New Design Studio

Okay, all good things take time. But this one’s a doozey. My house/business burned down in 1996. With the help of some neighbors and volunteers (and our teenage children, who threatened to divorce us based on violation of child labor laws), we started to rebuild.

But the “house” in my head was really a commercial enterprise and BIG. Do you know anyone who builds a 12,000—square-foot commercial facility on cash flow? We’ve all heard of repossessed farms, so I went with …

build-it-and-it’ll-cometh. And cometh it DIDN’T, well, not always, steadily anyway, and not right away. Eventually it cameth, but it cameth slowly.

Fast forward to 2011, and we are JUST now starting to move into our new facility, 15 years later. Up until last week, my entire design team (we’re going to call them faithful and patient) were stuffed into my son’s former auto-mechanic shop. Hot in the summers. Drafty in the winters. Noisy, crowded.

The morning after we’d made our move, I wandered around with my camera, a couple of hours before everyone else showed up.

Carol’s ginormous orange begonia.


Unfinished room adjoining. Soon to be photographic studio!

Walking now into Carol’s adorable office.



Beefy BIG printer. This is what happens when you wander into publishing. Oh, and garlic about to be braided as a how-to for August/September 2012. Did you know I do my editorial calendar a year out? I always have the next six issues of a magazine mapped out so we can snap seasonal photos.

And now, the magic that happened …


My lead designer, Carol, who once won a contest for best laugh in the Northwest, brings a presence into our lives that is bigger than words. Her laugh and gentle, patient nature has saved me more than once the last 10 years.

As I scanned her new office with my camera, it landed on a wall plaque I’d bought her that soooooooo describes her (soooooooooo said the way Carol would say it):

“There are some who bring a light so great to the world, that even after they are gone, the light remains.”

(Not exactly gone, but still at home sipping coffee.)

On the word light, at that moment, there was a beam of light. On just the word light. I snapped a photo and then turned to see what was creating it. But I was facing a large open picture window. I moved my hand around in the air to be scientific about it, but just like the saying said, the light remained.

Two hours later, it was business as usual in the design studio. Just another day.


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Oh Wow, what a beautiful space!! My Mom always taught us that “All good things are worth waiting for!” !5 years is a long wait but it looks like my Momma was right again!

    So looking forward to all of the creativity that will be coming out of these new spaces!

  2. Jeannie Pierce says:

    I have wanted to see your place for a long time! It is so good to get a peek. This week at the church, I had a “light” delight happen too. On our stainless steel elevator door was a reflected shimmering cross. It was the reflection of the cross cut into the church door with the sun shining through and hitting it just right. How I wished for my camera then! Love you blog, and will be a faithful follower!


  3. Katie says:

    I love that comment about taking one step towards God and that he/she/universe will take nine steps towards you.

    How hard to get these important snowballs a rolling. Taking that first step.

    But it looks like you have an office, workshop, creating space, photo studio, teaching facility. I hope you also get a home one of these days.

    You have been a great example to me as to the financial concept of not risking the farm, or Gene Logsdon’s idea that if you have a farm that is paid for you might be able to make a living farming. We are almost out of debt on our project/ farm and have only built new structures if we had the money.

  4. Raynita says:

    So happy for you and your design team. I would love to hear Carol’s laugh in person one day…lol We live in a log home that we have been building for over 15 years with very minimal debt only at times we felt absolute necessary. So far baseboards and trim haven’t been considered necessary…lol….I personally have decided to find baseboards and trim overrated anyhow:) Thank you for sharing your life with me and my family. What you do matters to us greatly. Looking forward to your next issue always, Raynita

  5. Donna Marie says:

    I love your website and enjoy my magazines – again, and again, and again!!! Please keep up the wonderful, inspiring work. Hugs to all.

  6. CJ says:

    I’m so glad you all have been able to move in! It such a delightful pleasure to have been given the tour while we were visiting the farm in July . . . just before you were to start moving in! It’s BEAUTIFUL!
    It’s spacious, and gloriously creative and colorful! YAY for all of you!!!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing the photos and the story of your rebuit space. I can only imagine the laughter that goes on there and the environment is soooooo inviting creativity. I Love the inspiration.
    Thank you for being a huge inspiration in my life. And the people I’ve met online through the farmgirl sisterhood are so wonderful. I log on daily to visit chatrooms, join swaps and read articles.. love your blog, magazines and books. Don’t stop! Ever!

  8. Jeanette Beard says:

    Unbelievable! I have wondered about your production team.

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