Tuesday, June 8, 2021

She Shed Shine

I’ve written much about sad things lately, so today something happy.

The newly renovated she-shed

In between finishing a first draft of another book, I’ve continued to work on another big project—the cleanout and redo of the studio.

It’s been a bear.

My dad built the tiny building for my daughter as a playhouse back in the day. Then as she grew older, it became a art studio/birthplace of the kittens. As young adults moved from apartment to apartment, it segued into its sad life of storage. In fact, I had not seen the floor in that building for two years. It’s miniscule, but oh, was it packed with stuff, much of it now given away with kids settled.

I have only one exterior before picture, and no interior. Just imagine the city dump and you’ve got a good idea of what it was like inside. This exterior pic was made after the kitten door was replaced with a new panel.

I had to excavate a little around the foundation because the building had settled, and we needed to clear soil from the structure. That was a lot of big fun.  

The interior walls were in good shape having only been painted a few months before the last kid transition two years ago, but I painted the floor and the whole exterior. Jerry moved the door from opening in to opening out which expanded usable space inside. As I said, he replaced the panel in the door the formerly feral mama kitty used who has now decided she likes being a domesticated feline.

I wanted a green and white stripe awning, but since this was a shoestring budget, we couldn’t/wouldn’t spring for hundreds of dollars for a custom made one which that space required. So, we came up with a way to make one from closet rods and fittings. Throw in a couple of galvanized pipe holders and we had the frame. I coated them with rust resistant paint.

When I received the awning fabric I’d ordered, I hit the sewing machine and fashioned the one in the picture using Velcro as a fastener.

My children used to ring that bell in the pic when they visited a beloved neighbor. It was black when she gave it to me years ago, so I also spray painted it black. While sandpapering it for a recoat, I noticed a shiny area. I put some work into it and discovered the bell was brass. I couldn’t believe it. I kept working until I cleaned it up and now it shines by the door.

The place is just barely big enough for a chair, a bookcase, a desk, a small chest, and a little cabinet my dad built. I wouldn’t have that much in it, but I intend on painting out there and need supplies. Even though there is air conditioning, I prefer to open the door in the mornings. With a mesh magnetic screen I’ve put up, I don’t have mosquitoes, but I do have the ventilation I need for oil painting.

View from inside through the screen

Also, I keep materials for children’s ministry out here, but I like having crayons around anyway plus, shells, driftwood, rocks my kids painted when they were small, art books, and magazines for inspiration. The posters are from a stationary company.

I am writing there now. Nothing has to be done out here though I'm still working on a couple of areas inside, but no pressure, so no distractions.  It’s amazing. Only a bird trill soundtrack. Yes, technically it still belongs to a kid, but she’s not here, and as a former lawyer I'm married to says, “Possession is nine-tenths of the law.”

The roof still needs replacing and as well as a few other little exterior repairs. It’s a work in progress.

So, the she-shed/writing shed/painting shed has a little shine on it and a new life. It’s worth it to take the time to carve out a space for something creative--someplace where you won’t be distracted and can just make it your own and messes don’t matter that much. I can’t create much without making a mess, but that’s a whole other post.

Only God knows what good may come of this little oasis. I pray that whatever is created is done so to the glory of God. It was a maker of physical tents whom God has used to helped believers work on their spiritual tents for over 2000 years who once wisely said, “Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way” (Colossians 3:17 The Message).

I am praying it will be so.

And if one of the kids moves again, I have the number of a storage unit company in my contacts. 

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