Tuesday, 24 June 2014

more letters, more inspiration and a thank you

If you visit Carol at Art and Sand you will find beautifully sunny days, filled with primary colours, numerous creative projects, the work of an amazing artist and lots and lots of letters.

A shelf spelling out a word, or a cubby full of c's, Carol's collection seems endless.
Just look at this Ikea Expedit showcasing the whole alphabet.

It's inspiring in itself to me, to think of someone who has spent years collecting letters (and numbers) of every size and shape and material possible.

Recently I was admiring one of Carol's many projects, using letters.
I was bemoaning the fact that I can't find any alphabet stickers over here. I finally bought a zinc alphabet stencil set last year, but you can't create the kind of negative stencilling (or reverse stencilling as I think Carol call's it) that I admire so much without stickers, or some sort of cutting machine.
I love the amazing border she created on this tablecloth.

So Carol, kindly sent me some letters, and though I knew they were coming and I had been thinking up loads of ideas, it was only when I was typing an email to say thank you that I had a little light bulb moment and I knew what my first project would be.

That hasn't actually happened yet, but I just wanted to say another big thank you to Carol for my stickers and also for the inspiration I had a while ago to do something else.

Some time ago Carol posted a picture of this work space in her garage and it totally inspired me.

Before this Carol had a corner of Steve's studio and I think before that she kept a lot of her craft supplies in a cupboard, but seeing this work space made me envy the accessibility of everything.

All my paints and brushes were in my under stairs cupboard, which is full of coats, ironing board, vacuum etc and not easy to get to. I was inspired to turn my built in unit (with no doors) in the dining room into my craft cupboard.

This is the before, with pointless old files on the top shelf, which I have culled, decoupage stuff and old maps which needed to stay, and books which needed to find a home somewhere else.

I used two wine crates to provide extra shelving for my paints, and boxes to store the small stuff like stamps.

The bottom section is stuffed full of things to paint. I think I've probably taken it out and put it all back at least ten times.
Since turning this unit into a craft cupboard Carol has actually moved her creative space into the house and now has a wonderful new studio.
But I am very happy with my unit, because I usually work on the dining room table anyway, everything is easy to reach and of course I couldn't leave it like this, I have finally put doors on it, and it's almost as I imagined it, about 12 years ago !
Just a sneak peak. I have now hung these mdf doors, which have some beading detail, are painted white and distressed of course. The handles are on and there is some chicken wire, but I can't show you my finished cupboard yet because I can't find some fabric to put behind the chicken wire.
I have already wasted money on two different types of fabric, but they didn't look right, so I've sent off for some samples and hopefully one of them will work.
So thank you Carol, thank you for my sticky alphabets and thank you for inspiring me to create a special place for the fun stuff.


  1. Carol is cool with the letters C O O L.

  2. Hi Fiona,

    Carol is immensely talented and creative and sweet! How lovely that she could send you those letters. I know what it's like to be wanting/craving/needing something that just DOESN'T exist over here in Europe and when you finally do get it, it's like Christmas in July! Now you got me wanting/needing to see YOUR new creative space, and just hearing the words chicken wire and fabric and white have got me wanting to peek under your blogger dashboard of a tree!!!


  3. What a thoughtful person Carol is. I'm sure you'll do something fun with the letters she sent. Doesn't it feel good to get all your "junk" organized in one space? I can't wait to see how it all turns out, Fiona!

  4. Wow Fiona, looks fabulous. I can't wait to see it with the doors on. Carol has an amazing space too and so nice of her to send you those letters.

  5. Oh my! What a sweet thank you.

    I have to laugh because my creative space keeps changing looks even though it is well established in the house now. And, I too still find myself working on the dining room table. If Steve is watching Orange Is The New Black or John Stewart, then I like to be nearby so I can listen.

    I love what you have done and I can't wait to see the letters projects you come up with. Half the secret of creating is to know what you have and where to find it. Now that you have things organized together, I can't wait to see what you make.

    Thanks again!

  6. love carols colorful blog and her husbands art work:) your cabinet looks great, and i love that you are making the doors--you are so talented, girl!!

  7. I love Carol's work - and of course her collection of numbers and letters resonates perfectly with me - as you know I'm a 'typographic maniac', can't wait to see your finished cupboard - hope you find the perfect fabric, it looks great! CJ

  8. Carol is always inspiring and her posts aer always a ray of sunshine in my inbox! I love what you've done with the built-in in your dining-room, though I'm now curious to see the doors!

  9. That was so sweet of her to send you something you have trouble finding over there. I'm sure you will put the letters to good use!

  10. I'm in the process of trying to come up with a usable work space that offers visible storage. It is so tough to do! Thanks for the inspiration.


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