My Garden Retreat

My Garden Retreat
photo Gridley Graves for Country Living


"My heart's not in it"
That's how I've been feeling lately... a little down and in  much need of fresh inspiration.

from Fleaing France

Sweet Hubby the Carpenter is busy each evening with our taxes...and working 10 hours each day at his real job as he calls it!
I have been doing some filing of my own...sort of.

Actually, I have been digging in my filing cabinet...looking at magazine tear sheets!

Until our taxes are complete, Hubby won't be working on the house so I am left to my own devices!
This is usually quite dangerous!
Because as usual...
I have a new project!
 One that I want to get  finished before we begin  working on the renovation again!

Recently, I found out that my Mom won't be moving into the little cottage!
It will remain my studio!


As you might suspect,I have mixed feelings about this...but after much prayer,
I've decided that this is a blessing and one that must be from the Lord.

Now that I have accepted this...some fresh inspiration was called for!

So, after several weeks of digging through files and Pinning!

I thought I would share some of my inspiration with you!

As you might remember, We quickly remodeled the little cottage kitchen to incorporate red into cottage's color palette this past August.
And since we just did has to remain!

besides, I still  very much love my little red stove!

We then went back to work on our homes renovation and other than some cooking and showers...we kind of left the cottage alone for a bit.

But now, I am once again spending my days out here...planning...pinning
Praying...waiting to be shown what I was supposed to do with what I've been given!

And now, I'm making a few changes to the little cottage to help me function better!

I have just gotten started so I thought I would show you my current project.

This little closet once housed a washer/dryer and water softener. I removed the closet doors and won't be reusing them.
I then filled all of the holes and uneven walls.

I am a true believer in using what you have and that is precisely what I've been doing!

I decided to wallpaper this little area with some wallpaper I already owned

And to re-use a counter top piece that once was in our boys playroom YEARS ago!
It just so happens to be red!

I finished wallpapering a little bit ago and now must wait until this evening for hubby to cut the counter top to the size I decided would work best.

red and white organizers!

This was my inspiration for this little cubby like space.
(I love this blog! Always so many inspirational ideas and photos!)

I plan to use this area for paper crafting so we will also be doing some shelving and I will skirt the new table top once hubby cuts and installs it!
This closet space sits between 2 the left the cottage bathroom and to the current sewing room. 
Remember this?

I love my sewing room but when I thought about how to best use the entire cottage...
I decided to move my sewing area into what used to be the living/dining room of the cottage and use this room for other creative pursuits!

This way, the materials I use most often will be in a much larger space with a better view!

You might have already guessed it!
Tinker house sits right outside of my new sewing rooms windows!

So...inspiration is running rabid in the tiny cottage and I will share my progress with you in the next few weeks!
If you would like to see more of my inspiration board...check out my cottage pinterest board!

Until next time....
I pray you all have a blessed week!


  1. Love the red stove. Your blog is so cute! Seems like you are very busy with project coming up! I can't wait to work on mine as soon as I move! Love the tinker shed too!

  2. You have got to be the busiest many projects! :)
    That's alright for me though, I love looking at all your inspiration!

    I'm glad you posted about red...I just added some to my rooms and it makes me so happy. Funny how one color can do that.

    Enjoy all this fun around your cottages ~
    xo Sarah

  3. Congratulations for your blog ......
    I have marked as your followers: D
    kisses from Italy

  4. Donna, I love the cottage. Yes, you will want to view Tinker House. What a sweet place:):) Smiles to you,Susie(She Junks)

  5. Looks cute:) Glad someone has found some inspiration in this dreary cold!

  6. Hi Donna, my there is a lot of change going on in your life. Change is always unsettling but; from what you have shown us, you are being guided to your new look, so "be calm and carry on".
    Thankyou for the red and white inspiration, it is so refreshing!
    Kind Regards

  7. Hi Donna,

    I have been feeling the same way lately. I decided to take a break from it a bit, just to step back a moment. Sometimes we just need a little rest & some inspiration. And I think you have done a wonderful job in all of your projects so far!!! You have definitely been busy!!! You truly inspire me!!! :)


  8. Oh this little cottage is going to be special. I love all of the red accents and your board on Pinterest is full of great ideas. Can't wait to see how this all comes together!

  9. So many lovely ideas and yes the new view is gorgeous too :)

    Blessings Kelsie

  10. Oh all this red is so wonderful! I love the baskets with the red gingham lining!!

  11. Donna, you can always get away and come over and have a cup of coffee or tea with me and get your pedicure... great photos too... I always enjoy stopping by your blog


  12. Donna,
    I love the direction you are going with your cottage! It will be so bright and cheerful! It's always good to mix things up a little.:)

  13. I'm swooning at the thought!!!!And the fact that you have a whole cottage to design & play in. Tinker House is divine! You are indeed a blessed & talented girl. And pinning... don't get me started!!!! HOURS can be sucked out of a day pinning/looking/dreaming but, isn't it wonderful? Thanks for sharing!

  14. What an unexpected gift you have been given. I know you'll do a wonderful job of setting it up and decorating it to fit your needs.

    Enjoy ~ FlowerLady

  15. Donna- I just love coming here to visit. So, I guess you are a tax widow this week? Me, too! It does leave me with time on my hands that I don't usually have. I love your sweet little cottage and that red stove? Shazammm! LOVE IT! I don't know why your Mom is not coming but I expect that what is happening is exactly as it is supposed to be. That's what I tell myself when my life plan changes. Blessings- xo Diana

  16. wow!!! those are gorgeous inspirations!!! and your home is sooooo beautiful!

  17. Oh girl, you can't be left alone for a minute!!! You just have to be busy don't you? That's what I adore about you. You get more done in a day than I can get done in a month :) And every bit of it is always crazy beautiful. I love how this little space is coming along. And boy, do I love Tinker any time of the year. How beautiful it looks in the snow!
    sending much love your way...

  18. Oh, this looks sooo fun! I love your idea's... so beautiful and yet functional. I can't wait til you get it all organized... I will come and play!
    Even if it is your turn to head northwest...
    Love ya

  19. Donna Dear it is so good to see your post and know that you are busy designing your newly granted spaces. The red is so cheerful and I truly adore what you are doing. Having Tinker to view will be the perfect inspiration for your amazing creative talents. Blissful Inspirations...

  20. How beautiful you are making it! I hope your week is full of joy. The red and white tocuhes my heart. I tend to go to blue and white and then pow red pops up. Love it. Di P.S. I am also following your twitter . Di@cottage-wishes

  21. Donna, I have visited this post four times...three times from my desk at work yesterday. Your blog, and your little sachet pillow are my workplace escape!

    I am preparing to create a design studio in Jay's old bedroom. You have given me so much inspiration!

    You are in my thoughts and prayers daily. I hope that you are feeling better.

  22. Well it looks like you have gotten your mojo back Donna! I always love coming to your blog you know. YOu have a special style all your own (and one that I love)~I cannot wait to see the work area when you are finished!

  23. The first time I saw your beautiful blog was via the 'Where Blogger Create' party. So gorgeous!
    It's funny - this morning when I woke up I was thinking about that party - and how silly I felt showing where I create at the kitchen table. But then the thought occurred to me - why not make our entire 375 sq. ft. cottage a studio? I am currently working on making an inspiration board, and putting up more of my art - so why not?
    And then I pop over here, and you are doing the same thing! Great minds...
    I'm off to visit your cottage pinterest board. Love everything you do - so inspiring! Hugs and prayers for you and your family, Donna.
    ~ Zuzu

  24. I just barely had a glimpse of your new post, and your page is acting all funny on my computer at home and at work... as i scroll down, it keeps taking me back up to the top of the page, just thought i'd let you know... i had to rush down to the bottom of the page, to "comment" before it took me back up again!


  25. I love your red looks like the little red heart of your cottage. Everything you do is just so adorable. Your little Tinker house needs to tinker on over here to St. Louis ;-))

    Big Hug
    Elizabeth :-))

  26. What a lovely space it is and how lucky you are! Beautiful inspiration. Have a wonderful day. Tammy

  27. Hello...what a lovely view from your sewing room !! Love all your photos and little touches of red here and there..glad you have your inspiration back !! Gail x

  28. My first thought when I read your mother wasn't going to using the cottage was the old saying about when God closes one door, He opens a window...and in your's true. Whatever His plan is, it's obvious you are listening.
    What a view from your "new" window in life...Tinker House...the most beloved little house on Pinterest!
    P.S. I can only imagine the Christmas magic you'll be dishing out of that red candybox of a cottage.

  29. I see the wheels are turning again. I do love your energy!


  30. I LOVE your red oven!!! It totally makes the room!! xo

  31. What a beautiful start you have here! A whole cottage to yourself!!


Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment!
I love reading them~they truly make my day!
~Donna Reyné