Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The tiny house is for sale!  Located at 302 Ralston Rd. in Machesney Park, Illinois.

From the all the built-in bookcases, the dutch door, the organic branch shelf...it is a little treasure!

The loft is great for meditation and the grandkids sleepovers with extra space for storage.  The kitchen is tiny but packs more storage than most full size country kitchens.

The view from the bedroom showcases the gas stove heater and river rock surround.

Remember it's a tiny space, but you can do just about everything 
except a big turkey for Thanksgiving.

That's a three burner gas cooktop and a soapstone sink.

Room for up to a king size bed, with luggage storage above, plenty of closets
 including a walk-in and a hidden ironing board.

More closets!  And that electric panel has 200 amps of power.

A peak into the walk-in and the door to the bathroom.

A soaking tub, or a shower surround with a great hidden medicine cabinet 
and plenty of storage for your toiletries and linens.

One of the oldest and biggest remaining elm trees in Northern Illinois greets 
you at the street and welcomes you up the curvy driveway. 

The elm and the hosta garden beyond...

The lillies and russian sage berm are just past the dry koi pond.

Another view of inside and the antique library ladder.

The front walks and a view of the building at the end of the driveway.

Your fountain garden and containers.

Outbuilding #1.  Inside is like a mini-version of the cottage--fully insulated and wired.

And it has some character at the front!

Here's the inside!

The terraced planters at the back.  That bird bath gets a lot of action from all the pollinators in the yard.  The veggie garden is in the center, to the back property line.

The view from the top!

The fire pit!

The outdoor shower and a utility sink for cleaning up.

Outbuilding #2.  This one isn't as cute but is carpeted, wired and set up for an office.

It is the cottage version of a tiny paradise!

Listing Agent:
Mary Maxted
Keller Williams Realty Signature

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Cottage, Summer 2016

Oh my gosh!  You would not believe the projects that I have been working on this year.  This is the year we finally sell the house in Orlando, Rod moves here and we build a garage here at the cottage.  Rod still doesn't believe me when I tell him how much he is going to love having a garage!  Especially when he tries to change the oil when it is 10 degrees outside!

I arrived in April, right after my show at Lake Eola in Orlando.  I did two quick trips to bring all my soap kitchen things to the new house.  I got sidelined in Nashville when the transmission went out and I had to spend two nights there.  I did get a loaner car so I could explore!  Thus the picture below of the American Pickers shop in Nashville.

Once I got back to Rockford, I got right to the Spring Cleanup!  This year was a little easier as I had cut and bagged most of the grasses in the Fall.  But there was still a lot to do as I had to move four different planting beds, container and statuary out of the footprint of the new garage...and it had to be done before things got growing too much.  The following pics are some of that process!

The Yellow Hybrid and Purple Baptisias!  This is only temporary as there is really only room for one of them here!

One of three Clematis that I hired to be moved...they are touchy, so I wanted help with them!

Some coneflowers and yellow eyed Susans

OK, not sure where this picture came from, but, I did grow a bunch of seeds this year.  Two of three cherry tomatoes and now blooming with little green tomatoes.  All the perennials I tried to grow from seed were eaten by something...rabbits I guess.

I have two of these pretty dwarf willow bushes that I paid to have moved too...they were just too big for me too handle
The area to the back I call the monuments area and it had a trumpet vine taking over, so, I yanked it out...well...I really had to nuke it to get it under control.  I am still trying to kill the thing a month later!  That is a Black Walnut tree to the left side, which I will be taking out at some point.  

The dry Koi Pond, before the fish, frogs and turtles were put in!

The Phlox,  Lily and Russian Sage Berm

The Phlox is so pretty when it is blooming...and nobody has run over it trying to get in and out of my driveway!!
This barely covers all the moving of the plants.  I did a new planting bed with all the lilies...actually two beds...one by the mailbox and one by the front courtyard in front of the wisteria.  I had the landscapers move all the big container plants--those are cedars and arborvitaes I think.  One of them is dying, but, I can't change it yet...I am afraid I would lose it with everything else going on.  

Those planting beds that had to be moved are the ones surrounding my little soap shop!  Notice the pretty glass flowers hanging from the railing.  Those are from my glass artist friend, Susan Goracy of Starry Night Creations.  She has been a soap wholesaler of mine for years when she had her gallery down in Islamorada in the Florida Keys!


Then my niece Ali helped me with a little furniture project I had been wanting to try.  I picked up a couple pieces I wanted to paint last summer.  Then recently I started playing around with graphics and how to transfer them to furniture.  So we came up with the following.  Ali painted all the pieces after modifying them per my specs.  

This one is going in an area that I didn't want the right side "hamper", so she cut it off!

Then we took a weekend and went to my nephew Travis's graduation at the University of Wisconsin, Steven Point.  Ali was there that weekend, so, we all got together and celebrated.  The boys Mom's all put on a really nice spread for us--and took good care of my folks who went with us!


Next up were some projects inside.  I had originally wanted to have a builder come in and rehab the bathroom and kitchen, but, not for the $12k they had in mind.  So, I ditched the kitchen plans for now, and spent $100 in the bathroom to put up a flexible curtain track, sewed three shower curtains together and put a holder for the shower head handle on the ceiling.  Done!  Oh, well, almost!  Another crafter friend is helping me bling out the shower curtain tie back that I will use when company comes over!  I will have to take a picture when that comes!

Rod and I also decided to have air conditioning put in and since we are not going to put ductwork in our pretty high ceilings, we went with a mini-split system.  Two units inside up on the wall and the smallish condenser on the outside.  It takes away a bit from the wall with the branches, but, in the opinion of a menopausal, hot-flashing woman--worth it's weight in GOLD!

I also decided to change out the cellular blinds in the house's windows in the great room and the bedroom.  The old ones had to be risen by hand and then chained on both sides.  I found that Home Depot will cut these to size in the store...so, I spent a bit of money on them, but, they open and close so easily.   Lowe's had them on sale too, but, they were more expensive and I didn't like how you had to hit a tiny button to open and close them.  The new blackout ones (pictured darkly below!) in the bedroom make it so nice to sleep past 5 a.m. in the morning!

Which brings me to the last of the projects--just finished today!  I use one of those ugly plastic utility sinks to wash my soap pots.  And I can see that ugly thing from the kitchen window!!  NO more...it is all pretty now thanks to a couple colors of spray paint, some 4x4's and a dahlia stencil from Home Depot and some lattice panels that were laying around. 

When we bought the cottage, there was an outdoor shower--that hadn't worked in years.  A couple weeks ago Rod researched tankless, portable water heaters and I was happy not to spend 3x the money on a 6 gallon RV water heater.  It isn't perfect--the water hose connection to the shower head leaks--but it works just fine for occasional use.  Like today after I spent a couple hours digging out a tree stump that was on the upper tier where all the big containers went.  Whew I was dirty from head to toe and it felt great to wash up outside and not have to drag all that dirt into  the house!

Notice that Trumpet Vine here too!

I know there is more--notice nothing about all the soap shop news...all the challenges during the initial setup of the kitchen and the ongoing worry about where the soap shop will go when the garage is built.  Jeez, I never lack for something to do around here!!   Just walking to the mailbox can create a 50 pound bag of weeds!  

I hope all is well in your world.  Can someone please send me a margarita, no salt!???