My Shabby Shack in the Woods

It's been a busy summer, as they all are, and often we take advantage of the time off work by getting our home and garden spiffed up.  This year was no exception and we were even more motivated to do so because of the tornado that whacked us in April.  So with all of the nasty construction work completed and a lot of the garden cleaned up too, a new project got underway...

Spring 2003

When I met my Southern gentleman in California about ten years ago and I moved to Georgia to marry him, we moved into the former home of his grandparents.

Since that time, working tirelessly, we have restored our home almost completely {however, my husband's bathroom is still in the dark ages but we just close the door most of the time}. The gardens are no longer looking like a jungle either and are more manicured, slightly reminiscent of what they used to be.
Spring 2003

Deep in that jungle when we first moved here, I discovered a gem of an abandoned petite Art Deco pool house, circa 1920's, which had not been used {or maintained} for more than sixty years.

I found this old photo of the pool house dated, Summer 1944.  The little girl in the pool to the left is my husband's mother.  His grandmother is in the lounge to the far left.  If you look closely you can see the ladies enjoying their cool summer cocktails!

 I knew one day that I wanted to restore this beauty {in the eyes of the beholder} and make it my own little cottage studio.

Spring 2003
{Check out the gorgeous aqua patina on the old concrete pool.}

My husband promised me that when our house was "done" we could start working on "my studio."

Summer 2003

{So much rain that summer of 2003 that the old concrete pool finally gave way and caved in.  We have since bulldozed the pool and now there is a pretty nice spot for an Italian knot day.}

The details of this little shack are marvelous and include a slate roof, beautiful mouldings and arched windows, wonderful light fixtures, and most of all its classic architecture.  I'm still stunned that when we first moved here he said that he wanted to use this as his tool shed.  Can you imagine?  Surely, he must have been joking...

This is a screened lattice window.  I plan to leave this window as it is, however I will add glazing and make it so the window open and close.

Spring 2011
{This is what it looks like now.}

Spring 2011
{Very chippy paint!}

Earlier this week, the ceilings were lifted and a few more walls removed.

You can see some of the recycled wood construction above...and lots of cobwebs and dust!  This is not a glamorous job.

I am excited to say that as of four days ago the promise was realized.  "We" {he} have {has} deconstructed most of the interior.  Dressing room partitions have been removed; shelving taken down; benches torn out; the dropped ceiling is slowly coming down and revealing more light above the rafters.  It's built like a tank and often we have found that recycled wood was used within the walls and above the ceiling.  We are also going to reuse the wood {solid tongue and groove pine} that we are removing from the walls and ceiling for the renovation.

'Love these old ornate metal ceiling fixtures. There are four of them...I'm not sure how I will place them ~ inside or out.

This is one of two wash basins...there were his and hers. I'll keep this one ~ HOT and COLD fixtures and all.

Original partitions between dressing areas and toilets.

It has not necessarily been a tool shed all these years, but it has been used for some random storage.  We have even found old dining receipts from the Atlanta Athletic Club of which Gramps used to be a member.

Original toilet ~ one of two. {That's a "new" seat though, because it's cushy.}  Not sure if we can work the new plumbing out for this... but I do love that little flush handle.  When the tornado hit us some trees fell onto the cast iron pipes that lead to the septic tank.

...two days into the project, this is what it looked like.

This shows a peek between the his and hers wall, which will be completely removed ~ knowing my husband ~ by this weekend.

Our plan is to gut the interior leaving an open floor plan with lofty ceilings with rafters from which I will hang a collection of chandeliers.

As of this morning, this is what the interior looks like.  Tomorrow we power wash the interior and take a break.

The concrete slab floor has some "issues" so I am not sure what will happen with that, however I would like to leave it as concrete and simply acid wash it and paint it white.
Spring 2011

As far as the facade...I will swap the front doors for French doors to allow more light to glow inside and a simple sanding is all we will do to the exterior paint finish leaving it "chippy."  The garden design will simply evolve.

Now with all this work my kind husband is doing for me, I think I ought to submit photos of his over-the-top retro bathroom {and not in a good way} to Nate Berkus or This Old House for a makeover!

{Translated ~ "Keep Calm and Carry On"}

I will keep you all posted with the progress of My Shabby Shack in the Woods.  If there are not too many surprises, it may be completed by next summer.

See you next time. 

Ciao amici,

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The digital graphics shown in this post and on the top of my side bar, I purchased from fellow Etsian, Graphique.  One of their designs was featured on the Etsy Front Page recently so I wandered into their shop and could not resist their fabulous art and design.  Oh, and Leah, the doll of a proprietor too!

Satin Flowers & Burlap Bows


Well, these neutrals certainly are not boring...I saw this lovely and oh~so~feminine dress at a shop called Fuss in Watercolour, FL recently and it reminded me of the fabulous costumes designed by Alexander McQueen which I viewed at MOMA last month.

The swirls of satin flowers ~ daisies ~ in mocha and white are so delicate and at the same time bold and whimsical.

I just could not get enough of the details of this frock.  The way the light shimmers on the silk and satin, the striking criss~cross of the black ribboned bands at the waistband...

...the plunging neckline, and full skirt evocative of fashion in past eras.

It is simple sophistication.

Love it!

And it might even look proper with this vintage rhinestone embellished satin and straw cloche {which I found at Kudzu Antiques in Atlanta the other day}... a party on a porch decorated with French terra cotta pots filled with mossy ivy and tied with floppy burlap bows...

...rustic wrought iron trellises and tables...

...white washed urns and jugs filled with hydrangeas...

...and a sweet angel girl kissing a bird to top it all off.

{By the way, I did not walk out of the store with the dress ~ the price tag was over the top ~ although I may design and sew one for myself...if I can find the fabric.  Now I begin the hunt and get my sewing machine oiled!}

Ciao amici,

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Joining the White Wednesday party today.

Hot as Fire!

It's as hot here in the South this summer as these hot as fire tangerine tea roses, which are appropriately named...

...Rio Samba!

Rio Samba is a hybrid tea rose introduced by Jackson & Perkins which was named after the Samba dancers at Carnival in Rio

Brilliant yellow petals deepening into orange near the edges creates a luminous beauty.

 The hybrid version of a fresh market bouquet grabbed my attention and is shown in my photograph above {which I have not re-touched}...

...and this is my interpretation painted in gouache and watercolour {shown framed as a suggestion}.

This charming painting would be adorable in a cottage, country house, or sun room. The rose bud border creates a lovely frame around the bouquet. Beautiful as an individual piece of art and lovely in a grouping of two or more.It is currently available in my Etsy shop.  My photo of the Rio Samba Tea Roses is available on a selection of licensed products in my Zazzle shop.

Wishing you all some time to smell the roses this summer.

Ciao amici,


Last week when we were enjoying our time on the Gulf Coast, we passed by a funky, artsy, and junky place that grabbed our curiosity...

...and that of a little photographer in the family too.

These contemporary folk art mixed media flags were snapped by my "six and three quarters year old" little guy at 30-A Art and Junk in Seagrove Beach.

These are his original photos ~ they are not retouched by me ~ he would not let me. 

Such a celebration of America's Independence...and his.

His point of view is a delight to observe...

...and often he sees things that I miss.

Happy Fourth of July to all.
God Bless America.

Ciao amici,

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Joining the Vintage Inspiration party today.