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new studio

New Studio Progress

It’s getting close. So close to being done.

The last I left you I think our new workspace had some interior walls framed, and they had begun spraying in the insulation. We’ve come a long way since then. Here’s a little peek at what has been going on…

We have an awesome new staircase.

When we first talked to our builder and told him what we envisioned for our new space we emphasized that we wanted to retain the character of the barn, but we also stressed that we are on a tight budget. He understood perfectly, and we have been amazed at his resourcefulness in finding amazing materials at a low price that are just what we need. We picked the right guy for the job, definitely. For the staircase, he found a local amish guy who cut these huge oak planks that might just be sturdy enough to hold up an elephant. It definitely means business, but it fits in perfectly with the architecture of the barn. We love it.

A couple of weeks were spent installing the panelling on the walls that covers up the insulation. It was a sawdusty mess for a while. Just imagine the loud grinding of the table saw and the buzz of the miter saw, set to the background music of Blake Shelton and all his country music friends blaring on the radio. And the guys yelling out measurements to one another over the sound of it all. A real construction workers environment.

One of the biggest surprises so far is how BEAUTIFUL the floors have turned out. We did nothing to replace any of the old existing floor – they simply fixed a few boards that were broken or seemed weak, and then they sanded the whole thing down a little bit. Then, they put a couple of coats of polyurethane over the whole thing, and it instantly brought out so much COLOR! I wish I had taken some better photos of the floor before, because it is a huge transformation. Also, I can’t believe that I can walk barefoot on those floors now. Unbelievable.

This past week they spent some time cleaning up the big beams and spraying them with a coat of sealer. Next week they will start installing the ceiling, and the painter is coming to begin painting the walls. Things are really going to feel close to being done when that happens. We are busy tracking down furniture for the new space, and picking out light fixtures, and fans, and faucets for the bathroom sink, and all of those things that go with building something new. Or, in this case, giving new life to something that is old.

We are hoping to be able to move in within the next few weeks. Hopefully. We also have the National Stationery Show coming up about two weeks from now, which means we are scrambling to get a bunch of new products finalized and get everything packed and shipped off to NYC. It’s definitely an exciting time!

:: Carrie ::

Studio Progress

How about a little update on our new studio? A few weeks ago I told you that we are expanding our workspace up into the loft of our old barn. It’s a big project, and that’s why we have hired a really great contractor and top notch carpenters to make it happen for us.

Here’s what has been going on so far…

First of all, they actually had to take out some of the old cross beams and raise them up a couple of feet so that we don’t hit our heads on them every time we walk under. They also framed a couple of interior walls, and put in all of the electrical wiring.

One of the biggest changes so far are the two big windows under the peak on both the north and south ends of the barn. We also put in four smaller windows on the west wall. Letting in all that light immediately changed the whole feel of the space. We LOVE it.

New meets old. We are keeping the original framework of the barn exposed because we like the old post and beam construction. Check out the wooden pegs holding it all together. And, some of the posts still have the bark from the tree that they were cut from over 100 years ago!

Last week the insulation guys came and did their job. We decided to go with the foam insulation that gets sprayed in and immediately expands and hardens. There are so many gaps and holes in the walls that it was obviously the best choice to keep this old building warm. Let me tell you, it gets WINDY out on the prairie, and we don’t want any of that cold air getting in.

We had some really nasty winter weather for a while that held things up for a bit, but things seem to be moving a lot faster now! By the end of the week we should have a new staircase so we can actually get to the loft without climbing a ladder. We thought that would be a nice touch.

It’s so much fun to watch it all change and start to become what we’ve been imagining. Slow and steady. We’ll be moving in before you know it.

:: Carrie ::