Happy Thanksgiving from Kevin’s Quality Clothespins

Happy Thanksgiving from Kevin’s Quality Clothespins


The feast has been consumed. The dishes are done. The guests have left. Now here I sit with a full belly and a grateful heart. The gratitude does not come from the full belly tho that is part of it. It is a gratitude of having family, having friends, having work, having struggles and in the sloppy mess of all of that mixed together having a God that loves us unconditionally.


I am amazed at how far this idea has come and how many people have supported us along the way. I still remember the day that Hilary pitched the idea of making clothespins to sell. I laughed at her. Openly laughed. She has definitely had the last laugh. I am appreciative of the critics, as few as they are, for they have made the quality in Kevin’s Quality Clothespins go higher then I thought possible. I am appreciative of the first couple of rounds of customers who sent us money on blind faith for they fueled our drive to keep pushing forward. I am appreciative of the repeat customers for they remind me that something is working well and not to mess with the good. I appreciate meeting our people at the Mother Earth News Fairs for they remind me that while the clothespins are not huge the impact we are making in your lives is huge.

Little one with Bucket of clothes pin halves

As you look around your world I would encourage you to find those small things that make your smile. I would encourage you to find those things that remind you that there is Someone bigger than all of us who loves you just as you are.


The holidays have always been my time to reflect on life and evaluate am I where I want to be, doing what I love to do, fulfilling what I was sent here to do.

Your support and encouragement has been a huge confirmation for my family that we are in the right spot at the right time. I am hoping that in the next year I can bring to you all of the ideas that are bouncing around in my head. Until then please accept a HUGE Thank You!! from my family to your family.

And for those that are patient enough to read all of my ramblings. Please accept a discount code “10Off”  for 10% off any purchase. This is our way of saying Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas.

Click here for the Store

–The Screwy Carpenter

Going a Little Squirrelly…


I have been recently been accused of being part Squirrel… And that was before we harvested walnuts!

It’s been a very busy canning/preserving year over here. What started as a fun couple day activity during the year has become a bit of an obsession…still fun…

this years canned applesauce

This is my third year canning and preserving on my own. Before 2013 I had canned only with the Carpenter’s Grandmother and few others. I was intimidated by the process of doing it on my own so I started simply by preserving plum syrup and some jam. The fruit we got was free and it was easy to process with a water bath canner.

In the last three years we have had access to lots of free apples (mostly because we ask people with unharvested apple trees if they want to use them)  With My Carpenter’s help, that first year we made 84 quarts of applesauce. In 2013 we canned 115 quarts and this year we have made over 130 quarts of applesauce . Why you ask? My kids love applesauce and it is a constant side dish at our meals. 120 quarts last us a year.

A few apples for saucing
A few apples for saucing :) 

Since I am now comfortable with the process of Water Bath Canning, Year Three has been crazy busy. From May to October we have been blessed by LOTS of opportunities to get fruit and vegetables through gleaning, friends that have extra fruit available, and our own garden has done well.

Picking Green Beans

 We have been in many trees picking fruit and walked in muddy fields picking and digging produce. It is amazing whats available when you are willing to put the work  into it.

This is us gleaning and participating in a work Exchange.

Gleaning /Work Exchange


In case you are curious:  Commercial Break.…The above picture is of us participating in a work exchange at a local farm. While working, we were able to keep produce they couldn’t sell. Produce that is the wrong size or not pretty enough they cannot sell at market. The sad part is that unless it is gleaned through most of that perfectly good food is left in the field to be tilled under.  (Don’t even get me started on how ridiculous the modern consumer is to expect things to look pretty). We not only were able to glean while working but we also worked to earn produce. In this case we worked in exchange for their organic sausage. YUM!

Back to our Regularly Scheduled Blog….

In 2013 I decided that it was important to record what I preserved. I have a 1/2″ binder where I record, on simple lined paper, all of what I preserve. Here is a picture of 2013 and this year, 2015, side by side:

Canning journal

As you can see, this year was lots of crazy gathering fun. In that mix is Canning, Dehydrating and Freezing.


LOTS of new stuff this year:

  • Cherries (Canned whole, pitted and frozen, jam)
  • Blackberry Plum Jam
  • Sweet Pickles (Here’s the recipe I used. WONDERFUL recipe)
  • Dill Pickles, processed
  • Sweet Relish
  • Pears (A few canned and Pear Spice Jam)
  • Dehydrated Asian Pears, Bartlett Pears, Apples, and Plums
  • Freezing:  Corn, Leeks and Carrots
  • Walnuts (these we an interesting new experience)

This Years Repeats:

  • Blanched and Frozen Green Beans
  • Refrigerator Dill Pickles
  • Applesauce

We started processing cherries in May and wrapped up with dehydrating apples just thislast week.

It was kind of sad to put the Water Bath Canner away but at the same time I was very glad to put it out in the shed for the winter.

Though we do not preserve as much as many do, it is amazing awesome for us :)  I have been labeled the “Applesauce Lady” by many friends. My wonderful neighbor (that I have dragged along with me on many of these gathering adventures) has accused me of being part squirrel… This is for all you fellow canning/ preserving lovers out there….

Squirrel Meme

Happy Winter,

The Frabjus Lady

Cottage Business Highlight: Waist Aprons

Drum roll Please….

We are very pleased to introduce Our Second

Cottage Business Highlight.


 Because we ourselves are a small business, we have a longing to support other small, home based businesses.

We are calling this part of our Online Catalog our Cottage Business Highlights Section.

We are now offering these beautiful, vintage style waist aprons on our site. Each apron is lovingly handcrafted. 

Waist Aprons

Yellow dot apron Continue reading Cottage Business Highlight: Waist Aprons

Cottage Business Highlights

Starting today we are going to start featuring some new products on our website. Because we ourselves are a small business, we have a longing to support other small, home based businesses.

We are calling this part of our Online Catalog our Cottage Business Highlights Section.

We will be featuring a few items from each featured business. If you would like to see all that they offer you can follow the link at the end of each product description.

Introducing Our First Cottage Business 


Come to our Store and check out Wood Forge Armory’s fun Sword and Shield Sets

Continue reading Cottage Business Highlights

Tips for Tent Camping in Hot Weather

Being in the Pacific Northwest, we are not used to being in hot weather. Though I am not an experienced camper, I am an avid researcher. I didn’t find a whole lot on the internet about it other than “don’t get dehydrated”. So, I figured I would share what we have learned in this last two years of camping in 90-100 degree weather. Continue reading Tips for Tent Camping in Hot Weather

Vacation Time

From July 3rd to July 12th we will be on vacation and off-grid.

 All orders placed in that window of time will be promptly processed and shipped by July 14th. 

We have clothespins still waiting for you.

Everyone needs to disconnect at times and this is ours.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

clothespin stack

Mother Earth News Fair Wrapup

Ever have one of those moments when you feel like you are on a big roller coaster, heading upward and all you hear is “click click click, click…” ? It is thrilling and at the same time you think “What was I thinking…What kind of warped sense of fun is this? AAAAHHH!”

At the beginning of this month we attended the Mother Earth News Fair in Albany, Oregon.   It was a great experience! It was like that roller coaster but on a good day when I love the thrill of the ride. Continue reading Mother Earth News Fair Wrapup

Blessings in the Clothespins

Guest Post by the Screwy Carpenter:

This is one for those happy moments. You know the kind where your soul is at peace, your heart is content and the kids are not chewing on each other. It does not happen every day but when it does oooh how I cherish these moments.


Almost a year ago The Lady came to me with the idea of making clothes pins to sell. I initially thought she was crazy. After much research I came to see the opportunity. Having been in sales and business on multiple levels for many years I knew some of the challenges that lay ahead and knew that there were many unknown challenges waiting to be conquered. Continue reading Blessings in the Clothespins

A Woodworker and Teacher selling clothes pins that last generations, learning to live off the land and raising honest, hard-working children.