Tuesday, September 22, 2009

WEEK #2 Brainstorming and Inventory & Inventory Graf #3

Inventory of (one of my small ) Staples: 10-Compartment Rotating Desk Organizer

The purchase box said it would do all this…
“Helps control desktop clutter
Spins 360 degrees on precision ball bearings (swivel deskmate organizer)
Supplies sold separately”

Pack of matches
White metal twistem
Plastic straw
Popcicle stick with kneaded eraser on the end
Nail file, perfect for sharpening point of pencil
Pen from daughter’s guest book at her wedding
Manicure scissors
Glue stick
Black plastic book cover spline holding adhesive backed letters: a,s,d,f,g,h,j,k,l,
3M carton Sealing Tape
Right angle drafting ruler (US and metric)
Receipt from Charett’s (Boston) art supplies
Wooden letter opener in the shape of a cardinal
Assorted sizes of graphite pencils, permanent black ink technical pens

ambiance for creative artwork
stuck in there to make table look neat, taken from a sandwich roll bag, eating on the run again, busy life style, will use it in future to tie up gangly household plants, tries to rescue and revive the failing statures
resourceful always improvising to get a job done
accurately cut snowflake stencils for art class
accurate information, specific
always trying to correct mistakes ( my own and others)
learning the keyboard to keep up with new technology running a small business
travels to Boston, combine trip to visit parents and pick up needed art supplies

Her art work/choice of subject matter reflects the quiet side of Carolyn, mood, peaceful mountain scenes, fields of flowers, a get-a- way


I was greeted by her husband Rob and told his wife had to run out for a minute and would return any minute now. I was escorted to her studio in the back of the house and sat down on the only chair in the room. It was a chrome-finish drafting chair. Carolyn is tall so of course my feet did not reach the floor so I rested them on the metal footring and waited.

Didn’t occupy large, front living room area-old school-room for entertaining guests only, would have allowed Carolyn to have more room, more comfort, spread out, she can function very well w/very little

Carolyn ran out to pick up walker/toilet/chair ordered last week from Miller Drug for her Dad (can not go upstairs anymore), he is coming to visit 2 weeks earlier than his usual monthly visit

She is a planner and very organized, fits a lot in small places (including time)

She comes from a large family and always remembers and sends a package /gift for their b/day

Noticed on calendar -for tomorrows date- penciled in quickly-DAD, directly below in ink written neatly: DAD

She takes one day at a time. Often will say,“ It is the journey, not the destination.”
“Sorry to keep you waiting. Thank you for coming over. What can I do for you?”
Starts with parents, goes into world, comes back to parents. 360degrees

She had high standards like this fine/good product/ brush. Like the brush, it performed, good results. No substitute for quality.


Final edit…

So this is what a real artist uses to store pencils, pens, rulers and whatever else they need to be creative, I thought looking at the carousel on Carolyn’s art table. A prominent label said “360 Degree Swivel Deskmate Organizer”. Skeptical, I gave it a gentle spin as my thoughts shifted to Carolyn. She is out right now, going around in circles too, trying to recover an office chair she ordered from a local store. It got delivered to the wrong address today. She could have just called the store and told them they delivered her Dad’s chair to the wrong address. But that was not Carolyn’s style. She does not like to complicate matters more and often just does things herself to get a job done.

When the organizer stopped spinning, I inventoried its contents: a book of matches, a white metal twistem, plastic straw, popcicle stick with a kneaded eraser stuck to one end, nail file, pen wrapped in blue satin, manicure scissors, glue stick, book spline with adhesive backed letters stuck to it, 3M Carton Sealing Tape, Latex Free Adhesive Bandage, a metric drafting ruler, a recent receipt from Charrette’s Drafting Store, a wooden Cardinal letter opener, graphite pencils, and assorted permanent black ink technical pens. She has more things in this 6 1/4”x 10 1/2” gadget than I have in my whole kitchen junk drawer, I thought. Not surprising, when I think about it. She can also squeeze into one day more than most people could hope to accomplish in a week. I could use some of her organizational skills and maybe even one of these things.

She probably has those matches there to light this Yankee candle on her desk. It must set a quiet mood and suggest an ambiance her paintings always seem to reflect. I have seen similar straws and twistems on some of her ailing plants. Typically, she always tries to provide support in some way, shape or form, to people and plants alike. I have watched her use this popcicle stick with a kneaded eraser fashioned to the end and this nail file in her drawing demonstrations. She always improvises and is very frugal.” Why buy expensive products when this works just as well“, she told me once.

I recognize the blue satin finish pen that was once beside the guest book at her daughter’s wedding three years ago. She is very sentimental. This 3M carton Sealing Tape, glue stick, and wooden Cardinal letter opener must get used a lot. She has a large family and corresponds with her parents, all her siblings, children, and grandchildren. She acknowledges every occasion with either a card or a package. She is very thoughtful that way. She is a perfectionist too. She says there is a right way and a wrong way to do everything. Who else would need a right angle ruler, in metric no less, permanent black ink pens and three different sizes of scissors.

I see some letters stuck to a long strip of plastic now. They were once affixed to her keyboard when she was teaching herself about computers and keyboarding. She is always learning something new and most often teaches herself. Here is a receipt dated last weekend from Charrett’s Drafting store in Massachusetts. She combines her shopping for art supplies with driving down to Boston to bring her Dad back with her for a visit once a month. She will be picking him up again this Friday, however. Last night, her Dad called and expressed an interest in attending an event this weekend in Bar Harbor. She is spontaneous and goes with the flow. They are both that way. Like father, like daughter.

She should be back soon with the chair. I imagine it will need some assembly. She will no doubt read all the instructions first. The store would have charged an assembly fee and it would not have been ready for two weeks. That would have complicate matters more. Besides, she often prefers to do a job herself to just get it done and to her satisfaction. Once assembled, she will adjust it and I imagine spin herself around on it to make certain it has a smooth 360 degree rotation. This weekend her Dad can sit alongside her at this drafting table and maybe she can give him a drawing lesson. Maybe, she will get creative and just let him teach her some of his mechanical drawing skills. And for certain, she will be putting the chair receipt in this carousel.



  1. I don't know when I last read a piece that seemed so much a meditation, almost a prayer to dailiness, peace, quiet, simplicity. The sense of a life caught by the things in the life is what I've always hoped for in this assignment--you do it perfectly.

  2. I have a lot more piles,stashes, and collections around my house. If they could talk among themselves, I wonder what they would say when I left the room? I think I just got another idea for a graf!