I’ve been missing in action for a while, not only do I have plenty of pet portraits to share with you but I now have a purpose built art studio in the form of a log cabin in my garden.
We built it ourselves, hence the lack of posts lately but it’s been worth all the blood sweat and tears now it’s almost finished but at many points throughout we did feel like giving up!
Building the log cabin art studio
So there were a few major dilemmas and false starts along the way. Firstly the whole exercise was just to have a shed in the garden to house my display boards. Hubby decided to tempt me with the idea of a large shed to work in as I do seem to be spreading everywhere in the house. One cupboard full of papers, another full of prints, half his tractor shed (and why he was so keen for me to have a big shed) full of display boards. I was hooked and set about ordering concrete for him to lay the base, thankfully his cousin lives very close by and has been our faithful assistant throughout (thanks Dave!).
I was so excited, I ordered a huge shed, decided on having it with a cloakroom etc only to discover the company couldn’t complete the order, but neither were they too keen on refunding me. Luckily I’d used Paypal and they refunded me after what seemed like an age leaving them to chase the debt (good old Paypal). As is with us girls, instead of just ordering a new shed, I upgraded and ordered a log cabin with side store for the cloakroom – as you do!!!
Next hiccup came with the delivery lorry. We’ll come through the day they said, we’ll bring a fork truck they said. We live down a little forestry track, so as you can guess, they turned up late on a Friday evening in the dark with a crane which wouldn’t reach from the road. The driver had to reverse his artic lorry down our little drive (no other option whatsoever) and promptly reversed off the drive and onto the grass. So he spent the weekend with us!!! We tried towing him out with various tractors all to no avail, but luckily another of hubby’s tractor friends soon sorted it out and used his jacks to lift him off the grass as we put steel ramps under the wheels (not recommended as it’s a bit scary being underneath an artic lorry which is up on stilts) but we did it and after taking him for a Chinese and putting him up for the weekend, he left in time to get back to work on the following Monday!
So work began, the log cabin came in flat pack form, it took me hours to sort it all out, each piece was specifically labelled with ‘a2-4-19’ for example but had to go into a certain place. At one point I misread a label and held up proceedings for a couple of hours trying to figure out if a part was missing or not!!!
As you can see, the motley crew for the day was Ronnie and Magic Mickey, so named as he is a tractor whizz. These two go all over the place repairing old tractors and unbelievably he had also spent many years putting up sheds, what a godsend! Magic Mickey earned his nickname twice over!
At this stage I really started to believe I would eventually have a studio, however little did I realise there was still so much to do but I could really see how big it was going to be. This is our other shed supremo, Ronnie’s cousin Dave who turned out to be pretty handy at all things practical!
It took almost as long to get the doors on, it took use ages to line them up but we got there eventually.
As you will see how much timber was still left to be fitted, this is without the side shed, that was in the polytunnel (yes I started to take over that too!)
Art Studio Building Inspector
So the roof boards were put on, they alone took a day. Willow was building inspector, I was chief instruction reader (they were in French and the lads only speak the local lingo) but every time I was sent to make tea, work stopped as they couldn’t translate!
Another day was spent tiling the roof with shingles. Glad it wasn’t me, apparently it was painful on the old knees. Luckily it was completed just in time….
Snow to test art studio waterproofing
…as this happened the next day! In fact we had so much snow, we were snowed in for two days. Even with big trucks were are so isolated the roads were just buried under inches of the white stuff and then it froze so the track was like an ice rink.
After defrosting and melting, next was the lean to which was to become the cloak room, by this time we were old hands at it and it shot up in a reasonable time, plus as it was smaller I found all the pieces in the right order without holding anyone up.
Next was a day flooring, again Willow supervised, she’s pretty good at keeping everyone in line and working hard!
By this stage the electrics were also being put in, it really was all go!
Flooring in place, looks like a shoe grave yard in this pic!!!
The log cabin was really starting to take shape now, I already planned where I wanted everything inside and was really becoming impatient!
As you can see, the usual British weather returned after the snow, wet and rainy for days on end. We cleared up everything outside but I couldn’t put any furniture in as the mud would have been everywhere, as you can guess my impatience was getting the better of me!
And back full circle where things originally started, the shed to house my display boards was being put up, along with 6 tonnes of gravel hand shovelled to make the path. These two are available for any of your shed building requirements, please make your cheques payable to me though!
Almost there with my art studio, I still can’t believe it’s mine, it’s already been used for a four day workshop and February is booked out for lessons already!
Here is Val, she’s a very lucky lady indeed. Her husband treated her to an intensive four day course for her birthday present which she absolutely loved. She tried panpastels and loved them so much, when she went home he also bought her a set as another treat!
I have yet to add all the finishing touches to the inside of my shed, pictures etc but that’s going to be the fun part. I have another 3 courses booked for February already and the log cabin is big enough to fit four ‘students’ in at a time which is fantastic, the best bit though is I only have to walk across the lawn to get to work!
So my new art studio is almost finished, just the glamming it up to do, the best bit!