Adrift Art Studio: Enchanting Organic Handcrafted Art and Supplies
The works of artist C.S. Alexis find themselves nestled in homes and gardens, and don themselves on people, all over the world. This is probably because her eye, when it comes to forming natural artifacts into enchanting jewelry, art, and miniatures is spot on.
This article covers the enchanting art of C.S. Alexis, her shops, and an
exclusive look into what inspires her. All photos courtesy Adrift Art
Studio. Clicking on photo sets will bring up a light-box view for an
awesome photo viewing experience and links. just for you, upon hover.
C.S. Alexis uses a broad range of materials from sea glass and flowers to driftwood and bones. She hand picks them on the beaches and other special places near her residence near Lake Michigan. Like so many artists she is inspired by the nature around her. Each find speaks to her and she seems to know just what to do to bring it to life.
I have long admired her hand crafted creations and have been a fan of her work for about four years now.
Here is a small representation of some of my favorite past Adrift Art Studio's offerings:
As of late, she's been focusing more and more on miniatures and garden items. My favorites (especially when there's moss involved) are her garden fairy swings, furnishings, and doors. And I find I can't stop admiring her one of a kind fairy fantasy creatures she calls the Wee Bee the Peops which "are designed to encourage individualism and are concerned with everyone being proud of who they are". Each Peop is made of metal and paperclay, sealed and painted with acrylic. has a different personality so be sure to check out the wonderfully clever descriptions and bios on each offering.
C.S. Alexis is not afraid of happy colors, she embellishes her pieces as simply as nature does, and are sure to put a smile on your face. Smiles of happiness is a big part of what she hopes to accomplish through her creations.
Her Etsy shop Tinker's Attic offers her latest in unusual art and craft supplies and materials. Looking for bones? Sea glass? Select pieces of beached driftwood? Crab claws? She has them for you. And you don't have to have a project in mind to fall in love with most of her offerings.
Take, for example, the most popular collections from her Tinker's Attic shop, (especially around
Valentines day): handcrafted hearts. Some have wood burned messages
inscribed, and some have a small splash of color. She has quite a
variety of them, all shapes and sizes, and if you ask me, they are
special all year round and make the perfect gift to a best friend. I'd
also use them to bring a special message with a smile to my children in their sack lunches.
Her other shop, Walk Softly 13, offers what I like to call miniature masterpieces. And yes, you can even request custom items that are not currently available in her shop. Some of her pieces, like her free standing sign on post (shown below) offer the option of free personalization of wood burned lettering of your choice. Her sculptures and miniature fantasy garden pieces are just as she puts it, "mysterious and magical". They revolve around re-purposed and gathered materials, and speak to her enchantment with and deep love for mother nature as well as her strong beliefs for conservation. Wood, stone, bark, seeds, and shells make up a great part of the foundation materials she uses. For a special handmade and keepsake touch, each piece is personally signed by C.S. Alexis herself.
Some specialty pieces, like the little art fairy garden straw bed, sell out FAST! So if you see them in stock, buy! And remember, you can always request an item that you don't see.
We wanted to go behind the scenes and find out more about this fascinating artist and her fairy wonderlands. It all started with a milk carton garden decades ago. Here's her story in her own words:
I fell in love with gardening when I was about 7 years old. You know, when you plant a seed in your milk carton at school as a child and it grows and turns into a flower....well that was the hook.
I hounded my Father to help me make a garden in our yard that summer and wanted to grow things we could eat. I bought a few packs of seeds and he helped me make a little garden patch. I was so excited when we picked the first radish...but within a few days a very large crop of grasshoppers came and ate everything in the garden much to my dismay.
I think my imagination took over then. I thought of the bugs as "the enemy"
My Father was an architect and my mother owned a beauty shop so the creativity I believe was inherited. I was always trying to build things with hammers and nails but it seemed I had the best luck when I used found materials like sticks and cardboard and skipped the conventional building skills as I was not too good with a hammer.
I built my first hut in the yard at about 7 or 8 years old and it was fashioned out of sticks, dead leaves and dried grass...much like a large nest with a roof and solid stick walls...I made my father climb through the doorway of that hut where we both sat all scrunched up just looking at each other...it was tight but it worked and it made me so proud and so happy, I probably laughed for a week. The wind and weather knocked it down after a while and then I believe I started to learn about how Mother Nature worked her magic. I am the biggest fan of Mother Nature and all of her magic.
My Mother was the one who most encourage me to use my creative ways. My Father died when I was 11 and that sent my fragile spirit into a downward spiral. Trouble in school was my middle name so my Mom used arts and crafts to try to keep my head and hands busy.
I had the best art teachers in high school and they took me under wing and kept me out of study hall where I was placed every time I was thrown out of a class. My freshman year I had managed to be removed from all classes except English and art....hence I had 6 or 7 hours of art each day
The miniature makings began around holiday seasons. My Mother loved
Christmas more than anyone and she loved for me to make her special
decorations. Not having a lot of extra money forced me to use whatever I
could find to re-purpose into something special for Christmas. That is
why I now prefer to use discarded and found objects for my creative
I made my first piece of miniature furniture out of twigs when I was a freshman in college. When my Mother came to visit me at school one summer, she noticed the little chair and suggested that I could make such chairs and sell them. I told her I would do that when I get old....Ha ha! Now I am old. I was my Mother's care taker for the past 10 years while she was sick and in a slow decline. We would spend many hours in my garden and she loved to watch me work in my art studio. Making miniature fairy garden decorations sprang out of trying to bring a smile to my Mother's heart as she became sicker and sicker.
She was my inspiration. Mom died this spring and I have been very lost and depressed without her but I know I have to keep on trying to live. I put my heart, my love and my joy for Mother Nature into making the miniature pieces. Everyday life is where I get my ideas...and from the actual pieces of driftwood, rocks and shells I find. It is almost like the pieces come to me and all I do is give them a few details. I see magic in the wood grain, wood knots, knot holes and color of the raw materials I use.
I spend as much as two or three days on some pieces and others I make very fast. Time has taught me a lot of little tricks to make the work go faster and turn out a better product. Most of my work will stand up to the weather as I do not only glue but also use dowels to attach pieces of wood. This makes the pieces last a long time.
I am always learning something new and I never get bored with collecting materials for my projects. Because of that I also have a shop where I sell some of the extra materials I collect or things I find and feel other artists might be interested in using. That is where my shop called Tinker's Attic comes in to play. This shop offers unusual art and craft materials to other artists.
I believe in seeds, magic, Mother Nature and God. I am a rebel but not against anything that would bring harm, pain or hurtfulness to anyone. It is all about the love, a smile, laughter and dew drops. Life is a gift, mother's are magical, and goodness is what everyone should strive toward. The real world is hard and fantasy is such a good place to hide from it.
As for my Wee Bees the Peops. I make them in sets of 6, rainbow colors, or will make and personalize them individually and a color can be selected at the customer's wishes. They are designed around some of the same techniques as jewelry making. Cost under $10. so they are affordable and the size fits all of the furnishings I make so they can be used together to make Fairy Garden and Container Gardens.
I design them upon order and they tend to look like insects, my own version of Fantasy Fairies. I have a bunch that I have yet to put in the shop and am making more accessories as I have the time. This is what I am working on right now.
I love it all and intend to stick with the miniatures because I like the mixed media and rustic materials.
For one of a kind handmade fairy garden To find out more about C.S. Alexis and what inspires her today and every day, go to: