Friday, March 2, 2018

My Writers Studio Comes Back to Life

Image result for Virginai Woolf
A woman must have money and a room of her own
if she is to write fiction
                                                                  - V. Woolf

I've been waiting all winter to get back into my studio and finally with a break in the weather, temps near 60 degrees F on a couple days, I was able to make that happen.

I don't often write about my other life-my writerly life-on this blog, electing to stay focused on farmy things here, but the two worlds do intersect. So, indulge me. 

My writers studio used to be our retail farm store building on our old farm. We had it moved up here in the fall of 2016. I gave the inside walls a new coat of paint and covered the floor with a variety of old carpets we had and a couple new thrift store rugs.

                                                             As a retail store on old farm                                 

                                                     Writers Studio on New Farm

I was working on a Virginia Woolf of the 1940's theme. I so admire her work. I also decorated it similarly to my grandmother's home in Chicago. She, Josephine Mercedes O'Shaughnessy, read her own poetry to me when I was just six. Her mother, my great grandmother, was also a poet. 

The very vintage green couch and matching chair, Sears and Roebuck circa 1930's, was found on Craig's list. The gray wingback chair was a thrift store score last year for just $3. The large wood cabinet we've had for years, it used to store my china, and is probably early 20th century. Now, I shall fill it with books! The dresser came from an aunt of mine and the crackle glass lamps were bought at an antique store near here for just $5 each. I'm still shopping for shades to cover them. On top of the dresser is an antique watch makers tool cabinet gifted to me several Christmas's ago by eldest son. 

I used to display soap in it, so you could say the very clean.

If anyone has seen lamps like this before, or know anything about the time period they came from, be sure to leave a comment.

My desk used to be my parents dining room buffet which they bought in the early 1960's along with a matching table and chairs. I have no clue to the whereabouts of the table and chairs-probably hocked to buy more macaroni and cheese for their six kids- but after my folks died the buffet came to live with me. For over twenty years it stood in our large farmhouse dining room loaded with family photos which were periodically cleared off to hold the plates, crockpots, bowls etc. for the family holiday meals we hosted. 

You can see by the top it's been a bit abused. Probably at least one or two cigarette burns from my folks, heat marks from the crock pots, oil marks from the food, ink and crayon marks from the offspring and GK's.  Rather it's one archeological dig, this buffet. 

To further add insult to domestic injury, Keith severed its legs to a desk height and voila! I have a place to scribble deep -as well as many shallow-thoughts. I am so happy to have found a place and new use for this piece of furniture. 

The windows are simply draped with vintage Irish lace I found in a charity shop in Dingle, Ireland in 2006. They sold their wares by the inch there and so bought a couple good wool blankets as well. One rests on the gray wingback chair (below) while the other covers a huge gash in the pleather seat of my desk chair, seen above.

Up above the main area of the studio are two lofts, roomy enough if you're lying down. If one bolts upright too fast you're headed for a concussion, compliments of the low loft ceilings.  A donated box spring and mattress from my sister Teresa fills one loft space while the other contains an antique metal box spring with a well-loved futon mattress. The older GK's slept up in the lofts last fall before it got nippy in there. The metal sign on the wall is my father's old truck lettering business sign from the 1970's.

My studio is still without heat or electric, but I can nest in there in the daytime with a couple of blankets around me. Soon I'll be able to comfortably write in there a few hours each day. With luck our budget will allow for us to run electricity to the building this summer. Heat, so I can work there in the winter as well, is on the back burner.

If you are a writer also, published or unpublished, seeking grandiose fame or just writing for the pure pleasure of it. I'd love to have you as a blog reader/commenter over at my other blog home,
O'Shaughnessy Writes


  1. I love the way you've decorated your writing studio. I especially love the rugs on the floor.

    1. Our grain bin house has a concrete floor, easy for clean up, but my studio needed warmth, a feeling of peace. So, the rugs were essential. Thanks

  2. How wonderful; I really like those little buildings. It's especially cool that you have some extra sleeping area too.

    I always wanted a library, Mr Shoes always wanted a home office - reality is his desk & my enormous barristers' bookcase (built by a master craftsman, my Dad, & deeply treasured) in a room that also has a fancy Murphy bed for company & the GrandAmy's toys.

    1. We so considered a murphy bed in the grain bin house bit couldn't spare the wall space. I love the function and inexpensive maintenance of our main tiny home but when I write, I love to spread books and papers everywhere!

  3. It looks fabulous; I'm jealous. If you require any genuine Woolf-style decorating ideas, have a look at Charleston farmhouse in Sussex UK.

    I have retreated to my grandsons' treehouse camp caravan as a 'studio', but it's far too small.

    1. Thank you Cro. Just the inspiration I needed! I obviously need more artwork, many more books, and a few spindle legged chairs. What a wonderful place for that Bloomsbury group to meet.

  4. Your writing studio is charming !
    So much character, and filled with lovely pieces, vintage furniture and Irish lace... what could be more special.
    Warmer weather will soon allow your creative juices to flow :)

    1. After following Cro's suggestion above and looking at pics of Charlestown Farmhouse, I'm even more motivated to go thrifting for some additional artwork. A past time until the weather warms.

  5. Love seeing your studio! Even without electricity or heat you've got a treasure there. It's so hard to concentrate when the day's ordinary distractions pop up everywhere. I didn't realize you have poetry in your blood like that. What a wonderful heritage.

    1. It is Leigh, one of the main reasons I went back to school. I knew my grandmother was a poet but I had no idea that her mother was a poet as well! My father kept journals (son and grandson of the two female poets) and tried his hand at novel writing but oil painting was his passion. I am both blessed and doomed!


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