Wednesday, July 16, 2008


It feels really good to be completely unpacked, to know where everything is (almost). It's beginning to feel like home and we can breath a little easier until we are ready for a permanent nest. If I were you to invite you over to our nest, this is what you would find though depending on the day, there might be the added bonus of dust bunnies, crumbs under the table, a sink full of dishes and a basket of laundry that needs folding. It's never this tidy...what you are about to see are photos are from the start of our day, not from the "post-dinner-pre-bedtime-pick-up".

(Click on the photos to enlarge them)

This is the path to our nest. It also leads to the playground if you walk in the opposite direction and turn right near the wild grape vines. The walk is lined with flower beds that are just now beginning to bloom due the timing of our move which gave me a late start planting.

This is the front deck as seen from the second story guest room.

Satchel's teepee is beginning to fill in. It's a mixture of morning glories, moon flower, scarlet vine, runner beans, and gourds.

In the entrance to our home there are low pegs for Satch to hang his gear and a rag rug where we can fling our shoes.

A wall for Satch-Art and the entrance to the kitchen.

The kitchen is very small so we had to create more space on the only free wall in the kitchen by adding a pot rack and an extra cabinet. The little red cabinet holds all of Satchel's eating utensils and snacks so he can help himself "like a big boy". The little picnic basket belonged to my great-great grandmother.

On the other side of the kitchen is the art studio as you can see, but you've already been in there.

On the dining room window hangs a bird feeder so we can mangia together with our feathered friends.

The dining room is open to the living room and is elevated by one step. Satch uses it as a stage.

(the old cornice used to be in my studio)

I placed a big stump outside the dining room (and living room) window and on it set a bowl from which to feed the chipmunks. On the sill is a basket of treasures that Satch finds outside...feathers stones, sticks etc. As you can see in the photo, we created a mulch path which leads to the backyard garden.

And this is the grown-up side of the living room. Behind the sofa is the play area.

On the wall between the above window and the other beside it, is this special spot. The lamp is very old and very heavy. I found it in the trash when I lived in NYC and rewired it. I was on my way to an art exhibit when I found it so I took it with me. I told anyone that gave me a weird look that I was merely shedding some light on the subject. (true story)

Such is the case with a lot of my things...they are found objects which I group into a category that I call "obtaineum".

The other side of the living room is the play area. One of the reasons we rented this home was because of the lofty living space which is more conducive to family living.

This is the wall beside Satchel's wee kitchen in the lower right hand corner of the above photo.

And this is what you can't see in that photo...baskets on the floor in front of the book case for storing toys.

The bedrooms are upstairs. They are carpeted which I detest....and beige and I don't know that I want to paint a rental. I think I'd rather save my creative energy for our own home.

That said, here is the master bedroom. We used the rear bedroom as the master because it's smaller and cozier and doesn't get too bright too early.

Atop the chest is a photo of my late cat, Sid; a small print by Josephine Mc Cormick entitled "sleeping lovers"; and an antique Whitman's chocolate tin designed, by Alphonse Mucha, to store my treasures like a whistle ring from childhood and one of my grandpa Gully's cuff links, this necklace, and some superhero necklaces, and urchin pins. Next to the branch is a small yellow chest of drawers that contains earrings that I rarely wear. They were made by Christopher Roule in the early 90's when he sold his wares at a flea market next to tower records - before he became all cha-de-cha-cha and expensive.

*In response to the talented, Steph in NZ...the enormous bird's nest on the wall was created by me and I explained a bit of the process here. The image itself resurfaces in my work from time to time though the number of eggs vary.

We took the rails off the bed and put the mattress on the floor to get Satch used to sleeping in a regular bed. This is Satchel's side of the bed though he often takes up the entire bed when he sleeps because he somehow ends up perpendicular.

My husband sleeps in another room because he snores like a bear. It's true and he'll admit to it. Satch does an amazing impersonation of him too. As soon as we are able to tame the beastly snore, our family will snuggle together again.

The old and creaky laundry basket which is missing one of it's handles remains out in the open in a constant state of ebb and flow.

Satchel's room (the one he doesn't sleep in) is funkadelic. The Tibetan Prayer Flags were blank of text so that my friends and family could write their own wishes upon them at our blessingway some 3 years ago. There is an Enlightened Firefly print from Satchel's aunt "Lola" and two Ashley G prints that I bartered for.

In a corner of the room is a small doll bed where his animals sleep and a tiny light that really works and projects stars on the wall. Like most things I own...I've had it so long that I cannot remember where I got it. I only remember that it wasn't from my childhood and it was not "obtaineum".

There are two other bedrooms. One is empty, the other is the guest room which I am still trying to "cozify".

And this is the entrance to the basement where we stow our mucking-about-shoes, but you've already heard enough about that.

The bathrooms are nothing special and not worth photographing. They're rather ugly, if you want to know the truth. There are no windows to look out over the tree tops, no magical milky light. Just a drab 1970's bathroom without a smidge of character. They are not rooms that you would want to take a soak in...conversely they make you want to take a quick shower and leave. Lets leave it at that.

Now, I would ordinarily take you to the back yard to smell the chocolate mint, but you would be eaten alive by skeeters and've seen it. The only thing new there is that, at this very moment, the echinacea is is the tall verbena....and cosmos!

It's looks vastly different than when we moved in. It was nothing more than mud, stumps and weeds. Now there are gardens and grass and we made use of the stumps. Amazing what a little seed can do! Thanks for stopping by...


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posted by Wendy at 6:16 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks beautiful and light and friendly to live in :-) But you have to tell us about that amazing birds nest wall in the bedroom!

9:59 AM  
Blogger denise said...

Beautiful! So much white and bright. I love that!

You have so much space - it is HUGE! Our house is way too small for us and I roar to myself about it in my head every day. ;)

I love wood floors, lots of windows and big open rooms. So nice. Those cube bookshelves are great. I have been wanting something like that for our whole dining room wall...would make life easier to organize, I think!

10:21 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

thanks, denise. it's funny because it's only a little bigger than the last place, only the layout is a much more efficient use of space so it's roomier. if i were to design my own house, i would use almost the exact layout only i would reverse two of the rooms and add windows to the bathrooms. the rent for this space was only a tad more than the other and so very worth it for MANY reasons.

the shelves are from ikea
we purchased them when first moved to NoVA in two different sizes for Satchel's room and the living area.

i don't think they are sustainable:
Fixed shelf: Particleboard, Melamine foil, ABS plastic
Main parts: Particleboard, Fiberboard, ABS plastic, Acrylic paint

BUT they are VERY functional because they can be used both vertically or horizontally AND come with brackets so that they can also be used as room dividers. AND you can purchase basket drawers to stow cds etc.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing these views of your home wendy! i got lots of ideas for storing the endless amount of things and lots of inspiration for getting some of my art and photos on the'd think after 5 years i could frame some photos. really lovely home!

12:54 PM  
Blogger Shawn said...

We just started a nature basket ... I'll have to photograph it. I'm still trying to find the right location for it. I love the chipmunk cafe, but not sure we have them in our yard. Unfortunately. But, squirrels would probably be pretty happy to feed near our windows.

Love your nest. I knew I would.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

well, thanks...really. it's funny because it's mostly the same old stuff i've had for most of my life (except for the art i continue to make, barter for or we receive as gifts) yet it somehow looks different in each place we live.

with each move, we've given away stuff and often get the urge to give away more, but in the end i'm always relieved that i saved what i've saved. my grandmother was a saver and that is why i have so my of my old toys etc.

what's interesting, though, is the tide of satchel gear that flows in and out of home. what's tough is - decided what to save for him and what to pass on.


2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love strolling through your home. it makes me feel like i'm visiting you. could you superimpose pictures of us sitting at your table and drinking coffee, because that is what i'd like to do with you right about now.
missing you,

12:01 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

you know, pix, the older it gets the squishier it gets and more comfy. but after 20 + years the back cushions have nearly disintegrated which makes it difficult to wash the covers, lol, because i have to re-stuff them afterwards. we keep saying we'll make the trip to dc to pick up the replacements at mg, we never seem to get around to it.

6:47 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

i love seeing people's spaces - this was such a fun tour! i especially love the book/toy room - looks like heaven. and the garden/yard has me feeling a bit jealous now - no yard for us in the city, just a small balcony. sigh. i hope you are enjoying settling in.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the kid friendly parts about your home. We also hung up a coat rack at Annabelle's level at our front door, and set up a low level shelf for her in our pantry for her dishes, utensils, cups, and snacks. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos!

9:41 PM  
Blogger jessamyn said...

my little Asher is sitting with me this morning, reading blogs. As I was scrolling through this post, he said "mama! I want to go to that house RIGHT NOW!". He loves the picture of Satchels basket of animals and saw a picture of Satchel and said "that little boy is just like me!:.
such sweetness...and your home is so inviting and warm.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Hollie said...

That was so beautiful! Loved it!

2:26 PM  

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