Coming Out Of The Closet

Right! Here goes with something you don’t know about me even with all the secrets I spilled yesterday. I know what you’re thinking … can there really be something more?

Today I’m coming out about clutter. My closets have never been organized places where clothes hang neatly or where you could open a door and know that something was exactly where you left it. In fact, there have been times when whole rooms began to resemble a big walk in closet and were so bad that even my closest family members were bared from entering.

There are quite a few people who would agree with what I have said here going as far back as my roommate Diane who shared an apartment space with me when we were university students. More recently, my daughter Miranda would not hesitate to confirm that as late as 2007 there was at least one room in our house that looked like more like someone’s storage building out back than it’s intended purpose.

Three guesses which one looked like a ” tip. ” (a British expression I’ve come to love)

rubbish tip (n.) dumping ground, garbage dump, garbage heap, refuse dump, rubbish dump, tip

It was … my home office space. That’s right, the very place I had always had in mind would be my retreat, a place of peaceful serenity where I could write uninterrupted by everyday life. I dreamed of a space like the one I have now while I was working for corporate America. I was fortunate over the years to have three homes where there was enough room for me to have a space designated as my office.

It is no surprise that my writing life was given the least amount of attention and my ” offices ” always reflected that lack of priority and focus. While the rest of the house might have been fairly tidy, my office was always unfinished, over-cluttered, and completely unwelcoming for any creative energy. It was plainly as I said before, a tip. More than a time or two I found myself channeling Bette Davis as I tried to pick my way through the junk pausing in frustration to utter her famous movie line, ” What a dump! “

The day I saw my  home in Atlanta for the first time, I walked upstairs into a delightful space that felt more like a sweetly decorated little treehouse than an upstairs room in a downtown bungalow. The windows were open and outside a light rain was falling creating a happy sound through the trees that formed a canopy of leaves all around the house.

I was enchanted from the moment I stepped inside and the owners who were selling it themselves, were near enough so that the husband volunteered that the room I had fallen in love with was his wife’s office space, and that she was a writer. Of course I was interested in hearing more and asked what she had written, never guessing the connection we already had.

When he picked up a copy of her book from the shelf, The Truth Shall Set You Free, I was stunned as I had read it only a few months earlier. While working a medical conference at St. Simons Island off the coast of Georgia, I walked into a used bookstore and found her book signed with a personal inscription and I snapped up the first edition which had been published only three years earlier.

The book is under the owl and on top of Virginia Wolf

Sally Lowe Whitehead had accomplished a great deal in her office space, writing a book that had a tight hold on me from the beginning and I saw our book connection as a sign that I might also find a way to put the ideas I had on scraps of paper into a book or two of my own.

Standing there recalling the contents, I shared with Sally how I had read her memoir and knew her story, which must have been a bit disconcerting. I remembered enough of the inscription for her to glean that she had known the person who owned it. It turns out that this man had died of an AIDS related illness and that knowledge pretty much sealed it for me. Working as I was in HIV, I thought the universe could not be any more clear. This was surely the place I would write all the books I had dreamed of writing.

When I closed on the house, I took my copy of her book with me to the attorney’s office and Sally signed it with the words below.

To Elizabeth,

What a journey we’ve come to share.

I am so pleased our paths have crossed.

Enjoy your new home!

It is waiting for you with open arms.

Blessings always,

Sally Lowe Whitehead

I was excited to move in and set up my office in what had been the space where she had completed her book. Here is what my office looked like in late 2007. You be the judge … tip or not?

You’re probably thinking … messy, but not really a tip, but what you don’t know is in order to have it look as it does in the three photos above, I had to spill over into another room down the hall.

Again, not awful from this angle, but what you can’t see is all the junk on the other side of the room. All I can say now is, never again!

I’ve shown you my new space and now I want to show you one more thing … the closet! Let me expose what I keep hidden behind closed doors. Once again, John did all the work and built the interiors according to my specifications.

I wanted my closet (wardrobe) space to be divided into three distinct areas. Not only do I write in this room, but I use it as my dressing room too. There are four mirrored doors the length of the wall to bring in as much light as my sliding glass doors will allow.

The first thing I wanted was to be able to hide my chest of drawers so I asked John to build a section that would accommodate the piece of furniture I had already purchased. I keep shoes I rarely wear in little travel bags underneath. Because our small refrigerator has a wooden cabinet front there was no place to put my magnetic collectables so I bought a metal board from Ikea to put some of my favorite quotes and things that I used to stick on the frig in Atlanta. You can see it just above the chest at the back of the closet.

At the far right you can see my hanging clothes with a shoe rack at the bottom and laundry basket under the longer clothing. Notice the pillow color on the daybed.

Now for the business side of life. The left side of the closet holds things related to cameras and computers and business related papers. I have my sewing machine and sewing box tucked in there too. The chest is also from Ikea and has dividers inside that keep all the bits separate and organized. When I put it together, I left the bottom panel out of the second to the last drawer and John fixed it so the last two drawers slide out as one deep drawer that is perfect place for files. Notice the pillows now on the daybed … I did as some of you suggested and made two with orange backing and two with green.

So here ends our week-long tour … please feel free to sign the comment book on your way out and thanks so much for your kind attention.

What You Don’t See

As open I have been in revealing my new space over the last few days, there is a still a lot that you don’t see. Carolyn commented that my post yesterday was one of my most intimate and she was right. The books we choose say a great deal about who we are or sometimes, who we wish to be.

Patrice shared in a comment how she was one of the friends I invited to come see if there were any books that she wanted when I was trying to cull them before my move from America. Along with books on art and decorating, she took away some of my self-help books. I have read quite a few over the years as I tried to deal with the repercussions of a traumatic early life, but as Mariellen mentioned with her nod to my Jon Kabat-Zinn still on the shelf, you can see I kept a few that were more helpful than others. Some of those that remain have become ongoing resources for me on the path to reclaiming myself.

John will probably blanch several shades of red or white (funny how I make him sound like a wine) when he reads this post as his first instinct is to revisit his belief that Americans spend excessive amounts of time and money on therapy and engage in far too much self-help speak. Even with all of the conversations we’ve had about this topic, he still shows an innate sense of compassion and understanding when it comes to people and my needs in particular.

If you feel as if you’ve had a deep enough look into my ‘ personal ‘ space then you might want to stop now and come back next week when I will be showing some pretty pictures of our recent trip to Wales, but if you want to hang around for a bit more ‘ Show & Tell ‘ I am quite happy to share more of the stories that go with the photographs I posted yesterday.

This shelf holds several things which work together for me. You can see the well read collection of some of my great aunt, Wylly Folk St. John’s books that she wrote for children. They are temporarily held in place by some of my old family cameras, but there are some extra special bookends coming in the mail that will add a new element to the story. The painting was a gift from two special people who I’ve talked about here. It always makes me think of them as well as reminding me of Savannah, Georgia where Aunt Wylly grew up with her brother Walton, who was my grandfather.

The typewriter is an old portable that sits next to a photograph of my Aunt Wylly, with her brothers Walton and Johnny, who worked as a cartoonist for Walt Disney. My grandfather co-owned a book business with my grandmother Elizabeth and a few of those books made their way here too. My sister Margaret gave me this photograph as a gift a few years ago and it remains very special to me.

One of my favorite pieces of art that I own is a sculpture by Atlanta artist, Debra Fritts whose work has changed a bit since I bought this piece at The Dogwood Festival in the early 90′s. When I bought it, she saw me deliberating before my purchase and said, ” You must be a mother? ” To which I said, ” Yes, I am, but that’s not why I’m drawn to this. It has to do with reclaiming a piece of myself.” Over the years it has come to represent different things to me, but I still feel a little heart twinge when I think about what my life was like back then versus now. It’s no accident that it shares a space with some of my books on writing.

Gene Stratton-Porter is an author I collected until a few years ago. Her most popular young adult novel was Freckles, but Girl of the Limberlost remains my favorite and the closest to my heart. The mother-daughter story resonates with my own story and my relationship with my missing mother. The irony is not lost on me that she gave me my first GSP book, Girl of the Limberlost as well as Her Father’s Daughter, handing it to me as she was putting me on a plane to him at fourteen.

In addition to one of my favorite photographs of my daughter during her teen years taken after she and some of her friends had been playing with face paint, you can see a special ornament that I wrote about here. In the book stack are some that are significant for a number of reasons, but the ones I remember most from childhood are the Lois Lenski books with my favorite being Judy’s Journey. My mother gave it me to read during a cross country road trip that accompanied one of our many moves during my childhood. By the time I was fourteen, I had been to ten different schools with four transfers during one school year. Written in 1947, Judy’s Journey was about a poor child who worked in farmers fields with her migrant family and while I never picked cotton to earn my next meal, there was much I identified with in the children’s lives that Lenski  portrayed in her stories.

This wooden box is made from a tree that was my father’s favorite which he called Socrates. When he died and the family home was sold, my step-mom had the tree cut down (it would have been taken down anyway) and had a box made for each of my father’s three daughters. The folding yardstick was his and there is a small picture of him as a teenage boy holding a hammer after finishing a sign for the mailbox for a 4-H project. Notice he is wearing the hat that you can see hanging here on our wall in Cornwall. The travel frame is waiting for a picture of me with Miranda and the other two small pictures are of my great-grandfather as a young man and as an older one eating homemade ice cream in the overalls he always wore.

I have quite a few books on writing on other shelves along with more of my favorite authors, but I’ll make this my last revealing photo for the day. Here you see a mix of books that I know some of you will recognize such as The Artist’s Way At Work and The Creative License along with How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci.

My really special books here are the ones that speak to the mother in me. My old copy of The Mother’s Almanac which I’ve had since my daughter was three months old and The Penny Whistle Party Planner were great resources for a number of years and were two books I just could not part with even though at 22 my daughter is far from needing anything I might find in them now. Finally, the little fish is one of the very first mother’s day gifts that my daughter picked out herself when she was very young so of course it had to come Cornwall. It makes me smile to remember her face when I opened it.

Revealing Almost All

I spent my early years in what my therapist would later refer to as a war zone. My armor, my exoskeleton, and my daily protection, was found inside the pages of books, some of which sit on the shelves you see. As a child I disappeared almost completely into the stories and lives of characters who for better or worse, lived a life I wished to be a part of as they seemed more desirable than the one I struggled through. Although my life changed for the better in every way not long after my fourteenth birthday, books have remained constant companions and books in abundance require bookshelves of some sort.

John has created a marvelous space for me and built bookshelves exactly as I wished them to look. Having had built-in bookshelves that were filled to overflowing in four rooms of my Atlanta home, I had to do a big sort through as I could bring only those that mattered most to me when I moved to Cornwall. I gave away piles of books, offering them to friends after boxing up more for my book-loving daughter than she will probably want in the future. The rest I sold or donated before shipping what you see here.

(A view from my desk)

Nothing is placed without thought on my shelves and I wanted to share a closer look in the direction of a few special areas. I am always curious when seeing a friends bookshelves for the first time. Feel free to look around mine if you wish and thanks to all who have shared my enthusiasm and excitement as this space has grown from a garden space in the backyard, to a warm and welcoming work space.

All Aboard

My sister Margaret saw pictures of my completed new studio space this morning and said something while we were iChatting that made perfect sense when I took a second look. She said my new space made her think of the Orient-Express. It was a combination of the wall lights, the interior windows facing the corridor leading into the larger space, and the vibrant colors. Additionally, she thought that the curve of the coving (crown moulding) gave it a bit of a train cabin interior especially around the bookshelves and daybed. I did a little internet search and although my studio is not quite as swish as a cabin found in an Agatha Christie novel, I can see what she means now. What do you think?

This photograph will give you a clear picture of how the door looks.

The orange curtains make everything glow a lovely warm shade in the morning before I open them for the day.

I love this shot of the entry taken from the other side of the glass door.

The picture that welcomes me when I come into my space is one of my daughter Miranda. It was taken when she was about 18 months old while sitting in my grandmother’s old wicker chair.

I know I am being a terrible tease here, but I will be back tomorrow with more of the big reveal.

A Trip To The Loo

For anyone not already in the know, a loo here in the UK is slang for toilet. While my new bathroom has one of those, it’s so much more than I initially envisioned when John said that he was building me a room of my own and a bathroom too. I have not done much of the physical work beyond painting and decorating, but I have had the final say in every aspect with the exception of the bathtub’s location. Based on the size I wanted, it could only go in one way and John did a great job making everything fit. He designed the shower in the master bath to accommodate a few more inches in mine since the two bathrooms are back to back. My goal was to make my bathroom unfussy, attractive, and functional without overwhelming the space and I love how it turned out.

The wall color is called Treacle Delight and it’s actually slightly warmer looking than in this image. As much as I love this space, there are a few quirks I want to explain because they’re the kind of things I would probably notice and say, ” I wonder why she did that? “

So in anticipation of some possible questions you may have, here are a few answers in advance. I made a change in the toilet placement that required a box (shelf behind toilet) to cover some of the pipes because the major lines were in place and couldn’t be moved. The creative angle of the toilet paper holder is necessary to because I wanted it on that side and it is too tight to go in the regular way. The last thing I might have done differently is the placement of the radiator. I thought that I would have the bath towel rails hanging above it so the towels might be warmed by its heat, but after the radiator was in place, I decided I wanted the towel rails on the other side of the bathroom. It was too late to move the radiator by then.  A clear plus to having the radiator on the side near the toilet becomes obvious on a cold morning.

I chose the art for this room carefully. The painting and ceramic face you see are two art pieces that I brought from America. I took a large stick from the moor, shaped it up to suit my needs and attached some stems from a cotton plant to echo the rows of cotton in the silkscreen print above.

‘Spirits of the Field’ is the work of my friend Mollye Daughtry, who hails from Alabama, but calls Atlanta home.

The face is one I bought from Michael Barnes, an artist I met in 2004 at The Dogwood Festival in Atlanta Georgia. I noticed on his website, that he will be back this year in a booth at The Dogwood Festival. Look for him if you get a chance and please say hello for me.

Here you can see the repurposed window John used so my space could have more light. Because there are no windows to the outside, these two (the second one is on the other side of the door) provide borrowed light that makes the space seem larger and brighter.

Initially I wanted subway tile in my bathtub area, but all could find were large tiles. I discovered this subway tile look and thought it really worked. (It’s a Laura Ashley tile)

I had the mirrors over the sink made to order (from an online site) and wanted to have two of them for several reasons. One was that I wanted to give the impression that two people could use the sink at the same time even though it will just be me. I’ll show you the second reason later. (notice the other window)

John made the sink stand for me based on my loose directions. I gave him a couple of photographs of some I liked from the internet and asked him to modify and merge them into one for me. I love what he was able to create.  Oh … and my white waste bin in the corner is glass, so if you’ve over for a visit … please be careful what you drop in it. John put all the hardwood floors in as well.

I love the back ledge on the sink. I am still looking for just the right soap dispenser.

I picked these out too. John likes them because they’re energy-efficient.

The sink came with these hand towel holders which I’m using until I decide if I want something else. I think I’m going to stick with these.

Now … back to those mirrors. When the addition was built, my bathroom wall was part of the old exterior wall and had a window in it. John suggested we use the window inset to create a bathroom medicine cabinet even though it only extended about halfway behind the mirrored space.

The cabinet is behind the mirror on the right.

It is a deep, tall, space … perfect for hiding all my stuff.

A last look … what do you think?

My Room Of One’s Own Is Ready For The Big Reveal

Although my new space is finally ready for sharing, I am going to be a bit mean and show it to you a little at a time this week. After months of planning and work it feels too special to just pop a overall shot or two of it up on the internet without a closer look at certain areas and maybe a story or two along the way. If fact, today I am going to show you my chair redo which I gave you a glance at in it’s original state here. Even though it was only about 25 years old, the fabric had faded and needed some updating especially since it was going to be housed in my new space.

(The pictures of the redo are not my best, but I was so focused on the work I had to remind myself to snap a few of the process.)

This is how the chair looked before I took the pliers and assorted other tools to it.

You can’t tell from this picture, but the fabric was past it’s day.

It had about 5 yards of decorative nails that needed to be removed.

Even though they were in strips, they didn’t give up their position easily.

The real challenge was in getting the staples out. That took more hours and muscle than I would have believed before I started the project.

As I took things apart, I noted how it was all put together and took photographs when I remembered so I could refer back if I needed to see how it looked originally.

Hmm, now what to do here with these fabric covered buttons. Since I was going with a less than traditional fabric color choice, I decided to use a different look here as well.

After taking it all apart, I laid the pieces of fabric out to use as a pattern placing it on top of my green piece. A quick look told me that in order to get a proper cut to my fabric, the pieces I was using as a pattern needed a touch of the iron.

Using my lovely steam iron that I had suggested as a gift for Christmas, I carefully ironed away all of the wrinkles.

Then I pinned it down and cut my replacement pieces.

Here you can see the padding underneath waiting for its new covering. It still retained the previous shape and I was careful not to damage it when I was taking off the rusty-orange colored original fabric.

Having the space already in place for the tufted spots made it easy to replace the covered buttons with the clear ones I used.

This is the back of the chair minus the padding that I set aside to be reused later.

I checked my measurements before I began to staple it down.

Here you see the padding.

This is a close-up of the buttons and tufting. The clear buttons show green through them which I really like.

This photograph shows you the finished chair with the new look. I’ll be back tomorrow with more from my new space.

One Year Later – A Shelter For My Heart


First wedding anniversaries are traditionally paper, but I have something a bit longer lasting for John than my words here today. Tucked in the corner near the edge of the new addition is a lasting reminder of how grateful I am for the love and life I have with him. It seemed a perfect way to express how I feel and the words that came to mind when he first told me that he wanted to build a space for me, a room of my own to do whatever I wished … a quiet place to find my words and rest.

A shelter for my heart was what I thought that day … he’s building me a shelter for my heart!

As lovely as the idea of a quiet place of creativity and retreat is to me, the reality of how safe I feel in this relationship is even more important. Safe, respected, and well loved … in his gentle way John provides a shelter for my heart everyday, by loving me as I am which is a gift far greater than one built of bricks and stone.

Last July when the rock walls were going up on the exterior of my new studio space, I took a small stone heart that I had found on one of our walks and pressed it into the still wet cement bordering the cornish stone on the extension. I hoped John wouldn’t see it until today so I could use it to illustrate just how much he means to me using this tiny bit of rock as a symbol and marker for our story.

Standing outside yesterday as I took the picture above, I thought about who might see the heart shaped stone years from now and if they would wonder how it came to be placed there. I could almost see them, younger than we are, but full of the hope that comes with new love, happy for the chance to create a story of their own in this space … a place with a permanent heart shaped reminder, that love that once lived here.

If you would like to see some pictures from our wedding day and read a bit more about our love story, I have few links you can follow below. One year ago today, John and I made a very public declaration of a lasting kind. It was a lovely day filled with family and friends and unexpected surprises like this one found here. With no fears and no doubts, we said I will and I do, making legal the commitment we had made earlier while standing here, alone, on a bridge built to last forever.

Like Wrapping A Gift

Back when my studio space was mostly an unfinished shell, we decided to use an Ikea single (twin) size bed as a daybed. For months I had been struggling with just what to put in my space going back and forth between a sleeper sofa and a daybed of some kind. I wanted to avoid anything that took up too much space and most of the traditional daybeds seemed a bit heavy and bulky. As to the aesthetics of the piece, it needed to be a bit on the contemporary side and I wanted it to have interesting legs. The daybed needed to be comfortable for napping or to act as an extra bed should we have more overnight guests than the guest room could accommodate. Since its primary function would be a place for me to rest or read, I was intent on it looking more like a sofa of sorts than a bed.

Below you can see some of the stages it went through in its transition. I’m not finished yet and I have a design question for you at the bottom should you care to share your opinion.

Here you see it upside down, resting on its thin Ikea mattress ( see the 2.5 inch pad underneath the larger frame)

This one has the contemporary legs I was looking for in my design.

Do you remember when I gave you a preview here of the  fabrics I brought back from my Thanksgiving visit to Atlanta?

It would be easy to wrap the bed like a package if you laid it out length-wise like in this picture.

Well, the easy way is rarely found in my vocabulary and I wanted the swirly waves in the design to move in an upward motion when you looked at the piece rather than across. Taking the pattern across would have required the least amount of work, but would have changed the energy of the fabric design so I got out my scissors and sewing machine … disclaimer here, I’m not very experienced with this machine (or any machine) and by no means what you would call a seamstress, but as is my way, I worked it out.

If you look closely you can see the seam where I joined the two pieces, but realistically who’s going to inspect it that closely besides me.  I managed to get the upward motion of the pattern and after laying it out and lots of back and forth measuring and calculations, I set to work making it a more permanent part of the Ikea bed frame.

Armed with John’s staple gun, I went to work stapling it snugly to the frame tucking my corners so tightly that I almost felt as if I were back in the military. I moved back and forth from side to side in an effort to keep things balanced and did my corners (the end pieces) last.

It was important  to me that both corners looked as close to identical in image as I could manage and I was pretty pleased with the results.

This was what it looked like at the end of my efforts. It really was a bit like wrapping a gift. Now remember when I said I that I needed a little help from you? Here is what I’m trying to decide and I would love to hear your thoughts. I have some fabric left that I want to use to make pillows. In keeping with the upward motion of the pattern, I have enough to make four good-sized pillows about 24 x 24 inches, but I want to use another fabric on the backside of each one. These are my choices below … green or orange. Both colors look great with the front facing patterned fabric, but I’m still not sure.

I considered backing all four with same color or mixing it up with two of each. You should know as you are making your decision that I intend to recover a chair in the green fabric and it will likely sit near the end of the daybed. I’m giving my bathroom a finally coat of paint today and then I need to get my pillows done this evening or maybe tomorrow.

John has done such a brilliant job with my bathroom that I can’t wait to show it off. Yesterday, he built a perfect wooden sink stand based my specific design requests. I am so pleased with how he was able to build it just as I described. Plus, I don’t know if you noticed in the pictures above, but there is a dark hardwood floor now that John put down where there used to be a raw builders floor waiting to be finished. I can hear the table saw from the garage where he is working on something … bookshelves I think, since he’s building them for my space and finishing the inside of my closet this week. After that, I’ll be ready to unpack my things and settle in. Please help me out with a suggestion below regarding the color for the back of the pillows and thanks for your interest and help.

My Room Of One’s Own Is Almost Ready

In the middle of all the baking, cleaning, and gift wrapping that goes with getting a house ready for Christmas guests, this house has had a great deal of renovation work happening at the same time. As some of you know, John has been working to finish up my studio space and while it’s not quite ready for its grand unveiling I wanted to give you a sneak peak at how it’s beginning to look. I’ve been picking out fabrics and painting the walls and you’ll see some of that in the preview pictures below.

This is my 11 ft or 340 cm closet/wardrobe. It is a pretty big closet by UK standards and I feel so lucky to have it all to myself. Since my studio has its own bath,I will  be able to use this mirrored area as a large dressing room in addition to a lovely space to do my creative work. (The garden/backyard is not as it will be … we’ll be moving a few things like the compost bin.)

The fabric you see laid across what will be a comfy daybed is some that I chose with the help of my friend Patrice when I was in Atlanta for Thanksgiving. I brought it all back in my suitcase. I love the colors and they are exactly what I had in mind. The framed artwork was made by my daughter Miranda when she was a little girl and it provided the color guide. For a closer look, you can see her sweet design here.

While the patten is bolder than I would normally choose and the green and oranges brighter, I have basically chosen what Patrice would refer to as “E colors” even though I was trying for a new look.

The orange striped fabric is intended for curtains on either side of the sliding glass doors. This shade of orange was my favorite color when I was thirteen and of course there’s a story for later in how I found my way back to it. Perhaps you can guess … if you’ve been reading my blog for very long.

I once had a deep purple bathroom, but in my last house I found I preferred a periwinkle blue that looked a good bit like purple, but didn’t feel overpowering or too Easter eggish. I love the design on the main fabric …. it reminds me of the artist Gustav Klimt.

(The Kiss by Klimt )

The lighting is throwing the color off slightly, but the green is still pretty green. I am recovering a chair with it and the orange bit is intended for pillows. I’m so excited by my fabric choices and think it will be such a great space to write. I wanted to find a shade of green like below in the photograph I took yesterday. You see this green everywhere here and I wanted to bring it inside. My choice is actually pretty close when seen in good light.

You can see the door below which is one of three that I painted. This is the entrance to my space from a hallway that was added for access. It will have a drop shade for privacy, but I doubt it will get much use.

John has done a great job on this hallway /corridor. The art is temporary. This space will be a photo gallery with same sized images lining the wall and lighting to highlight it.

This floor will continue into my space and bathroom. John put it down a few days ago along with the baseboards/skirting boards. I love the contrast of dark and light.

You can’t really tell the wall color as it was getting late in the afternoon when I took the photographs and I had limited light. It’s called Devon Cream and it is a soft creamy color that tends to pick up the color of all the fabrics. It mutes the stark white a bit and has a tiny hint of yellow to it. All of the fabric colors work well with it. (Thanks again to Patrice for being my sounding board and looking at endless swatches.)

I didn’t photograph the bathroom, but it’s coming along too. John has my bathtub in place as well as the sink and toilet. He’s been working so hard and doing a lovely job. The other day I told him that giving me this space was so special that I really didn’t need anything else for Christmas to which he replied with a quick smile, ” All right then, that’s sorted. “

That said, every time I go up into the attic or loft as he calls it, he does say, ” careful … don’t look around too much.”  I wonder if he’s keeping something safe for Santa. I’ll be back later with some Christmas pictures. I’ve been making wreaths and Hello Dollies and a million other things.

A Room Of One’s Own – Week 11 – Update

Can you believe we have been living with dust and disruption for 11 weeks? So far no one’s gotten snappish, grouchy, or stroppy as John would say. Stroppy and cross are popular expressions here and might be used in this way,

” Don’t get cross with me….”  Or  ” Someone’s being a bit stroppy…”  which might translate to ” Boy are you a grouch!”

All remains peaceful here despite my tendency to be messy one day and tidy the next. I’m generally a bit scattered with my stuff, but in fairness I don’t have a study to tuck it away into like John although his study has some of my things that arrived on this day stored in there too. My boxes are everywhere and so are our clothes, which are currently scattered throughout the study, guest room and the attic (loft) since we’ve vacated our bedroom during the renovation. Enough of this housekeeping chatter…here are the pictures from this week.

You can see a change in the pictures for today in that the wardrobe (closet) that John built last week is no longer there. We decided it didn’t look right once the bedroom lost a few feet to the corridor (hallway) so he shifted it back to the original space before the work began. It’s about the same length only now it’s slightly more narrow. It’s plenty deep enough and will be able to hold his chest of drawers, but it will run the length of the wall now.

This closet repositioning means we have had to change in the style of the new bed we had picked out because the closet takes up a bit of the bedside table space. We found a perfect remedy for this online this morning and I love the new bed frame we picked out.

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Look to the left of John’s elbow (sorry for the bad picture) to see the closet he put in and then ripped out.

It’s one mirrored door and one solid one off to the left.

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Here’s another view. (Sorry about the post being in the way)

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This is the corridor (hallway) that took some of the bedroom width with it.

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John putting up the plasterboard (sheetrock)

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Rebuilding the wardrobe (closet)

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Looking down the corridor (door to bedroom on left)

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Just so you don’t think all I do is sit at my computer…that’s me giving the house a coat of paint last Saturday

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John caught me with painting with my tongue sticking out (necessary for concentration)

Stop by on Sunday to see a little birthday blog I have planned for John if you get a minute. I’ll be baking his cake tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who sent me a carrot cake recipe, I’ll post the results after his birthday on Sunday.