Welcome to the Cooper studio, Jefferson, Iowa.
Have I ever told you about our house here in Jefferson? It's a craftsman bungalow, according to our abstract, 1901, but parts of it indicate it might be a Gordon Van Tine house so probably a little later. Yes, it has some nice built-ins, like all good little bungalows. It has nice oak beamed ceilings in the dining room and living room. The fireplace is the original brick. Someone at some point in time closed in it's (we are sure it was lovely) front porch. My heavy sighs over that are barely audible however, because it's the only place on the lot for my studio. So we live with that.
But, somewhere back in history, someone also made some adjustments to the original floor plan that we think are just plenty dumb. Slowly, painstakingly slowly, we're getting those adjustments undone. The problem is, and anyone who's ever rescued a house knows it, when someone "updated" an older home back in the 60's, they really didn't care about things like 8" oak baseboards. Or the oak crowns that go at the top of the oak framed windows. Someone in all their un-wisdom tossed 'em. And now it's up to us to replace them.
My husband did the roundabout version of the math on buying new oak to replace. We both about had the big one. Not to mention the pain and agony of attempting to make something brand new match something 100+ years old.
Enter the friend from church who demos old houses for a living. We're talking un-rescuable houses here, the kind beyond all hope. He comes in with his handy equipment and manages to get the house out of there without bothering the neighbors. Quite a feat on a city lot, I think. Anyway, he's tried before to go in and pull the valuable stuff out, before he knocks the house down, but he's found that he can't afford it. It just takes too many hours. But husband and I - yeah, we have a few hours to spare, especially if it helps save the several thousand from that previously mentioned math.
The house scheduled for demo: really, really gone. The porch roof was caved in, most of the rest of the roof has been leaking for who knows how long. Critters had been living there, there were bird feathers in the living room. Explain that one, huh? So with prybars, we attacked. And tonight we unloaded the spoils into the garage. I got to carry the top end of a built-in cupboard we'd rescued, while husband was at the bottom end. My hand slipped and I quickly adjusted only to find my fingers on something furry.
Okay, I promise you, I did not scream. But you may safely assume that I went speeding into the house toward the soap and water. I knew the old house had critters, and such, but really, why did they have to be on my end of the thing that needed carrying? And I am pretty certain the thought of something furry and dead, is just as scary as the thought of something furry and moving.
If you read the title of this post, then I've already given away the punch line - yes, it turned out to be dust woolies. A very mammoth pile of dust woolies, but they had never been alive, so yay! for that.
I was a victim of negative imagination. My own imagination, but negative just the same. I let my thoughts get carried away with something scary-gross. Something that REALLY made me want to run wash my hands. Something terribly yucky. Negative, with a capital N.
I am one of those people who thinks negative should be avoided, negative or NEGATIVE, doesn't matter.
When I paint, I pretty much paint happy. Call it sappy if you wish, but painting feel good stuff, feels good to me. I paint sunshine, and people doing enjoyable things. I paint people enjoying life. And I like it that way. The scary, negative, feel bad stuff just doesn't happen around this studio.
And that's the way it is in this Jefferson, Iowa studio tonight, March 20, 2012. Thanks for stopping by!