My Atelier

This space is something I have always dreamed of but never thought I merited....I get lost here, time disappears and I find myself hours later amid my ribbons and beads and more recently, covered in wood shavings and dust from sanding old wooden bobbins. Who would have thought that a Dremel 300 would replace my GHD straighteners as my go-to-gadget .... such is the change of moving from Dublin to Provence!

Portrait of my son, Louis by friend and incredible artist Michael Porten, who painted this for my birthday last July.

I came across this old 'meuble de metier" in a local 'depot vente', it was 200 euro, which was quite a bit of money for us at the time but looking back  is actually a steal when it came to light that this was a very old 'quincaillerie' (hardware department in english) meuble de metier from the famous French department store 'Aux Dames de France'. Its previous owner had used it in his garage but I cleaned it and patched it up and its 55 drawers now house my ribbons and antique silks.

Here are two sneak shots of my 'Heirloom frames'. I have been working on a few of these using various ribbons echantillons, some very old (early 1900s) and some more recent (80-90s). The story behind these frames is that my husbands family, the Faure family, started a tradition of commissioning a frame to be made up (by a cousin of my husbands grandparents) as engagement gifts for family members. Raphael and I received a frame in 2006 when we got engaged and it is one of my most treasured possessions.

Unfortunately the lady who used to make these frames is no longer well enough and so I decided to try my hand at making them myself with ribbons from our family archives. It is incredibly time-consuming as each antique letterpress tiroir is different and each ribbon is different (in terms of width and length) and it is a combination of finding the right size, colour and motif to make the collage work...which is my way of explaining (or excusing myself) why I have only finished four frames in 12 months and have at least 5 others that I've been playing around with for months...