Reclaimed Pallet Wood

Mike and I were talking about adding a small deck off of the french door last week, but don't have any money in the budget for extras right now.  Wouldn't you know, while driving through town, we found a commercial air conditioning pallet next to a dumpster.  I really didn't know what it was at the time, but couldn't believe anyone would throw out such good, usable wood. I stopped to ask the owners if we could take it, if they were indeed throwing it out, and after looking at me strange, they said yes, as long as I took it all!  Ummm, ok.  There were four panels made from brand new treated 2x4's, 2x6's and 2x8's, most about 6 or 8 feet long.  

Total cost: 
* Gas to town and back
* Three hours of our time to dismantle the boards and remove the nails.  

We have more than enough lumber to build our deck and some of the nails are even reusable for other projects!

Read More

Four Walls

Four walls and an evening serenade from our soon to be french door.
Read More

Plant Dyed Yarn: Wild Sunflowers

It turned out lovely, didn't it?  I can always count on the wild sunflowers to produce a nice yellow dye.  It's a tad on the gray side, from the mushroom dye, and turned dark brown in spots where the buds sat in one spot too long, but I don't even care.  I was able to dye yarn, outside on my wood stove with plants gathered along the edge of our woods.  All is good.  

Cole has already suggested I knit him a hat.  

Read More

First Wall

After months of headache dealing with the big box lumber co, we finally found a local building supplier who was willing to help us out with our tiny house project.  I'm so much happier being able to use local materials and help small business.
Read More

Plant Dyed Yarn: Jack O' Lantern Mushrooms

Remember those Jack O' Lantern mushrooms we foraged a few weeks back?  I finally got around to dyeing with them, and while I was hoping for a beautiful violet, the results were less than spectacular.    The boys described it more as vomit than violet.  No problem though, the wild sunflowers are blooming everywhere right now and I'll over dye it a glorious yellow.  

Dye notes:
Cestari Yarn in Bare
Alum Mordant
Dye was rich golden copper color
Removed mushrooms before adding fiber
Soaked yarn overnight in dye to exhaust - never did

Read More

Homemade Bug Spray

Mosquitoes, flies, gnats, and ticks.  They're a part of life, especially when living outside, as we do.  The first week we stayed here, I bought a bottle of the commercial bug spray and quickly decided that the long term use was not going to work for us.  It was sticky and smelly, not to mention all the nasty chemicals seeping into our body.  I suggested we try a homemade version, but none of us were convinced that essential oils would be a match against the mosquitoes of northern Wisconsin.  Still, we were miserable and willing to try anything.  

I did some research on natural bug repellants and found that I had most of the ingredients already on hand.  The only thing I didn't have was witch hazel, but Mike had picked up a case of vodka for $3.00 to use for homemade tinctures, so I used a little of that instead.

I have to tell you, it worked.  It even worked better than the stuff with DEET.  The mosquitoes wouldn't come near us. {with the commercial brand, they would hover, but not bite}  The smell was pleasant and it didn't leave a sticky film on our clothes or skin.  

If you'd like to ditch the chemicals and make your own natural, homemade bug spray, here's what you'll need:

::  6oz spray bottle 

::  3 oz Water

::  3 oz Vodka {or witch hazel}

::  Essential Oils; 10 drops each of Tea Tree, Clove, Citronella, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Basil,  and Cinnamon

Fill the bottle half full with water, add the essential oils and then fill to the top with vodka.  Give it a good shake and use as you would any commercial bug spray.  

Have you used ever used homemade bug spray?  What essential oils worked best for you?

Read More

Fireside Knitting

I'm still knitting on the French Creek Cowl.  At least I get to work on it fireside, with a cup of sun tea and a promise of shooting stars.

What are you knitting right now?
Read More

Middle of Nowhere

The most asked question from our family, "What do you do for fun out there in the middle of nowhere?"  Well...
Read More

County Fair

This time of year, there are no shortage of county fairs to attend.  On our first trip to the barn, Cole may or may not have talked us into buying a goat in the spring.  He promises to take care of it all by himself.  
Read More

August Sponsors

I know I say it a lot, but only because it's true...  Thank You to our sponsors, customers, and readers who make it possible for us to live our dreams.

Please take a moment to check out our lovely sponsors for the month of August:

Read More

Ebb and Flow

Taking a few moments to notice the ebb and flow of our life right now.  Knitting along the Chippewa... it's not so bad either.

{Joining in with Ginny}
Read More

Floor Boards

{photo by Mike}

Yesterday, we painted a protective finish on our tiny house floor {shiny side will go down} and marked off where our counter, sofa and wood stove will go.  It's so exciting to see it all fit, just as we imagined.  

Read More

Jack O' Lantern Mushrooms

We found these beauties while foraging along the Flambeau River.  At first we thought they were Chanterelles, but upon further investigation, found out they're Jack O' Lanterns, a toxic look-a-like.  They do, however, make a natural dye, so as soon as they're dry, I'm firing up the dye pot.

Read More

In Gratitude

Some days I still can't believe this is our life....
Read More

A Tiny House Floor

I can hardly stand it...  an almost floor for our tiny house.
Read More

Castle Play

Some days it's a barn in the making, some days it's a castle, where Luke rules the kingdom!  

Happy Friday to you all...

Read More