Thursday, March 28, 2019

Thankful Thursday - The Big Reveal

I never thought I was a pack-rat until I decided to convert our garage into an office/artist studio.  This is the story of that long and winding road.

At one time, before we owned the house, the garage had been used as a room of some sort.  The walls were lined with dark brown paneling and the ceiling was treated with a sparkly popcorn ceiling.  We used the room as a storage space.  Over the past thirteen years, it became full to overflowing, mainly because I'm sentimental AND also frugal.  I might need that stuff.  Add that to my mother's stuff that was stored there after she died, and you have floor to ceiling clutter.

My vision for the room was all white.  I love white so much that every room in our home is the same color - pure white.  I like it because when I get tired of a color scheme, I can easily convert without painting.  At first, I thought about just painting the room white and paneling over the garage door, which is what I think the previous owners did when they enclosed it.  But, Rabbi Jem encouraged me to go all out and make it exactly what I wanted.  Over the last year or so, I had collected Pinterest photos of how I imagined my space to look.  That was fun.

So, the first stage of this renovation was to move EVERYTHING out of the room. That was NOT fun.  Here's a pic of what our dining room looked like for a couple of months.  Actually, it got much worse.  I'm so glad that's over.

I will spare you seeing what the garage looked like before all of this. (Trust me when I say it was NOT pretty.)

We put most of the stuff in plastic boxes and stored them in our shed.  I packed quickly because the man who did the renovation was, unexpectedly, able to fit us in during late October.  I had to pack like a mad woman, which meant a lot of stuff got lost for a long, long time.  WHY? because after the renovations were done, life happened....the holidays .. . and then Jem was offered a job as the curator of the VAC which took him away most of the week.  Then at the first of the year, he hurt his shoulder, I hurt my wrist ...and then we spent a couple of months visiting the chiropractor.   All of this meant I made very slow progress in getting the room finished.   So, here are the pics of the renovation.

the wall for my pocket door

which leads into the laundry/storage room

This is my favorite part.  I can sit at my desk and see my bird feeders
and the neighbor's dog, Rollo, who loves cat food

It was around this time that our neighbors moved and left behind two cats.  This is Freckles aka The Couch Potato Cat.  He hangs out here 24/7.  His motto is Eat, Poop, Sleep.

So, once the room was finished, I began to decorate my new space and figure out where to put everything that had been in the garage.  Here's what has developed over the past few months.  I've had to go slow because I injured my wrist and CANNOT lift things.  Which is maddening when you have tons of boxes to go through.

Come on in, Gail-Friends.  Welcome to my office/artist studio.

I always wanted an artist studio with a sunflower on the door.  Thank you, Father, for answering my prayers and fulfilling my vision for this space.  The pink chair is my prayer and Bible study chair, and the pine hutch is a very precious heirloom.  I bought it with the money I made from a part-time job as a church librarian when my girls were small.

This is my office area.  I haven't figured out yet exactly what to put on that long wall. 

Sewing, music and art area
Well, it's also the sewing area because that cabinet holds a sewing machine.  I do not like to sew so we won't talk about that.  But it's there if I ever need it.  When my girls were growing up, Melissa would tell Amanda, "Let's get out of here.  Mama's gonna sew!!!"  They know how it stresses me out.  That's why I don't talk about . . .

The music cabinet and the art cabinet are on wheels so that I can move them out into the room when needed.  The cabinet has a hinged top that opens to make a large workspace for art projects.

This is just one of my bookcases.  I have three behind my desk, one in the art/music area, and two more in the living room.  Jem and I love books.  Jem has four cases in his office, and one in the bedroom.  Our motto is:  You can't have too many books.  But we found there is a limit.  We gave away seven or eight grocery bags full during this whole process.

This is a glory hoop. I use it when I sing, dance, and praise Adonai during prayer and worship.

The book on the left is the one I'm working on now.  It's a compilation of my poems.  The photo on the shelf is my maternal grandmother, Pauline.  I love this picture, even though I never knew her.  She looks like the perfect, Southern belle. . . composed and so serene.

The bookmark says:  She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.  It was a gift from a friend who knows me well.  The Home Library System is decades old.  I found it will de-cluttering.  I use it to keep track of books I've loaned, and I'm so happy I found it.

Below is the workout area.  I jump on this rebounder for fifteen minutes a day because I've heard it has great health and beauty benefits.  They say fifteen minutes of rebounding is equal to forty-five minutes of other vigorous exercise.  When I'm finished, I tilt it over to make room to walk through.  Once I finish the organization of the laundry/storage room, it will be rolled in there when not in use.  Oh, one of the benefits is that it gives you a face lift.  Hey, I'm all for that, Gail-Friends!!  (Although Jem says I don't need one.  I love that guy.)

This is my view from my prayer chair.  I can see the sunrise, the birds, my flowers, the cats . . . so much to be thankful for.



  1. You did an amazing job. I wish I was that motivated. How kind of you to take care of those kitties.

    1. Awww. Thanks. Those kitties are a delight. Good, sweet, loving boys.

  2. It's lovely! How wonderful to have a special room for your ponderings and special interests. You did good!😊

    1. Thanks, Nancy. I'm really enjoying it. Jem calls it my She Shed.

  3. having gone through a right-sizing, re-organizing, redefining space recently--similar to but not exactly like yours--I hope you're feeling a way I did: lighter. I felt like I had gone on a "things" diet and lost everything I needed to lose.
    your new space looks so comforting, to say nothing of comfortable.

  4. Oh, YES!!!! I've lost at least 1000 pounds! We donated 3 van loads to the SPCA, and I have NOT missed ANY of it (yet).

  5. Gail, your room is inspiring! It's so nice to have a special space for everything you do. Congratulations on a job well done!

  6. Thanks, Jill. Now - on to the laundry room and the shed. Thanks for stopping by today.Come back soon!

  7. Gail,
    So glad that you stopped by to comment on my post about Blogging!! Glad to meet you!! I so enjoyed reading this post about your new space!! I loved your humor and I loved how personal this post was. Your personality shined through and that is what a lot of bloggers are looking for in blogging as my post discovered! I am your newest follower!!I look forward to getting to know you better.

    1. I'm so glad you stopped by, Debbie, and thank you for your sweet encouragement. We are kindred spirits in our love of home, family, and crafts. Blessings to you and yours.

  8. Gail, I love your new She Shed! And what a relief for you to be rid of all that stuff! #ClassicalHomemaking

  9. Absolutely! Thanks for stopping by, Jean.

  10. Love it! I hope to do a similar room this summer.


Thank you so much for stopping by today and taking the time to leave a comment! I read each one of them and love to respond back to those who visit! Blessings to you.