Thursday, June 11, 2009

Where, oh where?! So where's the best place to live as a fiber artist and mom? You tell me!

Since becoming pregnant, my husband and I have discussed in length the possibility of moving out of the big city. We have had the dream of owning our own fiber farm some day for a long, long time. Although we've thought a lot about moving closer to family, we don't feel that the location is good for pursuing any kind of fiber art business seriously. We've both considered moving farther north since we actually like the cold weather. (We always seem to go on vacation in colder weather places like Maine, Minnesota, etc.)

The truth is that we've researched and dreamed about moving a lot of places, but until I became pregnant, none of that seemed to be a reality. With a baby on the way, and possibly more kiddos in the future, we have been thinking long and hard about where and how we want to raise our children. Not that there is anything wrong with raising children in a large city like Kansas City, where we live now, my husband and I both grew up in more rural areas and have many fond memories of our childhood. We really appreciate how that kind of upbringing helped to shape us. The only problem is that it is often hard to find good paying jobs outside of the big city.

I'm just wondering what my readers think about the subject? If you are a fiber artist, is there an ideal place for you to live and thrive in the community or is it just what you make of it anywhere you go? Do you prefer city, country, or somewhere in between for raising children? Is it good to be near family or to be farther away from family and be able to visit?

All of these things have been racing through my mind as my due date approaches. I just had my 33 week check-up today so it is not much longer now! I know that the dilemma of where to live will not ultimately be solved today or even tomorrow, but I'm curious what my blog readers and online friends think about it. Perhaps some of you would have done things differently or even exactly the same and have some good advice for this budding fiber artist and new mommy.


  1. "Is it good to be near family or to be farther away from family and be able to visit?"

    It depends on how much you like your family! Personally I couldn't imagine living too far away from mine, but I have some friends with toxic families that just need to get away from them. It doesn't sounds like yours is like that though.

    I grew up and currently live in an area about 30 miles outside of "the city" (Savannah, in my case). And to me this is perfect. It's rural - I pass by many farms, horse stables and cow pastures every day. But it's also close enough to the city - in there were an emergency, I could get in to the city to a hospital fairly quickly.

  2. Oh my goodness, please, please consider Oregon's Willamette Valley. This is the lush valley running from Portland down to Eugene, which is about 100 miles to the south.

    We get four real seasons with a mild winter (it really doesn't rain as much as our reputation has you believe,) relatively dry summers, no mosquitoes... Lots of sheep, llamas, alpaca farms, a very strong and active creative community, and we're one of the leading states on living green. Great schools, great healthcare, cost of living is reasonable, and there are lots of things to do nearby (even if you live in the country.) Did I mention we have lots of wineries and breweries in the area?

    We moved here from Minneapolis almost 7 years ago and love it. Let me know if you want more insight and info about our lovely region, ok? And good luck with your decision!

  3. Well, i've lived in several large cities (1 million and more inhabitants) and I found myself that when I got married and settled down those cities become too...crowded for me. We live in The NEtherlands now and my husband and I made the conscious decission of moving to the country side. Ok, yes... in a small and overpopulated country like NL it isn't like you are in the middle of nowhere...ever. But we thought, open spaces, cleaner air, more nature, silence...children playing in the neighbourhood, biking, growing your own food, having a dog... you know... much ore relaxed. Sure, we don't go to the movies as often, or the theater... lazyness mostly...and also because with a 3 yr old kid, we haven't had that much time to go out. Money is less but not tight. I mean, we aren't rich but in the big cities sometimes you have to pay for things like transport and all those "temptations" every time you walk in the centre of a know one consumes more living in a city -I think.
    Now we grown our own veggie so out kid, even at this early age, knows whata seed is and that plants need water for food... and he runs barefoot on the grass and plays with animals...I don't know, I think the quality of life is 10 times higher... simpler (because we like it that way...) and more relaxed. Naturally, you still have modern conforts like tv-internet...etc. i think the best thing is to live in a small town near a bigger city. You can always drive up to the big city for a day at a museum, movies...etc. But you go back to tranquility. We think it is best for children... but it is rather a personal choice.
    Good luck!

  4. Thanks so much for all the suggestions and insight! For now, my husband will continue to look at maps every night and dream until the baby is born, but after that, we are seriously looking into moving out of the big city - at least that is the plan. You've given us a lot to think about. And, thanks to Jill too who emailed me about her wonderful area in Wisconsin! I have such wonderful blog readers and online fiber art friends :O)

  5. Don't know if it's too late for you to read this, but I love living out of the city. I moved from NY to a small town in NH and it's great. Found out there's a community of artists in my town and we're able to create events and network together (not so easy in a big town where you become anonymous!)
    It's affordable and peaceful to live and raise kids here, too... but we're a haul from family which is something to consider.

    Good luck with the baby! Love your blog & your creativity.

  6. If you like the cold and like fiber folk, Washington state has both. Yes we get a lot of rain in the winter but the furthere north it is snow.

    I myself prefer the snow to stay where it belong, on the mountains where I can go visit. The Willamette Valley is where I grew up, down near Eugene but is not such a bargain these days. The tax income tax situation is horrible.


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