It's been nearly six years since I added an entry to my natural building blog. I'm not sure where the time went but it sure went somewhere. I think it burrowed under a thing called life and curled into a ball, waiting for a fresh re-emergence much later, when the thick ice of busyness had thawed.
Many things have happened since 2016; my children grew up (my son is 20 this year), I grew older (my right hip has now a severe arthritis and I am waiting for an operation) and also the Covid virus hit the world, and my life (twice in fact).
Over the years, every time I visited Finland, I was thinking about this blog and the followers I had at the time I was building this place. A little story that started from just a personal diary, has had nearly 155,000 views by now, which is beautiful and humbling, but also gives me a sense of responsibility.
At times I felt that I abandoned my readers, because every story needs an ending or at least some sort of closing, and I regularly receive emails from other builders, who use my cottage build as a reference for their own dream. Instead of replying to individuals, I thought I should reply to the community of followers I used to have (and who knows, maybe still have). So this blog post is for all of you, who have been there with me from the start, and for those who are only now discovering this blog.
Some of you may remember I was pregnant with my second child, just after the first year of starting the build. This event wasn't exactly written into my book of cottage planning (haha), so among fresh mother exhaustion and frequent breast-feeding sessions, I managed to finish the external of the cottage and then kept slowly working on it each Summer when I visited. However, I never really had enough time of focus to sit down and write my blog.
But my Elaman Puu (Tree of Life) cottage is still here and even though I’ve had to give it a lot of TLC since its emergence: the building has seen a decade of freezing Winters and scorching Summers - it still looks as beautiful as ever. Yes, call me biased if you will :)
When I first started building this cottage, all I wanted to do was to experiment with different natural materials, I didn’t really think this place would stand the test of time or that I would become so fond of it. However, this little humble natural building ended up being one of the most meaningful things I have ever done. The meaning of building one’s own shelter acquired a very special meaning in my heart.
Natural building project is the perfect way to force oneself to think creatively and intuitively at the same time. It is also very rewarding to work with one's hands, and to see the result of that labour pretty much immediately.
If you would like to read the full post I wrote about my natural building journey, please visit the artist blog section on my artist website at
I won’t be updating my Cob dreams Blogger site past this post, so make sure to sign up to my newsletter while you are there too!
About me: I am a professional artist, designer and illustrator, originally from Finland, but have been living and working in UK for the past 25 years. I make magic with images, so if you are in need of a designer, illustrator or a freelance pattern designer, you can hire me for your special design project.
I create anything from logos to web iconography to book illustrations, and beyond! I will also offer consultation about your own natural build, so please contact me for details via: https://www.heidivilkman.com/contact - I adore creative process and am good at it – so let me help you to realise that special idea or project you have!