A desk for study, sewing, weaving and sketchbook club


You know those posts you see on Facebook about untidy desks belonging to genii (or geniuses for you lesser mortals)? Well, I’d like to think my untidy desk is showing signs of my genius too. However, if I am honest with myself, it’s because I have too many ideas, too many hobbies and I’m trying to get too much done in not enough time. So it all piles up and has an incongruous look of efficiency about it …or not – depending who’s looking at it.

My husband is a very patient man and he lets me get away with it most of the time but occasionally he will make a dig, a snide comment about the amount of trash I have collected in my corner of the room.

I have a ton of excuses ready to throw back at him but if the truth be known, he’s right BUT YOU’RE NOT TO TELL HIM.

The twins are fast growing up and also delving into lots of projects of their own. My mess has inspired them to have a go at weaving, to try their hand at sketchbook club and the latest passion – to sew.

After giving Alice a sewing machine for her birthday, it quickly became apparent that she loved it and would be making great use of her gift. The family very helpfully started mentioning projects she could help them with … ripped jeans, dad’s pants that needed mending and various buttons that needed sewing back on to shirts, jackets and trousers. But Alice wants to get creating, she would like to be a fashion designer she says and I would like to encourage that idea. After all, which mother wouldn’t want to be dressed head to toe in designer gear?


Now, sewing can create a lot of ‘mess‘. Apart from the machine, there is fabric, cotton, needles, scissors and all manner of tools that go into making this hobby as enjoyable as it is. So we need a space to keep everything.

As the 4th small bedroom has only ever been used as a dumping ground and occasionally as a guest room, I decided to convert it into a creative space. Husband should be pleased as all manner of crafts can now live there rather than dotted around the living area. I haven’t had time to strip wallpaper and paint the walls but I hope you can look past the outdated decor we inherited 7 years ago and see what it will be soon. I have even been collecting ideas on a Pinterest board to inspire me and maybe you will get more of a feel from there.

To start our creative space we have this sturdy white desk from Kit Out My Office for Alice to sit at and sew, she has been drawing some designs for her first projects and I can’t wait to start helping her make them come to life.

The desk comes flat packed in 3 separate boxes and is easily put together with the help of an electric screwdriver. It didn’t take us long at all. The drawer slots in easily and is a good space to keep all manner of tools. It is sturdy and we chose all white but the drawer face comes in a variety of bright colours to choose from.

fashion designs

We are also going to use this space for my weaving and for keeping our sketchbook club bits and pieces. In fact, as the room has fitted wardrobes, I can see all manner of crafts moving up to this room soon.

Disclosure: We were sent the desk for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own

HP ENVY 5530 review > the best printer in town

HP ENVY 5530

We are all set up for summer with a brand new HP ENVY 5530 printer and it is utterly amazing, let me tell you why.

I will admit to having the printer in its box for over a week before I actually set to and set it up. It was niggling me as I was imagining it would take forever and having been so super busy recently I thought I’d wait for a bit of calm before tackling the job.

Today I started the job and it was done in minutes, the easiest set up ever.

What’s more it’s connected to the WiFi and so there are no plugs and leads over taking the desk which makes for a nice neat look.

I went online to download the software and it was a simple pain-free process. My next step was to set my self up for HP Instant Ink.

HP printer set up

HP Instant Ink

One of the beauties of the HP ENVY 5530 printer is the new feature HP Instant Ink which makes sure you never run out of ink again delivering it to your door before you run out.

You can choose from three rates of monthly payments to set up, £1.99 is perfect if you print up to 50 pages a month. £3.49 for up to 100 pages a month and £7.99 for up to 300 pages a month.

HP Instant Ink price range

You connect your printer to your online account and it will detect when you’re running low. You can switch plans if you find you need to and should you have any unprinted usage they will roll it over to the following month.

They’ll also send through recycling envelopes for the empty cartridges too.

For busy parents this is a great feature as you can print till your heart’s content and never be without ink. Plus it’s such reasonable rates.


Another amazing feature that comes with the HP ENVY 5530 is the Printables. By logging in to your account and clicking on services you can access lots of different apps that provide printables.

For example Family Activities include Comics To Do, To Do Lists, Playmobil and Disney. A section on puzzles includes mazes, crosswords and Sudoku.

HP Printables

There are recipes, Travel notes, news, forums, education and so much more. What’s more you can set that they print off automatically too so you find them beautifully printed waiting when the new pages come out.

We’ve tried Hellokids.com and Kids Activities to start with and will add more as we go along.

HP printable settings

Photo printing

This is an exciting one and I’m so pleased to find there is a SD card slot too so you can pop in your card and print away on HP Advanced Photo Paper.

HP touch screen


Already used this as had to sign and return a contract, works perfectly and sends it direct to the computer making emails dead easy.

Quick forms

Another great feature is Quick Forms including weekly or monthly calendars to print off, lists with one or two columns, there are games to print including a maze (easy, medium or difficult) Sudoku and note paper with large lines (ideal for 6 year olds to practise their writing) or smaller lines

Hp sheets to print off


Disclosure: I was sent an HP ENVY 5530, ink and photo paper for the purpose of this review

Come into my office

messy officeBack in October when I realised I was spending best part of my day sat at the computer and it was in fact becoming a job – a paid job at that. I decided it was time to carve out for myself a little space to keep all my work bits in one place.

I had an old table in the garage which I cleaned up – it was far too big but it didn’t cost anything so the mister couldn’t argue with that and I rearranged the Billy bookcase, old faithful from Ikea to suit my needs. Job done!

I was sitting by a window so could use real daylight too!

Everything was ticking along nicely until one day in January Billy bookcase collapsed. I was in trouble. I was up to my ears in books and toys as it doubles up as the area I keep the girls toys in too.

I went online and went straight for the Expedit bookcase from the Ikea range which I’d seen and lusted over for a long, long time. Of course the timing of Billy dying on me like that was totally inappropriate, doesn’t he know I’m getting married in March? This is hardly the time for me to be forking out big monies for new bookcases but I drooled and drooled and thought, blow it!

I ordered it there and then online. I went for the largest model (in for a penny in for a pound) and I got it delivered as the mister had said he didn’t want to spend his weekend in Ikea (his idea of HELL) and I couldn’t lift it on my own. Job done I waited patiently and one Friday two geezers knocked on my door.

‘Got yer delivery luv.’

In came four packages and before long I had the pieces out and was putting it all together.

I was massively surprised at how easy it was to assemble. I did it on my own and it took a couple of hours tops but then I hit my first real problem..lifting it upright.


Paul was out on the razzle that night and the dining table was covered in toys that needed a new home so I knocked on my neighbour’s door and begged.

Roger popped round and helped me lift the Expedit onto it’s base after which it slided so easily against the wall it was a dream.

Expedit bookcase and desk - Ikea

In my enthusiasm on buying the Expedit bookcase I’d been tempted with the desk too which was dead easy to put together and holds the bookcase upright saving any holes in the wall to stop it falling over and this is now my office – what do you think?

Tips on assembling the Expedit bookcase

  1. Measure the area you are building in and make sure it’s big enough for the bookcase plus area to move around it.
  2. Place two strings or strong strips or a piece of cardboard under the end where you start working as once completed it will be very difficult, due to the weight, to slide your fingers under to get it upright. IMPORTANT