In case you were wondering...

In case you were wondering...

This blog exists to encourage all those who have ever wanted--and needed!--a tiny getaway close to home. A workshop, playhouse, garden shed, sanctuary, mini-greenhouse, studio, home office; whatever it is you need, it IS doable, with some sacrifice, imagination, and compromise.

It helps if you're handy, too.

Friday, December 31, 2010

MAKING A MARK: The Making A Mark Awards (Part 4 - The Home Front)

MAKING A MARK: The Making A Mark Awards (Part 4 - The Home Front)

The blog wins an award!

Katherine Tyrrell's wonderful Making a Mark blog does annual awards every year, and the blog wins for The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year!

You can read about it HERE, and thank you very much, Katherine! We did start this blog in the hopes of encouraging other artists to realize their dream...

As you know, I do work there virtually daily, and find it very conducive to concentration.  No TV, no telephone, no computer, just books, art, and music.  Plus a place to make tea, of course!

So thank you again, Katherine, we're delighted! 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Shedworking's Annual Awards--and more great links!

You all may remember this post from mid-December--Shedworking's Alex Johnson has done his first annual awards for shed workers, and it's FUN.  (One of my favorite early contacts, Uncle Wilco, won the lifetime achievement award, and it's well-deserved!)

Find them HERE...I'll be spending time browsing happily today, and hope you will as well!

Above is Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution, the book Alex wrote  about the trend, and which I still intend to review was a great read! 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Early Inspirations--Handmade Houses

Years ago in a galaxy far away...well, really, it was just the 1970s...I bought a  copy of this book and fell in love.  We didn't build our farmhouse, in the 70s, but I definitely was influenced in how I rehabbed and decorated it!  Wonderfully quirky stuff, some soooo '70s and some I'd love right now. Beautiful carving, imaginative solutions, warm wood... Handmade Houses is still available for a reasonable amount (unless you want one of the hardbound "new" ones some optimist has listed for $900+!!)

If you love the idea of creating your own space, you'll love this old-but-still-good book!

Christmas Day + One

Christmas Day +, originally uploaded by Cathy (Kate) Johnson.
What a glorious way to start Christmas Day, sitting in the shed and watching the feast of birds and animals...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Mike measures..., originally uploaded by Cathy (Kate) Johnson.
Mike came the same day we called, gave us a bid, told us he'd try to get there yesterday afternoon but if he couldn't it would be this morning.

He called to say it would be too late yesterday, and yep, he came this morning!

So we have two new plug ins in the shed, 20 amp, so they'll be heavy duty and last as long as the shed, I imagine.

It was really good to see him again--he used to do all our electrical work, but then he retired to Texas...didn't take, and he's back. He's such a nice guy...we chatted a lot, catching eachother up with what's gone on in the past 10 years.

Meanwhile the insulation guy that was going to call back after lunch yesterday still has not. It's been over 3 weeks that we've been trying to get someone just to SHOW UP.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Warmer moves...

So still no insulation under the floor, and no word from the owner of the lovely rug I liked so much--the one with no price tag in THIS POST.  Meanwhile, we hit Costco the other day and they had these little inexpensive throw rugs.  I thought what the heck, at least under the desk where I work would be good!

I had no idea HOW really, really helped, just that one layer of stuff, so once again I tried to rattle loose some response about the bigger rug...nada.

This is the rug Joseph brought with him from Virginia a couple of years ago...when we considered it this summer it really smelled musty, and I didn't think I could deal with doused it with baking soda and let it sit for a few months.  It's a bit dark for the shed, and we're a LONG way from Zen simplicity now, with that crazy flowered chair, plaid throw, and ethnic pillow underfoot, but you know what?  IT'S WARMER.

It's 5 by 8', so it doesn't cover the whole floor, but it's a great help where I spend most of my time...

Meanwhile, our beloved old electrician (I thought he'd retired, which he did, but he's BACK!) came this morning with a bid on the new plug-ins so my lamp cord doesn't have to drag halfway across the room and across the bookcase, and perhaps we can simplify the spaghetti cords of the heaters.  I also asked him about more efficient heating, and he pretty much said what Joseph has all along...we've got it.  1500 watts is 1500 watts.  Oh.  Well, yeah.  OK. <:-D

And actually it's plenty warm once I turn it up, so I'll just hush now...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

icy morning sunrise

Glowing in the cold...

toasted muffin and marmalade

This warmed me up nicely...home made 7-grain/carrot/raisin muffin and marmalade...

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Shed gets around...yet again!

I didn't realize we'd been featured on the excellent Shedworking blog back in September till I looked at the stats for this blog and saw the link--you can find it here:

The blog is already  in our list of links in the sidebar...a great place to visit!

If you're interested in a shed of your own, you may have noticed I've linked to the book of the same name (and from the same folks), Shedworking, by Alex Johnson. (As he says, no relation!) 

I loved it...full of great advice and inspiration, and dozens of links.  (In my copious spare time, I plan a book review...soooooon...)  Meanwhile, check it out!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunrise snow at the shed

I could hardly wait to get out there with the camera!

And yes, it was quite habitable, once I had both heaters going for 15 minutes or so. I'd left the tower heater on low, 38 degrees, so my paint water hadn't even frozen, but the bowl of water on the floor had, and stayed that way. Glad we're getting the new insulation under there!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chilly Shed Update

So...found a company to do the insulation under the floor, probably next week unless the weather goes completely wonky.  Almost $400, but it will save on electricity (and cranky, frozen Kate) in the long run.  The one that was going to call me on Monday 2 weeks ago never called, even after another contact, so I imagine how dependable they'd be to actually do the work.

(At this point, all but one of the rigid Styrofoam panels have let go and are lying on the ground under the shed.  Grrrr.)

Still planning to put a wool rug in there...this is the one I want, LOVE the Renaissance feel it has and soft sage green, but having trouble finding the owner of the booth to find out the PRICE.  Must be out of town...

Kinda like the goofy rooster, too...J. thinks I'm nuts, and it IS a lot darker than I'd planned to use in there.  I like checkerboard, though...and I KNOW how much this one costs (very affordable.)

I bought a cheap, small throw rug to put under the desk where I work, and the difference it makes is amazing.  Like between comfort and not.

Meanwhile the ground feeders and squirrels are much appreciating our bounty.  It was 45 degrees this morning, below freezing and snowing now...

And fooey, although it seemed as if the waterlogged board had FINALLY dried out and I put spar varnish on it, mentioned in THIS POST, this is now it looks now.


Friday, December 3, 2010


Winter DOES come to the shed...and it isn't even officially winter yet, but the other day it was 39 degrees when I got there.  With BOTH heaters going it doesn't take long to warm up, though, and today I go rug-shopping again.  Bare floor in the winter is nuts, especially when it's just 3/4" plywood!  I found one secondhand for $30, or we may trade out the one at the cabin...

Meanwhile my fleece robe, down comforter and heating pad keep me happy till the heaters do their work...

The birds have found the little platform feeder...nice to watch them crowding around...

Lovely working out there, though...ideas really seem to flow. 


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