So I begin my first installment of life at Roasted where art surrounds my soul everyday... gently lifting me, enlightening me, and sometimes baffling me. This has been a journey of love through hills and valleys, through red-neck agendas and city folk views, through neighborly opinions and friendly support, and of course through the family and friends that I love strongly. I'm sure there was some bafflement as to why Annie Allen (Daniel) would put together a coffee art house in the middle of Lincoln Montana. Life in Lincoln is made up of hard working folk, low-income wages, skeptical viewpoints, and enough bars to support the mind when times are too difficult to manage ( I say this lovingly for I do love to have a drink or two myself :). Years ago I found while wondering with art students around the country side, coffee art houses provided uplifting art and a warm atmosphere. We began to look for the coffee art houses that provided plenty of artistic vision when we traveled. Houses that supported the arts, that loved people (especially students), and that filled your memory banks with an infusion of new vision for the world we live in. I've never been one that is satisfied with the same scenario every single day. I like a challenge, I like to surround myself with active thinkers (thus, art students), and I love great coffee!!!
So as my life changed directions many years ago with a divorce and a father's death, I knew that I had to challenge myself. I had to allow change to fill me up, to light me up, to carry me to new pathways. I was surrounded by loving arms in the school where I worked. These arms carried me along and often times caught me when I crumbled. For this I am forever grateful, but alas I knew that I had to take a giant leap of faith and start anew. I was blessed with a family who supported this even though it meant changes for them also (especially my dear son & daughter).
I began to piece together all the supplies I had to create an art studio, of which I had many! I began to search for information on art classes and creating art studios. Each step was a learning curve. Slowly I also began to collect many items that would be helpful in creating a coffee art house without even realizing it. The last item needed was a place to rent or buy and a great coffee machine. I moved to Helena thinking lets rock over here, lets start a new life, lets just make this happen. Well life had different ideas for me. Patience was needed, flow was arranging other plans for my mind, and I had to learn to rely on myself! Period! It was so damn easy to just want to fall into the arms of loved ones. It was so damn easy to get around strong personalities and let them just take over. But as much as these individuals are loved and needed it could only be me.
With reluctance and some sadness I moved back to Lincoln. Lincoln provided a home through my son and grandchildren, love and support through my family, and a couple months later a daughter who returned! Sure enough avenues opened up and the coffee art house was on here in Lincoln Montana. I was blessed with a wonderful land lady and her family, a coffee machine that I was able to work for, and great furnishings from all around Lincoln!!! What the hell, lets plow ahead and see where this road leads. You see, I feel that we must always challenge ourselves and challenge others around us to consider new ideas. Hopefully they do the same for me. So here at Roasted I try to weave together the lives of over 45 artists with my vision, I try to weave together new and fresh art lessons for the house, and I try to weave prayers and mantras through all the lives that enter Roasted. Is it working? I'm really not quite sure but life is very interesting and the energy that flows through Roasted is amazing for the most part.