Monday, December 26, 2011

A New Year!

We've got one more week of 2011. The quiet space between the busyness of Christmas and next year's projects has me feeling restful and antsy at the same time. I find myself walking in circles, feeling less than motivated, not sure what could be the best use of my time. I guess I'm putting pressure on myself because I want this next year to have purpose. I want our farm to have purpose.

Not that we haven't had purpose already. God has blessed us beyond our imaginations in the last three years. We've learned so much about this land and cooperating with it and the animals. We've made so many wonderful relationships with our customers. I'm so grateful for all of these blessings. But this coming year is beckoning me to explore new ground and think bigger. For one thing, we sent our ewe lambs off to be bred with a friend's ram. As simple as this sounds, it will take us in a whole new direction. Fencing is now Bill's priority project. He's gone from "letting" me keep a few pet lambs to looking at sheep as a future product to sell. This is exciting, yet daunting because we've never raised sheep before.

Another direction I want to move the farm in is to include more art activities here on the land. Our first event will be an open studio/outdoor art day the third Thursday of January. I'm inviting anyone who would like to come out and do art, talk art, eat, take a walk, paint, photograph, whatever, for the day. Bring a lunch, meet the animals, draw or paint a picture. (I'll be happy to offer instruction, but only if you want me to.) We'll be open from 10am to sundown/feeding time.

These are just two ideas for 2012. I'm looking forward with a thankful heart at what God has done here on this 13 acres in Gilchrist County. I also know that direction and inspiration come from our Heavenly Father. You can bet I'll be spending more time seated at His feet in prayer as we approach the next year. I want to hear His Voice with all my heart.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Embracing my studio

I've had a love-hate relationship with my RV studio. The eyesore we call "Bondo Bertha" sits 150ft from our house. It takes me quite a few steps to walk there. Usually when I get there, I've forgotten something or suddenly need to use the bathroom so I have to just turn around and head back to the house. It has LOTS of storage space, cabinets and cubbys. However, even though we had the electricity brought to it, only half the lights and appliances work off that system. The other things like the refrigerator, heater and overhead lights are on a separate system connected to a battery that died long ago. We've found other ways to deal with the broken things, but the lighting has really been a challenge. How do you create art when you can't see?

Recently we positioned our new shed closer to the house in hopes of making it into a sales area for chicken and a brighter studio space for me. The reality of it is that it is yet another project on an ever growing list of farm related, more urgent projects. So....yesterday morning, I realized I'll never paint if I wait on the perfect studio space. There are always excuses and reasons to delay squeezing out the paints. Why do I always put the creative time on hold? I feel so guilty when the housework awaits or the husband and son need clean clothes.

I sat down yesterday and pulled out the paints and finished this little chicken painting. I didn't get frustrated over the limited light, I just added another lamp. I took the phone with me and answered calls from the studio. It really felt good to finish something. Even something small. I didn't try to fix the world around me, I just used what I had available for the day. And it worked. Hopefully, I can keep this attitude. Hopefully I can turn my attention away from what isn't perfect and focus on what I can do with what I have.

So much of our farm runs that way. We've scrounged most of the building materials for all of our equipment. God blesses us time and again with witty ideas of what can be done with a pile of odd things. I'm sure in time I'll have that fancy studio in a more convenient place, but for now. I'm going to join hands with Bondo Bertha and see what we can create together.