Wednesday, January 11, 2012

a place for everything & everything in its place

Who doesn't love the promise that a new year brings? I don't think I've ever started out a new year with quite this much deliberate intention, taking the time and energy to really prepare myself and my surroundings for what I intend to accomplish. I have spent the first days of 2012 cleaning out and clearing my head, getting ready for the rest of the 365 in front of me. I've cleaned out and done away with my storage unit, filed away stacks of papers and receipts, organized bins of supplies, finished little projects around the house that I've been putting off, and given away things that have been setting around gathering dust. It's so refreshing to have a desk cleared, papers tidy, a room readied, all the what-nots and do-dads put in place, and everything I'm not going to use out of sight. 

I started realizing early last year that when my home and work space became too cluttered, my to-do list always somehow seemed more overwhelming, like my mind couldn't cut through all the clutter to just simply think. This feeling was confirmed when I read this month in Whole Living magazine about a finding by the Princeton Neuroscience Institute: "... Having a disorganized work space makes it difficult for people to process information efficiently. Objects scattered around compete for your attention and disturb concentration." Precisely! 

Last year I instated a 10-minute cleaning habit that really helped in moments when I just couldn't take it anymore. I'd set a timer and clean or tidy up something (anything!) without stopping. As long as I was moving, it didn't matter what task I was tackling. When something feels daunting, ten minutes seems manageable. And it's always amazing how much you can actually get done in those mere 600 seconds. This year, though, I'm going to try to take my initiative to a whole new level and continue to find new ways to keep the clutter under control! If you have any tips or suggestions, please share them!

a look around my freshly 
organized sewing room...
A cabinet for storing trims & embellishments, as well as smaller projects in the works. I repainted this vintage cabinet that came from a family friend and added the knobs. Lola sits on a crocheted rug I found at the thrift store.
A collection of vintage and natural objects; a painting by me, a pillow by a friend, & my grandmother's ashes
The jewelry armoire my grandmother, Aileen, gave me when I was a little girl still houses all my accessories and sits in front of one of my paintings. Photos of family: Aileen when she was a little girl (middle) and my great-grandparents, Papa & Granny


Where the action happens! My sewing machine stays atop an old school desk with a yard sale find of a chair. Watercolor paper hangs in a vintage straw bag, and a stack of journals is stored on the desk.
Bobbins from the cotton mill my grandmother used to work in and a card of hand needles that belonged to Granny; vintage sewing tools from my Granny & a rooster to store straight pins sits atop her old sewing box.
The first dress I completed hangs on my closet door. Buttons, sewing books, and scissors are organized on top of a pie safe made by my daddy's grandfather with the use of only one arm after suffering from a stroke.
This shelf doubles as a display piece when I travel to craft shows. Clockwise from top left: flowers crocheted by my Granny; a tiny bird card given to me by a friend sits next to a bird call I've had since I was a child; books I use in my displays and for taking photos, with a vintage nic-nac and the harmonica I'll learn to play this year; my proud creation - Crown Town Handmade, Charlotte's group for crafty entrepreurs
A collection of vintage hats, almost all of which belonged to 
Aileen & Granny; I love to accessorize with these!
A well-organized desk is the sign of an organized mind! This desk houses my yarn collection, embroidery thread, my patterns & embroidery hoops, felt, watercolors, and dyes, as well as all the fun things that are included with online orders.
 Next to my desk hangs all the clothing that I am currently working on, with the originals of my animal artwork hanging above. I've turned the cabinet door of my desk into a chalkboard. Currently, I have a list of stitches that I think are all good additions for my men's collection.

I hope you've enjoyed this little tour!


  1. I'm a sucker for tidy spaces, and agree 100% that it makes it easier to think without the clutter. Good on you!

  2. Beautiful! I wish I had a room dedicated for my crafts. I love all of your family treasures! :)

  3. Amanda,

    Hello! My name is Whitley Adkins Hamlin. I am so happy to have discovered you via a referral from a friend! Hello from one vintage-loving Queen City blogger to another! A lot of what I post about on the Queen City Style is inspired by my Grandmother's and Great-Grandmother's clothing that I now own. I love unique and one of a kind pieces.... as do you, I see, and I look forward to keeping up with you more now! So happy connect with you, albeit via the web.

    Warmest Regards, Whitley Adkins Hamlin