A tiny update, and a glimpse of what’s to come

Well hello there! I realize I’ve been MIA for a while now — I’ve been doing a lot of this in the frozen tundra that is Tennessee this winter:

Is it spring yet?
Is it spring yet?

I have lots of photos to post and drama to share (The fireplace is gone! You can see dirt where my floors should be!) as soon as I clear the cobwebs from my brain. In the meantime, mosey on over to my Cripple Creek Cottage board on Pinterest to get an idea of where we’re headed.

Visit Kim’s profile on Pinterest.

Firsts

I’ll cut right to the chase — here are the long-promised “before” photos of the cottage!  Mike took these when he saw the house for the first time a couple of weeks before the auction. Check the details on each photo, and come back next week for the first round of changes…

The lovely sunroom -- it, and the fireplace, were the things that sold me on the house.  Will they still be here in the end? You'll have to follow the blog to see...;-)!
The lovely sunroom — it, and the fireplace, were the things that sold me on the house. Will they still be here in the end? You’ll have to follow the blog to see…;-)!
This is the den/living room with a partial view of the front side of the fireplace. It has a fieldstone facing and hearth; the back side was made from three early-1800's-vintage chimneys.
This is the den/living room with a partial view of the front side of the fireplace. It has a fieldstone facing and hearth that were hand-hewn by the previous owner’s grandfather; the back side was made from three early-1800’s-vintage chimneys that belonged to the same owner’s family. The family were early settlers in the Cripple Creek community, likely around 1800.
The realtor's photo of the fireplace -- it made me swoon.
The realtor’s photo of the fireplace — it made me swoon.

Looks okay so far, right?  Well, all that’s about to change, lol.

The front (master) bedroom; if you're looking at the cottage from the street it's on the right front side.
The front (master) bedroom; if you’re looking at the cottage from the street it’s on the right front side.
Master bedroom closet and door to the hall and master bath.
Master bedroom closet and door to the hall and master bath.
The master bathroom -- toile and stripes; pretty busy for such a tiny space!
The master bathroom — toile and stripes; pretty busy for such a small space!

Bathroom closet; this is where it starts to get baaaad.  All the closets were gross!  Obvious afterthoughts and poorly constructed.

Bathroom closet; this is where it starts to get baaaad. All the closets were gross! Obvious afterthoughts and poorly constructed.
This is the only hallway in the house; it’s so narrow that my brother was claustrophobic when he was in it between me and his kids. It connects the den with the kitchen, and there are a bathroom and two bedrooms that are accessed from it. That cord is for the pull-down staircase to the attic.
View from the second front bedroom -- roughly in the center of the house -- out to the hallway.
View from the second front bedroom — roughly in the center of the house — out to the hallway.
Front of the yellow (second) bedroom.
Front of the yellow (second) bedroom. Note the icky carpet — ewww ewww ewww!

The guest bathroom -- a very loose term; I wouldn't subject an unsuspecting guest to this *shudders*.

The guest bathroom — a very loose term; I wouldn’t subject an unsuspecting guest to this *shudders*.

Another view of the guest bathroom.

Another view of the guest bathroom.
Entry to the third (tiny!) bedroom; it's beside the hall bath.
Entry to the third (tiny!) bedroom; it’s beside the hall bath.
Bedroom three, complete with its 7' ceiling.  I'm short, and I could touch the ceiling standing flat-footed!  That's my gorgeous crewelwork find in the window.  this little room opens onto the sunroom; the needlework gave the room some privacy.
Bedroom three, complete with its 7′ ceiling. I’m short, and I could touch the ceiling standing flat-footed! That’s my gorgeous crewelwork find in the window. This little room is adjacent to the sunroom; the needlework gave it some privacy.
Another sad little closet :-(.
Another sad closet😦.
The kitchen, on the back side of the house -- the left side if you're looking at it from the front porch. Not too bad, right?  Well, you haven't see it all yet...
The kitchen, on the back side of the house — the left side if you’re looking at it from the front porch. Not too bad, right? Well, you haven’t see it all yet…
The back wall, resplendent in purple! Matte and gloss paint stripes; the paint was on top of -- are you ready for this -- wallpaper.
The back wall, resplendent in purple! Matte and gloss paint stripes; the paint was on top of — are you ready for this — wallpaper!?!
Another shot of the dark little kitchen -- one tiny short (broken) window, and tiny is the word -- I like to cook (bake, mostly), and I can't imagine doing it in this eensy weensy space.
Another shot of the dark little kitchen — one tiny short (broken and duct taped) window. Tiny is the word of the day for this kitchen — I like to cook (bake, mostly), and I can’t imagine doing it in this eensy weensy space.
View from the kitchen into the -- dining room?  That's what the previous owner used it for, but that door you see is the front door.  No entryway, straight into the -- dining room.  Weird!
View from the kitchen into the — dining room? That’s what the previous owner used it for, but that door you see is the front door. You can even see the front porch swing through the window. No entryway, straight into the — dining room. Weird!
Side (west) wall of the living room.  Note the circuit breaker box cleverly wallpapered to blend in...
Side (west) wall of the living room. Note the circuit breaker box cleverly wallpapered to blend in…
Now let's go through the kitchen and into the laundry room. It's what was originally a back porch that was enclosed; it's sandwiched between the kitchen and garage. It was Mike's favorite room in the house -- he liked the original wood siding and roof rafters that had been painted a glossy blue and white. It was a bright, cheery little room.
Now let’s go through the kitchen and into the laundry room. It’s what was originally a back porch that was enclosed; it’s sandwiched between the kitchen and garage. It was Mike’s favorite room in the house — he liked the original wood siding and roof rafters that had been painted a glossy blue and white. It was a bright, cheery little room.
The garage, full of things for the upcoming auction. The owner is very crafty; she did all the painting, etc. in the house. Note the ivy painted on the boxes over the garage windows.
The garage, full of things for the upcoming auction. The owner is very crafty; she did all the painting, etc. in the house. Note the ivy painted on the boxes over the garage windows.

And that’s the grand tour — not exactly move-in ready, right? What in the world are we going to do with this little place?

Pinteresting

What did people who were remodeling or renovating a house do before Pinterest? Oh, right — we bought many magazines, tore many pages out of those many magazines, stuck said pages in random notebooks/purses/drawers, etc. and then couldn’t find them when we needed them, and so on and so forth. Thank heaven this handy tool was invented! It makes life so much easier, and it lets me show my husband all the ideas that are floating around in my head. If I can dream it, it’s already been done and it’s on Pinterest — giving new meaning to the old saying “There’s nothing new under the sun.”

If you aren’t already acquainted with the magic that is Pinterest, head over there now and sign up; you’ll thank me later! Or not, if you become a Pinterest junkie like me, lol.

Oh, and you’re welcome to follow me over there if you’re already a member:  I have a little board named Farmhouse that I think you’ll like!

In the beginning…

I’ve been promising “before” photos of the cottage for a while now. Let’s start with photos of the little house and the other buildings on our mini-farm. Yes, these photos were taken during a drive-by, with no real thought we’d own the property a couple of weeks later! They’re unedited, so you can get a feel for exactly what we saw on that first day (apologies for the bits of car interior and/or windshield I caught in a few of the shots).

The cottage on the first day we saw her; October 3rd, 2013.The cottage on the first day we saw her; October 3rd, 2013.

View from the driveway looking up the hill toward the rear of the property.

Gorgeous view left of the cottage. Sadly, we don’t own this view — 49.01 acres sold separately from our tract, and this is part of it. Luckily it doesn’t perc, so we’re hopeful it’ll remain this way!

Hay barn (rear) and the white barn -- shop/man cave/husband's dream space.Hay barn (rear) and the white barn — shop/man cave/husband’s dream space.

The “equipment shed”. Does this mean we need equipment???

Garden area behind the cottage, wellhouse and older-than-dirt barn.Garden area behind the cottage, wellhouse and older-than-dirt barn.

Sunroom at the rear of the cottage, with a view of the fireplace’s stone chimney.

Pergola -- makes for a pretty view from what will become the main living area of the cottage.Pergola — makes for a pretty view from what will become the main living area of the cottage.

View from the front of the cottage, complete with the auction sign!

SO much is happening now; next up, lots of “before” and “during” interior photos (demolition, tons and tons of demolition!!!). And coming soon — before and after floor plans!

Infographic: Feng Shui your home

This is really interesting — and very similar to the shape of our cottage. Just take the garage off the front and move it to the back (picture a backwards L), reverse the kitchen and living room, and you’ve pretty much got it! I’ll try some of these ideas and let you know how they work out.

Feng Shui, infographic, green lifestyle, sustainable design, green interiors, green design, eco interiors, green decor, interior design, Soothing Walls, Gryffin Media

Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise

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If you come to visit us, pay close attention to the black triangular sign you see above. For those of you who aren’t familiar with a slab bridge, there’s one about a half mile from our house. Here’s the definition according to Merriam-Webster:

“a short-span bridge consisting of a reinforced-concrete slab resting on abutments”

From what the neighbors have told us, water covers the slab a few times a year; it’s happened twice since we bought the little farm but we haven’t seen it first-hand yet. Cripple Creek rises fast — really fast — especially when there are heavy rains in Cannon County to the east of us. The water runs through a wide field on the way to our road, and when it’s rolling it carries a lot of debris, including large trees, across the slab. This is a picture of a similar Tennessee bridge that’s been overtopped by heavy rains:

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Scary! Our road is paved, but you get the idea. I took these photos the day after a recent slab closing so you can get an idea of how high the water is, even hours later. It’s normally pretty placid here, barely flowing at all.

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You can tell from the debris line on the road that the water extends a good 10-15 feet beyond either end of the slab. This view is heading north from our place, on the way to the highway we take to get to civilization. The water flows from right to left — there are huge metal culverts underneath the concrete that you can’t see in this photo.Image

So, if you come to visit and that black triangular sign has morphed into the orange sign above, DON’T TRY TO CROSS THE BRIDGE! There are multiple signs on both sides of the slab, but be watchful, especially at night, if you’re out our way in rainy weather; it appears the sign-flipping is a voluntary thing that the folks who live closest to the signs are in charge of. If they’re not home when the creek rises, the signs may not get changed. Luckily there are several other only-slightly-less-convenient ways to get to us from the “back” side of our property that don’t entail risking your vehicle or your life. Call us and we’ll give you directions, or googlemap the alternate routes on your smartphone (thankfully, we have great 4G service in our neck of the woods), when the sky looks threatening!

Left behind

I’m amazed, and saddened, by the things people leave behind when they move. I hate — really hate — to move, but when I do, I leave the place spotless. As in, every cabinet is empty, every closet is empty, not even a cobweb stays when I go. I never knew how bad it was until my father-in-law took on a late life hobby/career known as house-flipping. When people move at the behest of an eviction notice, the “stuff” left in their wake is mind-boggling. Pianos, waterbeds, every as-seen-on-TV product known to man, electronics, clothes, tools, you name it and it’s abandoned. This conspicuous overconsumption must have contributed to losing their home — seems logical, doesn’t it?

Our little farm didn’t come to us via foreclosure. Instead, it was the product of an auction — and auctioneers don’t haul away the detritus left behind, folks! We became the proud owners of anything that didn’t sell, and/or that sold but wasn’t wanted by the buyers. Who in the world would buy something, then leave it behind, you say? These are usually the product of what’s known in the auction world as a “box lot”. You know, those cardboard boxes lined up on tables containing one thing you want, and ten that you don’t — lots of people leave those ten unwanted purchases behind for the new owners to clean up.

Our first major order of business was to get rid of all the unsold and/or unwanted things left in the cottage. It turned out the attic hadn’t been touched; we hired our niece and nephew to climb the rickety pulldown stairs and heave everything down. Croquet set missing a few important pieces, anyone? How about moldering old (fake) furs and suits of an indeterminate vintage?  Goodwill, here we come! Then it was on to the closets, and the laundry room, and the garage — stacks of old National Geographics, odds and ends dishware and kitchen gadgets, 15-year-old wall calendars and more. Add all that to the piles the auction attendees left behind and you’ve got several truckloads of junk to haul away before the real demolition can begin.

Did we find any treasure in all the trash? Nothing much; a couple of vintage posters, a drinking glass from an iconic local pizza parlor, two small Christmas ornaments that had fallen into the cracks in a closet, several bud vases with long-dried flowers still in them. But there was one very unique item:

Isn't it lovely?
Isn’t it lovely?

It’s a gorgeous piece of needlework in a homemade frame that’s about three feet square. The colors are interesting, and the peaceful forest scene is charming. It’s beautifully stitched (I did quite a bit of needlework back in my crafting days; enough to recognize quality work when I see it) on a slubby linen fabric.

2013-11-29 12.24.38
The fine yarn is in immaculate condition.
I've never seen anything like the tiny green netting that covers parts of the fabric to give the effect of shadows cast by taller trees.
I’ve never seen anything like the tiny green netting that covers parts of the fabric to give the effect of shadows cast by taller trees.

Some back story on our farm is in order here:  It was owned by a couple who had one child, a daughter, who was roughly my age. She was in college at the same time I was, and I knew her peripherally through 4-H events when we were both in high school in our neighboring counties. I didn’t know until we became interested in the property that she’d passed away; I saw a memorial bridge sign with her name on it when we went through one of the barns. I spoke with her mother about it on auction day, to let her know I’d been acquainted with her daughter and was so very sorry for her loss. She told me her girl was killed in a car accident not far from her home in Texas back in the early ’90’s; she’d married a man she met while she was away in veterinary school and moved there with him. This piece was crafted by the daughter, as evidenced by her initials on the last photo below. She finished it when we would have been juniors in college — she must have lived at home with her parents during her undergraduate days. It was used to give her room a measure of privacy from the adjacent sun porch. I don’t know why her mother left it behind, still covering the upper portion of the window in that small bedroom. Maybe the colors didn’t suit her new home, or she had too many other things to take with her. Whatever the reason, I’m glad she did. I’m going to reframe it and give it a special place in the cottage. I like to think the girl who stitched it with loving care, and a great deal of talent, 30-plus years ago would be pleased.

2013-11-29 12.29.21

Kitchenspiration

*UPDATE*

While wrestling with comments/feedback (can you tell I’m a blogging newbie?), I missed these emails about my Kitchenspiration post:

‘Watching!🙂’ from Darlene

‘I kinda like the white. I think you’ll love it—it won’t show crumbs! Ha!’ from Jamie

‘I would probably choose the Umbo White, it has a lot of interest and sparkle, without competing with your things. However if you don’t want to be as “safe” and if your things are kept on the table, on shelves, or in a cabinet, versus ON the counter itself, then it won’t compete as much to use the Emerald Coast, and may be just the right accent. Either way, they’re both lovely.’ from Marina

and

‘I like the top one. What did you decide on?’ from Glenda

Thanks for your feedback ladies! Very helpful🙂. I’m leaning toward Umbo White — as much as I love Emerald Coast, I’m afraid it might limit me in the future. What do you think? What about Emerald Coast for my bathrooms instead, so that it’s in a smaller space? Hmmm, decisions, decisions…

I love, love, LOVE sea glass! And we love the colors and style of the coastal region of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Those things are the inspiration for much of the look I hope to achieve for our new/old house. I’m sold on using recycled glass from Vetrazzo for my countertops; now the question is whether to go with Emerald Coast (lots of lovely soft green, and a bit of blue, “float glass”, mixed with oyster shells from the Carolina coast and Georgia white marble) or Umbo White (basically the same without the green/blue glass colors). With that in mind, here’s the color palette I’m planning for my kitchen. Which countertop color would you choose?

Emerald Coast countertop material.
Emerald Coast countertop material.
Umbo White countertop material.
Umbo White countertop material.

Thanksgiving indeed

I’m thankful for this little adventure we’ve gotten ourselves into, and can’t wait to see how it turns out! Demolition of the interior of the house is underway; pictures to come. In the meantime, let’s eat some TURKEY and spend time with family.

Oh, and comments are finally working. Leave one if you feel the urge! If you’ve commented in the past, they didn’t stick — I’d love to hear from you again.

I’ll leave you with Big G showing Ivy the farm. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Big G's farm buddy.
Big G’s farm buddy.

SOLD!

2013-11-09 11.44.13-1

I had an unexpected afternoon off on Thursday with nothing planned, so I decided to photograph all the junk lounging in my currently unused second floor and post it on Craigslist. My first sale? The horrendously heavy, brokendown old sleeper sofa in the bonus room! It was a little bittersweet, having grown up with my girls and been the scene of countless sleepovers, movie nights, homework all-nighters, convos with best friends, and more. But, it was the first step in preparing to actually MOVE in a few months. And to think, those nice people actually paid ME $25 for the privilege of hauling that behemoth away!!! Work your magic Craigslist; help me unload the rest of my stuff. I’ll be saving the money I make from this project for something special for the cottage.

2013-11-07 16.25.27

Kitchenspiration

I love, love, LOVE sea glass! And we love the colors and style of the coastal region of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Those things are the inspiration for much of the look I hope to achieve for our new/old house. I’m sold on using recycled glass from Vetrazzo for my countertops; now the question is whether to go with Emerald Coast (lots of lovely soft green, and a bit of blue, “float glass”, mixed with oyster shells from the Carolina coast and Georgia white marble) or Umbo White (basically the same without the green/blue glass colors). With that in mind, here’s the color palette I’m planning for my kitchen. Which countertop color would you choose?

Emerald Coast countertop material.
Emerald Coast countertop material.
Umbo White countertop material.
Umbo White countertop material.

A bit of before

As promised, a few pictures from Saturday’s work day. Mike has some good (bad?) before photos; I’ll post them when I get them loaded on my computer. These kids — my niece Abbye and my nephew Austin — had a blast playing with the old croquet set they found in the attic after a hard afternoon of helping us clean up. Abbye’s work shots might be posed, just a little😉. She demanded photo approval; I had very strict guidelines that I had to adhere to. Apologies to Austin for not getting photos of him hard at work loading trash into the truck and hauling stuff out of the attic — next time!

Fireplace corner with lace curtain -- that Abbye took home for her room, and possibly for a future wedding veil
Fireplace corner with lace curtain — that Abbye took home for her room, and possibly for a future wedding veil
Garage cleaning time!
Garage cleaning time!
Guy talk about roofing and foundations and things I'm no good at, so I took pictures instead. Thanks to Doug Mack for his expert advice and to my brother Bobby for his truck!
Guy talk about roofing and foundations and things I’m no good at, so I took pictures instead. Thanks to Doug Mack for his expert advice and to my brother Bobby for his truck!
Croquet, sort of!
Croquet, sort of!

Work day Zero

I want to show you what attracted us to this place: the beautiful area it’s located in. I was so busy working that I forgot to get many shots of the actual labor (I’ll post a couple later, along with some “before” photos), but there’ll be lots of those to come! In the meantime, enjoy Tennessee in the fall…

Down the hill -- next turn is our road!
Down the hill — next turn is our road!
This beautiful field is the first thing you see on our road.
This beautiful field is the first thing you see on our road.
In the middle of the field.
In the middle of the field.
The creek that gives the cottage it's name, as seen from the slab bridge crossing it.
The creek that gives the cottage it’s name, as seen from the slab bridge crossing it.
Glorious fall color.
Glorious fall color.
Next stop, the cottage!
Next stop, the cottage!
We're here!
We’re here!

Of all the luck

I made a donation to a great cause, the Ferrell Hollow Farm Senior Horse Sanctuary, and won this:

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a fantastic Alan Daigre rocker!  It’s going to be hard to choose the style that will find a place of honor in the Cripple Creek Cottage.  I’m pretty sure we’ll need to design a room around it.

Visit the horse sanctuary here: Ferrell Hollow Farm, and check out Alan Daigre Designs for more photos of Alan’s award-winning work. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, though — you’re going to want to go hang out with those sweet (and huge!) horses, and you’re going to want to buy a lot of furniture.

I.can’t.WAIT to bring my rocker home!

We bought the farm…!?!

So, after years of subdivision living and family raising, our youngest got married this summer and we decided it was time for a change.  5.98 acres, four barns and a 50+-year-old farmhouse later, we’re the proud owners of a mini-farm — with a lot of work to do!  Wish us luck, sit a spell in that little porch swing, and stay tuned for the before and after details.

Day 1 -- 10/12/13.  She's ours!  Now what???
Day 1 — 10/12/13. She’s ours! Now what???
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