I believe we all have something special to offer this world.
I believe that everyone is special in some way, and that we all have a unique gift. Some of us are gifted with beautiful voices, to sing, others with beautiful hearts, to offer comfort. Some of us are leaders, some of us are loners. We are all different, but I believe, we are all special. We all have something special to offer this world.
For me, I was not blessed with a beautiful voice or a quaterback's arm or any other obvious talent. My "thing" was I liked to design and build my own furniture. And like us all, I dreamed about taking my passion and making something of it. It was my dream to see my plans in a book on the shelf of a bookstore.
But living up here in remote Alaska, thousands of miles from a publisher, with no real experience, no connections, and no money to invest, I knew my dream was so far fetched and unlikely, I kept it a secret.
And as the years passed, I kept building furniture, and people would tell me, Ana, you need a website to sell your furniture. And I would just nod my head, and think it over.
You see, that was not my dream. My dream was not to make money off my talent by selling furniture. That's not what kept me going back to the saw every spare moment I had.
No, my dream was to share with others my plans, to see others discover everything that is so awesome about building your own furniture.
But with a toddler, a husband that worked full time, DIYing a house while living in it, it seems weeks went by without any time to do anything but function. Everyday was the same, dishes, diapers, dinner, dishes ... more diapers .... it never ended, and there was no time for me to have a dream of my own.
But in October of 2009, I packed up the dial-up modem and we got high speed internet. My husband was going back to school online. And my friend sent me an email, saying, hey, check out my blog post on our playdate! So I clicked the email, and for the first time, I was reading a blog.
As I read her blog, suddenly, I saw a path to my own dreams. A path that had nothing to do with taking care of everyone else. I saw path for me to someday have my own dreams.
I thought, I could get one of these blogs. And I could start posting plans on it. And maybe, just maybe, someday, twenty years from now, when my husband retires ... maybe I could write a query letter to a magazine, and say, no I don't have any experience. But I've been writing this blog for twenty years, and you can see some of my work on it. Please consider publishing one of my plans.
So I clicked the "get your own free blog" button. And my dream, that I'd kept secret so long, so far-fetched I would not even share it with my own family, was put in the hands of strangers. I turned to you, and poured my plans out to the public, begging for you to give me the confidence and experience I needed to pursue my dreams.
You always say I'm the one who is generous. But I always feel so thankful and appreciate that you embraced me, you befriended me, you cheered me on, and gave me the confidence to just try. No, you are are the one who has helped me. You told me I could. You are the one who has been generous.
You made this possible for me.
I cried when I opened the package and held in my hands for the first time the first copy of my book. Yes, I did feel pride in the hard work I've put into it, pride in the plans I'd created for it. But the tears fell with thanks to all of you who have helped me make this dream possible. I know this book would not be possible without you. When you open the book, you'll see it's dedicated to you.
How could it not be?
And I cried with thanks for the help that I had writing this book. You see, this book of plans is the very first time I have ever sold my work. I have always given plans away for free, knowing we all build to save money. And with great respect for your budgets, I wanted to cram as many plans as possible in this book. 34 plans. Thirty four. And you can buy it on Amazon for $15. I am pleased that this book will be of great value to you.
But taking on an extra 34 plans - 27 completely new - was a huge undertaking. I knew it would not be possible with just my two hands. So I asked some of my friends if they would help me.
And did they ever.
My friend Amanda from Clark|Pharm... she's always inspired me ... but the projects and photos she took for this book amaze me. I've learned so much from her. You'll never look at tools the same again after seeing her photos in the book!
My dear friend Jaime from That's My Letter, she took my most favorite plans in the book, the child's Adirondack Chairs (I made four myself for about $5 each in lumber) and made these chairs. And then she loved them so much, she made three more!!!!
And there's another child's chair - a really simple but sturdy one - in the book. And my friend Amy from The Idea Room built it and it is lovely. I think you'll love this chair for your little ones.
And there's more than just kid projects in this book! There is furniture for every room! My friend Shaunna from Perfectly Imperfect and her husband Matt built this beautiful bed and headboard! And the headboard plans are in the book!
And sweet Ashley from The Handmade Home built this amazing console and hutch. I love how she painted it. I really wanted to put these plans in the book - I'd made so many years ago just like it, and found the console with hutch to be so useful and beautiful!
Since I knew that this book would be in the hands of people without internet, I wanted to make sure the plans were as versatile as possible. Here, with just two plans, we have an entire media wall! My friend Hillary from The Friendly Home totally blew me away with this beautiful entertainment center! I absolutely love the distressed black and grass cloth!
There's lots of plans for all skill levels too! My friend Crystal Rose from The Reading Girl built and photographed this kitchen island. It is so beautiful!!!
Inside you'll find a few of my absolute favorite plans that I just could not justify NOT putting in this book. I hope this book will end up as a gift, and wanted to make sure we put the best plans in it! My dear friend Brook from Being Brook built this sewing table for the book!
We had to include the modern craft table, built by Cherish Fielder. You'll love that I've completely redrawn these plans!
The same is true of the storage daybed. I completely redrew the plans to make them easier to build for the book! My friend Layla from The Lettered Cottage and her husband Kevin built this daybed.
Because I know you are crafty, my friend Amanda (if you love this blog, thank Amanda. Her husband John takes care of many of the technical issues and is responsible for how fast this site is now!) built this craft organizer for the book! You'll love it. It's so simple and easy and useful! Perfect for the upcoming holidays!
And of course my building best buds Whitney and Ashley from Shanty2Chic are in the book too! With this bench, I really wanted a bench that could double as a coffee table too!
I love love love the entire book. But I think my favorite part is the outdoor section. My sister Lydia built this table and bench sent for the book - those benches are sturdy!!!!
I know how love the play kitchen was. So I completely redrew the plans to make them a little easier to build for the book! My dear friend Kirsten from The Crafting Chicks built this kitchen and also shares her sink skirt tutorial in the book.
I keep saying this plan is the favorite, no this plan ... truth is ALL of the plans in this book are favorites!!! BUT I especially love this bunk bed, built by Rebecca Ridner.
And this is just a sneak peak of all the plans in the book!!!! There are many, many, many more!!!!
But after all of the photos in the book, my editor felt there was some photos missing.
There were no photos of me in the book.
Living up here in remote Alaska, I am the photographer. You rarely see pictures of me because I'm taking the pictures. I didn't know what to do. I did not want to waste precious pages in the book that could be filled with more plans or technical information with photos of me taken by my preschooler.
At the Snap Conference, I met Kristen Duke finally in person. And although we did not have the time, we did not have a location... she somehow made it happen. Kristen put me in my book.
And she somehow got my grumpy tired preschooler to laugh. I am so thankful to Kristen.
The book offically releases on October 9th. It is available for preorder at
Barnes and Noble
I hope the book is of great value to you and you check it out!!!
Thank you so much for making this dream possible for me.