I can’t remember how I first met Sheila Martin because she is someone I feel as if I have known forever. She Is one of those creatives who has no choice but to create all the time. She is a collector of beautiful things, some of which she incorporates into her designs, and many of which make her home a feast for the senses. And her handmade home is never static. New finds added to the mix demand that the decor has to change. She is always on the prowl for cool stuff and never fails to snatch it up. A recent Goodwill run scored a fabulous large Austrian drawing that I would cheerfully steal.
The house is a charming log cabin with big windows overlooking the yard, which is her husband Bill’s domain. The couple stumbled onto the home and grounds when they moved to Asheville from Taos, New Mexico, and have made it even lovelier than when they found it. There is always something blooming, and even though the yard is bursting with life, it never looks out of control. Somehow even the pebble path leading to the front porch is neatly contained.
The house is her palette and everywhere you look, there is a still life or a single object that catches the eye. She is a lover of folk art and is a regular at the annual folk art show at Fearington Village where she has acquired the work of the South’s finest folk artists.
Sheila’s studio is crammed with materials waiting to be used to put together works of art. It is not the sort of place that can be captured in a photo for a slick magazine, because it is a treasure trove with stuff she always means to straighten up or clean out, but knows she never will. It’s stacks of fabric, tools, paints, canvases, nicknacks, broken things, ribbons, and doll parts. It’s parts for the large, colorful birds she sells at Chifferobe, it’s worn sweaters she uses to cut up, embroider, and upcycle. It’s bits of wool and fur used to create the mice and small animals she sells at SAAF. Nothing goes to waste. And the studio will never be tidy!
I took so many photos that I will have to write an addition to this piece to show you more of her amazing house.