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.
Best retirement gift ever!
Needs some TLC
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.
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.
Printed off labels on 200 year old paper.
Filled the drawers with all manner of curious art supplies…
And voila the big reveal…my beautiful gift from my treasured friends and colleagues.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Assemblage box: How to
Step one Find a suitable box: old wooden whiskey crate
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
Gather found objects and ephemera that suit the theme or idea
Make shelves to fit chosen objects
Affix shelves and main image (mug shot from the 1920s)
Affix found objects
beach combed door handle, padlock, key, metal arrow tag, safe dial, glass eye ball, fishing hook, mouse trap, wooden castor
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.
Shirley and Nona under the umbrella, Chemainus 1941.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
With a sharp pencil carefully trace the outlines of all the letters. Remove paper to reveal the transferred letters.
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.
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.