Cottage Craft Works, LLC

Ph: 281-638-0050 | Visit

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Go "Green" and just hang it up!

Wall Rack Drying Tree
Folding Drying Rack
Portable Clothes Line
Laundry Drying Ring
Aluminum Laundry Basket Cart
Did you know that the average clothes dryer is one of the most expensive home appliances to operate, consuming about 6% of a typical homes electrical usage?  On average it cost between 32 to 41 cents per load of laundry in an electric dryer and 15 to 30 cents in a gas dryer depending on the size of the load and the types of fabrics (source

Clothes dryers do not seem to vary from the different models in regard to energy usage and are not required to display energy guideline labels.  If the dryer is not properly vented or maintained expect those numbers to increase sharply, especially if you are drying heavy loads of jeans or other thick materials.  If you are running a dryer through a couple of cycles to dry heavy loads, inspect the dryer vent for trapped lint or kinks in the tubing, just cleaning the front filter is not adequate.  Trapped lint is also a serious highly combustible fire hazard and needs to be routinely vacuumed out of the vent.  Depending on the length of your vent tubing this may be needed once a year or as frequently as quarterly or even once a month if your venting system goes up and out a roof vent.  A short venting system going directly out through a wall is the best option.

We try to air dry as much laundry as we can to save on our utility cost.  When the weather is nasty and we are not able to hang clothes outside, we can see the difference in the utility bills. The home owner or even apartment dwellers have many options to dry clothes and save energy cost.  (See our related post on building a substantial clothes line), if you are able and want to install post permanently.  For us there is nothing that beats the fresh smell of sheets that have hung outside to dry.

There are some companies reproducing the umbrella single pole clothes lines and selling them on line, we have not seen one up close but they seem to be well constructed and take up very little space.  They can be cemented into the ground or the best option would be to cement a sleeve that the post can slide in and out of.

The lightweight folding umbrella lines sold in hardware stores and home centers are not really worthy of wasting your money on.  They are cheaply made and just don’t hold up.  If you are a single person with a limited amount of clothes, they may work fine.  Clothes lines and poles with a load of wet clothes just take a lot of wind abuse.  The thin metals being used in these lines is just not substantial enough to hold up.

Some people just string a line from the house to a nearby tree and dry clothes that way.  While a tree makes a good solid post, it also is an attractive cool place for birds to roost, which means, well sometimes having to rewash some items.

If you are fortunate to have two facing walls out of the way, then some eye hooks and lines maybe the ticket. Just make sure you are into solid wood such as the wall stud or post, your husband might not be to happy to find your clothes line on the ground with a strip of siding pulled off the house with it.   Where ever you decide to hang it up at, consider the wind patterns that you will need to quickly dry your clothes.

Portable folding racks are another good option; we actually use both the in ground pole mounted lines and a portable folding wooden rack.  We also have a clothes pin rack that has become one of our most popular drying places.  It is an aluminum Amish made round ring rack with 32 mounted plastic clothes pins.  It was designed to dry socks and other small items, but we routinely use ours for other items such as towels, pillow cases, and so forth.  It is very handy hanging from the soffit just out the back door, and it takes up very little space.

If you are renting, don’t want to, or can’t install permanent clothes lines consider a new completely portable and moveable self supporting clothes line that provides 72’ of drying lines in only a 12’ x 94” wide space.  The portable drying unit can become even more portable with an optional wheel kit and lifting handle to easily roll the unit around the yard.  Hang the clothes in the garage and roll out to dry, no more frozen fingers, caught by a surprise rain burst, roll it back in the garage until the storm passes. It easily assembles and disassembles in minutes to take to the hunting cabin, campground, or the summer home.   It comes shipped in a 6” x 10” x 96” box weighing 65lbs.

There are also nicely finished folding wall racks for indoors that pull out for drying clothes, these really work well in the laundry room next to the washing machine for delicate clothes that can’t be dried in the dryer regardless.  Other clothes line devices are available in retractable wall mounted spools. These work well in a garage or basement area that can be pulled out during inclement weather.

If you have back issues or just don’t like to haul a load of wet clothes outside and bring them back in consider an aluminum laundry cart.  It is designed to hold a plastic laundry basket; it is narrow enough to fit through doorways making it very useful indoors to transport clothes from the hamper to the washing machine as well as outside.  We’ve had ours for nearly 20 years and it looks just like it did the day we brought it home.  Best of all you just don’t have to keep bending over to scoop up clothes either indoors at the washing machine or out at the clothes lines.

We carry these on our site at  To our knowledge no one else has the portable clothes line described above available on the Internet.  We just stumbled on to this new item during our spring 2011 new product tour. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Chameleon Hunting Blind

The Chameleon Hunting Blind

If you are looking for a simple easy to carry and easy to setup tree stand blind or ground hunting blind consider the Chameleon Blind. It weighs only 5 lbs packs in a 6 x 6 x 29 box for easy transport even to fly into your favorite hunting locations, or to back pack deep into the woods. It comes with a carrying case with a shoulder strap. The Chameleon Blind is versatile, use it to conceal your tree stand, or use it on the ground. Both a gun and bow models are available and you have a choice of green or brown camouflage for your hunting region. Best of all the price point at $120 is very affordable; the bow model is only $10 more.

Up until now tree stand hunters have been very limited with options for a fully functional weather protected tree stand blind. Most large hunting stores have plenty of ground blinds at this price point but just ask for a tree stand blind and they go blank, then they will drag you over to a roll of camouflage material and suggest this is what you can use to drape around your blind.
The Chameleon Hunting Blind was developed by Cooper Hunting Industries, Inc. a Tennessee based hunting gear company.

The Chameleon Hunting Blind was developed for one simple reason, to change the way people hunt and the way they think about hunting! Fellow hunters and outdoorsmen understand that pursuing trophy whitetail deer is more than just a hobby, it is a passion. During the pursuit of that passion, hunters are taught that deer do not have predators from above so they do not look up. This is simply wrong! What they have learned over the years is that a deer looking up has become as natural as a Golden retriever fetching a duck for the first time. Cooper Hunting Industries is about taking your passion to the next level by perfecting the art of concealment.

Anyone who has ever hunted for wise, astute deer from a ladder or climbing stand has assuredly been busted. To prevent being busted, most hunters don their camouflage clothing. The problem is deer sees movement. Just getting a bow drawn back on a trophy kill is a challenge while having five sets of eyes looking at you! Well thanks to Cooper Hunting Industries that problem has been solved once and for all! CHI has developed new and innovative products for hunting which allow hunters to remain 100% concealed, protected from the rain and maintain scent control.

The Chameleon Hunting Blind can also be used on the ground making it double over for turkey season, and if you are adventurous use it in the tree for turkey season as well, turkey hunting from a tree stand. Turkey hunting from a tree stand? Well just consider how many turkeys show up under your stand during deer season, just maybe not having an adequate tree stand blind up until now may be one reason this idea has not become more popular amongst turkey hunters. If you are the avid turkey hunter who still wants to look them in the eye then consider The Chameleon Hunting Blind for ground use, especially if you are a bow hunter. The special designed bow blind provides slats at 360 degrees around the blind to easily slip open and draw your bow without detection.

The Chameleon blind can add on to your existing tree stand to provide you with the ultimate hunting experiences by making your practically invisible to wildlife. Take The Chameleon Blind Challenge and you will see what everyone is talking about! Never sit in the rain again waiting for that trophy whitetail to cross your path. He won’t know what hit him and you will be perfectly dry inside your Chameleon Blind!

The blind comes in two models to support both gun and bow hunters. Order the Chameleon Blind today and we promise you it will not disappoint!

The Chameleon blind is an innovative way to get that shooting house effect without all the expense and hassle. It has been engineered to be lightweight and collapsible, thus making it transportable to virtually anywhere you can imagine.

At CCW we decided this would be an ideal blind for our hunters based on its simplicity, ease of transport into the woods, the fact that it can be used in a tree stand or on the ground, and the price point.

Key Features

Installs in just 3 minutes
100% concealment
14" camouflaged windows provides 360 degree field of view
Water proof
Weighs 5 lbs
Easy carry bag included
Instructional DVD
Weight at base provide stability on windy days
Draw string at base for extra wind stability
Adjustable roof strap for window leveling
Works with all stands
Black liner to prevent shadowing

You can now purchase The Chameleon Hunting Blind at

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stedi Stock® Photographer, Video and Optical Stabilizer.

The Stedi-Stock Camera Shoulder Brace, Shoulder Mount will help eliminate poor quality pictures due to camera shake.

This is Just a mere fraction of the cost for other professional grade camera stabilization systems!

The Stedi Stock® is a new device that provides incredible balance and stability allowing you to capture those once in a lifetime pictures, make professional videos without the bounce, or to view wildlife, birds and other items of interest thorough your favorite optical device.

At first glance one may assume the Stedi Stock® is some type of hunting device used to steady a gun for hunting, while it does have an available gun rest and it is used widely by outdoors sportsman, the Stedi Stock® is actually designed for all people who use cameras, video cameras, and other optical viewing devices, professionally and individually.

Thanks to modern technology, the digital cameras, rangefinders, spotting scopes and video cameras currently on the market today are lighter and in some cases, much smaller than in years past. However, it is even more difficult to hold these devices steady, which causes your pictures, videos to be blurry or shaky and your observations through a Scope to be almost impossible without the aid of a bulky cumbersome tripod or an attached mono-pod. People flinch, wiggle and shake while attempting to take pictures, or videos and even viewing things through a scope. The Stedi Stock® will assist in overcoming those human tendencies and provide you with pictures and videos of a professional nature. This simple multitasking device also provides stable images when viewing wildlife or nature through a Spotting Scope on the go. 

The new technology is also rapidly changing with even faster auto focusing capabilities, and higher resolutions capabilities to catch the fast pace moving speeds of outdoor sports and wildlife.  The problem with most camera stabilization systems which have been on the market for some time is that they are more fixed mounts, meaning the operator has to take the time to unscrew and move the camera from a shoulder mount to tri-pod or other device in order to resume shooting.  These outdated systems severely limit the ability to capture the action from the beginning to the end, and they still cost several hundred and up to and over a $1000.  Just imagine filming a flock of geese coming in for a landing, then being able to take perfectly stable shots as they swim in the water and quickly pan upward when the take back off without ever having to unscrew the video camera to move from a shoulder mount to a tri-pod and back to a shoulder mount.   It is no wonder why so many professional video crews on The Sportsman Channel now use the Stedi Stock® exclusively to capture those quick moving wildlife shots.

The Stedi Stock® is just not for sportsman, it is designed to attach to any camera, video camera, or other device using the standard ¼-20 threaded insert.    The versatility of the Stedi Stock® and the various options make it quickly interchangeable to catch the action.  Whether you ‘re  an avid outdoorsman,  a bird watcher, professional photographer, or just dad wanting to catch the action at your sons little league game, the Stedi Stock® will give you the professional edge for all your photos at a price anyone can afford.

The Stedi Stock® gives you "STABILITY WITH MOBILITY".

Stedi Stock® Black is the original Stedi Stock® Camera, Range Finder, Spotting Scope or Video Camera Shoulder Brace. Shoulder Stabilizer that is ultra-light weight (6 ounces), durable (constructed of Hi-Strength Nylon) complete with shoulder Strap. Gives the user STABILITY with MOBILITY and keeps your optical device right there for instant use. Take the blur out of your photos, Get a bounce back at longer ranges with fewer clicks on your Range Finder, Carry your Spotting Scope with you in the field without a bulky cumbersome Tripod, and take the BOUNCE out of your Videos.  You can run over the Stedi Stock® with your pickup truck and not damage it, it is just that durable and it is American Made!


Included with the shoulder brace for $29.95

1) Stedi Stock® Stabilizer Brace, this is the stock shape one piece main part used to attach the camera or optical part to.  It is comfortable light weight and rest against the shoulder just like a gun stock does.

2) Attachment Handle has ¼-20 male screw top for standard cameras and optical devices.  The handle is cone shaped with an open end to slide over the Quick Release cone below.  The handle can be used with or without the Stedi Stock®

3) Shoulder Strap

4) Nylon nut to assemble unit for storage.


·         Weight: 6 ounces

·         Length: 14 inches

·         Height: 4-1/4 Inches

·         Width: 1 Inch

Adjustable: Allows eye relief adjustment at three locations, depending upon the individual and the optical device attached.  The Stedi Stock® has three mounting holes allowing the camera or optical device to be up close for a child or out further for an adult, or when using a video camera with a side mounted screen.

Construction: Super Tough Nylon, don’t be fooled by the simplistic design.  This is not one of those “seen of TV” products made of cheap plastic.  The Stedi Stock® is one tough product; you can run over it with your pickup truck pick it back up and go do more action.

Details of the various component options available in the Stedi Stock® combo packs


The quick release is a cone shape device with a female threaded bottom. The Quick Release will attach to any Mono-Pod, regular camera tripod, or window clamp mount that has a standard 1/4 x 20 camera thread.

 The female cone handle on the Stedi Stock® quickly slides over the Quick Release male cone allowing the user to quickly drop the Stedi Stock® on to the cone and instantly have a stable, yet easy side to side turning radius to pan and catch a moving object moving horizontally. If that object then takes off the user can simply pick the Stedi Stock®  off the Quick Release and continue filming or snapping the shutter.   This allows the user to have rigid stability and still be able to pan smoothly without having to loosen any adjustment screws, or take the eye of the optical device in order to look down for a release mechanism.  It also allows the user to immediately revert to shoulder use at a moment’s notice to catch the action.


The Rifle rest simply slips over the quick release and works great with a Mono-Pod which not only doubles as a support for your optical device, a shooting Stick, but will serve as a walking stick in rough terrain.  Attach a lanyard to your Mono-pod and always have it handy when you are afield.  It will also function great for those super large Telephoto lenses on the 35mm SLR's.

The Rifle rest is a perfect adapted item for the disabled or senior hunter who is unable to steady a gun for a perfect shot, but also is good for the long range shot using a high powered scoped riffle on a mono-pod.

Also use it in conjunction with the Super Clamp on a bench or in a deer blind to provide a non-marring rest.

Super Clamp

A large clamp that will attach to a fence post, deck railing, pipe fence, car door, tailgate, tree limb or anything that the jaws will accept up to 4-1/2" for a light-weight, stable platform without the weight and bulk of a tripod.   The clamp is made from aluminum, with rubberized and plastic covers to protect finishes.  The device has a threaded hole on the top and on the side to position your device in either position.  It comes with a double ball swivel with the ¼-20 camera mount thread on top.  This allows you to swivel and clamp your device at virtually any angle from the top or side even if the clamp is not level.  The term “window mount” comes from a clamp designed to mount on a car window door glass top or door frame, so that the driver or passenger can sit and view from a range finder or scope or take pictures from a car or truck seat.


A one piece collapsible pole that quickly opens up to 67-1/2”, or it can be locked at any height in between for sitting standing or uneven terrain.   The Mono-pod has a rotatable ball foot base with a metal point to keep it from slipping on different surfaces.   On the top it has the standard ¼-20 thread insert for cameras and other optical devices, as well as the Stedi Stock® Quick Release cone.  The Mono-pod comes with a comfortable foam grip handle and wrist lanyard, making it an ideal walking stick.  It is made of sturdy light weight aluminum, yet weighing only 13 Oz it is light enough to hook onto a neck lanyard for ready access. When the Mono-pod is collapsed it measures only 21” making it easy to fit into a back pack.  The Mono-pod design has become popular as a replacement to the traditional tripod because it is less bulky to carry, requires no set up and leveling, and can be used for other purposes along the way, such as a walking stick.  Sorry we only sell the Mono-pod as part of the Stedi Stock® combo packs.

Stedi Stock® Stabilizer Brace $29.95

Includes the Stedi Stock® shoulder brace with attachment handle (has ¼-20 male screw top for standard cameras and optical devices), and shoulder strap

Quick Release Combo  $39.95

Includes the Stedi Stock® shoulder brace with attachment handle (has ¼-20 male screw top for standard cameras and optical devices), shoulder strap, the Quick Release cone and the Riffle Rest

MONO-POD Combo Package  $79.95

Includes the Stedi Stock® shoulder mount with the Monopod, Quick Release Attachment and the Quick Rifle Rest

SUPERCOMBO Package  $99.95

Includes the Stedi-Stock shoulder mount (available in black or camo) with the Quick Release Attachment, the SuperClamp, mono-pod and the Quick Rifle Rest

The mono-pod is imported, all other components including the Stedi-Stock are proudly made in America!

All prices are based on black a Camo® Swirl option is also available.

Purchase the Stedi Stock® at

FrostGuard Garden Plant Frost Protector

FrostGuard Garden Plant Frost Protector

This exciting new breakthrough for gardeners allows earlier garden plantings and late fall frost protection of mature producing plants. Just imagine having a month jump start on the planting season and another month at the end of your normal garden season. Take the stress out of worrying about when the last frost will occur before setting out your tender vegetable plants, or when to cover for a potential early fall frost.

Gardeners who have used FrostGuard note more robust and quicker growing plants next to ones they didn’t use FrostGuard on.

S.W. of Fredericksburg, Ohio writes “ I was so impressed with your FrostGaurds. I planted three head of lettuce under FrostGuards and three without. The ones with FrostGuards were twice as tall and ready two weeks earlier with no waste”.

As the cost of plants and more unpredictable weather patterns increase, gardening is becoming a risky annual adventure. Milk jugs, styrofoam covers, and blankets have been used for years for frost protection. If the wind and rain doesn’t create havoc, just leave the cover on a bit too long during the morning and end up baking your plants. Blankets become wet with a heavy dew or frost, and then drying them out before it rains is always a challenge. Styrofoam covers used on rose plants break easily, and are very expensive to replace every time one becomes damaged.

FrostGuard is made from high quality polyethylene. FrostGuard is designed to easily stack for storage without creating an air lock for easy separation. The bases are designed to be staked down to protect in windy conditions. FrostGuard provides years of frost protection at a relative low initial cost.

The FrostGuard white translucent cover allows sunlight, yet not enough to burn your plants. Adjustable vents on top enable temperature and humidity control. The screened ventilation system keeps pests such as slugs, worms, birds, and aphids from infesting the plants, so FrostGaurd provides protection all around, making organic gardening easier. The tops remove easily for watering, yet watering needs are less when the moister is trapped and controlled humidity.

FrostGaurd measures 15” tall and 13” wide at the base.

FrostGaurd is an Amish made product and although it has been used in the Amish communities only two companies now offer it on line. Cottage Craft Works is one of those companies and you can purchase FrostGaurd at

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Books on all topics of self-sufficient living

If you are worried about the economy and world financial affairs, or just seeking to find a more frugal way to live, Cottage Craft Works now offers one of the most comprehensive selections of self-sufficient books, in fact over 200 quality books written by renowned experts. Select from a wide variety of authors and books on each subject of self-sufficiency. Learn how to prepare the soil, plant the corps, manage the weeds and pest all organically. Extended your growing season with poly tunnels, learn how to raise livestock, care for them, monitor them and treat diseases naturally.

All types of how-to-books are available on sustainable agriculture, livestock, veterinary, specialty crops, food & drink, self-sufficient business incomes, marketing self-sufficient products, homesteading skills, nature & environment, alternative medicines, organic gardening, food preserving, making soaps, beekeeping, making maple syrup, growing grapes & fruits, making wine, sustainable ranching, growing herbs, alternative energy and even more are now available throughout this unique back-to-basics online country store.

Learn how to build solar and energy efficient and off grid homes. Learn how to make your own cheese, butcher livestock & wild game, grow your own grains, grow and process your own food, the list of available books and topics just goes on. You would have to search for days and maybe even weeks to find the amount of informative self-sufficient topic books, now available at Cottage Craft Works.

Cottage Craft Works is a full line back-to-basics general store providing high quality products to those seeking a simpler self-sufficient lifestyle. Most of the products are American made in small factories, and cottage based business from the American Heartland. Many of the products are Amish handcrafted from the Amish communities in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. Old fashioned products that are still being made today, to become tomorrow’s family heirlooms.

To learn more or to view the wide range of back-to basic self sufficient products and books, visit

Cottage Craft Works Top Posts:

Search This Blog

CCW Blog Topics