Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What on earth did we get ourselves into?

This view may or may not have had me in tears a few months ago.

In full disclosure, at seven months pregnant and having the awesome opportunity to renovate a building and try to keep up with everyday life, I was a little overwhelmed. We had talked for several months about when to start phase two of the renovation of The Market. We jumped in after the holidays with a plan for the financing, Things were finally motion.

And then - we had a medical emergency that rocked us to the core. We dutifully followed through and kept the faith. In the end, it all worked out, but not without some sleepless nights and extra anxiety.

And, then, the clouds started to separate and we were ready for decisions to be made. With great patience, Jeremy would bring me to the building and we would talk through each decision. I would leave thinking, "what on earth did we get ourselves into?" and cry just a little bit.
These emotions might have also been fueled by the fact that when you renovate an old building and start from the bottom up, you eventually move to the second floor. It is at that point that all of the dirt and debris from maybe a hundred years or so filters down into the finished space. So, let's add this up - we were packing and unpacking from shows and in between, cleaning up construction dust and chunks of plaster and concrete. Fun times!

One of the best parts of having The Market is staging and showing off some of our great finds. During this season of renovation, we weren't showing off much of anything!

But, like most things, this crazy, out of control season passed. Fast forward a few weeks and when the new electrical was installed on the second floor, I was so excited. We had turned a corner!

Granted, we still have a long way to go. We have picked out paint colors and have some of the "bones" of the space in place. I can clearly see having events in our space and getting to a place where we can stage. We have even picked up a few special pieces that we have in mind for the space and we can't wait to show them off!

Helping us  keep the motivation going is the installation of the fence on the north, east and south sides of the property. We got this in place early enough in the growing season that we can begin to design and plant the east courtyard area.
Yay for progress!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Progress Principle in action

 Years ago, I stumbled on a book called The Progress Principle by Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer. It was a great book about motivation and maintaining focus. My most important take away was that making progress on important goals is one of the motivators for employees. Over the years, I have found this to be true in not only working with others, but also motivating myself.

We are pretty certain that renovating a historic building is an exercise of patience and faith. We have big dreams for this space and have been wrestling with when to start phase two of renovations on The Market and putting together all of the pieces to make the next steps happen. This waiting is a little discouraging and there are times when we think that just haven't done enough or are behind our self-imposed schedule.

This week Jeremy had the brilliant idea to use Google Earth to look up older images of the building before we started any work. Wow! What a difference!

This was just the motivator that I needed to remember how far we have come (focus on the progress) and an important reminder of the fun work ahead.

The first collage shows a before of the front landscape and the next two show off our work so far - tree and fence removal, new windows, and new doors! A transformation!
The side and the back of the house show off just how much was hidden by the trees that needed to be removed. Removing the door to no where and the fiberglass wall of the shower (not kidding!) and just priming the siding were a huge step forward.

So, today, we are celebrating the progress, thankful for how far this project has come. And, we are hopeful for a quick start to the next phase!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Vintage finds: Vintage sacks

Vintage sacks used for flour, feed, seed, laundry, ballots or banking have a special place in my collector's heart.

I am finally ready to let go of some of my favorites and have been sorting and eventually pricing them for The Market.

One of my favorites - the Cheyenne Steam Laundry bag that we found in Denver. Check out the phone number!

What do you do with these great vintage finds, especially when some may only be in "cutter" condition? Some of my favorite projects are for pillows like the set we have in our living room. There are also some really cute potholders that I have pinned on my project board, but haven't gotten around to making. I am also a huge fan of making these into bags.
 We found this bag in an antique store. I couldn't pass it up because I loved the vibrant colors.
 A talented seamstress friend transformed a seed corn sack into a bag. I love the spaciousness and the great pockets she included. My mom has a matching version.
Another talented friend made this more modern version. I love that it is lined with a sweet "country" cotton fabric and the outside it essentially weather proof!