We recently caught up with the beautiful Michelle Housel, artist/illustrator, doll-maker extraordinaire and mama to her 'perfect' little boy, Odin. Sharing a little slice of her life living on a remote island in the United States (which we confess we'd never heard of before!) we can't help but look at these dreamy photos and wish we were there too! Here's what Michelle had to say:
'Zak, Odin, and I live on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts. It's a little island thirty miles out to sea and is a pretty magical place. Most people who visit for the first time describe it as "very quaint." I definitely felt that when I first arrived here from Florida! I was born and raised in Florida, but knew I wasn't destined to stay there so when I came up to this little island to work, I fell in love and knew that it would be my home, at least for a little while.
I met Zak in a place called the Lily Ponds here on the island. He was sitting with some of our friends in a circle around an empty guitar case, drinking 40 oz bottles of malt liquor that everyone was sharing. I sat right down and joined them, knowing him already from stories I had heard. He had been traveling across the country and back and I was pretty excited to meet him. We didn't start our relationship until the next year. I would show up at his house bright and early to wake him up to come run around with me. We'd go to the dump or for walks or just to run amuck around town. Later that year after we had been seeing each other for awhile, he left the island to travel. As much as I wanted to go with him, I was stuck at my job making money to pay student loans. I did take a vacation that winter and met up with him in California, traveling with him for over a month. That month we decided to become "official." I was pretty smitten and even though I had sworn off boyfriends, I did not hesitate to make an exception for Z.
Fast forward to almost a year later and our little Odin was growing in my belly. We lived on a school bus for a little bit, traveling to New Orleans then back to Asheville, NC where we sold our bus and returned back to Nantucket to save money for our future together. We're still here, doing just that, but we're getting closer every day. We are finally really saving and it has a lot to do with my little growing business. Zak works very hard, but it was hard to save on one income with all of our bills (I sometimes regret going to a private school for college, student loans are terrible!). I'm grateful every day that I am able to work from home to provide that second income. Even though we are still far from our goals, I can feel us edging closer to the point where I can really believe that we are almost there. It's been a hard few years, but soon we will have our own plot of Earth and we will grow food and make art and dance under the stars on it. We will build our house with a greenhouse attached and I will paint all the doors and walls and doorways like a scene from a gypsy movie. We'll hang tapestries and beautiful dyed cloths in front of our windows and make quilts to warm ourselves during the winters by the wood stove. I get so giddy when I think about our goals and I cannot wait until we take the first real step towards them. Until then we will plant flowers in yards that belong to strangers, trade art for veggies and clothes, dance to the sound of the ocean waves, and nurture our little family.
The adventures of Zak, Michelle and Odin can be followed on Instagram @danceypantsdisco. Michelle's incredibly beautiful dolls can be purchased at www.danceypantsdisco.com
Odin wears Feather Drum
Stunning family photography by Hadar Pitchon (@hadar_pitchon)