Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tiny Guest House

As I mentioned last week in this post, I have some future plans for the garden house after it's had a few years of being an office/potting house.  At some point, Justin and I are going to start a family.  We only have two bedrooms in the house, which is gives us room for one child alone or two sharing.  Either way, though, having kids will take our current guest room out of the equation.  We don't get a ton of visiting guests, but my parents have graciously offered to provide in-house daycare for a couple of days a week when the kids are little (IF we have kids before they retire & want to travel).  But my parents live up at the lake, so they'll need a place to sleep.

We've been looking for a new sofa bed for awhile and that would be the easiest solution in some ways.  But in some ways, the much awesomer solution would be to turn the garden house into a guest house!  Above are some of my inspiration images and thoughts for the final product.  My thought was that one night a week Justin and I would sleep out there and my folks could take over our room.  I think I'm the most on board with this idea so far - J and my folks might need a little more convincing.  Oh well, since I'm far from pregnant, we've got time to mull it all over.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Enough Already with the Shed Stuff!

I know, I know.  I've been posting about this garden house conversion for a month now and it's still not done.  I much prefer the before & after posts on design blogs where they show the crappy before and the glorious after and you never see the hard work behind the transformation.  Here's the thing, though.  This blog's about my life and one part of my life for the past few weeks/months has been obsessing over this garden house/lady cave/office project.  So posting very incremental updates is just "keeping it real," as the Petersiks love to say.

To that end, look!  Look at my lovely white wall!  It needs one more rolled coat (see how the trim is brighter, deeper white?) and then the walls will be d.o.n.e. done.  Then the ceiling needs a coat or two and the floor needs one more coat of primer and a coat or two of paint and the whole damn shabang will be D.O.N.E. DONE.  Stay tuned for more painfully incremental progress reports!

Monday, October 22, 2012

More Progress!

Hooray - more actual progress on the garden house today!  Here's J checking it out in its primed state around 3pm.  By about 7pm, the walls were trimmed and rolled in white paint to about six feet up (my goal for today).  The walls need one more rolled coat of paint (the trim looks fine), the ceiling needs at least one coat of paint, and the floor needs another coat of stain-blocking primer (lots of old oil stains) and one coat of paint.  And then the space will be ready to furnish!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Clean Slate

So the priming that began SIX WEEKS AGO (no, really, see here) is finally done.  Above is how the garden house looks right now.  I plan to start painting it Behr's Ultra Pure White (b/c it's what we have in the cellar) tomorrow.  Fingers crossed that the painting won't take another freaking six weeks!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lady Cave Plans

So it occurred to me the other night that I've mentioned my big garden house conversion a few times recently, but never shared my full plan.  The idea is a 3-season office and potting house.  Here's a quick mood board I put together the other night and some explanations (starting top left and going clockwise):
  • I really wanted a rattan chair for this space, inspired in part by the one in George Bernard Shaw's writing hut (photo below).  This one is really affordable ($95 with cushion) at IKEA.  It will go in the far left corner, just like it is in the mood board. 
  • This little white table is a stand-in for one that we already have, but don't have a photo of.  Ours is around this height and width, with a small bottom shelf and a small drawer.  It's also white, with green vine and blue flower detailing.  It was my grandmother's and it's really sweet.  Perfect size for a book & a cup of coffee!
  • I love this shelf/hook/pegboard set-up for gardening tools.  My grandfather had put nails all around the framing 2x4s and I'm going to probably do the same so I can hang my & my grandmother's trowels & hand rakes & bulb planters.  There's also a large hook about 7 feet up that should let me hang my tomato cages up out of the way.
  • I really like this potting bench from World Market.  I might buy it or just use our old wooden kitchen island from our Portsmouth apartment.  With a bottom shelf like the potting bench and lots of hooks around, it should have plenty of storage.
  • I LOVE this green & white checkerboard floor.  I'm hoping to get the whole garden house primed & painted white before winter, but the checks on the floor will be one of my first spring projects.
  • As mentioned before, George Bernard Shaw's writing hut.  His was much cooler than mine (it was on a platform and could be rotated to catch the sun!  It was also nicknamed "London" so Shaw's staff could legitimately say he was in London if some objectionable caller appeared!), but I can still take inspiration from the desk & the chair & the white walls.
  • And finally the centerpiece of any office - the desk.  This one is actually our old kitchen table, a pine IKEA one that costs about $70.  Since we bought a lovely dining room table, moved the fridge & the kitchen island into the kitchen and made the old "fridge room" into a pantry, we've had little use for it in the house.  It's been down in the cellar for almost a year now and I wanted to repurpose it for something.
So that's the plan for now.  I'll try to post sometime in the next week what I hope to transform the garden house into in another five years or so!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Saturday Series

My Saturday in seven images!

 Morning snuggle buddies under the duvet . . . 

. . .  in part because the top number was the temperature IN my bedroom!  That's what happens in an almost-eighty year old house that doesn't have storm windows in or heat on yet. 

 A trick to get the last of the honey out of the jar and onto my oatmeal.  It only partly worked.

Did some yard work (planting mums, pulling the remaining veggie plants & putting them in the compost bin, putting pumpkins on the front steps and by the side door, putting away the chaise lounge) and started to take down the hammocks.  But the sun was warm and it was just too nice to do it yet! 

The view to my right from one of the hammocks.  Ah, fall in New England!

Sat down on the porch to read my November Country Living magazine and was surprised to see two of my favorite bloggers in an article! 

Puppy porch party!

Now, this all looks pretty calm and peaceful.  Lest you think that's how the whole day went, here are the contents of a text I sent Justin around 1pm:
Okay, since last night, Beorn has peed on the ottoman, shat on the living room rug three times, and punched me in the mouth.  Kobe escaped by himself down the driveway.  Sadie has been a perfect angel.  Q.E.D, girls are better than boys.  Also, in related news, when the f are you coming home???

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

So Much Puppy Love

OK, so turns out that picture posts really are a lot easier than long texty ones.  So that's what you'll continue to get for now, at least.  The above was the scene at our house the afternoon before my 31st birthday. Picture me reading, drinking coffee, and soaking in the puppy love.

Monday, October 08, 2012

And Scene!

Today ends my 365 project!  I have taken a photo a day for an entire year, my 30th year.  Counting today's image and all the days when I had more than one image, it's probably closer to 400 photos, really.  It was an enjoyable project, made more awesome about halfway through with the addition of a new smartphone with a great camera.  Definitely thinking about doing it again someday.  But for now, I'm just going to look at this blown-up image of my family picking apples for my birthday today and rest on my laurels a bit.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

My Hounds

So after another day on the books with three puppies, we're almost certain we're keeping Beorn (formerly Jeb).  We've broken the news to my parents (our primary dogsitters) and now need to tell the rescue organization that we're too in love to give him up.

Since he'll be with us going forward, we've been experimenting with different puppy walking combos.  Today's was two hounds together (with me, above) and the old pup behind (with Justin, the taker of the photo).  Seems to work well!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Hounds on the Loose!

Well, not really.  On leashes in the woods.  But super cute, right?  Jeb (soon to be renamed if we keep him - we're thinking Beorn) on the left and Sadie on the right.  Kobe stayed home from the woodsy hike since he's an old man, but he still did about 1½ miles today.  And these hounds covered about 4 miles!

Friday, October 05, 2012


Stuck around Portsmouth this evening for dinner with this beloved, Mr. Segundus, our SBF (shared best friend). He's just moved into a new apartment and we took this silly shot while checking out his awesome little deck. Love him!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

On Fire

The view at the museum as I stepped out the side door to head home around 5:15.  I've been keeping an eye out for brilliant fall colors to photograph, but most trees in my area haven't yet turned or have turned, but are rather dull this year.  Not this guy - he was on fire!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012


Today we met Jeb, a little bluetick coonhound mix who we're going to foster for awhile (unless we fall in love and "flunk fostering" by making it a really long while).  I couldn't pick just one shot of his cute, skittish little self, so here are four!

Exploring in the woods with Sadie & Kobe

Cautiously snoozing on the living room rug

Warming up & settling in a little

And passsssssed out.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Seeking Comfort

A chilly, rainy night after a kinda sad, rainy day requires a mug of tea.  My great-aunt is not doing well (in a nursing home with pneumonia).  I talked to her today, told her how much I loved her, and that's all I can do for now.  Today's just been one of the hard ones.

Monday, October 01, 2012


Thing 2, ensconced in the pillow/blanket fort his auntie built for him.   A week ago, this little guy was in the hospital with pneumonia, so I was awfully glad to be with him at his house tonight.