Wild Moon Cottage is a small working homestead in the pristine Ozark Mountains. We have dairy goats, poultry, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a start of a tiny fruit orchard, several black walnut trees, wild berries and fields of wildcrafting goodness. We raise our own milk, our own eggs, much of our own medicine and food. I do laundry by hand, make my own vinegar, candles, soap, bread, cheese ........ For a living I am an artist and herbalist. My goal for myself and our homestead is to be as self sufficient and self sustaining as possible.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wild Moons & Candle Light

I have always had a theory that, it is better to fall willingly down the rabbit hole than it is to be shoved through a looking glass.

It's not actually open yet, I'm still only selling through my HealingHouseTeas.com and OzarkGypsyArt.etsy.com but, I thought I would go ahead and share it here. I was going to change everything over earlier this year to celebrate having the house almost paid off. It works perfectly now tho too, with the starting a new life :)

I've been wanting to move everything to one website and under one name for some time now. I sell under 4 different names and it can be a pain. I'll leave my other shops and sites up for a while, even after I get this completely set up. But eventually everything will be sold from one website and from one name on etsy and all.

I'll probably also be doing the same with my blog. Either changing the name or moving it to the new name. So, however oddly it has come about, I had intended to begin again this year anyway. I thought about waiting until we get moved but the name fits the Burrow and the name is us so .....

We are now ... Wild Moon Cottage :) Our home, my blog, my herbs and art, all together in one cottage. They're not actually open yet but I've been working on WildMoonCottage.com and WildMoonCottage.etsy.com I've been looking forward to it for about a year now and it's very exciting. A lot of work but worth it to me.

In other news, I'm waiting for our tow truck guy to call. He's going to come and take the Blazer to our mechanic. I'm making huge prayers and jujus that it won't be anything to expensive but just being able to get it there and see what it is will be good.

The subject of inexpensive lighting without power came up on some groups the last few days and I thought it was a good thing to add here as well.

I think the cheapest lighting is what my grandfather taught me. Go to bed with the sun and wake with the sun. But that doesn't help much on gray days or living in an earthberm with few windows.
We lived through hurricane Andrew when my son was a tiny baby, in Florida. When we have ice storms here we sometimes lose power for a week or so. The longest for me in an ice storm was 14 days. As a kid we lived without electricity a few times.

I recently read in the Pioneer Kitchen that you can soak lamp wicks in brown vinegar, allow them to dry fully and then when you use them they won't smoke. I haven't tried it yet but intend to.

I gather candles in the summer at yard sales and such. I often find candles stubs and wax free at yard sales as well. I've been making candles for years and use the old stubs and wax bits to make new ones. many people who make candles think that tapers are to difficult but they're really not. they just take time and a deep dipping pot.

A year or so ago I was able to buy a lot from some civil war reenactment folks. In it I got a wonderful reading candle sconce with a mirrored back and several other good candle holders. I think one thing to take into consideration is wax catching.

Also, and this may be common knowledge but I didn't know it until last year. I was told that don't have to use oil in oil lamps, you can use kerosene instead, which is much cheaper here. I don't think you can mix the two but you can clean an oil lamp with kerosene and then use kerosene with it. Hopefully someone here will be able to confirm and explain :)

K1 kerosene smokes and smells a lot less than the less expensive kerosene but soaking the wicks in the vinegar might stop that. I have oil in my lamps, left from before I knew about the kerosene and some stored oil.

You can also make little lamps from canning jars and olive oil. I learned how and taught my son just in case but, it's not something we would normally do.

Of course there's also the little solar lights, which I believe you can take off the inner cover and they're much, much brighter.

And for things like emergency surgery etc., a car headlight hooked to a car battery. Which I learned about on a solar homesteading group.

You can also make candle holders out of old tin cans. Cut out a section of the side of the can and sand the edges safely. Cut a sturdy piece of wood the size of the bottom of the can and include a handle stick or add one on. Drive a large nail up through the bottom of the wood, and through the can bottom. It should be long enough to got through wood and can and leave enough sticking up to poke a candle on.

You can do the same thing with a metal cup but don't need the handle because you can use the cup handle.

The wood serves to hold the nail but also to with the can or cup so it's not easily knocked over.

Please never leave any sort of burning thing unattended ! Never go to sleep with a lamp/candle/lantern/whatever burning. A fire in the fireplace or stove yes, but never any lighting. I have a mighty respectful fear of fire. Any candle has the potential to cause a fire and even things meant to handle the heat, like a lamp chimney or a mason jar, can overheat and break.

A major cause of death in a power outage is fire and asphyxiation. Caution and common sense must be used at all times and are our greatest asset.

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