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Courtney at home
saskatchewan sunset

View of a sunset from the house I grew up in

My Story

I grew up spending hours in my grandpa's woodworking shop on the Saskatchewan prairies. We always called it 'the shop'. As a child I would sit on his stool and wait with anticipation for him to ask me to hammer a nail into something. I remember the smell of sawdust and the radio playing Country tunes in the background.

I took Industrial Arts in high school

I took Industrial Arts in high school and absolutely loved it. I learned how to strip back furniture, turn wood on a lathe, draw architecturally and use all the woodworking shop power tools. Looking back I probably should have gone into secondary education and done something to do with woodworking. But instead I took Business Marketing at a poly tech college and through it had the opportunity to move to the Philippines for a work placement. After that ended I become the Marketing Manager of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce for a year before moving to London.

I was a project manager for various marketing and branding agencies in Pall Mall and then moved to become an events coordinator both in London and Toronto but finally I realised that I needed to work for myself, so I went freelance.

In 2008 I had my first child and I knew I couldn’t go back to the ‘all hours’ demanded of an event coordinator and I wanted to be Mom for a while. Twenty-one months later we had a second child and work was the furthest thing from my mind. After having my second I finally broke. For years and probably most of my life I had been a functioning depressive who lived for the highs and got very angry when things didn't go my way or when I couldn't control a situation. My husband was the only person who saw how bad I really was. So I entered burn out/ break down/ post pardum depression, whatever you want to call it.

I had been under the illusion that I was 'in control' for my entire life and I knew I couldn't continue this way any more. 

Thankfully I sought help and this began my journey in a different direction. All that was available from a doctor to ‘help me’ were antidepressants which I refused to go on. Instead I chose treatment with my naturopath. Since that point in my life I have been on the up, unlearning everything I thought I knew, and I thought I had control over. 

 

After a move to Hampshire in 2011, I struggled with what it was I wanted to 'do' with my life until in 2018 I painted my daughter’s wardrobe using Annie Sloan chalk paint using her distress method. I was hooked! Shortly thereafter I realised that I’ve always been good with my hands and have always love 'crafting' something. We had a workshop in the garden which I could use to paint in but it was full up with gardening items and junk. So my husband and I built a pallet shed which has 2 sections; one to house garden equipment and the other side stored my finished creations. I was then free to use the workshop for my painting.

 

I began by giving myself permission and time to make mistakes, something I had NEVER allowed myself to do as this was not conducive to being a very organised, controlling perfectionist.

I couldn’t fathom selling anything because ‘It’s not good enough’ or ‘Why would anyone purchase from me?’ I just wasn’t there, yet.

So I started painting a lot of furniture in our home. If we needed and item of furniture I indulged my love of car boots and spent time browsing at Winchester’s HWRC. This process was much cheaper than purchasing new from shops and indulged my passion to reduce, reuse, recycle. I’ve always loved a good bargain and vintage items are unique compared to what you can get from a shop.

courtney's daughter

My youngest and her wardrobe

Courtney and workshop

My upholstery workshop

‘She who makes no mistakes makes nothing.’ -  Anonymous

In 2019 I put myself ‘out there’ into the big wide world and held a pop up shop. I was blown away by the response from everyone who came in. I began learning how to receive praise during that process! Along my journey I’ve added to my string of crafts woodworking, pyrography, stamp carving, upholstery and rock art. I’m still learning and growing and curious every day. I know that not everyone will like what I produce and I’m absolutely fine with that. I trust that my pieces will attract those who they are supposed to own them.


If you can’t get in touch with me I am more than likely out in my shop, listening to 80s pop with very bad mobile reception. I cannot spend enough time in it; tinkering, fixing, experimenting, painting and being creative, something I have never allowed myself to be, until now.

I am currently taking the Association of Master Upholsterer's Soft Furnishings (AMUSF) three year diploma course. I received a distinction on both the traditional and modern chairs we had to upholster as well as my written research paper. Good organisation and attention to detail don't leave your blood I guess ;) I will be finished this in 2025. 

pop up shop
The Salvaged Woodshop sign
Courtney woodworking
Courtney
courtney laughting

WHAT I LOVE

I love it when my pieces evoke feelings. I want my work to make you want to touch and smell it.

I would love it if we lived in a world where NOTHING went to waste so I take other people's detritus and junk and reform it into practical pieces of art which will live on and not pollute the planet. 

I am eclectic – mixing different styles, mediums and patterns. I love big, bright, bold colours and prints. I like simple and practical in style and function.

 

I am atypical and proud of it.

 

My favourite pastime is gathering around an outdoor fire, wrapped up warm with friends and family, good food and great banter, laughing until our bellies hurt long into the night.

courtney's signature
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