There was barely any money left, after building the gallery, so Susan hung all the paintings she had done, in the gallery section and began picture framing for the public. Paul was still doing housepainting jobs here and there, Susan was teaching art classes, Paul cut the grass and they both maintained the gardens. On the weekends they would run the cafe, with Susan doing all the cooking, and Paul doing all the coffees and drinks. It would be either very quiet or very busy, depending on many factors and you just wouldn't know which it would be, which is a common problem on Tamborine Mountain. So they couldn't really afford to employ. Susan's homecooking was popular though and they did meet a lot of wonderful people over the years, some of whom remain friends to this day and it was fun but hard work, but they didn't make much more than to just cover their bills. Then a few years later on Mother's Day from about 11am, people started pouring through the door to be seated for lunch and the place was packed, but still more people were coming in! Paul and Susan started to panic and had to tell people the cafe was full, to stop them coming in. The orders came in and poor Susan was flying around the kitchen trying to cook and then flying back out to write down new orders and so on! Paul was working hard on the coffee machine and preparing milk shakes etc. One by one they went through the orders and apologizing to people, when taking the food out, saying they were doing the best they could. They only had one lady come out and ask for a refund, saying she had waited too long, (even though they were doing all orders in turn) so they refunded her and then she rudely said she would never return. Everyone else was wonderful but they were dead tired at the end of the day. Anyone who has been in the food business will tell you it is the hardest job, and to only do it short term or employ lots of people, ha ha. Even though they loved the property they were exhausted and decided to see if they could sell and maybe start again and just have a gallery with more constant traffic, such as in Gallery Walk.
They put the property on the market and it sold in just 6 weeks!
4. Found a house we wanted in Gallery Walk
In no time at all, settlement was looming, and Susan and Paul, had nowhere to go to. Their plan was to get into Gallery Walk, but nothing was on the market, so they madly looked around and found a little A-frame cottage in Forest Park at North Tamborine. It wasn't they wanted but they thought it had potential and they would be able to renovate it, which they did. It was very drab so they painted the walls strong citrus, yellow/lime which brought a sunshiny feel in. Every week they walked up and down Gallery Walk looking for a spot to build a new gallery and got to know the people there. One older house that they used to walk past, sometimes had two women and a man working in the garden, so they would cheekily peer through the big wrought iron gates and chat and then ask if the owners were ever going to sell? They said no but Susan and Paul would say hello to them after that, when they walked past. That house was next to a row of enormous pine trees and the property had it's name on a little sign on the front which read, 'The Pines'. The owners did get annoyed by the public asking about it and if they would sell so they had stuck some concrete gnomes facing backwards to the street with their pants down, ha ha. About five years later Susan and Paul were delighted to see a for sale sign go up, but sadly it was much more than they could afford so they continued with their renovations.
5. Ghostly happenings.
They were in that house for a few years and finished renovating and finally sold it, but still hadn't found a place in Gallery Walk, so they bought another one in Lahey Rd. on half an acre and the garden was full of enormous shade houses and a big glass house. It was a big job cleaning it all up and they sold all the shade houses to some pig farmers from Toowoomba who removed them, except for the glasshouse of course. It had a lovely patch of rainforest in the front, making it very private and a big self contained studio to the side. It had been an orchid nursery owned by an older couple who had died, (in the house, they later found out). They renovated that one and doubled the size of the house, replaced the old roof tiles with corrugated sheets and opened it all up inside and built a large timber deck to overlook the garden, full of beautiful camellias in every colour. They had almost finished renovating, when one night Susan was working out in the studio, before retiring, and Paul had gone to bed early, when she heard him yelling! She ran into the house and found him with his pillow and covers under his arms, off the bed, stomping into the lounge room and complaining loudly that he couldn't sleep with all the noise of someone yelling in his ear and banging on the bed! They had also jumped on him, he said. Susan was gobsmacked and Paul was a total skeptic who didn't believe in ghosts but it was hard to refute with what was happening! Paul made up a bed on the lounge and Susan tried to sleep in their bedroom to see what happened, and received the same treatment! There were loud 'Whaa's' into her ear and then she felt a heavy body jump onto her heavily, which made her all her stomach muscles go tense, as they do when someone jumps on you, and he was sore for a week! These occurrences went on for weeks and they realized they would have to move out, but then Susan remembered one of her friends whom she might call on, who was experienced with this sort of thing, being psychic, so she rang her and got her to come and see the house.
6. The cleansing - Susan's psychic friend, Lynette, came and admired all their hard work, exclaiming on each room, how nice it was and then stopped suddenly in the hallway, which was where the previous owner's bedroom had been, she stared in disbelief and told Susan to come and put her arm in that corner of the hallway. It was freezing cold! Then she started conversing with an invisible presence. She told the presence (or ghost), to slow down, as apparently he was talking at a million miles an hour. He was angry and said he was unhappy with people moving into 'his' house and he wanted Susan to contact his daughter and make things right. He was quite happy 'living' there himself, on his own, until Susan and Paul turned up and radically changed everything! Lynette tried to explain to him that he had passed and told him, 'Think about it, when was the last time you had something to eat?', which stopped him, as he suddenly realized it had been years, ha ha. Then she told him to look around and his family, who had passed, would be there, in the light and to go with them, which he did, thank goodness. Susan and Paul found out later the previous owner had died in the house and his wife had died there previously too. Paul was now no longer a skeptic and they both knew and understood a little more about earthbound spirits of people passed who didn't know how or just didn't want to move on. The feeling was completely different in the house and no more nightly disturbances.
With the house cleansed and the renovating all done, they put it on the market, but again it took quite a while to sell. In the meantime the property that was for sale in Gallery Walk had a price reduction, which made them hopeful, so they went ahead and made an offer which was rejected. They waited and made some more offers and finally had one accepted. It was theirs! They rented it out then, as it was very hard with two mortgages and eventually they sold the Lahey Rd. property and able to move into Gallery Walk!
7. Renovating the house part
Finally they could move in and have a really good look at the house. They were happy to discover solid, hardwood, timber floors under all the old lino and carpet, that had never been polished! The previous owners were two sisters and one of their husbands. It was their parents home before them. Their mother had been a mad rock collector and we found a rock wall, they had built, full of amethyst and citrine pieces and in the garden were lots of interesting small rocks that had been discarded everywhere. Susan carefully collected them all and displayed them in a little built in glass door cupboard that was already there.
The sisters's father had worked at Enrights Sawmill, down in Beaudesert, for a long time and brought pieces of timber back to build on and enclose the verandah etc. It was like a rabbit warren! Room after room and there was a big 7 x 6mt craft room, at the back of the house, that he had built for his daughters, which became Susan and Paul's new living area. It had high windows (you couldn't see out of) and lots of built in bookshelves and an enormous brick fireplace, which they covered with sandstone (and a couple of the crystalsl) They also ripped up the 'lovely' 70's, burnt orange carpet and laid tasteful, large creamy tiles, knocked the windows out and put in cedar French doors and a large window to let the light in and look out over the garden and paddocks with Jacarandas behind the property.
8. The first shop tenant
Paul knocked down the front of the building, removing the old kitchen, study, bedrooms etc. to make way for the gallery and shops to be built. He would be up on the roof with his trusty crowbar, saving all the old hardwood, and see someone from the Gold Coast that he knew, walking past in the street whom he hadn't seen for years and would call out, much to their surprise seeing a madman waving to them from the roof.
All that was left now, was the old concrete slab, from the garage to be removed and where they had set up a couple of chairs and a table to sit at, when a man came walking down the street and walked in, asking what was going to be built. They told him and he said, 'Wait right there, while I get my wife!'His name was John and his wife Karen, and when they came back they sat down with Susan and Paul and said they had been looking for the right shop for their business, in the street, for two years. Susan and Paul told John and Karen how they were going to build the shops and make them as nice as possible and then showed them the plans. John and Karen wanted to sign up for a shop right away! They used to have a nice shop in Noosa and also in Marina Mirage so they were very experienced so they were signed up, amidst all the building rubble, and before the building started, ha ha.
Karen and John opened a beautiful French style homeware shop, named, 'Tamborine Living' and they stayed for five happy years, and had planned to stay much longer, but Karen became ill and sold the business to another lovely local lady, Lee Symmons, who runs it successfully today and has it looking great too.
The building was started in August 2009 and finished before Christmas 2009. There was a grand opening which attracted at least 100 people including all the shop keepers, friends and locals who were curious to see the finished result, and including popular local jeweller, Matt West, who had a shop at the south end of the street and would later move into the shop on the other side of the gallery in 2014.
9. Running the gallery
Slowly and steadily, the hard way, lol, I learned about running a gallery and gained some wonderful artists work to include with my own work and have a lot of loyal customers, both local and interstate as well as international, who come back every visit to Australia or get something sent over to them. Some lovely locals have running laybys, and come into make a payment but see another one they can't resist, so add it to the layby! I have been commissioned many times for a special painting, whether abstract, wildlife or portrait from photos too and made many friends through the business. Some top name artists have also sought me out to be included in our gallery, which is nice. Even though we don't normally have openings and short term displays we have a nice turnover of different works and a good variety of artwork on display.
Now we have been running Capanart Gallery for six happy years and learned so much over that time! We have also made many friends and loyal locals and visitors. We don't hold openings as such (but always a possibility), but have a slow steady turnover of works. Gallery has some beautiful timberware and jewellery, sculptures and various artists,some more renowned and local and my own work.