Garden Growings

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We have loads of green raspberries all over the yard. Only a few more weeks or months before we get to eat them!

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All our squashes were volunteers this year which is awesome. You can tell by this picture we have quite a few plants that came up. The only problem is that we don’t know what any of them are, they mostly look like winter squashes. We just added that bamboo fence this weekend to keep other people’s dogs off the front lawn.

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They look like Delicata squashes but way bigger. I can’t wait to try them.

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Here is another kind of squash as well as tomatoes and a few trees and flowers.

Yay to a bountiful summer!!

Crafty Happenings

Crafty Happenings:

front small spoon long spoon

I recently carved two maple spoons. I used wood that we found on the side of the street. There are now for sale in my Etsy shop (see shop link in sidebar).

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My husband just finished his second pine wood bench. It is about 6′ long. It is easy to take apart and assemble. This one is going to my parents but there will be more to come.

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I made another batch of coffee soap a few weeks ago. It is now available on Etsy for sale (see sidebar)

Brain Tanning

Here is a recap of the process in pictures from this past weekend.

Day 1 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Scraping the hairs and the membrane OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 5 hours later. We then tied all of the hides together and placed them in the creek overnight (to rinse out the lye)

Day 2 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Brains, bear fat, Dawn dish soap and water OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Braining my hide (6 times total) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Squeezing all the brains out OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Softening and drying the hide OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Still softening and drying. We used many tools (cables, pomace stones, etc). It took about 6 hours. (On a side note my arms, hands, and knuckles were so sore!!)

Day 3 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Gluing our hides together OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Sewing the skirt on OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Smoking our hides OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Pulling them apart (about 4 hours later)             OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Awesomeness! I am so happy with how it turned out. It was SO worth it. I can’t wait to make another one. I plan on making a skirt with this buckskin.

This week in my garden

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  • We have harvested two summer squashes, several Sungolds, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries
  • We took a pine tree down which resulted in a huge mulch pile and more sun in the backyard (yeah for veggies!)
  • I have been mulching the front and backyard in the morning (there is still a lot to mulch and a LOT of mulch!)
  • I am enjoying passing by the St-John’s Wort flowers and bee balms every day
  • A bit of weeding here and there is also happening (I tend to only pull the weeds we can’t eat or use)
  • We need some rain! It has been quite hot!
  • I am grateful for all the bounty and life going on in our yard

Firefly

I spent another great 5 day weekend at a primitive skills gathering. The five days were full of classes, hanging out, camping, new and old connections, new skills, walks, spring water, walking, sun, rain, and laughter.

This time I focused more on taking plant walks from 3 different teachers rather than on making things. I did make a couple of Tulip Magnolia spoons in between classes (I am really on a spoon carving kick!). I also took a free form Kudzu basket class. It was so much fun! I can’t wait to make more plus it is great to make with kids.

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Like always I forgot my camera at home!! So, I don’t have any pictures but I should get some from a friend in a few weeks.

Busy carving

Over the last week, I have spent a decent amount of time outside enjoying the sun and carving spoons. I made 3 different spoons. All from maple. It was my first timecarving with it and since the wood was still pretty green, it wasn’t too hard to carve. I got a couple of blisters but band-aids came to the rescue! Now, I just need to carve regularly so my calluses don’t disappear. My husband decided to join me and carved a couple of spoons too. One to match a wooden fork I had gotten him from Jeff Gottlieb (made out of dogwood) and a small maple spoon.

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We used axes, a gouge, a knife, and sand paper to carve all the spoons. Once we were done, we decided to boil them in olive oil till the moisture evaporated (something one of our carving mentors does). The oil went from sizzling to quiet after a while.   In retrospect, we might have let the oil temperature rise too high because some of the spoons look ‘burnt’ in some areas. But it did give them a nice color (we plan on using this method again). We then oiled the spoons with coconut oil to seal them. Once the spoons were saturated we put Mahoney’s  finish Walnut oil and wax on the spoons.