Made by Hand

We’ll be sharing some ‘Made by Hand’ finds that reflect the theme of this site…Some are newly, hand made items that reflect older items – either things made the ‘old way’, or old things repurposed.  Most likely, if its made by hand, it reflects ‘some new old thing’.

Some will include email addresses if you’d like to discuss purchasing something from the creator, some are just to enjoy looking at, and some will have ‘how-to’ directions.  What do you make?  If you’d like to be included, just use our contact page, and we’ll be in touch!

May 2016

May 13, 2016

I recently came across these wood carvings and thought they were interesting.  Very rustic looking, and seem to reflect many different styles. The carver uses sourwood, pine knots and cottonwood bark, and does a wide variety of different styles and designs.  They are hand made in North Carolina by Eddie McCann.  If interested in purchasing, or more information you can email Eddie at: or check out his Etsy Shop, Walking Sticks and More.

This is Charlie:

Charlie the Farm Dog
Charlie, Old Time Farm Collie, English Shepherd

Charlie is an English shepherd, many know this type of dog as an old time farm collie.  He’s just out of puppyhood, and very active.  He’s a happy guy, with plenty of energy.  A friend in IMG_1598 Vermont sent him a frizzB to try out.  What’s a frizzB?  It is a felted flying disk toy.  Charlie was excited to chase it, and would bring it back over and over.  He’s not much of a retriever normally, and hasn’t taken to tennis balls like previous dogs.  He had a few frisbees, but rather chew them to pieces than chase them.   I’m happy to say, that it doesn’t pick up dirt, sand, grass or sticks like I expected.  I usually give it a shake outside before we go in after play time.  Charlie does like to carry it around in the house, and I find it in my room first thing in the morning.  His housemates don’t seem too interested in it, which is a good thing in this case.  The frizzB has stayed intact for over a month now, and I was so impressed, I wanted to share it with everyone.  Come to find out, Jan makes and sells these, with 25% of the proceeds going to National English Shepherd Rescue.  She charges $15 per frizzB, including shipping.

These are the colors currently in stock. Custom orders are possible.

IMG_1599She also makes leashes which are lightweight, but strong.  They are about 6′ long and include solid brass hardware,  a hook ring and a ring felted into the handle which is useful for an ID tag, or to hold ‘poop’ bags.  The ring also comes in handy in case you find a cow in the road, and need to lasso it to lead it home – true story.   Keeping an ID on the leash is a great idea if you have a rescue dog who may take off.  With this people can more easily see the ID, without having to actually catch the dog.   Leashes are $35, including shipping.

Jan has shared the directions for making the frizzB.   These instructions are to make a knitted dog disc on a yellow 41 peg Knifty Knitter round loom.  There are clear photos, so if you have a different loom, you most likely can adapt.   The directions are in pdf format, Loom Knitted Flying Disc

If interested in purchasing any of these products, Email:


IMG_1592A few weeks ago, I wrote about Dark Feather Soap Company, just because I thought it would be nice to give a small company some exposure, and it looked like a good product.  Last week, I noticed they had a new scent – Lilac – well, that is my favorite flower scent, and one of my favorite flowers.  I decided to order two bars, and just received them (very fast shipping).  I have a post office box, and my mailman was sniffing the box before handing it over – I was a bit shocked at first, then saw the return address.  Yes, it smelled that good before even opening the box.  I opened the box in the car, and was very pleasantly surprised – the lilac really smells like fresh lilacs.  Also in the box were a few extra bars for me to try out so I could review them along with the lilac bars.  The others were; Appalachian Hemlock, Ambrosia Rose and Lemon Chess.


Appalachian Hemlock is made with BlueRidge Aromatic Hemlock Essential Oil, Shae Butter, Natural Tallow, Wood Ash Lye and Spring Water.  I will say it does smell like hemlock (we have hemlock in Maine also) and it reminds me of my grandparents summer camp. It cleans hands that are dirty from working in the garden, and even got the sap off from hauling brush.  My hands felt softer after, and didn’t look all dried up.  I’ll have my son use it after he is done work tomorrow (he’s a mechanic) and see how it works for him.

Lemon chess contains; Cornmeal, Lemon Zest, Lye from Wood Ash, Grain Fed Tallow, and Spring water.  This soap has a very ‘clean’ aroma.  Not overpowering at all.  I did use it once just to try it out and it left my hands feeling clean, and without that dry skin look.  It is made for dirtier hands so will be reserved for mechanics hands and after a long day working in the yard, painting, etc.  I keep going back to smell it though – I really, really like the scent.  With the oatmeal, I’m wondering if it might be soothing after someone comes in contact with poison ivy, or has a rash or mosquito bites?

Ambrosia Rose contains; Essential Oils, Cream, Natural Tallow, Lye from Wood Ash and Spring Water.  I’m probably one of the only people who is not crazy about rose scented products.  I find they are often overpowering.  Ambrosia Rose manages to keep the real rose scent, without making it too strong.  I won’t say its my favorite, but I do like it.  Its probably a good thing, because my daughter really, really likes it and is already using it.  This is a good thing – now she’ll leave my lilac soap alone – maybe.

Lilac contains; Essential Oils, Cream, Natural Tallow, Lye from Wood Ash and Spring Water.  The scent is fantastic – it smells just like my lilac bushes when they are in bloom. Not over powering, and no other scent mixed in.  I put one bar on a big shell in my bedroom, and one in the bathroom.  I may have to stock up.

All the bars come with a nice, clear label, with a touch of lace.  I can see using them as party favors at a birthday, shower or as small gifts or give-aways at any type of function. Its really nice that they use all 100% natural products, and keep it simple.  I like the rustic look of the bars – you can tell they aren’t mass produced, and care is taken in what goes into them.  The use of wood ash to make the lye is the way it had been done for 1000s of years.  Imagine that? It is one of the reasons ‘old’ recipe soaps work so well without a lot of chemicals and artificial ingredients.  Another HUGE plus?  They are made right here in the USA – in Natural Bridge, Virginia!

I’m off to take another shower with my Lilac soap.  If you’d like to order some soaps, or check out other soaps they carry, go to: or follow on Twitter @dfsco

April 2016~

We’re going to be featuring different handmade items – some are old style, some use re-purposed parts, but all are made by hand.  Check out our Made by Hand page for more great made by hand features.

Its really too bad you can’t ‘smell’ things through a computer, because I’m betting these soaps just smell fantastic!  Dark Feather Soap Co. makes their soaps in a wide variety of scents.  Check them out on    All natural, with some pretty interesting scents – chocolate mint? Yum!  I think the ‘Grit Getter’ may be a hit at my house.  Its a combination of orange, vanilla and pumice and claims to get greasy things clean. I have a mechanic in the family that should try this! Personally, I want to try the lilac first, its my favorite flower scent.  Of course, lemon is my favorite fruit/food scent, so maybe it will be the first. They currently have the following scents available: Maple Cinnamon Sunrise, Oatmeal Brandy, Lemon Cress, Chocolate Mint Treat, Grit Getter, Hazelnut Coffee.  Their special for spring scents are: Ambrosia Rose, Lavender and Lilac. Decisions, decisions! If you are interested in ordering, contact Jesse at

Check out our other Handmade features on:


March 2016

From a mother-daughter team in the Smoky Mountains.  If you’d like to contact them about possibly purchasing something, contact via email at:  (no sales take place through

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