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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Sandy Foster’s Tiny Retreat in the Woods for the Holidays

Sandy Foster’s Tiny Victorian Retreat in the Woods


“It’s a balm for the spirit to have a place where I’m free to do what I want…
like a tree house you run to as a kid and pull up the ladder once inside.”

Sandy Foster, My Shabby Streamside Studio


Sandy Foster's Shabby Streamside Studio decorated for the holidays

Photo: Sandy Foster

Guest Blog: Sandy Foster’s Star of Wonder, Star of Night

Sandy Foster's Star

December 15, 2011

We asked Sandy Foster, the curator of a simply wonderful design website, My Shabby Streamside Studio, to do a blog this year as she had done last December to share with us what the holidays mean to her.

Her articles here on TWE are very popular, and we thought our audience would be interested in hearing from her again. As always, times change, things happen, and life can gobsmack you. Here’s her story this year… [Read more…]

Women’s Eye Reflections For The New Year

2011 Image for New Year

As 2011 begins, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on some of the ideas and words of wisdom from our EYE Interviews and the women who were kind enough to share their views during the past months. You may find inspiration or food for thought here for the New Year…

Vendela VidaVendela Vida

“After we left the realm of school, we missed the constant conversations about literature. Starting ‘The Believer’ was a way to continue to have those conversations—both with each other, and with our writers and readers—about books old and new, and about artists and thinkers…”



Sally DominguezSally Dominguez

“I never set out intentionally to be an inventor, but I have a constant curiosity about why things are the way they are. I’m always seeing unconventional solutions to everyday problems…The excitement and ability to change ways people live inspires me.”


Sandy Foster

Sandy Foster

“It’s a balm for the spirit to have a place where I’m free to do what I want, like a tree house you run to as a kid and pull up the ladder once inside. Any able-bodied person can build their own sanctuary, providing they have the location, money, time, and tools to do it.”



Shannon HayesShannon Hayes

“I remember one bright, clear August day, standing on a ladder painting the top of someone’s pergola, marveling that I was a newly minted ‘Dr. Hayes,’ and while my grad school peers were settling into their new offices, I was out under a cloudless blue sky, painting for $10/hr. I decided that I had the better deal.”



Cynthia AguilarCynthia Aquilar

“‘KEEP PADDLIN’ !!! Never stop! When things are going bad, there’s something good to come. It’s all about how you handle it. That’s what makes you.”


More reflections to come another day

Guest Blog: Sandy Foster’s Special Holiday Message

Sandy Foster  || Christmas at her Tiny House

I asked Sandy Foster if she’d like to be the first EYE guest blogger. The interview about her tiny retreat earlier this year triggered a warm response from readers who admired her creative spirit. Her website is a must visit.

Sandy starts decorating her 9×14 foot studio in the Catskills in late October and leaves everything up until February, dismantling it as weather permits. The slope to the cabin is steep and snowy so she says she has to ford the stream in her “pink wellies” to get there.

Her dream is to publish a book featuring romantic holiday decor from bloggers worldwide. Creating Vintage Charm Magazine currently features Sandy’s little sanctuary with her beautiful tree on the cover.

Sandy Foster's Vintage Charm Magazine

Here is Sandy’s message along with photos of her enchanting Christmas cottage and upcycled ornaments… [Read more…]

Sandy Foster On Building Her Tiny Victorian Retreat In The Woods

Sandy Foster Tiny Home

Photo: Trevor Tondro/NY Times

UPDATE 11/30/11:  Shabby Holiday Tips and Inspiration Video

Sandy Foster has single-handedly given new meaning to “tiny house” and to Victoriana in 2010. When I saw the photo of her on the porch of the sweet retreat in the New York Times, I simply had to know more about her and this wonderful mini building. I read that she was a fiscal administrator but how did that jive with this “shabby streamside studio,” as she calls it, in a forest?

To learn more about Sandy, check out her website where you’ll notice the amazing attention to detail and get a sense of her eclectic taste.

“It’s a balm for the spirit to have a place where I’m free to do what I want…like a tree house you run to as a kid and pull up the ladder once inside.”
Sandy Foster

She was kind enough to quench my curiosity recently and answer questions about how and why she created this unique treasure.
[Read more…]