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my deer gave me a present!

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Woodi

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I've been feeding deer. Ten come daily now, including two bucks. One buck was so magnificent I used his photo for my Xmas cards, which I made on my 'puter.



Then a miracle: I went out and asked him to leave me an antler when he was ready to drop one. This morning, this 5-pointer was under the tree where I leave deer food:



Last year, I asked a smaller deer, and it worked also. He left me this 3-point antler, which I gave to my grandkids for show and tell at school. (They said that I give them the best show-and-tell items)



I cannot tell you the thrill it gives me when this happens. It feels like a special miracle.
 

Soapmaker Man

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That is way too cool, Woodi! 8) To ask then to receive, that is awesome! Your deer I know brings you much joy, fantastic that nature can make us feel good inside and give us inner peace too. I bet the grand kids are loving the gifts from your deer and grandma and grandpa!

Paul.... :wink:
 
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:shock: WOW that is too cool!
Im a city girl, I dont get to see things like this often at all!
BEAUTIFUL!

Is that antler heavy? How much does it weigh?
 

Chalk Creek

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Nice antlers, Woodi!. What do you do with them? Whenever I find nice antlers I make baskets. Here's one from a mule deer. I also make them with elk antlers. The baskets are really quiet easy to make. If you want to try it I think I can walk you through it via email and a few pics.

I have not asked a deer to give me an antler, I'll have to try that next time the bucks make an appearance.

Love your Christmas card!


 

Woodi

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Oooh, that basket is delicious! Love the colors too. I know how to make baskets, a neighbour taught me a few years ago. I collect red dogwood and pussy willow to make 'em with. But none of mine are near as pretty as yours.

It looks like you drilled a hole through the antler, did you?

Sure, I'd love if you walk me through it!
 

Chalk Creek

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Since you already know how to weave baskets and have your own materials, it will be a snap for you. If you have any questions, just holler.

Most of my baskets have 5 main ribs. I drill into the antler (not clear through it) about half inch deep holes in the base and not quite so deep on the branch end (don't want holes showing in the top of the antler). I use a drill bit just big enough to get my reed ribs in. I like to have to sqeeze them in so it will hold well. Fill the holes with wood glue and cram the ribs in and let dry. Then weave your basket.

Figuring out the angle for the holes is the hardest part. At the base, the two outside ribs come almost straight out. At the other end, there is an angle, but not near as much. This gives the sides of the basket a nice curve. At the front, I drill the holes at a slight angle toward the back of the antler. That way the basket flows forward under the tines and not just straight down. Then I spend some time getting the ribs the right length so the basket will sit nicely.

I think this will show the angles I generally drill at.



I'm currently working on this little moose antler. The ribs are at different angles at the base, but in a straight line along the length of the antler. This one has 8 main ribs and some fillers. The little short rib on the inside is only about 4" long. I'm hoping the finished basked will have a nice curve to it. The loose rib is a filler and is not attached to the antler. It will be trimmed and fitted in when the weaving gets to it.

 

Woodi

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Oh thank you so much, Debbie. Your baskets are to die for! Do you sell them somewhere locallly? I love your goats and small cows too. How very clever you are.
I have a neighbour, Margaret, nearby who raises nubian goats for milk and meat (she eats only the males, loves and names her females) and egg chickens and 'meat birds', and her hubby manages a big organic garden for their own needs...they also make and sell cheese and goats' milk, which I buy for soapmaking. It's such a joy to visit there.

Last summer our neighbourhood put on a Summer School event, and each person who wanted to participate could contribute money and time to the making of a brochure, and then set up to give classes in our own homes. I wasn't prepared to teach soapmaking at that time, but Margaret did, and her classes were full every day for 2 weeks. People came out from cities even, to learn how to milk a goat, how to collect eggs, make cheese etc.....She says she did it for fun, cuz all the charged them was $50 each, and that included lunch!
 

Chalk Creek

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Woodi, thank you for the nice comments. We have been raising cattle for a long time and the goats are new, but we are enjoying them so much. We keep laying hens and raise a bunch of broiler chickens every other year. I like to garden, too. I learned to make soap because I was milking Jersey cows and had to do something with ALL that milk. I had one cow that give 13 gallons a day! We raised hogs on the milk and that pork was the best we've ever had.

Once in a while I sell a basket, but not very often. I usually give them away or donate them to fund raiser autcions and such. Here's one that hangs on the wall, done on a 5 point elk antler. Can't wait to see some pics when you get an antler basket done!
 

Chalk Creek

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I forgot to add that I drill these with a drill press. If you use a hand drill, it helps to have someone hold the antler while you drill (just watch the fingers!). On the holes that angle in (on the branch end of the antler), drill straight in until the hole is started, then drill at an angle. The drill bit will often skim down the hard surface of the antler if you try to start a hole at an angle. Once the bit is through the hard surface, go slowly because it will zip right through the pithy inside of the antler and right out the other side.

The possibilities are endless with these baskets. I taught a friend to weave them and she now uses different colored jutes instead of reed. Very beautiful results.
 

Woodi

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Debbie: just for your amusement while you're waiting, here's a photo of my outdoor 'basket-tree' where all the practice pieces and failed attempts live:

 

Chalk Creek

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Love the basket tree! The one on the top right doesn't look like a failure to me, it looks pretty nice.
 

Woodi

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yes, I guess it wasn't toooo bad, except that its handles pulled out early on, so I had to tape them together to hang in the tree. I got better over time, then I developed tennis elbow from the strain of pulling on the reeds, can't do it much anymore, especially not with the rough willow, sniff. Was lots of fun though.
 

Woodi

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I made these tiny baskets 3 years ago, from willow I collected in the wild here. They last a long time.



I made a few aprons: (they are coming back in style)







and this one for clothespins when hanging wash on the line:



I also like to take unusual photos with my digicam:

icy hand, coming down from rain spout:

 

Chalk Creek

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Great little baskets, Woodi. Love the aprons, too. I have several that were my grandmothers and I love them. The icy hand is very cool (ok, bad pun, but it is cool!!).
 

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