Monday, September 24, 2012

Welcome to my Studio!

Hello  Again!
I'm back for my second stab at writing my blog and as promised,
there will be lots more pictures today! I realize that my first
post did little to introduce myself, or enlighten you as to what
the heck I even do.  I think I was just stunned that after all
my tinkering around on the computer over the last few months, I
had actually accomplished my "extremely late" New Year's
Resolution to write a blog!
My name is Carol Reynolds.
I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, and today live on the outskirts
of Nashville in Historic Franklin, Tennessee with my husband,
two almost-grown sons, and my grandson, in a wonderful old house
that was built in 1805. On some level, I have been an artist all
of my life, but in 2005, I suprised even myself when I attempted
to make a full-sized Santa Claus- and it actually turned out
looking like...well a Santa! Even though I had never sculpted anything with
papier mache(a very forgiving medium!),I became
hooked and soon began scouring flea markets everywhere in search
of vintage clothing, accessories and toys to add to my Santas.
My next big suprise came when my friends
(very special ladies who believed in me) wanted to buy them!
Their encouragement and enthusiasm were all I needed to keep
going. My first year in "business" I had a wonderful little home
show and was asked to display my Santas at
Cheekwood's Botanic Hall & Museum for their Festival of Trees.
I was on my way!

Two years after I started, my little enterprise was growing
and suddenly my kitchen and office space were way too small
to accomodate my work(or my mess!).
My family was also planning a  mutiny...they were tired of
glitter all over the house...and I quite agreed!
Luckily, a solution was at hand.
There happened to be a 100 year old smoke house on our property
that would work out perfectly for a studio. I threw my husband's
lawn mower stuff out, and began drawing up plans to make it my
 I had visited Carmel, California years ago and was
thoroughly enamored with the little town's precious storybook architecture.
With these images in mind, I sketched out my
"dream studio." First, however, I would need a builder who
understood the complexities of working with an old structure,
and secondly, I had to deal with the hundreds of dirt dabbers
(wasps)and brown recluse spiders that had taken up residency there.
After much planning, we were finally able to start my project
the fall of 2007 and finished it up the following spring. So 
without much further ado, lets get to some pictures of my
little studio:

 This was a challenge! The workmen were ready to ditch the project before they had even started!

It took four men to carry out the old salt trough.
It was carved out of a single log!
Sadly, there was no room for it inside the new studio.
The finished product!
Drumroll please!

 My husband rolled his eyes on this purchase...
but I had to have a mailbox!!
If you are from the Southeast, it looks like I stole it from
Rock City!

My resident elf!
Found it in Birmingham, Alabama and managed to convince
the shop owner to sell him to me!

Come on In!

My door was the first piece
of architectural salvage that I purchased for my studio.
When I found it in Atlanta, I nearly swooned!
It is an old abbey door from Normandy, France
and certainly gives the studio the storybook charm I was looking for!

My next find was this amazing mantle from the 1890's. Complete with leaded
glass curio cabinets, it came from an old brownstone in New York City. The
workmen nearly died when I started painting it pink!
But with all the "little men" in my life,
I needed some pink!
The fireplace surround is a wonderful blend of various antique majolica tiles.

Again, I was in the right place at the right time.
I was in a wonderful architectural salvage store in Nashville one day just as
they were rolling in this antique flower cart.
I just told them to roll it right back out to my car!
It is a fabulous way to display my designer boxes!
This is my groovy mod Santa Claus.
He loves just to hang out around the studio.
Love his 1960's purple go-go boots!


Just had to show you the little sink I found in Leiper's Fork.
(Do not miss an opportunity to visit this tiny town if you visit Nashville or Franklin!)
It was pink; so you guessed it!
It came home with me!
Love these windows from Maine!
Lets go upstairs!
I removed the original roof from the smokehouse and raised a new one by 8 feet which allowed me to place a much needed loft upstairs.
The stair railings and newel post are also antique;
I had fun painting the newel post!
These old shutters made perfect doors for the closets that hold all my vintage clothes!
Couldn't leave out my wonderful grandfather clock.
Loved it from the moment I saw it in an antique shop in Mountain Brook, Alabama. When the shop owner told me it was from Normandy, France, and that it had a St. Nicholas movement, I started rearranging the back of our car so it could come home with me!
This is one purchase my husband DIDN'T roll his eyes at, as he is an avid clock collector himself.
It is the heart of my studio.
Well, this ends my little tour. I hope you enjoyed it!
Today it is hard to look around at my surroundings and remember the former occupants. I love to immerse myself in my work here and receive daily inspiration from my various collections and my creations. Today, in addition to the Santa Clauses, I make Halloween witches, Easter Bunnies...just about anything you can think of!
I sell them at my home from my little studio, as well as on ETSY.
And now, its back to work!
Time to create!