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staying put & putting things up

This year, Jason and I've been thinking a lot about when we might be able to make a move to a place where we'll be working towards owning instead of renting. But over the course of the summer, looking at some properties for the first time and crunching numbers, we recognized that we're not quite there yet. At least not here in Southern California. But it's where we want (and need) to be right now, so we're staying put, keeping our eye out for changes that might make it more possible, and practicing patience in the un-crisp vagueness of a blurry future plan.

This settling of our thoughts, however, freed up some things I've been putting off. Particularly, framing and hanging more art on my studio walls and around the house, too. I have a vast collection of works I've accumulated over the years from my favorite artists, but so many of them have been tucked away, lying in wait for a more permanent residence.

Knowing we may be here for a few more years released me from the thought that it would be a waste of time and energy to hang them one day only to take them all down in a few months. So now, I'm gradually finding wall-homes and shelf-tops for these beloved pieces, and it brings me a sense of contentment I didn't notice was absent.

An original piece in colored pencil by my friend Jackie Sun of Wondershins now keeps company with Torihiko, my dear pilea peperomiodes plant.

A favorite print from Mimi Chao of Mimo Chai and a Middle-Earth illustration by Anthony Vong are the beginnings of a corner gallery I've been daydreaming about ever since I first added a mossy-mint green barrel armchair to my space. I'm envisioning an inspiring company of art from various artists climbing up the corner from the chair to the ceiling (or until it feels complete). I'm not in any rush and am having fun taking my time, placing each piece one by one.

I've even framed a few of my own, which makes me equal parts proud and giddy, and bashfully squeamish about hanging my own work. But, my beliefs on the matter have kicked in, and I'm kicking the notion that it's self-aggrandizing to the curb because I know who I am and what my makings mean to me. The things we make are important and special, and can remind us where we've been.

So now, one of my favorite watercolor paintings sits shelf-top, reminding me of the first paintings I connected with as a child, Monet's impressionist water lilies.

All this has me smiling more and naturally draws me into the studio outside of work hours, wanting to spend time here to read or listen to music on the weekends or in the evenings as a fan spins cool air in my direction.

How do you feel about your space, friends? Is there something you might do to give it a little embrace?

♡ Kimberly Kuniko

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Words, Art + Photography by

© Kimberly 國子Taylor-Pestell

(unless otherwise noted)


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Welcome to the personal blog of of Kimberly Kuniko, a Nikkei American illustrator, collage artist, poet, and host of cozy, virtual guided creative retreats with a new theme each month.

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