I officially moved to Bedford Jan 15, 2018. I’m still splitting my time between Little Old Lady Quilting Studio and our home in Fairfax where my husband is still living and working. I feel a little like Cinderella, or like I’ve died and gone to heaven!
I have not kept up with this blog on a daily basis as I hoped, but only because I have been so focused on getting all the things done that need to be ready to open my business officially at the Grand Opening scheduled for March 31, 2018.
One of the things that attracted me originally to the place was the two seperate buildings on property adjacent Route 43 ( Peaks road) the major thoroughfare between the Blue Ridge Parkway , the Peaks of Otter Lodge, and beautiful historical downtown Bedford, Va. We could live in the single family unit to the left, and I could have a 900 sq ft studio /gallery to the right. All of it is Handicapped accessible. (I have “spine issues” and will be in a wheelchair eventually so it is good to plan ahead!) Plus the property had already BEEN a craft and gift shop and was known for such in the community.
Of course, as with any old home, there are going to be a lot of little things that need to be fixed to bring it up to date and to make it work for one’s current needs. Even with a complete inspection before we purchased the property here, we were surprised by a few things that have added significantly to the expenses of getting the Little Old Lady Quilting Studio ready to open.
The inspector mentioned a few boards in the handicapped walkways that lead into the buildings that “were not 100% sound and may need to be replaced.” BUT… it turned out (after I fell through one of them) that they are almost all rotten throughout and the entire walkway and deck needs to be rebuilt. $$$ This has to be done before I can open the business to the public.
It also turns out according to our many friendly neighbors, the property had been sitting empty much longer than we were told by the real estate agents. Our first order of business was to deal with the MASSIVE Stink-bug invasion. This has been an ongoing issues with treatments every couple of weeks. EVENTUALLY they will go back outside and we will be able to seal up as many of the escape routes as possible. The Stink-bugs are just a fact of life here in the county. They can be dealt with… one day at a time.
The next unexpected issues was major…. under the studio crawl space ( which the inspector cursuri looked at but did not really inspect) turns out that there was water damage that lead to major mold and fungus problems. We had to remediate and encapsulate that plus add in a dehumidifier system in order to be safe for myself and clients in the building. Turns out there is also a fungal problem in the living cabin and so they will have to spray and treat that in the coming weeks as well.
In spite of these major expenses and setbacks, this is STILL the most perfect place we could have found for Little Old Lady Quilting.
I have been able to get into the studio and create a lot. I have been working to build my inventory of thread painting and artwork as well as home decor items.
I’ve also been showing (and selling) my work at the little gallery in town — The Electric Company Art & More located at 207 E Depot Street in Bedford, VA . I currently have several pieces in the 4th annual Curry/Bower Exhibit at the Bower Center for the Arts (and sold one of them!)
I am about to Open Little Old Lady Quilting Studio to the Public with a Grand Opening March 31, 2018 11:00 am until 3:00 PM
I am also slated to be the Featured Artist for April in a solo Show of my new works at The Electric Company Art & More. I have created a new series of Wall Hangings especially for this show which is entitled Blue Ridge Visions. Each is 24″ x 9″ and based on nature images of the Blue Ridge area I love so much here in Bedford.
I am now a member of the Bedford Artisan Trail Network and the Virginia Artisan Trail. Very excited for the opportunities this provides me to market and reach out to the arts community here as well.
And so, life is moving ahead. I am incredibly grateful for every opportunity here, for the beauty of nature I am surrounded with, for this gift of time to make art and build a business and life here in the area I love so much!
Create Beauty and fill the World with LOVE!