Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Don't hide it, frame it!

I think that sometimes that which you have been looking for but somehow could not find, even if it bites you on the nose, just falls into your lap. Today is such a day. I've stumbled upon some great organisational ideas.
Organisation has always been a weak point of mine. My husband has even gone as far as accusing me of being a hoarder… a harsh label to be issued, when that is not what you identify yourself as, especially after reality TV has gone and dissected the personality of a true hoarder for all of us to gasp at. 
Mine is but a mere shadow of what is displayed for millions to gawk in bewilderment (how DOES a person get to that point anyway?). I am not 'that' woman, you know… the one who can't find her way through her house, due to ceiling-high mountains of boxes and unidentified debris which may or may not also contain a decomposing cat, gone missing over six months ago.
No, mine is a condition which many artists around the world have been stricken by in the beginning of their creative training. I don't believe it has an actual name associated with it, but if it did, it would probably be something like: Fear of not finding that 'thing' which you might need when making a comp or prototype.
If you are a designer/artist, I'm sure you can identify with this phobia. Just as an example… lets say you are in the middle of making the most beautiful prototype of a new innovative LEGO carrying box/bag for your product development class, and you just need the perfect latch for it. 
You've looked throughout your studio (bedroom), and can't find it, to then turn for assistance to your mother, who informs you that while she was straightening up (snooping around) your work area (bedroom) she may have misplaced it (thrown it away). 
Faced with this harsh truth, you release an internal scream, because if you actually released the appropriate scream, your mother's ear drums would burst. You then lock yourself away in the bathroom, where you sob quietly into a towel, until you have regained composure. The project is due first thing in the morning (of course), and your teacher is less than understanding of your woes.
This was just an example… of course (wink, wink).
Over the years I've learned to apply the philosophy of "If you have to think whether you need the object you are holding in your hand, then you don't. Throw it away." The great Creative Director, Carlos Castro Saura, planted this little gem in my head a long, long time ago when I interned as a then, very 'green' designer, at his company in Caracas, Venezuela. Even with this valuable lesson, I still have a hard time parting with certain items. I guess, had it not been for Carlos, I may very well be featured on a reality TV show for all the wrong reasons.
Since moving to Australia with a container full of everything and anything which my family has accumulated over the years, I have carefully and painstakingly discarded a great deal of the hard-to-part-with items. Some have contributed to the rise of the local garbage heap, and others have been 'adopted' by loving families.
Now, I'm at the stage of actually categorising, stowing and displaying whatever is left, so I'm actually in a very good place. I am getting myself organised. Did you read that? O-R-G-A-N-I-S-E-D… oh yeah baby! I am getting my act together. Woo hoo!!!
So, while not even looking, I stumbled upon some simple, inexpensive and creative ways of displaying and organising (there goes that word again, so cool) my belongings.
Today's theme has been named: If you can't store it, frame it.
Clothespin Frame  All rights reserved by taliachristine

I love how these photos are showcased creatively. This appears to be relatively easy to make, so it should be a nice afternoon project over the weekend, for me and the girls. They'll be happy to get crackin' on this, since they went photo crazy back in the States oner Christmas break, and they can show off their pics to their friends when they come over.
Now, who doesn't have costume jewellery lying around on the dresser, or hidden away in a drawer? Why not have them at hand, so to actually wear them every once in a while. You know what they say, "out of sight, out of mind." 

The above weathered frame is similar, but in this case a wire mesh has been installed in the back, to easily hang earrings on it. Again, pretty easy to execute for the crafty folk out there. 
The below frame is more along the photo arranging concept, but still functional.

This should be fun to tackle over the weekend, and not too expensive to make. I will post pictures if I'm proud of the creations, and if not, maybe I'll save them for later, just in case I have a special project (haha)... old habits die hard.
My next obstacle should be to attempt to categorise the army of shoes which patiently awaits my family's feet's affections, in the laundry room. If anyone has some cool ideas and suggestions for this endeavour, do share. I am open to suggestions, no matter the complexity or simplicity.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Two months later

My family and I leaped over the Pacific Ocean to the US this last November, and just came back two nights ago.

It has been wonderful to re-connect with family (some whom were not in great health unfortunately - get better) and experience the great tourist sites of New York, Washington D.C., Florida and California... a true adventure for both kids and adults, but now we are home. Did I say 'home'? Yup, Australia feels like home now. I'm reminded of the Marvin Gay song 'Where ever I lay my hat (I call home)' also made popular in the 80s by Paul Young.

This experience has made me realise that we could live anywhere in the world, and that we travel so great together. Not one whine, not one complaint... OK maybe one, but... we were all on one page, and truly enjoyed our time together, and all the while working remotely on Australia time, making it for some extremely long days, and odd weekends (Thursday in US = Friday in AU, and Sunday in US = Monday in AU).

So...lesson learned? Go more often and stay shorter time. Do not pack even half...NO, not even one quarter the suitcases we packed this time around (do I never learn?). Be honest when declaring contents in luggage, as you will probably (fingers crossed) not be taken aside and checked out for "illegal" foods/animals/wood/etc...and, ask politely of the traveling rugby team players, to help with the heavy bags, and most likely they'll do it...they did for me. God bless the NZ Chiefs! Such good guys.

It's great to travel, and wonderful to come home again.