Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Le Celerie - My Studio in the Cellar (Part One)

Some people ( I like to call them androids) have an amazing ability to focus whilst surrounded by chaos - Mr. K is an android, and I am pretty certain my sister is part android too. Sadly for me and the unfortunate people I live with, I was born without this ability. So in order for me to do any type of work that involves sitting down and concentrating for more than a millisecond - I need to have a clean and uninterrupted space.

Keeping in mind that there are about four hours a week when my child folk are not with me, I also need a space that I can leave what I am working on and come back to later. For the past four years, I used the dining table - the only table in the house used for meals. This meant having to set up, work, pick up, put away and store my work and supplies every time I wanted to accomplish anything- drawing, painting, sewing and more. The result was that I didn't accomplish much. So I took a quick walk through our smallish 3 bedroom semi-detached house with no closets (the house is just over a hundred years old) and found the only space not being utilized - the cellar.

The cellar is a tiny space with a "built-in" storage area (one of two in the house), leaving the workable area only 9' x6'. Besides the small space, it has no heat, uneven cement floors, and brick walls. We had stuffed it to the gills with junk when we moved in five years ago, closed the door and never really went in again. There was an awful musty smell and cold dampness that had repelled us before - but on this day I saw only potential.

Here are a few of the before pictures of le celerie.

The first image is the view looking in through the door way.

The second image shows the length of the main wall. The space is long and narrow.

The last image shows the pre-existing very poorly, roughly built storage area that I didn't have the energy or will to even think about. I tidied and sorted and placed a curtain in front in order to conceal. Those images will come soon in Part Two - stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Signs of Spring

Our crokuses have bloomed and the tulips are growing. Saturday was a wonderful day to be out and puttering in the garden. Little K and I spent the morning raking leaves and playing fairy godmothers with our wands of last year's wild grasses that had dried and given us something to look at over the winter.

We spotted two wasps and one huge, gorgeous butterfly. Can't wait for more!

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Studio Redesign

May will mark the one year anniversary of Mr. K moving his studio out of the dungeon (our basement) and into the small bright studio on the second floor of a building that is still being renovated and leased to artists and designers.

The importance of natural light to a painter is akin to the importance of words to a writer. Our basement ceiling, though newly renovated, still bares the scars of the mess Mr. K made when he installed three different lighting systems in order to mimic natural light. Now he has sufficient.

As I have mentioned, his is a small studio (350 sq ft) and if it were only for the purpose of painting I would have left him to his own devices - but Mr. K's studio also needs to be used for meeting with potential buyers, commission clients and for studio sales. It needed to be, well ...presentable and organised. On a very limited budget, he gave me permission to pull it together.

This is the empty studio.

Here is a move-in image of the studio (Mr. K probably would have been content to work in this.)

This is the studio after my wee design.

The prints on the wall can all be purchased at Mr. K's etsy shop http://www.beanandbird.etsy.com/ or at his website http://www.skartist.com/

With the exception of the expedit, carpets, magazine holders and yellow paint and pots (all from Ikea) the other elements were scavenged from the almighty craigslist or already owned by us.

The expedit holds every type of art publication imaginable, plus essential office supplies etc. The Ikea ps cabinet behind the chair hides even more.

I haven't photographed the painting supplies and storage areas - but will do so soon.

Aside: Please forgive my unsightly links - blogging is new to me and I am stumbling through as I go - I will figure it out eventually!

Thank you for stopping by.

Scandinavian Design

I am very attracted to the bright cleanliness and sparsity of Scandinavian design. It always appears so inviting and pure and yet this aesthetic baffles me also. How can anyone live 'in' it - I mean really live in it - throw your coat down and kick off your shoes kind of live?
And what of child folk? Can they exist and thrive in this type of environment in all their messy splendour?
It seems that my perception of the stark white minimalist rooms that are presented as the hallmark of Scandinavian interiors as seen in many shelter publications - is just a tad off the mark.

The real life interiors of Swedes living in Stockholm couldn't be any further than what I imagined. The Jeu de Paume "Children's Rooms Stockholm" edition offers, in my mind, everything a child's room should offer: a safe place of comfort, inspiration, whimsy and exploration. I love the simplicity of it all - it is a true collector of vintage toys dream (read me). Each and every room is remarkably sweet, personal and welcoming.

I would love to share my favourites with you - but that would entail posting the entire book! So instead I will pick but a few.

Rut (2) & Erling (6)

Lily (3)

Rita (2)

For more information on "Children's rooms Stockholm" please visit Jeu de Paume

Photos Copyright of Hisashi Tokuyoshi and Jeu de Paume

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Playing with Polyvore

Spring Fling
Spring Fling - by bebojo on Polyvore.com

It ranks just above watching TV, but is such a fun distraction from real life. Depending on how serious you are and whether or not you are a perfectionist - you can put together a quick portrait of fashion, interior design, or 'art' that you are desiring in about 5 minutes on Polyvore.com. You need to register to set up your own account if you want to save your images.

This is what I came up with for my spring wardrobe.

<Somewhere to be
Somewhere to be - by bebojo on Polyvore.com

Pearl Spring
Pearl Spring - by bebojo on Polyvore.com

Spring Casual
Spring Casual - by bebojo on Polyvore.com

Side note: I am presently transitioning from my Columbia winter boots to last year's Walmart (shame on me) sneakers - but hey a gal can dream right!

Thanks for stopping by.

Oooo La La!

When it comes to fashion - I am not very well versed, but I know what I like when I see it. After the never-ending winter we have experienced here I am yearning for colour, and John Galliano's couture collection for Christian Dior served it up exquisitely in the 2009 spring-summer collection. The fabric, construction, and utter indulgence of it all is superb.

This red piece was designed, sewn and then flipped wrong side out so that the construction and seams could be seen. It is rumoured that Galliano took inspiration from and based his designs loosely on the historic Flemish paintings. Wonderful!

Love the colours - this one is my favourite!

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Mr. K saw me drooling over images from a Japanese publication last week and mentioned that he was taking his friend (who was going back to Japan for a visit) to the airport the next day. A phone call was made, an order placed (through Amazon.co.jp) and voila!

I am so thrilled to linger in the pages of these books. Jeu de Paume have an incredible selection of books to choose from and narrowing down which ones I 'had' to have was a task. Stay tuned for a few peeks inside these lovely interior design books. I am off to have a warm cup of tea and a sweet read.

For more information and to get a look at the great selection of Jeu de Paume interior books go to http://www.2dimanche.com/goods/book-e/book-e.html

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chihiro Iwasaki

Hello again. Today I would like to introduce to you one of my favourite watercolour painters. Born in the winter of 1918 in Fukui Prefecture of Japan, Chihiro Iwasaki was a talented artist who began to study her art at the young age of 14. She became an accomplished artist as well as a book and magazine illustrator. I believe there are two museums dedicated to her art - one in the location where her house once stood in Tokyo (Tokyo Chihiro Bijutsukan) and the other in Azumino, Nagano Prefecture (Azumino Chihiro Bijutsukan) where I try to visit each time my family and I journey back to Japan to visit my in-laws.

Chihiro had an amazing ability to capture the beauty and innocence of childhood through sweet simplicity. Here are a few of my favourites:

Images from top to bottom:

"A girl staring at a moving truck" 1970

"Girl in green wind" 1972

"Baby and tulip"

Sorry, I can't seem to find this title

"Mermaid Princess" 1967

"The girl drawing" 1970

"Bird on the seashore" 1972

"Muddy boy" 1970

For more information on Chihiro Iwasaki: http://www.chihiro.jp/english/chihiro/index.htm

Images Copyright of Chihiro Art Museum

Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Testing 1, 2, 3 ... testing ...

Ah, the first post - like a first date really. Exciting and yet nerve wracking too - did I put on enough deodorant, does my breath smell, I hope you don't stare at the size of my nose in profile - I am so self conscious about that. And what about you? Are you a person of substance, or just another pretty face. Will this a made-in-heaven marriage be? Perhaps I am getting a bit ahead of myself, we've not yet been properly introduced.

I am a busy stay-at-home mother to big K (5) and little K (3) and wife to Mr. K . I am an artist and lover of all forms of art, except for a really strange performance thing I saw Yoko Ono do while I was pregnant with big K.

At bebojoblog, you can expect to find a lot of what inspires me, of frivolous things I momentarily desire, all mixed together with snippets of what I am working on and life's lovely interruptions.

Thank you for stopping by.