#8 Steampunk Hands: Standing at Attention

The Evolution of My Workshop

Where do I do most of my steampunk related things – costuming, art and writing?
I admit my work gets spread over several rooms. Costume making spreads through the lounge room (when watching inspiring videos), the dining table and the veranda. I even invade my husband’s work area in the sacred shed, on occasion.

Some of the things produced in my floating workshop:

wings 1408octoarm bookmar2k1 mining help10 otto hat 2
krakenchestbusteratRB12 brooch16 sewing in busk

A few years ago, we extended the house, adding a new room to house my sewing table, our costumes and ever growing number of bookshelves. For a short time my creations remained contained.

That did not last long.

Then I took up writing again. Now boxes of notes, pens and laptops vie for space. Notebooks have spawned all over the house. I spent hours writing at the dining table or using the stable table. Then I scored a rolltop desk – for free. Until recently I had been relegated to a spot on the dining table, or a portable table barely large enough for the laptop. Now I had somewhere else to sit and write.

The problem is some days I sit on my bum for two to eight hours – depending on my level of dedication at the time. In November, I had a health crisis; back and hip issues that took almost a month to recover from. Writing, sitting – even sleeping – was agony. I needed to rethink this sitting thing.

At about the same time I was ruminating about the health consequences of my dream vocation (On Writing, Health and Childhood Dreams), a series of articles reported about the ramifications of sitting all day. This is serious stuff (prepare yourself for the scientist in me):

  • 40% increased risk of early death (5)
  • losing seven years of quality life – mortality and quality of life (1)
  • an increased risk of type II diabetes (2)
  • Heart disease risk is increased by 64% (3),
  • with an increased chance of some cancers –  (6)

The Heart Foundation even has an information sheet on how to avoid sitting all day (4)

That was enough to scare this sedentary chick into action. I looked at my treasured roll top desk and sighed. I was not about to give up my prize. Then I discovered the benefits of a standing desk. I set to converting it to my very own stand up roll top desk. (A blog post for next month).

DSC_5419DSC_5157So now I have my sanctuary – my own writing corner. My precious. Mine! I have collected my boxes and files of notes, my beloved stationery and personal keepsakes to inspire me. A more recent addition was (yet another) bookshelf for my reference books and more note books.

For those who have had the fortitude to read up to this point, congratulations! You are now rewarded with more pretty pictures – my little corner of creativity.

A few of my favourite things:
DSC_5411  DSC_5412  DOCNaNoWriMo14

My repurposed standing desk. This is where I write my blog, workshop ideas for stories and write my current steampunk manuscript, The Department of Curiosities.


 Welcome to my workshop.


  1. Impact of selected risk factors on quality-adjusted life expectancy in Denmark. Impact Factor:3.125 | Ranking:Public, Environmental & Occupational Health (SSCI) 10 out of 143 | Public, Environmental & Occupational Health (SCI) 21 out of 162. http://sjp.sagepub.com/content/35/5/510.abstract
  2. SA Health: The Risk of Sitting too Much. http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/healthy+living/is+your+health+at+risk/the+risk+of+sitting+too+much
  3. Sedentary behaviors increase risk of cardiovascular disease mortality in men, Med Sci Sports Excer. 2010. May;42(5):879-85. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19996993
  4. Sitting Less for Adults. Heart Foundation of Australia. http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/HW-PA-SittingLess-Adults.pdf
  5. Sitting Time and All-Cause Mortality Risk in 222 497 Australian AdultsArch Intern Med. 2012;172(6):494-500. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.2174. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1108810

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#8 Steampunk Hands: Standing at Attention was originally published on karen j carlisle / off the artboard

About karen j carlisle

writer artist gardener chocoholic tea lover
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