Everything I make starts in a box and then lives there until it’s done. The boxes are  for organization – keeping the many little bits for many little projects together and they are also a thinking tool  and  most importantly  a way to start, it is very easy to put things in a box.


I love Twyla Tharp’s book, The Creative Habit. Here’s a little of what she has to say about boxes:

“The box makes me feel organized, that I have my act together even when I don’t know where I’m going yet. It also represents a commitment. The simple act of writing a project name on a box means that I’ve started work”


I have different sorts of boxes for different sorts of projects. You could also  make your own box or use a basket – project bags are great too.


  1. Elizabeth Brunner

    I have such a craft-crush on everything you do, Ann. Makes me happy to break up the workday morning with a peek at your organizational boxes.

  2. me too. I’m a virgo and we’re supposed to love those boxes. i picture my brain being rows of boxes and cubbies. your work is such an inspiration.

  3. old fabric is so inspirational. i am in love with all of your work…imagination rules the roost in your house!

  4. old fabric is so inspirational. i am in love with all of your work…imagination rules the roost in your house! and twyla tharp….love that book…i gave it to my now 22 year old daughter a few birthdays back…great read…great quote. I want to live in the castle on your sidebar….

  5. I’m with you on the box thang. I like’em because not only do they store but I can transport easily. Important when my studio is sub-zero in the winter months. Back and forth. Studio to house. House to studio. And it’s exciting when the box empties as the piece nears completion!

  6. Your first sentence immediately reminded me of Twyla Tharp… I started using boxes too for some of my projects after reading her book, it’s very nice to see yours with those owls and birds in progress. Not only do I admire your work, but I’m also a little obsessed with everything organization related, so this post is a double pleasure! 🙂

  7. oh yes! this box method definitely beats my piles of stacks in heaps style. thanks!

  8. this I need… what a great idea… I’ll be looking for smallish clear boxes next time I go shopping… thanks…:)

  9. I’m the same ! i love a box, a nice brown box has so many possibilities as I texted my milkman this very morning. He reponded with with ‘crikey’ !!

  10. Your filled boxes, with bits and pieces of this and that, forming partially completed works in progress, are art in and of themselves. Very beautiful. And a wonderful idea to boot… Thanks for sharing this method, I will definitely give it a go!

  11. Liisa Mannery

    I love that book – by far the “realist” book on creativity that I’ve ever encountered.

  12. Good tip, and timely. This is the third box post I’ve seen today – it’s a sign!

  13. Where is your shop, is it Etsy? I really NEEDED to buy that crow, is he still perched somewhere near you???!

  14. I totally agree. Also I think seeing all the materials together like that is really conducive to new ideas

  15. This is such a great idea! I just started working on a bunch of sculpture and jewelry pieces and it seems like everything is scattered everywhere at the moment. Keeping each little project in it’s own box until it’s finished is a fantastic idea, I’m definitely going to start looking for some little clear boxes now!

  16. I use boxes to organise stuff & projects, but also make textile assemblages in boxes, especially love sewing boxes. Some have handles and can be carried around like bags – there I am travelling on the metro with a sewing box instead of a briefcase that can be a storyteller’s toolbox or a piece of artwork. Have a look at the boxes in my textile cabinet of wonders at, and see what you think.

  17. I love the things you do! I also use see through plastic boxes our salads come in- that reminds
    me what I have going on.

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