If you are hoping to build a workspace on your property, I would be happy to give you more step-by-step thoughts and instruction--just shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or comment here. Otherwise, continue reading for process pics and good times.
Designing the Studio
Leaving that space I had created was hard. When we had the opportunity to move back to Colorado, there were a lot of uncertainties. The church where Dave would be working had a small rental house we could live in while we sold our Florida home and found something in the Denver area. I knew this move meant my beloved art tools would all be stored into boxes for an indeterminate amount of time, and I had no idea when I would have my own creative space again.
Thankfully, our house sold more quickly than we expected (thanks, real estate genius Tina!) and we were able to immediately find an awesome place in Arvada, Colorado (thanks, real estate genius Brion!). Our little brick home is on a quiet circle with a nicely sized yard, and we can walk to a number of parks in our neighborhood (and one very fancy plant nursery with flowers so beautiful I often cry at the sight of them). We are 15 minutes from downtown Denver and 15 minutes from the mountains, and I'm never leaving. You can't make me leave. God, please don't make me leave!
Starting a big project where I have largely no idea what I am doing and have none of the skills necessary is one of my least favorite endeavors and is always incredibly overwhelming. I would spend hours looking out at that rusty old shed and seeing everything I had to do before I could even start building--tear down the shed, somehow uproot the trees around it, dig out a foundation, fill it with crushed rock, lay treated runners--each task was equally a mystery to me. None of it felt achievable.
I just tried to start moving in the right direction, certain that I would never finish, and sure that I couldn't do this.
Making a Foundation and Floor
I thought momentarily that this would be a good place to stop and offer a small, backyard stage to the local children who are interested in theater.
Framing, Framing, Framing
This was a really awesome day--I was around in the beginning to "help" (really I ran to Home Depot to grab more supplies, answered questions about my plans, and offered refreshing beverages), but had to leave for a few hours. When I returned, the framing was finished. I suddenly had a sense of my space in the physical world. Things started to feel super real.
Siding and Roofing Galore
I spent days nailing up siding and trimming annoyingly skinny triangles off of the sheets to fit them to my not-square walls. Dad Tim had the idea of using live-edge boards leftover from Makena and Royce's tiny house build to create an accent wall on the studio patio, so we used scrap subfloor to create a base for the wood siding.
At the end of each step of the process, the studio felt like it took on a little more of myself. Once the framing was completed the studio first came into the real world, but once the siding was on, I had an official interior and exterior. All of my visions of the space were constantly overlapping with the building, as if drawn on transparencies and superimposed into the air everywhere I looked. I loved to just sit inside and think, I have an "inside!" Over there is "outside!" Wow!
I painted the studio with a warm gray to match the exterior wood on our house, but decided I needed to go funky above the seam of the siding. I wanted the sight of my studio to bring me sheer joy every time I gazed at it (particularly while washing dishes and catching glimpses out the window above the sink). Working with a palette of golds and yellows, I brushed on tones reminiscent of all the variety of pollen colors neatly tucked into cell after cell of my beehives.
Once the exterior was finished up, I had a realization--I've done all of the steps left ahead of me before. I've done insulation. I've hung drywall. I've taped and textured. I've built shelves. I was back in my wheelhouse, and although I am certainly not very good at many of the skills required moving to the interior of the space, I could at least rely on my own experience and not just on YouTube to know what to do. That was a good feeling.