Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What to do, what to do? Some answers, finally!

Dear friends,

Ever since we bought this house over two years ago, I've pondered exactly how I'll use the little cottage in the backyard. It's hard to know how you'll use a space until you've actually used it.  Make sense?  LOL.  I knew I needed a space for garden stuff--all those piles of tools, rakes, shovels, hand tools, pots etc.

I decided to tackle the little room that used to be a laundry facility for the Two Sisters who lived here before. It's where the claw foot bathtub used to sit.   After more pondering and lots of note-taking, I decided that it would be the Garden Room and the other part of the building will be a workshop for ME, studio space, and quiet room where I can go to write (hopefully) without interruptions of an Internet nature.  (I'll get back to you on that. LOL)

So, first order of business was to get the room cleaned up and some paint on the walls.  I decided to go with white for now, something I've never done.  In this photo, you can see the Big Mess of tools and such that I have to deal with.

And here's all the other "stuff" that's in the room now.

Some of it can go into the wonderful little cabinets that hang on the wall to the left, including a 1950s medicine cabinet that hangs by the front door.

But mostly, it will go into the big cabinet that I'm planning to build all along the back wall, using old doors we removed from the house.  That will be a big project--the largest I've tackled, and I want to do most of it myself.  Right now I'm measuring, doing sketches, and want to use up as much scrap wood as possible.

Although the house was mostly empty, two things that got left behind were antique ironing boards, made of wood.  The base on one was broken, but the other one is in really good shape.  After removing the FILTHY covers on them (three layers), I was surprised to find some amazing antique pine.

I love how this one has been repaired over and over.  There must be two dozen screws, nuts and bolts in this.

The second one, believe it or not, is our future coffee table for the living room--after some sanding, that is.  I've been looking for a long narrow table for years without any luck.  It seems that most tables are made for McMansions these days, or are square.  The Two Sisters were hoarders of broom handles, too, and left behind an array of different colors---red, turquoise, green, etc.  Those will be the legs of the table.  But that's a project for Another Day. :-)

One of my favorite projects so far is my garden hand tool storage door.  This old door once lead into the garage.  Now it's screwed shut and caulked to keep the varmints out.  I used cup hooks, screwed them into the door and hung my trowels, etc. from them.  The garden gloves (which I can NEVER find) are on a binder clip hanging from a cup hook.  The big loppers at the top are there temporarily.  Eventually there will be a shelf across there for small pots.

 A bunch of fresh cut rosemary helps de-stinkify this old room.

And I FINALLY was able to unpack and hang my collection of cement and ceramic sunfaces and garden plaques.  I actually forgot I had this Greenman one.  I think he fits, don't you?

 Until next time,

Happy trails!

bobbi c.


RoseAnn Hayes said...

Lots of cool ideas, and I love the green man and the white enamel pieces. Old medicine chests give me the creeps, for some reason - they seem so institutional or something. But I love the old wooden cabinets with the old painted-over latches. I love that the sisters collected broom handles. I have found myself keeping them, too. If they are wooden, I saw them off and keep them for many different uses. Even better if they are painted in a worn out color. Brooms don't seem to come with wooden handles anymore.

Bobbi A. Chukran, Author said...

Hi RoseAnn, thanks for commenting! Yes, I love the broom handles, too. I should put them all together and take a photo. I agree about the old medicine chests. I'm probably going to remove that one and cover the hole in the wall with a picture, or hang something else over it--maybe a small shelf or a hook to hang my garden hat and apron. :-)

RoseAnn Hayes said...

I have several old sawed-off broom handles. One is a faded baby blue and one is yellow. I intended to use them for things like garden stakes or something, but it never happened because I always decide they are too cute, so I just keep them around in case I need to poke them at something. :) Also, those old wooden ironing boards are a work of art in themselves. They are so charming I can see them simply hung on he wall as they are.

Bobbi A. Chukran, Author said...

Hi RoseAnn, I love the idea of hanging one on the wall. I might do that with the one that's intact, since I do plan to actually use it. I'm crazy for pine, especially the old antique pine. The one I'm making a table out of has some splinters in it, so I'll do a light sanding. Otherwise, I'm leaving it natural and just putting some wax on it to protect it.

Edith Maxwell said...

Delighted to discover your blog through Sisters in Crime, Bobbi. Not sure how I missed it for so long! I rehabbed a garden shed in my previous house and now wish I had documented the process. Perhaps this summer I'll do more work on my current shed. Which could use some paint and some hooks, like yours.

Bobbi A. Chukran, Author said...

Thanks for visiting, Edith! I have a lot of friends and family who clamor to see photos of what I'm doing, so I take lots of pics. Also, it helps remind me of what I did, when--just in case I ever get energetic enough to put all this insanity into a book someday. LOL.