magical bowls

kitchen cupboard

I store produce in two glass-fronted cupboards in my kitchen. Each cupboard holds several bowls on shelves, and to a friend of mine, it looks like the bowls magically replenish themselves every week.

I wish.

This whimsical idea has been entertaining me, though. What if I really did have magical bowls? What if they really did fill themselves with fresh produce whenever I emptied them? How would my life be different if I never again had to shop for groceries?

It’s also got me thinking: How would my life be different if it were full of magical objects and machines that did all my work for me? Clothes closets that magically washed all my dirty clothes? Pet food dishes that magically fed my cats? A car that magically drove me around the city? Computers that magically wrote blog posts for me…?

Do you wish you had magical things?

iPhone 5

Some other photos from my day: My new iPhone 5, above. It’s for work. I bought a case for it on Sunday. I’m quite pleased with myself – the case seems quite durable, which should protect the device when I inevitably drop it.

burnt pot

I burned this pot yesterday morning when I was making my breakfast. I include it mostly as a salve for my friend Andrew, who seems to think that I’m a perfect cook. Note to Andrew: I’m not.

cats eating supper

Some people have been asking me about my cats, after they ate lilies and had an unexpected visit to the emergency vet. They’re fine now. None the worse for wear, thankfully.

Lindt sea salt chocolate

Finally, I am seriously addicted to chocolate these days. I bought a bunch of this Lindt chocolate on the weekend, and I’m plowing through it much too fast. This photo is likely blurry because my hands were so close, they were shaking with frustrated desire…

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See just the #photo365 photos, here.

cloak room

cloak room

I have a large walk-in closet in my front room that I use as a cloak room to store my outdoor shoes, boots, and coats. I love the words “cloak room.” They remind me of elementary school, and long, skinny rooms lined with hooks where we hung our coats, and stored our boots. My first elementary school (from grades kindergarten to three) had hangers and benches in the hallways outside each classroom. My second elementary school (for grades five through eight) was an old building, and had real cloak rooms inside each classroom. Right now when I think of them I remember darkness, and the smell of old wood and gym shoes.

(In this photograph, high up on the shelf on the right-hand side, sleeps a cat in a basket of pashminas. Oh yes.)

I appreciate someplace to hang my hat.

another place where i create

large desk and rocking chairs

Last week I shared some photos of my back room, which I use as a studio for writing, drawing, crafting and sewing. (It also holds my books and my clothes.) As luxurious as it may seem, I actually have four places in my apartment where I can (and do) write – thanks to the portability of my laptop. In this post I’m sharing some photos of my front room, which I set up as a home office when I first moved into my apartment, and where I’m writing this post.

Above you can see what the room looks like from my front door: there’s a large industrial shelving unit that fills the entire wall to the left, a huge desk made from a cedar door placed on three filing cabinets, and several wooden chairs, including two of my collection of rocking chairs, and a vintage stenographer’s chair from the 1940s.

desk with laptop and strawberries

I’m pretty obsessive-compulsive about keeping my work areas spotless and completely clear. (You should see my cubicle at work – a casual observer might not realize that anybody even works there, it’s so bare!) I’m a very visual person, and find it too distracting to have clutter or piles of papers where I’m working. The one exception is when I’m making collages – then I love having an assortment of papers and supplies spread all over the place.

two rocking chairs

Most of all, I love having beautiful views in front of me when I write. I always set up my desk / writing area facing a window, so I can rest my eyes on peaceful vistas. In this case, it’s a huge purple maple that’s growing directly outside my windows.

tree outside window

where i create

writing desk on floor

I saw this post on a Google+ contact’s stream the other day, and was inspired to take a couple of photos of my creative space. The space tends to be pretty flexible, depending on what I’m working on. I have a folding table that I can set up if I want to do some extended work like crafting or drawing (some of the photos from this post were taken in my home studio, some in my mom’s kitchen). Lately I’ve been experimenting with living close to the floor when I’m at home, because I had a strong intuition that this would be better for my knees and back. So I set up my laptop on a small wooden chest, and I sit on my meditation cushion every morning and evening, writing.

The studio includes several bookcases and a couple of lightweight armchairs that I can move around at will. Right now they’re pushed to the edges of the room, so that I can enjoy the wide-open space of my hardwood floor.

studio

What does your creative space look like?

If you’re curious about artists’ and writers’ spaces, you might enjoy this blog.

wardrobe editing

clothes to donate

So I’ve been sorting my clothes lately. If you’ve seen the photos of my closet that I posted yesterday, you’ll probably already have guessed that I’m a bit of a clothing minimalist. I own four pairs of pants, four dresses, four skirts, and a couple-dozen tops and jackets. Plus assorted undies and socks, and workout gear.

Years ago I began to dream of owning only as many clothes as would fit into one piece of carry-on luggage. I’m not quite there yet. But it will happen. The most recent iteration has involved shedding a whole colour group that began to creep into my wardrobe about three years ago – blue-green. Don’t get me wrong. I love this colour. But I’ve come to realize that I’ll never get to a workable minimalist wardrobe with too many colours that don’t go with each other. And I already have a number of pieces that I love, in blue and purple-blue. I’ve decided to stick with those colours, moving forward. They go with black and brown (the colours of my pants and skirts), and with each other, if I want to mix and match tops and sweaters.

So these tops are awaiting donation to Goodwill…

tour of my clothes closet

closet 1

Have I ever mentioned that I love my closets? I love my closets. I kind of freaked out when I moved into my current apartment, though – because the building is 80-90-100 years old, and the closets are about three feet square. I made myself a commitment, though – I would pare down my wardrobe until it fit into the closets (ideally just one – I have two, but would prefer to use the second for bed linens, quilts and pillow storage). I met that goal, but every now and then I need to do some editing of my wardrobe, because I tend to accumulate clothes. Even though I hardly ever shop for them.

closet 2

So lately I’ve been sorting and evaluating and tossing. Being a former professional organizer, I love this kind of thing. It’s like playing What Not to Wear with myself. Plus, it means I get to spend time organizing and reorganizing my clothes closet. Have I mentioned that I love my closets?

closet 3

(I think part of what I love so much about them is the aesthetic appeal of all my favorite colours in one place. Plus the beautiful objects that I own, like wooden hangers. And baskets. (Scroll down to the last photo to see the latter.) Also, I love white walls. My closets have white walls.)

closet 4

closet 5

I organize my clothes by colour, obviously. Also by type. (My four pairs of pants are at the far left, above, and my four skirts and four dresses are at the far right (top photo). And no, there’s no special reason for four each of all those things. It’s just coincidence.)

closet 6

My tops and jackets take up most of the room in the middle.

closet 7

Below are some of my shoes (I also keep several pairs in my cloakroom near my front door), a basket of my flip flops, and a basket where I store any unused wooden hangers. When I take a piece of clothing out of the closet, its hanger goes in the basket until the item of clothing returns to the closet. I don’t know why, but I hate empty hangers hanging on the rod.

closet 8

closet 9

closet 10

I also have some hooks for hanging necklaces and bags.

closet 11

These baskets hold extra blankets and quilts (I have a decent vintage quilt collection), my iron (which I never use except when I’m constructing clothing), and some lint removers. This is what my closet looks like all the time, by the way. Sometimes there’s a bunch more cat hair on the floor, but that’s about it.

closet 12