Stafford Plantation Cumberland Island, Georgia

I’ve been away and it’s good to be back. There are seasons in life when our plates are so full of actual living that something else must be sacrificed. For me, it was blogging. The good news is all the big living that kept me away was good stuff. Our twins graduated from high school and are both away at college (did I just say that?) It’s true. They’re happy and doing well and my kitchen has never been cleaner. We miss them like crazy but they didn’t fly too far away so we see them every few weeks.

My graduation gift to myself was to get away and spend a week with other artists on Cumberland Island, Georgia, with Pigs Fly Retreats, hosted by my dear friends and fine art photographers Lori Vrba and Anne Berry. The island is rich with history, wild horses, moss covered oaks and the ruins of historical mansions that once belonged to the Carnegie family.

Our group was comfortably cared for at Stafford Plantation. Built in 1901 by Lucy Carnegie for one of her 9 children, the house was certainly deserving of a full house shoot, but our days were full exploring the island and photographing out in the southern wild of this remote barrier island. Doesn’t that sound like the best time?

I do have some highlights to share with you. All week I had my eye on the home’s butlers pantry and knew I wanted to take the time to style it just a bit and give it a proper photo shoot.

10’ tall built in cabinets, drawers for silverware and linens. Beautiful old wavy glass and stacks of the family china (the estate is still privately owned).

The copper work horse sink had a beautiful patina and dual faucets.

There are no stores on Cumberland and all supples and provisions are ferried over with each group. We were so grateful for the lemons growing out back to help flavor the island water. Truly organic and delicious even though they don’t look like perfect store bought fruit. We weren’t exactly roughing it but we were certainly grateful for what we had.

The mudroom entry served us well. This is where we left our hiking shoes and backpacks. How about that perfectly peeling wallpaper?

The hallway leading to the dining room where we gathered three times a day for delicious meals prepared by chef Mimi McGee of Island Wellness

A corner of the master suite holds an extra bed and seating. A single framed seascape flanked by bare bulb sconces. Authentic, charming and timeless.

Approximately 150 feral horses roam Cumberland along with flocks of wild turkeys that visited every evening for food. The island remains a wild and magical place.