Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I have been champing at the bit since moving into my new studio. I wanted so badly to max out a credit card at Ikea to get the attractive storage I craved. Instead I sat amongst piles of boxes for almost a year. But now I am rewarded for my patience! One of my good friends is moving away :( and has given me her Ikea stash. While I am very sad at her leaving, I am so grateful for the furniture! I started using it right away in my studio. It will take time to arrange everything just so, but I am well on my way! I want more attractive storage solutions for my supplies rather than cardboard boxes, but I'm not a huge basket fan. I have already started using glass jars for my button collection. I will figure it out over time. It's a process and I have patience :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Dirty Smelly Noisy

The old mill complex where I have my studio, Western Avenue Studios, is not in a great part of town. It's not scary, but it's a bit neglected, industrial. That's why it was unused, that's why it is inexpensive, that's why artists have flocked there to fill the buildings with vitality and creativity. There is a part of the complex, the G Mill, that was slated (by the generous building owner) for live/work spaces with giant windows and canal side views.

Real estate in Lowell was not immune from the recent housing bubble, while still less expensive than areas closer to Boston, it managed to get pretty pricey anyway. The live/work spaces were to be an affordable way for artists to get a piece of the latest Lowell renaissance while strengthening our presence at Western Avenue.

But the the Zoning Board of Appeals struck down the building permit! One of the condescending reasons they gave was that the "Western Avenue area is too dirty, smelly and noisy to be conducive to creativity." This confuses us. Everywhere we look we see beauty and potential, we are inspired by this space! Those who rejected the plans misunderstand what artists find valuable.

We are trying to move forward with appeals and make this great idea a reality. In the mean time, instead of feeling helpless and frustrated, we are putting on a month-long exhibit in June. It's called Dirty Smelly Noisy and will highlight the multi media work of local artists and submissions received from artists all across the country! We are determined to highlight what we as artists find beautiful in the rugged Western Avenue area. Should be an exciting and interesting show! Hopefully it points out the silliness of objections to developing an area that would benefit greatly from development, especially in this positive way.

Please check out the exhibits if you are in the area during June! Here's my entry, a photograph I took in the basement of the A Mill. It will be on display outside my studio:

Monday, May 5, 2008


Spring is about change, and it is rippling into our lives. Good friends are moving out and new friends are moving in.

My studio has been the lucky recipient of some new furniture pieces, but now my supplies are piled even higher to accommodate the shift.

The condo has holes in the ceiling due to insulating of sweating pipes and the furniture is all moved around to make room for the workmen. At some point the drywall guy will come and be disruptive, but he'll repair the moldy walls as well.

The husband has a new job, closer to home which saves on both gas and energy (the human kind), but he now has a new mountain of a learning curve to ascend.

It's so hard to be OK with a state of flux, to adapt, to accept change. It goes against the grain. I have heard it is better to relax the muscles rather then stiffen and brace for the blow. I've never been very good at relaxing, but I will try not to resist the tide, the weather, the inevitable. I will just continue to make little felty things and in that way perhaps comfort myself and, hopefully, others.