a corner of one's own

As I've mentioned a couple of times recently, the family and I just moved. A move not exactly on the scale of the 3000 miles we crossed with one Pod o' stuff last summer but a move that involved buying our first house, a 1950s single family in an "up and coming" neighborhood.  It's not a fixer-upper by any means, but the list of projects inside and out is still overwhelming.  In particular, the whole back yard thing freaks me out. This is the first single-family house I've ever lived in, aside from bunking up with an aunt or two as an infant with my then newly single Mom and brother.  My step-Dad and I lived in a duplex once, and that place had front and back yards. There was grass that I mowed and edged (I loved edging, which I think tells you a lot about my personality), roses that I pruned (never did we think to bring the cut flowers inside the house...such was life with a single father, I guess), a patio that we built, a shed that we once accidentally locked our cat in and spent a day driving around the neighborhood expecting but hoping not to spot familiar roadkill (we discovered him in there eventually and he went on to live another 15 or so years in two other countries).  So this whole yard thing is pretty new to me.  There are lots of spiders.  Needless to say, I've taken the lead on several indoor projects and let Neal take the reins on taming our little piece of Oakland.

One thing I've been pretty excited about, though not a perfect space, is the chance to carve out a little studio area.  Neal and I share the office, which I use for work and other paper crafts, but for anything that involves paint or chemicals or other materials I'd rather my curious toddler not have access to, I'm now officially using a portion of the garage below a window that gets surprisingly decent light.  It's ridiculously stuffy in there and the flooring probably contains asbestos but it's not much worse than the last studio I had, as a grad student here.  No joke.

And check out the light table I scored from the previous occupants!  I'm still not sure what the previous tenants/owners were using the garage for since they probably parked their car(s) in the front yard, entirely covered in concrete (the house may have little curb appeal but I tell you, that front yard is super easy to maintain).

The light table was originally across the garage, mounted in a square space haphazardly carved out of a lofty storage shelf, perched on screws on one side and lifted up by the handle with some wire on the other.  My guess is they were using it to photograph objects (hey, maybe they're on Etsy!), since at the time of inspections there was also a medium format camera in the garage (that was cleared out before we closed and received the keys).  But at a good six feet off the ground, this still seems like a bizarre setup to me.

Anyway, I officially set up my little studio space today with a $35 table from Ikea and a good rifling through of boxes that I hadn't opened since Boston.  Unfinished projects are looking pretty tantalizing after a couple of years of collecting dust, I have to say.  And check this out - remember those glitter globes that were the centerpiece of my thesis installation?  After the show closed I packed up the globes as is, water and all, figuring I'd have time in the spring to empty them out, clean them up, and decide what to do with them.  Well, that never happened and this is the first I've seen of them since deinstalling that show.  And get this, the water has totally evaporated!

There's never been any sign of leakage, as far as I could tell.  Each globe is packaged in styrofoam and its own little box.  All looks well.  But those babies are dry!  Crazy, huh?  Okay, maybe not that mysterious, considering the adventure they've been on the past couple of years but still surprising.  And in a good way since this will make repurposing them a little easier. Oh, and uh, there will be owls this time around, that much I can tell you.

Finally, in the spirit of tackling projects and using materials I was discouraged from pursuing in art school, I also discovered a whole bag of these miniature Adirondack chairs.  I'm not sure if I'll incorporate the AstroTurf that, until recently, covered our back patio in the final project or not, but I kinda like it for now.

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