Holed Up North

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Archived posts from January, 2013


There is nothing like walking through the woods (actually it’s a Boreal Forest) in the Fall.

The smell of the dried leaves and damp forest floor. The squirrels gathering food and the birds singing the joy of the warmth before the north wind starts blowing and everything gets covered with white.

The forest is so dense with green in the summer it is hard to “see” everything. But in the Fall, all the leaves are gone and it is all laid out to discover. The variety of lichens, mushrooms, fungi, ground ferns and mosses is mesmerizing. I carry several plastic bags and pick a little of everything.

I then make another trip through looking for downed rotted out birch bark trees. White Birch Bark Trees are so tough on the outside. They rot from the inside out. So that’s what I look for and when I see one I just pick it up and dump out the insides and just the birch bark is left. I dry it and it works perfect for the birch bark houses. I use the lichens, mushrooms, etc. for decoration on them.

Sometimes I use twigs and small branches to decorate the houses with as well. Every couple years I go along the road and cut the alder for different size branches.

The brush and small trees here offer such a wide variety of colors that I get a little of everything. And if I need to have “green” branches (meaning it is not dried and dead) to make something that I need flexible branches for (like little chairs) I just go outside the shop and cut a fresh one.

I even gather small stones from the road (advantage of living on a dirt road), wash them and after they’ve dried spray them with varnish to give them a sheen for making my “stone” chimneys.

I’m always looking for new ways to use the nature around me. To share it’s beauty.

Salon House Creative Case Study

Salon House

It started when I was at the Cook Dollar Barn just looking over their merchandise and I saw this squiggy for your pony tail that was a 4 inch length of hair.  I knew then I could make something of that in a birdhouse.

So I’m standing in my woodshop looking at this hair piece wondering where to go from here.  So my thought process went: hair – hairdresser – salon.  Then it all started coming.

I could use the hair on the roof and set up the front like a shop.  So made a standard size house, but needed a perfect color.  Nothing too pink.  Dusty plum – yeah.

Then found a couple pink chairs from a toy castle set I had gotten.  And some scissors, comb and brush from another little girls toy set.  I look at what I have and it needs more.  A mirror.

Had to dig through many drawers before I found just the right one.  It needed some color.  Flowers-a beautiful pot of flowers.  Tried several until I found one that looked just right.

Got the hair on the roof-that turned out nice.  But still needed a little more.  Remembered some makeup brushes I had purchased and figured this was more important and I could get another set.  So I took the big cheek brush and put on top so it lined the crease and used a small lip one for the perch.  I liked that.

One more thing – it needed a sign.  Cut one out on the scroll saw and painted it and printed “SALON” on it.  There- I knew it was done.

Well, pretty much that’s how it goes.  And my favorite one?  The one I’m working on at the time.  It’s excitement when the idea starts up and then a sigh of “finished” at the end.  I love each one.