Friday, February 13, 2009

A Creative Challenge!

Stevie Wren of A Little Birdie Told Me So gave her bloggyfriends the following challenge:

"My challenge to you this week is to take some pictures of the space you use most when you are feeling creative, where you write or simply where you sit and think of your best ideas. What inspires you? Then on Friday post your photos and tell what, when, where, why and how you are inspired to be creative."

The first picture is the secretary I found in an antique shop. It had shelf space for books and cubbyholes for stamps and stationery and inks.


I've taken over the front guest bedroom my officette. This is where I keep my laptop, and where I write my posts, poetry and letters. I am occasionally displaced by guests and hurricane evacuees, but happily so.

A closeup of my workspace shows my favorite reference book: Maidenhood and Motherhood by the good Dr. West. The poor book has been through a lot, being 122 years old. It has suffered some water damage and the binding is disintegrating. Carly the dog, who is no longer with us - but not for this reason - used it for a chew toy one afternoon when she was a puppy. The pages are still intact, and this has been an inspiration for several posts.


I also have a pie safe next to the sofa bed that I use as a bookcase. Layla the dog wandered in just as I snapped the picture. She's wearing her Valentine's Day scarf. She loves it when I come in to use the computer - her little dog bed is right next to my chair.


She makes herself comfortable and falls asleep


And sleeps some more. She thinks this is our personal private room, hers and mine, and she will not let Lucy the dog in here with us.
When I'm working on craft projects I usually take over the dining room table. My current project is doing our tax return - so the fun stuff has to wait.


One of my hobbies is making bracelets and necklaces using semi-precious stones and pearls. I have a pretty large inventory here because I make them but I don't sell them. I'm planning to put them up for sale on Etsy.



Another favorite pastime is caring for my orchid collection. I have about 80 of them and at any given moment anywhere from 10 to 30 of them are in bloom.


I have this wonderful potting bench on the lanai. A removable panel on the right conceals a tub that I use when I am repotting orchids. Each plant needs to be repotted every 12 to 18 months. I use orchid bark, which allows for good drainage and plenty of air around the roots. When the bark breaks down it needs to be replaced.

That little orchid at the far right has been blooming non stop since August. It has small bright yellow orchids - two can fit comfortably on a dime.



I can hang gardening tools and dry herbs on the back of the bench. Plus it has a storage drawer and a bottom shelf for pots and orchid mix. Orchids probably don't require as much care as I give them, but it's relaxing and an excellent excuse for staying outside.



The rewards are beautiful!


Bella@That damn expat said...

I love the secretary!

Actually, all the pictures are great!

Lion-ess said...

Very nice pictures.. i love your special spaces!

tara @ kidz said...

Great idea.

I love the dog pix. LOVE!

Bibi said...

This sure is a great post of your private spaces! I think your pup needs a bigger bed!

Debby said...

I love that picture of your dog making himself comfortable. Too funny.

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

I am lovin that secretary girl!! I collect antiques. Love the gardening snaps, gardening is my passion....well one of em.
Layla?? She's a be-yoot. I don't know if you noticed but, every hit to my blog generates a small profit that goes to my locan Humane Society, of which Prince and I are members. We are trying to build a "No-Kill" shelter here in Newnan. Please pass my blog address along to anyone that may be interested in helping out our animal friends. That's the only reason I blog the adsurdities of my life......for the animals :=)

Steady On
Reggie Girl

steviewren said...

I'd be a really good writer too if I had such an inspiring desk as your drop-front. Actually I do have a roll top but it doesn't make a bit of difference in my writing skills. I do like the cubby holes. I keep old letters in mine. It looks junky. Yours is nicely organized...another thing that would inspire me.

Your orchids are lovely. As is your jewelry. It looks like you have enough inventory to open that shop soon.

Thanks for showing your creative space and tell about your hobbies. It is always good to know a blogger better.

Poetikat said...

I like your secretary, but I love your potting bench. If you could see the little shed on my driveway right now, you'd be appalled! It's chock full of crap - planters, birdseed bags, lawnmower (electric and push), a bike nobody uses, an old desk my dad made, recycling bins.
If I had your potting bench and your conservatory, I could do wonderful things!
Lovely spaces and holding areas, Cynthia. Layla looks so content!


Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

Wow, and here I had images of you perched on top of old newspapers with the Mister taking care of you (tee hee - that is from one of your previous posts). :o) That got rid of that idea ... thank goodness!

Your place is very pretty and so clean. No wonder you have such great inspirations.

Your jewelry should sell really well. You make quality products. I should know, I'm wearing one!

God bless. ♥ ∞

Martha said...

Thank you so much for the tour, what a lovely home and creative nest you have there. Beautiful jewelry too. You make it, but don't sell it, gee that sounds like a post in of itself!

MuseSwings said...

Looks all neat and organized? Thank goodness for being able to crop pictures. The Mister laughed when I told him about the neatness comments. When I do get the room straightened and boxes put away I'll take a picture of the entire room. My little Layla dog fits very nicely in her bed, but the day this picture was taken she was just all spread out while enjoying her nap.

soulbrush said...

i have thoroughly enjoyed rambling through your work space and other places. thanks so much, it gives me such an insight into you. great!

ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage said...

I sooooo love the lanai! The plants are beautiful and the potting bench is wonderful!

Lavinia said...

"One of my hobbies is making bracelets and necklaces using semi-precious stones and pearls"


hee hee hee!!!

Musey you are a woman of many surprises. WHo would have thought that making jewellery was a 'hobby' of yours. Not in a million years....

I see you are highly creative and love your 'officette' but I thought you would show us your Rolodexette too. Hmmmmm. I see there are a lot of good hiding places in these spaces. I guess you have that down to a science. I'll bet you could hide an egg-sized pearl in a dime-sized orchid you're that good!!!

MuseSwings said...

Lavinia! Speaking of Interpol - are you out on good behavior or what?
Stevie has my Rolodexette - she's pasted stuff all over it. You need to check it out. She's got the Duke's phone number covered up and we have to call him with your trial uhm I mean "coffee" date. BTW - We have to add Brazil and The Isle of Man to our banned list in case you are planning on a boondoggle. Are you? It will take me just a sec to pack.

Lavinia said...

I'm always planning something, Musey, in countries and cities in which I am not wanted for what is known as 'questioning'.

By the way I forgot to comment on your post a while back wherein you showed us your night table. I thought it looked so very tropic, so very Floridian. You would never find such a nightstand contents in, say, Alaska. You had so many interesting things on it, including the eye cup. Was that a purloin---oops, I mean "purchase" from the Earl of Essafrazz who had the glass eye???

Technonana said...

Hello Muse!!
I love the potting bench!! Do you mind if I steal a picture of it, so that I can have Papa build me one? I spend 2 days this week repotting plants and now my back is killing me!!
My "thinking post" is my back porch, mainly because of all the nature I encounter while I am out there!

Daryl said...

What a lot of good places to think, especially for a Muse .. thanks for visiting my blog!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your creative space looks so inspiring with all those inks, papers etc in your special desk. I once looked for such a desk but couldn't find one. Just as well now. My sapce is all arranged. I too took over one of the guest rooms, and... tee hee

dAwN said...

Well have great places for inspiration. Lovely desk ...I love the old desks...lots of cubbies.
What an adorable pup..
and I Love orchids too...

Janeen said...

I'm so jealous, you have an emerald thumb! Such beautiful plants. (sigh) And those bracelets.... OOOOOOO WANT!! Perhaps they are waiting for just one more give away? Perhaps? I'm just saying.... (wink)

MuseSwings said...

Nana - yes you may certainly take a picture. It's so comfortable using an actual table height working surface.

Lavie - the Earl gave it to me - said he really didn't need it anymore with the glass eye and all he asked after you - wanted to know if you settled the small matter in Monaco. I wasn't sure which one he was talking about - there are so many.

Sandy said...

OH fun to see the spaces and make jewelry...I didn't realize that.