Friday, February 9, 2018

The Homeless Finch Has Found Her Nest: Projects, Plans and Peace

Jehane Lyle, Watercolor on paper, "Cuppa" - detail

This week has been a complete blast.  Getting my hands back into creativity has been wonderful. I had actually forgotten how much I really enjoyed up-cycling furniture.  I've been elbow deep in tiles, thin set, cutting wood, fixing drawers with glue and clamps, painting, cutting, pasting, staining, sanding and creating instant patinas.  I'm constantly searching online, on the side of the road and the occasional stop at a thrift store for little treasures in need of a redesign.

I've got several projects in the works and many more waiting in the wings.  I find myself constantly planning The Homeless Finch's initial and longer term inventory.  As I work with my hands, my mind is in a whirl of creativity and ideas.  I am sorting through and developing an action plan, a philosophy and setting goals.  My mind wanders through my storage areas remembering so many great things that I have collected over the years.  So many unusual objects that I've been hanging onto for 'that day.' I'm developing how this business will play a role in service within my tiny community.  I make decisions to only sell local made items with the intent to showcase the artisans of the valley and give them an avenue to sell their creations. My friend Jehane is an artist and an art restoration expert.  She has been creating a series of fun, whimsical water color books and paintings on paper (image above) and we are planning how she will be offering these yummy artistic treats for sale in the shop once it opens. Everything feels right. 

Eric's shelves (detail)
Eric has been busy building custom shelves for a client on the west side of town.  His precision is arresting to me.  The project has multiple odd angles and measurements and he is completely enjoying the challenge.  I ponder over how together we make such a great partnership. We understand each other, but also compliment each other at the same time.  He helps me problem solve even if it's his silence that speaks strongly! (HA)

I am working on a complete re-design of a desk, rescuing a small stand with paint and tile and designing a new tile top table out of natural stone, granite and marble.  Each project has challenges and I am enjoying the twist and turn that come as the process is revealed. 

I would normally ask myself, "Why did I ever stop creating for The Homeless Finch?"  But I already know the answer.  Where I used to live didn't have a market and no one was interested up-cycled creations.  In so many ways, I was a finch fish out of water!  California is different.  These are my people.  It's a state full of souls who love the environment, try to conserve our resources and celebrate renewal.  It is here in this tiny little Ojai Valley that The Homeless Finch has finally found her nest and I am home. 

Desk Re design in progress (detail)

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Homeless Finch Makes It's First Rescue

Another Upcycle, but of a different nature

A little over six months ago, we were on our way out of town to see my adult kids in Los Angeles.  As we got to the edge of town, this little sweetheart of a vintage truck came rambling by in the opposite direction. Almost giving myself whiplash, I swung my head around just in time to see a 'For Sale' staring at me from the back window.  Conflict ensues.... Do I keep on the path to be on time to see F.G. and Mimi? Or do I turn it around and chase this rusty crusty red pick up down and inquire.  Well, my kids would have to wait and I hoped they'd still love me.

The chase!
I've been accused of being impetuous. I'm okay with the moniker because I have found that whenever I go with my gut and run in the directions of my crazy ideas, it usually works out very well...most of the time. (wink)  This was no different in my mind.  We chased old rusty down driving all around Ojai trying to safely catch up and take a closer look.  Within an hour, I had negotiated a deal, gone to the bank and snagged her for my own and took off to meet up with my kids! They forgave me the moment they saw the pics!

 Over the last half year, we have spent a few dollars getting a few things fixed on her, but have come to the decision to take her renovation to the next level.  There is a guy here in Ojai, C.J., who can help us upcycle this truck into a very usable vehicle and we have decided to send her off for surgery.  Currently, we are searching for a 'donor vehicle.' It's kinda like a donor organ, only more involved like putting a new body on a beautiful face. Sounds gross... Let me re-state this.  We are searching for a discarded/totaled old Chevy Suburban type vehicle in order to harvest it's engine for our little red gem.  Once we locate it, C.J. will begin the renovation. 

Once the transplant has taken place, we will be commissioning her to represent The Homeless Finch as our mascot truck. We are both super excited about this endeavor and I will update you on our progress. 

This past weekend, The Homeless Finch made it's first acquisitions for the new shop.  Today, I will start to sort through the finds, design and plan for their upcycle and jump right back into making this dream happen.  Onward....

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Start of Something New for The Homeless Finch

"All life is a journey; which paths we take, what we look back on, and what we look forward to is up to us. We determine our destination, what kind of road we will take to get there, and how happy we are when we get there." - A Little Book of Happiness

I started this blog in 2011 with the idea that I would be able to share my ideas and give inspiration and instruction to whomever might be interested in the same things that I, upcycling, re-newing that which is vintage, exploring flea markets, gardening and surrounding myself with the things that I love and in which I found value towards making a life well worth living.

After many years and several life changing events, which took me away from blogging, I now live in beautiful Southern California; a dream of mine since I was a teen. I bought a circa 1928 Spanish Style bungalow in the Ojai Valley and am hard at work renovating, decorating, redesigning and loving my new creative and peaceful life here. I've met a wonderful best friend and partner, Eric.  You will be meeting him soon too since he will play a major role in the future of The Homeless Finch.

For those newer people in my life, I haven't addressed 'why The Homeless Finch?'  I am a serial upcycler and re-purpose-aholic, vintage maven, fixer upper. I have the compulsive need to rescue all that is homeless. The funny little lost and discarded treasures I find bringing them into my life to make new again... or to which I give new purpose.

Today, we opened an account and filed for an official limited liability corporation in the State of California, The Homeless Finch LLC.  The goal is to open a small retail space (brick and mortar and online) sometime within 2018, but we have a ton of work ahead of us to plan, build an inventory and scout out an appropriate location here in Ojai. We are also in the middle of rescuing this wonderful 1956 Dodge pick up to use as our company vehicle!

The Company Vehicle!

I am excited, after a ton of research and heartfelt exploring of myself, to embark on this great new adventure along with such a wonderfully talented artistic partner. We plan to merge our art, my passion for upcycling, gardening and the work of other Ojai Valley artists and artisans into a jumbled mix of whimsical, useful and fascinating arts, gifts and furniture. 

Nothing should be homeless. Everything is renewable.  At almost 54, I am going to renew myself too...again. Join me on the journey...