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Garden shed reborn

Posted by schoolhouse (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 11, 11 at 12:19

I'm nearing the end of one project I was determined to get done this summer - cleaning out and fixing up the small barn/garden shed. I used to have a pet sheep many years ago, and had built a stall in this shed for him for occasional shelter. The other half was for garden tools, bags of mulch/soil/what have you and piles of misc. "stuff".

I knocked down the stall walls myself, finally resorting to a sledge hammer in the end for one piece! Took me many days, but I did it plus pitching out all the old straw from the stall area. Thankfully there was not much manure left.

Then, I bought seven panes of new glass and filled all the empty frames and one broken glass in the two window sashes.
So far, I just have them pointed in, have to start the glazing tomorrow if it's nice so it can dry well. The windows are very old, wood is dry and weathered. Some places there wasn't even any wood to push the glazing points into! Still, there's something charming about them. (My Dad who's passed on would strongly disagree!) Next I have to have a new door built for the one end. I bought the lumber,now trying to find someone to do the work. I may just get frustrated and get my little jig saw and try it myself!

Anyway, you know where I'm going with this. Can't you just see a little table and a wicker chair sitting in front of those windows? Wouldn't it be fun to sit there even this winter and watch the snow come down? I'm know, I'm crazy.
I'll try to resist hanging some curtains! :)

Need the new door here.

This side already has a wide door that is open in this pic.

Before new glass:

After new glass:


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Garden shed reborn

Great job on the windows!! This is going to be a wonderful space. Think of all you can do with it and to it and in it. LOL The possibilities are endless. I can't wait to see pics!


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A link I wanted to add

Here's a site I had seen a while ago showing what she did with her shed. It's charming. This gave me the idea for the loft I added to my glasshouse.

Here is a link that might be useful: charming shed re-do


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Oh my goodness, I dare not get carried away rafor - how fun was that shed? After all, I do need the space to store garden tools and dirt. Plus there is the lingering faint aroma of sheep, old straw and dust. Lucky for me there is a cement floor though. I need to get a tube of Dap caulk and fill alot of holes and gaps for added weather proofing.

Thanks, it took me three panes of glass before I got the hang of putting in the points. Not a spectacular job but it will do. I might have to tweak some of them before applying the glazing putty. We're having a rain storm right now and the tree you see through the big open door in the photo is a walnut tree. I sure hope I don't walk down there later and see windows broken out from flying walnuts!


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Do you have a picture of the outside? I'd like to see one!

And yes, isn't her "shed" amazing? I'd call her's a guest house or cottage rather than a shed!


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Wow! This is such a great space, schoolhouse!


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rafor, I just went out and snapped this pic of the barn. Excuse the stuff leaning up against the one side. And under that blue tarp you can just make out in front, is the big pile of lumber I tore out of the inside. You should have seen it, I had five large piles - trash, keep pile, tools, mulch/potting soil, and all "other" like trellis and wooden tomato stakes (I must have 50 all sizes!). Also cleaned out a wall cupboard that had seen generations of mice and who knows what else. Ugh. I had to wear a bandanna over my nose and mouth for fear of inhaling that dirt. Sat three large trash bags of junk out for the trash guys, and they were heavy.

It has a loft over appx one half of it. That's full of fencing and other misc. that I'm not ready to tackle yet.


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Wow! Lots of hard, dirty work you accomplished. I always think that's a great feeling :) (Particularly when it is someone else doing the work, Ha Ha.)

Cute, cute little building with lots of potential. I'm sure you will find a way to use every square inch.


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Schoolhouse- The windows look so pretty...old windows are so charming! We have something similar on the porch of the old farmhouse. This shed is going to be amazing, when you're done. I can definitely see a table, with a couple of wicker chairs. Maybe a little work table for your plants?

Rafor- Wonderful shed! Thanks for posting :)


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Great job with the windows. That's a big shed too, you can do a lot with it. I bet you can build doors yourself. Do you have a circular saw?


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That looks like a very fun project!


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Schoolhouse, I see you are on your way to a real TEAHOUSE!!!

Lingering odors? Not to worry. I suggest that you boil a pot of vinegar diluted by half with water, and then go pour it over the join of building with cement. And maybe after that another gallon just straight poured all over the concrete slab. Vinegar is one of the best odor eaters there is. And if that does not help you enough, have a little potpourri candle warmer under a small container of the vinegar diluted with half water, and add whole cloves and grounnd cinnamon. If it got rid of diesel fuel aroma on my big boat, so it smelled like apple pie, then it can do it for one sheep.

I saw in some magazine a shed similar to yours which Tasha Tudor fixed up when she rented a place one summer. Of course, that was probably "staged" and not what I'd call "real world," but it had many sweet elements to it.

I can think that will be a great place to sit and have a cuppa tea, alone or in company, winter snow or summer downpour, and especially if it has a metal roof!!

Thank you so much for bringing this little structure to share with us. It is a true playhouse, very romantic and idyllic.

Oh yeah. I use a couple of 30 gallon galvanized garbage cans for my mulch and potting soil. Then a big plastic Roughneck by Rubbermaid holds all the winter tarps and covers for my tender big plants. That is outside. In your case, you might find a way to screen them with some 2x4s or old clothesline poles covered with chicken wire, and then let morning glories or gourds cover it up. Nothing fancy.

I am looking into my crystal ball and I see a vision of the future of this shed as more important than you can now imagine. Even your DH and guests will want to spend time there. Everybody still has some part of the child s/he was once upon a time.


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No, I don't have a circular saw - I'm afraid of those things. But maybe a small one wouldn't be too bad, what I really want is a battery charged screwdriver. I might get one of those for myself for Christmas this year. :) Last week, I downloaded plans on how to make a simple shed door from planks with braces, and it looks pretty simple if I can just learn to measure. I already bought the lumber.

Lass, I already have a table that I took out of the pantry when I had the kitchen remodeled in the Spring. It's in the garage for now and will be moved down to the shed. I was waiting until I got things cleaned up down there. And that's a photo of my shed, not rafor's. ha

moccasinlanding, you too are a kindred spirit when it comes to little cottages and teahouses. But, I'll probably just add a couple of shelves for storage and that's it for the interior. I want all my garden stuff under roof. Went to the local RKO (farm store) and took a small wooden pallet from their "free" stack and used it to lay the bags of mulch on. Whenever my uncle, who built the shed in the 40's, needed a place to hang something he just hammered a big spike or nail in the wall. Hey, it's handy, not Martha Stewert, but handy.

Thanks for the tip about eliminating odors. I'll give that a try. It's rough, so not quite guest house material; and I have no DH. That's why I end up trying to do everything myself! But yes - I know for certain I'll be down there with a cup of tea now and then.


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Hi Schoolhouse (and Lavender Lass, too) and everyone! It is amazing to see what you have done with your little shed, in such a relatively short period of time. I can visualize a nice cozy little spot snuggled in amongst the garden tools, a place just for you, my dearest Christine, where you can sit and enjoy a spot of tea and comfort whilst gazing out upon your glorious gardens throughout every season, and enjoy the fruit of your labors. You deserve it! Here's to you, my friend, a cup of cheer (tea) I raise to thee, on a job well done! XX Your cottage garden friend, Becky


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Yes, a door made of planks with braces is just what I was thinking. I keep reading on blogs where people have their boards cut at Home Depot or Lowe's, so that is an option if you are not comfortable with power tools. Then with your new screwdriver, you can just put it together. I don't know how I managed before without a battery powered screwdriver/drill.


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Well marti8a, I caved and called the guy who does work for me. He's coming tomorrow afternoon to see what I want done and then he'll build the door Friday and hang it. I'm going to be gone from noon until not sure when in the afternoon Friday so I hope I give him good explanations of how I want it to look. I bought the hinges this morning. It looks like a simple build to me, I just want it done I guess. Shouldn't take him more than an hour or so, and he charges $25/hr. I didn't buy any extra boards for the braces because there are pieces in that big pile under the blue tarp that he can use for those.

Hi becr, you made it over here to see the shed. The windows face the farmer's field, so I'll either be drinking tea and gazing at tall corn (and nothing else) or soy beans. But I'll probably end up sprinkling some flower seed in front of them. The soil is really thin and poor - something hollyhocks would probably love. There are some that grow nearby, but I don't want to block the view whatever it may be.


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Just an update. Forgot to mention that I got the glazing done on the new glass panes Monday. Well....it's not perfect, but at least I tried. In some places there was no wood to even put the putty on! There are three older panes of glass that should have the old putty taken out and new applied to. Hopefully I get ambitious again before winter. Oh - and I have a chair done there already. :)


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Schoolhouse, in case Becky does not read this thread as it progresses, tell her that it is a pleasure to have another Cottage Garden fan show up here.

Of course, it is a natural combo, cottage gardens and small homes. Most of us think of our "small homes" as cottages anyway. If we choose to think that way, it is because it gives us a sense of comfort.

I'm all for connecting our two forums because we will both benefit. Always great to know our neighbors, and it is really popular these days to create outdoor rooms to expand our living spaces. And if we are not all Cottage Gardeners right now, I betcha we will all become such in the future. Maybe springtime. But for the coming winter, maybe a spot of hot tea will be just the thing.

Oh yeah, I am a kindred spirit when it comes to sheds and garden spots.

Ohhhhh, HOLLYHOCKS.....Nice and tall in front of all those tall green corn plants with tassles waving and rustling in the breeze. One of the best photos of my grandmother was when she was sitting on a log with her hand restraining my 1 year old mother, and in the background was the tall field of corn, a barb wire fence with cedar posts, and an old one horse buggy. It had to be late August or early September then, because the corn was still on the stalks. That corn is your privacy fence, Schoolhouse. Even a short section of picket fence would look neat there, giving the eye something to focus on before it hits the "corn wall."


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Oh yeah,....and a GATE

I almost forgot. A fence is a barrier, until you add a GATE.
So even with a section of fencing, be sure to find an old gate to go in it. Gates are the entry point to a different
world.


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Would you believe I already have a section of ornate wrought iron fence to one side of the shed behind hollyhocks(bought when the town council sold off the fence surrounding the old cemetery! Yep, they tore it all down and sold it in sections - insurance reasons, it was considered a liability because children from the nearby new ball fields were crawling all over it. Instead of parents telling their kids to stay off, the town took it upon themselves to safeguard against accidents, including impalement. yikes) Anyhoo, I bought four sections and they are in various places around the garden and property. I had to move it so I could get to the back of the shed to work on the windows.

You can just see part of the fence in the bottom left of the photo. On the left is the shed and the opening where the new door will go. This was taken in 2010 - The Year of the Hollyhock - this year, all my HH suffered terribly from various factors. The worst year ever.


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Waaaaaa. John came this morning to talk over plans for the door. I bought the wrong lumber. I should have gotten tongue and groove - where was my brain? He said he could use the boards I bought but recommended the tg because it would look much better and be stronger. Trouble is, the cost of tg is double the price. Just for a little door?

Then he said to wait and he'll see if his dad still has some old tg boards at his house where they tore off some siding of a building one time. He said it will match the barn. Now I have to return the lumber I bought to Lowes for the second time (- the first time I bought treated 1X4's like a dummy). John is pretty busy, so who knows when the door will get built now. He said maybe the end of next week but I can only hope. ugh. Live and learn I guess.


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Schoolhouse, those hollyhocks are awesome. They really cover up the fence, don't they. With a row of those along the property line, I don't think you'd ever see the corn beyond.

As for lumber, I think it was a blessing in disguise that you did get the wrong stuff. Because with any older wood, it will be even more evocative of a time long gone by.

Just how old did you say your shed is?


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I LOVE hollyhocks, but can't grow them to save my life. They get spider mites or something and then just die in the heat.


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moccasin, I really don't know the age of the shed but if I had to guess, I'd say it was built in the 1940's. My uncle used to raise geese, chickens and coon dogs. Plus he was a avid gardener, so it has been in use for many years in various ways.


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Schoolhouse, it is a "vintage" structure. Full of nostalgia if you can remember it as a child. Sort of like my grandparents' smokehouse. When we visited Sturbridge Village up here in MA, I immediately recognized the same construction and the same use for the building....design did not change much from the old colonial days and those when my grandpa was building his farm in the early 1900s.


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My uncle was also a bachelor - and a frugal one at that. In those days recycling building materials was very common because interest in keeping and restoring older structures, like a one-room school,wasn't as popular. I'm pretty sure I recognize the shed window as originally being one of the two-sashed tall windows from the school that he removed for whatever reason and replaced with a more modern one when he turned the building into a house. However, the foundation timbers look very old, as in hand hewn, so the shed could have been part of a wood or coal shed from school days. The metal roof probably from the 30',40's same as the house? I know the house (school) has a shaker roof under the tin and so did the outhouse until it fell in and I replaced it with shingles about four or five years ago.


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Schoolhouse, about the outhouse.
Is the roof ALL that you replaced?
And does it still function for its original purpose, or does it now only serve as a place to browse the Sears catalog and seed catalogs, or maybe store your garden rakes? With hollyhocks planted around it?

Have you ever posted a picture of your outhouse? You have a true relic of real America. Is it a one-holer or a two-holer?


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I don't remember if I posted pics of the outhouse or not. I found these older photos, I really can't take a good photo of it today as there are pieces of fencing and misc. in the way from cleaning out the barn(not put away yet!).

All I know for sure is that it is original to the school, but my uncle used it up until the 1960's so I'm sure there was remodeling done on it from time to time. The roof was like I said small cedar shakes. It was a two-holer, but the sit was broken down and had fallen in disrepair. It also had been filled in with concrete and misc.material and some household junk! When I moved here 30yrs. ago I was still able to walk into it, but the because of leaks in the roof for years the wooden floor became warped and in terrible disrepair as in caved in. I have rolls of old fencing stored in it right now; but it is my intention to turn the outhouse into a tool shed as soon as I get the barn straightened out.

Yes, there are hollyhocks nearby and a row of Lily of The Valley grows in front of the entrance. There is also a Henry Kelsey rose that grows up one side.


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Lovely rose!!!


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Thank you for that history of your outhouse. Not many such structures have the luxury of being historic!!! And someone who knows the story to tell it.

The identity of the rose is neat. I've never seen one of those, so I'll be looking it up in the Hortiplex. Great blossoms and great color. I looked it up, and your rose is one of the Canadian Explorer series. Some in that series are planted down by the street where the rugosa parentage allows them to survive even when the salt-laced ice is shot over them by the snow plows. The ones we have, at least, are bush type and not climbers.


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Well, here it is - the first tea in the garden shed. Absolutely beautiful day here, so I cheated and took these photos inside but took my tray to the table in the orchard and poured tea. That's why my cup is empty. And the little vase of zinnias is pure staging!(I left them there) Thank you for letting me share.


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I love your first tea!

Did I understand right that this shed used to be a one-room school house?


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misunderstood

No, no, no. My house used to be a one room schoolhouse. This is just a shed (or barn) my uncle built behind the house in the 1940's. Either that or there was an existing structure there being used as a coal shed for the school, and my uncle remodeled it a little.


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Oh ok. Have you posted pictures of your house before? I'd love to see them.


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Yes, I've posted pics before; here is a favorite photo from a couple years ago.


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Ahhh, a relaxing cuppa :)


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Oh I love it! Especially like the detailed trim around the windows. It looks just like the school house on Little House on the Prairie. Was the basement original too?


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No, my uncle and his nephews took pick axes and dug out under the entire building in order to install a coal furnace, later a gas model. Also at some point, Uncle poured a small cement slab in one area and used it as a garage hence the big doors you see. That was better than where his garage was before. He drove his car right up inside the building, the room that is now my library used to be his garage!


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Thank you for sharing this wonderful project! What a charming place you have. I have enjoyed every picture and description!


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Schoolhouse, you have a wonderful home, the house itself is full of history every where you turn. Recording its history for posterity would be a very kind thing to do for it. As long as it has survived, it still has many years to go, and one day another owner will appreciate your information.

A Schoolhouse book of memories. Do any of the students of this school still live?

And, when a house has such a collection of shadowy people in its past, you should never feel alone inside.

Would love to have tea with you right there by the shed with the warm sun of mid October.......


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Thank you all for the kind compliments. Believe it or not, yes there are still people living who attended the school, mostly in its later years ca. 1930's. My goal since the day I moved in (1978) was to have a reunion for them, and now that I've finally been able to remodel the inside a little I would feel more comfortable with hosting one. However, I should not wait too much longer as this age group is getting older.

I haven't been able to gather a whole lot of information about the school and yes I've gone to the county records office and spent afternoons gleaning the books and plot maps, and I do have some dates and old photos provided by neighbors. Once a year in my area, there is a reunion for all people who have attended one-room schools. There is a meeting and then a big meal and the sharing of memorabilia. I've attended a couple hoping to meet former students and acquire copies of early photos of my school. It's fun listening to the antics of by gone days!

In the second tea photo, notice the pile of tangled wire out of the window? I spend all morning Saturday ripping that mess out, an old roll of snow fence that had been there for years. The wooden pickets had deteriorated and the wire bits were half buried in the soil. I tugged and yanked and gathered wooden pieces for hours. Thought I had it all until I took a hoe and began leveling off the ground back there. Snagged another mess of wire - ugh. I decided to tackle that another day as it was choked with even more weeds and dirt.

I know I will really enjoy this small space all four seasons of the year. And yes, I've already thought about a small Christmas tree for the table or a couple wreaths on the windows. What would my uncle think? "How silly - it's a tool shed!". :)


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Circular Saws for Sissies

Schoolhouse, many years ago I was given a safety award where I worked, and it was a battery operated small circular saw.
It was a B&Decker 4 inch bladed saw, powered by Versapaks I think it was. I still had it unused when I married DH a few years back. He fell in love with it, and I got him more battery packs. That saw was the one he used to cut the Lexan/polycarbonate panels for our sun porch walls of windows. It is tthe only circular saw that I am not afraid of using.

Check that product out. Or maybe a sabre saw, jig saw would be easy for you. One that is big and heavy but which will be very adaptable, even cutting tree limbs, would be a reciprocating saw. Such as Tiger saws, by Porter Cable, or Sawzall by somebody else. Change the blade and it will cut nails, metal sheets, or wood and plastic. Now THAT is a fun product to use, especially if you are eager to see quick results or you just love to demo stuff. I'd say you could use it to cut firewood the right length for your fireplace. I am intimidated by chainsaws, circular saws, table saws, etc. But not that tiny B&D 4 inch saw, or the hefty Tiger Saw. Mostly though, I use my hand saw the Stanley Short Cut.

Schoolhouse, if the local paper accepts notices, could you maybe ask them to put an item for the students who attended to send you any thoughts they have on the school's past? Some who do not come to the reunion might be reading about it just unable to get out.

I am reminded of the days of the WPA when folks were employed to interview and make recordings of the recollections of oldtimers. They are an important part of the Library of Congress living history. I admire what you are doing to build the history for your old schoolhouse. You have a unique opportunity to bridge the past and the future.


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Schoolhouse said "I know I will really enjoy this small space all four seasons of the year. And yes, I've already thought about a small Christmas tree for the table or a couple wreaths on the windows. What would my uncle think? "How silly - it's a tool shed!". :)"

I've thought the same thing about my fence. Wouldn't it be cute with a wreath on the door and lights across the top? lol


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Well, girls I ended up buying a 6 Amp Porter Cable jig saw this morning, that's before I read your post moccassin. Shoot! I could have looked for that Black & Decker circular saw. But I think the jig saw will do the job. It was on sale for $69, but I already had some in-store credit to use up so that helped. You know I have an old hand saw that was my Dad's, a very short one too - I love that thing and use it alot. In all the years I've had it, it's never been sharpened - it's about time I think.

There's just something special about Christmas isn't there that makes one want to drape greenery or lights about?


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I must have missed something. What are you cutting?


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I don't think I said what I was cutting, but actually I'm going to cut a piece of 7/18" plywood (leftover from another project)to make a temporary door at the end of the shed. Just tack it up over the opening to keep the rain and wind out until the builder comes to make a real door.


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Schoolhouse, when you put up your Christmas tree in the little old Teahouse/shed, especially for your uncle, get a wooden shoe and put switches in it for him.

It was a tradition where my Mother was a child, for Santa to put switches in the shoes of the children who misbehaved. And for those who were good, to put apples and oranges in theirs. An orange was quite a treat in those days.

Have you thought about harvesting bundles of herbs such as rosemary to hang in your shed? Oh, Schoolhouse, you must think of your shed as a Teahouse. Look up the Japanese definition and meaning of the word, and I think it will strike a chord. Sometimes humble, and away from the daily grind. Maybe a place for projects, but definitely not for WORK. Sarah Susanka would call it an AWAY SPACE.


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moccasin, I laughed when I came in to post to this thread again. I was saying to myself, these people are really going to get sick of me from now on, because I think I'm going to have fun with this shed and will be sharing it all. Perhaps I need to start a new thread or cease altogether for awhile so as not to hog the forum? Thank you for the great idea about the shoe and other nice comments and suggestions. I take them to heart.

Just awhile ago, I was sitting down there thinking about how fun it would be to hang a funky, little crystal chandelier from the rafter over the table. Too bad, when I purged the garage last Fall I put the perfect one out near the trash, altho I had removed all the hanging crystals from it before I did. Someone took the naked chandelier part anyway - in a flash. Now I'm sorry.

BUT - I suddenly happened to think about the candle chandelier that hangs outside in the privet arch during the summers. Bought it long time ago on clearance at KMart at 75% off, I wanted it all season but couldn't justify the $25. It's a Martha Stewert I think. Probably have lit it only once in all this time. So I took off in the rain and retrieved it, emptied all the water out of the holders, wiped them out, wiped down the by now dirty candles and look - how nice! I used a big hook I found in the toolbox, and the table needs to be centered under it but I didn't want to disturb Pretty who was snoozing in the chair. Plus, it doesn't need electric. I can't wait to try it, yeah, I'll have a bucket of water nearby just in case.


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battery votives

My aunt just reminded me that they make all different styles of battery operated votive candles now days! I feel a trip to Pat Catans is necessary today.


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Ooooh can't wait to see the Christmas decs:) I believe in decorating for Christmas anything that doesn't move! LOL I had a large wreath on my glasshouse last Christmas. Now that it is finished and painted I will have to dream up more decorations for it. Just this weekend (with gorgeous Indian summer weather) we built some cubbies that I was going to put in the breezeway. But they are way too big for that area, so into the glasshouse they went. Now lots of room in the cubbies there to store glassware for totems. I didn't want any waste from the plywood, so they are 8 feet long (or tall) depending on whether I put them down horizontally or stand them on end. I also have several candle chandeliers in my glasshouse. I love them and you will too. Happy decorating! And yes, we want pics :)


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I love the candle chandelier. It even looks like a Christmas tree.

Ok, rafor, now we have to see pictures of that glass house and your chandeliers.


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That's right - need photos of the glass house with wreath and chandeliers! I bet it was beautiful. The cubbies are going to work out well too I'm sure.


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It's such a charming little space, love the view from the windows too. The battery-operated candles should work beautifully. Kitty seems to enjoy it already. :)


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