05. The Blog

Wednesday, 20 November 2013. YES! YES! YES! Busy! Busy! Busy! In spite of the finger-freezing cold weather that snapped back, following some down-right “balmy” days, the work on the barn, over-all, continues… and with-out the necessary equipment (like face masks to cover mouth and nose, and coverings for clothing, properly long gloves, and the likes of these things). Just less than half of the 2nd storey is clean(er than it was) and is being turned into use-able work-space! As you can see CLICK-HERE, SCROLL DOWN TO THE 2ND STOREY IMAGES there are considerable spaces in the walls that allow some very nice sun-light in. This is rather a blessing because there isn’t any electric up there and, well, light is a rather necessary luxury. However… those spaces also allow the West winds to whistle and howl in as well! And THAT, in this month of Northern November, is a curse! Fortunately, some sheets of plexi-glass were discovered in the cleaning process. They’re not large enough to completely cover the spaces, but at this point, just about anything that covers at least SOME of the gaps is appreciated. (Our fun-raiser efforts seem to be falling on blind eyes and dead hearts… or “Art H8ERS”… or maybe just the World’s most apathetic specimens of Humanity… I can’t be certain which it is, but the progress is astoundingly… NOT.) And so, the work continues with the supplies and equipment that’s found as the work continues. Oh, and to-date, THREE LARGE bags of old hay, corn cobs, cow manure and questionable and unidentifiable matter have been hauled out. In the photos posted, the floor was only raked with a leaf rake. Sweeping was impossible because of the depth of the hay and other matter. A broom was taken to part of the floor after the raking and the DUST was just too much! In fact, it was so thick that it was blinding! So, sweeping will have to wait for a day when the openings in the wall can be un-covered and the door on the East wall can be open, allowing cross-ventilation. But, in the mean-while, it continues as I say all along: Perseverance, tenacity and determination… this place will be SUPER come the Spring!

Thursday 14, November 2013. Things being as they are, and they are the “North Country”, the days of running to hide form the hot sun and sighing in relief in the shade of the barn are, well, gone. The mornings now glitter with the night’s frost, the breezes are turning to winds and the winds are bringing in the “snap” of Winter. But, with the cold weather comes the holidays and with the holidays comes even more decorating and gift-making and giving. The front of the house got a bit of a “treatment” using, of course, the materials that Nature has so generously provided. (Check it out here…) A touch of imagination with a heaping helping of determination and BINGO! (or “Voila!” as would be appropriate to our location), things are looking quite “Autumn” these days. Sadly, the chairs have been a bit neglected because of the cold in the work-shop. It’s difficult to hold the sand-paper with chilled fingers and, well, the wind comes through in places we didn’t even know were there to begin with. So, when the “warmer” days come along, as much as can be done gets done. But that certainly doesn’t mean that ALL work comes to a halt. Oh no! There’s an afghan being crocheted, mittens and scarves to be made (yes, all by hand) and maybe some toques (which will be SO necessary in short order). Nature changes from season to season and so do the projects when it comes to art. – We’re still holding onto some hope for the fund-raiser. Right now, the most important thing is to get the walls covered a bit to keep some of that wind out. Meanwhile, what can be done in the house is being done and the Christmas/Chanukah decorations are working their way to the forefront so there’s MORE to be busy with! And nobody’s complaining. – See you all next up-date! Until then: be safe, be warm!

Thursday 7, November 2013. Nobody can imagine the tears around here today! It might be raining out-side, but in and around the place are more tears than rain-drops, and the tears of just of the most jubilant Happiness! The fund-drive (or, as I’ve been calling it: “The Gravel-ship of Hopes”) has kicked-in! A CONTRIBUTION came in! It’s not thought of as a “donation”, because every penny that comes in through this funding request goes directly into all of the things that are on the top of the “Wish and Hope List”… it ALL goes toward the things that are SO needed to keep this place running, to help reach goals, to keep promises of work to be done. There’s no soda coming from this. There’s no ready-made sandwiches at the local market or deli. This is truly… TRULY “bricks and mortar”! Projects were started, promises made and suddenly, the much-needed materials ran out! It wasn’t planned that way, but it happened. Old World ethic dictates that one can’t simply ask for payment on work not provided so there was no way to go to anybody and ask “Can you pay now and we’ll get it to you when we can?” The job HAD to be completed which meant the materials HAVE to be here which means the fund HAVE to be available. Well! For the first projects that’s HAPPENING! And there couldn’t be any more Happiness about that at all! But this is just the beginning and all of that excitement that buzzed around on that first day when the floors of the old barn were, after almost 30 years, swept clean again and the door opened to the fresh air and sun-shine is all back again! And the only words available to express all of this are: THANK YOU SO, SO MUCH! – PLEASE, NOW THAT YOU’VE FINISHED READING THE LATEST UP-DATE (AND A JOLLY ONE IT IS AT THAT!), CLICK-THROUGH AND SEE FOR YOUR-SELF. And Hopefully (what a strong word, when you stop to actually think about it) you, or some-one you know will be inspired. YOU JUST CAN’T IMAGINE WHAT A LITTLE FAITH AND CONFIDENCE FROM OTHERS CAN INSPIRE AND HOW MUCH IT ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISHES IN THE WORLD!

Monday, 4, November 2013. The Winter is well on its way! This morning, the grass was a pure delight to look at as the late sun rose and the light danced and glimmered on the frost-covered lawn. Yes, it’s beautiful. But at the same time, it’s really quite sad because there are projects in l’Atelier waiting to be completed but won’t be. First and foremost, the supplies needed have run out. Secondly, the cold gets into the place and makes it so that being in there for any length of time actually becomes painful. And I have no gloves so even that won’t help. Then there’s the dampness from the recent rains. The humidity reeks havoc with the old finished on the chairs. So they can’t be sanded until some kind of warmth gets into the place. But, today we worked in the house, on a couple of macrame projects. So, not “all” is lost. And there’s talk about making terrariums in the near future and pine garland and wreathes for the coming holidays. So, there is an agenda and it is growing. (Now, if only people would have faith and confidence in the work ethic and lend a little support?) – Well, there’s the news of late. Things may be looking bleak but even if only out of spite… this WILL succeed!

Saturday, 2 November 2013. Well! We had a shocker of a day yesterday that more resembled a warm Spring day than the cold pre-Winter more common to the North Country. So we took advantage and pulled the Halloween decorations (on exhibit here) before, well, today came. Today brings rain and more appropriate temperatures so the timing was great! And now it’s time to think Thanksgiving and Christmas! It’s a little tough in the barn in this weather since the rains make it too humid in there to do too much. But the design phase is in full swing. Winter is a HUGE part of the North Country (since it starts at the end of October and runs through into April) and sitting still, doing nothing just isn’t an option. The fund-raiser is, well, not kicking off as hoped and although that dampens the spirits a bit, to think that nobody has any interest at all, not even a dollar’s worth, could turn things bleak, there’s no stopping this rolling stone! Besides, there’s the support of the folks round here who have a lot of faith and confidence. So, it’s off to the next holiday and the holiday after that. One of these days we’ll all be able to sit back and think of these meagre days when it all got started and (hopefully) laugh and be amazed.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013. 16.47 (4.47pm) THIS I almost can’t believe! What started as a barn-cleaning has come to such a point that there’s all sorts of presence on the Internet… and most of it done in one day! l’Atelier even shows up on Google already! Usually I don’t like spending an entire day on-line, at a desk, sitting in a chair, pointing, clicking, dragging and dropping (unless it’s for a client, of course). And since this whole “barn” thing began, I don’t like being in the house for more than about an hour after I wake in the morning. But, from what I see, the current temperature is all of 3C (or about 37F) and the few times I’ve ventured out the door today, it’s been quite crisp. (In fact, this morning, when the sun finally broke over yon hill and touched the roof of the house, little drops of water fell to the ground… we had a hard frost last night!) But I have to say, it’s been well worth all the effort. I’m glad I got to this WordPress page at the final stage of the day. It’s nice to have a place to post thoughts and progress. – I’m not sure what kind of formatting I’m going to use for this page. But for now, it’s open and it’s started and it feels OK. (If anybody reads this and has suggestions I hope they’ll post them or drop an e-mail.) Meanwhile… I have to say that it’s a bit exciting. All day, as I’ve gone deeper and deeper into the world of “On-line” and “Social Media” I’ve been visualizing the gallery space with safer flooring, a nice few coats of paint, and no drafts! There are those 2 big, heavy windows in there that will be beautiful when installed… after all the cutting and fitting and such, since there’s no opening for such things just now. And thinking in the long-term, when l’Atelier moves on, which I would hope it will do, only due to expansion and a need for a larger space (and I wouldn’t want to take away the entire barn from the guys), that space I’m now gifted with will make the most wonderful “Potter’s Shed”, a place to stock and store garden tools and such and, a really nice place to store the fire-wood for the fire pit that’s been our Friday night blessing until the weather just got too, TOO cold for sitting out there in the yard. – No, I’m not thinking just of the next few hours or days with this edeavour. The work I want to do isn’t just about this moment. I’m thinking “Spring”! I’m thinking “destination”. I’m thinking of water-colours, furniture, signs, music… I’m thinking a place of pleasant experiences and a place where people will come just to enjoy the space. The yard is HUGE! The entire place is SO “New England” wonderful! Potential. – What makes it all the more heart-warming is the support! There just aren’t any words to express the moral support and encouragement I’m getting. This isn’t “my” property, but everything I touch is appreciated. And with that appreciation, I get the energy to keep going, just like I’ve done all day today. – Because so much is needed right now to keep this dream breathing, and the banques want to be snubbish and elitist with me about financing, I’ve had to resort to begging… out-right begging. But sometimes we have to do things we don’t agree with when so much Hope is invested. I even went so far as to try to bring this effort to the attention of Ellen and Oprah. Hey! Even if they don’t think I’m worth their investment, maybe they can toss the Tweets and such about. There’s GOT to be SOMEbody with compassion and a gusto for the “blind leap of faith”! All I can do right now, as the sun sets out there, into the State where I was born, is… Hope… just Hope. (It’s been a long, LONG time since I last had any of that. But there’s that little spark there. Let’s see where it goes.) – For now? This little enterprise has this blog, a Tumblr, a Twitter, it’s own 10-page site, a Facebook, an “About.me” and a LinkedIn! There are fine-tunings to be done, but for this evening, this day, I’ve done more for this than I’ve ever done for anything else. When this gets rolling (ad it will!), the North Country will have just one more bit of support. How wonderful is THAT?

Wednesday, 30 October 2013: This is almost too good to be true! Not only have all the “Web Presences” been opened and up-dated (and there are many), the photos are posted here so that there’s a record of what’s been going on since that first piece of… no what was it anyway?… well… what-ever it was that was the first piece of stuff in the barn got touched and moved out of the way. It’s been busy and it hasn’t stopped and it doesn’t appear that it ever will. You know? This is truly a labour of love. This space is a dream come true. This is a tough season to begin in and the circumstances are nothing short of miserable. But, there’s a determination (I keep using that word, but it’s true and appropriate). I’m supposing that this isn’t important enough for any “Names” to notice. And even if they do, it’s not important enough to make a great “press release” or “photo-op”. We’re a tiny barn in a tiny yard in a tiny town too far up North for anybody to want to be bothered. But you know what? Those people don’t put food on the table here and they certainly don’t bother with anybody in this town. So, I’m sure that it doesn’t bother them to think that anybody in this town or house or barn for that matter, wouldn’t bother with another thought about them. Here’s one of those times when I can honestly say: I’ve hit the bottom before and found myself sitting at a desk across from the nastiest of humanity… in a public shelter for the Homeless. No “friends”, no “family”, nothing but a list of names of “acquaintances” and empty promises like “I’ll be right here for you when-ever you need me…”. Odd. I was very much alone when I walked through the doors of that shelter… and I was alone when I walk back out too! So? It was ME who got me in AND out of the shelter. It was ME who got me BACK to the North Country. It was ME who cleaned out this old barn and if it has to be, it’ll be ME who keeps this DREAM alive and growing. (It would be a heart-attack surprise and shock if anybody else would pitch in. I mean, a buck? I have about 511 “followers” on Twitter. If each one put in ONE dollar each… 511$ would mean SO MUCH right now! Ah… but… Anyway… the holidays are here, the decorating will go fro Halloween to Thanksgiving this week-end, and this blog/site is UP-TO-DATE! And I’m dancin’!

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