Field Trip: The Martyn House



Today Betty and I travelled south to Ellijay to assist our friend JoAnn Antonelli in an art project at her bed and breakfast the Martyn House. It's way more than a B and B though; its a farm, a nature sanctuary, an art and event space and a mountain paradise. The 130 year old farmhouse anchors a property with seemingly endless vistas of varied landscapes rich in design.

The property sings with spring. Flowering fruit trees, ample beds of violets and daffodils, emerging lily of the valley, hyacinth, and hellebores dot the landscape which rolls in and out of open space and into wooded areas where her indian gypsy faire tents await guests.

There are three smaller tents that serve as guest rooms nestled in the woods overlooking the main field, and there is one very large tent for events like the wonderful farm to table dinners they have. The little guest tents sleep two, and each have their own distinctive personality.

JoAnn has outfitted the tents with vintage linens and restored and refinished bathroom fixtures that she designed. The ceilings of the tents sparkle with tiny mirrors inside of golden stars. The tents have screened windows and ceiling fans as well as heaters making them a comfortable respite in all seasons.

A beautiful blossoming fruit tree beyond the porch was breathtaking against the sky.

A chair pair wait to be filled....maybe after the art project is completed.

The art project was to decorate 2 very orange porta-pottys brought in for the Martyn House's big tent events. We used Krylon Fusion paint which is for plastic. I was pleasantly surprised to discover how well and quickly it covered. We each did our own designs and they integrated nicely.

The wise owl advised me to take a break inside the big event tent when the spray paint started to get to me. ( Note to self: next time, bring a filter mask.)

Maya (pictured here) and Grace were relaxing inside the big tent.

JoAnn's john had a tie dye effect and was a great blend with the original orange color. Her designs reminded me of a hawaiian shirt, or maybe an island bar.

Naturally, my design had a bird and sky above foliage theme. We used various branches of leaves as stencils to create the patterns. Layering lots of colors gave the paintings depth and richness.

Betty used an ornate stencil and incorporated her signature pottery designs into the final.

Cheerful daffodils waved in approval.

When we finished we took a golf cart ride to the pond, looked at the new fish and tadpoles and watched the dogs swim and rough house. JoAnn pointed out clusters of jelly like blobs containing frog eggs. We took a tour into the forest to see a stick arch JoAnn made for couples to be married under and immediately Betty and I wanted to make one too....which we will in the next week or so. JoAnn bid us good-bye from her garden and we headed north in the old grey truck.

It was a perfect way to spend the afternoon, good friends, sweet fresh spring beauty and inspired and dreaming of ways to develop Chickory over the next years. Loved it.


  1. looks familar? But in the daylight? Really cool to see the property in the Spring.

    I love the art project! I've used that paint on things and it's amazing the way it sticks and the colors available. Very cool and clevah, but you ladies are quite the force... all three of you.

    Dreaming of ways to develop Chickory...... I do that same thing.

    xoxox. I got my painting today!!!

  2. Boxer: yes! you saw it on a fall evening. But wasnt that nice, the fire and the stars. the VERY dark ride back to Chickory? in spring it is an amazing place.

    YAY about the you like your "easter" too? hope so. xoxoxox

  3. Such a pleasant way to spend a Spring afternoon with good friends in a place of such beauty and glorious blossoms ... I can almost feel the sunshine and smell the air and flowers.
    I had a feeling of deja vu when I saw the picket fence and the second garden bed filled with flowers ... memories of days spent with my Mum and her Mum, all three of us tending the garden, it was a lovely memory.
    I'm sure you had fun decorating the porta-pottys, they all look great, I especially love your blue sky, with birds of course and and the green colours of the garden below; Betty's stencil is also lovely.
    So happy that you had a good day. xoxoxo ♡

  4. "ceilings of the tents sparkle with tiny mirrors inside of golden stars"


    The small platform tent looks like a nice place to spend a night.

  5. ah ha ha ha ha ...

    port-a-potties! well, i'm greatly humored because at least a few times a year i'm in a position to have to use them.
    do i like to use them? nooooooooo....

    but you gals have turned these into beauties alright.
    and that krylon paint should withstand the spray cleaning these toilets undergo.

    your friend does have a lovely place. i like her concept.

  6. love, love, love my Easter. Those are tres cool and you should develop THOSE, my sweet.

  7. A very Bohemian kind of place. I've never seen anyone paint a port-o-pot before. But then again, most people don't own them. I've used the leaf stencil technique to camouflage my compound bow way back when I was a Great White Hunter. Simple technique that you really can't mess up and looks cool when it's done. Those are definitely your birds in the sky.

  8. What a wonderful place. I'm going to send this post around if you don't mind to a few people, one a couple currently planning their wedding and another couple who does another honeymoon annually.
    Now, it would be heaven to just have one of those little bungalows to live a Thoreau life and paint and paint and paint.
    Lovely post Chickory, lovely projects.

  9. What a great new satellite business; Custom painted porta-jons. Send pics to the porta-jon companies and give 'em a price.A whole new industry is born!

    Love the idea of the tent accommodations.
    So fun and adventuresome.

    Can't believe you would ever be bringing strangers to Chickory. I've somehow gotten the notion from your blog this is your oh-so-private retreat.

    Happy Spring!

  10. dianne: i think everybodys grandmother had a place that was charming...seems that gardens and homes with architectural interest were the norm. when i think of my grandmother, i think of mint growing by the back door.

    xl: i looked at them through the viewfinder, but it wouldnt show how cool it was. i love the fabrics of the tents, and the details - like the poles wrapped in two colors. just as charming as it comes.

    foamy: unless that paint hardens up in a significant way, scratching would be my #1 worry with the Fusion paint. i scratched mine several times with the branches so it isnt hard. its a good concept - very multi purpose and then she and her husband each have their own studios too....with about an acre between them for good measure. ;-)

    boxer: i am working on it! i love the "skis"...him of big headress.

    buzz: ha! of course! a perfect way to do camo. and bohemian sums it up perfectly.

    nina: yes i know, the Thoreau life is a good path - so what if he went into town to eat sunday dinner with mom - i would too if that option were open to me. no reason why one cannot straddle native life with civilization, is there? please do forward this page to your friends...

    you know its like 85 degrees here today? but back to the 60s this weekend. i am participating in a plein air painting festival this weekend. judges stamp your paper saturday morning and you turn it in on sunday afternoon for judging. ive never done it before. sort of scouting out my scene now...

    fishy: no fishy, i would not be the one to open my place up as a b and b. for one thing, it isnt big enough. the ideas i am talking about are things like her stick arch and a green house that appears to be constructed of salvage windows.

    i think one afternoon of port a potty painting is plenty.

  11. Does it sound weird to say that porta potty is very "you"? What a groovy looking place, and what a fun project. And there's nothing more cheerful than a daffodil. I wish they were everywhere, all the time.

  12. I'm seeing a little of the ol' Matisse in your portajohn somehow. Maybe it is the way the birds are placed and the blue color. However, I TOTALLY agree about the decorated portable toilets -- an idea whose time has come! Anything to make you want to go inside has to be helpful!

  13. Good morning Chickory,

    Such a peaceful looking place. The tents are neat concept.

  14. Oh, my, what a captivating place! Love your porta-john painting project as well. Thanks so much for the virtual field trip!


  15. It's looks so much like SPRING!!!! how wonderful!

  16. Funny. If I saw those three outhouses without any captions or attributions, I would have guessed that the blue and the birds were yours. I guess you're getting familiar.

    All three look really cool. I'm especially a fan of tie-dye designs, so JoAnn's really made me smile.

  17. ho!

    finally figgered out how to comment again--somethin' about add ons or plugins-

    This looks like a lovely day, wee Chick. Very country-fied.

    Leaves as stencils--heh.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


© chickory All rights reserved . Design by Blog Milk Powered by Blogger