Fancy seeing my workspace? I love to see where other people work so I thought I’d share my workspace with y’all.
If you’ve been following #marchmeetthemaker on Instagram, you’ll know that this week all the creatives on instagram (yes, all of them) shared their workspace. I’ll show you my kitchen another day, but today it’s about the office – where I write, photograph, edit and create all my non-edible content.
You’ll know by now that I live in a little cottage by the sea with my husband Barry. Our semi-detached stone cottage was built in 1900 as a tramwayman’s residence. It’s right beside the Great Orme Tramway, one of only 2 tramways of it’s kind in the world. The other being Lisbon. Thankfully our cottage is raised above the tram so while we can hear it trundling past 3 times every hour in season, the holidaymakers can’t see us sitting in our garden – which is probably best all round!
The spare room has never really been a spare room. Just too small for a double bed. So for many years it had a computer, and lots of random stuff. Now that we have the business, it’s been turned into a office / photography studio – which sounds a bit grand, but we’ve made it work.
My office overlooks the garden and the tramway runs at the foot of that large retaining wall you can see above. Our garden is terraced with various shrub beds, occasional trees, a rockery that needs some help and a little lawn. We love our garden birds. Mr Bond dashes out with fresh mealworms every morning for the Robin and Bluetits. We also get Goldfinches, Dunnocks, Wrens and the occasional Woodpecker from the nearby woods. It’s a joy to watch them feeding.
The 1st rule of living in a cosy cottage is enjoy it, appreciate the character and cuteness, take in the sweeping view of the Bay, and the 2nd rule is learn very fast to be organised and create storage solutions everywhere you can. Mr Bond Senior (Barry’s Dad) used to call it “Operation Chuck-Out” and he was right. In order to keep things ship-shape you have to chuck things out regularly – either in the bin, or to the recycling. There is really no room for clutter.
I’ve become a big fan of Emily Ley in recent years. She is positively evangelical about de-cluttering and simplifying your space. It’s about removing distractions so you can focus on what really matters. I’m easily distracted so simplicity really works for me. I’m just about to read her new book “A Simplified Life” so I’ll let you know how it goes.
I have a dream of building a workshop in the garden but that will require a lot of upheaval and more money than you would think, so for now I’m managing just fine in the house. If anyone fancies sponsoring my workshop, you’ll get free cake for the next 10 years! Anyone?
I guess the trick is to make sure everything you need for your work is handy and not more than an arm stretch, or at most – a couple of steps away, but that your space is still enjoyable to work in. I’m naturally organised so keeping pens in colour order, notebooks in size order and being surrounded by pretty pin boards comes fairly naturally to me.
I had a bit of an office makeover about 18 months ago. It’s amazing what you can do with a tiny budget, a splash of paint, a couple of basic Ikea desks, some new wall prints, lots of happy photographs and a very spinny white leather office chair (my favourite). Go to Pinterest. But not for too long. A little bit of inspiration is good, too much is expensive and overwhelming.
I always have a candle on my desk for late afternoons and working evenings. I find it so calming – this one is Rose Geranium & Patchouli from Nathalie Bond Organics. But I do have a very strict rule for myself – never to leave my workspace with the candle burning. I even blow it out when I go to the loo!
Where would I be without my very clever Busy B desk accessories and now that I am part of the exclusive #BusyQueenB club, I get to try out all their new products hot off the press. This Weekly Planner is one of my favourites and a handy place to jot things down that pop into your mind and you don’t want to forget.
The other end of the office is my photography area, which I’ll show you another day. It’s small (obviously) but adequate for most of my photography. I have a light tent with a couple of small professional lights to photograph cupcakes and smaller cakes, and for the rest I just improvise.
Goal planning is a new thing for me this year. I’m working on Cultivate What Matters – Power Sheets from Lara Casey. At the moment I’m working through a 6 month goal-planning journal I bought last year but never got started with Barry’s illness. There was just 1 goal last year – to get him better! This year, I’m trying to be a little more expansive! It’s a helpful way to prepare well for the year ahead and then each month in turn. I find it really helps clear the mental clutter and focus on the things I actually want to achieve.
Goals are achieved in small bite size pieces at whatever pace is right for you. Monthly, weekly and daily goals, ticked off and given thanks for.
We all have totally different work, and therefore need different workspaces. You might be a jewellery maker and be surrounded by tools and shards of metal. If you’re a flower arranger, you’ll have buckets of gorgeous blooms and a floor covering in bits of stem and splashes of water.
I know it’s not always pretty. But I think we can all have a bit of what we love in our workspace. For me I love the pale green walls and white furniture, I love my happy photographs and my pretty pin boards – and I must have cushions and my sheepskin rug.
I hope you’ve enjoyed having a mini tour of my workspace. It’s small, but it’s my happy place. It’s where I spend many hours writing and creating, and being forever grateful that my home is my work and my work is my home.
And now I’m off to read this month’s Blogosphere, essential reading for bloggers, which landed on the doorstep this morning, with a nice cup of tea.
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