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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Studio / Office Design Project, Week 2

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It has been a couple of very busy weeks over at the new Studio; so busy that I've been delayed in writing this update. Nonetheless, progress is being made and my next post should be giving you an update on the nearly completed space.

Fortunate, aren't we? Fortunate to have great people in our lives who help to inspire us and who share their lives and talents with us. Feeling fortunate was part of the theme for my week at the Studio.

Of course, Beth has been and continues to be a dear friend and great inspiration for me. Have you been watching our Pinterest boards? You never have to wonder about the keen eye and superior taste-level of FMF Compagnie if you are following the many inspirational design boards that Beth has put together.

This week I've been watching the progress of the building take shape from a structural perspective.

The exterior painting has been completed with the exception of the window boxes. It's a great blank pallet, isn't it? Notice how beautifully the large pecan tree has opened it's leaves to spring. On any given day, the birds sing, talk, and remind me how happy they are making it their home. It's so fun to listen to!

I have some ideas for the Studio porch landing from our Porch Inspiration board on Pinterest:

 FMF Compagnie Porch Inspiration via Pinterest

What a charming, peaceful spot to read and create. While this spot has probably taken years to mature, I'm going to see what I can do to bring the life of the garden to the Studio's porch. (Do you think Frank would vie for this spot next to the chair?)
Frank, the cat
Silly Frank, in some strange way, he inspires me, too! After some of the most recent long days, I wish I could curl up and nap at any given moment or take each day with a grain of salt as he does. 

The interior of the Studio has come a long way this past week. Going from studs and plywood to finished walls and wired lighting. 

You can see that I've chosen to leave the ceiling with exposed trusses. The Studio building is just a bit larger than 16' x 16', making me want to utilize the entire space and to maintain as much height as possible. Note the drywall actually goes right up to the roof, making the walls about 6" taller than the standard 8' height. I think the combination is a success so far.

Speaking of those people who inspire and share their talents, I have to introduce you to one of my sons' good friends, Josh Hess. Josh is from the north woods of Wisconsin and just happened to decide to spend his vacation from the long, cold, gray winter down in Arizona visiting friends. 

Josh Hess, Beaber Construction
He works for a building contractor back in Wisconsin and I would have to say that I am blessed beyond measure that he was able to come and do this work for me. When I would peek in through the door to see the progress, Josh was always hard at work and always wears that smile you see here. I'm so glad there are good people in this world. Josh is one of them. Not to mention the fact that he has done a fabulous job with the finishing work inside the Studio.

When I left the Studio last evening, my painter was there priming the walls and ceiling for paint. I tried to sneak a photo but as you can see, the paint sprayer was creating a good bit of a cloud........

I'm now excited to begin working on the flooring and window coverings. 

During one of our ASID Industry Partner meetings, I met a darling gal named Beth Murphy from Printing Specialists in Tempe, AZ. Printing Specialists is a large-format specialty printing company and I was so impressed with some of the projects that Beth is working on for the Design Community. She is actually printing on doors and blinds, anything that is less than 4" thick can run through her printers. 

Beth has also done work on floor graphics. Well, you can imagine my head spinning! I've been looking for the perfect solution for this project and I think we are coming up with some amazing and cost-effective options. I think it's going to land somewhere between rustic wood floors and floor graphics but I will know more in the next couple of days. 

FMF Compagnie Wood Floor Inspiration via Pinterest
FMF Compagnie Wood Floor Inspiration via Pinterest
I just hope it's not too much to ask to give the current concrete floor charm and character like this!

Since the space is small, I want to give the windows privacy only when necessary. I want something that can be kept mostly out of the window view when not in use. I think I'm going to re-purpose the old roll-up fabric window coverings and give them fresh life using an edited version of these old French window shades.

FMF Compagnie French Window Shades via Pinterest
FMF Compagnie French Window Shades via Pinterest
Remember these fun pieces?

Hanging Ladder via Sweet Salvage

Iron Drafting Stool via Sweet Salvage
I found them locally here at a popular shopping spot called "Sweet Salvage". They have a once-monthly 4-day shopping event in Phoenix and if you are looking for industrial and steampunk, it's a must on your list!

I love the rusty patina of this old drafting stool. It sits tall, which was perfect for my plan for a writing desk in the Studio!  I'm going to pair it with this old iron welding table frame and white laminated writing surface.

Iron Table Base via Stardust Building Supplies
Stardust Building Supplies is an amazing organization (also an ASID Industry Partner) that promotes the regeneration of used building materials and supplies here in the Valley of the Sun. Proceeds from their sales go to fund various community programs and non-profit organizations, assisting those in need. I was able to find several components for the greater refurbishing project at Stardust and it also feels great to support our local community!

I think this base is going to make a very cool industrial writing desk. 

Merkel, The Home Depot
Meet Merkel! He was the jolly old gent who assisted me in cutting the laminated top for my desk. Like Josh, Merkel's smile was permanent and his personality matched that of his hat! 

Things are definitely coming together at the Studio. This week I'm going to finalize the plan for the flooring, window coverings, finish the writing desk, and then think of something fun to make with these old "found" table legs!

Stay tuned for "the rest of the story" as Paul Harvey would say!

Before I must check out our new items in inventory. The antique fairs have begun in England and Beth found some beautiful pieces that will be coming over in a container soon.

FMF Compagnie Inventory, 19th C. Swedish Gustavian Settee

FMF Compagnie Inventory, Deconstructed 19th C. French Chair
Feeling fortunate!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pashley Manor 'The Glory of the Garden'

Jim and I have several favorite gardens in England that we return to see seasonally. Pashley Manor in Ticehurst, East Sussex has been in our top 5 ranking for years!

This historical site, originally the home of Anne Boleyn's family, has been on our 'tour' whenever we have visitors from the USA. Someday, hopefully, Jackie can join us. The first and foremost reason we love this site is that it is privately owned. James Sellick and his wife have owned the property since 1981. Their love of the home...
and gardens is evident as you wander through the walled gardens, around the swimming pool, through the orchards, past perennial borders and sitting on their umbrella landscaped terrace. On many occasions and again yesterday, we happened to meet Mr. Sellick on his terrace. He is a very striking gentleman with white hair, a full white mustache and always dressed like a gentleman gardener. Several times we have seen him working in the vegetable plot and other times chatting with visitors about the history of the house or his selection of plants. His love for the property and the glory of the Pashley Manor garden is here for you to enjoy.

We thought it most appropriate to set our pictures to Rudyard Kipling's poem...

 'The Glory of the Garden.'

Our England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.

 For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
You will find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all;
The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dungpits and the tanks:
The rollers, carts and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.


And there you'll see the gardeners, the men and 'prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.


And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows;
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:--"Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade,
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.


There's not a pair of legs so thin, there's not a head so thick,
There's not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick.
But it can find some needful job that's crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.

Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it's only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner in the Glory of the Garden.

Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden, that it may not pass away!
And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away! 
 Rudyard Kipling

The Glory of this Garden is confirmed by it receiving the Garden of the Year Award, by Historic Houses Association and Christie's.

Well done! Mr. Sellick... your Pashley Manor Garden will 'never pass away!'

So until our paths meet again...

PS - be sure to follow us... next week, more on Jackie's creative work on her studio!