An amazing day…

it started out cold and wet and rainy and icky. The day before was 65 degrees and sunshiny. It was the worst possible weather one could have for a children’s event. It was miserable out. And it turned out better than I could have ever hoped. Parents brought their kids in all afternoon. From the moment the open house and the arts and crafts began, I had a houseful of children. It was amazing. See for yourself. (The evening party was great, but the children stole my heart and I felt more at home than I ever have before. A quick story that will melt your heart: A two year old little, blond boy named Marshal finished a painting. I asked him if I could hang it up in the hall gallery. He said yes and I asked him to watch me. I helped him pick out just the right little clothespin to hang it with. He then watched as I hung it up. Afterwards, we both took a step back and admired his work. Then he said, “Wow, I did a pretty good piece of art, didn’t I?!” And he walked over to his mom beaming. That moment was what this whole thing is about. Enjoy the pics!

Almost there.

I am very tired as I write this. I wake up as tired as I fall asleep. But time is closing in on me and there is so much more I would like to do. It is coming to the moments of realization that certain projects will not be possible for the opening. I wonder why I constantly look at what still COULD be done or is NOT done instead of looking at all that HAS GOTTEN done in 6 weeks time. I guess I am trying to paint that picture in my head and I want it as close as possible. It is pretty darn close. Right now I have a houseful of contractors installing a fire alarm and security system. By the way, when you go to open your business, PRICEY. Expect shock and awe at the quote. Expect tears. Then pick your little ol’ self off of the floor and figure it out. It still smarts, but they won’t give you your occupation certificate without it, and uh, yeah so I still don’t have my business license. Yes, I open in 2 days. No, I’m not nervous. Or panicked. Or completely freaking out. Luckily I do have about 20 things on my to do list that HAVE to get done before Saturday, so I don ‘t have much time left for worrying. It will happen. There is no other choice.

In the meantime I will leave you with some feel good words. Here is the artist statement that hangs outside the front door of Little Peeps Art Gallery:

You are about to enter Little Peeps Art Gallery. Inside you will find things that should make you smile and laugh, grin and giggle. It is a place built on dreams and hopes. It is a place where can’t, shouldn’t and don’t are not allowed. It is a place that has been forming since a little girl made a cat sculpture in second grade over 25 years ago and thought she would get rich by selling them from signs posted on telephone polls. It is a place where what you wish for most in the world seems not just possible, but likely. It is a place where children of all ages are welcome and encouraged to remember or realize what dream they have in their heart and want to let out. It is not just about art, but believing in yourself. Everything within these walls was created by hand and with love. Every single piece of art is unique and should you choose to give a piece of art from here a home, you can be sure no one else will ever have anything in the world exactly like it. I hope you enjoy your visit and I promise that at the very least, you will leave with a smile. I welcome you to my dream, I hope it helps encourage yours.

Most fondly,
Michelle

Coming along, coming together.

Wow. I can’t believe it is coming together. I have paintings hung with many more to hang, tons of things still to do, but there are moments as I am walking from one room to the other that it takes my breath away. Have you ever envisioned something in your head and then had the opportunity to see it manifested? It is not that often for me. Usually it is close, or sort of, or pretty darn near what was in my head, but this…This is almost like, I don’t know what. Like when I went out shopping for 7 hours on Friday looking for the perfect things to put in here. People asked to help. “What do you need, I will look for it and pick it up for you.” they would ask. “I don’t know,” was my reply. “But I’ll know it when I see it.” It is like not even seeing it in my head, but feeling it in my heart. Knowing this is right, or this is wrong. Trusting in my instincts. I have managed for the most part, to do that with this whole process and I think that is why everything is working so well. I have never been more overwhelmed by the generosity of friends, family and strangers in my life. I tell perfect strangers what I am doing, and they offer to help. Or random things end up on my back porch that someone dropped off because they thought I could use it. Not just once, many times. I have cried often before I have gone to bed these past few weeks not out of fear or frustration – tho there has been plenty of that – but out of joy and gratefulness. I try not to question too much why I seem to be getting my dream handed to me. Which, yes I am working hard, but I love every moment of it. It somehow seems like cheating when everything you do you adore. I know I have worked for 10 years selling art in local shops and galleries, moving up to festivals, having my own tiny studio a year back…But this? I am, like I said before, overwhelmed. I am so grateful, I don’t think I have words to fully describe it. I hope with all my heart that people walk into this house and are as overwhelmed with happiness, love, joy and gratitude as I feel when I am in here. Because I feel like I radiate joy when I am in this house. And I can hardly wait to have it filled up with people I love next Saturday to share in my joy. Any of you that read this and live near Atlanta, please, PLEASE come by!!I would love to see you!!

so. much.

So I want to write and tell you all the new things. So many. I am so, so, so, tired. But for any of you following the progress, I want to let you know what is going on. But for the record, i might not reread this and check for typos or if this makes any sense. I have been focused on two things. The kids and the gallery. I make sure there is plenty of kids food in the house. I make sure that they have clean clothes. I make sure they get showers…pretty often. I made sure Sophie had new shoes for her Valentine’s outfit. i made sure when i picked them up I had cards and bears and chocolate. (ok, withthe pms, perhaps the chocolate had other purposes.) For the business I got the bank account, oh lord thank you I got the bank account. And I had to be a bitch to do it. pardon the french, but sometimes you gotta get mean to get what you want. I was kinda proud of myself for that one actually. I called the fire alarm people. the security system people come tomorrow. I have exit signs. I have tables. I have stools. I have an almost finished office. I have my certificate of incorporation. I am almost done with complying with everything my business ispector wants. i have called back the moms who left messages. I have had an article written about me in the AJC. That I totally forgot to get because I was working 12 hours on Sunday and totally forgot I had an aticle aboutr me in the Living section. Anyone that saw it feel free to mail me a copy. I ordered advertising today. I will do another ad tomorrow. I will do an html email tonite and send it out to everyone whom I have ever worked with, painted for, been friends with or other. Basically if your email address is in my outlook, you are getting and invite to my opening. I will find all the local mother’s groups and send one to them as well. So yeah, busy. And I still need to get my cash register on Monday, set up a merchant account, get quickbooks, set up my sales tax account, set up my irs tax payment account, find an accoutant, pay my lawyer, get my back porch redone, hang the art, get the other artist’s art in her, finish up all the detail decoration, by more furniture and display furniture and buy art supplies. And the other billion things I am not thinking of. All by next Sat. Soooo. the point of all this is that I have neglected a few other things. The dogs went a meal and a half without eating because I had forgotten to buy dogfood. But thos cunning dogs managed to figure things out when they opened the pantry and ate all the bread products. I guess hot dog rolls and bread are easy targets. Then this morning I went to wash my hair. Out of shampoo. I went to put a load of laundry in. out of detergent. Put the breakfast dishes int he dishwasher out of dishwasher detergent. Made coffee and when I poured it I realized I was out of coffee. yeah, I almost cried at that one. So after i picked up my kids we went to the gallery did some stuff there, then went shopping. It seemed I went as long as I could. So now i am tired and am going to watch House. Cause that show ROCKS. Then make an online invitation to my shindig. Cause it has to go down onthe 25th no matter what. Cause the AJC told all of Atlanta I was opening that day. No pressure.

Today

Today was a good day. I have accomplished so much in the past three days. I have had wonderful people in my life helping me and I am learning that it is ok to not only need help, but to accept it. I could not have gotten the things done this weekend and today that I did, without these people. There were truly things I had no expertise in and even if I had wanted to just roll up my sleeves with determination and do it, I could not have. Like, install a utility sink in my class room. Or make a table. Or install track lighting, or wire an Exit sign. It is very hard for me to admit I cannot do IT ALL. And boy, do I try. I am still kind of stunned that people are so willing to help me with all of this. And so selflessly. I can’t express how much it means to me that people, some who have only known me a short while, and some a longer while, believe in me so much. It gives me so much strength and courage and helps me in the moments of “what was I thinking?!?!”

Today Noah and Sophie came to the gallery after school for the first time in over a week. A lot has gotten done. Noah was sitting on a couch in my office that is becoming cozier by the moment, and said, “Ya know mom, when you showed us this place the first time, with the dead birds on the floor and the trash everywhere I thought you were crazy. But now, I get it. And it is great. Mom, you are doing a really good job.” Yeah, and it is moments like that that a mom lives for. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t doing all this for me, of course I am. I am making my passion a reality. But, in the end it is all for Noah and Sophie. My lovelies.