Friday, March 22, 2024

We did it! We moved!

(Above:  Steve putting our house numbers above the center door to the church.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

It's official!  We've moved into the (mostly) renovated, old textile mill church in Cateechee, SC.  I've been talking and blogging about it for months.  Now, it is a reality!  We are thrilled and very, very busy.  In fact, I've been so occupied that it's been weeks since my last blog post.  As someone who considers herself dedicated to this blog and actively posting since 2006, it is highly unusual for me to go this long without a post.  I don't think I've ever gone this long ... but maybe I have.  It doesn't matter now!  I'm going to try to "catch up" ... for the most part ... and one day I might even write another post about the quick trip Steve and I took to New York City for the Outsider Art Fair. 

(Above:  Mr. Minnie on his first day in the church!  He has really settled into the place!)

Yes ... Steve and I went on a whirlwind trip to New York!  It was incredible.  In addition to the Outsider Art Fair, we visited the Morgan Library, the NYC Public Library, the New Museum, and a first Friday free evening at the Neue Galerie to see the Gustav Klimt landscape exhibit.  To other people, this trip probably sounds more than a little crazy.  After all, we returned for only a single day before closing on our Columbia house.  Yet, we didn't really want to wait another year for the Outside Art Fair. 

(Above:  Ernie is also quite at home in the CATeechee church!)
This trip was for "educational value" and I learned plenty.  My work certainly does qualify as "outsider" art.  Prices range from under $100 to well over $100,000.  Not all the booths were selling work by untrained artists.  Some represented artists with MFAs and years working in museums or other arts institutions.  The number of vintage and antique photos was overwhelming.  Some were altered (but not necessarily "better" than what I do with my anonymous images) and some weren't altered at all.  Hilariously, these photographs weren't called "anonymous" but "vernacular" to distinguish them from "fine art".  One dealer was selling quilts from a large pile sitting directly on the floor.  They looked an awful lot like the utility quilts that antique dealers use for packing furniture in their vans ... just cleaned and advertised as made in rural areas (in conversations that almost suggested something similar to a Gee Bend quilt!)  Steve and I were pleasantly surprised by the diversity in presentations.  Some works were in cobbled together wooden slats but hung beside others in finished-cornered gilded frames.  There were dealers from France and Japan and all over the USA.  This was decidedly NOT the time to approach anyone for proper representation but now I have some ideas for my own future.

(Above:  Steve beside the first picture hung.)
So ... we had a great time in NYC, returned to Columbia, and closed on Mouse House early on Monday, March 4th. We dragged our 30 year old mattress and box springs to the curb before going to the closing. We returned to our former residence and saw the city dump truck picking up things on the curb!  Already, Rob Shaw's contractor was ripping out carpeting and starting other building changes.  Ernie and Mr. Minnie were put into their carriers and into my van.  While Steve returned our cable box and went to the bank, I headed up I-26 streaming Baroque music and chants to help calm the cats.  Upon arrival, the cats were cautious but immediately more curious than anything else.  Now ... more than two weeks later, they act like this was always their home!
(Above:  The area behind the chancel railing ... featuring an encaustic and two painting with UV epoxy by my friend Suzy Scarborough.)
Lots has happened since then!  In no particular order, we got a satellite Internet connection ... the only option in this rural part of Pickens County. We bought a new, king-sized Tempurpedic bed.  It was delivered within days.  We also bought our first wall-mounted television.  We didn't plan on doing this.  In our old attic, we had even saved the box for our nine-and-a-half year old television.  Apparently, it didn't want to move; instead it totally died a week beforehand.  We scheduled an appointment with a nice young man from ClosetPro who designed the walk-in closet which will be installed next week.  (Apparently, we didn't realize that the walk-in closet our architect designed was simply the four empty walls! LOL!)  We hung curtains.  We had a repairman come to look at our brand new, stackable washer.  (Apparently, our contractor's crew didn't remove the four, large shipping bolts despite big tags on each one ... in three different languages!)  The staircases were finally sanded, stained, and varnished ... which was a strange time considering we have cats who really wanted to walk on the surface before it was all cured and dry. We've unpacked dozens upon dozens of boxes.  We've been to the Pickens County Recycling Center (aka "the dump") three times.  This will be our normal way to dispose of trash.  We've been to the giant-sized Pickens County flea market ... which will become a weekly trip every coming Wednesday.

(Above:  Detail of the pictures hanging in the altar area ... behind the chancel railing.  This view includes an antique hymn board from the abandoned Lutheran church in Udvari, Hungary beside the vintage attendance sign that was original to this church.)
The only way to get to the point of setting up my fiber arts studio, however, was to hang pictures. (Setting up my studio will not actually happen until after the walk-in closet is installed and a giant 10' ceiling fan is installed in the sanctuary.  There's still plenty of work to do ... including getting the downstairs tub out of the box sitting in the sanctuary and into the bathroom ... which is still waiting on a shower door.) Hanging pictures as "one of the first things to do when moving" might sound strange but it was necessary in this case.  After all, we moved most of our artwork in six storage units.  These were flat on the floor ... taking up plenty of space and surrounded by even more, larger pieces leaning up against them and most of the walls.  Basically ... the pictures were in a state called "a mess".  The only way forward was to hung them.  It took days!

(Above:  Detail of the pictures hanging in the altar area ... behind the chancel railing.)
Yet, I absolutely adore hanging pictures!  I love looking at all the beautiful images we have and remembering how/when/where we acquired them.  I adore thinking about all the friends who created many of these pieces.  So ... for the rest of this blog post ... just pictures with brief captions!  I'm missing the bathrooms and bedrooms but that will come on another day! I've mentioned just a few of the artists whose work we own.  Lots of these framed pieces, however, are antique.
(Above:  One of the walls in the kitchen ... beside the door to the stackable washer/dryer unit.  Artwork mostly by my creative mentor Stephen Chesley but also my friends Heidi Darr-Hope and Charlene Westbrook.  The centerpiece is a signed engraving by Edwin Landseer.  It is said that a young Queen Victoria was the model.)

(Above:  The downstairs hallway.  At the end is the first picture we hung, an antique engraving.)

(Above:  The dining room ... which is open to the kitchen.  The artwork includes another signed Edwin Landseer engraving surrounded by antique maps and images.)

(Above:  The view from the church's side door ... which is the one we will use most often ... to the open kitchen and dining room area. The artwork includes two copies of an Italian restaurant in Kuwait ... one in Italian and one in Arabic.  Steve went there back when he worked for Coastal Science and Engineering, a brief, three years after grad school ... before joining me to frame pictures!)

(Above:  The back of the hallway ... showing one of two doors leading into the sanctuary.)

(Above:  The back of the hallway ... showing the door to our bedroom and the steps into the area behind the chancel railing.  Artwork includes photos by my friends Ashleigh Burke Coleman, Jean Selman, and my own pictures.)

(Above:  Another view in the back of the hallway.)

(Above:  Another view in the back of the hallway.)

(Above:  The staircase inside the church's side door.)

(Above:  The area at the top of the staircase ... including artwork by my friends David Yaghjian, Michel McNinch, Tom Osburn, Mike Williams, Suzy Scarborough, and the late Kim Lemasters.)

(Above:  The area at the top of the staircase ... including one of my first art quilts and a view to one of the stained glass pieces we had commissioned over twenty years ago from Richard Morgan.)

(Above:  The living room ... including our new, wall-mounted television surrounded by artwork by my friends David Yaghjian, Stephen Chesley, Richard Lund, Olga Yukhno, Gina Langston, and Donna Bearden.)

(Above:  Another view in the living room.)

(Above:  Another view in the living room ... including our wrought iron Christmas tree and the two boxes of Christmas ornaments!)
(Above:  The view at the back of the living room/at the top of the other staircase ... with the door to the library.  Artworks by my friend Wayne Thornley and stained glass by Richard Morgan.)

(Above:  The library ... with another piece by Suzy Scarborough plus art by my friends Jeff Donovan, and Russell Jeffcoat.)