Friday, March 30, 2012

Sold! It's all over but the packing!

Yep... We sold! Can I get a "Woot?!"  

I cannot tell you how excited we are about selling.  We were going to move regardless, but it allows me to move on and not worry about two mortgage payments.  I would like to get a few new things for the new house and this will let me do just that.

Okay. So.  I am climbing up on top of my soap box.  Wait a minute......  There.  On it.  Are you listening??  Okay.  REALTORS matter!  I have bought and sold 7 homes since 1988.  Selling a property on your own is the biggest mistake one can make.  Just make sure you get one as good as mine.  If the words "lock box" come out of their mouths move on!  No doubt, my Realtor had everything to do with selling my property, negotiating the best deal possible and making sure it closes.  Over the years, he has become my best friend too, so that is fun!

Moving at the end of April....gotta get packing....

-The End-

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Delightful Surprise

I gazed out my kitchen window this morning and something caught my eye.  Ahh... my gardenias are starting to bloom.  What a neat little surprise gift.

I ran out and clipped off five blossoms and brought them into my kitchen placing them in a shallow dish half filled with tap water.  Just the right little pick me up!

White Gardenia Night

Gardenias saturate the night, 
clothed in their array of lovely white.
Their fragrance permeates the nose, 
and far outshines the perfect rose.

White Gardenias take me there, 
while I sit upon my chair.
And listen to the crickets play, 
in their orchestrative way.

I feel blessed to be, 
alone in my revelry, 
on a White Gardenia night! 
Rebecca Wiles

-The End-

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Broken Camera Lens Is Such A Bummer

My camera isn't working.  I had the lens fixed. Cost me $180! They had given me a loaner, so I was okay with not having it.  I picked up the "fixed" lens at the end of last week and didn't realize it wasn't working until I tried to get a few progress shots of a few paintings I am working on.  It will not focus.  Bummer.  I called the shop and they said to bring it all in because they think that I have a setting wrong.  Idiots!  Funny people.  They obviously don't know how much I use and know this camera.

So I am somewhat dead in the water showing you what I have been up to in my studio. In fact, I haven't gone back to the camera shop because I have been too busy painting!!! I did take this next image with my 'fixed' lens.'s blurry.

This is the first time I have ever used my Silhouette Cameo in my studio artwork.  It is the main reason that I purchased it, so I am super excited to start experimenting with it.  In case you don't know what the heck I am talking about, that scroll-like tree shape is a cut out from my Cameo.  I used clear gesso to permanently attach it to the canvas after I took this image.

I am actually more excited about a triptych that I have on the wall in progress, but that darn camera.  Here is an image I took a while back when I stopped working on it to let my mind develop on where I wanted to take the painting.

The painting looks completely different now, especially in the upper half.  I have added three more layers using that orange and lavender as a background.  Perhaps I will get to the shop and get my camera fixed! Then I can show you better progress shots. Until then, this is all a got for ya!

Hey! While I have your attention... If you are a blogger... Are you having glitchy problem with writing, editing and previewing your posts? There is this horrible pregnant pause, like a sticky problem and it seems to have something to do with the automatic save procedure.  I am and have been for quite sometime. I have even had a lot of problems when uploading images.  The screen freezes.  Any ideas on what I need to do?  Let me know.  It's really frustrating.  Thanks!

-The End-

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Upper Patio - The Return of the Mellow Yellow

If you have been following The Homeless Finch for a while, you might remember my Patio Makeover.    It went from this....

To this....

Well, it has gone back to looking like the first image mainly due to one hurricane scare last year.  When we get warnings of hurricanes, everything must be taken down, brought in and secured.  We ultimately didn't get that hurricane and taking it apart was kinda a bummer.  I was just not excited about fixing it back up.  The wind has been horrible this season and sitting out there and enjoying it hasn't been in the cards either.  I have chosen to ignore it.  We all do that stuff, ignore something that is unloved pretending it isn't there.  I bet you can think of something right now that you have left, well, undone.

Why talk about it now?  Well, I gave my Realtor a ton of pics from around the house to use in the listing and he used one of the images from that patio redo.  We have a strong showing today and an Open House planned for Sunday.  So guess what I am doing today?  Yep, you got it.  Putting the draperies back up and sprucing up the space again...only to sell it.  Arrgh.  Selling a house is never easy.  I will just grin and bare this, hoping that my efforts bring us a contract.

In case you missed the post about the patio and want to take a look at more images and see what I did, click here.  Otherwise...carry on!  I gotta get a move on...

-The End-

Thursday, March 22, 2012

How TO: My Quick Tips for Preparing a Home to Sell

A few of you suggested that I share some of my tried and true tips for staging a home for sale.  There are a ton of sources online with very in-depth articles on this subject.  I am not going to attempt that here today. The biggest tip that is agreed on by all is to re-paint your home on the interior and exterior in neutral shades.  This can become expensive and spending money on a house you no longer are going to live in is always hard to do. But if you want top dollar, it's almost a requirement.

I am not wanting to spend a dime on this house and today, I am going to talk about the FREE, or cheap, things you can do to help stage your home.  This is my list of must do things.  Since I have bought and sold 7 homes, I've been here done it.  So here goes...

1.  Clear Away Clutter- Take a look at all the surfaces in every room.  Take away everything, except the essentials.  Stow away all your knick knacks, magazines and chachka.  This includes the kitchen.  Clear those counter tops and put away the loose utensils in drawers, bread basket in cabinets.  You want potential buyers looking at the SPACE in your house.  Try to optimize how that appears.  You might even consider taking out a few furniture pieces if you are like me and have furniture everywhere.  It opens the space.

Counter Tops Clear.  

This use to be my outdoor workshop/studio.  I cleared away all the
projects, paints and equipment.  I kept it simple with just two wicker chairs.

2.  De-Personalize- Pack away ALL family photos that are framed on walls and sitting in frames on tables.  It is not any one's business who lives in your house.  You would be surprised how nosy people can be.  Plus, it takes YOU out of the equation when selling.  Make sure your kids do this as well for safety purposes.  You never know who is traipsing through your home during an open house.

3.  Freshen up the landscaping and add fresh mulch materials - A very important step.  If you have dead or tattered plants, get rid of them.  Plant a few flowering seasonal plants in key areas to improve your curb appeal.  If you are a potted plant aholic like myself, get rid of most of them. Too much, is too much.

Here are a few little flowering plants I added two weeks ago.  I made sure and
watered them daily for 8 to 10 days.  

4.  Side Yard Area - Clean and clear the paths in your side yards.  People walk into your side yards to look at air conditioning units and other house equipment.  A poorly kept side yard, with trash and debris is a turn off.

5.  Fragrance - Your house smells. Yep, I said it.  It does.  Every one's does.  Buy plug in aroma stuff in one fragrance and keep them plugged in throughout your house...especially stinky teenager rooms!  Buy one, good quality cake candle and burn it daily in a central location, near your front door.  If you have pets, give them baths every 5 to 6 days. Stinky pets make a house smell dirty.  Put a box of Baking Soda in your refrigerator. People open your fridge and a nasty smell is a huge turn off.

6.  Clear Away The Cobwebs - I literally mean this.  Walk around your home with a broom and clean off the eves.  I am always stunned when I am looking at house and the homeowner has this type of stuff hanging around.  Makes me wonder if they have been up keeping the important appliances, roof and such.

Really?? Come on, get your broom out!
7. Wash the Windows - If you have a great view out into a beautiful yard, but it isn't apparent because your windows need cleaning, CLEAN them and keep them clean!!   Don't forget to re-touch this weekly.

Windex Please!
8. Clear out all closets - If you have to send stuff to storage, so be it.  Get all that crap out of your closets!!  People open closets to see the storage in a house.  If you are packed in so tight it's unruly, your house will appear as if it has insufficient storage space.

Not cool, people!  Ugg.  Who would want this house?!

9.  Front Door Mat - Purchase a fresh, new doormat with a simple "Welcome" message.

These are pretty simple suggestions, but I am amazed at how many homes I walk into when I am looking that haven't even attempted this stuff.  The trick to much of this is making sure you continue to keep up with it all. Replace old plug ins, keep windows clean, broom off your house regularly, don't let clutter creep back into your spaces . For gosh darn sakes, keep those dogs squeaky clean!   Enlist family members to help, not hurt, the process. You basically no longer 'live' in your home.  If you are serious about this...make the commitment and know that it could take a while, but will be worth it all in the end.

One final suggestion.  Fresh flowers.  When my house is on the market, I tried to always have some sort of cut, fresh flowers in a central location.  It doesn't have to be expensive.  The grocery has some very nice groupings.  The mums last the longest.  I try and add new flowers closer to the weekends, since there are usually more showings on weekends.

-The End-

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Looking for Purpose In a Transitional Moment - The Challenge of the "Holding Pattern"

I'm in a holding pattern.  We close on the new house at the end of April. We are selling the current home, so I have spent a lot of time over the last few weeks, preparing it to show. The studio is closed. I can't have the clutter.  So what's a girl to do?  Two things... One, keeping the current house clear for showing. Two, going crazy looking for purpose during this transition.

My daughter has kept me busy the first half of the month.  She just completed production in the school play, Peter Pan. She played three characters, Nana the Dog, The Croc and a Pirate. The day before opening night, she fractured her finger, which made crawling on the ground interesting.  What a trooper.

She is such a ham too.  While all the other girls wanted to play Wendy, Mrs. Darling and Peter Pan, my daughter took on the challenge of hot and heavy costumes.  Quite a sacrifice for a middle school girl, who I am sure would prefer looking cute and pretty.  That's my girl...always taking on the non-conventional.  

Lunch Spot on the Back Dock 
So here I am.  Having cleared the house of photographs, making sure beds are made each day, towels are hung up in bathrooms and wiping up surfaces like a crazy person.  I have tried to enjoy this time, by taking a moment to stop for a nice lunch on my back dock, reading a magazine front to back and keeping better tabs on laundry.  My best friend suggested that I fill some of this time with cooking. Cooking is something I use to really enjoy.  I might also start to clear out closets of stuff that I am not really going to take to the next house.

I am looking for great ideas.  Got any?  I can't really blog about projects.  I can't have the disruption and the clutter in my house while trying to sell.  I can't consider new things for the new house having not closed yet. Plus I have a rule that until I have moved into a house, I don't buy a single thing for it.  I feel that I have to live in the space before knowing what will work.  Twitting my thumbs here people.  Help a girl out!  Ideas?

-The End-

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ponderings from The Homeless Finch Studio: Onward

Life is full of changes.  At least mine always has been.  I have learned to roll with the punches, take advantage of opportunities and adjust as life makes decisions for you.  I've never been one to stay in one place for very long.  I am someone who thirsts for new adventures, not one who craves the constant and the safety of the conquered.  Some people think that I'm fearless and perhaps they are correct.  I've got one life, I'm going to live it.

As you know, we are moving.  It's not too far from where we live now in South Florida, but it is world's away from our present life.  The homes we are targeting are in a rural area. rural as you get in a county that no longer has land that isn't incorporated. Let's just put it this way.  Where I live presently the only thing you see walking along the side of the road are people.  Where we are moving, you will see people, but a few will be riding horses. It will be a huge lifestyle change going from a deep water boating and beach community to a community with land, privacy and coincidentally better schools.  The even better news?  I will have better studio space and we will have some room to breath.  Cramp quarters, narrow school choices and a neighborhood that doesn't suit our needs have taken it's toll on our family.  The stress has been immeasurable.  It's time to do something about it. Now.

The other big change?  Yes, there is another one.  I am going to be shifting the content of The Homeless Finch and concentrating more on my art, less on furniture and such.  I hope that doesn't disappoint you.  I miss my studio work and this blog has taken me too far away from it.  I have to get back to my roots.

So here is the plan.  I will not just be painting and showing my work.  I will be presenting countless ideas for you, my reader, to follow my lead and create your own one of a kind works of art!!  I'm really excited about this idea.

I know for many the cost of collecting original art is out of the budget.  Why not create your own?!!  Just like I have shown you how to do so many great things, I will show you how to do that as well.  It might be paintings, printmaking, collage, photography, mixed media, sculpture.  The list is endless.

Remember this little artwork idea from a few months ago?  I wrote about it in my blog post "Hitting the Road With My Little Painting."  I simply altered an image, printed it on nice art paper and added a little watered down paint.  Now it is a simple, fun original piece of art.  Anyone could try this out.  Maybe even you!

Regardless, I have to stay true to myself.  Like Dr. Seuss said,
"Be who you are 
and say what you feel 
because those who mind don't matter 
and those who matter don't mind." 

So stay tuned and watch for upcoming posts.  Getting my engines revved up and getting ready to go!  Hope you stay along for the ride...

-The End-

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Are You Wondering What Happened To Me? and a FUNNY Pic You Don't Want To Miss!

Okay, Okay.... So I have been AWOL.  Wonder why?  Probably not, since only two people out of 265 followers have even noticed.  The truth is....I haven't even been reading the blogs either for over a week.  This is the first time this has happened in forever.  I'm not gone forever. Promise.

So here it is... We are house hunting.  Along with that comes shopping schools, understanding a new housing market and spending so much time on the road, that I don't have paper towels in the house, or coffee creme.  I can barely keep my eyes open at night and I am waking up exhausted every morning.  Today, I will make it to the grocery.  I have told everyone, I need a day away.

Hopefully we will get into a contract and I will be able to blog more regularly.  Until then...  check out this iPhone pic I took yesterday just after picking up one of my kids from school.

Is that hysterical or what?!!  It kinda illustrates why we are moving too.  We don't fit in our house, just like this person's dog doesn't fit in their car!!  Only our circumstance isn't near as adorable!

Hope you hang in there for me until I can get back up and running.  Please accept my apologies for not being able to read your blog if you are someone I follow too.  Something had to temporarily give.

-The End-