Monday, April 29, 2013

It's Good To Have Connections!

Tybee Island is a small barrier island off the Georgia coast near Savannah.  People who stay at Tybee love to walk.  Bike riding is also popular and because Tybee has been designated a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, it's safe and easy to get around. And since the island is small you can get anywhere on the island 
easily on your own power!


 We've had a parade of walkers and bike riders going by the house and keeping an eye on the renovation taking place.  Many of them have commented to me that they especially love the "little house" that we are connecting to the main house.  

Last time we had a house tour, we had to stop before we got to the little house because the connector had not been built. we have a Connector!

The workers did the floor and framing quickly--I was out of town so my daughter Kristen Sagar snapped this picture for me!
Now we can walk from the kitchen to the little house (shown at the end of the hall)! 
Straight ahead is the little house housing a bedroom and bathroom.  
To the left will be a powder room...

Powder Room

 and to the right is a hall leading out to the washer and dryer space...

 the location for the circuit breaker box and owner's closet...

 and the back door leading to the back deck and outside back stairs....

Next time I will show you the "little house" bedroom and bath!  Things are happening!



Sunday, April 28, 2013

Farewell Duke!

I have enjoyed getting to know all the fine workers who have been helping us to renovate our beach cottages but there has been one special fella named Duke...

Duke has been the constant companion of his owner, Tom McPhee, and he has been working
on the job as a supervisor...

and guard...

Last week he succumbed to cancer and we sadly bid him farewell.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

"Doc Holiday"--The Perfect Prescription!

It seems that most of the cottages at Tybee Island have been named fun names.  I love that about Tybee and I've been thinking about a name for our beach cottage.  This cottage is going to be "our place", a place for me, my too-busy husband, and our family and friends to enjoy as a little oasis.  

At first I had been planning to name it after my Pinterest board, "Seas the Day", but I've changed my mind.  "Seas the Day" sounds like you need to get busy and fill up your day doing something extremely useful and significant--that's what Henry and his partners and staff do 
just about every day.

(Please don't be fussed that I used this picture from three years ago, Honey...I wanted to use one of you in your white coat and the only ones I had filed on my computer were this one or one from 1980 on the day you opened your practice!)
I want this cottage to be a refuge, a place to unplug, relax, play, recharge--those are important things too!  The name needs to reflect that.  Since Henry is a physician and this is a vacation home for us, the name "Doc Holiday" keeps coming to my mind.  If we lived on the marsh, I could call it "Dock Holiday" but we don't--no matter, I'm pretty satisfied with "Doc".

So "Doc Holiday" it is--and here's to hoping that we and the guests of this cottage will find that a stay here is the perfect prescription for whatever ails us! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Window Shopping aka Shopping With Windows!

I am a good least a good window shopper.  Back in the day when we were all young new homeowners, friends would call me to tell me what they needed and ask what I had seenI usually would have some good leads for them to follow and could narrow down the selections by store, style and price.

Now I window shop on my computer screen--maybe I should call it shopping with Windows!  I like it because you can find more options with less trouble and then once you've made your choice, you can find the best price and possibly an online coupon!  Even better--your purchases are delivered to your home and often with free shipping!  Can you tell I like a bargain?

Flash sale companies have become very popular--you know, companies that send you emails about discounted products that will be available for a very short time.  You can find some great deals but you have to be careful that you don't buy something just because it's a great deal--it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of a bargain and buy something you regret. 

Since I am remodeling a cottage, I joined a flash sale site called Antique Farm House that sells lots of "cottage-y" goodness.  I get an email each day with temptations galore and most of the time I let them pass by...

Until yesterday, when I saw this sale called   "Funky Ceramic" ...

Ceramic deer head with holes for antlers--available for desk top or to hang on the wall--you supply the twigs for antlers!
It's quirky but attractive and I could see myself using it at Christmastime in our cottage or even at my primary residence to lighten up a more formal mood.

These cups also caught my fancy!  I could just imagine how much fun they would be to use with my grandchildren...if they drank all their milk they would get to the dog, horse, pig, or rabbit in the bottom of their cup!

How fun is this?!
Here are a couple of other items I am drawn to in this collection...

Gives new meaning to "dog bowl"--great idea for the spot where someone empties their pockets or leaves the spare keys to the car.
For all the owl-lovers!
Cute twist on the traditional monkeys doing "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil".

Just thought I'd share this with you...these items may still be for sale--sometimes 
Antique Farmhouse leaves the sales open for 2-3 days.  If you think you might enjoy shopping for cottage-y goodies that you haven't seen anywhere else, then have a look!  This link will take you to an invitation to join!  Happy window shopping!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Big, Bold, Colorful and Happy--Thanks Bellamy!

Don't you love beautiful art?  My mom started our art collection when she painted a picture for me and my husband as a wedding present.  

Through the years we have purchased paintings when traveling as a special remembrance of a wonderful trip and we also have collected paintings of our hometown of Savannah.  It always gives me a little lift when I look around my home and see them!

 Back in October when my husband asked what I wanted for my birthday I said I wanted a Bellamy Murphy painting.  I'd been checking her blog, looking at her website and admiring her work for a while and she had become a favorite artist of mine--her work makes me feel good and it evokes such strong feelings in me of growing up along the coast!

Here are a few images used with Bellamy's permission from her blog--pictures of 
her paintings...

"Marsh Near The Isle of Hope"

"Snapper and All"


All of her work "speaks" to me so I had a difficult time making a choice but I finally decided 
to go with this painting....

"May Day"

Bellamy had painted a smaller version of "May Day" that was on display in her studio and it was perfect for us (mine is 40" x 50"--a good size for our cottage). 

Here's a photo of my birthday present standing on her easel...

The yellow chair in front of the painting is the style we are planning to use at the dining table.
This painting will be the focal point across the room when you walk in the front door.  I wanted it to be big, bold, colorful and happy--with all the beachy colors I want to use in the cottage.  

I think I chose well!  How do you like it?


Friday, April 19, 2013

Gorgeous Art--So Hard to Choose!

I grew up in a home where photography and art and design were considered to be necessities, not luxuries.  Mom and Daddy both painted as a hobby and I am a beneficiary of their creative efforts with several of their paintings gracing my walls.  They are a treasured reminder of two wonderful people who have now gone to heaven.

Bill and Dorothy Griffin at Tybee circa 1955
I love beautiful paintings so last October when my husband asked me what I would like for my birthday I said "I want a Bellamy painting for our cottage."  

Bellamy Murphy is a Savannah artist whose work has captured the attention of many of the shelter magazines and is collected by many folks around the world (including the rich and famous) and now by little ole me!

I met Bellamy when Isle of Hope (a charming neighborhood along Savannah's Skidaway River) held an arts festival featuring local musicians and artists.  

This painting looks like it could be a view from the bluff at Isle of Hope.
 There were a number of artists in the park but Bellamy's booth was particularly crowded with admirers.  I loved everything she had and could not make up my mind--I wanted them all!

  I left, unable to make a decision, and decided to visit her studio in the near future.

 A few weeks later when I stopped by, Bellamy was busy doing commissioned work and was working hard to fill her Christmas orders.  I was somewhat relieved that I had more time to make up my mind--saying yes to one painting meant saying no to the others and I just wasn't able to narrow my choice down yet.  It was fun to get to go to her studio, meet her little puppies and see where all the magic happened though!

Well--this week I decided it was time to claim my birthday present!  I looked at Bellamy's website and once again coveted (sorry but I have to be honest) them all but I saw one painting that had all the colors I would like to use in our beach cottage and felt ready to commit!

So I called and arranged to go by the studio while I was in Savannah last week and I am thrilled to say I now own my first Bellamy painting!  I'll show it to you next time!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Little Shopping! What Would You Choose?

It won't be long before the electrician will be starting his job and he will want to know where to place the dining room chandelier.  Since I want to hang it over the center of the dining room table I need to select one so I will have the dimensions.  

I went to the IKEA website and decided to go with a rectangular table that extends.
Which one do you like?

My favorites were Stornas in the antique stain (top left) and Ingatorp in white (top right).  Don't you just love the names IKEA gives its products?

And the winner is.....

It has pretty legs and it is a bit narrower than Stornas.  Since you need about 3 feet for each chair to pull out and have room to seat someone, narrow is good. Also, in small spaces it is good to let furniture take up less room visually--since the walls will be white, a white table will blend into the background a bit and make the room feel bigger.

Now I need to cross my fingers and hope they still carry it when I can get there to buy it! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

It's Demo! "After" Is Better Than "Before"!

Remember Ty Pennington from Home Improvement TV show fame?  He took such delight in the demolition stage of the building project with his megaphone!  Sometimes he would even take down the whole house!

 We have been in the demo stage at our little beach cottage for about a month.  We aren't taking down the whole house but things certainly look different from the Before pictures.  We actually have had a few happy surprises!

Here's the Livingroom/Diningroom Before

And here is the Living/Diningroom after demo

The room looks so big now thanks to removing the wall between the rooms.  And don't you love the vaulted ceiling we found when the low stippled ceiling was removed?  Once the sheetrock and bamboo paper came down we found wonderful wood walls.  Also it was a happy discovery to see wood floors underneath the carpet.

Yaaay!  I think I like the "After" better than the "Before".   If everything goes like this in the rest of the demolition stage, I'll be a happy lady!

Friday, April 12, 2013

The "Before" Grand Tour!

It's time to take the grand tour--the "Before" grand tour, that is! The previous owners took most of the furniture before the house was moved so now we can get a good view of the rooms .   I'll try to "walk" you through so you understand the layout...

Here's the Front Porch.

  Eventually we will have stairs on the right side of the house and will enter  from the right side of the porch (just past the swing).  The entrance used to be right in front of the front door but to meet setback codes and still have room to park, we moved it.  You can see the front door on the left side of the photo.

How does that little poem go?....  "Step into my parlor said the spider to the fly..."  Well, here's our Living room/Parlor.

Wow--that's some attention-grabbing wallpaper!
In the above photo, the door on the left goes to a bedroom (future bunk room)--we are planning to move the door over to the right and to put 2 sets of built-in bunk beds in this room.  The door on the right opens into what will be the dining room.  Our plan is to take down the wall between the living room and dining room.

Here's the Bunk Room (to be)

We will take out the closet and put bunks along the wall with the fake paneling and there will be another set of bunks on the opposite wall (where I am standing to take the picture).

Dining Room

View as you step into the dining room from the living room opening--straight ahead behind the dining room is the current kitchen which will be converted into a bedroom.

 Let's take a look at that Kitchen/Bedroom-to-Be.

My headboard will be against the wall where the little stove is :)  There is an adjoining full bathroom to this room so it made more sense to me to make the room a bedroom.

Now back to the Dining Room for a moment....

View from the opposite corner of the dining room from the previous dining room photo--You can see two doors--the left looks back to the living room and the right one is currently a bedroom but will become the kitchen.

Our Future Kitchen

Ah yes, the lovely and popular bamboo wallpaper once again.  Are we going to keep it?  That's a no.  We will remove the closet and an opening will be made to connect the kitchen and dining spaces 
with a bar for folks to sit at and eat.

On the opposite wall from the eating space is a Connector to the "little house".  The connector will house a powder room, laundry room, owner's closet and the water heater and electrical panel.  It will also be the way out to the back deck and stairs.

At this point the tour ends--there was no floor across to the "little house" which will hold a bedroom with its own tiny front porch and bathroom.   

And there you have it--demo is coming up next--not the Ty Pennington kind where the house is leveled but lots of ceilings and walls will be coming downGrab your hard hat!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Seas The Day? ~ I'd Settle For Seeing My House!

My little beach cottage was standing proudly on its own piers and I couldn't wait to go inside again.  It had been months since I had seen it and I was ready to get reacquainted. 

There was a flurry of activity going on...the house was connected to the city water system.

Photo provided by Tom McPhee
Photo provided by Tom McPhee

This was a necessary step before the concrete pad could be poured underneath the cottage--great--but I wanted to see my house.  

Construction workers were building the connector between the little house and the main house

Photo provided by Tom McPhee

This was all well and good--necessary even.  But I WANTED to see my house. Everyone had been in my house except me!  

I was ready to climb a ladder and have a look around when...

 Stairs!.....the clouds parted and a rainbow appeared (at least that's how it felt).   I walked up onto the little deck at the back of the house...

and finally I got to walk inside and see my house!  I'll take you on a tour of the glorious "Before" pictures next time!


Monday, April 8, 2013

Laid To Rest

My title sounds very solemn but in actuality it was a very happy time for our little beach cottage when it was time to be laid to rest on its own foundation!  I was very eager to see how this was going to be accomplished.  

Thanks to Anthony Sapone and Tom McPhee I have some pictures to go along with my own--but I must confess that I felt I needed to stay out of the way and I wasn't there saying "Hold that pose".  I didn't want to suffer the fate of the wicked witch of the east from the  Wizard of Oz when Dorothy's house fell on her.  Setting the house down on the piers was a difficult, dangerous job!

 So this is how they did was the house being supported by metal beams that were resting on stacks of railroad ties slightly higher than the piers:

Next wooden supports were stretched across the top of the piers.

This was hard work--there was just enough room to stretch the boards under the house 
and across the piers.

Once all the boards were in place they were permanently connected to the piers with metal straps that were inserted into the cement piers when they were being filled with cement...

 and then anchored together with these corner supports.

Once all the wood support system was in place and anchored securely, the wooden railroad ties and metal support beams holding the house up could be removed.

Yaay!  It's standing on its own as some of the railroad ties in the picture above have been removed and the metal support is below the top of the piers.  Eventually all of the railroad ties came down and were hauled away with the metal supports by our wonderful housemovers, Braswell Brothers.

The strapping of the cottage to the foundation will continue to take place throughout the renovation of the house--it's done in layers so the house will remain even when 
severe weather conditions occur.  

Rest in place and rest in peace, little cottage!