In the Studio: Library Card Catalogue Make Over

At the end of June I retired from my long time teaching job. My wonderful colleagues gifted me the old card catalogue from our school library…Best retirement gift ever!!!! They filled the drawers with all manner of curiosities for me.  The card catalogue was a little worse for wear so I decided to give it a make over. It is now finished and is a wonderful reminder of my years at Duncan Elementary School and my crazy colleagues.

Our school.Merci Card.jpg

Best retirement gift ever!  20180821_171756

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Removed the handles and after soaking them in vinegar and sprinkling them with salt, I popped them in a hot oven for 20 minutes…Presto beautiful patina.

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Then I took apart the cabinet and sanded off the varnish using a palm sander…60 grit so it is rough enough to take the stain. (Had to do it twice, lesson learned) Also needed to brush on a coat of water to raise the grain so it would accept the stain.

Stained the maple cabinet and all 30 drawers with Cherry stain and then 3 coats of polyurethane with a light fine sanding between coats…Lesson learned…first two coats should be gloss and last coat matte or satin.

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Huge improvement!

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Printed off labels on 200 year old paper.

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Filled the drawers with all manner of curious art supplies…

 

And voila the big reveal…my beautiful gift from my treasured friends and colleagues.

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STUDIO: cubbies by hubby

C’est le bonheur d’avoir un mari bricoleur!

Merci Michel pour ton aide et ton talent.

My husband is such a great support. He is my number one cheerleader and helper.

He has built a set of custom cubbies to mount on the studio wall.

They are made of pine and stained with dark walnut stain.

They will hold all my tools. Hurray!

Here they are with my old computer table. Painted the table legs to match.

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And here they are all filled up and ready to go!

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STUDIO: paper filing cabinet

The studio is coming together. Next piece a paper filing cabinet from an upcycled dresser.  We found a very inexpensive tall narrow dresser at the General Salvage store. It had 8 drawers. Perfect! This is not the actual cabinet…I forgot to take a before pic but it was very similar to this.dressercollage3

 

Two coats of charcoal FAT paint, some light distressing and three coats of wax and it looks much better. We also added some nice trim.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe added some lovely drawer pulls and labels.

 

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Filled up the drawers with my paper collection.

 

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And voila the finished cabinet.

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STUDIO – upcycled desk

Creartful dodger is still working on the new studio.

New installment upcycled desk.

Found a great inexpensive desk at a second hand shop in Chemainus.second had desk before

I knew it was meant for me because it had a world map laminated on the top. I mean really, we all know I adore maps! It was a no brainer.

Second hand shop desk with laminated map

Carted it home with glee. Charmed the Monsieur into helping me reinforce it.

Charcoal FAT Paint and Wax  worked wonders on the frame and door fronts.

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Wooden knobs from the other cabinet got new life with chalk paint and collaged clock dials. (Saved moola by DIYing the drawer pulls! Feeling clever).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And Voila! What was old is new again and will be the perfect computer desk for my new studio office.

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I think my little R2D2 speakers look fine perched up on there.

Feeling Fancy!

In the studio

Creartfuldodger will be not be cre-arting for awhile…

Instead I will be working on my new studio, in an artful way of course.

Whoot! Whoot! It’s a real studio, not just a corner of a busy shared space!

Phase one : Repurpose a salvaged tool drawer unit that was destined for the skip.

Here it is in it’s before state: or almost we added some wood to hold it together.

Note the ugly brown paint and green labels…it was dirty! I decided to try my hand at chalk

paint for the first time.

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Added two shelves and a new top with some trim.  Sanded and cleaned each drawer. Two coats of Emerald Green Fat paint and wax purchased from Cameo Boutique and Union 22 in Cobble Hill. Reaffixed the old copper hardware. Lined the drawers with old Atlas pages. And it was ready to hold some creartful junk. Feeling smug! Merci Michel mon cheri pour ton aide et ton soutien!

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THIS MAN REFUSED TO OPEN HIS EYES: assemblage

This man refused to open his eyes
to the possibility of a different kind of life.
He remains imprisoned
by the same old patterns
that got him here in the first place.
Trapped by his unwillingness
to make a change.
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Assemblage box: How to

Step one Find a suitable box: old wooden whiskey crate

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Step two:
Cover the box inside and out with old papers…in this case city plans from an old atlas and an old french document from 1868

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Step three:
Gather found objects and ephemera that suit the theme or idea
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Step four:
Make shelves to fit chosen objects
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Step five:
Affix shelves and main image (mug shot from the 1920s)
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Step six:
Affix found objects
beach combed door handle, padlock, key, metal arrow tag, safe dial, glass eye ball, fishing hook, mouse trap, wooden castor

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Painting over the aunties

I wanted to try a new technique of using gesso and paint over glossy photos…so I decided to paint over the Aunties. I do not think they would mind. I have turned them into thank you cards that I will give to relatives next time a thank you card is in order…which happily for me, is quite often, in my family.

Juanita and Wilma ( Neta and Billy) on the swing on Galiano Island 1926.
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Shirley and Nona under the umbrella, Chemainus 1941.greeting card 1

violette bicyclette: encaustic collage

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violette, violette

un deux trois quatre cinq six sept

violette bicyclette

Step one : glue old papers on to wooden cradle. Add background photos. Layer with paint and gesso. Sand lightly.

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Step two: add main image, in this case the bicycle.
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Step 3: Layer more paint, gesso, ink. Top with two coats of encaustic wax. Finish off with vintage house number.

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NB I happened upon an old dictionary page that had both the words bissextile and bitch on it. I couldn’t help myself and had to use it…but no one else knows they are there…except you and me.

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MOTHER : collage

Old family photos and keepsakes languishing in the bottom drawer, treasured yet rarely viewed. With a little imagination and some help from Photoshop, you can easily create something worth hanging on your wall that has meaning for you.Image

My mother and her pal at 8 years old in 1933. In the back ground I layered a picture of my great grandmother’s house from the turn of the century with two pages from my mother’s autograph book from 1937.  One page from her own mother and one from her pal Mae.  I decided to chop the photo to allow the word mother to peek through. There are in fact the three generations of mothers represented here.  I scanned all the  documents so I did not actually chop the photo and still have all the original family documents.

My grandmother’s message to my mother 

Dear Shirley,

You will pass through this world but once. Therefore any good that you can do or any kindness that you can show to any person, do it now. Do not defer it nor neglect it. For you will not pass this way again.

Mother

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My mother at aged 21. My father was courting her. He loved this picture and kept it on his night stand all through their married years. In the background I layered a letter he wrote her during their courtship with a picture of my father and his cousin building the house that was to become our family home. This piece represents both my parents and our family home. I use Photoshop Elements to layer pictures and text. I like that I can choose the opacity and light in the layering.

BUS ROLL

Pour ma fille Zoé en souvenir de ses six mois à Paris: sa première grande aventure sans sa famille. Un tableau destiné pour son premier appartement. Je lui souhaite bien d’autres aventures.   

A departure for me from my usual collage and altered art. A vintage type bus roll of favourite Paris places for my daughter. A souvenir of past adventures to kick off new ones, in her new city.

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HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN BUS ROLL

Step one choose place names, fonts. Arrange that the words are more or less the same length adjusting the size and spacing. Blow up to correct size using photocopy machine. Cover canvas (18 inches by 36 inches) with black gesso. Cover back of text with thick layer of chalk. Tape to canvas.

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Step two:

With a sharp pencil carefully trace the outlines of all the letters. Remove paper to reveal the transferred letters.

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Step three:

Paint in the letters with white acrylic paint. Correct errors with black sharpie pen or black gesso.

Wipe off the chalk with a damp cloth.

Protect with a couple of coats of matte varnish.

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Or you could just order one on line for a few hundred CAD dollars. It was time consuming but enjoyable and cost about 30 CAD to make.