Drag dead things home with you. Your family will love it.
Drag dead things home with you. Your family will love it.

Drag dead things home with you. Your family will love it.

Pick up dirftwood. Even if your family thinks it’s weird!

Have you seen any good hunks of driftwood lately? You can do all sorts of cool stuff with it!

Don’t let raised eyebrows or concerns about your sanity hold you back from dragging home a beautiful chunk of wood. Water, wear and time all contribute to making an awesome artful piece. It’s a marvel that comes from a bit of a fallen tree that spent a couple years stuck in the creek bed and washed over by dirt, sand and water, then a chance dislodging, followed by displacement into an ocean of grass by the temporary surging of cold water the color of hot chocolate.

***Mom, the girls and I on a late summer scavenging and fence cleaning spree.***

We found a ton (literally) this year after all the heavy rains we had.

The pastures were littered by mid-summer with all sizes of worn old wood displaced by receding waters. We had a couple big ol fires, and we drug a lot of it home. My family is past the point of questioning my sanity; they cheerfully help cart the load and make the stuff. 

I would venture to guess we spent a couple weeks altogether, sometimes just an hour at a time, sometimes entire afternoons, picking up the detritus. It was great family time. Cale drove the gator for Mom and I as we scanned the pastures and picked up random stragglers. Creek carried a long stick and explored the creek bottoms with her dog Tanner. Casey was there too, splitting wood from a dead tree for us to have a winter-long wood supply for heating the garage, where I work sometimes and we gather with friends. The dogs all came along to hunt, swim and ride along. Ol Nev loves a tractor ride!

***Farmer and I spending quality time together.***

I got some cathartic tractor time in…there’s nothing like shoving up junk trees and making a great big fire. 

***I’ve been pushing brush with this ol gal since I was a kid.***

After all that work, there was a nice harvest of beautifully worn, twisted, tapered, knotted wood. We left it outside so it would get rained on and rinse some of the dust and debris away that was accumulated in all the nicks and holes in the wood from floating in floodwater soup.

On a nice dry day, I picked through the pile piece by piece, hit them all with a wire brush and gave a lick and a promise with a dusting brush before I hauled them to the store.

***photos from Pinterest***

Have a look on your fave crafting haunts; do a search for driftwood art. 

A subtle curve and a tapered end make an excellent Santa Claus head. A little paint and glaze, and you’ve got a completely unique decor piece to last the ages. We have some of these in the works right now!

A nice, long piece of driftwood, even in length, makes a gorgeous table centerpiece. Leave it intact and tuck some seasonal greenery around it, or perhaps you like a lit table…drill some 2” holes along the length of the branch and add some tea lights in the holes.

***Photos from Pinterest***

A short piece with lots of character is a prime specimen to make an essential oil holder. Just drill the right size holes to fit your favorite oils and you’ll have a fabulous receptacle to keep on your dresser or on the entry table for everyone to admire and smell the oils.

***Photos from Pinterest***

Tiny pieces make really sweet little windcatchers and can also be used to make some neat collage art.

***Photos from Pinterest***

Larger pieces are able to free stand make amazing floor lamps.

***Photo from Pinterest***

If the idea of having a long natural wood centerpiece for your holiday table intrigues you, come check out my stash at the store in town. We can leave it natural, paint and distress it, drill holes for candles, whatever your heart desires!

Or better yet, bring your own hunk of wood. Whatever you decide, we’ll help you create something new!

{Other dead things we cabbage onto: plant stems with unusual growths, beautiful dried plant material like pods and big leaves, and, sorry if you think it’s totes gross, but we love a good clean animal skull. The kids get immense satisfaction doing crafts with the plant material (if I say it’s up for grabs; I love dried plant material for my projects too), and they usually paint the skulls up and attach jewels and stickers. Sound weird? Well, it might not if you saw how much quiet time I get out of it! Ha!}

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