Whether you knew it or not – a holiday is about to come crashing down (delightfully!) upon us!! National Craft Month happens every March, and I thought this year it might be nice to have a little fun and encourage everyone to join in.

This weekend, I’ve been prepping the studio itself. Because….OH. MY. After filming three classes, and purchasing from Ellen and Blick both, trying to get ahead on videos because I have a five day (yes FIVE GLORIOUS DAYS) watercolor workshop with Brenda Swenson starting in just over a week, and keeping up with #blackhistorysketches…..well, this place got insane.

So yesterday I dug in. And I got the whole u-shaped desk cleaned up! Drawers below and everything. The dust bunnies were growling back at me, but I WON! I still have the REST of the room to go…lots and lots and lots of purging and re-organizing…but this was the ugliest visible place. The rest is cabinets and bins in the other half of the studio!

I’ve got a couple pics – and am numbering a few things I suspect there will be questions on; see the list below the photos for what they are. Hopefully this helps show you the current state of things; and no I will not be posting pics of drawers. Let’s just say there’s room in them now and I’m happy enough with that!

  1. The shelf is the top of a desk I had about 20 years ago. Really sturdy so it’s justified its existence!
  2. Yes, I have too many journaling Bibles! I bought a lot so I could test them and let folks know what they’re like; I’ve got enough that I believe they’re all about the same paper, and the only one that has thicker paper is the Illustrating Bible which I don’t like. Mediums don’t move the way I like them to.
  3. All my water-based pens. Zig clean color, Tombow, Marvy, Art & Graphic Twin.
  4. Black Capped Chickadees original…get your print HERE.
  5. Gemini Jr. for diecutting.
  6. Shelving from….maybe Ikea? It’s been with me over a decade so I don’t recall.
  7. Cardstock, finally sorted by color. AHHHHHHHH it feels good.
  8. Guillotine trimmer.
  9. Misc stuff. Envelopes, card bases, precut papers for stamping and coloring, stuffed toys, solvents….shelf below it has two long flat wooden cases, 1 for drawing supplies, the other is all watercolor tubes. Yeah I have a ton.
  10. Pile of extra pads of paper that have to find somewhere to live….the cabinet with the rest is just chock full. I keep buying paper coz I can’t find the old one – agh! I may leave that pile there and hope to whittle thiings down a little. How long til I use up 6 pads of Stonehenge!?!? LOL!
  11. A little Ikea set of drawers with ink blending stuff, water spray bottles, acetate scraps, other lil junk. Covered with patterned paper. Mugs of odds and ends on top.
  12. Office Depot white board with cups that have magnetic on the back. Keeps lots up off the desk.
  13. One of two Blick boxes, I couldn’t open it til I cleaned the desk! #reward
  14. Two barstools – one usually holds my Copic case, the other is a catch-all because the counters get so full!
  15. Wall lights aren’t anything special – got them at a lighting shop, I think they were called “Couples lights” because they’re for each side of a bed. They work nice if I’m not filming, but not for shooting video.
  16. My Arkon Kitchen Desk Table Stand with ipad hookiebob thing on it. They have all kinds of camera connectors and a phone holder etc so search their site to see what parts you need. (You can email them for help too.) I only use the ipad so I can listen to music, watch the news, or search for reference photos; it’s not used in video production. For 20% discount at Arkon use coupon code sandyallnock
  17. Camera is a Canon Rebel, older model now. I need a new one, Santa!
  18. Square panel Dracast lights are new in the last few months, and I like them. Mounted on tripods using this widget.
  19. Weekly flowers! I treat myself to flowers to remind myself that life is good and I don’t have to skimp on things that really do spark joy.
  20. Incredible Art Board is what I use to create videos on; often with a sheet of white cardstock on top when coloring so it doesn’t dirty it up too fast. They get filthy after a bit if I’m not careful – I try to keep them protected when not shooting. Once dirty, though, they’re perfect as boards for painting half-sheet watercolors.
  21. My nice easel that hasn’t seen much use…for one because I had until the last few months always painted flat. And for two because there was so much garbage around it I couldn’t access it without knocking things over! Part of the cleaning goal was to make this accessible, so I’m excited to start painting on it. The new lights are also able to move around better than the old ones, so I could maybe even film a watercolor class using the easel at some poiint.
  22. Found this cool 3-tin-cup stand at a vintage shop, and store all my brushes in it. Uhm yeah, I have too many.
  23. My Quietsharp pencil sharpener.

Join me for National Craft Month

I would like to challenge you — especially my students — to join me in a little creating every day. But in a little different way than usual. Make a #playjournal and let’s try some new things! Make a little journal like mine, or buy one, and just create something. Use a medium or product you have that hasn’t seen love in a while. Try a 2-inch snippet of a technique you saw someone do on YT. Test out a borrowed medium or tool and see what it does. Combine things that might or might not work, and be open to learning something! I suggest a small journal, or just do a little piece of a page each day; if you get motivated to do more, of course, that’s great, but just commit to yourself you’ll spend just 10 minutes a day playing. It’s good for the soul!

I’ll be doing that in my own little #playjournal. As I cleaned, I found lots of things to play with while cleaning….a bunch that I won’t be able to link you to, but I’m gonna be using some unloved stencils, mediums, and more, and see what I can learn!

Click on the pic below to see my play journal page with a quick video showing how to make this little book!

One last thing

…today’s Bible journaling video! For anyone who doesn’t know, I’ve got a whole channel that has a new video each Sunday.

Hope you get some time this week to get your workspace tidied up so you can get messy all through March with me!