Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Progress in the Autumn Woods

Our wonderful son, Shaughn, has been mysteriously missing from this blog and the land... so lets play a fun game of "Where's Waldo"... I mean where's Shaughn?

Mysterious hooded man?
Hey, who taught my kids to use a chain saw?

Things are looking great.
Restful evening...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Camping with Friends

Gosh, I haven't posted in a while. Mostly because we have been so very busy at home and with freelance work, that we haven't gone out to the land much. Also, the housing market is in such an ugly slump that the house we are hoping to sell, which will free up funds for building on the land, has not been showing. There are only so many trees we can cut down before we will need money to make serious progress toward building. I guess you could say we are on hold for now. But I am in no hurry. It's an adventure none the less. The land is beautiful. And we are still cutting down trees!

On Saturday, October 6th, we had an impromptu camping night at the land with our friends Becky, Moriah and Michaela. The kids and I stayed up until around 2 am. We took a couple of late night walks through the woods with flash lights and the kids scared each other (and me) a couple of times. A good scare can be fun. We saw at least 10 shooting stars and we just stared at the sky for a long time. It was lovely. We tried to make S'mores around our camp fire but our two, large Hershey chocolate bars mysteriously disappeared! We didn't even find them in the daylight of the next morning. Hmmmm? Some critter must have carried them off.

Love you Bales family!!!


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Our Barn: A First Day Cottage

This is an example of a First Day Cottage - actually two cottages connected by a breezeway - similar to our design.The large building on the right is a good example of the building we will build using a kit purchased from First Day Cottages, in New Hampshire. There will be barn doors on the bottom end which open directly into Robert's wood studio. Our original idea for our Art Barn, was something like a barn with an apartment over top. A post and beam structure with real wood and lots of character. Our barn-house will have only about 1200 sq. ft., but ultimately, this building as living quarters is temporary. We will eventually build a larger house and then this building will become virtually all studio space, (with some living space for our older kids or guests).

We've decided to purchase a post and beam house kit from First Day Cottages. An 18 x 33' barn like building. The kit costs $30,000. When our current home sells (plus our savings), we'll have about $30,000 cash, but we'll spend part of that running utilities and water to the home site, which is a half mile from the road, and laying a foundation. So, while we work our jobs and spend the weekends clearing the land, we are saving money. We'll need to save an additional $15,000 just to buy the kit. And, of course, we'll need more money after that... for electrical, plumbing and stuff.

It's a journey. It includes sacrifice, risk and faith.

It's definitely a dream.

We will build our barn-house with our own hands. We'll have friends to help and we will contract out some of the labor, but for the most part - we're building it.

Above right are some links to blogs of families already building FD Cottages and the FDC web site. Click on the "FD Cottage - Photo Story" link to see the entire process of two people building a FD Cottage in pictures. Incredible!

Make a Living Making Art

Technically my husband Robert and I do make our living making art. He is a full-time freelance Art Director and I am a freelance illustrator / painter. But we are not working or living in our dream situation or in a comfortable working environment. Robert's office is in the corner of our bedroom. It's easier to crawl over the bed to access my dresser than to squeeze between Robert's desk chair and the foot-board. My painting studio is in what used to be a dining room. My space is better than Robert's, but still not ideal.

And so, we continue to work toward making the Art Barn a reality.

Ouch! updated bruise photo

Noel's bruise from her bike wreck in the woods.