Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Inspiring overspills and joint ventures!

If I'm right in thinking most of you who visit my blog are creative in some way... I know YOU KNOW what I'm talking about when I mention the scenario of creative pursuits overtaking your home...even if you have a studio, the overspill is unavoidable!

So let me introduce my gorgeous Mr Right : Stuart and his creative endeavours which take the term "overspill" to a new height! 

I'm sure I've mentioned that Stuart is a cabinet maker....he's been working with wood for over 18 years now and has made an amazing variety of bespoke items from wardrobes, tables, kitchens to campervan interior, staircases and even an Orangerie.

I've learnt a heap about working with wood since meeting Stuart and discovered types of wood I never even knew existed (see end of post!).... I've also had to learn to live with sharing a space with lots of  tools and large pieces of wood/finished furniture pieces which seem to stop off fairly regularly en route to a new home!

The latest has been this stunning burr elm table....which due to lack of space anywhere else (and kids that aren't particularly careful/gentle)  its been lying by MY side of the bed  for a few weeks (Stuart's side has a different table with matching side tables!hehe!)
It's off to be delivered today  and despite it proving tricky to climb in and out of bed I'll be sad to see this beauty go...I'm sure you can appreciate why!

Although I may occasionally grumble at  the temporary over-takings of our home, it's hard not to be inspired by the bits of timber that Stuart brings and the opportunity to run your hands along the grain. How can I not appreciate nature and it's beauty...(and Stuart's workmanship of course!)

Burr elm mirror
  So I suggested maybe we could work on something together...something a little smaller and less likely to overspill (who am I kidding?!) 
And loving the contrast of seeing paint and wood together I suggested coasters as a simple beginning......
Below is a mix of black walnut, maple and ash....still awaiting a coat of laquer which will deepen and enhance the wood colours and grain even more.
These are heading to a bricks and mortar shop, but Stuart is considering opening his own little shop in etsyland.
Yes I say! 

And check this for an amazing wood.....Spalted beech!
The markings are created through fungi colonising on a dead or fallen tree. Wow! who knew?! Stunning and way too beautiful to paint. 

Here's another wood : Zebrano....which I think the name speaks for itself..

 And this is Paduk which in the light has a beautiful red tone....Stu made this heart for me way back in the day when we first met awww :)

We have a wenge wood coffee table (which is too messy to share right now!)..a dark almost black wood..and another wood I had never encountered before. 
The variety and beauty of wood never fails to surprise and wow.

Stuart has set up a facebook page..which is probably even more neglected than my one!..but if you would like to go visit you can find it here....and watch this space for some more collaborations ;)x


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Faygie..I know I am biased but I have to agree ;)

  2. Wow! So much beauty in one post! That has to be the most romantic early dating gift ever :)

    1. Hi Carmen! I know..it's so sweet... these days I get gifted Haribo :)xx

  3. Gorgeous work, those coasters with the pops of colour are brilliant :)

    1. Hi Chloe.thankyou! I'm looking forward to sharing some more soon..they look even better with a coat of laquer added...the colours are zinging now! :)

  4. I have a passion for wood too and over the years have collected little pieces, mainly in walnut as I love the richness of colour and pattern it seems to have. I've got a box of dominoes in walnut, handmade by an old man in Portugal which I bought years ago. He was sitting at the side of the road with a fold out table showing his collection of things he'd made and the dominoes had to come home with me. I love driftwood too and have old branches dotted around the garden! I love Stuart's work. It's just so beautiful. Your coaster collaboration is a triumph of design. I love the quirky, bright colours and shapes alongside the natural quality of the wood. They create a beautiful contrast together. Your creativity and productivity are so inspiring. Wishing you a happy saturday. Em x

    1. Hello Em! I love the image of the old Portugese man with his table of beautiful hand crafted wares...what a treasure to have taken home. You and I have have similar homes it sounds..with remnants of wood and nature scattered throughout :)
      Thankyou so much for your lovely words..sending huge hugs to you xo