something out of nothing

The kiwi mindset has always been to make do with what you've got. Everything is recycled, reused or re-purposed here and it's starting to rub off on me. I've always reused vintage resources and found items in my work – they're the items such as the scrap of fabric from a 1920's chemise, a mother of pearl button from an Edwardian high necked blouse or an old, old postcard sent to a sweetheart during the war, that really makes my heart skip a beat.

I've made a start on arranging the shop part of my studio, as we now have a date for the log burner fitting, and have found that I'm really short of display pieces. I'd been given half a dozen old wooden nail boxes and so decided to paint the outsides that French Grey that is sort of a theme in the studio, and line them with pages from a beaten up, literally falling to bits copy of Jane Eyre which also happens to be my favourite novel of all time. In fact she was my first lead in a school play and then when I went on to act professionally, I played her again so I have a real soft spot for Charlotte and her masterpiece.

image: pasting the inside of the nail boxes
image: drying in the sunshine
image: shelving on the shop wall
I'm rather pleased with the way they've turned out. I'm going to water-base polyurethane the insides to protect the script. I can also display on top the the boxes as well as inside.
image: part of the shop and workshop space taken at night
The past two weeks have been pretty full on as I've been working my way down the list of things to make for the Martinborough Fair but, I did take time out today to sit in a friend's garden and have lunch. She made the most delicious homemade lemonade with honey and ginger. So refreshing which I was so grateful for and it's another scorcher out there!

image: lemonade with ginger and honey drunk under the shade of a tree.

Thank you for last post comments you guys. Loved reading them.
Until next time…

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  1. Wow, the shelving looks fantastic, what a great idea. Professional actor! You are full of surprizes…xx

  2. Geeb

     /  January 23, 2009


  3. Shelving looks beautiful. Couldn’t believe it when you said your favourite novel was Jane Eyre – its one of mine too but I also love Wuthering Heights.

  4. oh yes the boxes look just perfect! you did a fabulous job.
    unfortunately i’m now craving lemonade.

  5. The studio looks fantastic! You must be so proud and so pleased. 🙂
    I love the idea you did with the nail boxes. It inspires me to do something similar with similar wooden boxes stacked in a corner of my garage.
    The lemonade sounds yummy!

  6. Your space is really coming along! V. inspiring. Am off to try and move the boxes in my space around so I can get in the door!

  7. Myra

     /  January 26, 2009

    I love it all
    The lemonade treat sounds perfect
    Life is GOOD

  8. Sarah

     /  January 26, 2009

    I stumbled upon your lovely blog a few months ago and I would so love to know what the paint is called that you are using in your studio and for the boxes? Is it the same paint that is on the wall behind your Christmas tree in a previous post? If you could tell me the name (or names) it would be wonderful.
    Sarah in Whangarei

  9. Wow. Your studio is looking lovely. I would also like to know what the paints and colours are.
    Much love to you Alison.

  10. What an interesting way to line shelves! I’m going to try that!

  11. Argh!! My blog reader hasn’t been picking up your blog feed for who knows how long so I totally missed this. It looks soooo gorgeous!! I can tell I am going to be a customer!!

  12. Your studio/shop looks wonderful. I just love the idea of lining the boxes with the pages from a book. You have a great sense of colour.

  13. I love the repurposed nail boxes! They are certainly very cool.
    Your studio looks fabulous. I would love to visit sometime!

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