The 'Three Sisters' & the Jameison Valley ...... one of the 'touristy' spots in the Blue Mountains National Park.

Whose 'Creative Corner' I hear you ask???

Hi, I'm Chris Bennett AKA 'Chris in Oz'. I live in the beautiful Blue Mountains west of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (affectionately known as 'Oz' or 'The Land Down-Under'). I'm in my mid-50's, have been married for 30+ years to THE most wonderful man and I'm the PROUDEST MUM of 2 grown children. My DS is into photography and has taken some amazing shots. You can see some of them in 'Simon's Gallery'. My DD is a High School teacher who is committed to educating our youth of today. I was a Teacher/Assistant Principal in the field of Special Education for over 16 years until I retired in June 2004.

I've been involved in art and craft activities for most of my life and I became a 'stampaholic' and 'technique junkie' to 'save my sanity' after an injury in 2003. I began by making cards and slowly, but surely, became addicted to ATCs, hand-made books, altered books, boxes, bottles, tins, jigsaw puzzles and anything else that stands still long enough to be altered. I love texture and colour and I'm gradually stepping outside my comfort zone to experiment and explore other media and styles. Check out 'My Gallery' to see some more of my work.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I also take photos, I don't know how 'good' my photos are, but I just love to take them ...... so every now and then I might just sneak one in ...... I hope you don't mind!!! Well, not too much!!! LOL!!!

Friday, 18 June 2010


Well today's the big day.  The day I invite you into my 'STUDIO', the place where I relax, the place where I create and the place where I am constantly organising, re-organising and then re-organising yet again.  My 'STUDIO' is a work in progress.  Sadly, I wasn't able to make as much progress as I would have liked before this wonderful event, but (as they say) you get that......

Karen Valentine from My Desert Cottage in Arizona has been working her fingers to the bone to organise this wonderful blog party, where you can 'drop in' to visit other artists' studios/work spaces to see where they create.  Go and check out Karen's blog to see all the party guests (the list of participants is in the right-hand column).

I'm supposed to tell you a little bit about myself.  You've probably already guessed that I'm a bit obsessive, and of course you'd be correct.  Leaving that aside, over the years I've tried many crafts; sewing, knitting, crocheting, macrame etc, etc.  My very first experience of 'papercrafting' came in the form of an 'stamp shop' in a little country town.  A group of us had gone away for a 'ladies' weekend and the owner of the store gave us a demonstration of heat embossing.  Well, I thought it was simply amazing and was immediately hooked.  I started out making cards and from there moved into book arts (hand-made and altered books), ATCs and altered items (bottles, tins, boxes, anything that wasn't moving really).  I've embraced Yahoo groups with gusto and joined swaps 'til I dropped and I now have a wonderful collection of 'art' from all over the world created by people who  have become friends. As my 'passion' for mixed-media grew, so did my supplies and stash.  I've gradually moved from one large crate to half a room, then a full room, then 2 and 3 until now, I'm spread out into our double garage.  My studio looks very disorgainsed and a little stark right now, but as I said - it's a work in progress.

Okay, here we go......

This is my computer that is positioned just inside the front door. 

Moving around the room in a clock-wise direction, these shelves display most of my paints, colour sprays and mediums.

These units/containers are temporary storage for more paint, glues and miscellaneous supplies.  Do you like my birdcage, I bought it at a trash & treasure market in Victoria the last time I visited my family.

More shelves displaying ink pads, miscellaneous 'bellie' containers, alphabet drawers and odds & ends.
Here are some close-ups of these shelves too.

Ink pads, flowers, alphabet drawers.

These shelves hold my embossing powders (fine, detailed and ultrathick), 'bellie' containers, pens, pencils and markers, brads, beads and tiny bellies and more mediums in boxes.  Close-ups of these drawers:

Embossing Powders.

Beads, brads, tiny 'bellies' etc in these containers.  The jig-saws were international swaps 12 swappers altered a piece of puzle for each swap member.  I loved being involved in these swaps almost as much as I love the finished projects.  I have taken part in four of these swaps in total.

This section of shelves is very temporary and displays some of my stash that would fit in the previous ones.  I've decided that I'm going to separate the bellies , so that there'll be more room to put my paints and mediums on those other shelves, all on the one wall.

These drawers hold all of my mounted stamps some punches and other miscellaneous supplies.  The filing cabinets hold a variety of paper and cardstock.

The folders hold my unmounted stamps and the drawer chests hold a variety of items that I have not had time to sort out properly.  I think these units will probably be replaced when I finally buy all of the new furniture that I eventuall want in this area.

These three sets of shelves cover a whole wall.  I keep my magazines and books, some of my larger tools ( xyron, bind-it-all, melting pot, iron etc on these shelves.  The last set of shelves on this wall displays more of my embellishments, all of my Ideaology stash and at the bottom boxes of ribbon, lace and other miscellaneous 'stuff'.  These shelves will be gradually replaced with Ikea units with a glass door covering the bottom half of each shelf.

This shelf system is made up of sections that I bought from The Reject Shop, eventually these will be replaced with a large Expedit unit from Ikea, with a dedicated section for a TV and DVD/video.  There's a couch that will be placed in front so I can sit to relax, reads my many craft books or watch shows for inspiration.

This is my work table.  I love to create with friends, so it's been important that I have a set-up like this.  Six peolpe can very confortably sit around this table and if you don't mind be a bit 'squeezey' we can even fit eight.  There is a smaller table in the background which will be extended in height to form an extra work bench.

I thought I'd finish my tour by showing you some of the wonderful creations that I've received from the last swap I participated in.  Dream*Create*Inspire is a small group of international members who have formed friendships over a long period of time.  We had a swap Called 'Mini Memories'.  Participants had to select a colour scheme and a theme.  My colour was 'purple' and my theme was 'wings', these are the stunning creations I've received so far:

Vickie Deans (AUS)

Tracey Watt (AUS) 

Melissa Goodman (AUS)

Rhonda Sadler (AUS)

Carol Anderson (AUS)

Carol Sweeney (USA)

Rena Sawatski (CANADA)

Well, that's all folks.  I hope you've enjoyed my little tour and will come back to visit whenever the muse takes you.  Don't forget to 'drop-in' to all the other guests and have fun!!!

Until next time......

Chris in Oz


zandra said...

Wow, you are sooooo organized. Definitely, my goal for next yes,

luverlie said...

WOW! I'm speechless!

Gloria said...

Great space and so organized. Awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Kelee Katillac said...

Wow! So many great materials and SO organized! Love it!

From where women create!

Stop by!


stefanie said...

oh, I LOVE your shelfs...everything is sooo easy to find!

Penny said...

Awesome - I am almost speachless.
You sure have a vast amount of supplies. and equipment.
Thank you for giving us this peek into your creative self.

Karen Valentine said...

Chris, I am sitting here with my mouth hanging open! I even called my husband over to look at all your stuff! It looks like you have been collecting those supplies for your whole life!!! I cannot even image how wonderful it would be to have anything my heart desired to use while in a creative frenzy! Thank you for sharing your wonderful space!

My Desert Cottage

craftyles said...

Your space is amazing! I love all the rows of drawers and paints and bins. So organized. Pretty artwork too.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

What an amazing space you have created! You have inspired me to add to my own crafting area.

I adore all of your storage solutions.

Claudia said...

I can't believe how many supplies you have! What a treasure trove of things to create with! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful studio with us.

kluless said...

I am just blown AWAY by how organized you are. Your studio is incredible! Thank you so much for the tour.

Terri said...

Serious artist here...with a mad skills and this is a place to do some creating!!! love it!

Geralyn Gray said... have a lot of supplies....but, they are so well organized!!!

donnaj said...

what a great room-and you can see all your supplies! I too started my current love of art/mixed media when i saw embossing back in 1991-

Romeo said...

Oh my whiskers!!! I could create in your studio for years and still not run out of fun stuff to use!!!! And you've got it all so organized - two paws up for "great job". Beautiful studio - thanks for sharing!!!!

Romeo and "her"

Debby said...

Hi Chris,

WOW!!! You have an amazing space, over~flowing with so much yumminess. You are so organized, it is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Do you own stock in container companies? You have the most and the most functional containers I have seen. I thought I had a lot of stuff, but you have more rubber stamps in one container than I own. All of our storage solutions make for a very colorful and fun to look at backdrop for your incredible art. I got a glimpse of it in the next posts. Your friends must be blessed to craft in this beautiful and so well appointed studio. Thanks for sharing.

Lori said...

Wow! Your room is so organized and I'm in awe of the amount of supplies you own. And here I thought I had a lot of stuff! I love your creations as well.

Connie Eyberg Originals said...

You have an awesome studio. I love the shelves of paints and such. You have found a place for everything and that's a lot! Thanks for sharing. Connie

Halle said...

My organized! And how wonderful you have space to create with friends!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

What a large and great space you have, Chris! I was picturing the changes you've mentioned as we went along and I think it's going to look great. It's so good that you seem to have it all planned out, too.

Liz-AnnasOnTheLake said...

Wow! I thought I had a lot of supplies! I have supply envy now! And so many great storage units. What a great space!

Cathee said...

WOW I am in awe of your organized wonderful space!!!!Would love to hear your swap group.. where do your swap?

Miss Sandy said...

Oh my stars, your studio looks like a fantastic store with all those yummy supplies so neatly shelved! Very inspiring indeed. Thank you for sharing.

Angela Weimer said...

Let me start by saying your work is beautiful and your space amazing. How wonderful to have the space to be able to create with friends. I also love all your supplies and paints...looks like a store. thansk for the great tour. Have a wonderful day . Angela

luluslovlies said...

Wow You have an amazing lot of supplies, how wonderful and organized it is, I love it, I see I still need to get more organized, well a bit at a time as I'm still working my way down the blog party list! Thanks for sharing. XOXO

Scrap Krazed said...

Boy am I having supply envy right now! Your space is so organized, I LOVE how you have everything lined up looking perfectly! Thank you for sharing!!!! Terry

Scrap Krazed said...

Boy am I having supply envy right now! Your space is so organized, I LOVE how you have everything lined up looking perfectly! Thank you for sharing!!!! Terry

Magpie's Mumblings said...

If I had this studio I would think I'd died and gone to heaven! It would be so much fun to come and play there. Thank you so much for the tour!

Tins and Treasures said...

Wow, you have so much space and fabulous storage in your studio. I could look around for hours.

Yes, I am still visiting the participants in the 'Where Bloggers Create' event...and having a great time! Thank you for sharing your creative space with us. Have a wonderful weekend. ~Natalie

Ozstuff said...

First of all, thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog. It brought me here to yours and I am almost fainting away to see how organised you are - and the extent of your art supplies, kept in such pristine orderliness! I have to admit that my creative corner is a desk and a computer and umpteen dozen software programs and sadly nothing "tangible". As a messy, disorganised person that is probably just as well.
As a fellow Aussie I love the photo of the Blue Mountains. Very nostalgic for me because I have visited the mountains on more than one occasion and lived in Sydney for a couple of years in my younger days (I am actually a Perth person).
Thanks again. Cheers, Marie aka Ozstuff.

Brynwood Needleworks said...

Hi Chris: You've got it all...and beautifully organized. Wow! I'm impressed! Thanks for sharing your creative space.

. said...

Wow, I dont what to say other than wow, its like Im a kid standing by a candy store window looking in... I dont want to leave, so much too see... Great space and so very organized.

Gail said...

OMGosh, you have a serious stash of supplies there. I just kept saying
WOW, look at all those .........
Your work is beautiful, love, love the puzzle pieces you created (slide show). Thank you for sharing your space, everything is so neat and organized.
Gail - Big Horn Mountain Creations

Anonymous said...

I love your shelves. This must be a huge room! The only shelves that I have ever had were very shallow shelves that covered one complete wall that I stored all of my mounted stamps on, which I loved. (Had to sell house though) I am going to definately go take a peek at your slideshow. I have been a papercrafter for over 10 years but am really drawn to mixed media these days. I am new to the blogging world and want to thank you for sharing your space with me. I hope to take part next year. ~Sherry

Creative Grammie said...

WOW! You have a store in your studio! Just beautiful. I love your studio.
As you can see I'm still visiting studios and loving it.

Evelyn S. said...

I scrolled down this page of your blog with my mouth wide open in amazement! Fabulous! You are one serious crafter!

You asked about my "Aussie background" that I referred to on my Imperial Cargo post; please contact me by e-mail and I'll describe it to you.

Dawn said...

First thing first, Thank you for telling me how to keep a blog post at the top of my blog...

2nd I want to come and play - what a wonderful art studio you have, we are having building work done soon and I am having a log cabin put in the garden for my space - can't wait

3rd The swap items are so precious, lucky girl

Have a lovely day xxx

Marcie said...

WOW! I just your studio space. My dream come true!!! And - looks like you and me have a lot in common. Thanks for visiting..for commenting..for introducing yourself. Great to meet you. Will be back often!!!

Jackie K said...

OMG Girlfriend! Your new studio is fantabulous! I hope I get to see it IRL someday. Miss you heaps!

Anonymous said...

Wow Chris, your craftroom is absolutely amazing! I'm speechless! It looks enormous and soooooo organised! Just wonderful!
Your swaps are beautiful, thanks for sharing
Hugs Julie P

Jan said...

Beautiful swap pieces and I'd LOVE to have my stuff so neat and organized!! I kinda like to pile and stack..LOL!

SHAKIL HUQ said...

Truly you are very organized!
Everything is very systematic, nice and clean!
We have many things to learn from you.
Thank you for creating this awesome blog.
Well done!!