Working on the exterior of the cottage art studio.

With a week of sunny days in front of us, I decided it would be best to work on the outside of the art studio. We had a few days of rain and now with a break in the weather I realize I had better take advantage of the dry.

I could have chosen to have new windows but I had collected these old charmers over the past two years and I just love them. They may not be as energy efficient but I can create a barrier if I need to, from the weather, with clear bubble wrap or plastic.

Much of the siding I have used was given to us through Freecycle. I have begun buying new siding now though.

Finally finishing my cottage art studio ceiling.

The first piece of sheet rock is in place!

The insulation you see between the rafters is a stiff foam insulation about 4 inches thick. This came from a greyhound bus station. It was given to my sister Cheryl and I after she found it online. I think she requested insulation through Freecycle. This insulation was bound for the dump but we were able to collect and use it instead.

I am very excited to be working on the designated art studio area in the cottage finally. Once this art studio area is finished I can move all my art supplies out of my very cramped living room studio and into the cottage studio.

Moving my art studio will allow me to open my home back up for family gatherings and more comfortable entertaining of friends. .

I am looking forward to decorating my house for the holidays this year ūüôā

Finally got all the shingles on the fancy roof.

I’m so excited I can now move on to the pop out windows which will be in the open triangle spaces below the upper roof. After that I will put in the large triangle windows for the loft area on all four sides of the building.

Working on construction in my life reminds me of sewing a dress one seam each day. The process takes a long time but eventually I end up with a finished product.

This sort of reminds me of the baby steps I take in my life. Moving slowly through life’s lessons I sometimes wonder if I’m making any progress‚Ķ But looking back on everything I accomplished I realize how much I’ve learned. Realizing that life is a series of baby steps helps me feel happier and more content with the process.

How crude can it be and still work?

The day was warmer, and Melanie was over, so John and Melanie and I finally put the front door in on the art studio cottage.




Watch video below to see how amazingly it works!

 

 

Making a Cottage Art Studio : Part 6 – Old Ladies Mixing Concrete

Me mixing concrete in a tub

As Cheryl and I continue working along this southern wall, taking out paneling and putting in windows and French doors (I know, the North side is better for lighting an art studio, but we have a South side to use so we’re using it), we are finding that almost everywhere along the base of these walls, the pressure treated wood is rotten. ¬†Not only is the wood rotten in this particular spot, there is no concrete below the rotten wood either!

We are removing the rotten wood, bit by bit, and “pouring” concrete in the empty spaces that should have had concrete from the beginning. ¬†Cheryl and I have to take this job in small bites because we are mixing the concrete by hand, and that is a tough job, especially for old ladies like us.

The little space you see prepped for concrete will hold just the amount I have mixed in this photo, which is about half a bag.  Maybe one day I will rent a little concrete mixer if I have a large area to fill.

Cheryl and I have limited energy but we don’t let that stop us from accomplishing our goals. ¬†We work for only very short periods of time, like an hour at a time, which is why this project will likely take us forever. ¬†Not only that, but we are both pretty sure we have that attention deficit hyperactive disorder thing. ¬†This may be obvious to those reading my blogs. ¬†I tend to jump from one project to another, one subject to another, then back again. ¬†That is how we work best though. ¬†Our brains go fizz, fizz, fizz, then we have to lay down and rest!

Making A Cottage Art Studio: Part 3 – A Perfectly Imperfect Guest Cottage


My sister finished her term at school and has come to stay with me for the summer. This little bit of heaven, the partially finished corner of my cottage art studio, is perfect for her bohemian spirit. She loves to feel the breeze at night and watch the stars as she goes to sleep.

Making a Cottage Art Studio : Part 2 – A Zen Attitude

When Melanie left I felt sad, partly because I would miss her and partly because I wanted us to keep working on the art studio!!!  We put one of the 8 paned windows in before she left, and I put the other one in the next day with the help of my sister, niece, and daughter.

Today I decided to make needed repairs on the structure surrounding the area intended for the French doors and also create¬†a space to install the doors. ¬†I was so happy that I had the strength and energy to work on this section without Melanie helping me. ¬†My son Ryan helped when I needed an extra hand, and so did my niece and her son. ¬†It doesn’t look like much yet but I can see the finished product in my mind, and this cottage art studio is going to be beautiful!

Seeing and helping parents work on projects like this is so good for kids, too.  One nice thing about homeschooling is the kids are home to see and help with whatever project we are doing.  Melanie says watching and helping me work on projects while growing up gave her the confidence to tackle similar projects in her own home.  Seeing her work on this cottage with me the other day was sure proof of that, she was the boss lady and I was the helper!

Knowing how easily I tire, my daughters Melanie and Melissa talked to me about going forward with this construction in a “Zen” way. ¬†Work when I have the energy, rest when I need to, and enjoy each step of the process. ¬†It’s all about the journey.