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.


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


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?


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?


Middle of Nowhere

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