The Superior Express -

Phyllis Liggett's Art She-Shed


January 21, 2021

Phyllis's special artsy "She Shed" that is located across the driveway from the Liggett home in Mankato

Men have their "Man Caves" so women these days are asking for their equal, a She-Shed, and Phyllis Liggett's request was definitely answered. The word "She-Shed" is described as being a small building reserved specially for the use of an adult woman in which she can relax and pursue her interests. Phyllis' She-Shed certainly fits. For many years, Phyllis has done her art work in a small bedroom in the Liggett house but when it began to spread out into their living room, her husband, Mike, agreed it was time to build her own art studio. With the help of a neighbor and carpenter, Jerry Ells, a two-year project was recently completed.

Phyllis said, "Mike has always encouraged me with my art work." So he went about to make her dream She-Shed come true. The 14'x20' foot building, with a 8' porch now sits across the driveway from their Mankato home. It is definitely a stand out with its blue exterior, its arched windows and its unique open porch.

The building began with Phyllis' ideas and then she and Mike began putting it all together, with the aid of Ells. Two years ago, Mike began tearing down what was left of the old service station building that was connected to the Camel Cafe along Highway 36 in Mankato. The building had been moved to an area close to where the Liggetts' live. Wide pine boards were taken from the station building's roof and refinished and are now a stand out as the She-Shed floors. "Everything in the shed we built ourselves or was purchased at a second hand store," she adds. Cedar wood was milled by the Liggetts and is used in making the interior shelves that display some of her art work and her interesting finds. Pieces in the shed even came from the local city dump, including the interior's wainscoting they found when taking a load of wood to the dump. "I spotted that wooden siding and knew we would use it so we swapped," she said.

A walk into the shed reveals it is flooded with bright light coming from the large arched windows on three sides of the room, adding the much needed light for Phyllis to work on her art projects. Providing even more light is a large sparkling crystal chandelier handing from the middle of the vaulted ceiling. There are two other smaller hanging chandeliers on the north end of the ceiling. All of the chandeliers came from either an antique store or a second hand store. Phyllis refinished one of those chandeliers that was metal.

Shelves are all along the north side of the interior wall. There are cabinets holding art supplies. Phyllis has painted colorful flowers on the door panels of the cabinets. Cedar planks made for window sills for some of the windows. Tiffany style lamps are on the west wall.

In one corner of the one-roomed She-Shed is her work area. Above this area is a LED shop light. Phyllis likes the color yellow and used this to paint the walls above the wainscoting. The furnishings in the room are a three piece set of unique designed brown wicker furniture that is used when visitors come to call. She made bright colored cushions for the chairs and a stool. A 100-year-old drafting table was found and refurbished. It is along the east wall of the room. A sewing machine is stationed along another wall. Adding to the comforts of the room is a small refrigerator. A wall unit operates either as an air-conditioner or a heater.

Another of Phyllis' ideas for her She-Shed was adding a covered porch onto the south side of the building that overlooks a small creek. She knows it will make a relaxing place to sit in the lounge chairs in the warmer months.

As for Phyllis' art interest, she enjoys painting and stone or wood carving. "I just dabber with my painting," she adds. Her interest in carving came from her father who she remembers whittling as he fished, and carving wood pieces creating some beautiful projects. She likes using native limestone for carving. Her favorite to carve out of the limestone are animals. She gives credit for prompting her artistic interests to local artist and art teacher, the late Gay Anderson, who was her night class teacher.

As for her sewing interests, she does not do much of that except she makes some of her clothing. Another interest is flower gardening and landscaping.

Phyllis is set to retire the end of this month from her job of 14 years as the local post office's lead sales and service person. Before that she was employed at the Flower Patch in Mankato. Later she purchased and operated that business for 10 years. Before the Flower Patch, she worked at the local ASCS office for 15 years. "I'm looking forward to retirement and more time with my family. The Liggetts have a daughter, Reba, who is married and lives in the Los Angeles, Calif., area; a son, Chris, who lives in Longview, Texas; and one grandchild. Soon they will have twin grandbabies.

Phyllis said, "I'll also be glad to have more time in my She-Shed where I'm the queen of my domain."


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