The hard part was a combination of the heartbreaking local regulations—most of them enacted after we purchased our little ranch house—on what you are required to do BEFORE you can sell, and the fact that our realtor did NOT inform us. It took months to reopen permits for work that was done 17 years ago, arrange to get additional work done to bring the house up to code, thousands of dollars to get it done, not to mention the anxiety of trying to find an available certified carpenter, electrician, and handyman.
The sale finally went through on Thursday, and we have moved into modest quarters, and are surrounded by boxes, boxes and more boxes. The dog is confused but finding his way around. I am sleeping well for the first time in months, and we have all vowed to keep our lives simple and streamlined from now on.
24 hours after we closed, the big blizzard hit Long Island. We were moving boxes in the snow, driving through slush, filling the pod and dumpster as the blizzard picked up intensity. On Saturday afternoon while I was snowed in, I rummaged through boxes and found some meager art supplies, and made my first journal page of 2013 in my new studio space.
I used the supplies I could find—inexpensive multipurpose paper, water soluble oil pastels, cheap markers, commercial and handcarved stamps. The piece was random and unplanned, and simply meant to be therapeutic and document the moment. I did not intend to make great art, I only wanted to express myself and do some art again.
I started with the stamps, then added words and color. I realized that I didn't have any watercolor brushes, but finally found a package of unopened oil brushes that did the trick. The numbers represent the day we closed (7), the day the blizzard hit (9), our old house number (36) and the new house number (8). I didn't intend for the face and butterfly stamp to represent anything, they were just what I had in my box that appealed to me. However, the butterflies DO represent my daughter, whose middle name is Kamama, which means butterfly in Cherokee. The partial face stamp probably subconsiously represents me and my anxiety about the whole experience.