Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Beginnings

Homebuilding was never a dream of mine, but it has long been a dream of my husband's and when I got him I got his dreams, too.  And I bought in.  If you could see the stacks of idea magazines and books that have accumulated!  Luckily, he just wants to be the builder...I get to be the decorator - and apprentice builder.  After much patience, planning and praying it began.
Three years ago we bought our piece of Almost Heaven WV!  It is exactly big enough.  We bought this piece because it has big rocks in the woods that I can sit on (eventually) to watch the sunsets.  Just buying the property, which is named, and forever after shall be called, Shangri La Ti Da, was an adventure.  I finally tracked the seller down on his tractor, mowing the fields in the neighborhood that is now mine.  There were no homes there yet....now there are 8 and we will make 9 with perhaps 2 more to come.  Shortly there after we tracked him down again and signed some important papers.

For two years we paid for Shangri La Ti Da and then last year we broke ground...I didn't want to break it until it was paid for! 

A good friend and architect took our dreams and put them into blueprints.  Starts to feel really real after that.
We got the footers in and the slab poured.  Do you know how heavy cinder blocks are?  And how hard they are on gloves??






They got moved more than once in and out of those footers...or rather, these footers...
Big truck...BIG TRUCK,
which was the reason we had to build a really nice road down to our homebuilding site.


Let the pouring begin!  And they only collapsed one small section of the wall.

When we poured the slab we had to put these metal grids in for ... oh, stability or something.  (I hope you aren't expecting to get "How To" lessons from this journey.)  Anyway, there they were and there the flower was and aren't they lovely?

Here's the slab...

... waiting for floors and walls and dreams and songs and crafting and love
and the making of a Home...a Home where the heart is.

I am counting on still having time to create, as that is my longtime dream.  The new home will have a craft studio - something I never thought to dream of, even when I was sitting on the floor sewing on the sewing machine and using my knee to press the go pedal or sleeping on only half of the bed because the rest was covered with the latest project of eating standing up instead of cleaning the craftiness off the table.
Here are a couple of recent creations.   I made a necklace to go with my "graduation" dress.



I made a felt replica of the logo for our local river restoration organization.  It will be a gift for someone who is retiring.  It was a commission...gotta love those now that I am retired!

Original...

...and replica.


So, friends, I hope you will join me on this newest adventure and chime in often.  OK?
We have ordered boards and such to begin...delivery projected for tomorrow or Monday....

21 comments:

Just Debra said...

Looking forward to reading.

Donna said...

Thanks, Debra! I'm looking forward to your wise and wonderful comments!

MonchyB said...

Wau, Donna, this sounds exciting! You bought a new plot! I am too looking forward for new posts!
I am also surrounded with hills of magazins on renovating.. I just payed for new wooden windows- 2 months to get them. In mean time will work on a bathroom, electricity, new water pipes.... Maybe I should also put some posts on my blog...
Love,
M.

Linda said...

Dear Donna,
Thank you so much for starting this blog to share your amazing journey with all of us. What a wonderful experience you are going to have, I am looking forward to reading more:)
Warmly
Linda

Donna said...

Mo and Linda, thanks for finding me again and leaving sweet comments. Mo...YES, you should post on your blog! Stevie wants to see...

Melissa Plank said...

Wow, what a wonderful, happy adventure, LOVE IT! I'm excited to watch your progress, best wishes!

no spring chicken said...

This is so much fun! I'm almost as excited as you are (well maybe not)... :)

Blessings, Debbie

K said...

I'm not here for real. Breakfast with M. Will be back.

Donna said...

So happy to see my friends here and ready to join me on the journey. Yea!

W-S Wanderings said...

And I am *so* happy to jump into this journey RIGHT FROM THE START! And I'll be able to relate to all sorts of marvel and mayhem along the way, having been through (still going through, really) some MEGA-renovating in the form of sticking a new hunk of house onto a VERY old house, and trying to make it all work. Your all-new construction will be much easier. And, just YAY! How fun it will be to see your house emerge. And your craft room. I already have craft room envy.

Now, your necklace - LOVE it! Really, really love it. So, what's it cost to commission one of those lovelies?

And your replica puts the actual logo to shame.

Donna said...

WSW, any advice or tidbits you can throw this way will be gratefully accepted. I keep telling my husband it will be better/easier to do it all now instead of trying to add on later...like the garage.
Necklace? Very reasonable...what colors do you like?
Making something like the logo is different. A whole level of creativity is lost, but the stress of making it look the same is upped. Wouldn't want that to be my main artistic avenue....

softearthart said...

So exciting, we built our own home 25 years ago, it is such fun. cheers Marie

Donna said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Marie. I keep telling myself it isn't rocket science....right?

K said...

Long breakfast. But we're back from the wedding festivities. I LOVE your lot. I LOVE your slab. We're on a slab, too. If we had a basement, we'd presently be swimming. But if I'd built in tornado-land, I'd have built a hole fifty feet down under my house and lined it with the best quality artificial lighting and refrigerators.

What a fabulous view you have in every direction, and your own road and big, big machines. And your husband is SUPER cute. And big rocks to watch the sunset from. You could actually have called this blog "Almost Heaven," but then - maybe that's the blog that will follow this one.

Building is a huge pile of jobs, and designing and shaping the spaces of your life is both wonderful and kind of dreadful pressure. But I'll be with you EVERY INCH OF THE WAY. And really - in some ways, it's worse than rocket science - but you'll do it. You'll be great.

Donna said...

Hey. First off, my husband is super cute, but he isn't in any of these photos...the hand shaker is who sold us the property and about 20 years younger than me! So, thanks!
The science will come in the dancing I believe. My little husband is a worker bee...I am the planner. Unfortunately I don't really know enough about this to plan...so, I just ask MANY questions. Thank the Lord that I married the most patient man in the world. We will be dancing around alot. It's interesting to me that as creative as I am, I cannot "see" the walls and such at all, so it is all adventure. The best news is that I will be able to make a cozy nest out of whatever it turns out to be....really. It's what I do...make cute and cozy. :-)

W-S Wanderings said...

Oh, I could never "see" the walls either. Even looking at the plans didn't help. My patient worker bee husband had to physically walk me through the space and lay stuff (like planks) down on the ground so that I could envision it. Then I "got" it and could move the planks around to mess with the whole plan. Worked brilliantly.

Now, the necklace. Really? I would SO love to buy one from you. Um. Colours. Greens and purples. Is that possible?

Donna said...

I think our husbands must be related. We used sidewalk chalk and I only rearranged the whole staircase thingy...oh, and one closet turned into a reading room. :-)
Yes, I will start on a green and purple necklace for you (may have to make 2 since those are my favorite colors, too!) Send me an email so we can talk details...donna.longshot@yahoo.com

K said...

I can't see 'em, either. I had to do the same thing. But I started (with the addition) by measuring inside the house to try to get an idea what size the room was going to be. Okay - if you start at the kitchen door and you go all the way to the back of the craft room - that's about the right length. And over about one foot shy of the front hall. And if you stand just here, you can see how far the back wall of the new room will be from the door into it . . .

Donna said...

I did a lot of my "seeing" sizes at school because the floor tiles were exacty 12" square. We had the architect come there when he showed us the plans so I could get some inkling of sizes. It is just interesting to me.

nerospostandpatch said...

Dear Donna! I'm so exited for you! My father is an architect and 'I have planned houses' all my life. Then the dream came true and we built our own house here in Crete! It was so great time - but also often just terrible!
I wish you all the luck everything to go easily and well and enjoy your new journey!
Your new crafts are beautiful! Think what you can do in your own studio if you were able to sew on the floor! That must have been difficult.
Love Teje

Donna said...

Teje, I only "planned" the inside of houses before so this is pretty big....and exciting!