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.

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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: 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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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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X, Y, Z AND OTHER TREASURES

A selection of vintage treasures gleefully collected from various vintage summer sales. The bounty paid for from the sale of my work.  Hurray!

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Foot tall, industrial letters with lovely patina…. X Y Z  ….Y not?

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A bird cage, a vanity case and my new, old lunch box!

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A storage box for my hardware.

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A school atlas from 1878 discounted because it is grungy Bahaha!

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Plan of Paris with pull out maps , YES!

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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.

IN THE STUDIO

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 crates for studio storage

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.