My Artist Home

Hare Today

I was just explaining to my friend Peggy Jo how I’m a sprinter. Whether I’m running or swimming, setting up a new home or making art, I do it really, really fast — and then I take a break. I am not a marathoner. I can’t sustain energetic output endlessly. If I were one of the two characters in the tale of “The Tortoise & The Hare” I would definitely be the hare.

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(Sleeping Hare by Celia Hart)

Something about being a sprinter makes it difficult for me to run multiple races. I need to pick one race — move into my new home — and not add on another race — get ready for my exhibition in December — until the first race is won.

The last room/sprint to finish in our new house was the big studio where Mike paints and I work on my tarpestries…

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Race won.

Now I’ve begun to sprint towards my solo show in December at the Boise State University Student Union Gallery. The show will be of my tarpestries and I will have a variety of sizes including itty-bitty tarpestries.

Tarpitos?

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Unlike my big pieces these have no particular narrative, they’re just pure pattern. So far I’ve done 14…

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Whew! Time for a break. I’m out of breath!

Maybe another interpretation of the tale of “The Tortoise & The Hare” is that they both won the race — it’s just that the tortoise was a marathoner, and the hare was running a sprint.

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Enough IS Enough!

I can not remember a time when I went without. I can not remember a time when I did not have more than I needed. I have never gone hungry. I have never gone thirsty. I have never been too cold, or too hot, for too long. I have always felt safe, and confident of the goodness of the people in my world. And I have always had more than enough of everything I could possibly ever need.

Way more.

Enough is Enough

In fact one of the many gifts of my life has been the largesse of the material world. Maybe not in coin, but most definitely in goods. I have always been able to “turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.” I can find it second hand and make it into something Anthropologie would charge you beau coup bucks to own, and as a result I have accumulated way more than I will ever be able to use.

I know I am not alone in reaching this stage in our lives when we gasp “Whoa Nelly, enough is enough!”

Enough is Enough

How did this happen? Wasn’t it yesterday that everything we owned could fit into our backpack?. . . Car? . . . Studio apartment? Can’t we blame this on the kids? Didn’t we accumulate all of this stuff in order to make a home for them? And what about the fact that I am an artist? I need this stuff as raw material for art — don’t I?

Enough is Enough

I have moved house many times, and every time I’ve moved I have purged and donated, recycled and thrown away tons of stuff. I do it as I’m packing and I do it again as I’m unpacking. This latest move is the first time that we are actually “downsizing” however, and that means I have a much smaller house in which to try and make everything fit.

Enough is Enough

It’s not working.

Enough is enough

Yes. This is my garage.

Enough is enough

And this is the storage room I’ve renamed the butler’s pantry/monument to materialism…

Enough is enough

but which is in fact an embarrassment of riches.

Enough is enough

If there isn’t a Twelve Step program for this kind of problem, there should be. I admitt I’m powerless over my ability to accumulate more than I need. I’m willing to take inventory. And I’m ready to give it back.

Most of it.

Well, a lot of it anyway.

When we moved out of our last house we had a driveway sale, and as the day wore on we switched our signs from “REALLY” “CHEAP” “STUFF” to “FREE” “STUFF,” “REALLY!”

Enough is enough

I’m thinking I need to do that again at our new place.

Enough is enough

Soon!

Home At Last!

I am so happy to tell you that that light I mentioned in my last post, the one I was just begining to glimpse, did in fact turn out to be the EXIT sign from Limbo!

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What a relief!

It has been a week now since the sale of our wonderful artists’ home went through — yes, 3rd time is apparently an actual charm — and we are finally the owners of just ONE house!

We could not have weathered this process without our amazing realtor Linda Bishop, who fought for us time after time. She is a treasure. And a pit-bull. A pit-bull we truly treasure!

And, I would have been a lot less sanguine about this meat-grinding we went through without the constant upbeat support — daily emails and frequent phone calls — from my friend Peggy Jo — who is suffering through her own tumultuous sojurn through Limbo. YOU, my dear friend, are amazing!

So. Wanna see some pictures of the new house?

I knew you would!

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I work in sections, “perfecting” as I go, and creating islands of sanity within the sea of chaos. Those are all photos of the sane islands.

Lest you find my “perfecting” process depressing in light of your own journey through Limbo, Mom, — here are some pictures of that sea of chaos which I still need to calm:

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Feel better?

Ok, blog break over. Time to get back to work!

Greetings from Limbo!

Bet you thought I wasn’t updating my blog because we were taking a Summer Vacation!

Nope.

In fact we have been caught in the sticky fingers of that ghastly place known as…

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where we have been ever so busy being chewed up and spit back out by the transactions known as “Selling Your House” and “Buying A Different House.”

This is what I have learned: when you are the Seller it is a “Buyer’s Market,” and when you are the Buyer it is a “Seller’s Market,” and if you are doing both at the same time it is simply “Not YOUR Market, Not NOW, Not EVER, So Sorrynotsorry About the Teethmarks, Market.”

And this is pretty much what it feels like:

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The only reason I am able to even attempt a new blog post is that I think I can just begin to almost see the slightest bit of the tiniest glimmer of a light at the end of the tunnel.

“How’s that?” you ask. Well, we have managed to “Buy A Different House” and I have painted many of its walls, and had carpeting removed from the room which will be our studio, and we have moved in the contents of 4 “Storage Cubbys” leaving only the biggest pieces of furniture to be moved by Cross Town Movers on Saturday, and that, as they say, is All Good.

I have even started a new Monument to Materialism in our storage room which is off the courtyard to our townhouse…

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Meanwhile we have been living in the “House for Sale” and bending over backwards in our efforts to get it to that golden moment when it is in fact, “SOLD.”

WISH US LUCK!

I may be smiling, but my back is killing me!

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Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy…!

When my kids were little the three of us spent a lot of time watching Sesame Street together. One of the Bert and Ernie sketches had the two of them in a rowboat, fishing — without any luck, until Ernie had the bright idea to just call the fish. “Here fishy, fishy, fishy!” And suddenly fish were flying out of the water and into their boat.

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There was another little “mini documentary” about an Eskimo child and her day to day life which had one line in it that Lina and I still quote pretty much any time there’s salmon for dinner: “I realllly, realllly like feeesh!”

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Well. I DO really, really like fish, so I am having a great time creating a series of 10 small tarps which will be hung on the framework of the patio railing at Reel Foods on Capitol Blvd. starting in July, and running through September into October, depending on the weather.

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I’ve completed the first layer on all 10 — they are cut and taped — and will start in soon on the second layer of Sharpie and paint pen “grafitti.”

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Meanwhile, I am getting everything ready for our Open House this Saturday. (You can see my announcement about it on the TVAA website Community Post here.) My plan is to hang some of the tarps on our fence out front, in the hope of catching the eyes of passing house-hunters.

House-fishermen?

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Here fishy, fishy, fishy…!

Open House!

We’re having an Open House on Saturday, June 20th from 11:00 to 2:00. If you’re house-hunting I hope you’ll come by so you can actually be IN the space and really experience what a cool house it is! Pictures may be worth a 1000 words, but this is one time that 3-D, rather than 2-D, really makes a difference.

I am a visual thinker. I’m good at going into a space, stripping it down to its bare bones and then overlaying my vision of what it could be “on top”.

Looking at floor plans and arranging my stuff within them is one of my favorite things to do. Since we’ve begun the process of selling our house I’ve spent more time than I care to admit looking at photos of places we might buy once this house is sold, and figuring out ways I could make them work for our needs.

We have something like 25 photos of our house on the “virtual tour” but if you are like me and you are trying to understand the arrangement of the rooms within the 3447 sq. ft spread over 3 floors you might be having a bit of difficulty piecing it together.

So, to make it easier for you between now and the Open House, here are some sketches of our floor-plan, as well as photos of “transitions” between rooms which you won’t see on the virtual tour:

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You enter the house on the main floor. The front door faces South. The kitchen faces East and gets lovely morning sun, the bedrooms face West and the one in the Northwest corner looks into the backyard through the leaves of the plum tree right outside the window.

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(The front door on the South side of the house, and a peek into the hallway.):
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(Standing in LR/DR facing into hall between main floor bedrooms):
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(Standing in that hall looking into the NW bedroom with the view of the back yard. That’s a built-in linen cupboard between the painting and the bedroom door.):
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(Standing in the hall looking into the NW bedroom, the “study” and the living room.):
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(Stairs to the 2nd floor are in the center of the main floor off the little hallway between the bedrooms. You can see into the “study” on the left side.):
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(The view from the “study” across the landing into the kitchen.):
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(Looking from between the “study” and the kitchen down the stairs to the basement.):
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(Looking from between the “study” and the kitchen the other way, down the stairs to the Butler’s Pantry and the back door.):
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(The Butler’s Pantry is to the right of the back door, on the landing between stairs down to the utility room, and up to the main floor.):
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(Standing in the kitchen looking back toward the LR/DR.):
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The 2nd floor rooms are on the East/West axis. I use them as studio spaces, but they would make great guest rooms, or bedrooms for kids.

(The view into the room on the East side.):
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(The view from the room on the West side looking back down the hall to the room on the East side.):
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(The room on the West side.):
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The basement is basically an entire house unto itself. It was Logan’s apartment while we were a Certified Family Home and has a legal egress which we had installed in the bedroom.

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(The bedroom also has a really cool “nook” which we built shelves in and which Logan used as a “book nook.”):
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(There’s a room off the utility room which we use as a work room. It has built in storage on the South wall and with a little TLC could be converted to a 6th bedroom.):
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(We also have a storage room under the stairs which I call the “holiday room” since that’s where I store all my Christmas, Easter, and other seasonal decorations.):
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All of the above — I know, I know, I’m risking overloading you with visual information — but, all of the above should help fill in the inevitable gaps in any virtual tour of less than 50 pictures.

If you need more than this, then for heaven’s sake COME TO THE OPEN HOUSE ON SATURDAY BETWEEN 11:00 AND 2:00!!!

I need a nap.

Houses for Sale

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Yesterday I found refuge from all the sturm und drang of our house sale in the pleasant distraction of doing a little house painting.

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A little bird house painting, to be exact.

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They say when you’re feeling sorry for yourself the best medicine is to think about somebody else and do something nice for them.

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Every year the Idaho Humane Society finds various creative ways to raise money to help find homes for all the wonderful animals that end up on their doorstep. This year, artists are painting bird houses to be auctioned.

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It felt good to think for a change about somebody else finding their perfect people and future home.

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So…now I have two houses for sale.

And I feel good.

Second Guessing and Second Chances

Turns out I spoke too soon. I should never have worn my heart on my sleeve. Never have assumed understanding when there was none. Never have shared my enthusiasm so openly about all the things that make this house and this neighborhood so unique.

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Lesson learned.

Right now you are probably thinking WTF are you talking about Melissa?

Well take a look…

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Yes, that’s right, our pending contract failed and the house is back on the market. Wah wah waaaaaah.

Well you know me. I get knocked down, but I get up again….and so will the sale of this house.

So if you were disappointed when we went on…and then off…the market in matter of 3 short days, now’s your second chance.

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By the way, 8,000 of you looked at our virtual tour last time.

Just sayin.

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Moving Right Along!

I need to remember all those “Wise Words” I post on my Pinterest board that remind me about things like “Worrying is like praying for something you DON’T want.”

I should never have worried about selling our wonderful house, because…

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Yep. We have a contract pending with a wonderful buyer!

You’re not allowed to say your house is “sold” until everybody’s signed on the dotted line on the day you close — but I’m not worried. I’m thrilled.