Step into my Office…

An office- as explained by Webster’s Dictionary…  Noun- a room or premises for administrative or clerical work, for transacting business.
In my house- my office is that room. That room in which I go hide in to conduct my business- my creative den. The place in which my laptop lies that is my tool of business. My office has been described (be it me saying it) as a five pound bag filled with 20 pounds of stuff. It is also the gateway to the somewhat secret guestroom at the back of the house- another five pound bag filled with 20 pounds of stuff, but the door stays closed, it is organized (kind of), and completely livable to those that inhabit it.

Sunday night, in an odd fit of can’t concentrate (lets doodle, okay did that for an hour, lets watch TV- nothing is on, let’s work on the new painting- eh not my thing, let’s clean- there it is! What I wanted to do- wait, what, its bedtime? Damn.) Sometimes I think cleaning is the Ritalin to my ADHD. Anyhoo- I decided to clean my office. To put away things, to make the door be able to open completely, to throw stuff away so the drawers of my desk can close (before garbage goes out Monday morning), to wipe the dust, cat hair, and incense ash from my desktop, to organized the shelves and straighten things so the creativity doesn’t have to flow over mountains of shit to get to me. Then I took pictures of it. One- to prove my office CAN be tidy and two- so I can let you all into my creative den. My safe place. Well, sort of. My creative den- at least the painting part has spilled into the living room- or as I like to currently like to call it- Galleria de Mechelle.

This is how the paintings all begin- in my sketch books or my new art journal- a truly wise investment that has only improved my doodling skills and ideas-
  Then I paint… Sometimes it gets messy, but the results… Oh my…

 Once you take in the beauty of my recent finished works, you must enter the jungle known as the once pathetic three leafed vine and once pathetic three stem ficus, not both are over growing my office door and gets trimmed or tied back every two months… you enter my office. A bit overwhelming at first, but then you notice the organization of the chaos. Photography here, painting here, painting supplies there, reference materials there, and then the helm of it all. Note- the camera bag is sitting on the old cherry wood table it took me two months to restore when I moved back to Michigan. I found it in a dumpster behind my North Carolina apartment and it turns out as I was restoring it- was well over 7 years old and an antique.

 The typewriter (uncertain if it works) was a great six dollar garage sale find and fit the still a writer and this is my office motif. The plaster painted skull- a prop used in my creep show series- too cute to hide away in the mountain of props in the guest room. And yes- that is in fact a stuffed Carebear. He’s creative bear, and gift from Hubby. I also collect old desk lighter’s and glass inkwells, I love how they look and the feeling of holding the cool glass in my hands, wondering who used them years before me.

The framed piece of art on the wall is an old pencil sketch done of my father when he was a firefighter done by one of my mom’s friends in a live sketch class when I was a kid. The bookshelf is an antique my father got for his shop office that he gave to me when he decided he didn’t want it any more- it’s filled with medical reference books from Hubby for the paramedic books, writing reverence books, my scrap books of inspiration. And the top is a cluster of raw semi-precious stones given to me as gifts (I kinda really, really like rocks) dried bunches of lavender from my gardens over the years, and pictures of my two favorite beaches North Topsail Island, MC and Grand Haven. The lamp, vintage 60’s art deco from my great aunt when she passed has been repainted by me and still used all the time. 

I beg of you, please ignore my cat Skijit in the upper right corner. She is usually more photogenic and not always licking her own butt.

The helm. My desk. Above it hangs an old photography light given to me by one of my mentors (yes- L.H. I mean you) when we moved our studio Workshoots from the Monroe address to the Front Avenue address. Hubby rewired it and hung it above my desk. The desk itself was my brother’s. It was in his “man cave” behind my parent’s old house when we were kids. His man cave was the aft pilot house of the S.S. City of Midland Carferry that sailed Lake Michigan years and years ago… Long story and not really mine to tell. Anyhoo- he gave me the desk a few years ago. There is of course the standard printer with paper and three ring binder filled with notes and stuff to work on for SWMCCC Summer Weekend. There is also the magic laptop and 3Tb external hard drive. Where I do my editing and storage. Both are filled with so many pretty naked ladies- its mind boggling. Oh- there are also thousands of images of flowers, storms, lightning (yeah- I am that cool. I have photographed lightning), and places I have been over the many years my camera has been attached to my face. Somewhere- on the external- lays my three unpublished novels that I will return to someday.

The little shelf, the part that isn’t occupied by my three ring binder is filled with trinkets. I like trinkets. As well as coffee cans I have painted filled with pens and always sharp pencils. The big green button- a little reminder for my haters and sometimes when I need to be reminded to get out of my own head. I so wish it would be socially acceptable to wear that on my daily backpack.

Trinkets. I have loads of little trinket boxes all over my office. They are always in old cigar boxes I find at goodwill or garage sales. The Epoca box is filled with little things like leaves, chunks of moss, a feather, butterfly wings and small stones found on my recent trip to the U.P. with Hubby. The minions? Who doesn’t want their own minions? 

Yellow is the color of creativity- hence the yellow candles all over that smell delicious when I have them all burning at once. Butterflies under glass- not that I collect them- I bought them as token to unforgettable trips to see the butterflies at Fredrick Meijer Gardens. The year I bought the big blue one was the year I photographed pretty much nothing but the Blue Common Morpho butterflies there- something I assure you is rare for someone with as little patience as me. The half coconut shell? It’s a magnolia candle that actually smells like my beloved Magnolia trees in North Carolina- purchased at a surf shop my last trip down there. The dandelion in the acrylic bubble- a garage sale find and completely amazing to me.

The last box is one of two dedicated to creative energies and memories. All the semi-precious stones have new age creative properties. The black hand ring holder- I love the delicate positioning of the fingers. The crystal ball- because it’s frickin’ cool! The dried corsage is from my first major paid photo gig- when I was co-photographer covering the flower show at Devos Place a couple years ago. A pencil to remind me I am a writer.

My wall of inspiration. It’s nothing more than old corkboard tiles screwed to the wall covered in rainbow tie-dyed poster board. It’s filled with photos of me when I was modeling, when I was my happiest at the Atlantic Ocean. Cards laminated that were cool- like the one of the old man holding lightning in a bottle- that’s how I feel every time I photograph lightning (the picture above it).There are a few of my favorite pictures I have taken of pets long ago passed on, photos I have had published (the newspaper clipping of a house fire I followed Hubby to and the burning industrial building published on seven years ago). Stickers that were funny or cool and still are to me. And other randomness that makes me feel comfortable being me. If you look close enough- there’s high school me- grinning like a fool next to the English teacher I had a huge crush on J

 My desk how it usually looks- minus my black cat Morganna who is usually always sitting right where the speaker is whenever I am working here in my office (like she is now as I am typing my blog). That and sometimes instead of my favorite coffee cup, it is actually a can of Monster.

This is where I am when I write my blogs. Where I am when I am editing photos. In my room filled with pieces of me stacked on shelves, piled on the flat surfaces, and tucked away in corners, just waiting to be brought out and used. My "Me" room. It isn’t a man cave- I am not a man, think like one- genetically not one. This is my “Me Cave”. For some reason, it felt right to let all of you in to take a look at intricate bits and pieces of me…


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