It's probably the result of all the time spent with my Nana & Pops in coastal New Jersey when I was a little kid, but I've always loved the ocean. The sound of the waves and the scent of the ocean air seem to set me at ease and make me feel more like myself. I've always wished I could live near the coast, and for the past 10 years or so I've wished I could see my family more often. When my husband and I lived in Western NY, a 5+ hour drive and our everyday work and life commitments had limited our time with my parents to just a few days at a time, just once or twice a year.
So this has been in the back of our minds for some time. A move to a warmer climate, where we could be near the ocean and closer to my family has been a goal for as long as we can remember. Last fall we came across a cute little house, in a great location with a shed/workshop area for my jewelry studio. So naturally we jumped at the opportunity even though it was a little bit over our budget and we hadn't sold our house in NY yet.
sunrise photo taken Easter Sunday 4-12-20 @MP 10.5(ish), Nags Head, NC
And now we live here now, or at least within a 5 min drive/15 min walk of it - is that crazy or what?!! We moved in late January 2020, and while settling into our new home was easy, the little workshop out back needed more repair than I had anticipated before I could unpack my tools and get back to making jewelry.
So, over the past 6 weeks I've acquired some new remodeling skills...
- tearing out moldy old peel & stick tile flooring
- cleaning a truly disgusting amount of mold & mildew out of the cabinets (A dehumidifier will be one of my next workshop purchases!)
- fixing soft/damaged spots in the plywood floor
- replacing an exterior door casing
- making a temporary fix to water damaged siding (clear flex seal to the rescue!)
- priming and painting the plywood floor. I used several coats of Rustoleum "deck coat" for the floor, but eventually I'd like put in a vinyl floor.
This past week I finally got to reorganize and unpack. I'm sharing my studio space with a bicycle, some lawn and garden tools, a ladder, a cooler and some beach chairs, but I don't mind! I've been itching to get back to my bench and back to work. ***and here's the first piece I fabricated in my new workshop; silver with a rose cut labradorite! The cat seems rather unimpressed, but then again she enjoys eating houseflies and she never wears jewelry, so maybe she doesn't get an opinion?***
Admittedly, it's a very weird and uncertain time in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic. We've worried about our friends and family, and we've missed them terribly. I've questioned our decision to move. I've questioned the risky decision to leave a stable job I truly enjoyed to pursue my silly artistic dream. I've worried about trying to start and run a small business while the economy is not doing well, and worried that now it will be much harder for me to find a part time job to help support us while I take a chance on my studio. I've even worried that people will think I'm a real jerk for being really excited about my new workshop or for selling jewelry (which is clearly not 'essential'), while so many others are struggling to pay their bills, or getting terribly sick, or even grieving the loss of a loved one due to covid-19.
I am really good at worrying.