A couple years back - six now I guess, or somewhere around there - Jennifer Bray Buxton got an idea. She started a thing called NaMoPaiMo...National Model Painting Month, on Facebook.
Jennifer knew from the moment the idea unfolded that it would be a huge success. Overwhelming even. And right out of the gate, it was an international affair. Not a contest, not a competition, but a personal challenge to paint a model horse, of any scale, to completion in the month of February.
Emerging spontaneously was an entire sub-division, Minis Painting Minis. Rock stars like Max and Christina Sutcliffe were on the ground floor of the movement. Enjoying Minis Painting Minis as a spectator sport was enough, I thought. Grace already had more horses to manage than she could ride in a week (or two weeks, or maybe a month).
But Grace was interested. She'd never painted a thing in her life but clearly she was intrigued. There was just one problem. The girls were pretty much hard core horse geeks and did not have anything much to their names. They bunked in an old storage room and that was good enough. Sort of. It was all they had, anyway, so it was good enough.
It was January. Grace started looking around. Inspired by Max and Christine, Grace decided to go for it, and do the NaMoPaiMo thing. But not without a proper place to do it from, because NaMoPaiMo is a very visual experience. It's all about sharing. Grace found a space. A big space. In good repair. It did take some cleaning but it cleaned up very nice. This would be home. This would be where the NaMoPaiMo magic would happen. Eventually. When she figured out how to get some furniture. And supplies.
Skye was thrilled with the whole idea and leaped into action. She told Mikki (Makakanta N'nantaka), a dear friend and long time resident of Chilao, about Grace's new space. Mikki came and sat with the space and exchanged energy with it. It felt good. But winter was upon them and the space was cold. The cold was hard to ignore.
Skye also summoned the help of the crazy-talented Katy Niles. Grace needed a bed. What would the most amazingly perfect bed look like? It would be rustic, it would be functional, it would be country, it would be light in color and made from natural wood. Katy got to work, and within a few days she delivered a creation that was absolutely perfect.
Getting that big old bed past Grace wasn't easy, but we pulled it off. I made, however clumsily, the overstuffed mattress, the sheets and pillows. Skye worked tirelessly...actually, with amazing enthusiasm...to get the bed in place. Grace was, predictably, floored.
Grace wanted the place to be uplifting and creative and friendly. We went through some of my rather considerable collections of images. She chose pictures not only of beloved horses and dogs, but of people - women and men who are inspiring, talented, outstanding humans. She chose images that reflected mountain life, and art, and the unfolding story of Redbird. When we were finished, there were enough images to fill the space with life and color.
We shopped Home Goods and Michael's for other basic necessities. It wasn't too long before Grace had a space to call home, and a place to create.
Christina's Max and Juno on Instagram:
NaMoPaiMo on Facebook
Braymere Blog (Jennifer Buxton)