gravel road girl

Archive for the category “crafts”

Chick Shack. . .finally

Men have their man caves, and I’ve heard of she-sheds. But I thought it only appropriate to call my chicken shed turned personal hideaway my. . .


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It’s been a long time in the making, and I only have lavish and profuse praises for my dad and hubby without whom this never would have happened.


And, when you see the pictures, you might think I’m a teensy bit spoiled. Go ahead, I’ll own it. I’m spoiled. I have a hubby who went above and beyond the call of all handyman duty to make this space year-round usable and delightfully comfortable. And to give you an idea of  the work that went into this. . .

Old siding came off, new studs went in, a new window, wiring, insulation, new siding and trim. No one was exempt from ‘chick shack duty.’ Seth and Bonnie put in their fair share of time, too. Bonnie mostly chewing on rotten boards.

 Next came, well, a long interlude when my dad and I built a table, and Kurt wired and insulated. And, did I mention, he also put in can lighting. That guy!

So, by last fall it was looking like this. A little space heater, nice electrical, dry wall–good enough for this crafty chick. Granted, the door could use some work!

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And this, my friends, is the redneck way of keeping mice away. Good ‘ol steel wool stuffed around the perimeter. I’m not fussy when it comes to rodent deterrents.

Now. . .

Now can I move my stuff in?

But wait, it would be so much better to have it taped, mudded, and textured. Don’t you think?

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Enter Brent Williams and Ridge Line Construction (shameless plug to follow) who did an awesome job on my tiny, little, no-name job. We’ve had Brent do several projects for us and have always been pleased with the quality and timeliness of his work. Check him out on the web if you’re needing a renovation done. Now back to our regular programming.

Any-hoo, in the hot, sticky days of June, Brent got this shack lookin’ mighty fine, and finally the painting could begin. Painting with no trim, a cement-don’t-care-floor, and a 6′ ceiling is a painter’s dream!

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The name of my lovely Sherwin Williams paint. Really, could that be any more appropriate for my little hideaway? I love to paint. My back and shoulders don’t like to paint, but the rest of me does. It’s a battle, people. But there you go, isn’t it a hushed shade of blue-gray?


Now we’re done and ready for the fun stuff, right?

Um, bless his hard-working, do-it-right heart. My hubby said we really should do something about the floor–it’s cracked and damp.

“You’ll be happier if we do something with the floor.”

He’s right. But I REALLY want this done!

So he put down a liner and laid some vinyl, wood-looking floor, and it’s made all the difference–no cracks, no musty smell, easy to sweep. Yeah, I’m spoiled. By the way, did I mention he put air conditioning in, too? Don’t hate me. . .

And now. . .

“Are you ready to see your Chick Shack Fixer-Upper?”

My front door and sweet barn light–in case I’m working out there late.


My workbench.

I have to stop right here and say, I have so many things in this shed that direct my thoughts to the special people in my life. The base of this workbench came from my father-in-law’s business: refurbishing commercial dishwashers. It was grungy and greasy and rusty. Kurt had turned it into a workbench years ago, and it had served us well in the shed. A little soapy, hot water, elbow grease, and a couple cans of glossy white spray paint brought it back to life. The top is just pressed board, so no worries about all the messes I’ll make on it. The trash can: hauled from Michigan last week. Peg board: I LOVE IT! So versatile and organized! The floor: I know, right?!


My  reading and writing corner–ahhh! The chair: 21 years old, slipped covered for the last 10, and then dyed this spring to a robin’s egg blue. Still goin’ strong. Wall chart: $5 at a flea market! Paddleboard competition pillow: t-shirt sent with love from Ethan. Suit case under the basket: a gift from Tess and used for storing fabric.


$30 rag-tag rocker hosed down, clear-coated, and recushioned with fabric from Tessa’s old bedspread. I’m a fabric junkie and have no intentions of rehabilitation. My little Ikea sewing cart and fold-up sewing table neatly stowed in the corner.

$30 table from Goodwill, but knocked down to $15 if I hauled it away that day! That, right there folks, is why I still drive a mini-van: hauling capacity, not children–junk. Painted with FREE Benjamin Moore paint from the Bondurant recycling center. Pennants: vacationing nostalgia. Bonnie, my ever-present companion only because she hopes I’ll play with her (note the red dog toy in the lower right corner).


Have I mentioned this lovely graphic designer who does awesome chalkboard art? Chandler, my soon to be daughter-in-love, made this way last fall, and I’ve been dying to put it up. It’s finally home.


Maybe if I crank down the air and put on some Beach Boys, I can convince myself I’m back in Hawaii–birthday present from Ethan and a good reminder to relax.

This is the place I put things that make me smile–just because. A book because I liked the title and the picture on the opening pages. Clocks: one that works and one that doesn’t. An old ledger and fountain pen.

My signature stick measure window star, curtains that used to be in my upstairs hallway, and a vintage fan that works beautifully after a good oiling.


I don’t know, maybe my kids don’t like me “stealing” their music groups. But when I listen to music they like, it makes me think of them (and I like it, too).

This rack came out of a mechanic’s shop where it used to hold all sorts of belts. Who knew it would ever end up in a chick shack! The shirt is one that Thad bought for a costume, but it’s become my paint/soldering shirt. Mirrors, I love mirrors. Hmmm, that sounds a little vain. On the right, some of the gazillion projects I’ve put on hold just waiting for this space: canvases and frames to be repurposed and my jewelry soldering iron–already been used.


I know, it’s a hook. A $3 hook. But, oh, the things that can be hung on those hooks. Sculptural and practical–junk doesn’t get any better than that.

Well, I’ve got my coffee and my music (in my redneck speaker system), and I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour. The Chick Shack is just a short walk from the house and the coffee pot, so I’d love to have visitors. Really, I mean it.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”  ~Eleanor Roosevelt       

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