Monday, February 20, 2012

“I bought an old school! Now what do I do…………..”

Pinch me…… Am I dreaming? A couple of weeks ago an opportunity of a life time became possible. Ever since I was a little girl I have always had a vision that I would someday own my own schoolhouse. In my dream, this house would be a place for me to create as well as teach art. I saw myself everyday in a “creative bliss”.

Two weeks ago, on my way to volunteer at the Afton Museum I saw a “For Sale” sign outside of a cute little brick house across the street from the town park. I thought what a cute little studio that house would make. Little did I know……?

When I got to the museum I was telling Pam, the Museum Curator, about it and she said…. “Oh, you mean the “Old School!” … Wow, my head began to spin. Could it be that this cute little brick house, the old Afton School, was for sale!

Well, the beginning of this story did not go well. My partner, Mark, was out of town and so was my Realtor friend Tammy, so I wasn’t able to see it or do much about it until they returned the following week…. I mean what could go wrong in a week! .... Famous last words! An offer was made and accepted and it wasn’t mine!!!

across the street from the park
I was devastated…. How could that be! That school was meant for me….. I was terribly disappointed. I couldn’t believe it! In fact, you remember that blog I recently wrote about missed opportunities… The loss of that old school was the inspiration for that blog post….

looking from back to front
The back yard
But, that wasn’t the end of my story. No way was I going to let this go! I believed in my heart, that school was meant for me! The following Wednesday, at the museum, while telling my friend Sara about the “Old School”, she said “the school didn’t sell! The person buying it is going to back out.” 

I couldn’t wait to get home and tell Mark and Tammy.  And Yes indeed... the woman had changed her mind. All we needed to do was wait until the other buyer signed the necessary papers and my offer could be submitted! ….

The morning of February 14 "Valentine's Day" began with me racing over to Tammy’s to sign papers… AND, they accepted my offer! Afton’s Old School is now mine…..

I’m so excited I can barely breathe! I’m suppose to close, Feb 29, which is kind of cool because this is the “Leap Year” but I have the option to close earlier, which we will do. Possibly, yet this week. The school needs some renovations. In the 1960's it was remodeled and used as a home. It now contains two floors and a finished attic. But thankfully, it still has much of the original architecture!

From this moment on we will be keep journals, blogs and photos of our progress, as we renovate the “new/old school” into a fabulous art studio.

To do this I have created a web site. Please become a ‘fan’ or ‘like us’ and you can join in the fun. Simply click www.katesullivanstudio.com for more information…

And, as Always,

Keep Creating!

-Kate

Monday, February 6, 2012

Looking for New Opportunities in 2012

It's February and I'm over a month late on my News Year's Resolution post. This year I am going to put in perspective what I want to do with my life and career as an artist.
I have had many wonderful opportunities in life. I've worked as an event planner, teacher, costumer, a professional doll artist, a sculptor and potter, mentored graffiti artists, and even owned a theater. In recent years I have been teaching "art" out of my home studios in Florida and Minnesota. I love inviting women into my home to create and share their art and craft experience. Now I am thinking it would be nice to have an "outside the home studio." There I would be able to create all day within no household distractions. If you know what I mean?
School building in 1886

1800's school building remodeling in 1962
Last week a wonderful old brick school building came up for sale in Afton, Minnesota. I don't know how long it has been for sale, but I noticed it last week. The building was built in the 1886 and renovated into a home in 1962. It had a garage that was remodeled, complete with french doors surrounding it. It was a perfect place for an artist studio. Not only was it in the center of town but it was affordable too. Now you all know that I have a love affair with the town of Afton. I volunteer at the Afton Historical Museum, I love to ski each week on the mountain in Afton Alps and I try to attend all the towns functions. My family relocated there from Prussia in the 1800's. Most likely they even attended school in this very building. Just a short walk down the street and you can visit the grave sites where they have been laid to rest.

Afton Art Fair
Unfortunately the building had already been sold. But that doesn't mean some other opportunity won't present itself. But first I need to make sure my goals are specific so I can identify those opportunities when they happen.

I need too:
- get focused, create a vision
- make a commitment
- do the numbers
- create a plan of action
- implement the plan
I even went back to skiing this year after not skiing for 16 yrs
That's me on the right
Most importantly, I need to keep moving forward. As the old saying goes... " Taking the first step in in anything new can be scary. But, once you take that step, don't look back, make yourself take that second step, then the third step and the fourth step and so on Before you know it you will have run a mile and your life will have been forever changed."

What are your goals and dreams for 2012? We would love to hear from you! It's simple just leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Remember we here at www.creativechickscafe.com are your support system. We are here to inspire, encourage, enrich and share your creative experience!
So lets get creating.......

-Kate
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