you can do it!

The one where we share about writing a book : Jamin’s perspective.

Almost a year to the day after Ashley and I got married circa 2003, we bought our first house. It was brand new, never-lived in, fresh paint and carpet, glue-smelling goodness. But the best part about this house, at least in my mind at the time, was that little home warranty that came with it. If anything breaks or goes wrong, pick up the phone and call someone else to repair it. Pure joy. I didn’t have to touch a thing. Not that I knew how to fix anything even if it did break. They’d even come back and re-caulk the house… whatever that meant.

A month or so later our first child, and by ‘child’ I mean our dog Chloe, entered our life. We were a young married couple living the all American dream minus the picket fence. (Which by the way, I wasn’t going to build.) Not that I owned the tools to do so, anyway. In fact, all I had was a hammer, two screw drivers, a couple of pliers, and a wrench. All of which I barely knew how to use. These were given to us as wedding presents. I used the hammer to nail a few things into the wall, and the screw driver to attach a new water bottle holder to my bike. Tada! But that was about all I had planned for them.

Fast forward several years, and a few kids later…

They say necessity is the mother of invention. I spend a large portion of my time building, and then sharing with people how to make fun projects for their homes. It’s safe to say I own a lot more tools than I did a few years ago…

Wait. (Cue background music record screech.) What? How did the guy whose motto earlier in life was, “If something in the house breaks, just move” morph into some kind of eager beaver handyman creating crazy projects more often than not?

Simple Answer: Rob Schneider. Dude has a lot to say about just going for it.

Ok not really. Well, kinda. I mean Rob Schneider wasn’t standing nearby yelling in a semi obnoxious voice, “You can do it!” but someone was. Almost everything I’ve learned in life about building I have learned as an adult. And I’ve learned it because someone, with a little more knowledge than I, stood there saying “You can do it.”

It started on a trip to Mexico. I was a part of a team to build houses for those who didn’t have any. From serving in that way, and being challenged to learn… right on down to the present day crazy ideas dreamed up by Ashley (see: the Hideaway) saying, “Sure. We can do it,” out of a simple desire in something different for our own home when we were frustrated by the limitations around us, I learned to do it.

Because we’ve picked up things along the way, and learned a little on the fly, it’s not only our hope for this web site and all our fabulous readers, but even more so in the book we just launched.

What we love the most about Handmade Walls, is the realistic approach behind it. It isn’t for the construction minded or saw-savy only. Though there are a couple of challenging projects in it (read: the one where our neighbors probably still think we’re crazy), Handmade Walls starts with some basic principles in design, construction, art, and paint. It gradually moves you up the ‘ladder’ helping you see how one basic step builds on top of another… and that yes, “You can do it man!”

In short, we hope this will launch you into your own bliss of creative genius. We want you to use our ideas as a springboard to create some wonderful things for your home. More than anything we hope this will give you the freedom to just go for it. The permission to let go of those fears. To know that it’s possible for you. That you can do it. There’s such a sense of accomplishment when you’ve created something truly original with your own hands. {And when your friends come over and ask where they can get that cool clock hanging on the wall, you can be all, “Dude. I totally made it” and then they think you are amazing and pay you to make one for them. Then you can take a cruise to the Bahamas because you’re awesome like that with your handmade awesomeness. Yes. It’s completely natural to make the mental leap from handmade awesomeness to cruises in the Bahamas.}

From the simplest, to the most complex creations, you can do it. Plain and sweet.

Have an inspired day… and don’t forget to pick up your copy of Handmade Walls!

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Responses to you can do it!

  1. Wendy says:

    ashley or jamin, can you please tell me what paint color you used on the dresser in the background of the photo wth Emerson and Chloe above? So beautiful. Thank you.

  2. JP says:

    Is no one else going to mention how hilarious that analogy is?! Go Rob! :)

  3. Emma says:

    I purchased your book and I simply can’t stop looking at it. I’m inspired. It’s gorgeous.

  4. Janet L says:

    I can’t wait to read this book!!!

  5. Jenna says:

    I love that this has such a realistic approach. So great! Rob is the best. I also am encouraged by your once non-handiman-ness. Maybe there’s hope for me. And my husband.

  6. Tara Bird says:

    sounds like a great book! I love making decor out of old wood!!