Tucked away in the corner of a Ladysmith acreage, beneath the cover of trees, Laurie Armstrong can be found most days enjoying her “She Shed”.
The idea for the shed all started when Laurie and her friend, Jennifer Kelso, salvaged a pair of French doors, and a small window.
“I said to my husband that all I wanted was somewhere to paint. I like to paint, refurnish old furniture, and do my hobby painting,” Armstrong said.
She said to her husband, Bill, (a former engineer), that she’d be happy with just a little shack. But Bill, alongside his friend David Holmes, built Laurie a proper shed, complete with electricity, and a small electric fire place for heating. Since then, it’s turned into a healing sanctuary.
“I’ve been struggling with Lyme disease, so it’s kind of a healing, meditation corner that I can come to. It’s my own tranquil space,” Armstrong said.
The shed is filled with refurnished, restored, and recycled art pieces that Armstrong has collected. Each of the pieces was destined for a landfill before she salvaged them and turned them into decorative art. Some of the pieces come from friends, neighbours, and family. Armstrong’s mother recently passed away, and some of the items in the She Shed were hers.
Since the construction of the She Shed, Armstrong’s life has changed for the better. She’s experienced loss lately, and has relied on her She Shed for healing.
“I have a lot of girlfriend time, I have a lot of down time. It gets me away from the house work, and the yard work. It gets me to do some meditating, and I do my yoga in here. When the weather turns, I’ll do my small paint projects in here. It’s grounding,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong’s shed is part of the She Shed Sisterhood, a group started by a woman in Australia. The group now has 12,000 members worldwide, and Armstrong’s shed is #295. In the fall, Armstrong will receive the She Shed Volkswagen van, which she’ll have for two weeks.
The She Shed was finished in October, 2018. Armstrong will soon be celebrating the first anniversary of her She Shed. Armstrong is grateful to have a space for her healing, and also a space where she can keep items from ending up in the landfill.