Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Studio Cottage Makeover Reveal... More Than A Sneak Peek

Well, you know how Extreme and Excessive I am?  So a Sneak Peek was really out of the Question wasn't it?!  *LOL*  I knew once I began my Pathological Picture Taking I'd never be able to Edit Down to just a few Sneak Peek Images of the Studio Cottage Makeover!!!  So... even though I still have tons left to do... enough is now Presentable and Coming Together that I can Reveal what has already been Accomplished this past week in the Main Room!  This is part of the North Wall and the smaller Work Station, which can double for Refreshment Spreads.

Now we're panning towards the West Wall and the portion of it that I have completed.  The past three days have mostly been spent completing the Painting of the Walls of the Main Room in Black or Crimson Blood Red, which is a much Deeper Hue than it's Photographing.  

The Hoarding of Antique Frames certainly came in handy when Framing my Taxidermy because I couldn't Decide which I liked best and so I tried them ALL around them until it fit their Personality... and the Wall they'd be mounted upon.

One of my Favorite Scores for Pimping Out my Taxidermy was this 1940's Ocelot (?) Collar... how Funny is it for an Antelope to be Wearing a Predator's Fur?  I thought it was Hilarious!  *LOL*  Okay, maybe you hafta have a Sic Dark Sense of Humor like me to fully Appreciate that kind of Twisted Irony, I dunno?  *Winks* 

She likes it though, she almost seems to be Smiling in fact!   She was a 'Score' at my Friend Leslie's Shop and I just Love her because she's so diminutive.   She's wearing an Old Tiara I've had for many Years and a Funky Upcyled Necklace Creation.

And the other very Old Taxidermy Antelope Mount was Scored at our Antique Mall... she's shedding like an Old Tomcat and just as dog-eared as one, but I just Love her Tattered Imperfections that Time has Imparted.   She too is wearing a Predatory Fur Collar clasped with Victorian Shoe Clips and wearing a Santos Crown I Scored from my Friend Myko.   The Multi-Hued Fresh Water Pearl strands are two six foot lengths that were a Gift from my Mom.

She is mounted on a portion of the South Wall, which is a Kitchenette Wall and thus the Industrial Chrome Stove Awning above her... perfect to hold an Equestrian Vignette.   The raw Turquoise, Lapis and Petrified Wood are temporary weights to hold the Tea Stained Lace on until I can find a better solution... Magnets do not adhere to Chrome... uh oh... so a Jury Rig Solution had to be Improvised on the Fly for now.  *Winks*

And No, in case you were Wondering, I've never ridden nor owned a Horse... though The Man was once on the Mounted Police Detail in Pittsburgh and has done the Cowboy Thing too, Adrenalin Junkie that he is. *Smiles*   But I just wanted a Vintage Equestrian Themed Vignette and had been Collecting the Elements for this one for some time.   Though I almost Sold the Vintage Velvet Riding Cap before realizing just the other day... HEY, I NEED that for this Vignette!  And rushed to the Showroom to Retrieve it... Thankfully it hadn't yet Sold!  *Whew, she wipes Sweat from brow!*   Do you ever do that if you're in Retail Sales, almost Sell off something you really needed and have to yank it out of Inventory pronto?!?  *LOL*

Now since these Images were taken I'm in the process of mounting some Repurposed Old Black Instrument Cases as Shelving on this Wall too.   I like that the Instrument Case Shelves serve double duty... as a Shelf for Topside Display... and as a Velvet Lined Drawer of sorts for small Artist Supplies like Bling for Jewelry Making or Bits and Bobs.   Future pixs of said Shelves to come when I get them all mounted... they're rather a pain in the Arse to mount by ones self because they are heavier than they look, especially with Ornate Cast Iron Brackets mounted to them and holding an Electric Drill/Screwdriver in the other hand!  *LOL*  Have The Man Help you I'm sure you're Thinking?!  Well, aren't you?  *Winks*  

 I had that Delusion too... quite Forgetting how Impatient and Critical he is when it comes to Construction Projects... and Heavy Handed if things don't go smoothly and quickly.   So after one Shelf Fiasco with him as my Project Wingman and Self-Professed Supervisor taking over MY Project... and my Nerves frayed... FORGET ABOUT IT!   I sent him packing... back to his NCIS Marathon!  *Smiles*   I like my Construction Projects, Styling and Make-Overs to be Zen and Enjoyable with no hurries and no worries... taking however long it takes for the Vision to come to Life, since I ain't on the Clock and nothing Stifles Creativity like a Deadline.  *Winks*

I Predict that The Man will only now be coming in for his daily Visits to watch my Process and Progress and won't be Hands On anymore!  I'm Psychic like that!  *LOL*   I shall however, continue to have the G-Kid Force Assisting me since they're my Minions and have Fun with it.   And when The Son comes over for his next Visit I Plan to Indenture him to Installing the Vintage Industrial Ambiant Lighting and bringing the last of the larger furniture in that The Young Prince and I didn't have to build on site inside the room.  Yes, more about THAT later in the Post with an Explanation of what I'm talkin' about!?!  *Winks*

I've made it Clear to The Son that he's never moving back in here now. *Smiles*  I've Re-Claimed my Art Studio once and for all... and though the Bedroom Portion, once Made-Over, can still Host a Temporary House Guest or two... I don't want to give up this Space anymore... it took too many Years away from my Creative Process to give it up the last time and I'm so Delighted to have it back!  Though it was a Blessing to have The Son move back and Rent the Space for a few Years when his Dad first got really Sick and I needed his Help, not to mention The Trades and the Economy were Tanked so he needed the Help of Cheap Rental Space too... it's Good that he's gotten back to his own Life and I have my Creative Space back.  Space where I can leave a Work in Progress spread out rather than gathering it up every day and having too many Distractions breaking my Rhythm.

Not to mention I had to Store everything I wanted for this Studio Space somewhere else on the Property while he and others Resided here... either in the Main House or the Storage Cottage, for Years so that it wouldn't potentially be Ruined in a Young Bachelor's Pad!!!  *LOL*  When things don't have a Pemanent Place and aren't put to Use, they tend to just resemble a Hoard and Clutter up where ever they're being Temporarily Stored.   So, moving everything either back in to it's rightful place or Styling with it for the first time, since I bought it with this Intention of eventually being Studio Bound, really has started clearing out the Main House and Storage Cottage of Excess that didn't belong there.

This Lovely Antique Caged Black Dress Form was Scored from my Friend Myko... I knew that a Predominant Color Palette for the Studio would incorporate Black, as well as Bold Jewel Tones, so I'd been seeking out Vintage and Antique Black Elements for some time now.

The Lovely Necklace she's Modeling was a Creation by my Friend Tricia Samsal of 'Vintage Bliss'.

Now... about Building Furniture on site inside the Cottage... you see, except for the huge Carriage House Doors, which are no longer functionally used because they take up an entire Wall in the Bedroom... every other door {and there are many} in this Cottage is Victorian sized with a Transom... meaning Tall but NARROW!!!   So... most large or Modern Furniture does not fit through and either has to be brought in dismantled and put back together once inside, or built inside on site.   So... the large Vintage Industrial Zinc Door Table which would become the Creation Station... had to be brought inside in pieces and put together by The Young Prince and I.   It now has a different Base than before.   It is a very large Harvest Sized Table, this is the end third of it showing.  I've been Hoarding mismatched Antique Chairs for a while to eventually put around it.  *Smiles*
As well as Tea Staining and Drying various Vintage Lace and Crocheted Linens for Curtains and Accents in the Studio over the past few days.  I've also got some Lovely Bunting Created by my Friend Angela which will be hung soon too.

I've also been Collecting Antique Storage Units with an Industrial Flair to them and Vintage Suitcases for Storage Purposes too... I'm still bringing those in and filling them with my Vintage and Antique Fabrics and Trims.

And anything I want visible for easy access and use or Inspiration can be Stored on either the Large European Bottle Rack or the smaller one that has been made into a Chandie, and The Son will be hanging for me during his next Visit.   I also have several European Olive Buckets for Storage and one of those which has been made into Industrial Style Ambiant Lighting too as a Chandie.

I'm still Styling and dragging my Treasures in as the Makeover progresses.  Right now the Bedroom and Bathroom of the Studio Cottage has become the Staging Areas so they look rather Hoarded right now... so no Surprise Guests better be Planning a Visit or they're resigned to sleeping in the Haunted Guest Bedroom of the Main House!  *LOL*  Actually this Studio Cottage Allegedly has a lot of Paranormal Activity too... so many Guests have not been able to spend the Night in here, even when The Son Occupied it, if they got too Freaked out by Sharing Space with Spirit and it was too un-nerving for them!?  *Smiles*  We have many an Amusing Story of what Guests have Experienced during their stays.

The Kitchenette Area still has a lot of Work and Making-Over to be done... but at least I've gotten it mostly cleared out and scrubbed.  I've always Loved the Large Porcelain Coated Cast Iron Farm Sinks/Draining Boards this Property has in it's Kitchens.  We've often bathed a Child in one of these!  But in subsequent Rentals of this Cottage, the Fridge, original Antique Apartment Stove and Microwaves wore out and now need to be replaced... so for now the Kitchen won't be fully Operational for preparing Foods and Refreshments 'til Budget permits purchasing new Appliances for it.   But it is nice to have a big Sink and Drainboard for washing up after certain Art Projects or preparing Fresh Cut Floral Arrangements.

I must say that spending Time Working on this Project has been such a Joy for me.  I Love having a Blank Canvas and Styling a Space from Scratch, it Comes Together so much better for the Vision I have for it than when you're just adding pieces slowly over Time to an Existing Space.

And since my Studio is my own Personal Space that I don't have to Consider anyone else or make Compromises on the Styling and Function of it, I can go 'Full On Me' in this Space.  Opposed to the rest of Bohemian Valhalla where the preferences and needs of the rest of the Family and Function must be Considered and Implemented.

This is more the Vision of what my Dream Home would and could look like if I had no limits and could keep it as I like for it to be.   Granted, the G-Kids, Family and Friends can and will utilize this Space also, but it is foremost MY Personal Space for Creating my Fantasies, my Art and it is my Retreat to Sequester myself in when I want to Escape for a while and just Focus on 'Me Time' away from everything and everyone else for that Solitude and Restorative Nourishment of the Soul.

Sure... there are some rooms of the Main House that resemble this Space somewhat... but even they Evolved over Time and weren't that Blank Canvas to build the Vision upon from Start to Finish in one Project.   So I've really been able to delve into this Full On with Creative Abandon and banish those things I don't want in here... ie: Toys, Medical Equipment, un-necessary Clutter and Mess.  I Thrive on Order, Beauty and Imaginative Elements... often our Living Spaces become almost devoid of that in the Process of Daily Living and Necessity.

You never open the Pages of your Favorite Inspiring Books and Magazines and see a mess, disorder, toys scattered about and Medical Equipment taking up space... but in Real Life that's just how it is when you're dealing with several people living under one roof, half of them Children and some of them Chronically Ill... not to mention a hectic Schedule.  And sometimes it can be a Daily Reminder of those Obstacles we'd rather not be Dealing with, at least not every day... so it's Nice to have that Fantasy Space somewhere either within the Home or just outside of it, where you can eliminate whatever you Desire and have it look like you REALLY want it to look... and have it STAY that way for more than a Minute!  *Winks*  A place to Retreat TO when you need to just Imagine the Perfect Environment and actually have the Atmosphere and Essence of it Enveloping you in that Space, like a Cocoon, where your Metamorphosis can take place.
At least for me I NEED that since Mi Vida Loca can sometimes Consume me otherwise.  So my Creative Space has to be SOMEWHERE... and preferably just mine.   The Showrooms are nice, but lets face it, they do have to consider the Consumer as well, it can't be all about me in those Spaces.  *Winks*

In this Space I can have my Favorite Antique Chairs and they're not used so hard that they get Ruined, like Chairs in the Main House tend to.   So I can have those more Delicate Treasures that really might not hold up under Daily Family Living that well or be as Functional or Comfortable as the Family requires.   This is the kind of Space where I COULD even hang non-functional Chairs, Decrepid Style Furnishings and such suspended from the Ceiling as Visual Inspiration and Delight, with no accountability for Function at all!  *Smiles*

And Heirloom Treasures, like Dad's Kitschy Antique Clock, can Exist without Fear of being Damaged in a busy household full of Children, Men and Pets!  *Smiles*

The Antique Dress Form Triplets can make a Comeback... without Fear of Rowdy Bachelor Parties doing Lord knows what with them as a Lark during raucous Beer Parties!  *Smiles" ... Yes, it happened... which is why The Girls had to be Relocated and Protected in the Main House... Drunk Young Men and their Guests, it seems, think it's Hilarious to outfit such things with Beer Belts, Military Cammies and Risque Lingerie!!!   *Gasp!  Noooooo... not my Beloved Dress Form Girls... they're not Miss Party All The Time Types!!!  Smiles*

Now some Creations didn't quite Work out as Planned... I Needed Clamps to hold Tapestries and Persian Rugs up to the Walls... so I glued some Antique Earrings onto these nice ones... only to find out they wouldn't Serve the Purpose... ah well, they'll come in handy for something else I'm sure!

And I can hang some of Princess T's Favorite Dance Ensembles around the Studio so that when she wants to just Dance... this can be the place she Practices in... as well as a place to come to Color, do Sculptures or whatever other Art Projects the G-Kid Force Dream up or want to Learn.

It was so Nice to bring my Hoard of Antique Chairs out of Storage and into Use and to Style a complete Room with.  I've been Collecting Old Chairs for a long time, they're a particular Weakness of mine and I thought I really might have Excess, even for this Project... but it turns out I had Just Enough!!!   So none have to be Flipped... unless I Want to... or unless I Trade Up.

Here's some of the Taxidermy Skullies that The Man Donated to The Cause of the Studio Makeover... he Surprised me with them and further Surprised me by saying it was Okay for me to Pimp them Out Gypsy Style!!!  *Whoo Hoo!*   So these are the 'Before' pixs of them and I'll Reveal the 'After' Tricking them Out pixs in a Future Post.

They will be Bejeweled and Laced with added Adornments and will be a Charming Addition to the Decor in here... especially Sentimental since The Man Hunted these Specimens for Food and Preserved the Skulls for Decor... so he has a Back End Story and Adventure tied to each piece.   And this Post isn't just about Revealing the Studio Cottage Makeover due to abundant Requests... there's one more Reveal Sneak Peek that's been asked for...

Yep, Miss Priss is finally Comfortable with leaving her new Babies to short breaks and I took that Opportunity to Photograph them for the first time!   So... here's my Grand-Fur-Baby Twins making their First Appearance here in the Land of Blog.   First here's the Little Girl, who looks very much like her Mama and is still Open for Adoption when the Time comes that she is Weaned and ready to find a New Home and Adoptive Parents.   She's the real Glutton of the Duo.

And here's the Sibling, which Princess T has Affectionally dubbed "Thing One" since we don't yet know for certain it's Gender?  We're suspecting it has little Boy Parts... and anyone with keener eyeballs than myself might be able to tell for sure...  all I know is that this one has already been Spoken For Sight Unseen by a Friend and previous Co-Worker at our Antique Mall who wants a Fur Baby for her Daughter!  *Yippee, one down, one to go!*

There are a couple of Interested Prospective Human Parents Considering Mini Miss Priss tho' and so long as I know I have found Good Homes for them when it's Time for them to leave Bohemian Valhalla I'll be Delighted since we had no Intentions of Expanding our Fur Baby Family further!

But is there anything Cuter than Baby Kittens?  I think not!!!  But, being a Cat Person of coarse I'm totally Biased you know!   Baby Creatures in General are always Adorable and Melt the Heart!

And Sleeping Babies... well, what can I say!?!  They all look Angelic while Slumbering don't they? *Bwahahaha and an Awwwwwwww!*

So, I Hope I've Satisfied the Curiosity of all who have Inquired about both the Studio Makeover and the New Fur Babies?

I even had some Curiosity Satisfied myself whilst hauling away and clearing out the Contents of the Studio Cottage, Exploring every nook and cranny, clearing out every dark recess.   You see, in the past couple of Years we'd had a string of Burglaries in this Cottage since it sits in the back half of our Property and The Son was working several Jobs so he was away a lot.  I still had some of my own Possessions in there, including some Bag Creations and had thought this one in particular had been Stolen during one of the Burglaries.   Well, as it turns out it had been discarded and stuffed in a recess of the Building, probably when the Burglar realized it was empty and only filled with stuffing to fill it out for Display Purposes.  I was so Relieved since I thought it had been Lost Forever... and the Victorian Brooch Adorning it holds particular Sentimental Value... so even tho' I could have Created another Bag just like this one, I couldn't Replace the Brooch or it's Sentimental Value.  So, Color me Happy to be Reunited with this Piece, which I never thought I'd see again!!!

This really has been quite the Journey, to Reclaim this Space again... and a lot of the Atmosphere here is quite Sentimental to me since two of our Adult Children have Lived in here at one time or another for extended periods... and several Friends who were between Residences and needed a Temporary Shelter... and so there are a lot of Memories associated with this Space too.  It has seen a lot of use... and Sheltered a lot of Important and Beloved People to us... and yet, I always Envisioned it as my Art Studio when we Purchased this Property, so it's come Full Circle again to become just that!

And I'm very Thankful to have such a Space on my Property... where a Fantasy Vision can Come to Life again... amidst Fabulous 100 Year Old Architectural Elements like these Enormous Cement Columns which hold up the entire Roof and are incorporated into the Bearing Walls of this Carriage House... and some in the Main House as well.   I often Wonder where they were Salvaged from?  What Grandoise Mansion was Razed that they initially belonged to?

You see... I felt a Special Connection to Bohemian Valhalla even long before I ever Owned it... because it had been built at the turn of the Century by an Eccentric Visionary who used Salvage Elements to build the Structures and even the massive Walls that surround the Acre they sit upon.

So every Element, every Found Treasure used to build this Property by the Abbott and Case Family had a Past Life, History and a Story even before it ever came to be a part of Bohemian Valhalla... and I'm simply continuing with that Tradition and way of doing things in this Generation and Era... so we just 'Fit' like a Hand and Glove.

And we're Restoring it with Found Treasures and filling it with Family Heirlooms and Found Treasures...

And our Family and Friends are always Welcome to Join us!

And speaking of Joining us... won't you please Join us over at Cindy's Blog Party at MY ROMANTIC HOME for Show and Tell Friday!?   Today I'll be linking up to Show the Art Studio Makeover... FINALLY I have something I can Show!  *Smiles*  If you have something you can Show too... go ahead and submit your entry before the Linky is Closed!  If not... just Show Up and be Inspired by the hundreds of Entries!

... Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian 


  1. Well, well, well! I would be ONE who was eagerly awaiting the unveiling - and not a bit disappointed am I. My two favorite pieces would have to be that amazing kitchen sink & its cabinet and the zinc worktable! (Course, all the chairs catch my eye, too.) What is the SIZE of this space, Dawn??? You are certainly blessed to have the space and the creativity and imagination to dress it out to suit both your pleasure and need for functional, creative space!

    1. It's about 950 Square Feet with three Rooms... a Great Room that has a Kitchenette along one South Wall, a Bedroom and a En Suite Bathroom. It also has it's own covered Porch and Laundry Room built outside... used to be the Old Carriage House for this property and was converted to a Residential Cottage sometime within the past 100 years. *smiles* Yes, we are Truly Blessed to own this Property, it was a Dream come True for me to have a Historic Homestead one day. Dawn... The Bohemian

  2. Wonderful photos...beautiful studio. Enjoy your new space!

  3. How entertaining! You certainly have senses of style and humor. These are great. My favorite is the animal wearing a tiara.

  4. I LOVE IT ALL (especially the black wall)! It's absolute perfection, Dawn. :D

    1. I knew you'd Connect with my Color Palette! *winks*

  5. What a truly amazing and trippy space! Very Arizona/NM desert.

  6. Yeah! How fun to finally get to see your very own Art Studio coming together It's Marvelous! I know your having so much fun! Will be so interested to see how else you use it in the future to make money? Classes, Conferences, Art & Health Sessions, Food & Fantasy Workshops, Get-Aways?. Blessings!

  7. Yes, indeed, dear Dawn, please consider having this special space properly blessed!
    It's truly an expression of your artistic vision, and best of all -- your keen sense of fun! One smiles with delight, simply scanning all the wonderful things to see and touch. Ah, that golden Fortuny bag that fate has returned to you...!

    I'm cuddling an ailing 16-year-old tuxedo cat as I type. I'm certain dear old Yul is sorely missed, but it's good to see that the fur babies have appeared (as they always do) to serve as bandages for the heart. No doubt Miss Priss will consider the Art Studio as a playground when the time comes.

    And thanks, too, for sharing the kittens' baby pictures.


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl