Projects Galore!

Greetings Cottage Friends,

Here at A Joyful Cottage we are in the midst of projects. Lots and lots of projects. 

I know what you're thinking. . .didn't they just finish a ma-jor project? Like an entire cottage? Shouldn't they be resting?

Um, yeah. We did and we probably should rest. But you'd have to live with us -- or at least follow us around for a day -- to understand the creative river that flows endlessly here, filling up through torrential brainstorms and threatening to overflow its banks unless we open the flood gates to unleash our ideas. (Wearing galoshes when coming to visit would be a good idea.)

Pink Rain Boots By Kamik
Image found on Galoshes For Women

For example, Saturday morning Dennis got out of bed, looked out the window at the half-finished garden shed and said, "That shed needs to be finished and today I'm going to get to work on it."

And for the next few days we worked together to get it to this point. All buttoned up, door included, with a coat of primer on the exterior. Dennis has more trim to put up and I need to sand the door. Then we'll give it final coats of paint. (I'm not going to tell you the colors we've chosen, but I will tell you the shed won't match the cottage. Nope.)

My tomato plants love it inside their nice, warm home and are kindly rewarding our efforts.

Tomatoes picked yesterday.

The past two days Dennis has been in his studio working on an architectural design project, with another on the back burner and three painting commissions standing in line. 

Architect at work - 4:30 AM yesterday. (Ahem, I thought he was retired.)

Because we're still experiencing moderate temperatures during the day -- and knowing that an early frost is likely -- I've put my interior projects on hold while concentrating on my cottage garden.

Now the east side of the cottage has perennials, too.

The flowers came from my friend Robyn, who invited me to dig up perennials from her beds for transplanting into mine. 

I've just about got the southwest side of the cottage ready for more planting. Big plans are percolating for this area.

And in case you're wondering about my "interior projects", I'll show you some before photos.

These three pieces will be joined in wholly makeovermony.

The dining table will have company after I finish these.

My $15 chest will be updated.

This ugly $2 backless chair is the most challenging of my makeover projects.

I've got a new look and purpose in mind for my $2 mailbox.

This free shelf unit will be painted.

There are other things I'm working on, but they're for a later post. Interior cottage shots are forthcoming. Honestly.

What are you working on, dear friends? Or maybe you're resting. Do tell.


  1. Wow!! You have a lot of projects going on! Sounds like fun.


  2. whew...I am worn to a frazzle just READING about your projects. That is such ;a darling cottage...I can't wait to see the inside...I will follow you thru email so I won't miss anything.....I am so impressed that you and hubs did all fact, I think ya'll might be my new heroes.

  3. uh ooo...I am following thru Google Friends connect but it said your FOLLOW BY EMAIL is not working..

  4. Fantastic! Can't wait to see some of your makeovers. I love that the two of you work together on these house/shed building projects. How sweet is that?!

    Have a happy weekend xoxox

  5. Hi Nancy, I have enjoyed your cottage from beginning to now. I look forward to your next Joyful Cottage post.

  6. Que increíbles y maravillosos cambios amiga querida , que tengas un lindo fin de semana

  7. Because ICD-10 is looming (days away), most of my focus has been work. Although, I did just post a few photos of what I've been doing, on the blog! Enjoy a beautiful and productive weekend ahead! Blessings, Cindy

  8. Goodness, you are busy bees over there! Your gardens are looking great. I can't wait to see more of these projects, Nancy.

  9. Wow you have a lot of fun projects that lie ahead. I can't wait to see them transformed. The cottage is looking so great. Love all your garden flowers.

  10. Well you sure have my curiosity piqued! I just love redo furniture, and I know whatever you are doing it will be fabulous! Your flowers looking amazing already! And oh, don't we know that fall/winter is coming soon! I had to laugh about needing the galoshes for all the creative ideas flowing... just love that! I have lots of creative ideas, but maybe I need a pair of those galoshes to actually finish them, lol! Dear Nancy, your posts are always so enjoyable. Continue to enjoy the beautiful fall weather we are having :)

  11. Isn't it great to have friends with too many perennials. You will enjoy your hard work for years to come. Everything is looking great at your new cottage. It's adorable Deb

  12. Wow, I'm tired just listening to your project list. Looks like tons of fun though. Your gardens are looking great and it's awesome that you have friends that will help you fill them up. Can't wait to see your garden shed all done.

  13. Isn't it wonderful to have so many great projects to look forward to? I love your blog, your cottage is adorable, and I truly envy you having a husband who enjoys projects also and just digs in there and does them. Lucky woman you are!

    1. My husband is very supportive and, of course, very creative. We tend to inspire each other!

  14. I have been quilt busy, stocking my Etsy shop for all the upcoming holidays. I am like you, to many creative ideas and not enough time. LOL I literally need those galoshes. It has rained every late afternoon here and my front flower bed has been over taken by weeds and grass. The front of my condo faces East and the sun beats down until late afternoon making it to hot for outside work. I also need to sand and paint my front door. I am not a fan of gardening so that makes it harder. I like the $15 table, looking forward to your redo on it. Remember, even God rested on the last day. :) Don't forget to rest. Debbie

  15. Nancy,
    Fun exciting projects on the horizon, gosh you really scored with the chairs, mailbox, chest and shelf. Looking forward to seeing your transformations. You've got me curious as to the new color addition. Looks like besides your tomatoes your flowers are happy too, love how you planted them in a design and they grew into a colorful profusion of beauty.

  16. Your front porch and flower garden look wonderful. It's exciting to see what you and your hubby are doing these days. I love your projects and can't wait to see what you do with them - and I'm curious about the color of the garden shed! I have tons of projects but, first, another trip to the Oregon Coast with my sweetheart. We're leaving tomorrow morning to meet up with one of his brothers and one of his sisters and their sweeties for a few days together before winter arrives. After that, it's home to real life again - and projects! Our biggest project that still needs some work is my little, vintage trailer.

  17. NANCY! The cottage looks amazing and that first photo of your finished entrance garden is REMARKABLE! You and Dennis sound like me and my husband. Get out of our WAY because we don't stop. We laugh at ourselves when we find ourselves plotting and planning. You and your husband are to be applauded for getting this cottage done and on its way to being a showcase home. And your chairs for FREE??? I've had that good fortune before...alley finds!

    Have a wonderful time restoring your goodies and have a fun weekend!

  18. Your front entrance is so pretty and welcoming! I am looking forward to your interior pictures and to see what you do with your variety of makeovers! I have been focusing on finding vintage dishes to make garden flowers re: Tuula's Thrifty Rebel tutorial. I was the big winner of her giveaway and now I am making some for gifts!

  19. I love seeing what you've been up to and your upcoming projects. I get inspired. I miss having my other half here to work on projects together, we so enjoyed that. I do what I can and enjoy making forward progress.

    Have a nice weekend ~ FlowerLady

  20. So fun to see the latest additions to your "look what we've accomplished!" list. :-) Any chance the shed will be a slightly-golden yellow?... My creativity is being used these days to re-imagine our derelict downtown and helping the community catch a vision for a new day. We were also a host family for two little ones through Safe Families for Children. It was as blessing to help the family during their temporary time of crisis, but I could actually use a rest! Maybe this weekend...

  21. oh my. paydirt! great finds - looking forward to seeing how these projects turn out.. especially the vintage cabinet. i just love your cottage. i've shown my husband the ongoing building and now seeing it in its intended glory is very exciting. :)

    i'm recovering from surgery so not too much is happening other than healing. however, i *am* organizing a vintage trailer rally for boles aero trailers (1946-1975). the rally will happen in october. i can do most everything from a sitting position. until the rally. best heal up quick! :)

    1. Aw, how sweet you are. Thanks Sherry. I hope your surgery was routine and not a sign of something life threatening. I appreciate your visit. xo

  22. The shed is as cute as it can be: I'm eager to see the colors you've selected.

    The temperature dipped here in the valley last night - almost got cold enough to frost at 34degrees - it was chilly outside for sure.

  23. All about LOVE from me . . .
    Cottage flower look entrance . . .
    Garden shed . . . (Excited about color)
    Wellies . . .
    Perennials from a friend . . .
    Hubby working "right next door."
    Refurbish, redo projects . . .
    Love visiting you, seeing, dreaming of "your place."
    Closing up the gardens during some glorious Michigan fall weather days has been my focus . . .
    Reading many, many books . . .
    Enjoying our Irish Festival weekend together . . .
    That is Me . . .

  24. I just love everything you are doing. It is so much fun to follow along with you - and not get hot and dirty!

  25. Wow! You never do sit still do you! I can't wait to see all of those finished projects. As for my projects, I am decorating my rec. room, the colours are beige, a soft blue and orange! :)

  26. Rest? What's that? I've got a list that never seems to shrink - only grows! I'm about to repaint a night stand - something I've never done!

  27. You guys have so much energy, I am amazed! The place looks great and my mind is swirling with ideas... what will all those treasures become? Hmm. I am really interested in the makeovermony pieces. Interesting! Plus I like that word!!

  28. Oh I wish I had your energy!!!

    We finished our living room remodel - yeah. :) I'm in the process of putting things back together & decorating a little. I have an old back injury so I have to be careful what I do. I've done very well through the remodel, not lifting at all...until this morning. I moved my gossip bench myself in my enthusiasm to get things back to normal & strained my back. Ugh. I had to stop & lay under the heating pad. It will be fine, I've been through this before but I know it means I have to stop for a few days & let it recover. I'm so impatient to have it put together.

    so I'm puttering, doing very light things & wishing I get really dig into the jobs at hand.

    I can't wait to see your finished shed & gardens. I love the beds around your little porch, so beautiful.

  29. Hi Nancy,

    Your first photo of that cheery, cherry red façade, white trim, and new plantings of petite, pretty petals, not surprisingly, planted a BIG smile on my face! You live in joyful, cottage, indeed, my friend!

    Kudos to you and Dennis for all your hard work and creativity! Lucky you; you have found some fabulous freebies to work your magic on, and I can't wait to see their magical makeovers!

    Happy weekend, to you!

    P.S. I love the way your described your boundless energy, and wish I had half of what you two have!

  30. Wow! I have Lyme disease so not much energy but even if I was well I could not keep up to you. Love your place. Nancy

  31. Hi Nancy,
    Wow, you have accomplished so much.
    I have been busy harvesting our garden goodies. This past week I dehydrated watermelon, froze muskmelon, made grape jelly and got some of my ingredients to make tomato soup this week. :-) I am so excited to make my own tomato soup. Just something about going to the pantry and saying, wow, I did this. :-))
    Thank you for the update.

  32. It's looking super cute! I love the red. xoxo Su

  33. I love the other large living in small houses you showcase but your own cottage intrigues me so much! Those before pictures of your projects show character and I know will be transformed with your touch.

    Your garden shed will be a great greenhouse with all that light. Will it be heated in the winter months? Curious to know what color it will be but I'm sure it will be something pretty!

  34. So many projects it makes me dizzy! The shed looks great and I can't wait to see it painted! Wondering what colours you chose...

  35. Nancy, it was so much fun for me to drop in here and see all you've been up to since my last visit. Your cottage looks wonderful! What sweet plantings you did at the front. Your upcoming makeover projects will be fun to see and I'm excited to see what colors you'll use for the garden shed!

    Have a joyful day!


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