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I Did It: Sandra of Sawdust Girl

Hey guys, I’m Sandra Powell of Sawdust Girl. I’m thrilled to be here to tell you about my “I did it” photo shoot experience and tell you a little bit more about myself.

I spend most of my days remodeling my home; tearing out walls, building new ones and designing and building custom built-ins.

 When I received an email from Kit at Better Homes and Gardens saying something to the effect of, “We’d love to feature one of your projects in an upcoming magazine” — I was ecstatic! I’m pretty sure I either squealed and/or jumped up and did a happy dance.







Master closet in my current home.




While reading Kit’s email, I naturally assumed she was going to say she wanted to feature one of my built-in projects because that’s what I’m known for…it’s kind of my thing.


 Library in current house


I’ve been building built-ins for myself for about 12 years and recently started designing custom plans for others and offer “Build it Yourself” Coaching services, so I had to giggle when Kit said, “the project we’d like to feature just involves paint.” She wanted to feature my daughter’s map wall. I was surprised but just as thrilled. Madison and I were both really excited!


About the map Art wall.


This wall is in NO WAY meant to portray an accurate map of the world. It’s simply subway art with names of places that Madison wants to visit. We decided it would be cool to put a map of the world behind the words.



The map wall is the backdrop for Madison’s bed.  It’s a tiny, tiny room.



There isn’t room for much more than the bed. The opposite wall is covered in chalkboard vinyl and has a little recessed area that is just big enough for a hutch.



A couple projects I built for her room are these three storage benches and this beachy mirror.


The day of the photo shoot Madison got to skip school. She was soooo sad about that. :-) The adjacent room was accosted by the team for storing all the supplies and equipment.



The bedroom is pretty tiny, so they had to get creative and set up the camera equipment in the hallway and adjacent room. It was an adventure squeezing around the camera equipment to get in and out of the room.


The team was incredible. Jessica set everything up and staged the room. Edmund was a hoot! He tried to make us laugh while Jessica gave directions for me to try to look natural. Then they shot and examined lots and lots of photos.



My face was sore from smiling after the shoot, but it was a great experience. It was fun and exciting for both Madison and me, and I’m so happy that Kit’s email didn’t get lost in the black hole that some of my emails end up in. That would have been a missed opportunity of a lifetime!


Madison and I were so excited to get our August copy of Better Homes and Gardens and open up to the “I Did It” section to see HER bedroom (and us in it). What a thrill!


Come by and visit me at Sawdust Girl or say hello on my Facebook page any time.


A big thank you to Better Homes and Gardens for the great feature and to Jennifer Lawrence Photography for my closet/tool photo.


2 Responses to “ I Did It: Sandra of Sawdust Girl ”

  1. Hello, congratulations on your page in BH&G
    That is where I found your site. I live in Middlesboro
    Ky., 60 miles away from Knox. Graduated from
    UT. My question: do you conduct a DYI workshop
    to teach other women? Again, congrats!
    Sharon Vaughn.

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