Friday, August 28, 2009

Double V Designs

This summer I was lucky enough to get a chance to re-design a commercial space, for the first time.  I love all things design and the thought of having an actual budget and getting to be a project manager was nothing less than a dream come true.  I answered an ad in our local paper, coincidentally, 3 of my friends called me about the same ad, saying it sounded perfect for me and my skills.  I puffed up my chest, swallowed my fears and called James Hargreaves of The Chelsea SmokeHouse.  He and his wife Line Boyer had purchased a small diner and were looking to re-vamp it so that it would be up to snuff with the amazing foods that they create in their already successful Chelsea, Quebec business.
"Speaking!" He said in a cheerful London accent.
"I just read your want-ad.... and not to toot my own horn, but I believe you wrote that ad for me!"
He laughed, we chatted and soon after a new working relationship was born.

It was challenging for myself and my amazing, talented team of carpenters, painters and fellow designer Virginia Maffini as well as for Line and James.  But this was an opportunity that led, not only to an awesome transformation, but learning experience and finally what I think will be a very successful and functional space.  Now that Virginia and I have cut our teeth, so to speak, on a commercial space, we have decided to create our own sideline of a design business, specializing in staging homes for sale and helping people tailor their homes and businesses in a fresh, modern way.

Line and James took a chance on us, but I believe we lived up to this challenge, we gained invaluable  experience and two wonderful new friends.  We are so proud of Le Resto and are looking forward to the delicious cuisine and relaxing in what has become a lovely space.

Please check out the before and after pictures on James' website and if you are in ever in Chelsea, your mouth will thank you for stopping by either of these fine establishments!

Le Resto opens it doors Monday August 31st

528 Route 105
Chelsea, QC J9B 1L2, 

(819) 827-5559

Virginia & Victoria Maffini 
Double V Designs 

The Thaw Acrylic on Canvas 3.5' x3.5'

Currently on display at

Things that landed on stuff that I grew....

When my husband and I moved ourselves to the *wilds* of Val des Monts, I really had no idea what a shift in lifestyle it would be.  I have always been a nature lover and gardener but the challenges of a country garden just hadn't occurred to me.  Not only were there various large creature lying in wait to nibble on freshly sprouted seeds but a million tiny beings above ground and below anticipated new plants to devour.  These issues and the never ending frustrations of a being in a newer, cooler zone, led me to shed more than a tear or two.  Little did I know that surviving the harshness of winter and feeling of isolation would be my real enemy, and yet a blessing in disguise.  
While snowed in up to my eyeballs one bleak winter day, I picked up a seed catalogue with an organic focus on gardening.  A new world of natural science was opened up to me like, companion planting, helper bugs, composting.  I think that planning my attack on my little plot of land with Mother Nature's arsenal in my back pocket is what got me through that first trying winter season.  It also gave me a huge appreciation for the interconnection of all living things.  I was keenly aware that if you poisoned a bug, it could be eaten by one of the gorgeous birds you were buying seed for!  These noxious solutions could kill off some of your biggest allies like frogs, birds, toads, bees and ladybugs, not to mention poison the water we were drinking from our own well.  
All this being said, I just couldn't help but see my world through new eyes, eyes that appreciated every detail of every leg on every creepy crawly.  I am in awe of their brilliant colors as well as innate camouflage.  And soon I was so obsessed with them, I was growing plants hoping for a beautiful bug or insect eater to wander by so I could have a private photo shoot.   This is the tale of my series "Things that Landed on Stuff that I Grew."  

Here are some samples :

and a link to my Flicker account,  where you can browse more of my photo projects.  All are for sale, in various sized prints.  Please don't hesitate to contact me with questions or to purchase at: