Pixels on Paper Studio construction update

You might think that just because you have not heard an update on the studio construction in a while, that we MUST be finished right? Wrong…unfortunately.

It has been a busy fall for Pixels On Paper with lots of outdoor photo shoots, mountain weddings and plenty of travel across both NC and VA. We are extremely thankful for the busy times, it just means we have to put on hold some construction at the studio. And now with the cold weather heading our way to settle in for a few months, what better time to have the shooting space ramped up and ready with the heat for some fabulous shoots!

Yes, we have had some shoots in the space already and have sets waiting on our awesome clients to swing in and help us break it in some more! Misty has done an amazing job finding the perfect pieces to put together to make sets that show our style perfectly. The sets are not your normal sets, they have a glam factor that we feel people will love with lots of sparkle and texture. They are prefect for young children, seniors, maternity and family shoots. We still love the freedom for the outdoor shoot opportunities, but if the weather decides to not cooperate, we have options now that we never had before.

What we still need to get finished on the studio side is the lobby, changing room and the consult space, all which are getting close, but not quite there with the finishing touches. We want the whole experience to be amazing from the time you walk through the front doors, to the photo shoot and even afterwards during the viewing/ordering session. We consider our clients as friends and friends deserve the best experience, and we will do that with this space more so than we could before.

These photos show the progress of our construction from June 2012 until today, November 1, 2012. 

We haven’t outsourced much of the work in the grand scheme of things. But there were major components  where we relied heavily on outside expertise and brought in the pros. Jeff and Josh, a team of two electricians from MECI worked for 3 solid weeks in the house bringing everything up to code and most importantly installing all the new speaker wire, computer cables and recessed lighting (which is enough that Misty’s Dad likes to say “can light up all of Wilkesboro”. Drilling and fishing wire through walls, floors and ceilings that are comprised of 1″ tongue and groove pine wood and drilling holes in original rough sawn 3″ x 7″ pine beams was no easy task.

Steve Garlock was on hand four weeks initially taking care of all the drywall repairs in the walls and ceilings where popcorn texture was removed. After Misty realized how long it would take to paint every square inch of the interior of the house by herself she had Steve stay on and they both tackled the painting together. Without Steve we would still be painting. In the time it took Steve to trim an entire room Misty had done a closet. He is crazy good and fast.

Chris and Red of Blanton Tree Works were outside for 3 days trimming and trying to bring about healthy growth to our huge 150+ year old Ash trees. Not one limb even touched the house or caused damage despite the precarious positions they were hanging in. And the best news is that the trees are still doing well and dropping much fewer limbs.

We decided when we bought the house that the existing upstairs carpet was nasty and had to come out and we would love hardwoods to go in its place. After searching we found a great deal on some walnut hardwoods (Thanks Ronnie at Munday Hardwoods!!) that has amazing color and character, exactly what we were looking for! What we did after we found it, was think that we could install it ourselves. And we did… and in the process, both of us found a whole new respect for people who install flooring for a living. It took us over a week (8 loooong days) of torture to get the flooring in all 1,100 square feet of it. Not that I was counting, but thats 8,371 staples 2″ long fired  to hold the flooring down. Neither of us could have imgined the pain we would have at the end of the day; backs ached, hands pounded with pain, and knees refused to work like they should. Aleve and ibuprofen and tylenol all worked to help us make it the next morning to go through it again. It took our bodies a solid 2 weeks after the work just to recover.

Which brings us to Kenny and Craig Mathis of Mathis Hardwoods. Apparently in this part of the state there is no one better at hardwood flooring. The previous owners of the house informed us about Kenny and Craig having had worked on the floors in the early 90s. We decided to bring them back since obviously they knew what they were doing the last time. The floor downstairs in the original rooms are partly quarter sawn oak probably from the 1910s. In the dining room, added in the 20s, were Heart Pine floors and in the kitchen, added who knows when, were 6 different layers of flooring about 5 inches thick with the last being linoleum. We wanted to keep the integrity of the oldest hardwoods downstairs, get rid of their yellowed coloring and sun-bleached spots, loose the weird transitions between rooms, and have the floors match throughout the entire downstairs. Simple right? That’s why we called in the Mathis brothers. 3 weeks of sanding, installing more oak, sanding, staining, coating, and more sanding. Oh yea the bonus, they are hilarious, love to pick and joke and they are great singers. Each taking turns singing gospel hymns over the noise of the sander or nailer. In the end they were indeed the best. The only problem is that they made the job look easy. Bear in mind the downstairs floors were actually finished before we tackled installing the upstairs hardwoods ourselves. We really do have a new found appreciation for the work they did.

As for the portions of the house that we will live in, we are closer to moving in than ever. The kitchen is all but done, with some lighting, a little tile work and then stocking the cabinets, and what an exciting feeling that is! We have done all of the cabinet building (Thanks IKEA!!) and appliance installation ourselves. Thanks to all of the completely square walls and floors that are flat, it was all a breeze… OK, not really (someone REALLY needs to come up with a sarcasm font…) In a house that is over 150 years old, you expect some things to have settled a bit, which makes carpentry finishes a bit of a challenge. It adds to the slow going, but in the end it is looking amazing if I say so myself. And besides, those sloped floors that we decided not to level out will make easy entertainment for Chelsea and her favorite tennis ball.

The upstairs will be our living space with bedroom, den and a home office. There are lots of things that will make the place feel more like home, but those can happen while we live there. Our personal bathroom is currently pink… yes, pink, and light pink at that. It HAS to be updated at some point to suit our style, but for now, we will live with it.

Looking back, it has been a journey that we are both not only proud of, but both completely in love with. We love the fact that so many people have helped (and are still helping) to get us to our goal, and are so thankful and feel blessed. Looking forward, we see what we are doing as an opportunity to meet more friends and to share the talents we have been given with others. Here are only a few of our friends that have driven the distance and gone out of their way to pay us a visit and see the progress.

We will keep posting updates as things progress and would love the opportunity to show the space off to anyone who has time, and even better would be to schedule a shoot of your own to see it first hand.

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