Unusual Mushroom

I found this unusual wild mushroom growing on the side of my home. It cropped out of the rocks and grew up against the siding. It is just so weird-looking and has stained black powder on the ground and wall of the outside of the house.

Black Ink Mushroom

Maybe it was just leftover from Halloween because this creature is sure strange and scary looking!


Recycle Wooden Pallets into Bookshelves

Here is some useful ideas on how to recycle old wooden pallets into bookshelves, wine holders and photo displays.

Just 3 cuts down the wooden pallet and a few finishing touches and you have some very nice shelves to hold books, toys, wine, photos, and just about anything else that will fit on the shelves.

You can find the original post about this idea at Me and Madeline which has more photos and details.

I just thought this was such a quick and easy way to recycle old wood pallets into repurposed shelves that I wanted to share it here at My Useful Ideas!


Yarrow Tincture

This post is part 2 of my harvesting of wild yarrow. In this post I will show how I made yarrow tincture. In my original wild yarrow post, I showed the wild yarrow that I harvested around my wooded property. I shared that a herbal tincture could be made from the wild plant. Now I will go one step further and show you exactly how I made my yarrow tincture.

Once the yarrow flowers and stems were harvested, I rinsed them off gently and chopped them up on a cutting board. Next I added my wild yarrow flowers and stems to an alcohol solution. I used some 80 proof cheap vodka and covered my cut up flowers and stems. I placed it all in a small recycled glass jar as shown and put the lid on the jar. I shook the jar at least once daily and kept it in a dark cupboard for 6 weeks. Add more alcohol as needed to keep the mix covered well in the jar.

After 6 weeks I strained out the yarrow pieces from the liquid. I used a jelly canning straining sock but you can use cheesecloth also. Squeeze out any remaining liquid from the plant pieces Continue Reading →


Wild Yarrow

Yarrow is a useful healing herb that grows wild. It is know as Soldier’s Woundwort and Knight’s Milfoil as it was used on the battlefield to stop bleeding and encourage healing. The scientific name for the herb is Achillea millefolium named after Achilles from the ancient Greek Trojan war legend.

The herb has been used for everything from controlling bleeding of wounds and nosebleeds to chewing it for toothaches. Tea can be made from the wild herb to help with sleeplessness and is a helpful fever reducer.

A tincture can be made from the plant by chopping up the flowers and leaves. Continue Reading →


Vintage Vinegar Egg Tip

I recently posted a tip for easier peeling of hard boiled eggs that I personally found useful. It makes the shells softer and the peeling of the hard-boiled egg much easier.

I was pleasantly surprised to come across a vintage Gallaher cigarette tip card that was promoting the same handy idea that I posted. Gallaher brand cigarettes included a type of trading card which included tips which even today seem timeless.

Vinegar Egg Tip Card

These early trading cards not only included useful tips but cigarette cards were known to depicted actors, military heros, sports figures, and other famous people. The cards were very collectible Continue Reading →