Past Times: Vintage Inspiration

Posted by

I’m really affected by my environment. A relaxing space soothes me. A clean space helps me stay motivated. And an organised desk makes it easier to write.

I had a pre-New-Year clean. It’s apparently unlucky to clean on New Year’s Day and I wanted to start the year with a fresh home. I put my desk in order – and  realised it was full of vintage loveliness, accumulated over the years.

There’s the desk calendar to keep track of the days (particularly handy over Christmas). It feels good turning the wheel to change the date: as if telling myself to make the most of each day as time is passing.


There’s a matching leather desk organiser which I use as a bookcase*/pinboard (and a modern feather biro as I love the ideal of writing with a quill but haven’t yet got the necessary penmanship skills. William Morris’s quill would be ideal.)


There’s a calligraphy set, so I can learn calligraphy – a new year ambition. Eventually, I want to create a book from scratch, from writing to binding, calligraphy to marginalia. I’m slowly finding people and places to learn the skills through the Heritage Crafts Association. I’m hoping to go to their Craft Uprising conference and have applied for a bursary.


There’s a photo of a shell grotto designed by my mum, to help inspire me.


There’s a vintage time zone checker – handy if I’m offline.


There’s my magic lamp, which holds stories. And a wooden book box, that holds my medication.


There are also inspirational quotes I’ve copied from books or heard from friends and family.


And there’s the dummy cover of a magazine idea I’m toying with. I worked in magazines for years and miss having one to run.


Organising my desk helped me focus on my priorities. How does your desk look? And how do you feel when you use it? For me, a hint of old-fashioned romance, in the form of lovely desk accessories, can make work at least a little less arduous.

*A closer look at the bookcase  for ‘shelfie’ fans.





  1. Lovely, isn’ it :-). I’m a writer/author/editor/copywriter. Self published latest book, Go Wild! Over 200 Ways to Connect With Nature, as I wanted to keep it cheap for accessibility but had fair few books published in past. Currently have magazine idea looking for a publisher. I miss running magazines.

  2. Oh wow, this collection is incredible. I’ve never seen one of those vintage time zone checkers, but it’s a great idea. Calligraphy is/was something I’d quite like to do, but having bought a set that was awful a few years ago I never went back to it. You can’t beat the authentic stuff. It’s fascinating you used to work with magazines – were you a writer, editor..? Sorry for being nosy, I’m just interested. Loved seeing all your photos here!
    Caz x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s