Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Busy Husband Inspires Wife Plant - A - Palooza

My husband is a busy man. 

Not lawyer busy, minister busy, doctor busy, CEO busy,  (feel free to insert - stereotypical - busy - job - here - mentally, etc.) but busy.

When he isn't teaching full time at the outdoor magnate school program that hosts over 7,000 5th graders per year for one of THE largest school districts in America, he does side work training summer camp counselors to safely run ropes courses for the summer season ahead.

When that isn't happening, he's nursing and planting hundreds of trees, trading sand internationally on an online sand forum (seriously, its' a real forum that does exist and we have over 800 pounds of his "trade sand" and over 1500 samples of sand from around the world to prove it). 

He also is a biker. An old - school, Panhead Harley riding, tattooed, bearded and even BOOK - WRITING biker with a hint of biker snob. Trike style bikes and Gold Wing bikes make him snarl and the hint of snob appear. His book about his 3 month solo Panhead trip in the 90's from Texas to Alaska and all the way back was published. And, to top it off, he is the member of a wild group of vintage car/ hot rod lovers who actually BUILD their hot rods, resurrecting rusted model - t's, Studebakers, etc. and turning them into racing and stunning show - pieces. He is currently halfway thru building a '37 chopped Chevy hot rod truck of his own to go along with the 2 other vintage beauties we own.

It has been a busy year and a little rough to say the least. His father passed at 86 in August only a month and a half before our wedding. Also, the stress of adding onto what is now our house was intense. So, right now I just want him to have some fun with his own stuff for a while.

I know that as an AVID environmental ed guy, he wants to help me start a garden. However, I don't want to "throw one more thing" on his plate.

I want a garden bad..... a raised bed beauty with beautiful, edible goodness and some shade here and there. I really want one by the studio, but I figured I'd start small with a potted garden.

I can do this! 

Here's a shot of the delectable goodies:
The two on the far left are Thai Basil, middle front is Rosemary, middle back are Blue Bushel Green Beans, back right Greek Basil, front right Sweet Basil, and far right Orange Citrus Mint. Oh, and that's my arm in the photo too.

I got them at the local feed store. It was my first time in there. Six grown men tried to help me there because they knew it was my first time there. It was adorable. I felt like a celeb or something.

ANYWAY, the planting starts tomorrow. Photos will be taken and a blog about this will be written and posted by Friday :) Please check back!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tackling the Studio Part 2

After this particular discussion (in part 1) of the studio and my problem with staying focused to organize and not just "play" in it, The Husband and I devised a plan.

We have two friends (a married couple) always looking for fun odd jobs for a little extra cash. G (the husband in the pair) does work on our acreage from time to time and helps The Husband with fun stuff in our four bay working garage. K (the wife) is a feisty, tiny thing loads of fun to talk to and amazing at organizing just about anything. She, unlike me, is great at staying focused and keeping people motivated whilst helping then dig through their stuff.

We called up G and K and told them the dilemna. A couple of days later they came over and surveyed the task ahead.

"Wow!", said K. "I've never seen so much art stuff in any place other than an art supply store. Whoa!".

"Yep. I've got some ideas but as you can see I can work out here but only in a small portion right now. I just need a little help to stay focused and an opinion on how to put things in places so that people who come in here other than me can find supplies and work." I said.

K and I helped G and The Husband go back through what was lurking in the two overhead lofts in the studio. All the Christmas stuff * and other things that had been stacked there in an effort to give them shelter quickly when I moved in where removed and sent into available space in the middle garage bay. Then, they could be relocated to our rent house on the other side of town until needed during the holidays. K and I went thru the containers and reorganized by separating items to keep and items to sell or donate.

(* Special note: Christmas is BEYOND huge on my side of the family. I mean, it was a big deal for my inlaws, but my Mom turns into Martha Stewart right before Thanksgiving and is totally in her holiday - decorating - element around two weeks before Thanksgiving and until around January 3rd - ish. My husband and his family had a nice tree and some great traditions that they still carry on today. My Mom not only does amazing decor, but at one point we had a 13 foot tree AND 3 to 4 other trees. I'll get into our other traditions in another post, but I want to give you a "picture" of where I got my Christmas stuff/ habits from. I am not complaining, and I love my 5 trees, over 400 Hallmark ornaments and 100+ glass ornaments, but to an outsider it looks like way too much Christmas goodness).

Then G and The Husband went to the house to start putting together a new (IKEA! Yay!) bed while K and I began going through boxes of art supplies, art books, portfolios of art work, etc. and tossing useless things whilst boxing donations and taking items in that really were supposed to be in the house. My husband and I own well over 100 pieces of art and some of it was in the studio. We plan on rotating the art in our home much like a gallery, so hauling in some treasures helped to get the rotating started :) Pics to come soon :)

After 20 hours of work over two different days, K and I have the studio 85% done. She is amazing. She'll help me with the last portion and then G and The Husband will put in the insulation paneling. The electrical is already wired and I have light fixtures picked out so working anywhere within the space will be well lit and comfortable for all.

Pics to come very soon of the space along with before and after pics. The next step is to start the mural on the outside of one side of the studio and get the ball rolling for me to host private lessons and workshops in that space for my art students. :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Thanks for asking for photos! :)

Some of you out there have not only been reading my blog but actually sending me questions!

Thank you!

You have requested a photo of my simple but elegant engagement ring and wedding band. Also,  a picture of my studio that The Husband got me instead of a huge diamond at my request :) Diamonds are great but studio spaces are the best!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tackling the Studio (Part 1)

As I "touched on" in my first few blogs, I am jobless.

Well, in the more traditional sense.

Not really by choice..... well, sort of. 

DON'T GET ME WRONG.....I'm not complaining. Things are pretty good: The Husband is pretty rad, our house is cool and the addition onto it has given us oodles more space, most of the people in our little weird town are friendly, we have a beautiful chunk of land, and I have an art studio space that is more than just a craft corner in my house or a converted storage room.

Most gals now days seem to still want the giant diamond when they get engaged. 

Why (you are probably asking) am I bringing up engagement rings whilst hinting at a studio building? 

Well, the reason is that when The Husband took me ring "browsing" on a trip to the small hill country town we later got married in he asked if I would like a big diamond OR a smaller diamond and a building to use as a studio when I would eventually move to his little piece of woods.

I have never been completely traditional and immediately said "studio" and chose a smaller and simpler *ring* with a matching band. 

The studio arrived on the acre of land nearest the house in April 2012. Coming in at roughly 300 square feet with one and a half stories of prefabricated wooden cabin goodness, a small porch, two loft spaces in the 1/2 stories and 5 windows throughout, I swooned at the possibilities ahead.

We started stuffing it with the 8 years of art goodies I had accumulated during my teaching career (thus far) and other things from the house I was getting ready to sell throughout the summer of 2012. I dubbed it "The Owls' Nest Studio" and started a tiny facebook page for it in August of 2012. 

For several months it was messy but usable but only by me. Trying to have more people out there was crazy and I knew the time was fast approaching to tackle the craziness and organize. 

Efforts began in March, then sadly stopped because I would just make art out there and not clean and organize. Then I started again in April and let my other class obligations in Huntsville (the large college town next to us about 20 miles away) suck away all my organizational energy. In late April The Husband interviened:

"Honey", he said one night over my latest crock pot experiment he was nicely nibbling on, "I've noticed you haulted the organizing you had started in the studio. I know it is a lot of stuff and overwhelming but you know you will be making great things once you finally have it clean and the way you have always wanted it. You are only able to really use one portion of it right now."

"I know", I said and poured another glass of wine for myself and cracked open a beer for him, "but I just love the space so much and the stuff so much and just get overwhelmed. Its' like I either start organizing then give up or get distracted and start just making a piece of art when I should be doing what really needs to be done."

*(My ring by the way is a swanky little art deco number from the 1930's that cost less than 1/10th of a standard wedding set today. It has less than 1/2 a carat of beautiful diamonds but is complete with white and yellow gold metal to come in the future).

Part 2 coming by May 20th.....yes for real.......

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I'm FINALLY back!

I started an art website and finally got some evening art teaching gigs the same time I started this blog and thus fell into the rutt of not adding to my blog. I finally have my time managed better and have plenty of "juicy blog tidbits" to share.

Here is the Part 2 I promised. YES, it is HUGE, but before I add more posts you really gotta know my back story:)

In future posts I'll tackle some of these topics:

- adjusting to marriage 
- adjusting to small town life
- adventures living out in the deep woods
- starting a garden...FINALLY
- house wife madness 
- projects in my art studio (The Owls' Nest)
- family fun 
- silly musings 

Part 2:

My Prince Charmings'job(for now referred to in my blog as 'The Husband')brought me to where I am now, a town of 2,700 in East Texas. He's been here for nearly 22 years and was a transplanted farm boy from the far North Eastern corner of South Dakota of all places. He has owned and lived on 14 beautiful acres deep in the woods for 5 years and taught at the same magnate school program housed in the woods for nearly 22 years.

We met 3 years ago in November in the studio space I used to rent and work in in downtown Houston. He and the 2 people he came in with that night (a fabulous 40's style pin-up model gal named Miss V and a crazy dude named Scary Jerry with an INSANE beard) had been up all night the night before at a wake for a friend who had died in a motorcycle accident. In a no - sleep sudden burst of caffeinated energy they all 3 decided to head to the huge city - wide Art Crawl which started at the warehouse my studio was in. I thought they were hilarious and I became fast friends with all 3 of them and kept in touch about art events in the Houston area for several months before coming face to face with them again. 

By that February, Miss V invited me to sell some of my 40's style pin - up accessory creations at my own booth during the huge Houston area car show her husband was helping plan. She was secretly plotting to set up The Husband and I. 

It worked.

The Husband showed me around the car show after I closed my booth and we went to a great after party with his car club. The next morning, his  tattooed - bearded - eclectic - motor cycle riding - self picked me up from my hotel for Tex-Mex brunch and asked what I was doing 2 weeks later for my spring break.

"Nothing", I replied. "Get me outta Lake Jackson".

"Great", he said. "Pick anywhere in Texas you want to go".

I settled on Marfa and Big Bend in far West Texas and our first official date was a week long road trip adventure to those locales. We were a couple by the end of the trip and about 16 months later he proposed to me at Artists' Point in Yellowstone National Park in the middle of a three - week long camping adventure.

With the proposal came planning a wedding and along with help from my Dad, we had to prep my house I had bought on my own and lived in for 7 years for sale. I also had to make the tearful decision to leave my art teaching job I had had at the high school I had gone too and then worked in for 8 years. Of course I was going to miss most of my coworkers and a lot of my students, but the thing that upset me the most was knowing I might never get to teach art full time again. But, that's for a later blog...

We got married in October, got me moved in with him in his tiny bachelor pad in the woods, sold my house 2 weeks after the wedding and then finished the renovations to double the size of his pad and turn it into our pad for move in by the beginning of December. 

Also, during that time, tried to find any sort of art related paying work, put in paperwork to sub elementary school (the 'planet' inhabited by tiny people I had never taught before and usually cheerful female teachers I had never encountered before in high school planet), started this blog and my art website and have managed to stuff in time to TRY to learn the art of home management and house wife mad - organization - skills.

SO, I know I have written a lot, but ya gotta know me a little before I add to this blog. Thank you for reading! :)