A Work in Progress

While our building is in working (and livable!) condition, that wasn't always the case! We are proud of the work we have done so far and keep looking forward to new projects. The following are snapshots of the past 8 months. 

From the Ground Up

Tom working his magic
Tom working his magic

First there was the edging, which revealed STRIPED floors!


No amount of excitement for such a discovery could be a match for how rough of shape those floors were in: we had to return the rented sanding equipment without finishing the job. Worn out and a bit discouraged with the amount of time, energy, and money it took us to get not very far in the project, we took a little break... not from sanding, just from our building.  


Besides, we had a side job: sanding my grandpa's old house, getting it ready and in renter-ready shape. While this also took time and energy, it was actually encouraging because we were able to finish and the floors looked great--giving us hope for OUR floors.


Seth sweeping in our living room
Seth sweeping in our living room

Yet, when it was time to rent the sander again, the stars did not quite align how we planned. So instead, we tore up the floor upstairs in our entry way and living room. We figured: might as well, right?


With an extra pair of hands, thanks to Tom's brother-in-law, we had it tore up in an evening, revealing a pine floor, very similar to my grandpa's floors.

We did finally get the floors sanded and coated. It was quite the task, but with a lot of coffee and sand paper, we did it AND returned the equipment on time! I mostly stayed downstairs while Tom was upstairs, both of us checking in on each other through out the night, amazed at the progress of both floors. 


Setting Up Shop

A bit of a waiting game followed, allowing the Community Supported Kiln to mature far past my hopes and expectations. THANK YOU TO YOU ALL! Once the kiln was ordered, we had to wait another week or so for it to ship to Omaha so we could pick it up. Meanwhile, we prepared the shop for the new arrival.

First there was the electrical and then there was the cement platform. But, before I could plug it an and turn it on, we had to set up the enviroVent--the ventilation system so the exhaust from the kiln goes out the chimney. Tom cut a hole in the existing chimney and cleared out the old soot--what a mess! Those photos are too dirty for the web. ;)

A Side Job

Once the studio was to the point where I could start making work, we had time to do other projects, like dig up a garden and build a pergola with the help of some friends.

And... Action!



A count down to the Des Moines Arts Festival brought on long days of production in the studio, practically bringing our remodeling projects to a hault (for the time being).

On to the Next One(s)

As mentioned, the work is never done around here. I'll still be keeping busy and productive in the studio, but it's time to get back to our projects now that the Des Moines Arts Festival is over. Some things to look forward to are new gutters on the side of the building, an opening between our kitchen and living room, and south facing windows in the shop...