Thursday, July 23, 2009

Into the sunset

"Vashon Sunset", acrylic & pencil on canvas, 7" x 5", ©2009
available for purchase here on my small art blog

This has been a crazy couple of weeks. For those of you that follow me on Facebook (you can find me there as Angela Wales Rockett) you've seen hints of what I'm talking about. So here's the whole story.

Last Tuesday my friend Sheila and I were talking about our careers (she's a musician) and our goals and the conversation naturally started turning toward what the future holds. And without my brain even being aware that this thought was even lurking in the vicinity, my mouth popped open and said, "who knows, maybe we'll even be moving to Tacoma." Sheila lives there, so we joked for a while about being neighbors and I thought that was all there was to it. (for those off you not familiar with this area, Tacoma is about an hour south of where I live now, and a half hour south of Seattle)

Woke up the next day and the thought of Tacoma would not leave me alone. So I decided to look at real estate options there just for the heck of it. What I found nearly knocked me over. Homes going for less than half of what they go for in my neighborhood, and half of what foreclosures gof for in Seattle! I had no idea there was such a huge difference. Suddenly, the old dream I thought was long dead of owning a home, strangled by ever rising outrageous home prices, came to life in a big way. I told Sheila about it and she recommended her real estate guy. (Since she and her husband are both musicians and he found them a house, I figured he might be able to do something for us too.) I called Wade (who was away on a business trip) and told him that we really needed to think about this and I could almost hear the thought "I can't leave her alone for a second…" through the phone lines. And I made an appointment with the Realtor and a date with Sheila and her husband for a tour of Tacoma.

We met with him on Saturday morning, talked about what we were looking for, and about what we thought we could afford and where we wanted to live. After about 2 hours we left his office with about 40 property listings in our price range to look over when we got a chance and a recommendation to take a look at some of the neighborhoods to get a feel for the place. Then we drove over to Sheila's place, had lunch, and started driving around. We really thought we'd just look at a couple and leave with some impressions and work from there, but it turned out that they were pretty determined and by about 8pm, we'd seen them all (some of which were truly scary), and absolutley fallen in love with one. (Yes, we've been warned not to fall in love, but how could we not?)

It's a beautiful old 2-storey home, 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath in a nice neighborhood about 4 miles from downtown Tacoma and a little over a mile from Sheila's place! It's not perfect, but it's in decent shape so we could move in without having to perform any major renovations first.

Then Sunday - a day of rest. Saw new Harry Potter movie!

Monday, got pre-approved for a loan. Tuesday, drove down to Tacoma and walked through the house, decided we still loved it and made an offer. Wednesday, offer accepted! so back to Tacoma to fill out more paperwork. Whew. What a whirlwind. Next week is the inspection and soon after that, the appraisal. If those go well (oh please oh please oh please), we should close in early September.

So, now I'm in an absolute state. I'm not sleeping well, I'm having trouble painting, I'm even having trouble getting into reading! What I really want to do is sit and watch HGTV for hours on end, but we had to give up cable in order to afford the house we're renting. (Oh, did I mention that we'll be paying a lot less on a mortgage payment than we are on rent?)

Of course, in the meantime, money will be very tight. We're scrounging every corner and looking under every seat cushion to make sure we have enough for the necessary up front costs and the move, and the gas for the drives to and from Tacoma, and still be able to meet our obligations at our current address. This all means that I don't have any money to buy art supplies with for a while :P, and our groceries might have a much higher proportion of Top Ramen and Mac & Cheese in them than they've had since our college days.

So, if you've been thinking about buying art from me, or starting a purchase with a downpayment, now would be a great time! :)
(Seriously. I might even consider making a deal – I'm what's known as a motivated seller in real estate terms. Check out my website and my Flickr, email me at arockett @ gmail dot com to let me know what you're interested in and we can talk, or you can buy some of my small canvases directly from here on my small art blog.)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

this and that

It bothers me when there are no pictures on my blog, and the last two posts don't have pictures! So here's a bit of this and that of what I've been up to lately. (you can click on the images to enlarge them)

In early June I went to Ocean Shores, WA for the first time, with my husband and our friends Glenn and Sheila. We had a really lovely time in spite of the constant fog and mist that descended as soon as we arrived. And I took lots of misty photos which you can see here on Flickr.

I've been gardening. This photo is from a couple of weeks ago, and everything is so much bigger now. It's so satisfying to get dinner from the backyard! And with the berries, breakfast too. :)

Starting a new altarpiece for church - actually got to start this one from scratch and make a new canvas! More on that at Redeemer's Arts and Music blog. I'll be updating the progress on that as we go.

And, of course, I've been painting. I haven't managed to photograph everything yet, but here's one I completed a few weeks ago. It's kinda different for me, isn't it. I saw this composition in a vase on a table next to a window, and I had to paint it. So I guess it's an abstract still life.