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The Handbuilt Home by Ana White

I’m so excited to share with you a book that has been in the works for a long time from my friend, Ana White called The Handbuilt Home.

{click on the book to learn more or buy}


If you haven’t heard of Ana, then maybe you aren’t as obsessed with blog-land like I am.  I discovered her a good 3 or so years ago when she launched Knock-Off Wood, and shared step by step plans to build furniture just like some expensive name brand companies.  It was amazing! I poured over her site for hours at a time, making plans to build all sorts of furniture.

It seemed even more exotic that she did this from her home in a remote part of Alaska.  I mean, Alaska, that was pretty cool! (I’ve since been to Alaska, and it is pretty darn cool). Her site seemed to go viral, and soon thereafter, she changed to I emailed her when I first discovered her, and she emailed me back–wow! I couldn’t believe that.  Fast forward 2+ years, I found out she would be speaking at  the same conference I was speaking at in April–SNAP. I emailed her, and said I was looking forward to getting to know her, and she emailed back–again! We also talked about taking a head shot for her site, etc. and exchanged cell phone numbers.

Once there, she had a few business meetings and asked if I was able to meet for lunch with her manager and publisher–umm, sure.  When I went there, I thought there might be a hidden camera because I felt so professional (publisher+manager). I quickly realized, it turned into a photography discussion on how I could help Ana with some pictures for her upcoming book.  Problem was, it had to be that day, and we had about a one hour window to do it in–give or take 10 minutes. I told them the ideas that were floating around in my head for what they wanted, and we made a plan.

We found a rustic looking log cabin fairly close to where we were staying, and with literally 30 minutes or so, we snapped a bunch of pictures with her daughter, and some alone. She grabbed a few small tools from her brothers home nearby. I just wished I had more time to have helped plan something, but we got some beautiful images. Her daughter had been playing outside all day, and was on the tired side, but I whipped out my arsenal of “potty jokes” (per her moms suggestion after she had attended my class and I said some kids love that) and it really got her laughing and having fun!

Below are a handful of favorites of mine & Ana’s.  All in the running for prime real estate on her book cover…

The sun had gone down below the Utah mountains, and her sister snapped a few of all of us together;)

Here are a few of the shots I took of her alone the day before, I had to get a full body shot, because I LOVED her outfit so much!

She is just as sweet as she is lovely. Below is the image they chose for the front of the book. I love the interaction of mom and daughter, with the emphasis on momma herself, and her favorite subject. It was cropped to a square for the book cover.

Read more or buy the book on Amazon here.

Other awesome contributors are two of my closest blogging friends!

Amy @ The Idea Room.  See her kids table and chairs project here.

Kirsten @ The Crafting Chicks. See her kids play kitchen post here.


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  1. Super cool Kristen! When I hear of some of the connections that were made at SNAP! it seriously warms my heart. xoxo
    Tauni recently posted..What’s in My Handbag – A Little TipsyMy Profile

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Tauni, I’m am SO grateful for everything that SNAP connections brought to me. It truly was amazing, and I loved every second…your ears should itch often because I’m sure there are so many connections that you don’t even know about!

  2. This is so awesome Kristen! You should be so proud of yourself! Your pics turned out beautifully! You truly have a gift of capturing an emotion in every shot you take!
    Proud of you my friend!

    Happy weekend!

  3. This post is proof that amazing people can be drawn together via the internet and blogs.

    • Kristen Duke says:

      It’s so true, Suzanne, I am so grateful for the people I’ve been blessed to know in real life while first knowing them through their blogs!

  4. Congratulations – isn’t it neat to see your work on the front of a book cover?!
    Ana is a beautiful woman.

  5. how awesome for you! Ana is so cool, I love her site! The pictures look great :D

  6. What great photos!

  7. Great pictures! So excited to see your images in the book. Ana is as lovely in her personality as she is in person!
    Amy Huntley recently posted..Getting a Bit more personal…My Profile

  8. Ana reminds me so much of myself, only decades ago. I did remodeling, furniture DIY, etc., when a woman with tools was looked at with a “really, you did that”? I am so happy to see how things have changed and how Ana has contributed so much with her resourcefulness and ideas. Although she is fortunate to live with an awe inspiring backdrop, she also faces challenges few of us do, and still finds a way to encourage people to just try things with well designed plans and tutorials. I look forward to my first trip to Alaska soon, and thank you for the lovely photos of Ana and her daughter. They will become treasures for both a long time from now.


  1. [...] with tools with my favorite handy girl, Ana White and Ryobi Tools. I got to take pictures of her last year for her book, and it was so fun to re-connect with her cuteness. See more about her book [...]