Contact: karenhetzer@gmail.com

Pop Up Shops

Another option for selling my work brought to my attention, and how cool is this....... a storefront that you can rent for a weekend (or a bit longer)! Runs about $150 to $250 on average and is in a very busy area, what a great option when you can't afford to rent a store front long term or you don't want to be shackled to one 24/7. Its called a pop-up shop and I intend to try it out. Clever, clever, clever.......why don't more owners of empty buildings adopt this idea!

More Inspiration From Craigslist

I saw this armoire today on Craigslist. Wouldn't it be cool to convert this into a murphy bed?
Of course I'm not able to purchase this one....listed at just $100 by the way.....because I'm here and its in Philly, but I think this may be the direction I take in solving the sleeping issue in my soon to be new studio apartment home. There's no way I could afford a new murphy bed, so time to be creative. I think it'd be great fun to do a project like this.
My employers arrived last night back from their island home for 2.5 weeks, and we're all getting along just fine. They have a couple from the mid-west coming in two weeks for a weekend stay........they will potentially be my replacement here. I think its a great idea for the owners to hire a couple for this position, because it can be very lonely in this big house in the woods. Well, I'll look forward to meeting them. I'm getting very excited about moving on :-)
I just found the website of a shop in Narberth (where I'm moving to) that I knew existed but I never visited when I lived there before....Sweet Mabel.
After checking out their site I think its definitely a stop I need to make when I get there. It might be a possible place to sell some of my work or maybe even take some classes.

Fickle Mother Nature

Well I hope this doesn't continue through out the day, I slotted this day for last minute shopping.
From near 60 degrees yesterday to looking out at this at 3am .......

Living With Nature....Literally!

My employers are returning from their island home tomorrow night so today was spent getting the house all tidied up. They will be here for just 2.5 weeks and I will either leave for Philly when they leave or I'll stay on a bit to wait for my apartment to be ready (April 1st).
I have to say I am not going to miss living with these annoying bugs.....I have learned to laugh at them, I find them in the strangest places, but I have to say I didn't expect this in a house that's on the market for 7.5 million. I always wear shoes in my rooms cause every once in a while you hear a little crunch when stepping on a Asian ladybug.
What an odd place for this bug to decide to hang out.
Sigh......just a few more weeks.
Here's how the portrait is coming along..........
I'm getting happier with it, but I can't seem to keep myself from making him look older. I think it might be the nose that's doing it, its longer than maybe it should be.
When I finish this I have a dog portrait to do......oh, and another smaller painting for this portrait client....its of her older son and her husband on the beach looking out at the ocean, more like a silhouette...very sweet.

Searching For Studio Sleeping Solutions

Taking a break from portrait painting today and back online looking for affordable furnishings for the apartment I'll be moving into.
I'm still stuck on finding a comfortable out of sight sleeping solution. I was looking into murphy beds but can't afford a store bought one, a DIY project would be necessary if I choose that option. There is a murphy bed mechanism that you can buy to build your own, but even that is more than I want to spend when you add in the wood/supplies you'd need in addition......well, it adds up. The mechanism is just under $300.
Then I saw this diy design...........
This design uses hinges to attach the bed to the frame....a lot cheaper. I'm not in love with the bed resting on the floor so with a few tweaks to the design it could be raised up. The directions are here.
Then ah-ha! I found another one of those ottoman beds that I thought was so cool, and for a lot less money.
This one can be had for a mere $199.00...but then the cover is an additional $29.99. I found this one here . I think its best for kids or really thin adults, its only 29" wide.....there's a video on the website.
Then if I want to get really crafty, how about a bed made out of cardboard? Check out some designs here. Wonder if they could be turned into a murphy bed?

Potential Sleeping Options When There's No Bedroom

Excellent news.......my car repair cost was a fraction of what its estimate was so that pressure is off.
Still, with no definite arrangements for work I need to be careful in planning this move and setting up a home.
This past Wednesday I took most of my belongings down to a friends house in Philly so all I'll have to take with me when I leave this position are a few clothes, my paints/supplies, computer and printer, and toiletries.....a very light load.
I mentioned trying to furnish my new place using Craigslist's free section (with the exception of a bed) but I've also remembered the way I had furnished a spare room in a previous apartment when I was preparing for a party and had no where for guests to sit comfortably. I wish I hadn't pack all my photos away.....the room actually looked pretty cool. These are what I used, different versions but you get the idea........and don't laugh! One of my guest actually sat down and didn't even realize it was an inflatable chair!


I'm thinking the way I move around from place to place it might be an idea worth revisiting. For about $140 I can have a love seat, chair, and two beds to go!
Inflatable furniture wasn't quite as stylish as this little sofa when I was looking years ago........
How cute is that.
I also saw this online and I really like the idea of it, especially living in a studio apartment, but not for $700 and that's an on sale discount price!

Now that I think about it, I remember having a version of this a while back. I found it in a thrift shop for about $20 or $30 dollars. That thing was heavy! This newer model looks like it would be much lighter.
Another cool option but out of the question at $2300. at Crate & Barrel

Then of course starting at around $400 there's the traditional sleeper sofa. This is from Jennifer convertibles and starts at $500.......
Decisions...decisions.

Good News/Bad News

Challenges do seem to get thrown in my path. Yesterday I took my car to the mechanic I was referred to and was told there is so much oil on the bottom of the car they weren't able to quickly identify the leak. So for an additional cost I need to bring it back to them on Friday and leave it so they can clean it and track down the leak(s). This doesn't sound good.
So we have another good news-bad news situation. Good news, I have two more paychecks coming before I leave here and can pay for this. Bad news is, I only have two more paychecks coming before I leave here, and this could potentially wipe me out financially. I was wondering to a friend the other day if I weren't some evil, rich, stingy person in a previous life and am now paying the consequences for it in this one.
OK.......so focusing on good stuff, the potential for work in Philly is looking promising. I've got two families possibly interested in part time domestic help and a couple of people that I may be able to do artwork (painted furniture) for from time to time.
Notice I haven't posted a progress picture of the child's portrait I'm working on, and that's because it's not going well at all. Not a surprise, I knew it was going to be difficult because I haven't painted for a while, and my skills do suffer when not exercised. Maybe by the end of today I'll have something to show.
Tomorrow a road trip. I'm taking some of my things down to Philly so I can avoid shipping costs, and so when the owners here return and its time for me to leave I only have to pack the car lightly, drive off, and not return. I'm so looking forward to that day.

Adjusting To Curve Balls

Yesterday I stopped at the local mechanic here in Tuxedo to have them check out my car, the oil leak seems to be getting worse. I first took it back to where I had my oil changed about six weeks ago because the leaking has been going on for about that long. I wanted to make sure it wasn't the filter or plug that was leaking.......good news it wasn't ......... bad news it wasn't. The mechanics seemed to think it was coming from the seal between the engine and transmission, they referred me to someone else. I had to figure out how to get my car to another mechanic miles away and get myself back to the house.....and I did. So Monday morning I'll drive my car to the mechanic recommended by the handyman working here in the house just for a diagnosis and when I schedule the work to be done I'll drop it off and the handyman will pick me up on his way here to the house. That solved but a new problem created.........the mechanic said if the problem is what the first mechanic suggested, its going to cost me around $600, that would be my 'buying furniture for the new apartment' money. I'm too old to think I can handle sitting and sleeping on the floor until.... so now what?
Well, Craigslist of course!! I found some great 'projects' in the free section and hopefully when I'm ready to move in there will be more to find. Damn, this couch would have been perfect!
Free sofa bed anyone?.......
How bout a dining table.......
or this one..........
Some chairs to go with it perhaps...........
How bout a desk for that little nook outside the kitchen..........
a funky wardrobe for the huge walk in closet (or to refurbish and sell ;)......
Even a free working TV.........
A chest of drawers and a cute little side table.........
Well.........you get my drift. Now I just need to find someone with a truck and some free time!

Here's how the portrait is coming along so far in its very early stages.

A Childs Portrait Begins and Hope Springs Eternal

A couple of months ago I was asked to do a childs portrait.....
At the time I didn't have the time to do it. Now?......I do. I've cropped the image for the portrait and sketched it out today.
I'll begin painting tomorrow.

Yesterday I was a mess again. I've got a pretty good oil leak going on with my car, I need to get it taken care of and the timing of this just sucks....with the move in a few weeks its money I did not want to have to spend.
Today though, I'm feeling more positive. I woke to an email from a woman (in the area I'll be living in) about a part time job that I had been interested in a couple of months ago when I was plotting to leave here. It seems the position may be open again and I let her know that yes indeed I would definitely be interested. The hours would be perfect and leave me tons of time for painting again. It would cover the rent and utilities and I could breath....fingers crossed :-)

Breaking The News and Securing A New Home

Yeah! I secured the apartment with a months rent. I did this after having a promising conversation with someone I knew years ago and just out of curiosity had recently tracked down. She now has an upscale consignment shop and I emailed her to see if they would be interested in carrying some painted furniture. She shared my website with her partner, she loved it and they asked to meet with me. I'm driving down to Philly next week to see them and talk about the possibilities.
I also rejoined findamuralist.com. I've had mixed results with them, but listing with them got me the work at The Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania a couple of years ago. I was actually contacted by them the very day I had joined. I need to do everything I can think of to increase the chances for work.
My employer here wrote me yesterday and was very understanding about my leaving. They'll be returning here Feb 24th for 2.5 weeks and she just asked that I stay to help out until mid March.....or rather she said no later than mid March so I could actually leave earlier. I had sent her some addresses to websites that I thought might help her in her search for a replacement, she was grateful and has already begun her search.

Giving Notice and Philly versus Florida

With cold but sweaty palms this morning I emailed my employers that I would only be here until the end of March, not June as I originally agreed to.... and only if they needed me to stay that long to help with the transition to a new employee......I'm happy to leave when they return at the end of this month.
So far Philly seems to be winning as my next destination with one work contact so far, its still not enough for me to feel comfortable, but Florida has not produced anything yet in the way of work possibilities.
This is the apartment I'm hoping to be able to secure this week.
This is the main living space, its a studio.....
Then through that doorway on the right and then to the right again is the kitchen...so that visible part through the doorway is where the dining area would be, or in my case it would be my office space. I like the little glass door cabinets that separate the dining area from the kitchen....cute.
On the other side of the main living area is the bathroom and jumbo closet.
I feel happier already just knowing that I'm moving on soon.

Not A Country Girl

My nice leisurely walk up the driveway to fetch the mail was assaulted by the site of this, to your left up in the tree....
Don't think I'd ever make it as a country girl. Why do the deer need human assistance in thinning the herd, wouldn't that eventually happen on its own....only the fittest survive? Even if not, I don't appreciate having to pass by the killing stage every time I leave the property. How the hell long does deer season last anyway? Anybody know?
How they lure them in, those are piles of corn someone set up this morning. I actually went out to scoop it up but figured if the owner has given them permission to do this (I'm waiting to find out) well......lets just say I don't want a pissed off man with a rifle ringing my doorbell.
And I'm guessing this is some sort of light?..........
And here's the result, a trail of deer fur as the carcass is dragged away.......
I've gotten so far away from art.

Change Is In The Air.......Again :-)

What a roller coaster ride....yesterday I got an email from my old landlord in Narberth, PA letting me know he has two apartments coming available in March and April. I've mentioned here before that I loved living in Narberth and I wouldn't mind living there again. This however puts me back in frantic mode because apartments in Narberth are rented very quickly and that means trying to find work very quickly so that I can commit to taking one of those apartments. I put out the word to friends and ran an ad on Craigslist. I contacted a woman there who I was communicating with the last time I was trying to hook this up and let her know I was looking for work again. I also saw an ad for a Michaels painting instructor in a nearby town and got more information about that.
Lets hope things align this time around.

Travel The World For Almost Free

Well, that's disturbing. I just got a call from a company that the owners here gave permission to, to come out and shoot deer.....its their way of controlling the population.....how dare those deer eat their plants or step in front of their speeding cars........geesh, some things I just don't get........you're in my way, pop, now you're not.
I wondered why I saw corn kernels in the driveway the other day, they've been baiting the area to attract the deer, how cunning. They're doing this later today......think I'll go out and make some noise before they get here.

I've started my online job search after realizing I'm not going to make it here til June....no way.....I need to move on. I'm looking at all kinds of options. Yesterday I saw an ad for house sitting in a town quite close to where I was living before I got here. They need someone from April to July and I thought...how perfect! If I could get that opportunity I'd have a place to stay for free while I lined up work and looked for a place to live. If I rented a place right away after leaving here that would take care of any money that I'd saved and I'd be forced to find work immediately......this would just buy me a little more time and a little less stress. I'm not very good at finding the flaws in my plans (obviously), so any feedback will be appreciated...lol. I have to say that visiting these house sitting sites made me wonder why more people don't do this, there were opportunities all over the globe. Look at this ad:
http://www.housesitworld.com .....
Sitter Wanted Europe - France sitter wanted. Area: Burgundy France
Dates available: All year round
  • Rural charm estate in Burgundy, Chablis area
    available for retired people all year round, free of charges, dogs lovers

Contact e-mail: brunot89@hotmail.fr
Contact Didier & Fran├žoise Telephone: 00 33 629 93 19 30
How cool would that be? And another site: http://www.trustedhousesitters.com
Update on the tablet....I did discover that the Netflix app was just plain defective so I removed it. I also discovered that the occasional freezing up of the gyro was my fault, I inadvertently touched a spot that turned the effect on or off. I tried Youtube again and still had no problem watching videos. I downloaded Skype with no problems (all downloads seem to be really fast) but have not tested it yet with a call. There are other things I still need to try out but all and all I think for me its a keeper.