So I kind of work in chaos, it has always been my way. I am self employed and so have to drop whatever I am doing when work comes up and sometimes won't have time to return to the project for days or weeks on end. Having a dedicated work room obviously helps me form going completely insane on that score. At the end of the working day I can close the door and walk away from the mess and reminders of what I left half done. But sometimes the mess encroaches on my design workspace or just has a habit of distracting me… and so I do my patented "Instant Fix Tidy Up".
The "Instant Fix Tidy Up" is possibly one of my worst habits… it involves finding out you have a visitor coming round and making the house look tidy and "myopically" spotless (i.e.: don't look too closely) in under an hour and then dashing off for a shower so I can look all calm and "yes, it's always this tidy" on said visitors arrival. This was much easier to achieve in my youth as I had boundless energy, no surplus weight and sound knee joints: I once carried a huge vintage leather sofa from a room at the front of my London flat across a very narrow landing and down a barely sofa width corridor all by myself to a smaller living room at the back while my flatmates were away for the weekend because I got fed up of asking for help to rearrange the furniture (yes, correct, I WAS a nightmare to live with). These days I am slower and more flustered and so needed to learn lots of sneaky tricks to achieve that "tidy to the untrained eye" look in under an hour.
One of those tricks has backfired. Whenever I am happily hat making or perhaps creating an outfit for an almost finished doll and I hear that perky ping of an email summoning me to actual paid work, I grab all the bits on my desk, shove them in a carrier bag and push that into the general confusion of the dresser cupboard and forget about it. I do that every time. The result after 14 months of living here is that my work room might look a haven of craftiness to a visitor but actually it's a mess. When I open that cupboard door a matted, tangled and often surprisingly sharp edged growing profusion of arts and craft supplies burst onto the floor. Yesterday I spent the whole day untangling, dematting and SORTING everything out. I actually started this project in the Spring but work beckoned and things have kind of returned to the previous mess. Somethings even got thrown away because they were too tangled! But now the rows of glass coffee and jam jars on the dresser shelves are all full and colour coded with buttons, beads and other tiny things. Everything else is grouped into little labelled boxes and neatly stacked away in the base.
I promise, I promise, I promise to keep it this way, because now if I even have just an hour free to do my own thing, I can come in here and find what I need to hand and actually achieve something. We will see how well I do with this new resolution.
PS: Dear Kirstie, I love your Jolly Hockey-sticks approach to the world and very much enjoyed your show about how we can all fill our houses for free (provided we have a few hundred pounds set aside for bits and bobs, know a few handy craftsmen with power tools who will volunteer their time for peanuts and most importantly; manage to get to all those Argas, Butler Sinks and French Armoires before the Salvage/Reclamation and Vintage/Antique dealers sniff them out). I have always furnished my many homes this way and can safely say that in the last 10/20 years it has become a lot harder to do on a budget (mine is usually about 50p and a few mismatched buttons) as the whole Shabby Chic look went mainstream and all sorts of pre-loved stuff became very sort after by people who want to make money from it. So the timing of your show is very interesting… do you think maybe people give you such good stuff for free just because you are Kirstie and are making a TV show???