Tuesday, March 3, 2009

. . .were totally overwhelmed

at the prospect of putting my house on the market. I have been in the studio, trying to sort out what to keep and what to sell and what to throw away. All I have done so far is to make an even bigger mess. The realtor will come tomorrow and let me know what I need to do to make the place more saleable. . . I suspect it will not be what I had thought before I talked to her. For instance, I have needed a new floor of some type in the dining area of the family room for a couple of years. I was all ready to pull the trigger and have some hardwood floors installed late last summer. For some reason I decided to wait and I'm glad I did. That extra bit of money has come in handy since then. I just figured I could have the carpet cleaned, throw down a rug on top of the carpet under the table, offer a carpet allowance and leave it at that. Now I bet I have to replace the carpet. I asked her if she thought I could get at least what I owed on the house; her reply was iffy. . . she was talking about a short sale. Whatever that is. We had 25% equity in the place when we bought it. That has apparently disappeared. So now I'm overwhelmed and disheartened. Maybe I'll just stay put. The mortgage company apparently can't help me until my payments are in delinquency. What a catch-22.

Anyway, back to the studio clean up: a few years ago I went to the garage sale of a local artist and retired art teacher. What a treasure trove of stuff at unbelievable prices. I purchased a two-drawer cabinet, kind of like a lateral file but old, wooden, and stuffed with papers this guy had accumulated over the years. I wanted the cabinet, but got the stuff for free. I suspect some of it is just crap, but some of it may be worth more than I think, especially after cruising around etsy and ebay for prices. Here's what I think is probably worthless: a bunch of those black old-time photo album pages to which are pasted reproduction art work of famous painters, taken from magazines and newspapers. Here's what I think may be more "valuable". . . reproduction of French caberet posters; reproduction of an oil painting of Elvis; a limited series of black and white drawings of old barns, etc. complete with Certificates of Authenticity; and the list goes on. I don't know how to put a price on these kinds of things.

Then there are the papers: mostly scrapbook papers, 12 x 12, in every color and pattern you could possibly think of. I am sorting these by color and will sell them for ten cents a page. Unless you all think that is too much. For instance, the first set I have completed is the blue, 50 various sheets for $5. But then I think, wow, what if I need that paper some day? Maybe I should keep it. Hah, the question is, where would I keep it? Ruthless is the word for this job.


Miki Willa said...

Trying to sell a home in this market is a daunting prospect. Is there any way you could hang in there for a while more, at least until the market turns around?
The paintings you have been posting lately have been very inspiring. Through your work on collages and your paintings, I have developed a much greater appreciation of non-representational art for the first time. Thank you.

Wildeve said...

Mary, I am going through the same thing right now. I'm not as far into the process as you, But I'm doing a massive cleaning out of stuff...Where would you go if the house sells?

Regina said...

You may be surprised about those black albums. People into altered art may be interested. Maybe you could post some pics here on your blog and the word could get out.
I've seen some artist destash by putting collections of paper together - for example, the amount that would fit in the flat rate priority mailer - and sell for a set price plus shipping. It's much simpler than selling singles.
Hoping for the best for you.
Your art is really amazing.

Catherine said...

Can you *etsy* the scrapbook paper and the *altered art* supplies like the photo album repros etc.? I can't remember what the etsy terms let you sell on your site.
Without prying (much, huh?) I'm wondering if there is a way you could avoid selling your home? Or at least delay until the market comes back up? Rent to student teachers; college student? Just thinking outloud...and sending you strength and courage Mary.

Mary Buek said...

Miki: What a nice thing to tell me. Thank you so much. I hope things with the house work out, but yes, I can probably hang in there for a little while. Do you think the market will ever get back to where it was?

Eve: No matter what, I think it's time I downsized, and re-evaluated my possessions. It's hard to say where I'll go at this point. Kind of hard to buy or rent a place without proof of gainful employment.

Regina, that's a good idea. . . I will take some pictures and post them here and get some idea of whether it's worth the effort to try to sell some of that stuff. Your paper suggestion is kind of what I was thinking, too, except maybe just separating the the papers into sets of 50 sorted by color. And thanks for the comment about my art.

Catherine: I plan to sell the supplies on etsy; from what I can tell, it would be allowable. And yes, I will stay right here until the right offer comes along. I have the luxury, for a while anyway, of not being desperate.

Jazz said...

Sorry you have to sell your house. That's such a bummer...

Regarding the paper, I have paper coming out the wazoo, but I would tend to buy mixed packets than ones that are all in the same colour family. Just sayin'