Cynthia St. Charles Store

Friday, June 15, 2007

Great Distractions - Why I am not making art these days

Does this look like a creative opportunity? Hmmmm . . . . well, this is where all my creative energy is going these days.

Last year, we invested in a couple of commercial buildings. As you would expect, with commercial property, anything for sale is likely to be in need of some attention. Earlier this year, Joe and I put a lot of cash and energy into updating an office building. Just as that renovation project was almost complete, we discovered that the tenants would be vacating two apartments in another building we recently purchased.

Above and below are pictures of the bathroom in the apartment we are currently working on.

I find it hard to believe someone was living here, and it is equally hard for me to accept the fact that I am the owner. The people selling the building were living in one apartment and were housing their employees in this (very run down) second apartment.

The building was built in 1925 and we figure it as most recently renovated in the 70's - judging from the materials that were used.

I do have some experience with construction. In the summer of 1979, I worked as a trim carpenter - just for one summer, but I learned I had a natural ability in construction. In 1980, I designed and built a log home with my then (now ex) -husband. We did nearly all the labor ourselves and it took us 5 years to complete the 2700 square foot home.

Since that time, I've designed a couple of other buildings - sometimes doing the labor and sometimes acting as the general contractor. We are going to try to do most of the work on this particular apartment renovation ourselves in order to conserve resources. We are hiring someone to put a new roof on the place, though - a small fortune, but necessary - it started leaking after we bought the place!

Right now, we are spending every spare moment there and it looks like we have several weeks ahead to get the place to the point I would consider it livable.

There really is a lot of creativity involved in this kind of project - lots of problem solving, planning, seat of the pants innovation . . . . .

I am sad that I will not be working with textiles or quilts, etc. for several weeks. I am just so exhausted when we get back from the building. It is all I can do to toss together a meal of some sort - check my email and then I am ready for bed!

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