Starting to feel better now and so I have made some items.
George is doing such a fantastic job with his informative posts while I am looking after Kelly, but I thought I would just put up a few pictures from the last week.
Here’s me preparing to go into the operating theatre when Kelly was born.
Here are my favourite three girls
This Kelly at home sleeping
Kelly’s first bad hair day!!
We needed a large, light container to weigh Kelly in, so one of my Birch bark containers was perfect.
Here’s Emma feeding her little sister (Kelly needs supplementary feeding just now to help maintain her right weight)
Emma changing Kelly’s nappy
I have a Dreamdot baby carrier, so that I can carry Kelly around while doing other things.
Of course Emma does the same with her baby!
Today I have been out ice fishing (surprise surprise!). I wasn’t just using my reindeer horn ice fishing rod, I was also testing a new ice fishing reel/rod that I have made using an old snuff container, which I call “The pocket fishing kit” (will be writing a tutorial to make this next time).
The snuff container has a winder on the back to reel in or out the fishing line.
But did I catch anything……….?
Of course I did!! I caught a nice Arctic Char with it and a Rainbow Trout and Arctic Char with my Reindeer horn rod.
To cook coffee on the lake, I made a Swedish Fire Torch using four pieces of Birch.
The fire burns between the four pieces and your cooking pot is placed on top.
Once you have finished cooking, separate the four pieces and lay them down to stop the fire burning, and when you want to cook again, stand them up and start the fire again.
I decided to try making an ice fishing rod. This is just a prototype and if it works well, I will improve the design.
The rod itself is a piece of Willow (Salix).
The handle I have made by glueing together pieces of Birch bark onto the Willow rod.
The eyelet at the end of the rod I have made from a piece of reindeer horn, which I have then lashed to the rod.
For the “reel” I have made two pins from reindeer horn and drilled the rod and inserted the pins in. The fishing line then wraps around between the two pins.
I have not had the chance to try out yet, but will let you know how it goes!
I was hoping to get out and about this weekend and do some stuff for the blog, but Teres was taken into hospital on Thursday and now I have bronchitis. So I have made a tutorial for making Birch bark containers.
I begin by cutting out two identical wooden disks to use as the top and bottom of the container and then role the bark around and mark and cut out a piece of bark. This particular piece measured 30cm x 9cm. On the outside of one end of the bark I thin the bark down to a wedge shape and I do the same on the inside of the bark at the other end.
Then I make to lines of holes in each end, about 5mm between each hole.
Form a tube with the bark, making sure the end thinned down on e inside sits over the end thinned down on the outside. I use a clip to hold the two ends together and then use sinew, false sinew or dental floss to begin sewing the bark together.
Now draw a line around the side of each wooden disk (use your finger as a depth gauge)
Then draw a line around the underside of each disk
Use a knife or sandpaper to remove the wood between these two lines to give an angled edge. This makes it much easier to insert the top and bottom disks into the bark tube.
You may find that one of the disks is a little too small and does not fit tightly into the bark tube. In this case you can take a thin layer of Birch bark and glue around the edge of the disk (use an elastic band to hold the bark in place while the glue dries).
Use a knife or sandpaper to remove excess bark and it should look like this when completed
Put some glue around the edge of the bottom disk and push into the bark tube and then push in the top. To help strengthen the top and bottom, cut two strips of bark (I use a pair of serrated scissors that I bought from a Dollar Store to give a decorative edge, but I have also done this using a knife) and glue around the top and bottom.
Drill two holes in the top and thread a piece of leather through and tie a knot on the inside of the lid.
Now the container is completed.
This is one of the home remedies that we learnt about while in Karesuando. It is a hair tonic and shampoo made from Birch leaves and when used regularly, it treats scalp conditions, promotes hair-growth and generally conditions the hair.
It is very easy to make.
You collect Birch leaves in August in Karesuando (so maybe during September in the UK) put them in a jar with an air-tight top.
You then add warm (NOT HOT) water and leave to cool for about 8 hours, shaking periodically. After 8 hours you remove the leaves and it’s finished.
You only require a small amount in your hand when you wash your hair, but it does not lather!!
It is now almost three months since I first hurt my back (Easter weekend). The doctors and physiotherapists insist I do not have a slipped or ruptured disk and it is muscle cramp that is giving me so much pain. I have only had a standard x-ray and have asked several times for a MRI scan without success. I am now on the strongest pain killer available and it is not helping at all. Once again I have to move around on crutches.
I have a variety of exercises I must do everyday to stretch my muscles, but this results in more and more pain until the pain is just unbearable. I cannot remember the last time I slept for more than 2 – 3 hours.
Tomorrow I am back at the doctors and will now insist that I have an MRI scan. We shall see what happens and it could be a while before I blog again.
In the mean time I wanted to show a video of a birch bark container I have recently made, but WordPress will no longer allow me to post videos…..managed to solve the problem now with “gigya” coding!!
The top and bottom are made from Sallow root bur.
As part of my new job, I have to make items to sell to tourists here in Nattavaara. Just now I am busy working on the first of those items; Nattavaara Birch Bark containers.
I have used sinew to sew the containers and have burned “Nattavaara” into the bark.
While making a container I cut my finger. I did not have any plasters so I took a piece of scrap birch bark and cut a slit into it
Then I wrapped the bark around my finger and pushed the narrow end of the bark through the slit to hold it in place.