Sunday, July 24, 2011

Douglas Fir Bark Baskets

I've been making bark baskets from young Douglas Firs for many years, but have only recently managed to get some up on Etsy. I usually get a lot of questions about the process, so here's a photo journal of bark collecting. Next time I harvest, I'll be sure to take pictures of the basket making process, too!

Douglas Fir Bark Baskets by Wild Rose Herbs
Each Douglas Fir used for basket making is harvested with an understanding of deep forest ecology. Clear cut forests are often reseeded with fast growing Douglas Firs, creating a dangerous fire hazard throughout the West. Douglas Firs often shade out slower growing native species and destroy forest diversity. I only cut trees that are crowding out other trees, thus reducing fire hazard and promoting forest diversity. 

This particular tree was crowding out a Cedar at least twice it's age. The fast growing Doug Fir would have shaded out and killed the Cedar if left on it's own, taking away forest diversity. 

After the tree is cut, the limbs are removed as close to the trunk as possible. This limits the risk of bark being snagged on a limb stump during peeling. Once the tree is ready, the initial cuts must be made. The length of bark you decide to cut should be a little more than twice the length of the basket you want to make (since the bark will essentially be folded in half). Make two cuts around the circumference of the tree, and then one long cut running the length of the tree connecting the first two cuts. Make sure your cuts go all the way through the bark and keep your knife handy during the peeling process!

Cuts made, ready to peel.
Loosening the bark. Do this VERY slowly. Loosen bark all the way around "holes" (where branches once were) until the bark "pops" off around the hole.
My small hands work well for peeling, but it may be easier to use a thin piece of wood, butter knife etc. for peeling.

Keep your knife handy, should you find any spots that weren't completely cut.
A crucial point-great care must be taken to loosen the bark around any holes on the underside of your tree. The bark could very easily stick and tear during this time.
Careful.. careful...
Pops right off!

Next time I harvest bark, I will do another photo journal detailing the basket making process!
Here's a few of my latest creations:
Douglas Fir Bark Basket by Wild Rose Herbs

Douglass Fir Bark Basket by Wild Rose Herbs
Bark should be peeled immediately before basket making. You can prolong the time before the bark dries by wrapping it in a garbage bag and storing it in the fridge. This will give you about 2-3 days to make your baskets before it dries out!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wild Rose Herbs Referral Contest!

Wild Rose Herbs' Very First Referral Contest!

In honor of the new Wild Rose Herbs Blog, I will be running a referral contest for a $15 store credit at Wild Rose Herbs! Here's how the contest works:

Participants will earn one point for doing any of the following:

*“Like” the Wild Rose Herbs Facebook page:
If you already “like” the Wild Rose Herbs Facebook page, you will earn one point.

*Follow the Wild Rose Herbs Blog using your Blogger/Google account
Please leave a message on the Wild Rose Herbs Facebook wall with your Blogger username after you follow the blog to limit confusion.

*Refer other folks to do either of the above and earn one point for each referral. You can do this easily by sharing this contest on your wall (or anywhere else you can think of-Etsy teams, your blog, etc!) and asking your referrals to post a message on the Wild Rose Herbs Facebook page stating that you referred them. They will also earn one point for liking the Facebook page. Post blog referrals on the Wild Rose Herbs Facebook Wall as well. Your referrals MUST post a message on the Wild Rose Herbs Facebook Wall to be included in your totals. Likewise, if you found this contest through another Facebook or Blog, you MUST leave a comment stating who referred you. You can only state the name of the first referral you received/saw. You cannot list multiple names and these types of messages will not be counted.

The person who earns the most points by the contest deadline, 11:59 pm August 7th (Pacific Time) will win the $15 Wild Rose Herbs store credit! This can be used for anything in the store, including shipping costs. Winner will be announced on Thursday, August 4th. I will post contest updates periodically on Facebook to show who is in the lead. If you would like me to leave your name/profile anonymous just let me know, and I will send you a message if you are in the top five or if you win the contest.
Contest begins now!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

How to Make Ginger Ale- A DIY Guide to Soda-Making

In honor of my new blog, and my newest listing since starting this blog, I've decided to share the full details/directions of my Ginger Ale Kit. Here's a link to the kit:

I'm not a big soda drinker, but on these hot days I love nothing more than drinking a naturally brewed, cold ginger ale, preferably near a river or lake. I'm rather sensitive to sugar, and often find store-bought sodas, even natural ones, to be far too sweet. I'm also a big fan of the magic of fermentation, and the idea struck me to share this knowledge in a simple kit that anyone can use. I'm starting with ginger ale, but I enjoy making a variety of herbal sodas that I will soon offer and share as well. 

Here are the direction (in full) that I provide with this kit. Enjoy! 

Friday, July 15, 2011

The New Wild Rose Herbs Blog!

Welcome to the blog of Wild Rose Herbs! This is all very new to me, so this blog will be a learning process. I chose to start this so I could have a space to provide detailed info, news and how-to's surrounding the various crafts for sale on my Etsy page. Many of my crafts have been self-taught, and I would love to pass this knowledge on to those who seek it. So stick around and keep an eye out for a plethora of DIY art info, sales, new item showcases, and of course a healthy dose of randomness.