Thursday, June 13, 2013


Do you need extra storage space?  Are you leery of spending a mint on a place to simply HIDE things?  We've all had the conversation before... 

FRIEND: "Oh, Jacs, that's a cool pie safe.  Humm... I didn't know that you collect thimbles.  Wow.  That's a lot of thimbles.  A lot."

ME: "I don't, actually.  Don't remember where they came from, so I don't wanna throw them away.  What if they're important?"

Yeah, don't judge me.  We ALL have junk that clutters up our lives.  Incidentally, I don't have thimbles.  But it's like pulling teeth to get me to throw away a candle, even when it has burned down to a charred remnant of a wick and only a sixteenth of an inch of wax remains in the bottom of the jar.

And because I need a place to hide my candle graveyard, I came up with this idea for a storage solution.


How'd I do it?  

Take one console style record player, unattractive in nature, and rip out all of the components.  Unscrew and remove speakers, wire, radio, etc... and cut out the wooden speaker mounts.  Sand lightly and paint the entire project silver, inside and out, and you'll have a precious little liquor cabinet or junk holder.  Mine is tucked away behind a sofa, and it will be used as a wine bar.  (and candle storage facility, of course.)

And the best thing about this project?  (Besides the good looks.)  The price.  $15 for the record player.  $8 for spray paint.  And the smile on my face was absolutely FREE in the moment that I finally found the right sized screwdriver to take apart the speakers.  

WORD OF WARNING: This project wasn't quite as simple as I had hoped, but it was well worth the trouble.  

Y face 

Monday, June 10, 2013


The world is changing, no doubt about it.  We're texting and Tweeting and posting and blogging and... well, you get the point.  From my little house in the woods, it's easy to forget that there's a big ole' world out there.  We're surrounded by crickets and cicadas and wolves and coyotes and an enormous list of other wild thaaaangs, but THANKFULLY I can keep in touch with other adult-sized human beings by turning to the internet.

Follow along if you dare @jacquelynlewis.  I'm new to Twitter, but I can already tell that it's going to be a fantastic outlet for all of my fears, frustrations, joys, and (last but not least) renovation successes.  So here goes nothing....   

Monday, June 3, 2013


We've touched upon it before on this blog, but I want to show y'all the precious creek that nourishes the land around my house.  This is a picture of the always beautiful Sugar Creek--named after the sack of sugar that fell off of the back of a Gypsy's wagon years and years ( and years!) ago.  Isn't it lovely!  My two kiddos will be baptized in this creek when the water warms up a little, and you can bet your bottom dollar that we'll share their experience on this blog.  :)

Ain't it grand to be a native southerner!  We just love living out here in the sticks.

Mintie's Pattern

I've just tapped a new nail into the old, wooden dog trot hallway, and look what's hanging on it now.  This was an old dress pattern that belonged to Mintie Robinson.  She inherited this house in 1912, and I am so pleased at the way her pattern looks on the wall.  Check out the phone number on the cover--it makes me smile this morning.

And I'm positive that it will make me smile for years and years to come.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


So this blog will change up just a tiny bit and include a bit more than restoration info and photos, but I think you guys will like it.  There's nothing like hippie zen to go with an environmentally friendly house restoration project, right?  Remember, I'm serious about not just restoring this house--the restoration of this house is restoring ME, too. 
For the past month or so, the kids and I have been repeating positive affirmations. It's amazing how much spiritual strength and power one can develop when they simply take the time to THINK about their lives. My very favorite affirmation, and in fact the very affirmation that seems to resound within my soul the strongest, concerns my very PRESENCE. I have focused intensely on this affirmation in particular, and I will continue to focus on these words until I no longer need to remind myself to think this way. It sounds simple, but it's not. It's a very, very easy concept on paper--but applying this affirmation to my life is far from easy.

Y'all give the following affirmation a try, too. It's a life-changer.

"Today I will find my soul, here and NOW. Make this your promise for today: try to be as present as you can, and when you become aware that you have wandered away from the present moment, ask to be brought back. The mind easily slips out of the now. We fantasize about the future. We reminisce about the past. When we feel distressed, we anticipate the pain to come or remember the pain from before. Each detour takes us out of the present moment. Yet the HERE AND NOW is the ONLY meeting place where you will find your soul." ~ Deepok Chopra

~ with hugs from Sugar Creek ~

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


When you're missing knobs on a shabby antique, don't spend your money on expensive reproduction handles. Old wooden spools are literally a dozen for a dollar. Clear fingernail polish secures loose thread. One long screw for each spool, a big grin, and you're finished. Easy as pie!


I'm baaaaack, y'all!

For those of you who do not know me personally, I should probably go ahead and mention why there has been absolute, unwavering silence from my blog during the past six months.  Things have been interesting, to say the least.

During the past half year, THE HOUSE AT SUGAR CREEK has come a long way.  Unfortunately, I couldn't share the progress with you because I've been going through a major life change.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't quite sure how (or when) to announce that I, Jackie Lewis, am restoring this house on my own.  I didn't know how to casually mention that there is no more "we" in this renovation.  The truth of the matter is that I'm restoring this house all by my dang self now, as a single momma on a mission to live in the most unique house she has EVVV-AH seen, and it has taken me six months to make certain that I am, indeed, capable of performing such a major feat.  I didn't want to log on to the internet, throw a few words on this blog that talked about how excited and enthused I was about the project, only to discover later that I had bitten off more than I could chew.  So instead, I went silent.  I shut my mouth and stayed away from this restoration blog. 

And in the blogging world, six months is a very long time to be silent.

I really NEEDED to make certain that I felt comfortable sharing my crazy journey with y'all.  I had to discover that I am capable of finishing this house on my own.  And after much thought, a few rounds of frustrated tears, and hundreds of hours of very, very hard work, I've finally decided to share my lovely little dog trot house with you again. 


Things will be different on my blog from hereon out.  In short, I'm a red-headed gal on a mission to complete the most inexpensive (and yet GORGEOUS) restoration in the history of the rural, ragged south.  I'm intent on proving, once and for all, that it's not only possible to save gorgeous pieces of American of history, but it's also incredibly economical.  I'll be sarcastic and witty at times, and really frustrated at others.  I'll cuss like a sailor if the mood strikes me, and I'll not bat an eyelash when it's time to post about failed projects.  (Believe me, I've had plenty of those in the past six months!)  But if you want a little inspiration in your life and you're not afraid of diving into my crazy world for a bit, then you and I will get along just fine.

Over the past six months, I've come to realize that the restoration of THE HOUSE AT SUGAR CREEK isn't just about painting wood, refinishing floors, and polishing worn surfaces.  Yes, I'm restoring this house.  I'm working my ass off and it's one of the most liberating experiences of my life.  I'm learning to do EVERYTHING on my own, from drywall mudding to operating air-powered nailers, and I cannot wait to teach you everything that I've learned.  I can't wait to show you that it's not only possible to restore a historic abandoned home all by ya dang self, but it's one of the greatest (and most brilliant) experiences that you will ever have.  In short, I'm a busy single momma, hell-bent on restoring this formerly abandoned historic house.  But there's another really amazing component to this renovation that I didn't quite understand when I first saw this old homestead two years ago.  Yes, I'm happy to say that I am restoring this house.  But I'm even happier to admit that this house is restoring ME, too.

Six months ago, I was afraid that I had bitten off more than I could chew.  I stared at the drywall in the living room and worried that I might not be able to tape, float, and mud.  I felt a tightness in my chest and knew that I had two choices: either 1) allow the anxiety, fear, and worry to consume me and prevent this house from being restored, or 2) decide that it's time to be the same kick-ass woman that I've ALWAYS been, only take it up a notch or two by adding power tools and MAJOR construction into my daily life.

The decision was easy.

I chose to be a kick-ass southern woman.

And there ain't a doubt in my mind that YOU can buy a historic, abandoned house and learn to be a kick-ass southern woman, too. (OR a kick-ass southern gent if you'd prefer.)