Birch Bark Baskets, Antler Jewelry & Accessories, Homemade Soaps, Herbal Salves, and Wool MittensI make Birch Bark Baskets, Homemade Soaps and Herbal Salves from plants I gather from the wild or grow in my herb garden. I also knit alpaca neck warmers, and felt super warm mittens. In addition, I make Shed Moose and Caribou Antler Jewelry, Buttons and Hair Accessories. Below are pictures, descriptions and prices. If you would like to purchase any of these items, please send an email (click on the "Pony Express" picture at the right under my profile).
Before our boys were born, I sold baskets and antler jewelry to museums, art galleries and high-end gift shops. Now I only sell a limited number of items each year.
How to Order: Please send an email to email@example.com to place an order or ask questions. There is an email link under my profile.
Shipping: Prices given below do not include shipping, insurance or delivery confirmation. Those charges will be added, and I will let you know the shipping prices after you contact me with your order. I use delivery confirmation on all orders. I make every effort to pack items so that they will be delivered without damage. However, once I have mailed your order, I am no longer responsible for lost or damaged items. If your items have been damaged, or if you do not receive your order, contact your local post office. By placing an order from me, you accept this policy.
We live very remote in the Alaskan bush, and there are no roads or postal service to this part of the state. When you contact me I will be able to give you a good idea of when your package will ship.
Payments: PayPal is usually the most convenient and fastest way to pay. You could send a check or money order, but that will take a very long time (possibly up to a few months) to get it cleared, since I'd have to mail the check to the bank. If you send an email, let me know if you want to pay via PayPal or with a check, and then I will let you know my PayPal account or mailing address, as well as the approximate shipping date. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . That is not my PayPal account, so please contact me before sending a payment.
Birch Bark BasketsWe burn lots of firewood for heating and cooking, and I make baskets out of birch bark from the trees we use for heating and cooking. The rims are usually split willow or highbush cranberry, but sometimes I use birch shoots or spruce roots. The Berry Picking Baskets have a leather strap that is adjustable with a slice of shed moose or caribou antler. They are accented with shed antler pieces where the strap connects to the basket. These baskets are very functional. Only the large baskets are pictured. The small ones are best for decoration, however they can be used for smaller amounts of berries, or for holding less fruit or bread. Size, shape and color will vary somewhat, depending on the bark and rim that is used. Each basket is different. Some are mostly round; other are oval. The sides may vary a bit. I have to work with the variations in the bark. Some of the birch bark is thin and very flexible; other bark is quite stiff. The corner style of the bread/fruit baskets as well as the rim shape of the berry picking baskets vary depending on the bark available.
Bread / Fruit Basket - Large - approximately 12" x 8": $109; Small - approximately 7" x 5": $89.
Berry-Picking Baskets - Large - approx. 6" to 7" diameter and about 8" to 10" long, plus the strap: $149; Small - approx. 4" diameter and 6" long, plus strap: $129
Homemade SoapI make many different kinds, but here are just a few pictures. I do not add any colorants or scents to my soaps. Most are unscented, but a few, such as Spruce Pitch Soap (not pictured) and Balm of Gilead Soap have the natural aromas of the trees.
Each bar is at least 4 ounces; most are 5 to 6 ounces. $7.00 each.
The soaps I have available at the moment include:
- Spruce Pitch - a nice natural spruce scent.
- Balm of Gilead - delightful scent, just like the buds.
- Alaska Lufah (Black Usnea, or Green Usnea, which turns tan in the soap)
- Alaska Ginseng (Devil's Club) - a light scent of the root bark
- Simply Sap (Birch Sap)
- Fiddlehead Soap - made with fiddlehead silk
- Charcoal - black soap made with activated charcoal
- Camouflage - unscented, as are all my soaps. Includes charcoal and comfrey
This one is made with Comfrey and Wild Geraniums. Several people have told me that this one works as well as the charcoal soap for removing odors. Sometimes I toss in a handful of the dried "silk" from fiddleheads to make the soap a little scrubby without being rough.
Camouflage Soap - This has become a favorite. I have to give the credit to my sons, Ezekiel and Jedidiah. I was planning to make soap with flowers one day, but they begged me to make camouflage soap. The black color is from activated charcoal, which is great for removing odors. Hunters like that! The green is comfrey from my garden. This also seems to help remove odors, and works great in combination with the charcoal. The brown color is from crushed and powdered spruce cones (adds a very faint, woodsy scent and makes the soap a little scrubby. The ivory is just the natural, unscented soap. The shading and design will vary from batch to batch. $7.00 ea.
Fiddlehead Silk Soap - made with the "silk" (brown covering) that is removed from Fiddleheads before cooking. The color is kind of beige, with specs of the ground Fiddlehead Silk. Each bar is at least 5 ounces. $7.00 each.
Here is a variety. But, I make LOTS of different kinds. Most people specify one or two of their favorites, and then ask me to send the remainder of my choice. The black is Activated Charcoal Soap. It's great for removing odors. Hunters like this one as well as the camo soap above. My husband uses it after he's been working on the chainsaw, snow machine or other motors because it removes odors so well. Deer hunters say they love to use it before heading to the woods. The dark one is Balm of Gilead Soap. It has natural antimicrobials, so I use it to wash up my boys when they come in with dirty scrapes. Then I rub in a little Balm of Gilead Salve or Comfrey Salve because both really speed up healing. The lighter bar is Goat Milk, Honey and Oats. This is just a nice, extra mild soap. Most I've seen in stores have added fragrances to make them smell more like honey and oats, but I don't add anything. There is a very faint natural scent of honey, but not an overpowering one. The color will vary a bit on this one. During the winter I can freeze the milk before making soap, which makes the finished bars lighter. During the summer, I can't do that because we have no electricity so the bars turn out darker. It does not affect the quality.
Herbal SalvesI have no pictures at the moment, but I will post some soon. I generally make five different kinds. Each contains only the plant extract (Olive Oil infused with the plant) and Beeswax. 4 ounce jars - Comfrey and Chickweed Salves: $14 each; Spruce, Balm of Gilead and Alaska Ginseng Salves: $16 (limited quantity).
- Comfrey Salve - I use this one more than anything else. I have found it to be wonderful for healing, both soft tissue and bone. I used to use it to prevent and heal diaper rash when my boys were babies. Its uses are well documented. When one of my sons gets a bump, bruise or scrape from crashing his sled or playing to rough, I rub in some comfrey. Great for minimizing or getting rid of bruises. One of my sons broke his arm in town, but since we had to come back home, the doctor didn't want to put on a cast because of the potential complications, and we wouldn't be able to get into town to have it checked. So, he opted for just a splint and an ace bandage. I rubbed in some comfrey salve right after his fall, and I removed the splint about every other day to rub in more. When we went back to town to have another X-Ray, the doctor was surprise that it healed so well and so quickly with just the splint. I used comfrey salve for a broken toe once and was amazed at how quickly it healed and how fast the pain was relived. I also use it when anyone gets a blister or scrapes to help them heal faster. This is also the one I used most often, along with chickweed salve to prevent diaper rash when my boys were babies.
- Balm of Gilead Salve - I have found this to be the most moisturizing of all. I keep a little tin of it with me for chapped lips and hands. I also use it for "itches of unknown origin". Our boys are always running around outside, and sometimes they get into plants (I suppose) that causes them to itch. I don't know why this works, but when I use it, the itch stops. I also used this for diaper rash on my sons. Worked great for one; not so great for the other. I have a friend who loves this one for her baby.
- Chickweed Salve - If you are a gardener, you probably can't imagine this stuff having any redeeming qualities. But, it is the best thing I have ever found for burns. With using a wood stove for all my cooking and heating, I do get my share of burns. I wouldn't be without a jar of this in my kitchen. I have also found Chickweed to be wonderful when any of us get a mosquito bite, bee sting, or other insect bite/sting. Our boys just can't resist playing with bees (I include wasps, yellow jackets, hornets and other such things in my category with bees) even though they get stung almost daily throughout the summer. They no longer run to me when the bees have had enough. They have learned to just find a patch of chickweed (easy to do in our garden), and rub a handful into the sting for a minute. In no time, the stinging stops. I have used it on all sorts of other bug bites, too. I have found it to work reasonably well for some spider bites, although I have found Spruce Salve to be much more effective at reducing the swelling, inflammation and pain from spider bites. First I use a poultice of activated charcoal to draw out the poison from a spider bite, and then rub in some salve.
- Spruce Pitch Salve - I only make a limited amount of this each year, so let me know if you'd like some. I use Spruce Salve daily as an underarm deodorant. No chemicals and it works great! If one of us gets a stubborn bug bite or sting that Chickweed won't stop, I rub in a generous amount of spruce salve. But, when I know it's a spider bite, I first use a poultice of activated charcoal to draw out the poison. Some spiders are very poisonous, and if you aren't absolutely sure of what it is and what to do about it, see a knowledgeable health care provider (I'd prefer a Naturopathic Doctor or an Herbalist for this). We are in the bush and often can't get to a doctor right away, so I'm only saying what I have done. Research charcoal for the treatment of spider bites, and then decide what to do for your family.
- Alaska Ginseng Salve - This is a favorite of my boys because Alaska Ginseng (a.k.a. Devil's Club) is known to relive pain. It's the first one my boys grab for scrapes. It is also very helpful for the pain and swelling of bee stings. A friend has told me that this salve is very helpful for her arthritis. Another friend said it is great for tendonitis when he's been splitting firewood or using the chainsaw too long. He said it does not relive all of the pain, but it does help quit a bit. I used it recently for a sprained ankle and was amazed by how quickly it helped the pain.
Wool Felted MittensI knit these very large, then shrink them down to fit so they are very thick and warm. I then knit an extra cuff and sew it inside the mittens. This extra layer around our wrists really helps keep fingers warm. I can make them any color you like. $49 pr.
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