Self Portrait Tuesday : Time

The Self Portrait Tuesday challenge this month:

For one month I would like you to document time - in order to ...
- document and observe physical changes in yourself
- create a discourse on identity
- keep a visual diary of moods
- tell stories

This one totally hit home with me. One of the very core reasons I scrapbook/create is to document the everyday. The everyday ordinariness. The little things. I love the concept of photographing the same thing everyday for a period of time - check out the SPT site here for a great list of cool, inspiring resources on different projects people have entered into (like documenting the food they ate everyday for a year). There is nothing like the mundane to give us an amazing picture of our lives.

So in thinking about the story I wanted to tell this month, I wanted to keep it pretty simple. I wanted it to be something right in front of my face. Something I see everyday that changes over time. I chose to take photos of my computer desk, the place I happen to spend way too much time. Papers. Notebooks. Boxes to be taken to the post office. Pens. Yellow sticky notes with the stuff of my life all over it. All a part of my daily life. So each night before I go to bed I have been taking a photo - whatever happens to be there at the time. Just one shot.

This place is me. It makes up a big part of the time I spend working, communicating, planning, etc. My question to myself: what do I really think about that? Is this really what I want?

This place is me. Looking at the photos I see my computer and automatically reflect on technology and the impact it has made on my life directly. What would I be doing without the internet? My life would be so very different in so many ways. Things that have happened would not have happened. The good and the not so good.

This place is me. I see lists. It is my nature to make lists. My mom makes lists. They keep me sane. They keep me in line. And even though I have a fancy computer right there I still make handwritten lists of things to do. It is in writing them that I remember and imprint them into my memory.

This place is me. There is old and new on my desktop. Awhile back my friend Mellette sent me this cool old wood piece with three holes on the top. It sits on my desk and holds my pens - one of my favorite things. And there is always the new as well. The computer. The moleskine notebooks. The iTunes gift card. I love and need both the old and the new.

This place is me, right now.

(and in case you are wondering, the rolodex in the back of the photos can be found here: Lovely Design )

26 thoughts

  1. Jackie

    2006-03-07 02:57:13 -0500

    this is so cool. i am inspired and itching to get home and create... ahh but it's only 11:00. must finish work first :)

  2. AmyG

    2006-03-07 03:15:09 -0500

    cool was neat to see how the desk changes. I might have to try this idea.

  3. KimP

    2006-03-07 03:23:02 -0500

    It's a cool concept - definately gonna try it.
    Love the new moleskine Cahier notebooks - excellent to alter :)
    Thanks for the inpiration links - now I want to go home & play!

  4. swampangel

    2006-03-07 03:41:26 -0500

    Love the moleskine don't you. I love the computer too but I love writing and drawing in my Moleskine too.
    Thanks for sharing.
    I'm going to have to try altering the Cahier as KimP put in her comment. See there:
    (Your) Inspiration breeds Inspiration

  5. islandjen

    2006-03-07 03:47:38 -0500 all the things i noticed on your desk, i was most surprised by the rolodex! lol :-)

  6. Klala

    2006-03-07 04:20:12 -0500

    Love these! And the "rat notebooks" as we lovingly call them.

  7. Leah

    2006-03-07 04:23:51 -0500

    very i am wondering what my desk would look like after 5 days....wonder if I would even be able to 'see' my workspace......

  8. Melissa

    2006-03-07 04:54:18 -0500

    Very inspiring & fun idea...I really want to do something like this. It would pretty cool taking pictures of my work table and seeing the little changes daily. TFS!

  9. maggie holmes

    2006-03-07 05:32:28 -0500

    such a fun idea ali! one i definitely want to re-visit when i actually get into my house!!

  10. Jane

    2006-03-07 05:43:02 -0500

    It amazes me when I read your blog -- and the blogs of several scrapbook artists I like to follow -- how similar we are. Are those similarities what brings us to following this passion? Or is it just coincidence?
    As always, thank you for sharing your thoughts!!

  11. Sherri

    2006-03-07 05:53:12 -0500

    What a great and very inspiring idea Ali!! I work from home via internet and spend much of my time at my desk. I make lists and remake lists. My work life and home life are spelt out right in front of my computer everyday. I never thought about it this way before but it is there. And it looks different everyday and every week as I add things and throw things. I need to do this too for a week or longer. I will start tonight - Thank you so very much for "pointing out the obvious" as they say! :)
    Happy Tuesday!!!

  12. kim

    2006-03-07 06:07:33 -0500

    "There is nothing like the mundane to give us an amazing picture of our lives."
    yes. yes, indeed.

  13. Ali

    2006-03-07 06:11:35 -0500

    You have such great handwriting.

  14. joanna

    2006-03-07 06:46:47 -0500

    Who just did a layout with the same kind of idea - she took pictures of her desk for a week. Hmmmm, I loved that! Love your photos, too!

  15. amy

    2006-03-07 07:01:04 -0500

    ali that is so true to me about making lists. If I can write it down I usually don't forget it. I makes lists to go to the store and rarely take it with me. I am a computer girl, but like you still write out my lists.

  16. Bonnie K

    2006-03-07 09:04:25 -0500

    Ali, you are always so insightful.. by just sharing what's going on with you at the moment.. you bring inspiration to so many. I love your style.
    Love your handwriting.
    Love your computer desk.
    Love you.
    The everyday pics/musings of our lives.. is what makes the picture of our lives more clear. Alot of 'other stuff' often tends to get in the way. It's the simple things.

  17. Kelley

    2006-03-07 12:57:42 -0500

    Hi Ali-great inspiration as always! I will have to do this. What a great way for someone like me and you who are crazy busy doing something they love! Me the busy scrapbook store owner with 1000 things going on around her and you the person helping drive my business. Great idea I think I will try to make a mini album about my desktop for you and my customers to check out for your upcoming visit! Great idea. Thanks! :)

  18. random reader

    2006-03-07 15:28:28 -0500

    Hello Ali, I spy a Moleskine! I love those notebooks. Very interesting, insightful post!
    p.s. I love your handwriting! It's the same one you use for layouts, right? Even the current header on this blog (it says capture life.create art) :)

  19. Araxi

    2006-03-07 19:08:20 -0500

    How crazy is this? I am taking a lighting class for photography and this is our first assignment. To document time in a grid of photographs. Amazing what you learn about yourself during the process. Everyone should do it at least once! Love what you did with yours.

  20. donab

    2006-03-08 01:37:45 -0500

    Your desk looks very much like mine. Why does that surprise me? :) Lists. Pen and notebook and post-its. The little silver wallet. We even have the same display! Funny. My desk is surrounded by photos. Yours must be up a little higher, out of the frame, because I know they are there...
    I'm fighting the blahs this week, too.

  21. emilyruth

    2006-03-08 02:17:35 -0500

    i love this idea!...i'm not brave enough to go to the site (sounds really intimidating for some reason, also i know i could get lost for at least an hour easy:) that's probably the real truth:)...but just seeing your stuff is inspiring! what to document? the laundry? the TV? Q's casted arm?:)..i really love this idea, just gotta find my right thing:)...thanks as always....

  22. Lain

    2006-03-09 15:08:20 -0500

    Can't wait to see your impressions at the end of this project!

  23. gretchen allin

    2007-04-21 08:49:37 -0400

    Ali, I love you!! Love your hand writing too!!


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