Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Momentous Occasion

Yesterday was a HUGE day in the development of my life. The loan paperwork for my new home was finished and approved, and the money is in the bank.

I am reluctant to write about it at all, but I know the kind of stories that have dogged me all my life: I come from money, my parents fund my little projects, etc. Anyone who knows me well can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.

Since I'm part of several communities who will try to guess how the next chapter in my life came about, I thought I'd just cut to the quick and tell y'all what happened.

For the first time in my life, someone else *is* funding one of my little projects. He's a friend who wants to invest some of his savings in projects that create deep community. Making ventures like this possible is a great gift, but the money itself is not. It's a loan that needs to repaid on time with the same interest that a bank would charge.

The only real difference between this loan and one that a bank would give is that a bank will not loan money to an independent artist with little credit history and no collateral. I've tried. Undeveloped rural land doesn't count as collateral for most banks and a yurt certainly doesn't count as a dwelling that they can repossess, especially a homemade yurt that can't be proven to conform to the state's building code.

The next steps are kind of tenuous, but the way will become clear as I go. Here are the main threads that will have me living in my new home this year. Obviously, many of these are parallel and many depend on others to be done first. I'm sparing you the details of the tangly logic for now.

  • Rent a studio in Wolf Creek, my chosen town. Done!

  • Design the yurt. Coming along nicely!

  • Look for a used yurt.

  • Design the platform. Also coming along nicely.

  • Look for a used platform.

  • Make the yurt parts. This can be done before the platform is in place.

  • Build the platform.

  • Erect the yurt with a summer-ready roof and stop paying studio rent. This is critical to my financial well-being.

  • Design and make the winter roof.

  • Design and install other systems: solar power, water catchment, heat etc.

  • Find land to buy. It's dirt cheap out here right now, so this is actually possible with my ridiculously constrained budget.

  • Find land to rent. Barring purchase, I could rent land to live on until I find a suitable parcel to buy. This lets me focus on creating the portable home even if land doesn't show up right away.

Oh, yeah, and this is on top of the extremely heavy workload of designing and creating cloth and bringing it out to even more shows than I did last year. Increasing last year's sales will make paying rent and loans much easier. Yes, I could make the same as last year and eat poorly, but I'd rather work harder and have life be a little nicer.

Here's a quick glimpse into the palette for my next beam. More details tomorrow...


Andrew Kieran said...

I had the priviledge recently of getting the use of a few cones of 2/60's Uplands cotton (from mexico or chile or somewhere) which the American cotton promotion group Cotton Inc are currently promoting as the new second-best thing to sea-island cotton.

Boy is it lush, simply a delight to work with and creates such a lovely light fabric too. If you ever get a chance buy a wee cone and put it on a table loom to see how it comes out, it's just wonderful stuff.

Just thought of it when seeing all those white cones.

Blossom Merz said...

Andrew, you're making me jealous! I made the choice a while back to focus all of my time and energy on weaving for market. That, combined with the economy at the moment means that I have to spend all of my weaving time on production. I've actually loaned away my little floor loom, leaving me with only big production machines.

One day, though, I'll be able to play around with little, beautiful projects.