Monday, January 28, 2013

The story I never wanted to tell.

Well, I've had an unexpected and exhausting weekend.
One that has wrought some rather large changes for my life, my business, and consequentially, the blog.

You see, it finally happened.

I've closed down the Wall Tent Studio.
To cut to the chase, I was defeated by the horrendous winter weather at last.  I'm still in some shock that it all happened so fast, but through it all, God was and is so very good to me.

Last week we got several inches of fresh snow, followed by a torrent of rain as the temperature suddenly rose.  My wood was saturated, and the logging tarp shielding my tent from the elements started to give way.  It was old and threadbare in places, but doubled over, I thought - hoped - it would be okay.  Friday night came with real concern on my part at the amount of water coming in, but I could really do nothing at that point.  The rain must stop sometime, and if things stayed as they were, all would be well.

I took these pictures that night, little glimpses of that dark, dripping, but peaceful evening.  My sister's bouquet of red origami roses.  The wood laid out to dry and my business planning and the walls and ceiling of my poor drenched home.

Little did I know it would be my last night in the Wall Tent Studio.
(Yes, being a little melodramatic here.  It helps:)

I woke the next morning to find that things had not stayed as they were.  The tarp had completely failed at last, and the floor was in an alarming state.  A soaked and alarming state.  The walls, the porch, front and back, everything was flooded.  And with the warm front the weather was bringing, my main concern became mold.

Our car battery had died, so we rode to the post office with a neighbor in the morning (afterwards was able to find the battery charger, thank God!), and a box was waiting for me that was absolutely heaven-sent.
My dear friend Winnie had sent me some of her fresh backyard Florida oranges, homemade marmalade, and French hot chocolate, and I sat down to toasted english muffins with fresh marmalade and Chocolate Francais. 
 All around me, young lakes swam and dripped in my house and dampness reigned.  

There was no help for it.  After breakfast, it was time.
My wonderful brother came down from town (where he now lives and works) with a strong new tarp and good rope, and we disassembled the traitorous old tent fly and set up the new one.  It turned out to be much bigger than before - so although it's not as pleasing to the eye, the danger of the elements getting through again is almost zero.  Lord willing.
Then I packed up all my belongings and cleared the floor.  The amazing providence is that my brother's restored 1945 Beck Bus, just 20 feet away, was empty and waiting, and that's where I went.  I am so thankful that there was a place prepared for me. I'm sitting here now, in this bus, my furniture and things arranged and myself warm and safe.

I've started a new chapter. It's not what I would have chosen.  I couldn't bear the thought of abandoning the sanctuary my tent has come to be to me, even with all of it's trials. But God is always going on before, preparing the way and giving us an extra nudge when we're not ready to step through the door. I am warm.  It's airtight in here, with an electric heater and windows.  Glass windows!  You don't know how huge that is till you've become used to not having them.

I don't have to worry about fires and floods and staying alive now.
And I think God is going to use this in my life to let me accomplish things that were not possible while I was struggling with daily living on such an intense level.

Once everything was out, I pulled up the soaked carpet and took it to the dump - mold is nothing to mess around with.  To do that, I had to disassemble the stove and take it out, then brought it back in and set it up once more.  I built a roaring fire, then got out my scrub brush and mold spray and got to work.
Thank goodness for my wonderful, helpful sisters.  I love you all so much.

A few hours later, every inch of canvas was scrubbed clean and dry, the floor was well on it's way to drying out, and things were looking up.  I pulled up my rocking chair on the bare plywood floor and we watched Christmas in Connecticut, monitoring the fire to keep it blazing hot.  
And took melodramatic self portraits in the stark lighting from the single lamp set on the bare floor.
I have to laugh - now - at how this all happened.  The cold didn't get me.  The snow didn't get me.  The fierce winter weather didn't defeat me - all it took was a little warm weather and a leaky old tarp.
No matter how stubborn we are, no matter how tough, God can always find a way to get through.
The Wall Tent Studio's there yet - empty, still and cold.  Biding it's time till Spring comes again and the next phase of our adventures together come to be.

Because I know we're not through yet.
Not by a long shot.


  1. Oh, How sad! :( I hope that when thing warm up and everything is dries up that you can go back to your beloved Wall Tent Studio!!


  2. I am so sorry you had such a disastrous weather finale in your beloved studio as I know how much you cherished building your life and dreams inside it's canvas walls!! Winter has been quite fierce this year out your way and the elements stacked up to defeat the odds. It sounds like you applied the necessary first aid and the studio will dry and once again be there for perhaps a new use? In solidarity to the beautiful things that were made inside it's cozy walls, I am wearing my "Walk in the Woods" denim skirt with the beautiful embroidered denim jacket to work today. Rain cannot negate the meaningful refuge that the Wall Tent Studio provided you while your sewing machine and embroidery hoop turned out lovely wearables that launched your business from being a hobby into you being a budding, successful entrepreneur. And for that, we owe those now recovering canvas walls, a serious thank-you for a job well done! Can't wait to hear what is next!!

  3. So interesting how the Lord works in our lives. We see how we want our plans to pan out and develop and God shows us a whole different path that often times is unexpected. He knows best where to take us. All for His glory and our good. May the Lord keep guiding you where He wants you, Kellie.

  4. Wow! What a story! My prayers are with you as you get your feet back under you.

    You are an inspiration to me, Kellie, and I am so grateful to have met you in person! You exemplify the kind of sturdy womanhood that reminds me of the pilgrim mothers :)
    Love and blessings,

  5. Oh, that's very sad. I'm sorry Kellie. I shall add you to my prayers, 'kay?

  6. How disappointing! I do hope none of your creations were ruined from all the water and mold.

    Your Wall Tent Studio was definitely the cutest work space I've ever come upon in this lovely world of crafty girl bloggers... but God does work in mysterious ways. I am sure you will come up with an even cuter alternative as you continue with your wonderful and inspiring business!

  7. This post brought tears to my eyes. Our family too has been through something like this and I know how hard it can be to have our plans fail, but I know that the Almighty has something better in store and I will choose to trust in Him. There is this quote I have seen and it says something like"I don't know what the future will hold, but I know who holds our future." Its been encouraging to me and I hope in somewhat maybe to you too :) From what I have seen you are an extremely hardworking young woman(and from seeing you chopping up wood in your 2012 video, my family agrees!) and I know that trusting in Him, you will find a way. Blessings to you Kellie!

  8. Oh dear.... :( Not the wall tent! I have long admired your courage in living in a tent, but I think it took an even greater deal of courage for you to admit defeat. You have my prayers... and I look forward to spring, when you are reunited with your beloved tent!

  9. Oh, that's a shame. I'm sorry! That must have been a rather depressing. Your tent is so adorable!
    But moving into a bus sounds pretty cool, too... Is it a normal bus, or is it a bit more like a trailer home? My Grandpa turned an old school bus into a little RV type trailer. I was too little to remember it, really, but my older sisters have filled me in on how cool it was. :D
    Anyway, I ramble. :) I'm sorry about the mold. Mold is the worst stuff ever. *Shudders*
    Here's to the spring! And I hope everything works out wonderfully in your new set-up.
    I'll keep you in my prayers!
    God Bless <3

    1. I admit it, but the bus is pretty cool:) My brother shared a link to his site down below in the comments, chronicling the restoration process when he bought it three years ago. Naturally, it's got a bit of a vintage makeover since I've moved in;D

  10. Bless your heart - take care and stay warm and dry.

  11. No bus pictures? Your story was just getting interesting!

    For readers - picture it like a wall tent, only cooler:


    1. This post is in loving memory of my tent - the bus will get it's own bus pictures to star in, all in good time;)

      And for readers - picture it like a wall tent, only not quite as cool... yep. Pretty high praise form me.

  12. Thank you so much, all, for your kind words and prayers. They're such an encouragement to me. You're all the best!

  13. What can I say that hasn't already been said? My heart goes out to you, dearie, at the loss of your little nest. *Hugs* But praise God the bus was right there when you needed it!

    Prayers, m'dear!
    Your sympathetic-but-word-challenged friend,

  14. I'm so sorry to hear this! Your studio really inspired me and was so beautiful! Many blessings!

  15. Oh Kellie, I sad about your wall tent!!! It's impressed me to see your courageous life!!!
    Many blessings from France!!!!
    You will probably have some visit from France, I link to your blog today!!!!!

  16. Good to hear you're dry and warm! I hope nothing was too destroyed by the flood...

  17. :o( I'm sorry to hear this. As cool as your tent was it must be God has something better in mind for you ♥ (Have you ever thought of getting a vintage travel trailer? I've always wanted one of those for a studio, I blogged about it them : Know that my sister and I are thinking of you. Take care!

  18. Just checked out the bus... a lot like a travel trailer! Perfect :o) Still, I'm so sorry about your tent. :o/

  19. I'm late coming to this conversation, so there's not much I can say that hasn't been said already. I had to comment anyway, though. I'm so sorry that you had to give up your beloved tent, but I appreciate your honesty and your attitude as you shared with us in this post. I hope you get a chance to use it again in the spring. :)

  20. I, for one, am very, very glad that you're in the bus now. The very, very awesome bus - I can't wait to have a sleepover in there!! ;D
    But seriously, it's good to know that you're nice and toasty warm now.
    You're in my prayers, dear.
    Oceans of love,

  21. god works in mysterious ways!
    I'll be praying for you!
    god bless

  22. Oh, Kellie! I am so sorry for you, and yet I am so excited to see how God is going to use this. God must have something even better planned for you!

  23. I'm so sorry about that! Your tent was so cute and I always though you were so brave living in it, especially in the winter. Glad to hear your warm and dry now, though. ♥

  24. Hi Kellie,
    So sad about your tent, but I really don't know how you do it. You are so strong. And your brothers bus, Soooo very cool!
    My parents have a bus they transformed into an RV, but it's a regular school bus. It's just not cool like your brothers.

  25. I could've cried while reading this post. I feel like you and your tent are like a beautiful, classic book, that got dropped in the woods and rained on. Fortunately, Tents and people dry off better than books. I hope you can keep warm and happy. =]


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