I’ll let you in on a secret: when asked for photos of our workspace, most of us try to distract you with pictures of nature, finished craft projects, and our cute kids. We try to keep our workspaces neat, but entropy happens. It’s the second law of thermodynamics, and it just happens. I cleaned up my desk three weeks ago, but look at what happened:
You should have seen my desk when it was tidy. Here is a guide to the current chaos:
1. Wool felt mini-nativity set in progress. You may see the completed set here.
2. Sheep atop a circus-themed needlefelted and wet-felted ball (created by Bossy’s Feltworks).
3. My rock’n’roll electric guitar water bottle, usually brought to musical storytelling gigs.
4. I have a jar to which I add 25 cents every time someone asks, “What about socialization?” when that person finds out that my husband and I have started to homeschool our daughter. So far, I’ve deposited $1.75 USD.
5. The brown tissue paper hides a Christmas present I purchased, but haven’t yet wrapped.
6. I have cute mini business cards made by Moo. It’s much easier to promote one’s wares when the business cards inspire exclamations of delight.
7. The “quiet corner of [my] desk” to which I refer in most listings is not a corner at all, but a nook. In it are a couple of dolls I made that I couldn’t bear to put in the shop, as well as a purple-haired doll by Silver Acorn, a felt blue-footed booby an Australian friend made for me, and an Edwardian-era themed Playmobil doll named Roberta. I may make dolls out of natural materials like wool and cotton, but the smile on that Playmobil face is an early inspiration.
8. I keep an envelope filled with the basic patterns I’ve created over the past three years. I’ve traced and scanned all those patterns for my files, rest assured. In the same slot: receipts, note papers, photos, letters I need to answer.
9. Oh heavens. There are the cords to my mp3 player and camera draped over blank cards I’ve collected.
10. If you’re going to sew on a small scale, you need a proper lamp. I’m not kidding. This natural light lamp helps ensure that, after the sun sets, the brown hair color I choose for a doll doesn’t turn out to be purple in the morning light. I like purple hair (see item 7), but not on a sunflower queen!
–Farida Dowler is the shop-owner and doll-maker for Alkelda Dolls. She lives in Seattle, Washington, USA, with her husband and daughter. As of this posting, her desk is much, much tidier than in the photo you see here.