The New Studio

16 Feb

It was only seven months ago that Alex and I started wondering… What if we don’t go on this round the world, year long trip we had been planning? What if we kept our jobs, kept working toward what we’ve been working toward, saved all of the money we were planning on spending on travel, built a studio and started thinking about a family?

While our dreams of traveling will never go away, the idea of removing ourselves from our home, budding business, and dog for an entire year began to feel less appealing. We still want to go all of the places we had planned to go – but now spreading those places out over our lifetime seems to sound better to us than cramming them all into a year.

So seven months ago we started planning, building and growing. Now, here we are, six months pregnant with a gorgeous studio in the backyard.  Things can happen quickly when you decide what you really want, I suppose.

Alex designed the studio and then built it with the help of his dad, a contractor, and lots of helpful friends and family members. Have I mentioned he’s the best husband in the world? He gets off work everyday and works on painting, sawing, hammering, calling inspectors and permitters, talking with locksmiths and electricians – whatever he needs to do to make it a reality. Not only that – he actually seems happy to do it. Of course it’s a huge project that comes with frustrations, but he’s excited to see it all come together. His level of commitment to this project astounds me. How many people get to spend their work week in a structure that was built just for them, with love in every nail and board? I’m a pretty lucky lady, that’s for sure.

So here it is. Eventually, the outside will be painted grey to match our house. Other than that, it’s pretty much done.

Before. It’s hard to remember our yard looking like that!

Digging the foundation. Our yard was once the neighborhood dump – you wouldn’t believe the things that we pulled out of there. Everything from car parts, to tricycles, to mattresses to a 1964 World’s Fair snow globe.

The completed concrete slab.

Alex and his dad, Bob, in the early building stages.

And we’re vertical!

I’m just putting this picture in to prove I was there (even though I was 8 weeks pregnant and napping and puking every moment aside from this one.) Also pictured is Bob’s lady, Marty a.k.a Handywoman Extraordinaire

By the end of that first building weekend, framing was complete, all windows and doors (found at the Habitat for Humanity Home Store and Craigslist) were installed, and the whole thing was wrapped in Tyvek. We had many helping hands that weekend, and are still trying to figure out a way to pay back that debt.

Over the course of the next few months, we were ready to go with insulation, drywall, power, internet, lighting, trim and siding. We moved in my press – which was far easier this time but still gave us flashbacks of our first move. We moved the paper cutter, paper drill and cabinets. We painted the walls and furniture and hung some posters.

All moved in:

the press and storage

The paper cutter and consultation/lounge area

office/design area

Now, I’m working here all the time and could not be happier with the way it all came together. Feel free to pay me a visit!


10 Responses to “The New Studio”

  1. lizziemccozart February 16, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    Holy smokes, it’s amazing! Can’t wait to see the finished product in person.
    Love to you, Alex and baby boy!!

  2. Melissa Tuck February 16, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    This is so awesome Nicole! I was getting teared up just thinking of how excited you are with how it’s all come together. You have big things ahead of you! Congrats. 🙂

  3. Molly Minkin February 16, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Just lovely!!

  4. Becky February 16, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Looks fantastic! Congrats on an awesome work space! You guys are rock stars:)

  5. Nancy Barnes February 16, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

    Hi Nicole, I am friends with Alex’s parents. My husband is one of the Reapers, and we live in Hawaii. Bob and Marty are coming for a visit out here next month. I love your new studio! What amazing work all of you have done!! Congratulations on your new place and on the baby on the way! Nancy Barnes

    • minkletterpress February 17, 2012 at 11:46 am #

      Hi Nancy – thank you for the sweet comment and for stopping by the blog! Hope all is well in Hawaii!

  6. Angela August 8, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    What a lovely studio! How large is it?
    I am also a letterpress printer but my studio is not a gorgeous as yours!

  7. Angela August 9, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    I have 120 sf — tiny compared to yours! Wish we could have made it to the LOL conference, nice to get to see photos though, thanks for sharing.
    Our studio (in case you are curious)

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