Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Kilroy, er, Stephanie was Here

Our sister-in-law is so excited about our project, she wrote her name in the sand on the floor from sandblasting.  However, much like writing something in the sand at the beach, this too will eventually be swept away.  We wanted to, in some way, make it permanent, so we're including a picture in our blog!  Kind of like "take a picture, it will last longer."

This is Stephanie's puppy, Mulligan.  He has absolutely nothing to do
with our project.  He's just so damned cute, I had to include a picture!

Those Blasted Walls!

The classroom area has been gutted and prepped for new drywall.  The hooded vent was taken down, too.  It looks much larger now with everything gone!

The sandblasting of the basement walls was done last week.  What a disgusting, messy process!  Even though the basement was completely tarped (see blog entry "Dexter's Kill Room?"), the sand and dust got EVERYWHERE, including upstairs. 

We're thinking of opening our own private beach with the upcoming heat wave...
we certainly have enough sand and water leaking in to do it!

The cobwebs got a good coating of dust so now they look even more disgusting. 
This looks like something from Herman Munster's house.

But, all the mess was worth it, because the stones look pretty good!  Below are some before and after pictures.

Now all the mortar has to be re-pointed.  Not something we can do ourselves, unfortunately.  Cha- ching!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


The stone walls in the basement are being prepped for sandblasting this weekend.  The first step was to remove the thick coating on the upper part of the walls, which was done yesterday both by hand and using an air compressor.  It's looking better already!







The goal of the sandblasting is to remove the layers of grey paint from the stones and bring them back to their original beauty.  Fingers crossed it works!!  Pictures to follow...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Thank you! Spasibo! Danke! Cheers! Merci! Toda!

Our blog just broke the 1,000 pageview mark today!  Woo hoo!  Thank you all for checking in and following us on our journey!  I find the stats fascinating.  Apparently, we’re big in Russia.  Roughly 8.5% of all of our pageviews were from our comrades in the old USSR.  Who knew?  Here’s the breakdown:

United States, 853
Russia, 84
Germany, 35
United Kingdom, 10
France, 5
Israel, 5
Australia, 1
China, 1
Netherlands, 1
Turkey, 1

Damn, now the song “It’s a Small World” is stuck in my head.  Now it’s stuck in yours, too.  You’re welcome!



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Through the lens of time...

I bought two really cool vintage (c. 1950's) cameras today from a very nice young man named Dan.  I found them through our local Craigslist and got the idea that it would be great to make these available to photographers for rent.  Not everybody has access to these types of cameras, and it would be a unique service we could offer.  They could then develop the film in our darkroom.  It's win-win!

Anyway, in talking to Dan, I found out that these cameras had belonged to his grandfather, James Steager, who was a very talented photographer and taught Dan all about the art of photography.  James lived in Fountain Hill for many years and left his cameras to his grandson when he passed away.  When I told Dan about our studio, and my idea about getting these into the hands of photographers, he smiled and said his grandfather would have loved that!  I love it, too.  It's continuing a legacy that began in Fountain Hill with a talented guy who loved photography, and has come full circle to continue right here in Fountain Hill.  Every time someone picks up one of these cameras, I know that James will be smiling, and that makes me smile, too.

Mamiyaflex twin lens reflex camera
Same kind of camera used by one of my favorite photographers, Diane Arbus
Graflex Century camera, c. late 1950's

Graflex cameras were popular with press photographers

We'll also be renting out this new Holga camera - the camera so bad, it's good!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Dexter's "Kill Room?"

Nope.  It's just our basement getting prepped for the sandblasting of the stone walls.  Apparently, it's a very dirty and dusty process, so Keith tarped it all up, making a sort of "tarp tunnel" hoping to funnel all the dust out the back doors. 

Dexter would look quite at home here, wouldn't he?? 

Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Right??

Things are progressing - albeit a little slowly right now! 

The floor plugs are done, except for the surprise ones we'll no doubt find when we move some large things around. 

The brickwork is getting done.  Another repair was completed - the back wall right near the elevator had missing bricks and a large crack. 

After!  Fresh coat of paint and it will look great!
Looking down you could see all the missing bricks.  This is right above the back doors downstairs and when they replaced those doors, they used a wood lintel- not nearly strong enough to hold the weight.  They also didn't fill the brick in properly, causing the large crack.

Much better!
Keith reinforced everything with TWO concrete lintels above the downstairs doors!

He also added a new cinder block surround for added support.  He does beautiful work!
We're working on the classroom area, too:

Prepping for new drywall, and the framing in the center is going to be removed to open it up into one large room.

Scraping paint off the windowpanes in the classroom, letting the beautiful natural light in!  Love the old "wavy" glass.