Amanda Jolley

Studio Joy

Clean Drawer Giveaway

Would you like a peak in my drawers? I’d be glad to show you since I just revamped and organized my ephemera/project file cabinet.

Notice the labels on the hanging files? Before I just had things randomly shoved in the cabinet, but now I can find that perfect piece of ephemera for collage. This is my vintage drawer and includes categories such as book covers, embroidery patterns, music, nature, report cards.

The middle drawer is filled with longer items such as vintage sheet music and larger magazines, plus cardstock and other specialty papers, and my favorite magazines.

The bottom drawer has projects in progress, drawing paper, and magazines used for collage.

Before these drawer were organized, piles would form on my desk top because I wasn’t quite sure where to put my stash if I wanted to find it again. And now…

The file cabinet is just to the left of my work desk, so everything is easily accessed. Some of my favorite vintage books like dictionaries, record books, encyclopedias are stored on top of the file cabinet.

Right behind my desk is my solder station.

This is an old high school shop class work bench. It is the perfect work and storage space for soldering. All I have to do is spin my desk chair around to be facing the solder station.

Here’s the view from the back of the solder station.

And to the right is blue dresser full of paints, mediums, oil pastels, all those lovely art supplies.

I have everything stored in plastic shoeboxes, so if I need to remove supplies for teaching a class or for transport, I can easily pull out the shoebox, pop on the lid, and go.

Relief! Without the piles and clutter, I am much more free to create. Disorganization really hampers my creativity. I like to make a mess while I work, but I also like to start fresh with each project.

One thing I realized while organizing my file cabinet is that I have an abundant supply of ephemera. What better way to thin it down than to SHARE.

Enter the Clean Drawer Giveaway by leaving a comment on this post sharing why you love ephemera, or how you organize your own ephemera. I will randomly draw for the Sweet and Chunky Ephemera Package on Sunday, February 28, and will announce the winner via blog post.

I love to use ephemera to package my soldered jewelry sales. Here are a couple sweet packages prepared for shipping today:

This sweet little ring was a commission using the first measure of Clair de Lune.
The packaging is a report card from 1929.
This packaging is a vintage postcard sent from England, postage stamps intact.

amanda ∞

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14 Comments on “Clean Drawer Giveaway”

  1. My ephemera is currently organized by being all over my studio! Argh! Today I actually just started shoving things in drawers so that, soon, I can walk into my studio without tripping over everything. My goal is to get to the point where I can see the floor, and then I can slowly start organizing.

  2. You put me to shame! My ephemera is in boxes, drawers, plastic totes, downstairs, purses. . . can you call that organized? My reason for liking ephemera is because it brings me to a different emotion, a different place, a faraway resting spot that is an escape from the chaos of the here and now. Sometimes I need that. Organization of this stuff? That will be a VERY slow process. Have to get the office in working order first (I can relate to Andria).

  3. My empemera is in different places too. I mailnly use accordian files to store it in. I also have 12×12 Iris bins. I don’t have a large collection or a lot of space to store it so I’m really liking your idea here. I love how you have everything organized here.

  4. I’m always interested to hear how people sort their ephemera. I always thought I’d sort by colour because that tends to be the first thing I gravitate towards. Thought I would be able to go through a file of a couple of colours and see what kind of story pops out of what’s there. But I’m thinking now that it might be harder to use if I’m looking for something specific. And it’s sometimes hard to figure out what colour to put file multicoloured things in. So I’ll probably try the category route as well.

    I love your shop class work bench – that’s a really nice piece of furniture. And how lovely to wrap your jewellery in ephemera! Makes each one that much more special.

  5. I am in the process of doing some organization to my room also. My husband says that I use my room as storage…which is kinda true since sometimes I can’t even get in the room. Work mostly on the pool table which is right outside my craft room. My ephemera needs sorting. The file idea is good but into what groups do you decide to divide them into? Always confusing for me. Organization is a must and looks like you”re on a roll! Thanks for sharing.

  6. I love your ideas for storage. I, too, have struggled with an effective paper ephemera storage solution. Right now I have too many different locations for all of it so that when I want a specific piece I have to check about four different locations before, hopefully, finding it. I am definitely going to try your filing system! I collect ephemera from just about everywhere…from clothing tags to garage sale finds to papers from my childhood that the pack rat in me could never part with! My family thinks I’m crazy for saving everything but my youngest son seems to have “caught” the collecting bug as well, as I often find him saving even product or food packaging and saying, “I know what I’m gonna make out of this!” It warms a collecting mother’s heart! ; )

  7. I love how organized your studio is. I am currently thinking how best to organize my own studio. I have a quilt on a sheet on the floor, while I am working on other things. I seem to get my stuff out and don’t take the time to put it back. I’m going to work on this very soon! Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Hi Amanda. I’ve just clicked through from your comment on Cate Prato’s blog, to have a squizz at your creative space. You’ve done so well! It all looks so fabulously organised. Something I aspire to. My space is getting there, but still a little work to do. Thanks for sharing this. 🙂

  9. Your studio looks great! And I also like your soldering workbench. I love ephemera, especially vintage, because it helps me feel connected to the past and I find it creatively inspiring. My “organization” (such as it is) for now is mostly boxes (clear plastic in several sizes). Of course it makes it hard to find what I need when I need it, but my collection is not nearly as big yet as I’d like it to be 🙂

  10. Hi Amanda – Love your studio organization and the way you have set everything up. Lots of good ideas here! I don’t have a studio so have stuff tucked away all over the house. My workspace is the dining room which is also used for eating meals. It is challenging but workable with functional storage and organization. The key is knowing where everything is so that you can get your hands on whatever it is you need at the moment.


  12. I use small clear plastic shoeboxes stored inside a larger clear plastic tote. I have a small collection for now, so what works for me is sorting by type of ephemera, such as: floral, retro (50s/60s/70s), wordy bits, people, ornamental (such as pen flourishes, B&W clipart, or Victorian woodwork called gingerbread); animals; etc. Hopefully that makes sense. Works pretty well for now. I have one small box for bits of lace and ribbon scraps left over from sewing projects too; that one is really full. 🙂

  13. Please do not enter me in the drawing! I just have to mention that I was thankful to learn a new word today. Ephemera – wonderful! And your creative area does look so organized – that speaks to me!

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