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A few special request pictures.

I keep getting requests from friends to see more of the house. I’d love to comply, but I doubt you’d find it ever so attractive when there are unpacked boxes and mayhem everywhere. Nevertheless, I slid some junk aside and took a few pictures all the same.  


This is my kitchen, or at least the view from the living room. I wanted to share the pix of where we eat, because it shows you the wonderful windows that look out onto the pasture on one side, and the creek on the other. This is where I have coffee and watch my llama everyday. Mark has talked about adding curtains, but I sort of hope he never gets around to it. I love the big open space looking out on the world.

The other picture is of the bar that Mark designed which wraps around the sink and kitchen area. All these logs were formerly young trees on the land. They’ve been debarked and sanded, then pieced together to make this design. The young workers that were helping Mark in this project said it was “weird” and that they thought all the logs should just be nailed on up and down (like a tiki bar). Mark assured them he knew what he wanted. He pointed out that this is a traditional Appalachian design, historically speaking. They said they’ve lived here all their lives and been building, and they “ain’t never seen noth’in like this. Lots of trouble for no purpose.” Satisfying the boss had to be purpose enough.

The top of the bar is a thick slab of raw wood that Mark had cut at the local sawmill from a huge tree. The counter opposite this is another huge, heavy wood slab. We had to mix this murky, thick liquid and pour it on top, then blow out all the bubbles to create a Lucite-like finish that gives it a look like glass. Tools days to dry. It is resistant to damage now. I love how it fills in all the cracks and natural indentations in the wood, so I can work with flour or sugar or whatever and it wipes off as if I was working on a granite counter top. Cool. We do have some granite in the kitchen too. But this wood slab was very cost effective, which was necessary, and it added a unique twist to the kitchen. As you can see, I have under the counter lights, and light up cabinets on top for my “pretty” stuff. Lighting does make a thing seem more dramatic. Works on dances on stage, why not in a house too?

In the end, Mark added the naturally shed deer antlers as supports and for artistic detail. Right away, they started jabbing us when we walked by – partially because we don’t have stools yet (waiting for Mark to make them). You just don’t want to complain about something like that when you know the “artist” is standing by, and he has put so much work into the project, but after the third shirt was torn, the issue had to come out. He moved the offending antler on the corner, and we learned to watch ourselves around that area. I believe Mark will change these antlers out eventually to something like a wood support, but first we will see if stools will keep us from brushing so close to the counter. Ha, the lengths one will go to make a place interesting.
   


As I mentioned before, my cat finds the entire house one big playground. I guess I do too.
Here is a view of our new rug and the wall behind it. Mark nailed up big roughsawn wood slabs, then covered all the joints with more of those thin natural debarked tree trunks. This adds texture and is a very original look. People come into the house and marvel at this treatment because no one has ever seen it before. It’s a Mark original. I wanted to show you this, because it ties in the bar and the mantel treatment. We have a theme going on here in case you didn’t notice. My brother said, “Hey, what is up with the star thing? Is that some kind of cowboy decor?” 
“Um, no, you big nincompoop. It’s a Christmas decoration.” 
My brother says, “With you two, one never knows.”
Since others may think the same, I thought I might mention here that the big tin stars are just a holiday thing. We will go back to art or plain walls after the holidays. Trust me, after owning a dance school for a million years, we wouldn’t be so queer as to use stars as our primary decorating theme. Eesh. 

 Now for the best room in the house. My bathroom!



Unfortunately, I can’t get it all in a shot, but it is very pretty. The cabinets have been made by friends of Mark who actually have been trying to get him to buy their business. They want to retire. We are not interested. If we open a business, we will do so from scratch. We are from the ground up sort of people. Mark may work with them to learn how to make their style of furniture, but then he wants to do his own thing. The pretty glass sinks, you may see, are above the counter, sort of reminiscent of the old washbowls. Love that. By the way, the antler basket holding hand towels was also made by Mark. He made it before we picked colors, and it just happened to be perfect. Life works out that way sometimes.

The shower, as you can see, is totally clear. It stands across from big windows to the outside. I felt quite conspicuous showering (on display) for the first month before he got around to putting up blinds. Granted, there is no one for 50 acres to see you, except birds and squirrels and the occasional deer, but nevertheless, it was hard to get use to.  The slate and stone in this shower was left to sit in the elements for months because it took so long to build the house, and it got discolored and there are imprints of plants like fossils that can not be removed now. The tile guy said, “Hey, you want to toss this stuff and get replacements?” We were like, “No way! We love the designs in the stone now.” You couldn’t buy that. It was another of those rare, cool strokes of luck.

The tub is stone with huge windows around so I can sit and soak and look out onto the world.  This is a jacuzzi tub, which is necessary for an old fart like me after shoveling horse droppings all day. Yep, my life is glamorous on one hand, but full of shit on the other. I guess it all balances out in the end.

I would show you our offices, but they are drowning in junk. Our dining room is just an empty room filled with tools. No fun to show you that. The downstairs is nice, but still unpacked and sans furniture too.  I found a way to stop losing my glasses however. I place them all over the house in the bowls I made of clay last spring or on this fancy-dancy deer head. Ha. The fact that I like this stupid thing means I actually use it.  
Amazing how easy it is to amuse me.


That is it for the pictorial of our world today. Mark taught me to download pictures from the camera to the computer yesterday. You are all in trouble now!
Have a good day.

About Ginny East Shaddock

Director of Heartwood Retreat Center, Ginny is also a writer. This is her personal blog with essay form writing about life and reflection. My entries are often lengthy and random, because I'm not here to promote or sell anything. I'm not expecting followers - just find this format a good place to think with the pen.

One response »

  1. Sally Patterson

    Mark and Ginny, I absoutely LOVE your home. It is amazing. Your creativity never ceases to amaze me. Your outdoor property and the plans to make trails etc. is also amazing. Good luck in your ventures.

    Like

    Reply

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