6.26.2017

Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin


Welcome to my third annual Log Home Tour Series, in honor of National Log Cabin Day! National Log Cabin Day falls on the last Sunday of June, and two years ago I thought how fun it would be to use the entire week to celebrate the long and rich history of log homes. Log cabins were the original farmhouses, the reliable shelters of early homesteaders and settlers.  I love that log homes have been getting more attention on TV series lately, they're almost trendy even!  The preservation of the history of those old cabins is becoming more and more important the older they get. Nowadays log homes range from cozy hand built cabins to new cabins built with reclaimed log timbers to giant new log mansions. Each of them have a special place in the growing history of log homes. So get ready to tour an amazing log cabin or home each day this week!  

First up on our tour is The Pioneer Girl's Cabin.  I'll let Janel tell her story from here.

Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin. This couple handbuilt their amazing cozy log cabin!



I am so excited to be part of Hood Creek Log Cabin’s Annual Log Home Tour Series!  It’s been a long journey to get to the point that our home can be featured anywhere but constant-construction-r-us! My husband, Ryan built our home literally with his own two hands! He had a little help from me, my father and a friend, but otherwise, his fingerprints are on every piece of wood, wire and pipe in this home. It has been a monumental undertaking and something we did, not because of skill, but rather of ignorance to what this whole project really required! 

We purchased a “perfect” piece of land in 2013. The day our sale closed, Ryan began the arduous task of taking down 40 very large trees and countless small ones with the help of a professional lumberjack for the largest trees. One of those trees eventually became our bathroom counter. 

Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin. This couple handbuilt their amazing cozy log cabin!  They used a slab of one the trees cut from their property as the countertop in their bathroom!

The rest were milled by Ryan and used to build our barn and the remainder, heat our home every winter!

After months of lumberjacking, house construction began. We planned to rent a home across the lane from our new build and live there until our house was ready… in a few months (HAHAHAHA, try a few years).  The rented house was in terrible shape and even lacked hot water but we decided to make do. That is, until a swarm of thousands of carpenter ants filled the living room and we hightailed out of there, with essentials in hand in about 20 minutes! 

We moved into our very, very unfinished basement. Ryan had luckily purchased a storm door for the basement that day so he put it up with bungee cords and we blew up an air mattress, dragged the baby’s crib in (did I mention we had a 9 month old at the time) and slept. We cleaned up in the morning and he got back to work. We lived in our basement for almost a year. We never had a kitchen; we ran on a generator for a few months, had hot water after a few weeks and had a piece of plywood over the stair hole going to the main house.  It was truly rough conditions but we are still married and our baby is now a happy little girl so we made it! 


Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin. This couple handbuilt their amazing cozy log cabin!

As we continued to live in the basement the house grew around us, windows and doors were put in, electric and plumbing was finished, drywall went up, floors went in, our appliances were installed and soon the house was ready for us to move into! It was a little emotional that first night. We had been so close to our daughter while living in a 24 by 30 basement, but that sadness was very short lived!  I could cook in a kitchen, give my child a real bedroom and begin to decorate!


Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin. This couple handbuilt their amazing cozy log cabin!

There was still a ton of work to do so I learned to do trim and other finishing work and helped finish the house.

Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin. This couple handbuilt their amazing cozy log cabin!

Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin. This couple handbuilt their amazing cozy log cabin!

This antler chandelier was a DIY project.  They are so expensive, even the fake ones!  I found this chandelier at a Habitat For Humanty Restore and it was black iron.  I painted it and added dear antlers.  The whole project cost $80!


Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin. This couple handbuilt their amazing cozy log cabin!

Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin. This couple handbuilt their amazing cozy log cabin!

Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin. This couple handbuilt their amazing cozy log cabin!

Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin. This couple handbuilt their amazing cozy log cabin!

Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin. This couple handbuilt their amazing cozy log cabin!

Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin. This couple handbuilt their amazing cozy log cabin!

Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin. This couple handbuilt their amazing cozy log cabin!

Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin. This couple handbuilt their amazing cozy log cabin!

One of my regrets is that we started with only two bedrooms. We designed the house with plans to add on, but it may be a while until we can add on. When baby #2 was on the way I needed a nursery so I made this cabinet into a little nursery! She will stay with us until she sleeps through the night (soon I hope) then, she will move down the hall and live with her big sister!

Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin. This couple handbuilt their amazing cozy log cabin!

Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin. This couple handbuilt their amazing cozy log cabin!

Log Home Tour Series: The Pioneer Girl's Cabin. This couple handbuilt their amazing cozy log cabin!

Through this process, we closed our first business, opened two more and then closed them, grew our family and continue to build our dream home. We still have a few years of hard work ahead of us on our acreage. We have a few interior projects on the list as well, but overall the hardest years are behind us, thankfully. We love the coziness of our log cabin in the woods, and feel incredibly blessed every time we take a few minutes to look around us.  Our children are already inheriting these blessings as they can daily experience God’s creation very intimately. 
You can find me on Instagram @backwoodspioneer
Thank you so much for the opportunity to share our story with you on the Hood Creek Log Cabin Blog!

Ok, I am just so impressed with the perseverance Ryan and Janel showed to build this beautiful cabin, aren't you?  Janel, you are one tough mama to thrive with a baby through this.  And I am amazed at Ryan's craftsmanship and Janel's DIY ingenuity.  Best wishes on your homesteading dreams!

Join me back here tomorrow for another home tour!  This one is an authentic restored 1840's log cabin!




2 comments:

  1. Love all the special touches you built into your cabin! That DIY antler chandy is stunning!!! So glad you shared! Love your cabin!

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  2. Wow! What an amazing adventure your growing family has been on. You both have done an incredible job of making your beautiful log cabin a home.

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