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Spotted Dog Farm Blog

My Lair

Remember the treehouse that we were renovating to take the place of the picnic deck as my office lair?  Well it's done!  Pretty much.  

And it's proof that Clark's a magician.  Because he spent about $200 total, and a lot of elbow grease, and now it's the best tiny office ever.  (I wonder if Tiny Offices are a thing?  Like Tiny Houses?)

The After

And the Before.  Go Clark!

The big question is what else are we going to put in it besides my desk.  We have an old chaise lounge that would be a pretty dreamy place to read a book.  If we reupholstered it.  Or an old leather club chair and ottoman that might fit better.  If we reupholstered them.  Do you see a theme here?  Our reupholstery needs and our volume of dogs might be connected.

At any rate I am currently typing this from my little lair while looking out over our leaking lake, and it makes me so happy! (The treehouse more than the leaking lake.)

I'll update again when the final furnishings are figured out, but for now it's exactly the lair I've been dreaming about.

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Crafts of Christmas Past

We decorated the house, which is always the best.  Partly because it's beautiful, and partly because Clark and Sam really love to put up Christmas decorations, so I get all of the reward with not too much effort.  But a few of the decorations did require a lot of effort on my part, and the funny thing is that I didn't even remember making some of them.

See this beeswax lantern?  Yeah, I made a few of them.  The beeswax part isn't surprising - I used to make a lot of beeswax lanterns with flowers on them.  But the carving part - that totally surprised me.  After searching the deepest recesses of my mind I came up with some vague memories of a stencil and an exacto knife.  The strange thing is, I really love them so you'd think I'd remember making them.  But this way they're like a great surprise, so I guess that worked out.

Also laborious - but much better remembered - Sam's Christmas stocking.  I made that in cross stitch for his first Christmas. It was one of those projects that seemed awesome and heirloomish when I bought the kit at Michael's, but seemed awesomely overwhelming and who cares about heirlooms when I was about 1/4 done on December 20.  But I persevered, and sure enough now it's one of Sam's favorite things.  So, much like actually gestating the child it was intended for, it turns out to be one of those time consuming things that's now looked back at with a rose-colored lens of cheerfulness.

And this I didn't make at all, but it's my favorite of our ornaments.  Santa riding a tiger.  Because seriously... who wouldn't want to ride a tiger if that was an option??

Did you know fruit wreathes are a thing?  I didn't, until I met a guy from Williamsburg, Virginia.  But Clark's love of Christmas decorations extends to the fruit wreath.  This year's version isn't too complicated - boxwood and lemons.  I'm a fan.

And lastly - we put a Christmas tree on the porch of the treehouse, and I love it.  It makes the best reflection over the pond at night, although I can't share that reflection with you because on my junky iphone it just looks like weird light squiggles.  But still - new favorite decoration.  And speaking of the treehouse, the renovation is coming along.  My lair now has new walls, paint and lights.  Floor is coming up this weekend, and I can't wait!  More on that, with pictures, coming soon.

Hope December is treating you well.  Much love to you and yours.  xx

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The Treehouse - it's Electric

Remember my treehouse that wants to be an auxiliary office?

Well it just got one step closer - Clark's dad came and worked his engineering magic and fixed the electrical.  The electricity hasn't worked in ages - years? - and we assumed it was because of the spot we found where a lawnmower had clearly run over the (supposed to be buried) electrical line and mangled it.  I mean, that felt like a safe assumption of the problem.  And while it was definitely part of the problem, it certainly wasn't the whole problem - as evidenced by the fact that we still had no power once that line was fixed.  Some sleuthing led to the discovery that the line had also been pulled out of the auxiliary electrical box - probably so no one would try to use it since the line was in mangled pieces in yard?  So both of those problems were addressed, and we now have power.  Yay Clark's Dad!

With the biggest problem fixed, we can now move on to some smaller scale issues.  Such as...  cleaning out the old kid stuff, bigger windows, paint, floor, desk, workspace, heat.  You know, basically everything.  But things that can be fixed on the weekends, with some elbow grease.

Here are the befores:

 

And hopefully before too long, I'll have some afters.  But here's the view from the tiny porch.  I cannot *wait* for this to be my tiny office. 

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I Need a Treehouse

All summer I've been heading over to the picnic deck first thing in the morning.  I plan out my day, journal a little, prioritize a little - you know, start-your-day type stuff.  And it's the best, because I'm out of my studio space, and thus out of the "must get everything done right this second" space.   It's a little oasis to get my self together before I jump into the fray.  (In fact, I'm sitting on the deck right this second, and just noticed that Rhino Puppy is digging a crater-sized hole in the yard while he attempts to find a mole.  Oops.)  

And while this picnic deck is the perfect place for a relaxed start to the morning, it doesn't have any walls.  And so I'm going to be kicked out of my morning office as soon as the weather gets cold.  Which leads me to... the tree house.  My parents built it for the grandchildren to play in about 10 years ago, and now the grandchildren are too old to want to play in it so we've been trying to figure out if there's something fun to do with it.

Clark wants to make it a tiny bunkhouse for kids to use when we have house guests.  But it's seriously tiny, so they'd need to be Lilliputian house guests.  And we thought about turning it into the fanciest chicken coop around, because we have some friends who did this with their old tree house - but I like it an awfully lot, so it seems a shame to turn it over to the chickens.  And also I think my dogs might love to eat chickens and life kind of provides enough stress so I don't think I need to go looking for any.

But I was sitting here at the picnic deck the other day looking around, and it hit me - the tree house might be my perfect auxiliary office for winter.  It's tiny, so it wouldn't be hard to get a space heater to warm it up.  Plus tiny means it wouldn't be expensive to retro-fit - it mainly needs some bigger windows and a few gallons of white paint.  So I think I see a tree house in my future.

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