How to make a clothes pin bag

Quick & Easy Old Fashioned Clothes Pin Bag

If there’s any “luxury” in hanging clothes out to dry on the line, it’s got to be having something to make your clothes pins easily accessible as you work.  Bags for your clothes pins used to be pretty common and my grandmother had one that I always thought was easily one of the best creations ever.  (my mother and I clipped the clothes pins to the bottom of our shirt in a little line so you can see why I coveted the bag idea)  As an adult, I’ve made a couple of these bags for my own pins Read More

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Acorn cap whistles, fall crafts

Acorn Cap Whistles – Fun Nature Activity

Everyone loves a fun kid’s activity, especially one that you can participate in and that sparks a child’s appreciation for simple pleasures.  We live in an area with gigantic chestnut oak trees and for us, these trees, a member of the white oak family, provide us with a variety of assets.  We use the shade provided by their leaves in the spring and summertime to help keep our passive-solar home cool, their acorns in the fall to process into flour for food and their wood in the wintertime to heat our home with our woodstove.  A couple of years ago, a friend of ours, Bart Miller, added another use by showing us how to whistle by blowing into the empty acorn caps.   It’s really easy, but in addition to a written description how to do it, we’ve made a quick, very awful, video.  🙂 Read More

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Make A Coon Skin Hat – Easy, Start To Finish Instructions

Making a coon skin cap is not as difficult a project as it would seem and here we have it broken down step by step, starting with the animal to be skinned and ending with a finished cap.   You can even skip down to step #10 and use the pattern instructions if you choose to make a faux coon skin cap with “fur” from the fabric store.  Our skin came from a raccoon that had been hit by a car just down from our house.  He was really fresh for lack of a better term, so I stopped and picked him up to make use of his pelt.  We respect and make use of all the resources out here so this was a good way to turn the raccoons unfortunate encounter into something appreciated instead of letting his life be taken only to lay in waste. The rest of his remains were returned to the woods to feed his natural predators that live in our area.  For this project, I decided to go the easy route and use a store-bought tanning product instead of brain tanning.   Obviously store bought tanning solutions are super easy in comparison.  Here we go: Read More

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Cane Pole Whistles

Cane Whistles

A few weeks ago, my 5 year old and I did a really fun afterschool project; making cane whistles.  This all started about 40 years ago with my grandfather, (can it really be that many?) who would sit outside the back door of the house and make whistles for us from cane.  Truthfully, I’m not sure if it was cane or bamboo or what the difference is, but he always called it cane.  Oddly (or not so much if you know me), I still have the whistle my grandfather made and that’s what we used for our prototype.  We drove to the end of a nearby road where we knew there was a cane stand and plucked a couple of dried poles.  Once back home, Joe had a great time banging them on the ground to make them break apart… as any 5 year old would!  We picked a good solid looking section that was open on one end and still had the cane joint intact on the other end. Read More

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Leaf Printing on a T Shirt

Leaf Printing on a T Shirt

Yesterday, my little one and I had some fun revisiting a craft that we first tried about 3 years ago; making leaf prints on a T-Shirt.  It’s super easy and fun for everyone because what kid doesn’t like to bang on something with a hammer!? The first time we did this, we used only fern leaves but decided to experiment with a couple of others on this shirt. Read More

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Homemade Birdfeeder Suet Blocks

Ingredients For Homemade Bird Feeder Suet Blocks

Peanuts, Sunflower Seeds and Millet For Suet Blocks

I know I’ve done a ton of posts lately about all the things you can do with rendered deer fat, and I promise I’ll be finished soon, but I’ve got just one or two more.  We try to use all parts of the animal we’ve harvested and feel like not wasting any of it is part of being respectful of the life we took to feed our family.  Here we are making bird feeder suet blocks from the fat and using nuts and seeds grown in our garden.  Everything in these blocks came from right here on our land. 🙂  In hindsight, I wish Read More

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Jar Candles From Deer Fat

Deer Fat Candle

Deer Fat Candle

A couple of days ago, I posted about rendering animal fat and used deer fat as my example.  There are many, many uses for rendered fat, and although I know the birds are hungry for some suet and we need more soap, I decided to take the easy way out and highlight deer fat jar candles today.  So, without much instruction needed, here is how Read More

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