August 31, 2010

Finished Work Friday- My very first art show!!!!!

So last Friday it dawned on me that I should touch base with the owner of the cafe in town that was going to host my first art show. I picked up the phone and dialed. Emblazoned in my mind was OCTOBER. One month to finish about 10 more pieces for the show. One month to get together a good artist's biography and all the description cards that are hung below each painting on the wall. Plenty of time to sign, title, varnish and wire up all the canvases as well as put together a flier and start advertising for a First Friday reception. I hung up the phone after talking with the owner of Jitter's with my mind and heart in my feet. Attention Deficit Disorder had gotten the best of me again, the bastard. Not October. SEPTEMBER. We had scheduled the show for September and he needed everything to be ready to go by 7pm Sunday night. Battling a nasty chest cold and feeling exhausted, this seemed insurmountable. There was no way to back out. How unprofesh would THAT be?!?! But at the same time...what I had envisioned for my first show-enough pieces to warrant the "fireplace" room and a strong First Friday reception- was just not going to happen! I had about 23 canvases but there was NO WAY I could produce 10 more in 2 days! 2, maybe. I gave up the dream of that Perfect First Show and resigned myself to something more on the half-assed side. I downed the cold meds and coffee, tried not to cough up a lung and got to work. With the help of my sweet girls and our neighbor we were actually able to get everything done. We packed up the truck with all the canvai and headed down to Jitter's coffee shop. The owner helped hang it...and I even got the "fireplace room"!!!! Turns out I had just the right amount of paintings! I'm pretty pleased with it....and a friend and I just might do a joint reception next week. He's running for State House so we thought we could do a meet & greet/art viewing type of thing....kind of a weird concept but who knows. Truth be known...I'm a shrinking violet when it comes to having a spotlight focused on me...and even though the people who will show up for this art show are mostly my friends, it still scares the crap out of me. So, since I blew the First Friday thing anyway, maybe doing a joint event will ease me into the whole scene and give me the confidence I'll need for a more "public" FF reception.
For now, I'm just fekkin' thrilled to be showing my work here in town!

(Dea helping with the hardware)

(cutting descriptor cards)

(The aftermath of the art show scramble.....................................and back to peace and calm!)

August 28, 2010

How NOT to raise a wall.

Measuring the windows


Here we are on the verge of September....and our new addition is still barely off the ground. We're starting to feel the panic. The goal has been to get this thing up and ready to heat by the time snow flies. And as I've stated before, the framing was supposed to be FINISHED by July.... But such is the quagmire one sets themselves up in when counting on a retired contractor that is not really asking for much monetary compensation. In return, we're kind of at the mercy of his whims...not sure when he'll be showing up. Huz and I, with help from Dea and Lo have done 90% of the work ourselves so far. And I'm still lovin it! I've always been one who's happiest when making, a baby, a new meal, landscaping, construction....and I really enjoy the labor put into it. I relish a productive day of hard busy work, and the peace that comes at the end of it when you can stand back and look at what you've produced.

Sister power

....But, alas, the completion of this project is at the mercy of our contractor who has not made it a priority. And it seems every other week one of us is not available to work on it. We were in Jersey, then he was of on vacations with family, now Huz is in Washington DC for conferences for the next week...oi. As long as WE are here and the contractor actually shows up for 30 minutes to instruct us on what to do, we're good to go! We slammed out the first wall in 3 hours and the second wall took a Sunday....But actually getting him here at the house in the first place has been a problem. A lot of wasted weekends.

So imagine my surprise-chagrin, actually- when our MIA contractor calls last night and says, "Let's raise those walls!" We didn't take him too seriously. Since the biggest wall is like 2 tons, we had been planning to have friends and neighbors come up for an official Wall Raising a la the Amish if only we had a day and time to give them. But the contractor is not so good at such commitments. We knew he had his son and grandson in town and they were willing to help. And I assumed that he had a few other we figured we'd wait and see IF , WHEN and WHO showed up. I was feeling crappy, a chest cold coming on, and just wanted to go to BED. Lo and behold, he shows up after 9PM with Jr. and Jr. Jr. That's it. Huz and I felt bad about calling folks to come help since it was so last minute and late! But Dea knew that our next door neighbors were up so we asked if they wanted to help. Apparently we needed all the help we could get.

Enjoy our Fellini-esque wall raising video! I'm the one with the afro puff in the black hoodie wielding the hammer. (It's been a long recovery process for my low back so such heavy lifting is OUT for me.)
The vid is fekkin' ridiculous to watch-I almost cried like a girl at the end-but at the same time I'm SO upset that people could have gotten hurt. This was not a paid construction team...just friends helping out. I am NOT happy with the contractor's lack of judgement. And I feel HORRIBLE that I dismissed my own concerns about the situation. We figured we don't know SHIT about how all this works, so we put our trust in the guy who does. But as I look back at the last couple months, we-especially Huz-have found mistakes on the contractor's part, we've second guessed some of his ideas, really only need minimal instruction from him, need to go with our OWN instincts, and as long as I have Huz's math skills-I can DO THIS!!!!

We WILL be having a serious pow-wow on how we are going to proceed with this construction. Renting jacks to raise these walls for one thing...And we will NOT be second guessing our own instincts and logic AGAIN.

August 26, 2010

The ThighMaster..... Alaska-style