* built entirely through girls/woman power
* dual use for garden tools and as artist shed
* sits in the backyard of our Victorian Terrace
'What can I teach my girls that they won't learn in school?' was the starting point for this little shed. It was the beginning of the first lockdown and we didn’t know how homeschooling would work.
I’m an illustrator and paper artist and usually create miniature paper art. I also love wood and we needed a shed. I’m not good with cement, so we re-used old foundations straight opposite the garden seat. So the shed needed to look it's part.
I bought a cheap mitre saw, got a rental car and bought materials. The girls were 6 and 9 at the time. I cut the wood and the girls screwed and painted. You couldn’t buy cladding nails back then, so there was lots of screwing.
We also had a few delays. First of all, homeschooling kept us unexpectedly busy. Secondly, we depended on the weather. As we don’t have a garage, we’ve built outside on the patio. Thirdly, I had to reglaze the reclaimed window in the sidewall. Because I had broken two planes while taking off the old paint.
When winter came we piled the wood behind the sofa. The partly finished sidewalls rested against the wall in the family room. Let’s say we got to know our shed more intimately than planned and we have some pretty funny pictures of the time.
I finished setting up the shed once the girls were back in school last September. In the end it was remarkably similar to one of my miniature projects. You just look at it and see what’s needed to give it this ‘finished’ look.
I loved cutting the bargeboards using the electrical jigsaw I got for my 17th birthday, more than 20 years ago. Finding the finial on eBay was a lucky strike (isn’t it amazing that someone still makes them).
My biggest headaches were the door and the roof. The door is built with a reclaimed window and it took forever to figure out, how to best build a frame around it. For the roof I really wasn’t sure what material to use. Because the shed is so small, any kind of tiles would have been too big. And because of the steep roof angle, I needed a flexible material for the ridge.
When it came to the inside, I just had fun using the materials I already had at home. The previous alcove shelves of a friend, became my worktop and storing shelves. Fertilisers and garden sprays are stored out of sight in the gable. Kids chalks are hidden in a basket (a great street find). I like the look of the watering can and old clay pots, so they got a lower shelf.
Both the floral fabric and the hand-crochet curtain were splendid internet finds, spare from another project.
I’m really looking forward to spending a happy afternoon drawing in here, once the weather is warmer again. And I’m delighted to say, that both girls now know how to use a drill and pop a screw in.