Start with a tree!
I have always wanted to build something from a tree and I had my chance a few years ago.  A storm knocked off a large branch of the Maple tree that was in the front yard.  The branch just missed smashing the front porch so we knew the rest of the tree had to go as it was becoming unsafe.  It was an old Maple tree that was at least 100 years old and while the branches were broken and twisted, it had a nice straight trunk - perfect for making boards.  We had the tree cut down and the trunk taken to a local sawmill and cut into boards.  The boards were brought home and stacked in the back yard for a year and a half to dry.  During this time, we were working on the kitchen.  What better place to use this Maple than on the cabinet frames and doors.  Below are some pictures of the process from tree to doors.  There was some beautiful figured (curly) Maple in several of these boards.  Those will have to wait for another furniture project!