...because home doesn't happen overnight.
05.06.15 / Studio News!

For a reason that I have yet to figure out, the studio of my dreams wasn’t meant to be. To make a long, drawn out story short, the current tenants decided to keep the 350 square feet of dreamy light which was a shock to the landlord and, of course, me. “I wouldn’t have shown you the space had I known they were going to keep it beyond the first month,” the landlord told me. Current tenants get first dibs.

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. Not willing to let go of the space so easily, I approached the current tenants (who have been holding on to the space – empty and unused – for 3 months) to plead my case in the kindest, most I-don’t-want-to-step-on-anyone’s-toes sort of way. They were super nice but it was a no-go. The tenants rent a much larger space in the same building and aren’t exactly sure what they will do with the smaller space. Office? Conference room? Storage? And so it sits – empty and unused – which is probably the hardest part of the whole thing for me. To know that corner room on the second floor with its easy access, modest size and amazing windows isn’t being put to use kills me.

News of the studio being a no-go came just before Everett’s accident. After the accident, my priorities shifted. I tried not to think about the space, but it was still on my mind a lot. I felt guilty for thinking about a studio while Everett healed but, eventually, I realized this was something I really wanted. Taking a cue from strong Everett, I picked myself up out of the stupid hole of self pity I had dug and started looking for another space.

I encountered the same problems I had when I first started looking: too expensive, too dark, no creative freedom. Last week I finally secured a new space on the same property (different building) as the dream space. It isn’t perfect. It’s dirty, gritty, rough, raw. At 1,000 square feet, it’s much larger than I need. The landlord felt so badly about the first space falling through that she was willing to come down quite a bit on rent which put it in my price range. I decided to take it and make it work.

studio 2

studio 3

The room does have some great attributes. The ceilings are crazy high. I haven’t measured them but they’re at least 20′. Two 2-story windows face west and let in a good amount of natural light. Access to the room is via a loading dock which means I can easily pull my car up to the room’s double doors and unload materials for projects. (This also means it isn’t all that great for public access. Having visitors enter through a loading dock is a little scary.) There’s plenty of room to spread out and have several projects going at once. At first, I was put off by all the space but now I think it will be nice for the kids to have room to play while I work. And there is a good amount of empty wall space to serve as photo backdrops.

studio 1

The room was a dance studio (with an interesting paint scheme) in a previous life. Although, the tenants were evicted because they did more partying than dancing. As a result, the room needs drywall work (partying + dancing = holes in the walls) and a thorough cleaning. I keep reminding myself that nothing in life worth doing is easy. Drywall work started over the weekend and things should wrap up today or tomorrow. Then it’s onto cleaning and painting. I’m hoping to have the shell of the room finished by June 1st. I’ll be sharing progress in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

Even though it isn’t the studio of my dreams, I’m really excited to make it my own and to have a place outside of the house to be creative and make messes. It’s The Underdog in studio form!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

05.04.15 / Liked & Linked

weekend wishing

The weekend brought lots of good news which we welcomed with open arms. It didn’t hurt that the weather was perfect, too. Steve worked on tidying the garage. The boys played with the neighbor kids. And I taught Mabrey how to wish upon dandelions – a necessary life skill ;)

A few things…

*The mama behind one of my favorite homes.

*A DIY closet-turned-pantry.

*A young family’s renovation of an old farmhouse. (It’s <1,000 square feet!)

*Use an apple slinky to make curly fries. Genius!

little lenzi bedroom

*I want to shrink myself and live inside this adorable dollhouse.

*My favorite read so far this year. Have you read it?

*And, finally, since so many of you asked…that helmet. Please measure appropriately for a proper fit. You can read the review my sister wrote right here. (Steve emailed the company to tell them Everett’s story and thank them for making a quality product. The company sent Everett a replacement at no charge.)

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

images: 1) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 2) LittleLinzi

I so appreciate everyone’s support and concern for our family on yesterday’s post. Your advice and willingness to help out financially have blown me away. I was not expecting that at all. At this time, we do not know exactly how much we will owe for Everett’s medical treatment. Things are in limbo and I imagine they will be for some time. I am optimistic that we’ll get them straightened out. In the meantime, it would make us happiest if you invested in quality helmets for yourselves and loved ones – and used and cared for them properly!

AI cards 1

Fact: I am not a big fan of store-bought greeting cards.

To me, they are impersonal, expensive, wasteful and usually tacky. In college, my roommate and I used the same greeting card over and over again, writing new messages in it to each other and exchanging it on our birthdays every year. It was such a fun (and cheap!) tradition. By graduation, there was no blank space left.

When I met Steve in college, I quickly learned that he had a knack for buying cheesy 99¢ greeting cards and crossing out or adding a word (bubble) or three to transform the generic message into something witty and hilarious. His cards always made me laugh.

AI cards 2

These days the kids make the majority of the cards we hand out. I keep a stash of blank cards on hand for unanticipated life events or quick, friendly notes. A current photo and a few handwritten lines can mean so much. And, at the moment, I have a slew of thank-you’s to write.

AI cards 4

That’s why I was happy to see Artifact Uprising‘s new everyday photo cards. The blank cards can be customized with a personal photo on the front, making them perfect for all occasions no matter how big or small. (The 5″ x 5″ size is perfect for all those instagram photos stuck on your phone!) As always, the company stands behind its mission to create tangible beauty via environmentally-friendly means. The cards are printed on sustainable, FSC certified papers.

AI cards 3

Today Artifact Uprising is graciously offering up a pack of 20 everyday photo cards to one lucky reader. The winner chooses the size(s). Mixing and matching is okay! Enter via the form below through Tuesday, May 5th. Good luck!

*This post is NOT sponsored. I just love sharing good finds and this is my meager attempt to thank you once again. Plus, the mini photo shoot and lighter subject material felt like a good way to ease back into things.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking