Aug 20, 2006

More Chicago pictures are on the way! I tried for almost an hour to get more photos on the darn blog, but it wouldn't let me. And it won't let me place my photos where I want to on the posting. This site is not easy at all to upload my postings. Now I know I told you on my last posting that I would show you "after" photos next. After some thought, I decided that it is really the "during" that the work, creativity, and passion are found. So, I wanted to share some "during" photos prior to showing you the "after" photos.

As you can see from the first photo, I got the brick wall aged to my signature color: aged ivory. This was not easy. Bumpy brick does not make a great canvas, but the results are satisfying First, I must say, there was NO air conditioning in the space and those days were very, very hot. The ladder you are looking at is ten feet tall. I had to stand on the top rung to reach the ceiling. And the rafters were covered in about an inch of crumbly dust that continually fell into my eyes and hair as I hung chain, cheesecloth, and wire. Not fun.

I tried to up load a photo of my two friends, Cassandra and Phil who drove up and helped unload and put into place the larger pieces. Phil hung chandeliers and patiently waited on top of the ladder as I examined the location and to decide if it "looked right." They drove up on day two, worked hard for about five hours and then headed back and I was then left to do my "magic" as so many of friends like to call it.

As soon as I was left on my own once again, I got busy. I can't explain what happens to me when I get into my zone, so to speak, but I can honestly say that a tornado could rip right through the building and I wouldn't notice. I am truly in my own world. Many times, Sallie, one of the owners of Vintage Pine, would walk up to me to tell me something and I would just jump out of my skin because I was so unaware of her presence. After doing this several times, she told me that whenever she saw me on a ladder, she wouldn't approach me because she was afraid of startling me while up there.

People also always ask me how do I come up with my ideas? Again, I don't have an answer. They just come in the moment. I can "see" the final results in my head, but the fine details don't emerge until I am in my "zone." While I work in this mode, I rarely eat, rarely sleep, and work non-stop. Actually, I went 38 hours without sleep. I worked in my store in St. Louis and then loaded my van on a Tuesday, worked all night prepping for the move, then got in the van, drove 4.5 hours to Chicago on Wed, unloaded, and began painting until the evening. I highly don't recommend this, but sometimes, there just aren't enough hours in the day to do what needs to get done. And I am blessed to have an enormous amount of energy. I've pulled all nighters before (actually several times a year), but again, I honestly try to avoid doing this whenver possible. But, I guess you could say that is when my passion for what I do comes to true fruition.

I also have a photo of the three of us eating our lunch out of the cargo van in the side alley next to the trash dumpster. But this blog site wouldn't take it. I laughed as I snapped the photo telling Phil that I hope (and pray) that someday this will be a "remember when" photo. As in, when I am a huge success, eating my catered lunch in my fabulous, well-designed art studio in a trendy art loft in a hip city and I can point to that photo and say "remember when I was just starting out how I had to move furniture myself, and eat lunch out of the cargo van in the alley??" as I personally sign my design books for my publisher to distribute to Borders. See how my dreams are just about as big as they can get? It is fun to dream. Yup, when it comes to that really successful state, I am only in a dream stage. I need to find a way to move on to the plan stage. But one step at a time, I guess.

If I can get more photos up from the "during" stage of the move, I will. But for now, for those of you who have projects or big plans to accomplish, the best piece of advice I can offer is really simple. Enjoy the process. No matter how long the hours, how difficult, or tiring it may be, the process is really the fun part.

Sort of like hiking up a really steep and long hill side to reach a beautiful stream that starts at the top. How many times have we done something like that? We finally see the wonderful stream, admire it, and even drink from it. But what do we then do?? We sit down, next to the stream, and we don't really look at it, but rather, we look down the hill from where we came and ponder the challenge that we just accomplished. And we relive that hike in our minds, every stone, every slip, and every tree branch we gabbed onto to steady ourselves, the little cuts on our fingers, and even the all the bugs we swiped away during our hike. And as we sit next to that stream thinking about the long hike - we don't dwell on the challenges, we instead admire how we overcame them. That's the secret to just about anything in life. Seeing the challenge as something to solve and not as something to stop us.

Thank you again for allowing me to express my thoughts to you. And thank you to Phil and Cassandra. You were definitely my "tree branches" that I grabbed onto to steady myself. And my very good friend Annie, is someone that not only encouraged me on this "hike" of mine - she made the hike a real adventure. May you enjoy your adventures.

from my house to your house,


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