Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Paint Chip Quilt

I am about a year into constructing my first quilt. It's just hard to find motivation to continue such a long, laborious, precise process. In the meantime, I am really enjoying this gradient hand-dyed quilt on kimem's Etsy. The price is actually reasonable for a handmade quilt. The other quilts she sells are pretty awesome too, inspired by sunset and thunderstorm tones. (Via Recoveringlazyholic, via Apartment Therapy)

Made in: Kansas City, MO
Handmade? Yes!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Homemade Laundry Soap

Inspired by the Amish's view of technology (article), I ordered a Lehman's catalog. I leafed through it while waiting for my sick brother at the clinic- it's filled with so many amazing old tools, machines, and natural products. As much as I would like to try, I will probably not be purchasing the cast iron meat grinder, grain mill, olive lamps, wood-burning stove ... ever. Unless, of course, I get around to building my apocalypse, off-the-grid cabin later on. One of the items in the catalog is a homemade laundry soap starter set. The ingredients are Arm & Hammer baking soda, Borax, and Fels Naptha, all old-school cleaning solutions. The copy claims that each load will cost you less than 6 cents; it's about 7 cents with shipping and handling. I pay about 15 cents per load using my Seventh Generation 2x detergent. It seems to add up over time, so I may try to make my own next time. A frugal lifestyle blog I read had a post in 2008 about this, where each load comes out to about 2 cents. Go figure.

Made in: USA / your house
Homemade? Yes- by you

$50 (or $10, if you buy the ingredients yourself)

Rogue Ranger Boots

Here is a good looking, forest green-laced hiking boot in the fashion of the 1970s wafflestomper. It is made by Rogue, a South African outdoor footwear company. Among with other choice products, it is sold in the purposely small online shop of Ray Mears, renowned bushcraft and survival expert. Although this style isn't the exact pair that is often "seen on the feet of Ray and the Woodlore outdoor team," (that title belongs to the hybridish Desert boot), I definitely prefer this model. I couldn't get a good photo up, so check it out at Ray's store.

Made in: South Africa
Handmade: No, but it is Responsibly Made


Smithy's Bench

Having tried my hand at making simple wood furniture (two coffee tables), I can say that the hobby is probably too much work for the average crafty person to continue without a work shed. I spent about $60 on the first one, because I had to buy the initial tools, and then $20 on materials for the second. The issue with most handmade furniture is that it is too pricey to justify. This outdoor bench is shockingly affordable because it a log sawed in half sitting on two legs, and it is unfinished, which makes for some great patina as it ages. Some of the most truly beautiful, natural wood products have come out of the US's sparsely populated northernmost states. Like the coasters and cutting boards I recently ordered from Minnesota's Boards by Joel.

Made in: Wisconsin Northwoods
Handmade: Yes!