A Very Modest Cottage Giveaway

Welcome to day 2 of Wandawega Week! If you missed day 1, click here.

Today, we’re giving away a signed copy of Tereasa’s book, A Very Modest Cottage. If you’d like a chance to win it, just leave us a comment on this post between today (Tuesday, August 9th) and Thursday, August 11th at noon (Central Time).

But before you scroll down to comment, I’d like to share with you a few more gorgeous Wandawega photos, and a very special blog post Tereasa wrote about her Dad, Tom Surratt. It’s filled with love and heaps of hope, and I’m sure you’ll be as touched by it as I was…


An old car, a decrepit piece of furniture, a rusty old tractor, an abandoned cottage is never beyond hope. They just need to find someone who’ll believe in them.

Tom Surratt believed.

He didn’t see a worthless, geriatric farm machine that was too far gone. He had a gift to see the youth, the former self, the beauty in everything. He saw his grandson one day driving that tractor down Main street in the annual Beardstown Fall Fun Festival Parade. He didn’t see a rust bucket of a pick-up that was beyond repair. He envisioned the ‘country limoisine’ his son Sam would drive his bride Tara home in on their wedding night.

Tom’s ability to see potential where most saw junk was a gift he passed on to every member of his family. His son Sam can bring pretty much anything with an engine back to life again. And again. And again. His daughters Amy, Lisa and Holly married men cut from the same cloth. Men who know that the right combination of ambition, duct tape, and elbow grease make all things possible. His wife, Kay, held Tom’s hope in her heart as she hammered, nailed, painted, and restored half a dozen condemned properties into loving homes for low income families with her two hands. And my father Tom inspired me to see the beauty locked within an abandoned cabin bound for the wrecking ball. I saw a quiet, happy place where Dad could go to read his books and listen to his grandkids and watch the clouds roll by.

Dad didn’t make it to see the rebirth of the modest cottage.

Or to witness his grandson – with a grin a mile wide – old enough to pilot that old international Harvester tractor down Main street and win best of show for antique restorations. But his ability to dream and hope and believe lives on.

I hope this little story of a resurrection inspires you (like my Dad inspired me) to think twice before you lose faith in that old car, that weathered piece of furniture, that old tractor, or even an old, abandoned cottage.

(Tereasa’s Grandpa, holding up her Dad)

Even the most modest of projects can be become something beautiful. There is no such thing as too far gone. With hope and a hammer, I believe there is always a way.

- Tereasa Surratt, author of A Very Modest Cottage


(Photos 1, 2, 3, & 5 courtesy of Mary at at Home Is Where The Boat Is. Photos 4 & 6: AVeryModestCottage.blogspot.com)

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  1. Cindy says

    Enjoy your site so much. Don’t know if I could ever do what you do, but it’s nice to dream. I would love a copy of the book.

  2. Laura says

    Thanks for the inspiration today! If I win, I’m sure I will be even more inspired!

  3. Ashley says

    Would love to crack open the pages of Theresa’s book! What a DIY inspiration:)

  4. says

    I’m obsessed about cottages. I dream of having one and this book is just beautiful! I’m crossing my fingers here!!!

    Hope everything is great with you!
    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

  5. Rachel says

    This is a beautiful post, I got all teary-eyed! This cottage is gorgeous and the story behind it makes it even more beautiful. I would love this book!

  6. Karen says

    Incredible job….you guys really had a vision and the desire to see it through. Anything is possible!!

  7. Jennifer says

    Absolutely feel in love with this place …. spent a good hour looking at the webiste and all the photos … they are so creative with their “upcycled” look. I love it!

  8. Katie Smith says

    I’d simply love an opportunity to add this book to my life!
    Thanks so much

  9. Paulina J! says

    What a wonderful man and what a wonderful message. It’s so refreshing to see that tradition continued. The book looks lovely.

  10. Sandy says

    Sounds like a fun book. I just recently found your blog. I am really enjoying it. Thanks

  11. Rachael says

    I am loving this series of posts! I would absolutely love a copy of that beautiful book, put my name in the hat! ;)

  12. Shawna says

    What a wonderful story to share with others. For those of us who get discouraged with those sometimes long and challenging projects, Thank you Tereasa for sharing your loving story. Hugs to you.

  13. says

    This is such a sweet story. I’ve really enjoyed reading yesterday and today’s posts. I’ll wait to see the winner, but probably going to buy a copy of this soon!

  14. Rae says

    You can tell Tereasa’s post is from her heart and tells how she felt about her dad. A very beautiful tribute ot him.

  15. Melanie says

    Would love to have a copy for our NEW (in the family) Cottage. Thankful!

  16. says

    What an endearing story! I would love to have this book, not to mention how much I’d like to take my family for a week to camp… looks amazing!

  17. Sarah says

    I would love this book!!!! Pouring over every detail of books and magazines seems to be a hobby/obsession of mine!

  18. MiMi says

    Would love to win this book since we have a small cabin that needs some extra touches…..loved all the pictures. I hope I win so that I do not have to buy this book:)

  19. says

    We are thinking of building a cottage on the river where my husband’s mother’s family grew up. I’m sure this book would give me lots of inspiration.

  20. Laura says

    How sweet. That father’s vision did more than resurrect old engines and buildings. He left a legacy for his family. Things you love are worth fixing.

  21. Debora J says

    Tereasa received a beautiful gift from her father, that of seeing what other often overlook. Real beauty isn’t just for the eyes to behold but for the heart to embrace. Thank you for sharing these stories of love.

  22. Karie says

    Thanks for the fun give away….I would love a chance to win this book….
    I look forward every day to your posts….Thanks for being such an inspiration to me!

    Enjoy the day!

  23. gail kragthorpe says

    girl you inspire me!!! I would love a copy of your book…Layla thanks for offering this give a way!

  24. Jen says

    Beautiful restoration work! I’d love to read the book – thanks for the chance to win.

  25. Nancy says

    What a beautiful perspective! Tom left a beautiful legacy to his family…he would be proud.

  26. says

    We renovated a rundown Cottage and now its a beautiful getaway and it just so happens to be beside my brothers cottage and my parents cottage so lots of fun family time … The book looks amazing and inpirational would love to get a copy…

  27. says

    I would love a chance to win this book. We own a really old old home in a lovely street and at times it is hard to maintain focus that we can make this old house into our dream home one day. This book could be just what I need. Thanks for the chance to win x Janelle

  28. says

    I was interested in the cottage before, but when I read the excerpt – Wow! I would love to win a copy!

  29. Leslie says

    What a beautiful tribute to her dad! Lovely book, also. Would love a copy of it!

  30. says

    I was so inspired by yesterday’s post and pictures. And today’s post just tugged at my heart strings. Even if I don’t win this giveaway, I’m going to get the book. :) It looks lovely. I’ve seen it mentioned somewhere else too a while back. BH&G maybe? Country Living?

  31. Pam Grieco says

    I love what she and hubby have done with the whole place – not just that little cottage……Pam

  32. Mary says

    Our family had an old log cabin on Artist’s Island at Indian Lake Ohio for many years. You are bringing back so many wonderful memories!

  33. Sara C. says

    Beautiful story. And even better that it is from Wisconsin, where I live! Thank you for sharing!

  34. Teresa Sword says

    I have found happiness in recycling!! Is that a strange thing to say? It gives me joy to repurpose and reuse!
    “There is no such thing as too far gone.” Should definately be a recycling motto! Loving Wandawega week!

  35. Donna says

    Lovely. Inspired to tackle that old jelly cupboard from my grandmother’s basement.

  36. says

    what a beautiful sentiment ” . . . with hope and a hammer . . . ” and a moving post. I would cherish a copy of her book and I would love to see the modest cottage in person some day. Thanks for the opportunity to win Layla and Kevin – have a beautiful day!

  37. Bree C says

    Would love, love, love a copy of this book. I am just enamored with this entire story!

  38. Lynn says

    What a beautiful, touching story! Reminds me of my beloved grandaddy! LOVE your blog and this book, too!

  39. Penny says

    The cottages and guest house are so lovely. I can just see a huge family or several sets of frends enjoying a vacation there together. Since we’re US military stationed overseas and can’t get there anytime soon, I’d settle for a copy of her book! :) Great giveaway!!

  40. says

    Wow, just that excerpt brought a tear to my eye. Hubby and I feel the same way about a lot of shabby things, including a property we just bought that has seen better days. Would love to read the entire book.

  41. Suzanne says

    Love the renovated cottages!
    Grew up going to the UP of Michigan and would love to do something similar there!

  42. says

    i write this with tears in my eyes…my mom was that kind of person too. she created a family nest…the cottage. she’s been gone 9 years and we are so grateful to have a place to go that was made with Nanny’s love. She would love to know that grandbabies she never met are surrounded by all that she was…
    I would love a copy for our cottage xo

  43. Jackie says

    I have enjoyed these posts and seeing the way she uses “found” treasures to decorate…my dad was an auctioneer and we had lots of fun discovering things that had been hidden away in boxes for years. Thanks for the chance to win the book!

  44. says

    Can hardly wait to get my hands on this book. Win it or buy it, it’s going to be in my library. I’m inspired.

  45. Melissa Mendonca says

    Here’s to people who fix instead of toss and look for the beauty beyond the surface.

  46. Meghan says

    Seriously, my kind of place! Fantastic inspiration for my “lake retreat” themed sun room.

  47. Sandy in Iowa says

    This is a beautiful story and a beautiful book! I’d love to win a copy.

  48. gina says

    What a beautiful story! Would love a copy of the book to display in my home. Such an inspiration!

  49. says

    I love this post. I believe if we all thought like this there would be so many amazing more things in the world. :)

  50. Janet Graham says

    How AMAZING and inspirational! The amount of love put into this transformation shines through the photos. Makes me want to see this place in person! Dreams do come true if you pursue them!!

  51. Patti says

    I dream of escaping to a cottage on a lake. This book would be so inspiring!

  52. SarahSLab says

    This is beautiful! I am having a garage sale this week because I believe in the same principal….nothing should go to waste or be thrown into dumps if someone can still use it. Thank you for showing this wonderful project on your website!

  53. Joan Pratt says

    They are living my DREAM! Everytime I see a ramshackle place I dream about how I can bring it back to life. I am just waiting for the means & the nagging to not go away.

  54. says

    Since I live in Chicago, it’s just a short jump to visit the “camp”. Would just love to but I’ll be just as happy with the book!!


  55. Suzanne King says

    So inspirational. Just like you and Kevin! I would love a copy of this book!

  56. Willemina Heyboer says

    Would love to have a copy of the book. Would also love to stay at the Wandawega Resort!!

  57. says

    Ah how neat – I am smitten with this resort and the restored cottage. Makes me think twice about tearing down our old cabin.

  58. says

    Totally inspirational! I just love old homes and sheds, out buildings and furniture! That book looks fabulous!

  59. says

    So sweet! I, of course, would LOVE to win the giveaway and I am so very thankful for your wonderful blog!


  60. Rosemary says

    Love love love this book! Thanks so much for sharing :) We restore vintage cars for a living! Seen many many brought back from ‘the dead’ haha!

  61. katyco says

    This book sounds like just the inspriation I need. I’ve been so discouraged living in my older home and knowing that with the economy like it is now, I won’t be getting a new house anytime soon. I need to remember what I loved about my house when we first bought it and be inspired to make it better.

  62. Regan Warren says

    Loved this post…growing up in Wisconsin and now living in Minnesota it is as beautiful as it looks. The love that went into this cottage is awesome..the book looks fantastic!!

  63. JessicaA says

    This brought tears to my eyes as I’m reminded of my grandfather. He was definitely of the same breed as her father and could make anything go, shine, and do work. My husband and I live in his house now and hope to pass on this beautiful tradition. I would love to read this book!

  64. says

    My husband and I want to buy an old run down house with lots of potential within the next year. Since the market is so low, a lot of our family is telling us to just buy new bc it’s so inexpensive, but none of those new homes have the character and history that we are looking for. Love this!!

  65. Jen W. says

    That passage gave me goosebumps! How beautifully written. I’m not very handy but I’m sure this book would inspire me to try my hand at some restoration.

  66. Cheryl F says

    Tom sounds a lot like my Dad. He can fix anything, appliances, Barbies, buildings, you name it. I’ve never paid for a car repair in my life and only buy cars he approves of – then he can fix them for me when something goes wrong and is always available for road side assistance. Reading Teresa’s words brought a tear to my eye. My Dad is still with us and I can’t imagine a day he won’t be, nor do I want to try. I’m sure her Dad is very proud of all she’s accomplished.
    I dream of taking on a project like this someday, and it has to be a cottage. What a wonderful legacy she’s began for her family!
    Thank you for this post!
    Cheryl F.

  67. Susan in Texas says

    The photos of the cottage restorations are inspiring – everything is so welcoming and fresh! The story of her father is equally moving. I cant wait to read every page!

  68. Melissa says

    Sounds like a truly inspirational book! I’m already inspired by these posts! Thank you for sharing!

  69. says

    I love this! The pictures for the past two days have been so inspiring! I would love to have a copy of the book too. Thanks for sharing such a great post!

  70. Patty Posteraro says

    This brought back so many memories of my precious Dad…..He would have done anything to help me with projects like this. Our home in Pennsylvania ( which we bought 4 years ago – to retire to) is on an acre of land, surrounded mostly by woods. There is a small log cabin ready to fall apart in our back yard. The former owners were going to tear it down but I convinced them to let it stand because I thought I could restore it, but I don’t see this happening. I wish someone could see the beauty in it like I do – if I were younger and my Dad were here I know we would tackle it together. I would love to read this book!

  71. Celeste says

    How awesome to read about this couple and their camp. Very inspiring! I would love to continue to read their story.

  72. says

    He sounds like he was a lovely man. I would love this book, it’s so funny, my husband and I have been looking at wee homes lately!

  73. says

    Such an inspiring post. I too have a cottage in Wisconsin and a few buildings with interesting old stuff needing some restoration…so fun to think about all the possibilities and to dream of creating a respite for family and friends.

  74. sam says

    Great post. If only more people lived with the ability to see beyond the exterior, we would become a less throw-away society.

  75. OliveAmy says

    Inspirational and heart warming for this Georgia peach that grew up in Wisconsin. I love your website and am so happy I found it!

  76. says

    Just lovely, both the writing featured today and the resort shown yesterday. Such amazing work – thank you for sharing! Like Tereasa, I treasure the legacy of creativity, restoration, and “can do” I’ve been given from my parents.

  77. Brandy says

    I would love a copy of this book. I looked it up online yesterday to see where to buy it. Thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s blog and reading today’s about Mr. Surratt.

  78. Megan says

    I adore your blog, and this entry blew my mind! I would love a copy of this book, I am swoooning over every inch of each cabin.

  79. says

    That sums up my philosophy to a “T”. Previously owned ALWAYS has more character and I love my surroundings to tell a story. If I don’t win, I’ll be looking for that book. Love it!

    Judy :)

  80. Amanda Rull says

    I recently found your site and really enjoy it. Would love to have a copy of the book as we just bought an old house in the country and are realizing the joys (and unjoys!) that come with it!

  81. moeshe in mn says

    That was a great guest post! It makes me want to go to antique shops and rummage stores to find something to restore.

  82. Britni R says

    Aw…I love it. I am truly amazed at the abilities of all of you who can believe in old things. I’m trying to find that quality in myself.

  83. says

    I am so excited to have stumbled upon your site, as I renovate my own lake cottage. This book looks like such an inspiring, wonderful story. Thank you for bringing it to my awarness.

  84. says

    What a beautiful place and what beautiful lives that are now spent there. I love this story and would love to get a closer look at this book!

  85. says

    I’m in love with A Very Modest Cottage. I’m totally buying it if I don’t win!!! Thanks for the post and the opportunity. Blessings!

  86. Amy P. says

    Thank you for sharing…Once again, another room/building/place brought to life. You know I am SUCH a fan of your style – the information you share – and your talent. Thank you for sharing their story in your blog. Like so many have mentioned….SUCH an inspiration & motivation to see the beauty in the era before – dusting it off & adding a little modern touch.

    WOULD LOVE a copy of their book!
    – Amy

  87. Melissa M. Parker says


    I can’t tell you how these posts have inspired me. My sisters and I have dreamed of moving an old house that my great-grandfather built to the country and remodeling it for family gatherings. It will be 100 years old in 2015. The whole family thinks we’re crazy, and I had gotten to the point that I thought maybe this was crazy and that it needed too much work.

    After reading your post yesterday, I called my sister and said “WE ARE DOING THIS!!”

    With renewed excitement and determination, we’re moving on. It’s going to take some time, but I know it will be so worth it in the end.

    And on another note, my husband has a long-lost cousin we haven’t been able to locate who lived in the Chicago area. His name is Doug Surratt. How cool is that that the author of this inspiring story is a Surratt!

  88. Michelle Wright says

    What a wonderful thing they have done. Would love to be able to read more about the cottages.

  89. Patti J says

    Who wouldn’t want this book! As a midwestern girl myself, this is the place vacation dreams are made of! As a child, we once stayed at a similar lake resort in Genoa City, WI. I’m sure it’s long gone, but just the idea of Wandawega makes me long for the old days & a wonderful family vacation like that again!

  90. Sharon Katzn says

    Lovely photos to dream by. Would love to have this book in my collection. Thank you!

  91. Mary Slimp says

    That was so lovely — and so inspirational as I work on our own “very modest cottage,” which, as my mother would often say “only needs a little love,” (while my dad would rejoin, “and a whole lot of money!”)

  92. Laura says

    I could really use this book for inspiration! We are in a “fixer upper” and it can be overwhelming at times. This would be a great reminder of what our home can eventually become with hard work and hope!

  93. says

    Me too! :)
    I would love a copy!!!!!!!!

  94. Shawn says

    We just moved into a cottage, and we love it! I would love a copy of the book. Love your web site!

  95. Emily says

    What a touching post and an inspirational story. It’s always been a secret dream of mine to have a resort on the lake!

  96. Ruth Padula says

    After viewing the cottages, all I could think of is what a great place for a family reunion. I currently live in an 800 sq ft cottage and love it. Small spaces remind you what is really important; family not things.

  97. Terri Driggers says

    oh my goodness…. I feel refreshed…. just LOOKING at this cottage!!! What an amazing story…. so beautiful!!! I would love a signed copy of the book!!!!! Thanks to you guys for making such a fab offer!!!!!! Terri

  98. Anne says

    All of your posts are incredible, but this Lake feature is beyond amazing. The book looks like a real treasure.

  99. faye says

    I love that story of hope and seeing the good and not dwelling on the bad. I would love a copy of the book

  100. Nancy says

    Right on! I’d be thrilled to have a signed copy of this beautiful book.

  101. says

    I would love to have the book and I would also love to find a place like this to retreat to ever so often. They are hard to find.

  102. says

    Yesterday’s pictures were stunning and today’s words are beautiful. I would love to win a copy of this book as a reminder to treat my own belongings in the same way…..and to steal some really great decorating ideas :)

  103. says

    What a beautiful tribute to your dad. We have become a society of “throw away.” We can’t wait to get rid of something, so we can replace it. I too see the beauty in old things, restored things. They don’t make ‘em like they used to. I would be honored to receive a copy of this beautiful tribute.

  104. says

    Hi Layla,
    I would LOVE to own a copy of “A Very Modest Cottage” – the story behind it is heartwarming and is all about what it means to be a family. What else matters anyway??

    The Lettered Cottage arrives daily in my “online mailbox” and I have to say, I can’t do without it!!

    Thank You, Cyndee Jones

  105. says

    I loved this post yesterday! Love the cottages, and the story, and the whole concept. Would love to also have a copy of the book!

  106. Tonya says

    This is so inspiring. It gives me the strength that i could do anything if i set my mind to it and with just a little determination it can be done. I would love a copy of the book the always inspire me to keep going and that i can do it = )

  107. Annie says

    I love old things and dreaming about what they can look like when restored. Great job.

  108. Amber says

    Our family has an old lake house my grandfather built 50 years ago. This wonderful story is a reminder of all the potential it has.

  109. says

    A Very Modest Cottage looks like much more than a “how to” book. What a wonderful tribute to her Dad and what an awesome legacy he has left for his family. This is what life is all about!!

  110. Lynn says

    What an amazing story; what an amazing woman! I would absolutely LOVE her book. Such an inspiration!!

  111. says

    Thanks for bringing this family’s story into my view. The beauty of blogs. Thanks, Layla.
    P.S. I don’t know how you do what you do! I hope you’re getting enough sleep.

  112. says

    This looks like a lovely book!! I would love the oppertunity to sit down on my sofa with a cup of tea and leisurely look through it=)


  113. says

    What a great place to get to go and relax at Wandawega. My Grandmother & I visited a lot when I was a child about remodeling the house she lived in when she was alive. She had told me she wanted me to have it and remodel it. That is exactly what my husband and I did. We moved in here when our first daughter was almost 2 and have lived ever since. Our 2 daughters have not know any other place than this as home. We gutted it down to the studs and went from there.

    About 2 years ago we bought a rundown home across the street and flipped it. A young couple bought it and live there now. I’m ready to do another house now. I would love to find a place like Wandawega and turn it around like they have.

    I would absolutely love to read her book. Keep the posts coming.

  114. Renee S. says

    What a wonderful tribute to her father! I would love to see the rest of the book!!

  115. says

    What a beautiful beautiful tribute to her dad. I think that as long as they keep these memories and his can-do spirit, he’ll always be with them. And I am sure he is looking down and smiling on a family that took his lessons to heart, I am sure this book is amazing – can’t wait to see which of us is lucky enough to win.

  116. Amber says

    My husband (a carpenter) and I love the integrity of things with history which once shone with promise and can do so again with a little faith and elbow grease (okay, maybe a lot of both!). What a wonderful tribute also to the legacies our loved ones pass on to us. This book would hold a permanent place next to my bedside. Great story!

  117. Katie B says

    Would love to win a copy! I inherited a tiny cabin in Northern Wisconsin and hope it can someday become just as beautiful.

  118. KK says

    I’d heard about the book before but had no idea the depth of the story behind “A Very Modest Cottage.” After your recent features, I’d love to read more about it!

  119. Debbie says

    I can’t even begin to tell you how inspired I am by these posts from yesterday and today. Reading about the wonderful transformation of Wandawega just warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes. I would love to win a signed copy of her book, but if not, I will buy one. I can’t wait to read more about what inspires Tereasa to do follow her dreams like she does!

  120. Gale says

    I love it! If I saw a Wandawega, I’d buy it, too!! :) Thanks for the chance to win!

  121. Natalie says

    Thanks for such an inspirational post to start my day! The book looks amazing!

  122. Gail E says

    Beautiful memory that left me all blurry eyed. People who can see beauty in all things are such inspiration. This book looks like a treasure, as does the resort itself. I am so thankful that you introduced me to Camp Wandawega.

  123. Linda Matson says

    Besides being a beautiful collection of photos and art, this book is such an inspiration. I want to know just HOW that cottage was renovated for only $300!! We aren’t talented carpenters in our family, but I have an eye for design and color and fabric, so we try! I’d love the book!

  124. Carla S. says

    What she has done with this place is absolutely amazing and wonderful! I would love to have this book. Thanks for the chance.

  125. heidi s. says

    This book looks beautiful….looking forward to my winning so I can read it! ;)

  126. Shannon C says

    Thanks for these posts on Wandawega. Really brings back memories of my childhood vacationing in Western Wis. Would love a copy of the book.

  127. Debbie says

    I have really enjoyed reading your blog and the photos are spectacular!! I would be honored to receive a signed copy of the book….it looks like a wonderful and inspriring book!

  128. Kerry Zurn says

    This book is so beautiful. It so reminds me of the camp I went to when I was a little girl. I would love to be able to put this on my coffee table table for all to see.

  129. Donna says

    What an inspiring and heartfelt story. I can’t wait to get a copy of this book, whether I win your copy or I have to go get my own!!

  130. Christie Paul says

    What a wonderful tribute to her father! This book looks very inspiring!

  131. Kathy PH in LH says

    Very moving excerpt! Would love to read the rest of the story …

  132. says

    Oh, how I love this book and love her final quote. As we just closed on our new VERY old house yesterday (and promptly tore down the ceiling), I’d love to have this on my future coffee table.

  133. Brandi N. says

    My Dad could reporpose anything and make it beautiful…I have a fraction of that ability, I have the insight but lack the skills to carry it to a completed piece. I am just so thankful I have this trait of my dad’s..
    (My Dad passed away in 1998 @ 52 yrs old) All that to say, my Dad would have loved this book and to visit this retreat… Hope I win the book.
    Brandi N.

  134. Melissa T says

    I’d love to win this for some inspiration as I start to decorate our home. Thanks!

  135. says

    More people need to look around themselves and see the potential before they run off to purchase a new “thing”. There is more satisfaction that comes with rebirthing something than buying brand new.

  136. Marla Caskey says

    I so enjoyed this article. It reminds me of my own father who is now 90 years old. He kept a little of everything he ever made or tore down. He was a carpenter by trade. Whenever I had a project my Dad would always have a way of having that one particular thing that I might need. Not only would he have the item but there was always a story as to where it came from the year it was acquired and the job it had come from. He is a real inspiration as was her Dad. Wish everyone could have that kind of father. Thanks for sharing.

  137. Ashleigh Hall says

    Oh this post made my eyes “sweat”!! :) I can’t wait to read more!!

  138. SuzyMcQ says

    My sweet father passed away a year and a half ago, but, he, too was someone who saw the beauty in items others would discard. In the 1960’s he went to auctions where beautiful antiques were considered junk and nothing a person would use in their “modern” homes. Those pieces are loved and cherished as a reflection of a person who appreciated fine craftsmanship and timeless design.

  139. [email protected] says

    I loved this sweet posting. The pictures are beautiful, the words inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

  140. says

    What abeautiful tribute to her Father. Sounds like someone a lot of would love to have met.
    As far as the book…yes please! Pick me!

  141. Diane says

    What an inspiration. New is not necessarily better, and and ols does not mean throw it away. Thanks for reminding me ;-)

  142. Nancy M Isbell says

    I would very much love to be the winner of this book. I enjoy your web site so much.

  143. Heidi says

    What a great story and post! So inspirational – in fact, I already had this book on my wish list, so I’d love to win it. Thanks for the opportunity and your own inspiring adventures!

  144. Carla Coffee says

    Absolutely believe as he did…sometimes my sister looks at me at some of the furniture I buy and thinks why does she want that?Then I work on it with the vision I had when I saw it and she declares”I’ll never doubt her choices again”Love this blog.

  145. tracyo says

    Oh what a neat post!! Her dad sounds just like my husband. He can bring ANYTHING back to life! Another neat thing is that we live just a few miles away from them. What a beautiful area that is. I would LOVE a copy of her book.

  146. Maureen says

    Getting ready to move into our dream lake house. . . dream to have it, but it sure needs some MAJOR TLC! Would be a huge blessing and tons of inspiration to get lost in the pages of that books! Always enjoy you Layla! Thanks

  147. Naomi says

    I am ready to buy my ticket to Wisconsin and come to visit Wandawega. The book would be a close second!

  148. erin says

    i want to go there….reading the book would be the a good thing to do instead.

  149. Gayle! says

    What a touching post . . . . I am in the throes of restoring a “very far gone” 1880s house in Albany, Oregon, right now. Sometimes in the middle of the chaos, it’s hard to keep the faith, to remember that I first saw the house and thought, “It’s not too far gone; I can fix it.” Thanks for helping me stay the course on my project by seeing what others have done.

  150. Jewel says

    Sigh… still dreaming about owning our own lake cottage. I have loved reading about Tereasa’s cottage adventure. Would love to hear more. Thanks for the chance to win her book!

  151. Bethany Pearl says

    Oh, I would SO love to have this book!! It is exactly what I need right now. We are in the process of purchasing an old farmhouse in Tennessee, built in 1897. It needs so much work! When exploring the outbuildings the other day, inside a caved-in barn, we found a very old tractor that we intend on refurbishing. Anyway, love your blog…it is so inspirational :) Keep it up!!

  152. Ed & Vicki Zoller says

    We really enjoy your profile this and look forward to visiting the blog to spend more (vicarious) time at the Resort!
    Great to see the vision of this couple and their execution of the rescue and renovation.
    Winning the book would be the icing on the cake.

    EZ & VAZ

  153. Bloom says

    This sounds like the philosophy of my “do it yourself” family. I would love to have a copy of that book! It captures the very essense of loving items back to life!

  154. Stephanie says

    This book would have a special spot in my home :) Thanks for the opportunity!!

  155. says

    what a lovely post….sign me up for winning what looks like a very sweet book, maybe some inspiration for our own tumble-down cottage?

  156. says

    I loved this post. I’m typing with tears in my eyes right now. Too many people today throw away old things because it’s the easy way out. But when we do that (and we’ve all done that before) we miss out on the chance to restore a little piece of history and the beauty and hope that can emerge from the process. All it takes is some character-building hard work and good old-fashioned perserverance. I’ve never won anything on a blog before and would love to win this. Thank you so much for blogging about this hidden treasure.

  157. Miss Kitty says

    Thanks for posting that lovely tribute (and GREAT images). I would love to have that book too! Hey, I live in Montgomery if you ever need local yokels.

  158. Nicki Hammon says

    This cottage is so lovely. I share the same dream. A place where my family and I can live simply, close to nature. I have a small 50’s cottage, but it’s in a subdivision. Someday I’ll have some land to enjoy and explore.

  159. Elizabeth says

    This is such a beautiful post would love to win and give the book to my sister who loves old cottage’s and lakes since we grew up in michigan surrounded by the great lakes. With a little vision and hope and a dash of faith anything can be beautiful once again…

  160. says

    I’ve seen this book advertised and was so intrigued by the project. After reading this post from the author about her dad, I had tears in my eyes. So many of these “fix it up” beliefs also describe some of my family members.
    I would love a copy of this book. The inspiration contained therein would give many hours of wonderful feelings I’m sure.

  161. Debra Hamsley says

    “An old car, a decrepit piece of furniture, a rusty old tractor, an abandoned cottage is never beyond hope. They just need to find someone who’ll believe in them.” Wait, are you talking about discarded posessions or the people who owned them. Everything has a story and it is gratifying to refurbish them and to feel a connection to previous owners, to believe in them. This book and article has been an inspiration to plunge into creating a guest room full of refinished handed down furniture from my parents and grandparents to remember their stories.

  162. Amy Borden says

    So inspiring to see a beautiful transformation of items once deemed useless! Nothing or no one is ever beyond repair

  163. Geri fom Vermont says

    Such an inspiration…would love to own/see this great looking piece of art!

  164. Anita says

    I’d love to win this book! The story is so sweet, and the transformations that have been made are remarkable!

  165. says

    In a world where we were are constantly seeking something newer, better, and faster, this inspirational story makes you want to stop for a minute and appreciate the items that are offering to share their story with us.

  166. says

    What a sweet story and honor to your father! Not only did he cherish memories of what was but what could be with his vision of the future memories yet to be made.

    People like him have always inspired me. Hard-working, make-do kind of people! I love them and hope to have had some of their character rub off on me.

    Hope I am fortunate enough to win this!!!!

  167. Christy says

    The Wandawega book looks like it would be perfect for my coffee table! Looks like a fun place!

  168. Allyson says

    Oh what lovely retreat! I would love a copy of this book. She is my kind of person, seeing the potential in everything around her. I have a hard time pulling weeds in my flower beds cause some of them have such pretty little flowers.

  169. Sonda Havens says

    I really, really enjoyed the article! Makes me want to dream more and work to make those dreams come true!

  170. Janna says

    I would love to read this book! And of course, I want to vacation at Camp Wandawega – yesterday’s post and today’s are breathtaking!!!

  171. Natali says

    This was a beautiful essay about her dad, totally inspired me to write down my feelings for my own dad!

  172. cindy says

    These cabins remind me of my grandparents Iowa farmhouse. Mostly money was spent on parts to fix things not to buy new. My Dad could fix anything and I chose a husband who can also. (Is there any other kind? Not in my book.) This book would spend much time in my hands and on my coffee table!!

  173. Karyn J Willis says

    Inspiring. We too have an old, quirky farmhouse with a beautiful view of Puget Sound in WA state. Time and again people will say “why don’t you just tear that place down and build something brand new?” Many years of memories would be impossible to tear down for our family and it’s nice to know there are so many people out there that feel the same about the “old places”.

  174. Heather Travis says

    Love your blog, love this post on the cottage – am totally inspired to get to work on some projects around the house:)

  175. Christina G ♥ says

    Oh I want to stay at Wandawega! How absolutely heavenly! ♥

  176. Lisa says

    Wondering if I could take up residence in one of the little cottages? Would so enjoy a summer camp for adults!!

  177. Sarah says

    Totally beautiful. Makes me remember that our country can be great with people who take the time and effort to create and believe.

  178. ms.bb says

    This post is amazing and I would love to have a kindred spirit’s book like hers in my beach bungalow- my “daddy’s hands” made my beach bungalow dream a reality- yep, with hope and a hammer.

  179. Dianna says

    Love the idea of taking something that feels abandoned and infusing love and life back into it. Sometimes even we people need the same thing.

    would love to win the book as the smallish budgets used will inspire us all.

  180. says

    What a gorgeous little book! I’ve bookmarked the author’s website and I can’t wait to pour over it. Love and blessings all around!

  181. Wendy says

    I would absolutely LOVE to have a resort on a lake….how wonderful for them. I can’t resist little cottages either and would be thrilled to win this book!

  182. Katie says

    Some of my fondest memories growing up are at the lake. The property has been handed down generation to generation and has seen so many kids waterski for the first time, s’mores around the bonfire, card games and hosted many celebrations with friends and family. The inspiring piece about the many projects that were tackled in this book, is that like the lake, if you give it up, you will never get these treasures back. So neat to see the vision that Tom had for the future and so wonderful to see his daughter recognize the gifts that he had and has given their family for years to come.

    Count your Blessings each and every day!

  183. Jackie says

    The story of this camp is amazing. And I’m pretty sure that doing something similar is my new American Dream.

  184. Beverly in Des Moines says

    I enjoyed the Wandewega story so much and the love that was poured into the restoration. Thanks for featuring it on your blog, Layla.

  185. says

    Today’s and yesterday’s post totally brightened my whole week. What a beautiful story. Her father sounds like he was an amazing person, how very lucky she was to know him and share in his life. I can’t tell you how much I would love to win a copy of this book. Thank you Layla.

  186. Tracy R says

    I am falling in love with Wandawega. My family is heading out of suburbia this Saturday to go stay at my cabin built by my husbands grandfather in the 1950’s on a tiny island here in WA state…sans electricity & indoor plumbing. There just aren’t words to express how much it means to have this little ramshackle cabin waiting for us whenever we need it.

  187. Dana Ross Solomon says

    Wow! What fun! Captivating! I am thoroughly inspired to “wrangle a bit more” for the rescue of a charming red outhouse decaying beautifully in the woods by our cabin. Gotta get that thing!

  188. says

    How rare that an entire family has the love of old objects and making them wonderful again. This book looks just lovely and I adore her writing style too!!

  189. Susan says

    Love the warmth and security the book brings to me. Just reliving the memories puts a huge smile on my face. Would love to have a copy of this book to put in my bookcase.

  190. says

    I was blown away by the first post and added the book to my wish list! This is so inspiring!! I’d love to win a copy of the book. :) And, I’d love even more to check out Camp Wandawega in person – how amazing.

  191. Lisa says

    I borrowed the book from the library a while ago. Grabbed a cup of tea and couldn’t put it down. Kind of like a Cinderella story for DIYers. :-)

    Looking forward to the rest of the posts.

  192. Leslie says

    Love the tribute that Tereasa wrote for her dad. What an inspiration Dads can be to the children and grandchildren. “Beauty from ashes”, as found in Isaiah 61. Thanks for sharing this with us Layla.

  193. Tiffeny James says

    So beautiful!! It was love at first sight! Thank you for all the inspiration!! :)

  194. Chrystal in Canada says

    Ah! What a wonderful “story”. Very inspiring!
    It would be a treat to win the book.

  195. Anna says

    LOVE this post and I would love a copy of that book! The pictures look beautiful!

  196. LaVern Williams says

    I would love a copy of her book I too love to restore well loved things,

  197. Mary Sichz says

    love the commitment of bringing back an old cottage to share with others so they too can enjoy & build memories. I’d love a copy of this book. Very inspiring.

  198. says

    Love the pictures and the beautiful story. My parents taught me to use things to their fullest and restore things. I would love love love the book.

  199. says

    I can just hear the lazy summer day with the sounds of summer on their cottage porch…what a wonderful treasure of memories and family!

  200. Lydia says

    Beautiful and inspiring! I always enjoy a little cottage especially since we live in one.

  201. Melinda says

    tears — drop drop ! My dad is still restoring old cars and truck at 75 years of age. He tinkers in his garage daily ! He just won a trophy last weekend for best of show with his fathers old 36 chevy pick up he restored from the grounf up !!! I inherited that same gene and I see treasures in almost all trash !! Thanks Dad and thanks for sharing this story. I can’t wait to read the book.

  202. kristen says

    I would love to win this book. I have already looked into spending a week here during Christmas. Hopefully its available :)

  203. says

    I can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for the rest of this week. I’m really loving Wadawega week so far.

    And this post, is so touching and so sweet!

  204. says

    I’m loving this series – what a beautiful job Tereasa has done. Thanks so much for the opportunity to win the book!

  205. Amy Romer says

    I was hooked to this week from the first post. The whole camp is amaze-balls! I’d love that sweet book! :)

  206. Sharon says

    Thank you for the opportunity to win this book………..I would really enjoy having it!

  207. Chloe's Nonni says

    What a loving tribute. I was love to receive a copy of the book that reflects the vision he left to his family!

  208. Haley Whittington says

    My husband, I, and our baby boy, and soon to come baby girl are trying to do just that – make our home into something beautiful. One project at a time – her book would be great inspiration.

  209. says

    This book looks just wonderful…her dad reminds me of my grandfather “Pop Pop” who has passed on. He had that same sense of making something new from something old…or treasuring the old. He helped me with so many projects when I was younger and making my little studios and apartments look cozy. Thanks for sharing :) ~Kim

  210. says

    So simple and pure of heart. It makes me step back and remember and LOVE the words and pictures. I can’t wait to read more. Lori L

  211. says

    Oh, this made me cry. These are the reasons I love to build and create, for my dad. He inspired me so much and showed me that I can do anything I put my heart and mind to. I wish he was still here more than anything in the world. Thank you, Layla and Tereasa.

  212. says

    Love this post and yesterdays too, so inspirational! Yesterday I went on the the Camp Wandawega site and decided that I must go, which is saying a lot since it is quite a trek from Geogia. I would love to have a copy of Tereasa’s book!

  213. Pam Shannon says

    I’m new to your site but I have enjoyed everything you do! I would love a copy of this book. I am just amazed with the talent that you & so many others have.

  214. Lisa W. says

    Fell absolutely in LOVE with the cottage in yesterdays post. I would dream to spend one night there. And todays post is so sweet, brought a tear to my eye. Thank you Layla:)

  215. Aunt Chriss says

    I wish I had one tenth of the creativity and vision that people like Tereasa Surratt and Kevin and Layla have – I can only imagine how cute my home would be! Thanks for the posts and photos…I want to be there…
    love ya!

  216. says

    Yesterday’s post left me wanting to find my own diamond in the rough… I hope to someday stumble upon a place that isn’t much but with a dream it can become so much more. Well done!

  217. says

    I’ve SO enjoyed both of these posts, and the wonderful tribute as well! So much hard work and love must have gone into this remarkable renovation. Thank you for sharing with us, Layla. I would love to have a copy of this wonderful book. :)

  218. Shannon says

    I would love to win this book. Reading about it in your previous blog post was so inspirational. I loved how Teresa’s theme was ~ free-flee-found to decorate. Makes me look around my own home and go hmmmm….:)

  219. says

    We live on a 123 yr old farm with various out-buildings. Most of these have been ravaged by time to the point of dilapidation. In particular, we have an old bunk house that the hired hands used to sleep in that has oodles of potential as a little guest cabin. Would love to glean some knowledge regarding salvaging a gem like that.

  220. Rhonda Brooks says

    I loved reading a bit of Tereasa’s history. It was heartwarming and right up my alley. I am the one in the family that always ‘takes’ the antique which everyone else refers to as ‘junk.’ lol. I would love to receive such a keepsake as this book.

  221. Shar Yates says

    Would love to have this book. I love seeing soon to be trashed items, places, etc. repurposed, renovated or whatever it takes to bring back to life!

  222. cindy riley says

    My daughter has just finished fixing up an old cottage on our property-i would love to give her this book!

  223. Melinda says

    Lovely story with such an uplifting message and looks like a lovely book. I would love a chance to own a copy! Thanks for the great post and contest Layla.

  224. says

    Yesterday your post had me spending hours pouring overall the wonderful pictures and words about this special place. I even had to map it and found it was not to far from Oconomowoc (a place I used to visit friends who lived on Three Lakes). The memories your post evoked were priceless. I grew up in MN and always loved the summers and the lakes. This wonderful place will hold do many dear memories for the people who visit and stay there. I would love to travel there to peaceful memories.
    Now today we hear about her father who was so much like mine. I had to shed a tear or two. Wonderful post. Thank you!

  225. says

    Beautiful. I got teary eyed reading it. I would love to read about the perseverance and hope that got that cottage going!!

  226. jan lyden says

    I love the cottage decorating and the end product of all of her efforts…. very creative!!!

  227. Terry McClung says

    People are so inspiring and amazing. Love this book and the story it tells….Blessings

  228. njpath says

    sweet teariness for tom’s story – this book’s been on my wish list for awhile now

  229. maria moussavi says

    Oh, I would love to win! Ever since I saw the movie “Indian Summer” I dreamed of having a cabin along a lake & have all our family & friends gather there. what a dream come true! disneyland for adults :)

  230. Regina says

    Great family values! I hope to be able to instil a similar spirit into my son (now 3). The cottage and the place around it are enchanting. Such a beautiful place! Would love to win the book.

  231. says

    What a cool book! If I won this I would definitely give it to my cousin. She’s someone who sees beauty in everything.

  232. says

    What a lovely tribute to your Dad, Tereasa you were truly blessed to have him in your life! I too live in “A Very Modest Cottage” and am bringing it back to life one step at a time. I’d love to have a copy of this book, I just know I’ll be inspired!

  233. Sharlyn LePage says

    Her dad reminds me a bit of mine. My dad passed away 6 years Aug.5, 2005. After he died I made a scrapbook of his life. One of the pages was to show his love for the old, cars inparticular. I entitled the page “Beauty From Ashes”. The picture of my dad on this page was when he was very young standing up on an old car in a junk yard. He could haul home the junkiest of old cars but when he was finished with them they looked like a show piece. I love all the cottage pics…before and afters are amazing.

  234. Taryn Smith says

    I would love a copy of Tereasa’s book, what an amazing story! Such beautiful pictures.

  235. Sheri Tredway says

    what a touching story! Makes me think of the things my dad did for me and the things my husband is doing for our children…. memories. I would LOVE to have a copy sitting on my old rustic coffee table.

  236. Cyndy Elsden says

    Wow, I thoroughly enjoyed this post and even went to the site for the virtual tour. I am considering visiting there next summer. Thanks for sharing!!!

  237. Pam says

    Wonderful story. Thank you Layla for bringing us this treat this week. I would love this book.

  238. Marnita Parry says

    What a beautiful moving tribute to a father. My father was very much like Tom Surratt, in that he could find a purpose for everything. Thanks for sharing.

  239. Beth says

    The story brings back childhood memories of visits to Minnesota.
    Would love to win this book!

  240. says

    I love stumbling across a story that touches the heart, like this one. It has the power to change my normal day by causing me to think back to happy days spent with family that are missed and no longer here. Boy-but what great memories they left to be treasured.

  241. Mis says

    I can has…? *sweet smile* (Don’t you just love it when you pick things up from a precious kidlet…? “I can has…?’ with a sweet smile makes my heart squee!)

  242. Shawn says

    I love her message! I too see the beauty in old things and wish more people believed the same way!!! Love it and her wonderful words!

  243. Shellaine says

    I’m sucked in. Even if I don’t win I think I’ll have to get my hands on this book :-)

  244. Patty Page says

    I am a person who has a hard time driving by a trash pile and not stopping to look for treasure! I would love to have a copy of A Very Modest Cottage! Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures & story!

  245. Claire says

    Awesome! We have a large family and a family camp would be ideal. Maybe someday!

  246. Shauna says

    Layla! I already wanted this book, because of the ad I saw in Country Living…and now you’re doing all these wonderful Wandawega posts! The camp looks so fun, and hopefully I will get a chance to visit in my lifetime.

  247. Jane )'Malley says

    I loved the variety of ideas, from the fishing lures as art to the cozy camp blanket upholstered chairs.

  248. Diana says

    What a beautiful tribute to her father.. and her family! I would love to read this book!! What an awesome thing to have something so precious in your family and to be able to share it with others!.. I have been thinking a lot about the whole “have to have new” concept lately and have a mix of new and “used” things. I treasure both, but the used/hand-me-downs are what connect us to our past and keep our future generations in touch with their family and history! … Thanks Layla for bringing this to our attention!

  249. Chris says

    I love the book! So heartfelt and inspirational. It reminds me of my husband because he can fix anything. In fact one of our family themes is, “My dad can fix anything.” Love, love love the book. I also “Wannatagota” Wandawega.

  250. Barbara says

    I love this story. This is an old fantasy of mine. I’d love a copy of this book. Thanks for the giveaway. Love your blog!

  251. Amy Poole says

    I’m in the process of renovating a small cottage myself on a small lake (Lime Lake) in Cattaraugus County in Western NY. Loved all the ideas in this blog.

  252. Dawn says

    Oh my… I couldn’t help but shed a tear while smiling so big. Potential… I can’t help but truly believe it can be found in anything and anyone. I would adore a copy of this book. Thank you for this post!

  253. says

    I love this post and heartily agree! What a joy it is when we recognize a diamond in the rough!

  254. Heather says

    I’m from WI, so this camp makes me so happy! I love that my state has so many amazing people and places like this.

  255. Katie says

    This book caught my eye a while ago in an issue of Country Living. I’ve had it on my Amazon wishlist for a while and would love a copy!

  256. says

    Don’t make them like this man anymore. We need them more than ever.
    Love the photos and the book.

  257. Kristen Gross says

    She does a lovely job making something drab into fab. Would love to have her book!

  258. Robbie Bauer says

    Very inspirational words about her cherished father. Special fathers are a gift to their children. I think about my departed dad every day. He instilled his wonderful values and work ethic in all six of his children. I miss him dearly!

  259. SheilaE says

    Would love to read this book. Would love to have a cottage on a lake or cabin in the woods someday to restore.

  260. carla says

    what a lovely post! I am looking forward to all the posts this week. buying a campground like that is a dream come true. Would love to read this book.

  261. Desiree says

    AWESOME… how cool to have a WHOLE CAMP and bring it back to life!!!! all out of love…. if those trees could talk! I want to go!

  262. Kenna Tomberlin says

    I work in an English Department office.
    I love to read.
    I would love to win this book.

  263. Emily says

    I would love to win a copy of the book. We are in Wisconsin and I think I’ve talked my hubby into a trip to Wandawega! :) Thanks for being awesome Layla! ♥

  264. Victoria Athens says

    “With hope, there is always a way,” is a motto to live by — and not just about fixing old, discarded items. What a lovely story from Tereasa. Thank you for sharing it.

  265. carla says

    I love stories about bringing new life to old things….whether it be furniture, buildings or clothing. I think we are often too quick to toss aside something that is old and replace it with something new…

  266. Crystal M. says

    Thanks so much for sharing this post! What an inspiration for all of us that love turning something “unwanted” into something beautiful again!! :)

  267. Julie C says

    Loved this post, so interesting. I love old, and distressed things so fun….Would love to see the book.

  268. says

    How amazing is that property?! I am enthralled by this project and what this couple has accomplished. Simply dreamy to me…I would love a copy of their book.

  269. Bonnie Haycraft says

    Oh to have a little cottage on a lake and a “daddy” like that … wonderful

  270. Lindsey says

    My husband runs several Scout camps in Canada, and we are lucky enough to live on site at one of them. These posts have me planning and dreaming of decorating our little Panabode cabin!

  271. Cindy Taylor says

    I am so inspired by the pictures of Tereasa”s book. I would love to be chosen to have a copy of my very own!

  272. BarbaraR says

    What a lovely tribute. Reminds me of my Grandfather Hurst, the original recycler.

  273. Carey Lawrence says

    That is a beautiful snippet, would love to read the rest of the book : )

  274. LINDA SEEHUSEN says

  275. Kara Oosterhous says

    Beautiful post and tribute to her father. Like her father, mine has instilled in me a love for all things old…. maybe that is why I am a historic preservation consultant! I love reading your blog! KMO

  276. Sue says

    That entire property would be my dream! I love the decorating style and how they have transformed the entire place. Would absolutely love a copy of this book. Thanks so much for the chance to win it :)

  277. Gail says

    Such a bittersweet story! I love her words though…and I would love to read more of them if I get the chance to win a copy! It’s books like that that inspire you to be more than you are…and do more than you do…and I love it!


  278. kari says

    Love your site! The book looks like just the thing dreams are made of. I just finished a book about a family and the memories made at their summer cottage, makes me want my own. Thanks for sharing with us. :)

  279. Fran R says

    Camp Wandawega looks like a great place and it brings memories of my summer vacations on Drummond Island, MI. Would love to win the book and hope to visit the camp someday.

  280. Danielle says

    Thanks for the chance at winning this great book. What an inspiring post.
    – Danielle
    other-option AT hotmail DOT com

  281. says

    I would love this book. I knew I would yesterday. Today after reading your post, I am in tears. As myhusband and I close in and wrap up inspections of our next project home and our 3rd baby on the way, we are hoping my dad (who always has a hammer or screw driver in hand) is around to see both. However, our new family project is his chemo treatments, and we are fixing him up as best we can! What a special tribute to her dad!

  282. says

    I remember seeing an article about The Modest Cottage in Country Living last year I think and there was an ad for the book in the August mag. I’d love to win a copy but if I don’t I think I’ll buy it!

  283. Casey Barnhard says

    Very touching….I would love to have the book and be inspired to not give up on my projects when they seem impossible!

  284. Sharmond says

    Just discovered your site after reading Pioneer Woman’s blog. So glad I found you. Would love a copy of your book. Can’t get enough of this!

  285. Laura says

    Wonderful and lovely seem fitting words for both the cottage and the family! I would love to get a copy of this book……….thanks for posting this.

  286. says

    This book sounds so inspirational and looks beautiful! I hope to win it. :-) That’s for the chance to try.

  287. Lisa says

    Loved yesteday’s post. Would just love to have a copy of this book. Thank you!

  288. Lydia says

    Wow, this seems like a great book to curl up and read on a lazy day. I would love a chance at winning this. :)

  289. amanda says

    I love taking something so broken, and brushing away all that kept us from seeing it’s beauty. It’s amazing with things and people!

  290. Joyce Carr says

    I am not a blogger, but always enjoy checking in on you and Kevin. If I am selected, I would love a copy of the book. Thanks.

  291. Cecily says

    Love the post about the cottage resort. Loved, Loved, Loved the tilt shift photo of the cabins making them look like toys! So many great ideas to keep people inspired to be more DIY in their busy lives.

    Great job!

  292. says

    Very cool blog – since I started following your blog – I don’t miss it! And have turned on many friends to it also. Would love the book! What a place – I’d love to visit!

  293. says

    Have been thinking about yesterday’s post all day today. I’m re-doing a guest bedroom and would like to do it in a similar style. Would love to own this book. Thanks so much!

  294. Karen says

    Love Wandawega Week! What a magical, charming place to visit and be a part of.

  295. says

    Wow! This sounds like an amazing book!
    I love this post. So inspiring. I hope my boys see that same spirit in Cy and I. :)

  296. Janita says

    Love The Lettered Cottage but these posts about Wandawega were especially inspiring, on many levels. So many good ideas I’m going to try out at my own very modest cottage, “Wit’s End”. Tiny house. Big fire pit. :-) Thanks Kevin and Layla!

  297. Stephanie says

    What a lovely post about what sounds like a lovely man! Thanks for the chance to own this book!

  298. amy says

    Love this post, what a beautiful story!

    Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway :)

  299. Christine E says

    I am loving all these posts this week (and always) I enjoy all the inspiration of the southern posts, but this one is more in my area (the midwest).

  300. Dawn says

    What a beautiful post! I love the story. I would really like to see a bit more in the book.

  301. Megan says

    I just love this post and would love to take a peek at this book. It’s my birthday on Thursday and this book would make it a happy birthday indeed.

  302. brittney s. says

    I want to go to there! Wandawega is gorgeous I’ve had it pinned for ages :)

  303. Lori says

    This is just lovely. My husbands grandfather lived on a lake in northern wisconsin and this just takes me there.

  304. says

    This place looks amazing!! I loved the pictures from yesterday’s post. A place like that would be so neat so that the whole family can gather and have fun together

  305. Tina from AL says

    I enjoyed the story you posted yesterday and I think the entire process and story would be a page turner. I can imagine all the great ideas I could pull from this book. It sounds like a family labor of love…how special.

  306. Lori Bowen says

    I am visiting my mother this week in Georgia. Had planned to go back to Texas tomorrow, but my car’s engine decided differently. While I’m waiting for it to be repaired, I’m working on my mother’s “very modest” ranch. She’s on a very fixed income and lacks ability/mobility and creativity, but she’s super agreeable to whatever I suggest. Excited to see what we can accomplish while we wait… Love your stuff!

  307. says

    I would love to stay at this place! Being able to own your own lake retreat like this would be a dream, glad she can!

  308. Itsa says

    I, too can see the beauty in things many see as to far gone. Lovely book, lovely story!

  309. Jan says

    I spent way too much time at her blog exploring through the map! Why does it have to be so far from Texas? I’m sure the book is awesome!

  310. says

    I’d love a copy of Tereasa’s book. It sounds like she loved her Dad in the very same way I loved mine (my Dad is all over my Blog Profile). His 83rd birthday would have been this Friday and so, needless to say, this post was very moving and I’d really like to read the book. Thanks for the opportunity!

  311. valerie says

    I have seen this book and would LOVE to have a copy! They are so inspirational-it is the cutest place EVER!!!

  312. Shelley Turner says

    Teresa’s post about her father reminds me of my own father. Looks like a beautiful book!

  313. sarita says

    what a wonderful comment on how our lives should be lived. Family,restoration,fun, and just living life! Thank you for the chance to win this book.

  314. Susan says

    I love the legacy of dreams that we pass on to our families. And that book seems just like that!! Thanks for sharing; love it:)

  315. Sheron Fitch says

    I love your blog and this entry on cottages is very fun for me as my husband of 49 years is now building me a 10 x 10 cottage in our backyard…for my little retreat and to have tea parties with our 20 grandchildren. A “wee cottage” of my own has been my dream since I was a child…and my husband announced to me one day that he had a plan and was going to do it. It is looking amazing! He’s installing the pine tongue-and-groove paneling today. FUN!

  316. Jenn says

    SO inspired. That is how I have felt after reading and viewing the pictures of the past 2 day’s posts.

  317. says

    I’m so in love with small homes right now. Hoping to sell our big one and move into a small bungalow we had moved from 20 miles down the road (the highway was being widened and the house had to go). We reno’d it and are currently renting it out but long to sell the ‘big” house and move into the little one.

  318. Beth in Utah says

    oh, I can’t even believe what a charming, beautiful place….Love it!

  319. Karen B. says

    Would love a copy of this book. The theme of my life has been “Something From Nothing” for many years as I’ve created and recreated many an ugly duckling into a swan. I find so much joy in doing so and now am honored as my adult daughters are doing the same. Sounds like Tereasa and I think alike!

  320. Francoise Lecours says

    Wow what a wonderful job she did , you just want to hang out at there place for the rest of you life ! This book is so inspiring .
    Thanks for the giveaway .

  321. Jody says

    I live in WI!! this is not too far away – I wanna go there!!! She is so cool. So inspirational (like you guys)…thanks for introducing us to her and for the chance to win her book!

  322. kelly in georgia says

    Water works here….that was so sweet. I would love to read more of the book, and the photographs look beautiful too. I spent 3 hours on line last night trying to find a similar real estate (but in the South) that we might consider purchasing to do as she has done….no luck yet. Doesn’t she have another book out now…her Found, Flea, or Free?

  323. Stephanie Lovejoy says

    This is such a lovely story. Would love to have such a source of inspiration and hope by my side :)

  324. Kristi says

    I feel like I’ve found a kindred spirit!
    It always saddens me to see an abandoned old truck or little country house. I find myself picturing the memories once shared in them and feel a sense of obligation to resurrect them to their original glory.
    Perhaps once day when our children are grown, We’ll find a way to rescue our very own little country cottage. In the meantime, I’ll continue to daydream..

  325. says

    I’m officially obsessed with Camp Wandawega. I need one of my own. I’ve always had a dream of having my own lake house, but every summer and fall I yearn for camp and retreats. What a perfect combination of the two!

  326. Kelly says

    What a beautiful lakeside retreat. This book might inspire our own decorating adventures for our rustic family cottage in Dorset, Ontario. What a great reminder that beauty lies in life’s simple pleasures- we don’t need overpriced resorts to have family fun.

  327. Patti Parks says

    We enjoyed this post so much and would love to visit there! This is what it’s all about, looking at something that is old, having a desire to keep it and sharing it with others! Thanks for this wonderful site!

  328. Christina says

    I would love to have this book… I will definitely buy it if I do not win it!

  329. Momsy says

    This story is so inspiring and I’d love to read the book. Actually, I’d love to visit!

  330. Kim says

    What a sweet tribute to a father. They are so valuable in our lives. I am truly inspired by what Tereasa and her hubby did with their lake-side get away. And on a small budget too. I can look at those photos and imagine taking a nap on the porch and listening to the waves at the water’s edge. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  331. Barb says

    Lovely!! Old things like old loved ones should never be forgotten or given up on. They both have a life and a history that we can learn from!

    Love the blog,

  332. Molly abeloe says

    So inspiring! I’m a Minnesota girl transplanted to Colorado and in need of that lakeside cottage decor. Thanx for the inspiration, Molly.

  333. Terri says

    I have always loved cottages and dream of one day owning a house by a lake, but I was especially touched by Tereasa’s post about her father. My dad was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and it has made me appreciate more than ever all that he has taught me about life and brought to my life.

  334. Amy says

    Love all the photos and the quote by her father. I’d love to win a copy of the book!!

  335. Bonnie says

    I would absolutely love to win the copy of this book. I’m thoroughly intrigued and only slightly envious! What a gorgeous undertaking…and what an experience! Thank you for the opportunity.

  336. says

    These cottages are my dream! I would love to own one of my own and fix it up just the way she did. So charming and inviting.

  337. Rebecca says

    Lovely story… Lovely looking book! Thanks so much for sharing. Blessings!

  338. Heather Duich says

    I feel like I’ve been virtually transported to Camp Wandawega! Such a beautiful place and an even more beautiful story of how it came to be. I’d love a copy of the book!!

  339. Dorrie Bell says

    Her styling on a budget is inspiring! I LOVE her style too! I would love to see more to get insipiration to do more in my home!
    The lake is a GORGEOUS place! Looking at the photos you can see how restorative a visit would be!

  340. says

    A beautiful way to look through the lens of a stranger! …this book is on my Christmas Wish List (yes, early I know!)!

    Thanks for sharing!

  341. says

    I love this post! It brings back so many childhood memories of playing at the island house in the San Juan Islands. Thank you so much for sharing with us!

  342. says

    I loved yesterday’s post – the camp looks so welcoming and totally a place where you could relax. Lovely story today too.
    I’d love to win this book – thank’s for the opportunity!

  343. Amanda says

    The cottage is so fun! I would love to read about it and how she transformed it.

  344. Terry Czarnecki says

    I LOVE THIS!!! I live just a half an hour from Elkhorn – and will be going there this Sunday for a flea market!!! I would love to see this place up close and personal! Absolutely adorable and dream come true for them, I’m sure. How fun would this be to have such a great place to escape to?!

  345. JENINE CLARK says

    My sister led me to your blog and I’ve been smitten ever since.
    I am moved by your tender observations like your video of your mother-in-law’s porch that was so endearing.
    I look forward to opening my mail and finding the e-mails from TLC.
    Thank you for creating such a bright spot in the chaos around us.
    Good luck with all that you dream to accomplish.
    P.S., the excerpts from the book are inspiring!

  346. Vicky says

    What a wonderful tribute to Tom–he probably never dreamed what an impact his life would have–not only with his family but also with those of us who want to learn from him as well.

  347. says

    I have been dreaming of a cottage on a lake for my whole life and I know that one day we will find one to live in as snow birds (the rest of the year in our adorable 1925 cottage in Florida). :) This place is so breathtaking!

  348. Vickie H. says

    What a wonderful story about a wonderful family legacy!!! Thank you for sharing with us. Would love to win her book!

  349. Kelly says

    One never knows how far one’s gifts will reach. Such a touching tribute to a man I wish I could have known.
    Please, pick me!!!!!

  350. Stephanie says

    OMG – How fantastic is their wonderland! It brought me back to a great lake house when I was little.

    Here is looking to get my hands on a copy – so I can dream more dreams…

    Glad you blogged about ‘em – talk about making my days…

  351. Kathryn says

    Enjoying the blog. So much of life is seeing potential and the encouraging that potential to the surface. This sounds like a great book!

  352. Lori says

    Such an inspiring story. Being from Wisconsin I will have to learn more about Camp Wandawega. What a lovely tribute to the family.

  353. says

    I have seen the ad for this book in Country Living for months now and always wondered about that little cottage. Love the words in her post–that is what Madeline’s Memories is all about.

  354. Cheryl says

    Would love a copy of this book. I am from Western Illinois and have been through Beardstown many times. They grow some great watermelons there!

  355. Lisa H. says

    I love, love, love this book.
    I am writing this from our camp by the water that we have owned for 26 years. As I have read your posts the over the last couple of days and saw all the pictures, I keep looking around here at camp and see all the work we did, remember all the dump runs made, all the flea market finds found and fixed .I sit back and and say Ya, I can relate!

  356. Andrea @ Big Creek Cottage says

    What a small world….I think that I know who Tereasa’s father is…..I am from a town not so far from Beardstown, IL ….and International Harverster was, at one time, our town’s financial being. My family hopes to someday have a small cottage on a lake near to here….Wee Ma Tuk between Canton and Cuba, IL.I am guessing this would be amazing inspiration…what a fantastic story and I bet the book is amazing……

  357. Krista says

    I read about the cottage in Country Living! I would love to hear more from the book. What a wonderful retreat for a weary soul . . . . :)

  358. LisaW says

    What a lovely post. I bet the book is filled with loads of beauty and inspiration…I know the website is!

  359. Shannon says

    very sweet post — I am sorry he didn’t live to see the cottage reborn!

  360. Maureen says

    That post reminds me of my Dad, who was the most positive man on the planet! Miss him!

  361. says

    I would love to have a little cottage to call my own… very basic… almost like a playhouse… hope I win the book and then I can dream about other cottages. thanks

  362. Margaret says

    What an inspiration! I have a Sear’s Catalog (c. 1935) shed in my yard that I would love to turn into a small getaway for myself. My husband doesn’t see the same potential as I do, but maybe I could change his mind with this story. Tereasa’s book just might be that extra push I need to bring him over to my side. I would hate to see the little shed give up the ghost because he doesn’t have the same vision. Smiles!

  363. says

    great post yesterday – what an amazing journey shown! love how she has re-made it all! would adore the book!

  364. Susan Crim says

    We are building a cottage of our own! Would love to stir the creative juices by winning the book.

  365. Sharon Farrow says

    I love the look of this book! My Dad was a printer and the old lead letters and the “fix-it” philosophy reminds me of him. Isn’t it funny how we girls never get over our daddies?!

  366. Carol Parks says

    How charming and inspirational. Good for them for following through on the dream. Would so enjoy reading the book.

  367. Kelly says

    This was inspiring. I really enjoyed reading the post yesterday. It made me wonder about other similar properties that might be around. Such a fun thing to do – but sooo much work!

  368. says

    I LOVE the story she’s interweaving…wow…would love to win a copy of the book…she’s right up my alley.

  369. paula says

    i am a country girl stuck in the suburbs raising my family. reading your b log yesterday makes me yearn even more for that cabin in the woods for weekend and summer escapes.

  370. Michele says

    I would love to read this book. I like in a Chicago suburb and frequently travel to Wisc and Mich to enjoy Lake Michigan and the smaller, midwest lakes.

  371. Robyn Barnhardt says

    I’ve always had a thing about houses, even as a little girl I would collect pictures and house plans of homes I loved. I enjoy your blog so much! It’s so inspiring! I would love to win the book!! I especially have a thing for lake houses!!!

  372. Amiera says

    without the old, there wouldnt be inspiration..every weathered item has a story, even cottages.. and its creation reflects the passion and love one poured into its life… by far, an absolute fav.. :)

  373. bfish says

    I’m looking forward to your additional stories on the cottage and camp –really great what they’ve done with revitalizing run-down buildings and old furniture. It looks like an ideal vacation spot, and I’d love to win your giveaway book.

  374. Christine says

    I LOVE this story! We live in WI just an hour North of Wandawega. I can’t wait to get the book & plan a trip to go there!

  375. Brittany Ashley says

    I love old treasures and lesser loved objects. How wonderful to have a story that captures the beauty of resurrection! Thank you for sharing!

  376. says

    I want to go there!…but looking at the book might be as close as I get for a while! Thanks for sharing this story and beautiful place with me!

  377. Andrea says

    I LOVE the ceiling from the dark green-painted cabin!! Lovin’ this week!

  378. Jan Wright says

    I love the story. Thank you for sharing. I would treasure a copy of the book.

  379. Jen F. says

    What a sweet tribute to her dad. I’d love to read the rest of this book! My birthday is tomorrow (hint, hint). ;)

  380. missy says

    Such a humbiling story. How lucky she was to follow her dreams through her Dad. I’m sure he was there to help finish it…He seems like a pretty special guy.

  381. Stacey Ward says

    I love this cottage, the book, everything! I’ve always wanted to buy an old summer camp on a lake and restore the cabins for my family and friends. This whole series makes me long for indian summers and smores! Thank you for sharing!

  382. says

    Beautiful lessons from Tereasa and her Father. Not only does it say not to give up on something old or rusty. It is also a beautiful lesson to slow down and live. Thanks again Layla for sharing. I hope to win a copy of this beautiful book, but if not it will be going on my Christmas List.

  383. Cheryl Gibbs says

    “With hope and a hammer, I believe there is always a way.” With this phrase alone, Tereasa really hit the nail on the head (excuse the pun). I love her philosphy, her vision, and her spirit!

  384. Elizabeth Brown says

    Loved the post about Wandawega yesterday and today! Would be happy to have a copy of the book.

  385. Julia Formichella says

    So touching! I’ve really enjoyed this post. There is a set of cottage in VT that I recently had the pleasure of visiting and they seem to have the same love/vibe. We had such a wonderful trip there. I loved every minute of it.

  386. Jen Wilhelm says

    My dad helped me haul, set-up, lift, hang, at my first flea market booth. Now, he’s been picking up items for me, even driving back to town to get his truck to help me haul a load from an estate sale back home. Thanks for the story and giveaway- I flipped thru a few pages at a bookstore out of town and was immediately smitten!

  387. Trina says

    what fun!! i would love to flip through these pages and live vicariously through them :)

  388. AJ says

    We are just starting to renovate an old cabin that we inherited with our property so could use all the help we can get. Love the free or flea sort of idea!

  389. Chelsea says

    Wow, what an amazing family. I would love to win this book – my boyfriend’s family could use this inspiration and encouragement as they renovate a badly destroyed property they’ve inherited.

  390. Sherry says

    What a wonderful, touching tribute to Tereasa’s dad-makes me wish I could stroll amongst the cabins with him and hear his stories! He has left his legacy in this awesome family.

  391. Karen R. Hill says

    Wow – what a great story – I can see the potential in old items – I just can’t manage what it takes to bring them back to life – I wish I had a team I could get to help me with my visions. :)

  392. Lisa Peterson says

    The way she writes, you could just feel her dads arms holding her long after he was gone with the past he left for her. There is nothing cosier than something that came before and we should treasure them. I would love to add this story to the one that I know from my past.

  393. Carrie Allen says

    I love this post. Oh, how I would love to visit this spectacular place. I loved looking over all the pictures and reading their story. Thank you so much for sharing about Camp Wandawega!!!

  394. Hildy Mary says

    I wish to thank you for sharing this amazing and beautiful story through your dedicated work on this website. I have followed and enjoyed your posts from a distance—but have never left a comment until now. I recognize a “blithe & kindred spirit” when I see those traits. You and your husband, together as a team,bring life and creativity to so many who I see respond here. I would be honored to recieve this book–but my sincere wish to you both–is to complete the circle of happiness you both possess as you journey through the adoption process. Our family has already traveled through two international adoptions–and we have been blessed with two babies that are now the “little men” and light of our lives. May your future be as blessed and offer you a new chapter of happiness and love. I know you will be amazing parents–and the “lucky winner” will be the new “little one” who gets to share that.

  395. JANE CRAWFORD says

    Can’t wait to read more about this magical place on this beautiful lake. Her Dad’s story brought tears to my eyes. I miss my Daddy so much, four and a half years now. If I don’t win this book, I will certainly buy it! The pictures are amazing. Thanks so much, Layla.

  396. Sasl says

    I can only dream of visiting a beautiful place like this. I can’t think of anywhere in Australia that has such fabulous accomodation in such a lovely setting. You have done a wonderful job and created a very special place. Sas

  397. says

    Gently tears ran down my face as I read Teresa’s post. What a great trait her dad passed on to his family and so wonderful for them all to find their own way to keep it a part of their lives. This book will find a way to my home whether I win it or run out and buy it! Thank you for sharing.

  398. says

    What a wonderful book!! It took me back to my great-grandparents little cottage in West Texas. How I would love to be able to the same as Tereasa. Her words are so inspiring. Thank you for sharing a part of this awesome book.

  399. Karen Stubbs says

    Thanks for a peek inside this book. What an amazing undertaking. As a cancer survivor, I feel the inspiration in a different more personal way. Congrats! Is a book signing tour planned?

  400. Dianne Callahan says

    Wow. I thought I would love her book yesterday, but after reading about her father, I know I will love it even more today!

  401. pat konzen says

    Lovely. We are purchasing a 50yr old cape cod on a large parcel that needs a little love too. We love paint, caulk and duct tape too!

  402. Cindy says

    Layla and Kevin: Believe. Such a powerful word. Believe, though, and anything is possible! Cindy

  403. Giny says

    I would love a copy of the book, and would probably pass it along as a gift to my daughter, who has the same vision and can see beauty in all the old, rusty odds and ends she come across.

  404. Sheila says

    With tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat this story truly spoke to me. I hope to someday have my very own modest cottage…. it also reminded me of my Dad, he was a bit of a pack rat and always saw the usefulness of everything and I do mean everything.
    Thanks Layla for this heart-warming story!

  405. debbie says

    This was just beautiful to me. It speaks to how our Lord never gives up on pursuing use. He sees the beauty in all of us.. not worthless or ordinary, or unuseable. He brings us back to life, restores us, sees potential where others may just see junk…” Nothing (no one) is too far gone…He sees the beauty “locked within”…Hallelujah! I would love this book…so inspiring!!!

  406. Beverly Palmer says

    What a beautiful heartfelt story. I hope his kids have passed the inspiration on to their kids. I would love to win the book!

  407. Darla Bennett says

    Awww what a sweet story , and a neat looking book. To have a parent that inspires you is an awesome thing. My Dad has always been my best friend. He took me to work with him as a kid and I’ve gone with him as an adult! He took me and 2 of my children home from hospital after they were born. I recently had a teerible car accident and totaled my car. My Dad has been tireless taxi driver! He always helps me with any DIY project I start!! I would love a copy of this book to find more ideas for me and Dad to work on!! Thanx for a chance to win!

  408. Nancy Smith says

    Oh, my gracious! My heart is singing! ♥ I would love a copy of this precious book!

  409. HELP ME RHONDA says

    This made me cry! I would love to win this book. Everything I read on your last two days posts makes me want to revamp a lake cabin!

  410. Nathalie says

    What a beautiful post and beautiful tribute to Tereasa’s father!
    I am loving Wandawega week… the look and feel of the place is incredible and the attention to detail and to keeping it real ;-) is so utterly charming!
    The book is definitely on my wishlist now.

  411. PattiP says

    I am enjoying your posts on the Very Modest Cottage. My husband and I own a very modest cottage in Illinois that we have made wonderful memories at with our 5 children. My husband recently passed and now we struggle with the loss of the heart of our family. Teresa’s writing touches me and I would love her book.

  412. tamera says

    i would adore a copy of this book! it’s full of beauty, and dreams. Would love to have this page turner on my coffee table!!! GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

  413. Lexi says

    What a touching tribute to her father. Thanks Layla for to chance to win this lovely read!

  414. Leigh says

    ahh… this looks just LOVELY! i really fell head over heels for this when i read the previous post. and the Wandawege site is adorable… such an inspiring accomplishment! i hope to get to dive into the book! thx for the opportunity!

  415. Patti says

    This post made me smile as my Dad never threw anything out. You just never know when you might need it or find a use for it. My Dad passed away last year and I miss him everyday but take comfort in knowing that if I can’t quite find the right piece for a project that if I go over to the house I’ll probably will and this makes my finished projects that much more special. I would love to flip through the pages of this book!

  416. Monica C. says

    I love this post. Very inspiring to not give up even in regular life situations and to keep at it :) Thanks Layla!

  417. Isobel Westfall says

    I am looking forward to sitting on my front porch, sipping some iced tea and reading about the magical transformation of this little cabin. If only it had happened magically. It is obvious that it took imagination and hours upon hours of elbow grease. The boards of this humble little building must be rejoicing at how they now glow.

  418. Sandi Hegeman says

    Love this post! The book looks inspiring! Thanks for doing the giveaway and for posting!

  419. says

    Oh my. this place is amazing and the labor of love even more so. thanks for sharing. tahnsk for teh give away.


  420. Azure says

    It’s a beautiful story and I would love to read her book. Thank you for sharing!

  421. Skuba says

    We’re fixing up an old house right now, last summer we put a brand new basement where there was once only a crawl space, the other day someone who knew me and the former residents came up to thank me for keeping the old house and not just tearing it down. It’s the first time I realized we weren’t just doing this for us. And since it was my dad’s, grandparents and my great grand parents house I completely understand how they got to the point of saving that old cottage.

  422. debi Brown says

    Thank you for offering this book. I would love to win this and take it with me to read as we are taking our son back to college. Long road trip and it will help me as I will miss him so.

  423. Heather says

    This post was inspiring as I myself and currently in the process of renovating my home. Awesome ideas and personality!

  424. says

    I got chills reading this post… the idea that beauty lives beneath rust and dust is a principle I live by! We’re living in a time when going back to our roots would do a lot of us a lot of good… this book should be cherished.

  425. Jen Jeschke says

    What a touching story! Her book looks amazing and I would be so happy to own it :) Thanks again for all you do.

  426. Jenn says

    I’ve really enjoyed seeing the photos of the camp and cottages! Our family has a small cabin in the mountains and I’d love to give it some of the touches and look that the Modest Cottage has. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  427. Duff Dunagan says

    You can tell alot of love, soul and heart goes into her projects. I’m sure the book tells the story – the little we’ve viewed is amazing.

  428. Kimberly M. says

    Great story, great photos. Would love to win the book to see the rest . . . (if not, I’ll buy it, though!) Thanks for the chance :>

  429. Amy McC says

    Everything has value! Love this story and miss my dad…he was a renassaince man and a cottage kinda guy. He’s been gone 7 years this September.

  430. Cyndy says

    Wonderful storyteller – I just finished reading about the treehouse in Tom’s honor. Beautiful, clever and inspired. I would love a copy of Tereasa’s book.

  431. Abbey says

    I’m dying to visit Wandawega! and have started plotting buying my own cabin to fix up.

  432. Ashley says

    Sounds like a great read! What amazes me about a story like this is that it’s such a parallel to how God sees us. We are never too far gone. He looks at all our flaws; our broken and run-down pieces and says ‘Oh the potential I see in you!’

  433. Meggan says

    Wandawega is so inspiring! I bought this book for my mom and would love a copy of my own! I live in MN, so I have a special place in my heart for northern woods!

  434. kaylene says

    wow this seems like such a magical place. would love to see more in the book!

  435. Linda says

    I’ve seen this book advertised in my Country Living issues and would love to win it! It could be inspiration to fix up a little storage shed on our property :-)

  436. Marsha says

    Very enjoyable read! Appreciate the time, hard work, and love that went in to this project. True act of love!

  437. Nikki says

    Would love a copy! I grew up in Wisconsin going to camps just like this one :)

  438. says

    Oh my gosh, I would LOVE a copy of that book. I grew up in Wisconsin and for the past 32 years we have been driving back there from Arizona with my family. LOVE Camp Wandawega!!!

  439. Ginene says

    As a long time fan of the Northwoods style, I’d love to own this fabulous book. Not only is it an update of the style but it gives readers the artist’s eye toward seeing what possibilities are. I’d like to do this myself and I’m going to look at property around Elkhorn and southeastern Wisconsin. I go there to auctions but I was used to Eagle River, Wisconsin and never even thought that I could find this closer to home.

  440. Jill Fisher says

    This story is so heartwarming. I love the dedication to reusing and recylcing. The results could not be more beautiful or inspirational!
    I would love a copy of the book to call my own and hopefully to push me toward a similar goal.

  441. Donna Young says

    Loved this post! Please put my name in the running for this lovely book.

  442. Toni Combs says

    How sweet… I love how soft and gently Teresa’s words flow. I would love a copy of this book.

  443. Robin says

    I love your site! Always fabulous before & after ideas to view! Thank you so much for sharing your treats with us all – you’re sweethearts! This book looks like a labor of love – and a real tribute to an inspiring father! I hope it sells well – and I’m sure it’ll be treasured by all who own it! My mother was my inspiration – and she was another ‘fixer-upper’ of old treasures! She taught me well! Thank you! x

  444. says

    Unbelievable as always. I dream about doing the things that you and your guests do, but I wouldn’t know where to start! Thanks for being such great inspiration :)

  445. Audrey Roman says

    What a great story from Teresa to her Dad. It’s so true and something we should all learn to live by. I love old things. Thanks for your great website too. I’m so glad I found you!

  446. says

    What a magical place!!! It makes you just want to pack up and visit for the summer. They did a wonderful job.

  447. Sandra says

    I love a lot a things about this series of blog posts, so let me count the ways: