Solar Backup System

Hi everyone!

Today I am showing you a short video of my solar backup system.  I got interested in this concept because it was a way to dabble with solar energy that I could afford.

The system is small but useful.  I have already used it in a few power outages and was able to run a few lights and even watch a movie!  Now you not going to run a refrigerator off of this thing, but it sure is nice to have a little illumination and some entertainment.  Then once the sun comes up it’s back to the window for a charge up.

Another great thing about a system like this is that you can always add to it.  A few more solar panels and a few more batteries and it just gets more and more capable.

You can pick up a starter kit for yourself here -> Solar Charging Kit

Cheers!

Willie

 

PS.

It may seem at times like you have ‘done it all’ but there are many new crafts and lost skills out there for all of us! This is my mission!

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Another Method for Making a Newspaper Log

Hi Everyone!

A week or so ago I posted the video and comment on making a newspaper log using a press.  The video has been very popular.  Thanks for the support.

Anyhow, I mentioned I would show you another way to go about this, and here it is.  Watch:

These things burn great – I am planning another video in which we will showcase all of the following:

1) Burning a few Newspaper Logs made with the press.
2) Burning a few of these roll up type
3) Starting all of it using the Tuna can burner!

We have a great little driveway fireplace to film this upcoming epic.  I’m excited –  it is one of my favorite ways to relax in the evening.  Also, with that video you will see the advantages and disadvantages of each method.  Seeing is believing, right?

As always feel free to ask any questions you may have.  I love this stuff thats why I’m doin it.

Cheers!

Willie

 

PS.

It may seem at times like you have ‘done it all’ but there are many new crafts and lost skills out there for all of us! This is my mission!

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Live and Learn, Learn and Thrive!

Prepare Dried Beans FAST

Hey Everyone,

I have become a huge fan of having a decent amount of food storage. With that comes the responsibility of knowing what the heck to do with that food if you ever really need it.

That’s why I’m excited about sharing this with you.  I love beans in general, but to be honest I have always FAILED  preparing the dried version. The instructions on the package do not work for me – they are always way too firm and disappointing.

I got lucky one day – watch this.

The key is use a pressure cooker!  This truly is a lost kitchen item.  Once upon a time it was an essential tool, but, since the advent of the microwave, it has lost popularity.  The fact still remains that it is a much faster method of cooking than ‘normal’ stove top methods.

If you would like one pick it up here –> Presto Pressure Cooker

I will do further video in the future using this technology in a different manner – Pressure Canning.

Update, not the canning video yet, but very cool –> Corned Beef Recipe    BTY! not Corn Beef a common mistake!

Cheers!

Willie

 

PS.

It may seem at times like you have ‘done it all’ but there are many new crafts and lost skills out there for all of us! This is my mission!

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Live and Learn, Learn and Thrive!

Tuna Can Heater (AKA Buddy Heater)

Hi Everyone!

In this video I am showing you how to make a small heater/firestarter out of a tuna can, some cardboard, and some wax.

I purchased a candle making kit from Candle Creations. These things are kinda hard to find anymore but if this video gets you fired up to get one click here –> Candle Maker

It’s funny to me that a lot of the retailers out there list this as a toy, in my opinion it is a work horse.

I chose to show you how to use this to make a ‘buddy heater’ instead of a candle today but  I will post a future video on how to make a nice candle with this thing, they turn out very very nice (they make great gifts).

As you can see we have used this contraption HEAVILY for years. It is reliable and safer than the traditional double boiler method (in my opinion), especially is you are crafting with kids.

I am also going to make another video where I combine using one of these as a fire starter, and burn a few newspaper fire logs from my stash (earlier post). I figure that way I can show you how all of these can work together to keep ya’ nice and toasty!

A great source for candle wax is yard/garage sales! Seems you can almost always walk away from a day of visiting garage sales with a ton of wax for a buck or two.

Cheers!

Willie

 

PS.

It may seem at times like you have ‘done it all’ but there are many new crafts and lost skills out there for all of us! This is my mission!

Subscribe to get updates! They happen several times a week!

Live and Learn, Learn and Thrive!

Solar Window Heaters

Here is a tour of my tinkering with solar window heaters. I have been messing around with these for a few months and am really very pleased with version #3.

There is a lot of speculation about how maybe these things don’t really do anything because they ‘block’ the sun from coming into the room where it would naturally heat furniture etc… I could see that if the system were just passive as with the first two attempts but once you add the fan it is a whole different ball game.

Also, my end goal will be to have a much larger version which is not in a window but rather mounted to the south facing wall on my home, and an opening near the floor and the return near the ceiling. That should work very well based on my experiments so far!

Advice and questions are all welcome!

Cheers!

Willie

 

PS.

It may seem at times like you have ‘done it all’ but there are many new crafts and lost skills out there for all of us! This is my mission!

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Live and Learn, Learn and Thrive!

Paracord Keychain Fob, Cobra Stitch

Hi everyone!

Today I am showing you a fun thing to do, how to cobra weave (cobra stitch) a paracord keychain fob!

I am a big fan of paracord and believe everyone should have some. This is a great way to use up the left-overs you might have laying around from larger projects and ensure friends and family always have a little ‘cordage’ on them.

One of the most popular projects out there is making bracelets out of this stuff. There are a TON of videos on this out there, so I decided to do something a little more unique.

Check out this guys youtube channel if you want to dive deeply into this craft. His videos are great, almost mesmerizing.

If you want to try this and need some paracord you can get it here –> Paracord

Thanks for watching, and as always feel free to ask me any questions you may have!

Cheers!

Willie

 

PS.

It may seem at times like you have ‘done it all’ but there are many new crafts and lost skills out there for all of us! This is my mission!

Subscribe to get updates! They happen several times a week!

Live and Learn, Learn and Thrive!

The Amazing Whirly-Pop

Hi Everyone!

Todays video is of me using a Whirley-Pop popcorn maker! 

This thing is great, as I mention in the video it was a Christmas gift which I at first kinda looked at with the ‘when the heck will I use this?’ attitude and boy was I wrong! We use it all the time! What a great way to same some money. My whole family prefers this popcorn to any sort of chip, it is significantly better popcorn than the microwave baggies.

A few notes after reviewing the video again:

1) We have great results with literally the cheapest popcorn.

2) I did not have a great view of the whole Whirley-Pop, basically there is a crank handle at the end that you turn. You ARE NOT reeling in a fish! Slow and steady is all ya need!

3) This makes a LOT of popcorn, we fill two gallon size Ziploc bags (not crazy full but easy to manage full). This is a great method for seasoning,, put your popcorn in, put your seasoning in, shake!

Pick up your own Whirley-Pop here –> Whirley-POP

Please comment and ask questions, thanks for visiting!

PS.

It may seem at times like you have ‘done it all’ but there are many new crafts and lost skills out there for all of us! This is my mission!

Subscribe to get updates! They happen several times a week!

Live and Learn, Learn and Thrive!

Make Homemade Tortillas

Hi Everyone!

I’m excited about this post mostly because I am so proud of the results I get!

My family and friends rave about these! I even brought these to my daughters school event (they are studying Mexico) and the TEACHER wanted to hide them just for the parents (she was joking, I think)!

Here is the recipe:

2 Cups Flour (White all purpose)
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp veggie oil (actually the fat of your choice)
3/4 cup warm (important) milk

The recipe makes 8 large tortillas or 12 taco sized ones. There is no issue making a bigger batch!

Watch the video for the instructions, that’s why I made it!

I’m not completely proud of the video,, but I wanted to get something out. I think it conveys the most important aspects of the tortilla craft. Here are a few I wanted to stress:

1) Let the dough rest!!! This was my biggest mistake for years of trying to do this. If you don’t they will not roll out properly.

2) I did not emphasize the tortilla press enough, it really does make life easier, especially if you want any chance of having them round! Click here for a nice one –> Tortilla Press

3) It is easy to over cook these! As your pan gets hotter they go even faster! Pay attention, flip often at first and you will get the hang of it quickly.

Now get to making! Please send me any questions you may have!

Cheers!
Willie

 

PS.

It may seem at times like you have ‘done it all’ but there are many new crafts and lost skills out there for all of us! This is my mission!

Subscribe to get updates! They happen several times a week!

Live and Learn, Learn and Thrive!

Making a Newspaper Log Using a Press

Check this video out. I know of a few ways to make old newspaper into a newspaper log,  nice fuel for the fire (and not just to start it). I will make videos in the future of some of the more basic ways.

This gizmo I picked up from one of my favorite gadget sites Kotulas.com is a very cool way to do it. The ‘logs’ take a while to dry but what a neat way to use old newspaper and junk mail! In our little patio fireplace two or three of these will burn quite nicely for 30-45 minutes.

Pick one up here –> Fire log maker

This is a great example of how to make through use of what you have at hand. Also these are LIGHT! What a great fuel to bring camping!

Willie

Update: I promised to do another video here ya go –> Simpler Newspaper Log

PS.

It may seem at times like you have ‘done it all’ but there are many new crafts and lost skills out there for all of us! This is my mission!

Subscribe to get updates! They happen several times a week!

Live and Learn, Learn and Thrive!

 

 

First post and my inspiration..

Hi everyone,

This is my first post and really the inspiration for me to start this site.

This is a compilation of pictures showing me building a simple plywood canoe, believe me if I can do it you can too! The plans were free, see the links below to get to them and build your own ‘dream craft’.

My future videos will be more informative, more how to, if you will. But heck,, gotta start somewhere right?

I love to experiment and build. When I finally got my family moved into our mountain hideaway, I realized there was a lake and I had no boat. So this was my solution. I hope you enjoy…

Please feel free to comment!

To see the free plans and others visit Bateau.

If I can help you with details please let me know!

I tend to do a couple ‘special projects’ every year. At the time I am writing this I already have another video to put up so keep an eye out for my Handmade Ukulele!

Willie

 

PS.

It may seem at times like you have ‘done it all’ but there are many new crafts and lost skills out there for all of us! This is my mission!

Subscribe to get updates! They happen several times a week!

Live and Learn, Learn and Thrive!