Moving to Western Avenue Studios, Lowell, MA

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January seems like eons ago. I can't believe that was the last time I posted. All I can say is that I've been busy, busy and yet busier. Truth to tell, I'm exhausted. And we've yet to move!

Yes, we sold our house in Charlestown (more quickly than we thought - probably to do with taking all the realtor's advice: de-cluttering and painting all the walls vanilla white). We're set to move into our new space in Lowell MA in June when my husband Chip and I will, become two of the fifty people moving into Western Avenue Studios (WAS).

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I have a feeling that moving into WAS will be a little like moving into a dormitory. At a recent planning meeting we met our fellow studio-mates-to-be. We will all be living in separate rooms, but we'll be moving into the building at the same time and sharing the same communal spaces (such as laundry). I'm excited about meeting so many new people and seeing how the community develops and comes together. 

I am also apprehensive. Apart from the traumas of the final pack and the inevitable physicalities of the move, I am most worried about food! One big change for us will be that we will no longer have an outdoor space. I have not (yet!) found any community gardens in Lowell and our immediate greenery will be limited to the raised beds in the WAS parking lot ;-).

Also, Lowell may be only a 25-minute car ride away from Boston but in my head it feels as though I'm moving to the moon. I know where everything is in Boston but I don't know where to find anything in Lowell. 

In the few moments of research time I have had there however I have discovered that Lowell has the largest Cambodian population outside of Los Angeles (who knew?!) and hot on the heels of that discovery I found a fantastic Vietnamese sandwich shop Hong Cuc Sandwich Shop, 507 Dutton St Lowell, MA 01854.

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Although it doesn't feel like it now I know there will come a time when the move is done. My plan then for the rest of June is to start putting my studio together so that I lose as few workdays as possible.

I'm going to have built for me the felting table I have always wanted - a 9'x5' affair made from water-resistant marine plywood. It will sport a drain, a gutter and a hose attached to the gutter to take the water to a bucket instead of me slipping and sliding on plastic sheets and having the water go all over my floor!

I will also have my studio's walls put in (the space we have bought is wide open and we are going to build into it). One wall will be for shelving, one will be for pinning items up to dry, another will be for my desk. My goal for myself is to be teaching in my  studio by spring 2013.

Other than that, I've been filling orders from the American Craft Council

show in Baltimore MD. I made the dress pictured for The Painter's Daughter Boutique in Mount Dora, FL from silk chiffon, lace and merino wool.

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I have also been preparing for two more up-coming shows - the Bellevue Arts Fair in Seattle on July 25th and the American Craft Council Show in San Francisco, the last weekend in July). Also in July, I have my first international teaching assignment - in Canada. July 16th-20th is going to see me teaching in Picton, Ontario.

 

By the way, I'm looking for assistants to help me in Lowell so if anyone there would like to felt, get in touch!

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My favorite spot in Lowell is the Life Alive Cafe, you'll love it. http://www.lifealive.com/

Thank you I will check it out. Do you live in Lowell?

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