Life on the creative side

Archive for September, 2011

Cabin Repair Update

Almost as soon as we began the repairs on the high eves of the cabin, where squirrels had chewed their way into the attic, we discovered that time and weather had also taken a toll on the high gable-end windows. So, as usually happens with repair and remodels, the project expanded.

We decided to replace the original long, center -fixed -pane, window with two individual windows. This left a gap in the tongue and grove bead-board on the wall and an opportunity to shake things up a little.

With my two girls now married we are blending new families into our own. So we were already thinking about how to make room for everyone.  Since adding on space  is currently out of the question, the solution would have to come from adding accommodations within the space we already have. 

With a couple of gallons of paint, some  curtains, two full-sized beds, linens and some furniture rearranging and of course a sweet chandelier,  we took the room from a dated girls room into a fresh room; ready to welcome our young couples into our home and into the fabric of our family.

Two Twisted Tales

Yes there has been a very long (and frustrating) delay in my posting; no it’s not that I have been out fulfilling my dream of wandering through the ancient, art filled, cobblestone streets of the Old World, (you can bet I would be blogging that); and no it’s not because I have nothing to say, (those who know me can stop laughing); nor is it that I am just a lazy blogger, (although I do love an occasional lazy do-nothing day); the simple fact is that, as a blogging novice who can remember grooving to  Simon and Garfunkel, I have encountered some technical glitches that have me standing on a metaphoric bridge poised to toss my *>%##* computer into the murky – troubled waters – below!

Thankfully that moment was brief and it was time to turn my creative energy toward the deck railing project I’ve been deck rails made of twisted twigscontemplating. I am very pleased with the results and I’m excited to share it with you now.

I knew I wanted a wild organic look, what I didn’t know was how I would achieve it.  My first decision was to find the materials and for that I looked to my husband and the surrounding environment. My hubby and I hopped onto the quad and headed into the woods where we collected a large bundle of long twisted strands of wild grapevines.

We still needed material for the rail’s structure. For that we dug through the pile of sawmill waste slabs a neighbor brings to my dad to use as fire wood.

We found several, long, live-cut edge pieces we hoped would work perfectly.

creating a twisted twig railing

Then working like a creative team over thirty years in the making, my hubby and I constructed the beautiful, wild, twisting railing I had envisioned.

So with my creativity and perspective restored I was able to re-address the technical problems plaguing my efforts.  While all the issues are not yet resolved, I have at least un-twisted them enough to resume my passion of sharing and encouraging creativity.


TT’s Barn

vintage finds

 Sense reference to my dad’s barn appears so often on this site, I want to share with you this special place in my life and take you along on a treasure hunt.

Weather I’m in search for a specific object or inspiration, I never leave disappointed.

Dad’s barn is a little like life; sometimes it’s filled with great stuff and sometimes it’s just full of stuff –  but much of the thrill is in the hunt.

Yet I must admit, there’s a lot of fun in finding!

While the cavernous space holds  many treasures, it also holds a lifetime of memories. As a child on the ridge I saw first hand what happens when a community comes together to help one another. Not only did friends and neighbors gather to help my dad raise the pole barn, but a few years later, after an injury left him unable to work, they came together yet again; to house his tobacco in the same barn they had helped build.

All sorts of treasures are sheltered in the old barn; many are eventually sold or shared with friends, some are on display in my home and some live permanently in my heart.








Edna’s Window Top Table

Well, it has been a long journey on the project I first cleaning and painting the old window for Edna's tablewrote about on the Blue Antler Studio (BAS), project share page.

But I’m  finally ready to update everyone who provided advice, suggestion or just good luck wishes. The project is now finished and sitting in my kitchen;  a counter height table made by repurposing an old window pane that I found in my dad’s barn.

First I had to clean, paint and come up with a technique.  Once I decided to use the window as a top for a table, the hard part began;  trying to decide what treatment I would use and getting it put together. Thankthe old window and porch post used to make Edna's tables to the Blue Antler Studio, project share, I had a lot of wonderful suggestions. 

I ended up using a vintage tablecloth  purchased at a yard sale; thanks to Diana, my sister, who spotted the tablecloth and knew that Kathy, the artist of BAS, would like it (sorry Kathy). It was also Diana who suggested that I use a nice piece of cloth for my project, and so the idea of the tablecloth as the treatment for my table was born.

vintage tablecloth and other supplies for making the old window into a tableThe colors are vivid, yellow, red, green and pink.  I sandwiched the tablecloth  between a piece of thin board and the window pane. But I didn’t stop there, thanks to Kathy’s advice,” think layers” and her suggestion to paint some of the design on the window pane; it gave it the depth it needed to bring it alive.   I used an old ornate column for the base, that was also found at a yard sale, and had been waiting for a new purpose.  I also have to thank my husband, Chuck, for  putting all the parts together, if not for him  the project would still be in a million pieces.  My sister-in-law Mary Ellen and my adopted sister, Sharon, were also there, giving moral support and keeping me from getting to wild with the painting, they kept saying,” keep it clean”.  The story would not be complete without the mentioning the one individual who always gives me the encouragement I need to keep going, thanks mom.

 old window turned into a high top table

066_0So the Blue Antler Studio has done it again, bringing the spirits of the ridge together; no matter if we are just out the road or hundreds of miles apart.   So thanks for everything; my project would not have been a success without the support and spirit of the ridge.   Edna


Wonderful job Edna, it turned out beautiful!  I just want to add one more thank you. Since I’m sure that the lovely blinging creativity ring, that I noticed on your hand,  added inspiration, a thank you goes out to sister Jane.