A burning passion to create things using my bare hands started decades ago. My father, an engineer, was always building something when I was growing up. My mother, Tanzanian-born and raised, was taught by her village to NEVER throw anything away – that everything can be reused.
After all, when life hands you Mt. Kilamanjaro to stare at from your front yard everyday, you make babies who want move mountains!
Daddy’s projects were plentiful; however, one of my all-time FAVORITES was the custom-built van he made in the summer of 1989. I was 14.
He bought the empty shell and mcgyver-ed a lawn chair to make the driver’s seat so we could drive it home. My sisters and me slid and giggled in the back of this van all the way home. For 3 1/2 months during that summer, my father fearless worked on that van every day after work. By the end of the summer we had a fully-carpeted conversion van complete with EVERYTHING from separate radio systems to mood lighting to an automatic fold-out bed.
*the fam was taking too long to send me the actual pictures so I grabbed these from the internet. They are VERY close to the real deal.
Twenty-two (22) years after the summer of Van-ities, I find myself following closely in my father’s footsteps. However, it’s not a van I want to build. I want to build a home and all of the furniture in it!
Thanks to Ana White, I feel like a giggling 14 year-old again and I want to move mountains!
For those of you who don’t know her, Ana is the bomb dot com!
She is a mother and wife living in Alaska and is the proud owner of one of the most popular furniture-building blogs on the interwebs today!
What makes her site so special? I’ve been doing this forever, you say.
She, like most of us DIY bloggers, started out with a dream, not knowing what to expect. And now, within two years of her first blog post, has accumulated over 41,000 followers on her Knock-Off Wood Facebook page and has surpassed the 1,000,000 mark on her website (at the time of writing this post).
In addition, Ana shares everything she does – for FREE – and then has the nerve to create a Brag section specifically set up for you to post your finished projects (using her plans, of course).
THIS IS HOW IT WORKS:
1. Have the desire or need (and not necessarily the skills) to build a piece of furniture, a loft bed for example.
2. Go to Ana’s website (www.ana-white.com)!
3. Using her detailed search filters, find the plans for what you want to build (i.e. loft beds).
4. Drool over the detailed sketchings and instructions.
Don’t worry. If you can figure out the difference between a nail and a hammer, then you can follow her plans to build whatever your ticker desires – except a van. That will require a PRO – kinda like my daddy.
5. Convince significant other (also known as your “creative” self) that you can do it, and then do it.
6. Post your finished project to the Brag section of her site like these builders did.
Hold on to your hammers and glue guns!
SHE BUILDS HOMES, TOO!
She and her husband just broke ground for their MomPlex – a duplex they are building for his mother and her mother to live in – together!
Are you starting to understand why I dedicated this entire post to telling you why I HEART Ana-White.com?
Of course, being an environmentally-friendly blogger, I will be using Ana’s website to build projects using recycled materials. I’m so excited to show you what I’ve been working on. So stay tuned!
and keep building!