Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

April 14, 2009

Three Things : On My Table


My work table is a total disaster right now (not to mention the floor around my table).

Piles of things I have pulled out from the lockers; pieces of paper with notes jotted on the front and back of concepts and ideas I want to implement (these notes are currently keeping me sane); punches; adhesive; paint. Projects in progress.


Yes, it could be more of a mess. I’ve seen worse around here. But for someone like me who was really getting the hang of cleaning up everything after completing a project this feels like one big mess that just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

These days those longer chunks of time are harder to come by (hence the very messy table) yet the ideas and the passion is definitely still there. I am relearning how to get things done & how to work in minutes rather than hours. In between feeding and changing and playing with Anna I am scanning and uploading and printing and adhering and painting. Less concerned with the mess than attempting to get some creative work done in the moments I have available.

Luckily, in the midst of all those piles, I have been inspired by a bunch of new-to-me products including the three shown above. All found on my table this week:

1. Martha Stewart Scallop Dot Edge Punch. I noticed last week that now carries some of the Martha Stewart craft products. I ordered this one last week and am really excited to put it to good use.

2. Tim Holtz Mini Paper Clips. Looking forward to using these to attach some real life ephemera. The size is just right: not too big + not too small.

3. Jenni Bowlin Pearl Flowers. These little gems have made their way on to a couple of my projects for the magazine recently including the layout featuring the Anna’s playlist. It’s a great little touch.

What’s on your desk or table today? Are you working in the midst of a mess too?


[ Three Things is a weekly product series : check out the archives here. ]


  • 1.
    kp said…

    Some of the felted wool Easter eggs that didn’t make it into baskets this year-just didn’t get them embellished in time! Luckily, Easter faithfully arrives each year.

  • 2.
    christen said…

    my desk is messier than normal, too and it makes me feel better that others live like that also :) i am loving the scalloped punches too (i have the fiskars) and am using it a lot. i’ve been using a lot of japanese masking tape lately…super fun.

  • 3.
    Laura B. said…

    I think I am always working around a mess. Right now I have a huge pile of old magazines that I need to go through and pull pages from.

  • 4.
    Karen Kennedy said…

    My area is a mess as well…I try to fit in minutes of creativity between caring for/playing with my 2 year old and 9 month old…a balancing act! I just glanced over at my table and what I am really enjoying lately is the different sized paged protectors. I made a few lay outs last night and I like that they are smaller than a 12 x 12 so easier to complete with such limited time. Not to mention that they make my books so unique and fun. Thanks to you, Ali, for showing me how to use them in my books!

  • 5.
    Caryl Hope said…

    Oh, I bought that Martha Stewart punch at Michael’s… I love the twist it has on the scallop border! I’m currently working on a layout for our “G” week at Scrap Circle and as usual my table is more “mess” {creative mess :-) } than tidy… good to know a lot of us are getting messy! {lol} Happy working! Can’t wait for the next inspiration from you… :-)

  • 6.
    kd said…

    Calico Studio scrapbooking paper, I love them all!

  • 7.
    Susan Raihala said…

    My desk is completely clean at the moment. I made a huge mess on it yesterday, and before I went to bed, I cleaned it all away like a good girl. That’s because today I want to start something totally new, and I gotta have a blank slate or my OCD self will not let me create.
    Ah, Mommy Time. I blogged about Mommy Time…it’s hard and precious at the same time.
    Sounds like you’re coping beautifully!

  • 8.
    Theresa said…

    A half-finished mini book about my son’s trip to Sea World and a quilt top in progress. Messy is OK as long as you’re creating.

  • 9.
    Denean said…

    Love that punch! Have to look for that one! My desk is empty right now, but my computer is FILLED with pictures I need to edit and scrap!

  • 10.
    Barbara from NC said…

    Right now, I have a picture of my grandson with the Easter Bunny and all the papers I’m thinking about using for this layout on my work table. I just need to decide on which set I want to go with. Oh, I also have the file with this year’s tax info that hubby put on my table for me to file away. Geesh, no wonder I’m not feeling the creativity!

  • 11.
    Denise Laborde said…

    Hi Ali, that punch looks very girly :) I have yet to get my hands on a border punch (although I did use my mom’s Fiskar and I loved it!)
    On my table right now is a sewing machine (sewing is a new-to-me technique) and mini-misters filled with Perfect Pearls and Distress Inks.
    It’s messy around here too but for a different reason. I recenlty moved the craft room to another room in the house and am still sorting through boxes.
    Bises, D

  • 12.
    Susan Wilson said…

    My desk, actually my whole craft/office area, is full of boxes, albums, archival sheets and more than 100 years worth of photos and portraits. What a mess! I’m organizing and storing them for future generations. First they had to be removed from black paper and magnetic albums. The reward of this project will be in its completion because it hasn’t been fun now for quite a while. I’ve started this project and made some progress on about three (maybe four) different occasions. I’m determined to finish it this time before I move on to another project.

  • 13.
    Lourdes said…

    When I am working on projects my desk and floor is even more full of stuff. Right now I am working on clearing off things that I don’t use, want, need from the top of my desk. This is really simple since I am not working on any projects right now.
    I will admit that I love sitting down in the mist of the mess. It makes me feel like “in motion”.
    Can’t wait to see what you come up with!!

  • 14.
    Rhonda Hestir said…

    I am smack dab in the middle of Stacy Julian’s Library of Memories class over at Big Picture I say “AMAZING”??? Anyway…things in the scraproom have been completely gutted to complete my class assignments, so MESSY, MESSY, MESSY! Now I need to take GOBI (Get Organized, Be Inspired) BPS class by Wendy Smedley. (insert wild crazy laugh.)I really think about your recent simplification of your scrap space. That’s it, though. I just think about it. I admire it. But I just think about it.
    Seeing Anna is such a blessing. I am so proud of her big brother, too!

  • 15.
    alexandra said…

    We just painted my studio and brought everything back in so right now things are organized… still on that ‘fresh paint, new room, keep things tidy’ kick – hoping to stay this way but things do have a way of snowballing. On my desk right now are regular things like lists and sketches, a calendar notebook and notes on Erika Martin’s Soulology project – got to get going on that!!
    I love it when you do ‘three things’ – thanks for sharing!

  • 16.
    Diana said…

    took a break yesterday from creating and will today…have a field trip but yes there are a few piles including a jury summons, american craft thickers from peacy cheap, night light kit from Scrap stop, my camera and jibbitz of paper!

  • 17.
    Jen said…

    I’m always working around a mess. It’s a small house and there’s not a lot of room to spread out before it starts to look like a disaster, and with two boys and a full time job there’s not a lot of time to devote to it either. I’ll keep trying, and hopefully one day I’ll get the hang of it!

  • 18.
    Nicky from Canada said…

    Love the pearl flowers – pretty cool. My desk and table are full of items for a fundraiser – finishing the last of a quilted bag to go with the 4 quilts, 1 baby quilt, 2 quilted bags and some afghans. All the photos are pushed to the side right now – but hope to clean it up by the end of next week and then on to some scrapbooking.
    I hope.

  • 19.
    Sara Donaldson said…

    I was working in the midst of a mess a day ago and then all of a sudden I cleaned it up. Now I am sure in the next couple of days I will have another mess. I go from one to the next depending on what is going on in the rest of my life.

  • 20.
    Karen said…

    My desk is certainly a mess….not from scrapping (unfortunately). Lots of new stuff on it to be put away including the Scarlet Lime kit I won from you!

  • 21.
    Jingle said…

    I am definitely in mess mode at the moment! I have some new fabric that just came in on my table, my ATG, and a brand new Hero Arts birdhouse stamp that I’m dying to use!!!

  • 22.
    Cassi said…

    i’ve got a huge mess. my table is covered in hero arts stamps, new ac zing, and the new glue dots dispensers among many other things. i’m unsure if i can create without a mess.

  • 23.
    Noell Hyman said…

    Tried comparing my messy table to yours…I’m not sure who is winning. ;)
    Three things on my table I’m excited about: newer My Mind’s Eye rub-on’s from the Laundrey Line. They’re gorgeous butterflies, foliage, and words. I haven’t used as much MME in the past year as I used to, and I also haven’t used as many rub-on’s lately, but three of their rub-on sets from that line are just so gorgeous and I had fun layering them on a page last night.
    Also–this isn’t brand new but I’ve been really enjoying MM’s Paperie spiral journaling books. Those cute pages have been showing up on my layouts a lot lately.
    Lastly–cute tags from Easter stuff I bought! Some of them are going straight on the pages as they are, and some of them I will alter.

  • 24.
    Noell Hyman said…

    Ha ha, at first I read your comment as “A half-finished mini book…and a guilt trip in progress.” ;)

  • 25.

    My desk is good now. I was just cleaning in the weekends a bit .Normally it is a BIG mess.My projects and my kids there too.I add two more shelf’s(from IKEA,$14.99,love it) and still working on organizing better.I have more space now(my husband and my brother make a nice area for me in the basement ,add some extra lightning and carpet.Basement is not finish yet ,but it’s ok.

  • 26.
    Carol H said…

    I just moved – so my table has odds and ends covering it looking for their new home. I thought moving would be a great opportunity to sort and arrange everything — but what do you do with all of these oddball items. Unpacking is becoming more of a chore now. But halfway there!

  • 27.
    Tiffani said…

    Thanks for sharing “reality.” Ashamed to say that the December Daily project is still in progress on my table…but it is progressing…gradually!

  • 28.
    April said…

    Well, I have to keep my desk cleaned off for 2 reasons…first, it’s smack dab in the middle of the living room, lol, and second, it’s also my computer desk. In order to use the computer, I have to clean up the mess each time I’m done working. ;)
    Three new-to-me things that I’m LOVING are Making Memories Tiny Alphabets, Tim Holtz Grungeboard and the EK Success Corner Rounder (I looked for it forever!!).
    - April

  • 29.
    Meka said…

    I WISH I could develop at least mild OCD so I’d more often have the urge to clean. It happens some time, but not enough!

  • 30.
    Kristin Rutten said…

    My table – my whole office, in fact – seems to be always in a mess … not because of my projects but because of my “helpers.” It seems to be the dumping ground for everyone’s stuff – school papers, Skylar’s toys, LEGOs, clean but unfolded laundry, my son’s daily cartoons and book he uses with his blog, unpacked store bags from our weekend trip … the list goes on and on. Today it’s stuff from the Easter baskets, plus my newest “toy” acquired over the holiday – a heavy-duty corner rounder by Zutter that will cut through chipboard. So, if I ever find my scrapbooking stuff under all the other clutter, I might give it a try!

  • 31.
    Suzette Ladouceur said…

    On my desk: Pages in progress, cut up cardboard to modge podge into mini albums, misc. pictures that need homes, a circle punch, corner rounder, and a big bag of trail mix.

  • 32.
    Meka said…

    LOL! Tiffani, I had to chuckle. I gave up on my December Daily dreams a long time ago. Now, if only I could finish that Thanksgiving album…

  • 33.
    Sharis said…

    i am re-doing my scrap room right now, so things are a mess. My scrap table is rather small, so a lot of the mess has sprea on the floor. Honestly, I function better with a certain level of mess.
    Three things I like right now are:
    chipboard hearts
    scallop edge punch
    These are all in a bag on the floor next to my table.

  • 34.
    Meka said…

    I’m starting to get over the must-do-12×12-rule, too. For a long time I was faithful to it, and the double-page layouts. They were a must. But who has time for all of that?!
    I think I’m going to start doing 8 1/2 x 11s or even 8 x 8 LOs. It just seems easier, and the size is more practical.

  • 35.
    Meka said…

    Ha! I can’t last a whole day without the mess returning, let alone a few days!

  • 36.
    Meka said…

    On my desk right now…
    A square punch, paper trimmer, and patterned paper for a collage I’ll be starting soon.
    A box of I’ll-put-this-away-later stuff.
    Some bright spring-colored flower pots to house my markers, paint brushes, and other high-use tools.

  • 37.
    Melissa said…

    Currently, I am using your “week in the life” idea for my scrapbook of the Mission: Savannah trip I took last summer. My desk is covered but I haven’t been working on too much lately. I am waiting until September when I can reclaim part of my house and make my scrap space a little bigger.

  • 38.
    Michele Wellman said…

    Mine usually isn’t a mess, but with 3 different themed LO’s going on, there’s no way around it. I was inspired to order the different sized page protectors from last week’s post so I am having fun! I did a 6×12 last night & I really love it! I can’t wait to get all these different sizes into an album.So many stories, so much fun!

  • 39.
    Candice Warnke said…

    You’re 3Things posts always enable me! I am going to have to go get that MS punch! And the paper clips too! Thanks for sharing :)

  • 40.
    Malea said…

    Too Much Junk!! I’ve recently been inspired to start some sewing projects (found some really cute baby shoes patterns), so I’ve got all my sewing stuff out. Plus piles of pictures that are waiting to be scrapped and a million other little pieces of things. Found out yesterday that we’re going to have to start cleaning out the house to try and sell it, so I’ve really got to get in the cleaning and organizing mode!!

  • 41.
    Heather said…

    My craft table currently has baby food, mail, and bibs on it…it’s actually my kitchen table, and there aren’t enough hours in the day to get around to cleaning of the table to create anything the last few weeks. I’m hoping things calm down in the next month or two and I can get some fun stuff done.

  • 42.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Such a huge project Susan! I need to remove some photos from my parents albums – another “on my list” project.

  • 43.
    Tona said…

    I always clean up my work space after I complete a project. I just don’t function well surrounded by clutter. Right now on my work space there is a pack of rub-ons that a friend sent me in the mail yesterday.

  • 44.
    Mel said…

    Ali, it’s so nice to hear honesty and reality hitting the blogs…I get so discouraged sometimes, thinking I’m the only one who lives in chaos and “creative mess”. Sometimes it gets so discouraging, it just kills any desire I have to create. Thanks for the honesty and encouragment.

  • 45.
    tere said…

    Mine is clean but only because I haven’t done anything! Concidentally I also have a martha Stewart punch I got yesterday at WM, it is a leaf puch, I love making clusters of flowers and I’ve been wanting this ouch for a long time.

  • 46.
    Ali Edwards said…

    That sounds familiar to me too Sara :) . I think I am close to a major clean if I can find a couple spare minutes.

  • 47.
    Ali Edwards said…

    I really like those spiral journal pages too. One of those is under a pile on the table – planning to use it soon – I like the ragged edge.

  • 48.
    Ali Edwards said…

    I know about that reality too :) . I have a few of those sorts of projects hanging around here as well. No need to be ashamed!

  • 49.
    Ali Edwards said…

    There are lots of little “evidences” of Simon’s existence in here too :) .

  • 50.
    Mary Jo said…

    Holy cow, my counter space is a mess right now! I also love to clean up between projects usually but that is just not happening right now. I have a few to many projects going on at the same time and that is what is keeping me from giving it a good straighten.
    Right now I have a lot of Scenic Route Sonoma product since I’m working on a mini-album of a little trip my son and I took together. Plus a pile of new product from CHA that I just can’t seem to put away yet. And several Studio calico kits that I need to put away into my stash :0)

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