Catpaws Cafe

Random musings from my virtual fountain pen

Creative by nature, crafty by choice

I think it’s been established I am ridiculously (not to say compulsively) creative. There aren’t many crafts I haven’t at some point at least tried, picked up, learnt and got bored with.
I re-purpose and recycle everything that crosses my path,  just because I can. Some I simply put out on the wall by the roadside for anyone to pick up when I run out of space…

Resident muse and quality control

I can not enter a fabric shop without my minds eye starting a virtual avalanche of what I could do with any and all in front of me. I re-use and recycle. When it comes to fabric I am my own magic wand, and there’s very little I can’t do (though plenty of stuff I choose not to do again…)

I grew up on the mantra that if it is worth doing, it is worth doing well. I do quality or not at all.

I plan buildings, houses, storage space in my head where others play with wet serviettes or tear apart their damp beer-mats in the pub.

I love the organic look of new sustainable building materials such as hemp-crete, solar panels, recycled materials. Earth ships and cob houses intrigue me. Nifty energy/resource saving devices thrill me like you have no idea

I’m a sucker for textures rather than patterns with everything.

As a former graphic designer and jeweller I have a very active inner vision. I volunteered to designed flyers, magazines in the days you used cardboard, scissors and glue – and later dtp.

Growing up I took every opportunity to watch and learn and together with my ex renovated a couple of places. A close friend who is passionate about soft furnishing and runs her own business, gave me a few pointers for interesting curtain designs. (Fabrication, http://www.lldesignclients.co.uk/clients/linksites/fabrication/index.asp)

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Poor photo of our old bed, taken with my phone

Something I love but do not get the chance to indulge in very often is furniture restoration. Apart from financial and spacial restraints (you really need a studio or at least a well lit garage) and once you’ve filled your own small living space with hand picked pieces that’s usually pretty much it. I adore the French shabby chic look, and there’s really nothing shabby about making real (as opposed to mfi and other mass-produced modern) furniture look rustic or antiquey unique.

I like to think of it as relaxed, functional, everyday antiques…

Just acquired, just scrubbed clean.

Just acquired, only scrubbed clean.

Oh the thrill of finding an inspiring piece of furniture in a junk-shop or at a car-boot sale, bringing it home and restoring it to a beautiful piece of art! I love pouring tlc into an old piece and see it come back to life under my hands. Second life and glory restored. I enjoy the whisperings of my soul saying hmmm, try this or what about doing it this way? 

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I love being hands on creative with fabric, furniture, walls, space, curtains, old chairs and sofas, even lamp-shades. Once they’ve been de-spidered that is. Being freaked out by anything with more than 6 legs is a bit of a drawback in this line. I even love the oh shize have I got in over my head or is this going to be the f-up moment and then pulling it all together in the end. 

Finished piece

Finished piece

Finding ”play-material” in England was relatively easy. In Mexico very little is thrown out or given a proper makeover (meaning sanding, filling in scratches and cracks where needed, base-coat, paint, top-coat or whatever is appropriate). There are no second hand or house clearance shops to spend rainy afternoons looking for treasures for your craft or perhaps inspiration. Things generally get handed down or passed on among family and friends.

Grill Bar

For the Grill Bar/ Steak house

For the waiter at Pirates Bar

For the waiter at Pirates Bar

Isla Mujeres where I now live is a bit like the Isle of Wight; full of creative and artistic types, and like the Wight needs tourists and Londoners with money to fall in love with our creations, the Islenos too depend on the tourists to buy what they -in common with the English city dwellers- do not have time or inclination to make for them selves. A little piece of handmade uniqueness to adorn their home or person or gift a loved one.

 

 

I would like to be able to live of my creativity. Few things would give me greater pleasure than for my creations to fly off their proverbial shelves into the hands of delighted buyers!

Next Sunday if at all possible I’m going to get hubby to take us to a rumored flea-market on the mainland if the weather is ok, bring a couple of bottles of water, flask of coffee and my camera and just browse until my heart’s content.

Below are a few of my bags project.

Black & white Karen bag with purple silk lining

Black & white Karen bag with purple silk lining

Recycling fun!  shoulderbag made from ripped jeans with nifty pockets.

Recycling fun! shoulderbag made from ripped jeans with nifty pockets.

Work in progress

Work in progress

Work in progress

Work in progress

Coming together, tapestry outer, lined with red silk, inner lining to make shower proof.

Coming together, tapestry outer, lined with red silk, inner lining to make shower proof.

Adding decorative stitches to map bag

Adding decorative stitches to map bag

Another bag ready to meet it's new owner

Another bag ready to meet it’s new owner

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