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American Farmhouse Style Feature: Greenhouse She Shed

I was blown away by all the excitement and love for the upcoming feature of my home in American Farmhouse Style magazine (June/July 2021). I can't wait to read the article and see how it all came together myself, and I'll be sure to let y'all know when it's available on newstands. Of course, truly, the real credit goes to Jeremiah and Rachel Spray photography because in addition to being amazing humans, they are gifted photographers. Believe me, I've tested their skill - "Here Rachel, can you make this frozen, plastic covered hunk of beef look beautiful?" And every time - I'm blown away.

I've had a lot of fun collaborating on a number of projects - and these photos were meant to be just a couple pictures I could throw up on my Instagram account. But, seriously everything they do is magazine worthy! So, I pitched these pictures and an article idea to the editor of American Farmhouse Style, a newer home decor magazine. Last August (2020) they published the story. It really was so fun, and I'd like to think I've already inspired a few folks to add a greenhouse to their back yard!

A little background: the greenhouse was a project I planned for years. Every fall when a hard frost killed my garden, I pouted. I started hording old windows and leaving sketches of greenhouses out on the counter. Finally, because he really can't resist my charms, my Casey gave in. Of course, he is as practical as he is sweet. My picture of Joanna Gaines' antique English greenhouse was quickly tossed in the compost pile - let's get real. The idea of melding a stack of old windows into a wall seemed a bit ridiculous when we started talking about snow load and the spring winds which rush off the mountain at 70 mph. Sorry Pintrest. But he conceded to let me use a stack of old windows from the Baptist Church and stained glass I bought from a friend.

I insisted the building could be functional and pretty at the same time. And it became our running joke as Casey rebuilt frames for the stained glass and we picked brick out of the salvage pile in the woods for the floor: "It will be so cute it could be in a magazine!" I'd smile and Casey would roll his eyes. Now you must understand, Casey is not a connoisseur of periodicals. I, on the other hand, believe Martha Stewart, Victoria Magazine and Country Living to be the foundational texts for my design aesthetic. Think of them as primers of my young education. My mom's collection of Victoria magazine goes back to the 1980s! The adoration for the sacred text of home decor magazines was well established in my upbringing. So, when we moved from Oregon back home to Montana as newlyweds, I made poor Casey pack boxes of my magazines in our tiny U-Haul. Forget the washer and dryer! But find room for those periodicals. In the end, I sold my copy of the premier issue of Martha Stewart Living for a couple hundred bucks on Ebay to buy the dining room chandelier for the my house. I had a tough time letting them go, but sacrifices were necessary.

We enlisted the help of the girls to help us build the greenhouse and Casey's dad Terry. It never failed that Terry would call the greenhouse my "She Shed." I'm not exactly sure where this term came from, but the connotation seems to infer a type of re-vamped shack where gals sip wine and pet their fluffy cats whilst reading Jane Eyre. There's nothing wrong with a She Shed. In fact, the idea a backyard hideaway in this sense seems perfectly lovely. But this is a functional greenhouse -and far too dirty for a linen couch and tea sandwiches. Of course, that doesn't mean I can't drink a glass of wine while I repot my pansies, am I right? In the end, I suppose it is as much a She-Shed as anything. It is a magic space where the girls and I escape often for a bit of warmth and light.

Of course, when the magazine came we were all excited to see it - and we had a good laugh about the title:

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