Tuesday, November 29, 2011

MFT November Creative Chat - My Desk

It's time for the MFT Creative Chat. The My Favorite Things Design Team Creative Chat is a monthly feature, where we are challenged to explore our creative spaces and share valuable organizational methods, tools, and shopping strategies with you. You'll be able to peek into our creative spaces, ask questions, and share your own ideas in the MFT forum.  This month, we were asked the following questions:  

Show us your desk.  How do you have things set up, and why?  
What are your "go-to" tools?  Tell us what you can't live without.
Visit Kim's Blog for a full list of designers that have taken up the challenge and get ready to delve into the minds of our creative team.


OK, so my desk area is nothing special and not state-of-the-art but it works for me :) My "desk" itself is actually a folding table and I had my DH add some laminated boards to extend it out for an additional 6 inches in width, front to back. Doesn't sound like a lot but it made a big difference in usable space. 

This is the desk space in a nutshell. Sorry about the picture quality--I think my drop light was fighting with the ambient room lighting. It's all very cozy with lots of stuff within an arm's reach.

Now for a tour of specific areas. I got this little basket thingy from the bathroom decor section at Wal*Mart. The bottom shelf is perfect for my air compressor that I use with my Copic markers. On the second shelf I have my hot glue gun and glue sticks which I use when making rosettes. The top shelf keeps my heat tool, my air brush attachment, and a small flat iron handy for "ironing" ribbon. I also just loop the cord to my glue gun over the rail when it's not in use. You'll also see I keep a roll of paper towels and a milk jug full of water handy, as well.

Under the table I keep some non-stamping crafting supplies as well as a flashlight and my scoring boards and rolls of foam tape. And a footstool :)

I'm using some Sterlite drawers stacked on the left for drawer space to keep some things handy. On top of those drawers is a medium sized tote in which I store my stamping blocks, my small paper trimmer, and heat embossing supplies.

The top drawer holds most of my "sharp" things. Piercers, extra paper cutter blades, etc.

The second drawer holds all my glitters. I don't use a ton of glitter so I'm thinking I need to reevaluate this prime real estate. I could probably put this drawer to better use.

The bottom four drawers hold an assortment of punches and some miscellaneous items. MOST of them see little use now that I have such an awesome selection of Die-namics dies, so these drawers will be seeing an overhaul soon, as well. A few things, like some of my hole punches, Corner Rounder, and Crop-A-Dile get used enough to warrant keeping them close.

Now to the desk top. I must have my computer monitor and keyboard close :) Also at hand are pens, scissors, craft knife, and other tools that get used frequently. The turntable also houses a small spray bottle for water, Dew Drops, Crystal Effects, liquid glitter, etc. Also, front and center, is my Pure Innocence calendar and my ever-present drink--either coffee or Coke.

On the other side of my table is a smaller set of drawers. The top three hold my small ink pads. I use them A LOT so they have to be right at hand.

The second three drawers hold a vast array of adhesives. I can't be without ScorTape, glue dots, or foam dots/squares.

Another must-have tool for me is my ATG. I love it, pure and simple. As everyone said, it takes a little getting used to but in no time I was hooked.

My Copic markers are always right in front of me and never leave my desk. I found these X Cube boxes at Office Max and knew they'd be perfect. I only have Sketch markers so I can see at a glance what color I need. Also close by is my ScorBuddy, another tool without which I'll never be. I still use my ScorPal for larger template projects but my ScorBuddy gets used pretty much every stamping session. You'll also see a small canning jar sitting there beside my ATG. In it you'll find my small cutting scissors, both straight and curved, and an assortment of tweezers.

Here you'll see a few more can't-do-without items. A couple of sanding blocks: the Tim Holtz block is very fine grain and the white one is one you can find in the nail care area in most any toiletry section at drug stores, etc. I use them for distressing and also for smoothing card stock edges when my paper cutter blade needs changing. And my reading glasses--self explanatory ;-) 

Another couple of must-haves for me. Grid paper for precision and measuring (this one is from Stampin' Up!) and removable tape. I use it almost every day for keeping dies in place while they run through my Vagabond.

Here's a little trick my Stampin' Up demo showed me when I first started stamping. Because of this I never clean stamps--or almost never. When I sit down to stamp, I simply spray some water on a couple of paper towels in this little tray. As soon as I stamp an image I place it on the wet paper towel and it's automatically clean when I finish up and put my stamps back on their storage sheet. I do use StazOn cleaner when I stamp with StazOn but that is rare. This method works for everything else. Pigment inks may take a little bit of a scrubbing action, but other than that they're good to go!

And, finally, my A2 pieces of card stock. I showed this in our card stock segment but I thought I'd mention it again here since it is one thing that I like to keep handy--right on top of my Copic markers.

OK, that's it for me today! I hope I haven't bored you too much with all the pictures and maybe you've seen something you can incorporate in your stamping space. I'm looking forward to seeing what all the other designers have to show us--I'm hoping to get some ideas for improving MY space. 

Thanks so much for stopping by! See you back tomorrow for the first teaser of December!


  1. I loved seeing your creating space. Amazing how much you can fit into small amount of space. Do you think you will be doing a Christmas banner for your etsy shop?

  2. Ok, you are amazing at keep all of your things so organized! Love that carousel and all the drawers you have - thanks for the tour, girl! :)

  3. love seeing all your pics Barb ... LOL about the glasses, mine are sitting on my computer in my video, that is where they live. I normally take mine off when I stamp.

  4. I just love this segment that MFT is doing...so great to get tips and see what works for other stampaholics! Thanks for sharing! P.S. I'll bet your house is a Christmas wonderland by now! Hope you had a fab T-giving!

  5. oh my gosh. I think you just changed my life with that cleaning trick! Awesome!

  6. Wow, I really love the idea of the x-divider storage cubes for storing Copics! So much so, I decided to shop around for them online and I thought I'd share that, just in case you need more of them, costco.com has them for less than $10 each! Thanks for the great tip!


  7. This was the BEST! I have learned so much from your post and plan on doing 2 things today right of the bat... and a few others in the long run...
    Thanks so much for sharing your work space, it's really a Grand place to play!!!

  8. sweet! love your space and I agree with Karen...the carousel is pretty cool!

  9. Thank you so much for showing us your space, Barbara! You're so organized!!! Love the technique for cleaning your stamps! I'm definitely going to try that!

  10. Thanks for sharing your space with us. I love to see others work areas to get ideas. How do you keep it so neat?!...Does your overhead light take care of the glare problem you get with a regular desk lamp? Thanks again.

  11. Love your tour, Barbara! I will have to try that tip to clean stamps :). Thanks for sharing!

  12. Thanks for the guided tour! I love seeing how others have solved some storage problems and/or work space issues. One thing that caught my eye - those look like super-huge rolls of foam tape? Can you tell me where to purchase? I use the small rolls and usually buy them with my coupons at one of the local craft stores. Thanks. Beverly

  13. Thanks for sharing your space with us Barbara!! LOVE that tip about the wet paper towels to clean stamps automatically! SO smart!

    Crafty Hugs!

  14. Nana nana boo boo! How many of you can say you've been privileged enough to actually get to stamp in that space? :) I HAVE!!!! She's not kidding when she says she has a TON of stuff within arms reach, either! :)

  15. Thank you for some fantastic ideas. I particularly appreciated learning about the wet paper towels for your stamps, and the bathroom organizer for all your plug-ins - that was smart thinking!

  16. What about the stamp pad holder to the right? Where did you get that? Your space sure has a lot of storage where you need it-great storage ideas! Love the papertowel "cleaner" idea! Running out to get a little basket!!

  17. Great storage ideas!! And I love the way you clean your stamps! I'm setting that up today!!!

  18. Love checking out how others store and work-thanks for sharing

  19. Lovely space!
    Everything is in the beautiful right place...
    Very well organized!


Thank you for your kind comments--they make my day and I appreciate every one!


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