This new year found us celebrating our first anniversary (the paper year), Snakes bidding farewell to journalism (December 31st last day) and closing on our house (yeesh). To commemorate,  I commissioned my friend Stacey for an illustration.

One of the best things about being a person who makes things is that you get to trade with other people who make things.  I love the barter system. (It’s how I’ve acquired most of the artwork in our home.)  I get to give my beloved a totally unique and memorable gift and I get to make my friend a gorgeous new bag to house her inspired drawings and illustrations.

I gave her artistic license to come up with a drawing that represented “leaving things a little nicer than you found them”. I love what she did with the guidelines I offered. Our house, which was uninhabited for a couple of decades, Snakes bought off the demo list and turned into the most vibrant and beautiful home on the block. Hard to believe that this place was just a 15 minute bike ride from downtown Detroit.  (And yes, we really did have chickens.. lawlessness has its privileges.)

In exchange, I made Stacey this new bag…

So this is the final bag I’ll make in Detroit. I suppose I’ll have to change my labels to indicate our change in geography.  Our pack out date is the 29th. My last day at work, the 23rd. Didn’t think I would be, but I am a smidge misty eyed.

I hope to develop and continue the pursuit of this interest/talent once we are in the FS. Lucky to have found an apartment in DC with a basement/extra bedroom (within budget).  I worry that once we are sailing across the oceans we won’t qualify for a space big enough for me to have a little studio, since it’s just the two of us. If anyone out there has any insight into how that works for EFMs and home business spaces, I’d love to hear it.


10 thoughts on “swapsies

  1. I came across your blog by accident and have loved reading your updates.

    So I thought I would say hi all the way from New Zealand and take the opportunity to wish you and your husband the very best of luck with your move and new lives. I am sure you will make everything a great success.

  2. HI!

    I’ll be joining your husband in the May A100 class, and I’m just discovering your blog.

    The I understand it is that we should usually expect a 2 bedroom at the minimum, and will more likely get a 3 bedroom in most places. I’m hoping that’s the case because I don’t want to be without my woodworking while I’m overseas. And I have read of several FSOs who are single, even, and are living in 3 bedroom apts. The main thing is that you contact the post to which you’ve been assigned and let them know what you’re looking for. Some are better than others at working with you, but in either case it can’t hurt, and it can often help.

    OH – and one more thing… I have a large plastic tub of leather and suede of different weights and colors. I was going to get rid of it before we move, but if you’re interested, I’ll see if we can hold on to it for you.

    1. thanks for the housing info. Although I have a uhauls worth of leather myself- I will happily pick through what you’ve got if it’s not too much trouble for you to drag it along. If it presents a challenge- don’t fret, like I said, I believe i have more than I can manage in this lifetime. Are you the guy who messaged “snakes” about me doing some work for you? Something about swords??

      1. Yes – that would be me. 🙂

        I’ll see if I can get it into my UAB or into my car after UAB is gone. If not I’ll just find someone here in town who can use it. I’m not even sure what all is in there, though I seem to remember a deep blue suede.

  3. Oh, that is absolutely gorgeous! Do keep up your work, and, yes, you should have plenty of room. It depends on where you go, but my single friends at our last post generally had at least 2.5 bedrooms, and one had 4. The same was true at our first post, so I wouldn’t worry the space issue too much.

  4. Wowzer. That bag is AWESOME. I do hope you keep it up as I’d like to get my own hands on one. I can’t draw, but I am sure there’s something meaningful I can barter… babies? Good luck with the packing and move and again, hope our paths cross once we get settled in D.C.

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