Tuesday, May 6, 2008

still life with sweet Oliver, daffodils and new studio. smile

note the lovely deep window sills - perfect for kittens

These photos were taken after the first coat of black fast-drying latex paint was on the new studio floor. That Oliver, ham that he is, loves to find himself in any and all photos. I almost can't believe it when I peek into this room to check on the still slightly tacky, deep chocolaty black enamel, second coat of floor paint and actually last night I noticed a few spots that needed touching up - which I promptly did - more drying time but ... It must to be perfect and it's going to be ! A place that I can happily spend most of my time ... me, my best gal pal Miss Winnie Dixon (she has a most comfy bed under my desk) assorted feline visitors throughout each day and my much loved CBC radio - happy as a clam ... and a very creative clam at that.

In the mean time I'm happily ensconced at a little antique desk that belonged to my grandmother Blanche, in my guest room and in the midst of the second & final stage of a big home decor-ish project. The first stage of this particular project required a lot of research and reference material as the 5 pieces in the collection all were based on a specific historical style. For each of the 5 styles I drew a minimum of 4, very tight, 50% actual size, thumbnail concepts for my customer to choose from. She has picked the final designs, with very minimal changes and tweaks (a pat on my own back) and has now given me the final direction. My job this week is to turn these thumbnail concepts into actual size production drawings - the drawings that the factories will use to actually produce these pieces. It's the not-fun part, the part of a job that any designer likes the least, however it's a necessary evil and one that must be done and done with care and accuracy. My habit is to put myself in a trance like groove of production drawing-ness and thank goodness for good talk radio or an audio book on CD from the library.

I'm on a deadline, these 5 drawings must be done by Friday and I have my work cut out for me so Les Nouveau Studio must wait until I am free to do the proper installation on very dry, cured, shiny chocolate black floors. Smile.

14 things wrapped in tissue with little typed notes, details and descriptions just out of the box. Actually it's 12 things - 2 things arrived separately. 1. A papery thing - the big fat weekend Wellington paper arrived a few weeks ago and I loved receiving that - perfect! and 2. A soft thing - a felt catnip stuffed shamrock arrived ages ago and Oliver & Gus have hidden it in that special place that they like to hide their kitten toys.

Stay tuned for 3-14 things revealed soon ...

12 of 14 things just out of the box ... all the way from New Zealand


  1. Your new office looks so crisp and fresh! We have radiators, deep window sills and wide baseboards, too. I love the look. I am thinking of painting the floor of one of the upstairs bedrooms, too. We pulled some old carpet up last year and the hardwood flooring underneath had a large spot of water damage. How did you prepare your floor before painting? Did you sand it?

  2. Hi Willow, that's the amazing thing about using enamel paint - no priming, no sanding necessary (at least if you don't mind the slight bumpy denty imperfections - which don't seem to show with a coat of glossy enamel). A painter guy behind me in line at the hardware store gave me the extra hint of adding a small tin of glossy verathane to the paint before painting. I happened to have black latex paint left over which I painted on first as a primer or base coat - then 2 coats of enamel avec verathane and voila beautiful glossy durable chip proof floors. Smile.

  3. What a serene looking studio. I know you can't wait to work in there. Your current job sounds interesting. The variety of design projects you do covering so many different areas from picture frames to this latest job it furniture? fascinating to me.
    The 14 things idea is interesting. Some time when you have a lull and want to do that again, I think it would be fun.

    Happy designing today!

  4. I love the floor! They are inspiring me to get to work on my floors. I have wanted to paint my bedroom floor for ages, but can't seem to get motivated enough.

  5. Just had to stop by your beautiful place. I am glad the renovation is going well. Love that Oliver and your beautiful blog.

  6. that's hilarious. Look at Oliver...swiveling his head from side to side... wondering what is going on...checking out the "new" room.

    It's a good thing it has a week to cure.... paint never really dries in a day or always seems to feel a bit tacky...and does get smudges and marks on it if you touch it firmly too soon....the weekend will be perfect. Good job.....

  7. Oliver looks so cute in your new studio, what a sweetie. Sounds like your space is coming along nicely, a good place to work and imagine. You sound happy, or at least content, and that's great to hear.

  8. No, little imperfections don't bother's all part of the charm of an older home. And believe me, there are plenty! ;)

    Thanks so much for the tip! I'm making a note of it.

  9. Hopefully the teabag and the shamrock will live happily together in that little kitten secret place!

  10. Grey walls and black floor--very sensible for a studio. Love the colour description for the floor, well as the pics. Very serene.

    So these drawings are used to make what now exactly? not sure I got that bit. Obviously these are for design specs but end product is?

  11. mmm, Often I'm drawing jewellery designs and even more often photo frames (I have worked for many years for a company that primarily makes frames and the occasional mirror and wall art). However sometimes it's a very specific new idea that I must keep the details of, under wrap - until the product is launched, such is the project that I'm currently working on. My walls are actually a hot chocolaty taupe colour.

  12. Well, still gorgeous.

    Thx for explanation--fascinating.


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