped laundry I cant kick it and sweeping is easier Cheers Affussa

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    1. That's not staying. It one of my 'to do' projects.

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    2. Oh, I quite like the cane 'what-not' there near your sewing machine, handy to pop things into.

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  14. I have 3 bedrooms in the house I rent and the rear bedroom is still full of "stuff" I need to sort and de-clutter. It has a huge window looking out into the back garden and lots of natural light and would make a perfect craft room. Your nice neat, functional room has inspired me to motivate myself to clear this bedroom and give it a real purpose, seeing as I've finally decided I'm staying here. Time to write a job list so I can keep track of what I need to do and cross each item off :).

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  15. Virginia Woolf lived in a much different time, remember. It was a harder life for women back then. I second that about the sewing machine cover. Very good to keep it clean and dust-free. I also have a Janome, and I love it. Your room is really nice, Rhonda. Very conducive to sewing and writing and just being.

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  16. Your room is beautiful! I can't wait to figure out where I can carve out some space for me.

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  17. Looks so tidy, pretty, and inspiring! I love an organized space, but I know how much work it is to get it to that state - and also (for me anyway) how quickly it can become undone ;)
    -Jaime

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  18. your room looks wonderful rhonda, calm
    hope you have a great week
    selina from kilkivan qld

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  19. I've been trying to make our youngest son bedroom a craft/office room. Both of our sons have left the nest. But some how thing keep getting toss in there. I'm the most guilty of doing it.
    Coffee is on

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  20. Wow, what a wonderful space Rhonda! I wish you many inspired hours there :)

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  21. What a beautifully serene room Rhonda. I'm still trying to organize mine, but it always looks like a bomb has hit it.

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    1. Just do a bit at a time, Jak. It will come together. xx

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  22. Beautiful and functional workspace Rhonda. It looks very similar to mine with timber/white workstation and the same great Ikea swivel chair - I love the washable cover because it is also my cat, Harvey's, special place to sit.

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  23. Your workroom looks lovely Rhonda. How inspiring, light and airy. I haven't got that luxury of space, but this post is inspiring me to go and decluttering so that I can make more use of the space I do have! Penny L on Dorset U.Kxxxxxxxx

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  24. Ah yes...writing in the noisy lounge room - I feel better already knowing that you have been there and done that. The new room looks great - you totally deserve it.

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  25. Covetous sigh. Good for you Rhonda!

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  26. I have to craft and write at the kitchen table, but I manage. Eventually... I keep dreaming!

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  27. Your office/den looks so uncluttered and serene. Even though I have three rooms to call my own - computer room (shared with husband), linens room to house my collection, and craft room for everything else, they are all chockers. Way too much stuff that I can't bear to part with!

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  28. I love how bright and feminine your room is. Light always seems to make me more creative.

    My room is my office. I ran my business from here and now that I am retired it is still the place where I conduct business, all our communications and where I write. I still have to share it with the dog and cats as they need to keep their eye on me at all times. Some sort of dog and cat law I guess.

    I think that you can work or do hobbies anywhere if you have to (our kitchen table has always been a factory and school) but it is nice to have a dedicated space (not necessarily a whole room) where you are comfortable and can be organized.

    Peace and quiet is very soothing and does actually promote productivity but earning to tune out peripheral noise is something that we all need to do. I learned to close out the world while working outside the home. I have never been in an office where the atmosphere was zen. More like noisy loud and constant. So whatever noise is going on at home is nothing compared to that. But when you hear a thump at home you have to pay attention and not figure that as long as it isn't on or near your desk it has nothing to do with you.

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  29. Nice setup Norma. I really like how you have a double desk with the sewing machine and computer. It's conducive for writing and sewing. Oh I'm admiring your double basket stand. I don't have a space for a craft room in our new rental but I seem to be doing a lot of knitting which doesn't take up much space and you can do it anywhere.

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  30. I love the flowers and that basket in front of the windows. It must be relaxing to be sitting in there with the blinds raised. Do tou have a view of your garden from your work room? I would love to have a work room like that and be blessed with a view of the garden at sunrise!

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  31. You are so right, the spare room can be just delightful. I gave up mine when my mother moved in and I have never been sorry, but someday when my son is grown or my mother is gone I will again enjoy a spare room as you do...with any luck that will be a very long wait.

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