Shaving Horses and Portable Woodworking

For bow makers and other wood crafters...A shaving horse is an invaluable tool if you create or work with odd-shaped objects that are otherwise difficult to clamp or need to constantly move around. I don't know how I would get half my projects done without one.  A horse, in combination with a small bench or … Continue reading Shaving Horses and Portable Woodworking

Priorities

"A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. "The professor then … Continue reading Priorities

The Stonebridge Folding Lantern

The Stonebridge Lantern; a classic, lightweight, packable candle lantern that was very popular once upon a time in the U.S.  The Stonebridge is an ingenious piece of design work as it folds almost perfectly flat for travel; like origami in tin.  Weighing in at only 11 ounces (.31 kilos) without a candle it's a camp … Continue reading The Stonebridge Folding Lantern

A Fun Little Fashion Project

Here is a little Boho Chic bag made from a beautifully bark-tanned hide by Joe Brandl (#absarokajoe). It's a bit outside my normal style but people have loved these bags over the years. Heading to the Oregon Country Fair, Burning Man, or just the beach? This is an accessory for you. Oh yeah, it makes … Continue reading A Fun Little Fashion Project

Frugal Friday ~1917

Another gem from Erin O’Reilly’s blog.

frugal friday

Convivial Supper

Happy Friday, all! Made it through another week. I was in the car the other day with The Boy and we heard a public service message about food waste. Did you know:

Consumers are responsible for more wasted food than farmers, grocery stores, restaurants, or any other part of the food supply chain, so changing household behavior is key to reducing the problem of food waste. 21 percent of the food each person buys goes to waste, with the average American family of four spending $1,800 per year on food that they don’t eat and each individual tosses about 20 pounds of food per month, adding up to 238 pounds of wasted food a year.

The Ad Council put together this video on the life and times of a strawberry, a product that’s near and dear to my local heart.

Now, our family is as guilty as the next. Leftovers…

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Ida Tarbell says:

Here is a great and insightful quote from over on Musclehead’s blog by Ida Tarbel.
“Ida Minerva Tarbell was an American writer, investigative journalist, biographer and lecturer. She was one of the leading muckrakers of the progressive era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and pioneered investigative journalism.”

The Müscleheaded Blog

“If it has taught us anything, it is that our present law-makers, as a body, are ignorant, corrupt and unprincipled; that the majority of them are, directly or indirectly, under the control of the very monopolies against whose acts we have been seeking relief.”

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A Concise History of Home Distillery

I’m sharing this little introduction to home distilling. If you’ve never thought about this before, it may be worth looking into. Enjoy!

Convivial Supper

Distillery.

The science of distillation has been around since 3000 BCE. There are four types of distillation: laboratory, industrial, herbal/perfumery, and food processing. These last two, herbal/perfumery and food processing, are the two we concern ourselves with today.

What Is Distillation?

Distillation is a process of purifying liquids through controlled boiling and condensation. A liquid is converted into a gas/vapour through heat, and then recondensed through cooling to return the vapor to a liquid form.

How Do You Distill?

You’ve probably seen an apparatus called a retort, or alembic, a glass container with a long, bent neck sloping downwards. As the substance heats up, the vapor travels down the neck and cools. A separate container catches the vapor as it returns to a liquid state. Figures III and VII below show two vessels that could be used to distill (1727).

Chemical_Vessels_1727-Alembic-Retort Fig. VII shows a distillation setup. 1727

As you can…

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Cocoa ~1861

A perfect for a wintry day. I agree that once you make the real stuff you’ll not want to go back to the package junk.

Convivial Supper

To Make Cocoa.

Who doesn’t love a mug of hot cocoa in mid-winter? This particular recipe, I believe, is missing a key ingredient: sugar.

I was out of instant hot chocolate the other weekend and was scouring the cupboard for a special breakfast treat for the kids. The Hershey’s powdered baking cocoa has a phenomenal recipe on the label. Will never go back to the instant stuff again: 1/4 cup cocoa powder dissolved into 1/2 cup water whisked and heated in a pot. Add 1/2 cup sugar, 4 cups milk, dash of salt, dash of vanilla. Heat until warm. Rich. Delicious. Amazing. Mrs. Beeton’s version is no doubt equally as delicious, assuming you add sugar. Bitter!

From Mrs. Beeton’s recipe collection c. 1861.

To keeping warm in January!

More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks

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Weaving Wagon

This is an excellent idea, especially for a skilled willow weaver. If you need a bicycle wagon and can get a lightweight frame built, this seems to be a great, eye-catching option.  I suggest watching the short videos on their site as well.  I find their site somewhat difficult to navigate, but who am I … Continue reading Weaving Wagon

Carrot Soup ~1819

Great little recipe.

Convivial Supper

Carrot Soup Recipe.

Take a close look at this recipe and you’ll notice a small, but important, detail. A detail which may seem minor, but underscores the scope of genetic engineering, selective breeding, and the industrial food complex in altering our mental image of a carrot.

CarrotSoupRecipe_1819Source: American domestic cookery, formed on principles of economy, for the use of private families. 1819

More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks

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The Appalling Case of the Diligent Scout Master

The dangers of being an outgoing Scoutmaster in the 21st century.  Please give me your thoughts on this or better yet, comment on the original article (or both).  I am very interested yet very skeptical of the modern professional Scouter.

Living Dubois

Joe has no idea who reported him. It’s difficult to imagine anyone in town doing that. More than likely, some well-meaning visitor to the campground saw the empty kayaks floating downstream, and called 911.

As everyone in town knows (who has not been comatose, away all summer, or boycotting Facebook) that incident led the Boy Scouts of America to suspend our long-time Scoutmaster, Joe Brandl. The BSA has now denied his appeal.

It was a routine outing last May, a typical outdoors training exercise for the troop that Joe headed for many years. The Wind River was predictably high with the late-spring runoff of snowmelt, and some of the boys were tipped from their kayaks.

None of the scouts was hurt or even (in the other sense of the word) upset. This had happened before, and was hardly unexpected. Thanks to Joe’s guidance, they already knew what to do. In…

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The Ideal Tool Cabinet

Arranging your workspace and tools is critical, and one of the most difficult things to do. Here is a good post of an excerpt from Charles H. Hayward – The Woodworker. It is pitching a reprint of the book but worthy of a read nonetheless.

Lost Art Press

Fig-2 FIG. 2. DOORS OPENED SHOWING TOOL ARRANGEMENT When doors are opened back flat the position of every tool can be seen at a glance

Fig-1 FIG. 1. CABINET WITH CLOSED DOORS With lightly rounded corners and a painted or lacquered finish, the cabinet makes a most attractive as well as useful item. The closed size is 2 ft. 9-1/2 ins. wide, 3 ft. 7-1/4 ins. high, and 11 ins. deep. These dimensions can be varied to suit special tools


This is an excerpt from “The Woodworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years: Volume IV” published by Lost Art Press. 

A sense of orderliness in woodworking is an important factor contributing to good work. For instance, the bench should be clear of tools, excepting those in immediate use, and when a tool is no longer required it should be replaced in the rack or tool chest. By far the most convenient arrangement is to…

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Feast for the eyes

Sad news, but not surprising with massive growth, industry given free reign, and populations far beyond that which our planet has ever seen.

nature has no boss

The World Wildlife Fund just released their living planet report for 2018. Up front it seems it seem the report could well be  titled the dying planet instead of the living planet report given the summary  states “On average, we’ve seen an astonishing 60% declinein the size of populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians in just over 40 years, according to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2018. The top threats to species identified in the report link directly to human activities, including habitat loss and degradation and the excessive use of wildlife such as overfishing and overhunting.”

You can read the full report here.

or here

https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/living-planet-report-2018

Please pass along the report to all who care and even those that may not.

Photo: Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 2018.

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Cozy Camp

I made it out for a brief stay in the eastern Ozarks this week.  The rain and cold came back just in time for my outing making it a little less comfortable than it could have been but I still enjoyed the time out. I chose to stay fairly low-tech with the exception of a … Continue reading Cozy Camp

Swallowtail Jig

Since my playing time is very limited I've learned to connect with other musicians via the internet.  Having a great selection of "Play Along" tunes lined up on YouTube has really helped me out, especially when trying to keep up or understand variations in a tune.  There are so many great garage artists out there … Continue reading Swallowtail Jig

Albannach – The Scotsmen

I'm a sucker for this music and it brings out a load of primal feelings for me.  Presenting Albannach, and I recommend setting your speakers to eleven and letting letting it pour over you.  Have a glass of something good and enjoy the upcoming weekend. https://youtu.be/2DF-pIojGME

Caligae – Boots of the Roman Army

It has taken me quite a while but I'm finally posting a bit about my caligae, the standard soldier's shoe of the Roman Army.  Of course, the design changed somewhat over several centuries and as the army moved into different environments but the basic plan remained the same.  I have finally field tested these enough … Continue reading Caligae – Boots of the Roman Army

Monday Morning Music

A little cowboy movie music isn't a bad thing.  Hollywood has produced some good music with the vast resources it has at its disposal.  Here is a link to My Rifle, My Pony, and Me / June Apple from the film Rio Bravo (the hot links will take you to lyrics). https://youtu.be/v2ssbgThljU If you know … Continue reading Monday Morning Music

Classical Time – for the Banjo-ista

I should say it's Classic Banjo Time. The modern banjo has ancient roots and shares much with it's African antecedents.  Its connection to the lute family along with the whole array of drum-headed cousins crossed many lost cultural boundaries in ancient times.  This makes it the perfect candidate for bridging musical genres and styles, from … Continue reading Classical Time – for the Banjo-ista

The Musician – 1887

By Léon François Comerre, French Academic School.  I think this familiar looking instrument comes from Africa via the Arabic world and is generally called a tanbūr. A sort of distant uncle to the modern banjo, America's African instrument. The only thing missing is the drone string.

Who Says Bigger is Better?

Okay, in some cases maybe.  This cute little combo caught my attention a couple years ago and I'm just getting around to posting it.  A truly minimal teardrop trailer that I suspect can just sleep two with about one suitcase each. I found it labelled “The 1941 Kozy Coach Travel Trailer ” but a search … Continue reading Who Says Bigger is Better?

Back in Business

Greetings from the great middle west of the United States, where I currently reside.  The vardo is in the outbuilding awaiting some much anticipated upgrades and paint.  I have projects and side-projects and unfinished work to complete in every direction I turn; not to mention the fun little things set aside to try on a … Continue reading Back in Business

It’s Time for a Change, for the Better…

Hello all fellow travelers, campers, and makers who love the wilderness!  It's time for a serious re-tooling of this blog and focusing on the important things in life.  In the coming days and weeks many posts and pages will change, some will vanish forever (they are rubbish), or (hopefully) be improved upon.  Your constructive feedback … Continue reading It’s Time for a Change, for the Better…

Long Term Classes

Well said.

futurenecessities

There are so many options out there these days. Whether you are looking for rewilding, Wilderness survival, Homesteading, How to survive the apocalypse, experimental archaeology, or whatever. You can choose a 4 hour class, a 1 day workshop, a long weekend, a week, or you can do a year, or a season. I have taken lots of several hour to 1 day classes. I have gotten quite a bit out of each of them. However, Every single class that I have taken that was hours long, I had to go back and relearn the skill later. The classes that I have gotten the most out of are the ones that were months long. Think college. If you take 1 class you can say you went to college, but to get the benefit of the education you have to go for 4 or 6 or 8 years. This is so, because…

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