19th August 2014
Moving into the new studio meant getting organised… Or did it? Interestingly in the hustle and bustle of moving into the new space I realised that I managed to transplant much of the chaos of my home office into the gorgeous new space – NOT ideal. And so in the last few weeks, finally back from travelling and other adventures, I decided it was time to master my workspace, reduce the chaos and build something inspiring that would get my ideas flowing, essential particularly at the end of the financial year. First it was all about equipping myself with the basics – the perfect notebook, the right filing system and the holy grail of ‘things organised neatly’ – a label maker. Next on my list is a new office chair, because to be honest my posture has been suffering a bit what with all that sitting hunched at a desk writing emails.
Another thing my corner was missing was somewhere I could map out ideas, create to do lists and visualise my strategy for the rest of the year (can you tell I’m getting all ‘business-y?). So when Officeworks asked me to create something inspiring for my new space, my mind immediately turned to this challenge, and the idea of this rolling note board was formed. I saw a hanging roll of paper in a cafe in New Zealand and knew it would work perfectly in an office space. Read on for the how to.
- Note paper roll – either white or brown paper would look really cool
- Rope or cotton twine
- 2 pieces of copper pipe slightly longer than your paper roll
- A piece of plywood or board around 2m x 1m (mine was an old table top)
1. Cut two separate pieces of rope 2 x the length of the copper pipe.
2. Insert one of the pieces of copper pipe into the paper roll.
3. Thread one of the pieces of rope through the copper pipe in the paper roll.
4. Thread the other piece of rope through the second piece of pipe.
5. Attach the note roll to the top of the plywood by tying and nailing the rope to the back.
6. Do the same for the second piece of pipe and rope around 1.5 m below the paper tool to hold down the paper and stop it from unspooling.
The copper pipe is the perfect method for holding down the paper and tearing it when you’re done. If this doesn’t help me get organised nothing will. For more ideas on how to master your workspace, check out the hashtag #mastermyworkspace!
Once I finished my note roll board, I decided to put my label maker to good use, spending a good few hours sorting my craft supplies. Feel so good for everything to have a place – let’s just hope it lasts!
This post was created in collaboration with Officeworks, all opinions are my own.
15th August 2014
I’ve been wanting to make a round hanging shelf for the last few months, I love the way they’re almost like art when you fill it with pretty possessions. However, I’ve struggled to find a way to create a perfect circular frame for it. Walking down the street in Hong Kong recently I stumbled upon the answer, a large dim sum steamer. Who would have thought that they could produce something more than a delicious lunch? Read on to see how. Spoiler: it’s shockingly easy.
- A dim sum steamer basket (mine was 38 cm / 15 inches across)
- A piece of plywood a fraction longer than the widest part of the inside of the steamer, with a depth that matches.
- Scissors/stanley knife
1. Start by removing the base of the basket by cutting away all the woven parts connecting to the frame.
2. Once you remove the weaving it should be a simple task of pulling out the bamboo base. If yours is glued in You may have to pry it out.
3. Your frame should look like this.
4. Wedge your plywood into the steamer. Mine had some wrapped bamboo which provided a natural ledge for the shelf, but if your doesn’t I would also add some glue to keep the shelf in place.
5. Cut the rope to the size you want in terms of how much you want the basket to hang down.
6. The steamer basked will have holes in the side through which the weaving you cut out went, so I simply wrapped the wire through that to secure the rope.
Voila. This has taken pride of place above my desk!
12th August 2014
As you can probably imagine, when I’m travelling I can’t help but buy fabrics wherever I go. Usually it’s a case of having to put a limit on myself lest I end up in one of those awkward, and costly, excess baggage situations. Sadly often the small scraps of fabric I buy are too small for a skirt or a pair of shorts, but too dear to my heart to throw away so end up sitting in a box. While in the process of finishing off my favourite nook in the studio I got a craving for throw cushions, and rather than buying them myself I realised it would be a great opportunity to use some of those colourful fabric scraps. My one main issue with sewing cushions though was that putting a zip in can take aggges (I wanted to make seven cushions), but the last thing you want is a cover you can’t wash. After a bit of pondering I worked out a way to create a cushion with a folding flap so you don’t need a zip. What’s even better is that if you have time you can totally make these by hand! Read on the see how.
- A piece of colourful fabric for the front
- Some canvas or linen for the back
- A sewing machine or needle and thread.
- Cushion stuffing or inner.
1. First cut your fabric pieces. I used the shape of my fabric scraps to determine the size of my cushions, this colourful piece is roughly 45cm x 30cm (17 in x 12 in). Cut a piece of cotton or linen 1.5 to 2 times the length (longways) of your statement piece of fabric. If your fabric is square just pick a side to use as the longways. The longer you cut the backing piece the bigger the overlap of the flap at the be will be so I made mine closer to 2 x because I was using cushion stuffing and I didn’t want it to come out.
2. Cut the piece of backing fabric in half width ways.
3. Lay the fabric together, first one side of the backing fabric, then the other and then the statement fabric right side down. Note that the backing piece that is second from the bottom will be the outer flap, which is why I oriented the clean selvedged edge here. In the event you don’t have a clear selvedged edge on this piece, the best thing to do is to hem this along the short edge so when you turn it inside out it has a nice finished edge.
4. Pin together.
5. Sew all the way around the cushion about 2.5 cm (1 in) from the edge.
6. After sewing the fabric should look like this.
7. Turn the fabric inside out by pulling it through the flaps in the backing and then iron down well, making sure to turn the points of the cushion out, you can use a pencil or chop stick to do this.
8. The back of your cushion should look like this – you can see that my back piece overlaps a lot to keep the stuffing inside but yours may be more centred.
9. Stuff your cushion or if you’re using an insert put that in.
Voila! I can’t wait to show you all the different ones I made with fabrics from all over the world. Nothing better than hanging in the studio sitting on cushions that remind me of places I’ve been!