I have to tell you that I am just a tad excited to be writing this post! A few weeks ago I shared that yes, indeed I am still alive- and that between working on a big new project, and my computer dying- the frogs have been croaking. Today I am going to tell you all about what we have been working on… inspired by some amazing Maker Spaces- this is what we are dreaming up with a Matt and Ashlea spin.

First off- a little history. Matt and I are both very involved in the arts- and have been for most of our lives. We dance, sing, make films, paint, play instruments- and are 2 kids shy of entering Von Trap Status. All that to say, the arts are woven into our DNA. Since getting married- we have had a dream of facilitating creative outlets for people through workshops, retreats, and training- but we have never really known what exactly that would look like. We also have a strong heart for justice, identity, and calling- something we seem to constantly be pulled towards. Combining those things felt like a natural next step- but figuring out what that would look like has been a process.

A few years ago we reno’d a sound and film studio with some good friends, called The Space. Unveil Studios operates there today. We caught wind of a vacant building near by and Matt has been trying to get me up there for a while now. Long story short- Matt took me up there and started sharing some of his vision- and we really felt this was the right time to do something.

New Project | via Ashlea of This Mamas DanceNew Project | via Ashlea of This Mamas Dance

Inspiration struck and we prepared a proposal for the owners of the building. We knew the first step was to see if we could A) get approved to lease and B) afford it.New Project | via Ashlea of This Mamas Dance

Well, we signed our lease in December and got straight to work. The space was rough- but there had also been so much done in terms of new bathrooms and some drywall work- as well as new overhead lights and electrical panel. It just needed some vision and a good scrub down.New Project | via Ashlea of This Mamas Dance

It has been pretty fun playing designer- and truth be told I LOVE renovating. We have learned so much building our house- that framing a few walls seemed pretty easy at this point. The really exciting part is that ideas have just flowed for this space. I usually have the hardest time deciding on paint colors, finishing and furnishings, but it’s all coming together naturally.

New Project | via Ashlea of This Mamas DanceThe style is different than our home- it’s a bit more industrial and modern- but it’s a look I have always wanted to play around with, and works especially well in this setting. Take a look at my Pinterest Board to get an idea of where I am drawing inspiration from.

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If you are thinking that we are crazy for taking on more stuff (I mean we had this going on behind the scenes during the premiere of Matt’s newest feature film) I kind of agree. But I will also be honest that while I have had a few nerves when it comes to pulling this together- I just asked God to open the doors if it was the right step to take- and they seemed to just keep opening. I feel his peace- and it makes so much sense for us. We really see it as an extension of things we are already doing, and a way to involve our growing family in the work we are most passionate about.

These “before” photos are a bit rough- and you might be wondering “what will the space be?” A portion will be dedicated to more office space for the work we do- for Matt that includes film, production, color correction and media work. For me that looks like web, interior design and writing. We will have a film stage, photography studio, tech centres, a fully loaded board room complete with multimedia sound and projection… and then my favorite part- a community work space for collaboration, workshops and creating! We have an idea of some of the creative workshops we will offer- but really the sky is the limit. I truly believe we are just beginning to unlock the potential for what can become of this new project.

So what can you expect here on the blog? I’ll be sharing updates and project tutorials as I usually do- through word and photos, and we will also be launching a new web series specifically centred around this project. We have a plan, but I would also love to hear your feedback on this! If you want more or less- let me know. 🙂

So, anyone else excited?

-Miss Ash

 

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