On My Desk

gabrielle nowicki, tindaisies on my desk, work in progress

Ahhh, the state of my brain

This is what my desk looks like these days. As you can see, lots of ongoing projects. Starting at 12:00 are the circus themed automata I’m progressing slowly with.

In the centre, and 6:00 – ish are two of a series of six wooden jumping jack dolls I’ve completed but have not yet photographed.

And all over the clock, everywhere else, are collage scraps, tools of the trade and just a general explosion which is  a manifestation of the where my head is at.

Lots of work here, in varying states of completion, and now over  200 GabbyGubbins collages for my tumblr blog.

Usually, I like to tidy up and finish projects so there aren’t too many plates spinning up in the air, but you see, my father is very ill and we have all been visiting him as much as we can, these past few weeks.

The projects will get done, in good time.

A Collage a Day – Selected Work at The St Thomas Public Library

ST TYhomas Public Library Show. Gabrielle Nowicki Collages

My show is up at the St Thomas Public Library, it will be on display for the whole month of June.  I chose a selection of twelve collages from my  Collage a Day Tumblr blog.

Probably, the most difficult part was choosing which twelve, because I now have over two hundred.  It took the better part of a day to narrow down to the ones I chose. I considered subject matter, popularity on the tumblr blog and visual punch.

St Thomas Public Library Show. Gabrielle Nowicki Collages June 1-30

The framing part was dead simple. Keeping in theme with reuse, recycle  and repurpose, I bought a big can of gold Molotow spray paint from Currys and a dozen 8 x 10 inch picture frames from the Strathroy St Vincent de Paul store (we call it Vincent’s of Strathroy). I sprayed the frames a uniform gold, cut some mats and floated the collages on a background.  That paint is amazing! The coverage is great! I even got some drift on my bicycle which I thought was well out of the way in the garage, and I also got some on my glasses (unfortunately)

St Thomas Public Library Show. Gabrielle Nowicki Collages June 1-30

I chose to approach the library to show these because the series relates to collecting and cataloging, as I’ve marked each of them with a serial number. The collection of collages will become a reference for me, as I develop them further and incorporate the imagery into larger works. The file folders, cut to a smaller size, remind me of old index cards used to search for materials in libraries. Also, the display area is a very inviting, wood lined wall, nicely situated with skylights above it. I also like when art integrates into everyday life.

The show runs from June 1 – 30.

Address: 153 Curtis St, St. Thomas, ON N5P 3Z7

Phone:(519) 631-6050


Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 8:30 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

Automata Wooden Sculpture ~ Mango Ship

Mango Ship Automata Sculpture
I think it’s about time I write a little about the Mango Ship, as it’s getting a bit warmer now and I can venture into the basement to make wooden things again. The first automata that I ever made was completed last September. It took me a fair bit of thought because I was learning as I worked on it.

Mango Ship Automata Sculpture

Automata is a form of kinetic sculpture, it’s mechanical in nature.  The principle behind Mango Ship is very simple. Driven by a hand crank, the waves and boat are independent from each other but are threaded with a dowel that connects to the top of the base.

Mango Ship Automata Sculpture

Running along the width is a shaft with two pairs of oval, offset cams. As the crank turns, the cams work counter to each other. One pair of cams causes the waves to rock, and the other pair causes the boat to tip back and forth.

This is how it came together:

The Cheshire Bus Stop, Paper Craft Play Set


I’ve been working on this play set for quite a while. It always surprises me how edits show themselves once you have printed proofs. I upload my files to Staples and pick up the proofs when we do our weekly errands. It took quite a bit of experimentation with a scale that was suitable for both the building detail and the size of the figures.

I listed this paper toy play set in my Etsy shop


Paper Toys – Monsters

paper toy monsters, Gabrielle Nowicki


If you look back, you will find a couple of these guys in a photo of my desk in this post 

I’ve been focusing on paper toys, and tweaking things in my Etsy shop but I’m still churning out the collages. It’s just too cold these days to spend much time in the basement so I’m taking a break from the automata and other wooden things.

It took me a while to finally post these because I wanted to offer them as digital downloads in my Etsy shop. To do that, I needed to rebuild the instructions page. Having completed that, and taking pictures, they are finally available to purchase.

The Three Little Pigs Finger Puppets

I love fairy tales. Some of my love of drawing comes from looking at illustrated fairy tales as a kid. This is my first finger puppet play set. I wanted to include some props to make the 3 Little Pigs experience “richer,” so I designed them to be stuck on craft or popsicle sticks. The part where the wolf huffs and puffs is the highlight of the story, in my estimation, so naturally I had to include that. I’ve listed this kit as a digital download in my Etsy shop.

Cromarty and Sutherland and Much, Much Love

This morning, I woke up and checked my email. There were many messages from Tumblr letting me know that so-and-so-tumblr-member is now following you. Something was obviously up, and I hoped that some type of spammy bot thing hadn’t unleashed boundless love on my unsuspecting blog.

A bit of sleuthing showed that Tumblr Radar had posted Cromarty and Sutherland at about 1:00 am this morning. Now, this is really unexpected and exciting! All this outpouring of love in the form of over 3000 page visits as well as likes, reblogs and new followers. I’ve been going through my activity page and discovering blogs and people, I might have never seen otherwise.

tindaisies, gabrielle nowicki collage

Happy Valentine’s Day, with love, from Cromarty and Sutherland