Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Little Workspace in Waiting

I am pretty certain my lifelong love of Rainbow Order for all textas, pencils and pens derives from the set of 72 Derwent pencils I was lucky to receive when I was 9 years old.  This was the creme de la creme of pencil sets, and I can still remember the names of my favourite colours: Kingfisher Blue, Emerald Green and Delft Blue.  Derwent have been making pencils in Cumberland in the UK since 1832 and I love that they are still going strong.   You can see their products here.

(For another thrilling rainbow thing check out Meredy's Rainbow Cake - not sure my baking skills are up to this but still, one can dream.)

At home, our daughter has a little section of the long L shaped desk in our library-study which is hers to use as she wishes.  In an ironic turn of events, I happen to be paranoid about the internet, so our thinking is that when she is older she will have a computer here and use this area for her homework and Facebook (if it still exists although I am kind of hoping it will self-combust in the next 6 years).

When I was greeted by this sight when we returned from holidays I thought first - oh God a burglar has been here.  Then I realised that this was the way it always looked but that I usually avert my eyes.  So, it was time for a major clean up.     

To inspire me, a visit to Kikki K was in order.  This shop, run by Swedish -Australian businesswoman Kristina Karlsson sells beautiful home office supplies.  Yes their magazine holders cost 4 times an Ikea one but they are fabric covered, so they last longer and don't end up with that battered, peeling look which so many Ikea cardboard products can get. 

It is not easy to find children's study areas which have personality.  These are some I like: 

(actually am not so sure about this one - but the curtains are a cute idea)

This is simple and utilitarian.

I love the washing line of photos and the use of the storage cubes on either side of the desk.

This is a bit Martha S but still would be a good place to work for a teenager.

Thank you to Martin the Joiner who recommended we use grey felt pinboard behind the desk in this room.  It has been a lifesaver.  

So one very full garbage bag later, we now have something which approximates an unburgled desk.    The grey letterholder which can hold more than 90 textas, grey pencil holder and magazine holders are all from Kikki K.

My daughter is under strict instructions to keep it neat for at least a little while.   And who knows, by the time she is a hopefully not too surly teenager I might feel less paranoid, and she can have a desk in her room.
(Images (3) Country Living (4) Ohdeedoh (5) Cote Maison (6)


count it all joy said...

If we were at school together when we were 9, I would have been positively green with envy at your Derwents....only the luckiest of the luckiest kids had Derwents! It was a childhood dream unfulfilled! Your daughters desk with Kikki K. (where would we be without her?) looks like the perfect platform for imagination and creativity. Love the felt pinboard. Hope you're having a lovely week. Meredy xo.

p.s. thanks for the mention re Rainbow Cake - I promise it really is easy, otherwise I couldn't do it!

Emma said...

I loved my Derwents so much that I have never actually parted with them or even lost one.. yes, I still have all 72 of them! I have carried that black wooden box of pencils all around the world with me, they have moved house with me dozens of times and now my boys are using them. Apparently I insisted at some point to my mother that I was keeping them for any future children. I try not to feel all itchy when the boys are disrupting their perfect rainbow order though!

brismod said...

Your daughter's 'before' desk looks like my current desk except for the dusty laptop. I feel so ashamed. Perhaps I should follow your lead and get out the garbage bags and go to Kikki K...Anyway, I'm loving her tidy desk and I love her mermaids!!

Just Martha said...

I am new to blogging and think your site is wonderful Thank you. This brings joy to the everyday

Unknown said...

love this grouping of pics... really great and fun. I like the curtain one too!

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

Hello Jane, I read this with great interest as we are looking around for a work desk for my daughter. I do love the first one. It's a bit frou-frou but so are we. And also the third one down with the good use of the storage cubes. I'm not an organised person by any means but really get so fascinated by the whole business organisation I've recently found the most wonderful Swedish (what is it with the Swedes?) Blog where she shares some super tips.
I must have had a deprived childhood as I can't remember having Derwent pencils. Although my memory is not good these days! xx
Here's a link to my new Blog crush. You may already know her of course!

Ann said...

Oh yes Jane, the Derwent pencils. I had the not quite giant box and so dreamed of owning the largest. I do remember knowing then that I didn't really draw well enough or even just enough to really need them. Love your work with the desk. I've just done my pantry but it does not look as pretty... A x

Kristine said...

Oh I too had/have a love of derwents. I was very lucky to be given the set of 72 when in primary school. Did yours come in the pink cardboard box? I think they were my favorite and most used present from childhood. I gave Max a set of 72 for Christmas a few years ago and he wasn't quite as excited as I was, even though he loves to draw too. We do love sorting them.

jules @ The Diversion Project said...

the key to our creative spaces is to have a regular purge - no matter how much storage there is they always seem to accumulate stuff!

Julie@beingRUBY said...

oh my goodness Jane.. my Derwents were my prize possessions as a child... I had to hide them from my brother who would nick them.. shave of some wood from the side and engrave his name on them.. then when I accused him of stealing them he would state they were his and show me the engraved name as proof!! arghhh,, I also have my favourite colours.. can't remember which now.. but... I do have a small set I bought myself just a few years ago.. although didn't notice them in the move!! hmmm....

speaking of organizing.. the garage needs to get tackled next.. I basically picked it all up and moved it from one garage to the next.. sight unseen.

So.. love that watercolour/drawing of the girl with bob.. and rosy red lips!! that's a keeper!!!

Sorry about lack of visits.. internet connection in new place sucks!!! seems there is no coverage here and only a prob in the 2 block radius where i moved too!!! that'd be right!! time for ADSL me thinks... Hope you are well and hope to catch you again soon.. xxx Julie [sorry big comment hog!]

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Oh Jane,
You were somewhat luckier than me having the 72. I had a tin of 20 Derwent coloured pencils but, I also had 12 very special water soluble Derwent coloured pencils !! I feel that that makes up for the discrepancy of 52 !!
I think that your daughter's desk is typical of an aspiring artist and maybe she thinks that tidiness will hamper her artisic flow !! .... although, you have done a great job and she now has space to paint away to her hearts content. You're a lovely mummy !
I love her painting of the two birds. That my favourite. XXXX

SilverMoon Dragon said...

Kingfisher Blue was one of my favourites too! My super favourite was though. And I always had to put my texta/pencils/crayons/tshirts/hair ties in rainbow order.

Everything went in rainbow order. This is something I still struggle with today. I'm still trying to think of a way to incorporate rainbows into the interior of our new house, perhaps in the laundry.

I made a different (and somewhat easier) rainbow cake for Australia Day this year, and my Miss Four wants me to make one for her rainbow themed fifth birthday next month. Ooops, I think this rainbow thing is hereditary!

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