Visit my studio in beautiful Maple Bay. A renovated fishing cabin by the sea.
Explore the cabinet of curiosities that is my studio.
View my latest works
Check out my workspace
Free Event. Everyone welcome. 🙂
Free Event. Everyone welcome. 🙂
UPDATE: Wildly successful Studio Tour with wonderful engagements about making art in all its forms.. and bonus…21 Sales! Thank you to everyone who came out on a rainy Spring Weekend to play in the studio.
I am part of the Cowichan Artisans Studio Tour this weekend April 12, 13, 14 from 10 to 5. Come out and see what we do. Try your hand a making a paper boat with antique papers and vintage stamps. Check out my new works. Enjoy beautiful Maple Bay where my studio is located. Great spot for a walk on the beach or lunch at the pub. Link to download map and brochure: https://www.cowichanartisans.com/
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.
For the first time, I am opening my studio to the public, as part of Visions Artists Studio Tour and Art Sale. There are 27 artists showing at 19 studios in this free open house tour.
Come out and support the Arts in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island.
When Alwen from Belle Brocante invites you for an art play date…you drop everything and shout YES!!!! and then you hyperventilate from sheer glee.
She is my collage guru and I have learned so many great tricks and techniques from her over the years…..And, she also is a lovely, generous, fun person….. And, her creativity is awe inspiring.
I packed up some supplies and headed down island to Victoria to Alwen’s house.
Her house is like Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe. It takes a while to drink it all in.
I drooled over her new acquisitions from her latest Brocante treasure hunting trip to France. She will be selling many of her fabulous finds on her etsy shop.: Oscar Naylor
We had a great time catching up and creating together. I started work on a couple of new assemblage boxes while Alwen worked on painting some antique Natural History Illustrations with water colours.
Thank you Alwen for a great day!
The studio is finally finished and ready for creative endeavors and visitors.
video (not great quality)
Merci Michel pour ton aide et ton appui!
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.
And here they are all filled up and ready to go!
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.
Filled up the drawers with my paper collection.
And voila the finished cabinet.
Creartful dodger is still working on the new studio.
New installment upcycled desk.
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.
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.
And Voila! What was old is new again and will be the perfect computer desk for my new studio office.
I think my little R2D2 speakers look fine perched up on there.
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!
A selection of vintage treasures gleefully collected from various vintage summer sales. The bounty paid for from the sale of my work. Hurray!
Foot tall, industrial letters with lovely patina…. X Y Z ….Y not?
A bird cage, a vanity case and my new, old lunch box!
A storage box for my hardware.
A school atlas from 1878 discounted because it is grungy Bahaha!
Plan of Paris with pull out maps , YES!
A handful of labels…so lovely.
Sigh, time to go back to my other life of long hours at work and only stolen moments of art and junking…Sigh.
My last trip to Paris and London was over a year ago now…sigh. Nottinghill , Spitalfields, Bricklane, St. Ouen, Vanves...double sigh.
Ah the treasures we find at the flea market! Somethings made it home, some did not.
Ma boutique préférée à St. Ouen : Tombées du Camion...le paradis!
Can one have too many antique bird cages? I think not.
Some things made it home: old love letters from 1901, legal documents on parchment from the 1800s, old keys, escutcheons, doll eye balls, old house numbers, a wooden spool and a printers tray and some wooden letters.
Some things did not make it home: a old prosthetic leg attached to rather large underpants.
and a valise chockablock full of taxidermy ducklings.
They really wanted to come to Canada but hélàs no room!
The flotsam and jetsam of everyday life from the past are nestled in antique printer’s trays ( brought home gleefully from London’s Portobello Road Market ) . Artfully displayed supplies inspire creativity: optical lenses, transistors, frozen charlottes, keys, stamps, eyeballs, teeth, legs, buttons, typewriter keys, tiny house numbers, gears, watch faces, dominoes, teeny tiny light bulbs, a rat’s skull …endless possibilities.
Artful storage for the art studio. New cedar crates transformed with biodegradable weathering compound and pastels and vintage labels. Thank you to Michel for the crates and the Graphic Fairy for the labels. The transfer technique is so easy and involves printing in reverse on parchment paper. Now all my vintage supplies will have a lovely home.