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all but the cats write here ... to remember, to share, to mumble, to shout ... follow along by RSS or email if you like.

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Land Ho! Art Sale, at last ...


It's been an interesting three months around here.  The "here" being parked in Keren and Bobby's driveway, with Michael pretty much living in the basement studio space that he's been graciously loaned.  The boys have been schooling, forging, and doing a lot of playing with the neighbors.  The number of foam swords, hand-forged knives and dirks and daggers, leather and copper scraps, and rivets and x-acto knives that I trip over daily has been increasing steadily.


Michael's been painting a good 12-16 hours a day, 6 days a week, and been coming to bed after sunrise most nights.  He's living on coffee with heavy cream, overseeing the occasional forging episode in the back yard, running back and forth to the art store and the hardware store, stopping by Jim's place to drop off and pick up paintings that are being scanned for prints, and taking me with him on most errands so we have time to talk. 


There's also been the occasional Starbucks, a trip to the Fire on the Mountain Festival in NC to see some master blacksmiths and an iron pour, a couple quick visits to the land to see it in different seasons, strawberry picking, and a very quick trip up to Chicago to help Mom celebrate her 75th birthday.

2500 degree iron being poured, shot from about 12' away. It was honestly too close ... but fun!

2500 degree iron being poured, shot from about 12' away. It was honestly too close ... but fun!

We also fit in a last-minute trip to Rogersville (our closest town if we get the land) to participate in their Appalachian Spring Art Festival. We wanted to meet local artists and folks, and get to know the place a bit better.  It was tiny, but we had a ball and met a lot of lovely people.

Michael drawing Guerry, a local artist, master storyteller, and delightful woman!

Michael drawing Guerry, a local artist, master storyteller, and delightful woman!

I've been alternately working on back-end stuff for the art sale (and doing some good procrastinating on those tasks), taking care of life and food and kid stuff, and doing some internal listening that's long overdue.  Bits of hyper-ish activity interspersed with a lot of thinking and some much quieter days.  It's been necessary, and good, and there's more of it to be done, soonish.

But first ...

The Land Ho! Art Sale! 

June 25th to July 8th.

In case you missed it, this is the one that Michael referred to at the end of his last epic post, and the one he's been obsessively painting towards.  The idea that he could do a painting a day for 2 weeks has been changed a wee bit, but 14 new works in 3 months is certainly nothing to sneeze at!  They're all acrylic paintings based on photographs from the trip, ranging from 11" x 14" to 36" x 48". 

The Getaway ... 24" x 36"

The Getaway ... 24" x 36"

If you want a preview of a lot of the pieces, just head over to the New works section of his website.  There will be prints available of all the new stuff, and in most cases in several sizes.  These will be limited edition Giclee prints, on either paper or canvas.  There will be some older works available also, a few by the boys, and some postcard sets based on trip photos. 

Oklahoma Chicken Huggers (painted on a roadmap) ... 18" x 37.5"

Oklahoma Chicken Huggers (painted on a roadmap) ... 18" x 37.5"

The pricing runs the gamut from about $40 to just under $6000.  The larger works are priced at gallery rates, which we know are not for the average buyer, but trust we can find some somewhere.  We know it's asking a lot but God is able, and we're doing what's in front of us ... with what we've been given, to see how it all plays out.  It will take a village, and you all are a big part of ours. 

We'd hugely appreciate it too if you'd share the link below with anyone and everyone you can think of that might be interested in a piece, large or small.  The farther the word spreads, the better!

The link takes you to a landing page on Michael's art website, where the link to the actual shop will go live on Monday around 6pm EST.  The sale ends on July 8th, and purchases will be shipped within two weeks after, by July 23rd.

Beyond the sale, who knows?  We're not making any plans yet, there are too many variables at play to be sure about anything.  We'll see what's in front of us when this is wrapped up, and go from there. 

Onward ...

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A newsletter is born ...



Greetings from Attleboro, Massachusetts, where we're staying with friends, working for a former neighbor of theirs, and warming up from an utterly delightful month in Maine.

Awhile back we put up a link on our website to the heartLOOSE newsletter, promising updates, tidbits not found in the blog, and extra photos and such. Not that our posts tend to lack photos, sorry I hear some of you are having trouble getting it to load because there are so many!  I'll see what I can do about that in the next post.

At long last though, the first newsletter has been sent out!  It includes a lot of small updates and links to things, as well as some where we are now/where we're headed stuff, wildlife sightings, and other wee stories. 

As much as we'd like to blog about every stop we make, it's just not happening.  There are still some in the queue even though at this point they'll be out of chronological order, but none of us are super fast writers, and there's some balance that we need to find between Living and Documenting. 

So the newsletter fills in the gaps between the bigger posts, and though we could tell many stories from each and every stop, Living just won't allow it at this point.  So if you missed the first one, but want to find out what's going on between the blog posts ...

 ... and have them delivered fresh to your inbox, no clicking required, other than one confirmation email that you'll get when you subscribe.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

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Of Elephants and Snails: Exercising Patience


When we first got to Keren and Bobby’s we found a book on the coffee table called The Fountain of Youth.  It describes 5 exercises which if practiced daily lead to looking younger and feeling great.  It’s filled with stories of ancient monks dancing up mountains carrying gigantic burdens, and as the exercises seemed rather simple, I suggested we incorporate them into our morning routine.  This has been good.  As a family we’ve never exercised together and it’s become a very wholesome part of the morning.  I haven’t noticed anyone looking any younger yet, but then, it’s only been a little more than 2 months.

We’ve also been doing a drawing exercise which I’m hoping will yield some t-shirt designs as we perfect the process.  We each start with a piece of paper and a common theme.  A timer is set and we draw the theme’s object.  When the timer goes off we pass the paper, reset the timer and draw the ground (or perhaps neighboring bodies if the object is floating in space.)  Again we pass and draw the atmosphere (sky, clouds, nebulas etc.)  On the last pass we color and voila! we have four drawings!  We’ve learned quickly to outlaw military equipment, lasers, and explosions.  My favorite theme so far was drawing each other with the last pass being a self portrait.  I’d love to get your opinion on these!

We’ve started putting designs on a t-shirt website called REDBUBBLE.  This site is awesome.  I’ve had an account with CafePress for years and never made it public because of its labor-intensive unmanageability.  REDBUBBLE is a comparative dream to operate.  You absolutely HAVE to check out the vinyl stickers!

Selling t-shirts has been a pet-idea of ours from the get-go.  A way to generate income while on the road that does not require continuous production.  This is perhaps the materializing tail of one of the nebulous elephants Bethany alluded to in a previous post.  This elephant is composed of half-formed art-based money-making schemes.  Each, if implemented, might bring in a trickle of income but nothing substantial enough to sustain us until heartLOOSE gains more momentum.  The other elephant wants to ditch the pie-in-the-sky dreams and find a local job. 

Suffice to say, these elephants are not eager to hear each other’s opinions and spend most of their time back to back in the living room pretending the other doesn’t exist.  They won’t even join in our morning exercises!

Thankfully, the more we exercise, the less their sighs and harrumphs disturb us.  Soon we will be dancing up mountains with them on our shoulders, whether they like it or not!  If it seems like we’re moving at a snail’s pace, rest assured that it’s a diesel powered turbo snail.

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