The name of my blog and studio actually started from a dream-- a dream my husband and I shared of building our own home. Not the traditional way of hiring contractors to do most of it... no, we thought we'd like to do it ourselves.
That's me, the chop saw chick. You might think we were contractors, or somehow otherwise qualified to take this on. No, I was a stay at home mom at the time, and my husband worked in an office. We had done quite a few DIY projects in the past, but the most we'd ever built was a shed. A SHED. Until 2003. And somehow... we're still married. But that's another blog post...
We bought property, worked with an architect at First Day Cottage, and came up with a plan. The property we chose to build on was a heavily wooded ravine. At the top of the hill, looking down to the building site, were two little paper birch trees. Eventually, I thought, they would grow into a beautiful gateway to our home, so we named the place Twin Birch Cottage, and of course, started a blog.
Here are my kids and a family friend watching the 'dozers from the birch trees.
Construction was underway! Then, just as the site was cleared, the driveway was in and the basement was about finished, a storm hit and knocked down one of the birch trees. I was crushed. But we carried on and my dad planted a new birch tree for us-- this time a River Birch, better suited to our site.
Soon we had a basement, and a floor, and rafters.
The idea behind the First Day Cottage is that a couple or family could purchase all the materials and the plan necessary to get a house weather-tight in 12 weeks. With the help of lots of family and friends, we got our larger model weather-tight in about 16 weeks.
Over the next 6-7 months, we worked on the interior, hiring a mason to build a masonry heater, building our two tall staircases, and adding building our kitchen around this antique surgery sink salvaged from a local landmark.
The second summer of the project, another storm hit and took out the second paper birch. I'm not making this up.But this time we just laughed and shook our heads. Twin Birch Cottage had no more birches, but this is the view from where the birches used to be. When it came time to name my business, my studio, my blog-- what else would I choose except the name of our one-time dream-- a dream we made reality with a lot of hard work and a lot of help from family and friends!
Hope you enjoyed the story of Twin Birch Studio-- please visit the rest of the participants, and don't forget to wish Shelly Graham Turner a happy birthday!
Jenna Tomalka of Twin Birch Studio <-- you are here
Blog Host/Birthday Girl! - Shelley Graham Turner of Tori Sophia