About Kelley, Bunny Vista and Me

Kelley has been a woodworker for thirty-two years, first in the Anthony Hay Cabinet Shop in Colonial Williamsburg and, for the last twenty years with Taylor and Boody Organbuilders near Staunton, VA. He has always been a student of traditional crafts and has used the techniques he learned as an apprentice and journeyman cabinetmaker in Williamsburg to create many beautiful pieces of furniture and to build magnificent pipe organ cases. Bunny Vista is his first house-building project.

I have been an elementary school teacher, a preschool teacher, and a storyteller. I worked for sixteen years in public libraries, first as a children’s programmer and later as a children’s librarian. My daughter Erin and I own and operate Pufferbellies Toys and Books in downtown Staunton.

Kelley and I jokingly named our new house Bunny Vista in honor of the rabbits who keep us company and the magnificent views of pasture, mountain, and sky. With the little town of Buena Vista only forty-five minutes away, we couldn’t resist. We envision grand stone pillars at the foot of our driveway with the inscription “Bunny Vista circa 2009.”

The house has three basic elements: a log section made mostly of logs from a 19th century barn, a largish timber frame room with a loft at one end and a stone fireplace at the other, and a shed addition at the back of the house which will hold the master bathroom, the entry, the back hallway, and the kitchen.

Kelley has been planning for the house and collecting materials for nearly five years. Mr. Pete Lyle cleared away some trees from the building site and dug the hole for the foundation in the summer of 2008. Mr. Bill Shuey hauled away all the trees and roots.

In January we began to build the house. We are hoping to move into Bunny Vista by Christmas.

I have started this blog almost at the end of the building process, but Kelley has many taken photos  along the way. I will be adding these in–in a sort of a flashback technique, I guess. Yesterday, a man from South Carolina delivered a big load of cypress for the timber frame, trim, hallway ceiling, and doors. He told Kelley he had visited a lot of unique houses in his years of milling lumber, but that Bunny Vista is the “unique-est” of them all. I am not surprised.

Susan and Kelley and some logs

Susan and Kelley and some logs


4 Responses to “About Kelley, Bunny Vista and Me”

  1. rob Says:

    Hi guys,
    I just stumbled across your site as I googled “sandstone cabin”. I’m thinking of building a small cabin incorporating large sandstones of various shapes that litter the shoreline of my property in northern Michigan on Lake Superior.

    What sort of mortar did you use on your stonework? Any information or web references would be great.

    Good luck on your project. Take care.


  2. Evan Wilkinson Says:

    HI Susan and Kelley, WOW! That is an amazing house. It fits you both very well. I hope to stop in and have a cup of coffee with you in front of that fireplace. Lots of love. -Evan

    • Susan Says:

      Evan, we would love to see you. The house is nearing completion, and we’re hoping to move in soon. The grading is done now, and it looks great. Maybe more photos will appear soon!

  3. Jim Buckley Says:

    Susan and Kelley,

    What a lot of work! Worthwhile though. Great job.

    I found your site while looking for Rumfords, of course. Your’s look great. Nice stonework. We appreciate the links to Buckley Rumford and to Superior Clay. May we use a couple of your pictures – with credits, of course?

    Warm regards,
    Jim Buckley

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