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Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills [Paperback]

Raleigh Briggs
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 1 2009 DIY
Raleigh Briggs collects her zines, illustrations, and thoughts around what it is that makes a great DIY household—homemade cleaning solvents that aren't made from poison, herbs that will heal you, and how to setup a great garden. These tips and tricks fill in the gaps for those of us longing to live this lifestyle but lacking the necesary know-how.

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Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills + Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World
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Product Description


"I recommend using Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills by Raleigh Briggs as one of your go-to references. This hand-illustrated book offers simple, practical skills that anyone can learn and apply to everyday life ... One of the features I love most about this book is its conversational and witty tone. Briggs is never condescending and instead inspires the reader to better his or her life with his simple tutorials. Briggs also urges readers to be safe and offers helpful advice for every step of the way. Even though some of the recipes call for uncommon ingredients, I constantly refer to this book when I’m looking for natural and sustainable answers for my home."  —Natural Home Magazine

"From gardening to essential oils, Raleigh included it all! Not to mention the fact that the book is beautifully handwritten and illustrated. I often get my tips from the internet, but Raleigh’s book is wonderful to leave in the kitchen or bathroom as an instant recipe book and guide. A definite must-have starting guide for anyone interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle."—Best Selling Book

“A nifty little book filled with DIY health and home remedies for those who may be looking to avoid spending a fortune at the supermarket and/or be more environmentally friendly. Plenty of insightful tips on first aid, body care, home and gardening, most of which I can see myself using in the future (especially when I start my garden or begin taking better care of myself, whichever happens first). This book reads like a helpful journal written by a friendly and knowledgeable guy, who I envisioned having dreads and a big beard (my apologies to Raleigh Briggs if this is not at all what you actually look like). Each page is meant to look handwritten, with clever illustrations accompanying each topic. One chapter I found to be of particular interest explained what different herbs can do for your mental and physical health. For example, licorice root can help cure hypothyroidic depression. I immediately stocked up on Twizzlers in case I ever get hypothyroidically depressed. An infinitely interesting read that could be beneficial to the reader, and, on a somewhat larger scale, the planet.”—Razorcake

About the Author

Raleigh Briggs is an herbalist, potion maker, DIY homemaker, and the author of Herbal First Aid, How to Make Soap, and Nontoxic Housecleaning. She lives in Seattle.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars make your place Feb. 16 2012
By laura
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is great, it has so many recipes that actually work and don't take all kinds of obscure or ridiculously expensive ingredients. The essential oils do tend to be a bit pricey but you don't have to get them all at once and once you do have them they last a long time.
The one thing thats a bit different about it is the lay out it's kind of a scrap book type layout with sketches and "hand written". It's not necessarily bad just takes some getting used to.
I love that this book isn't preachy and I love how in the section on depression it didn't tell people not to take anti-depressants. It bothers me at health food stores when they tell you to stop taking your medication when they have no clue about your situation and have clearly never had severe clinical depression. Anyway sorry for the rant, but if you do have depression this is a great book that will not tell you your wrong or that you don't really need your medication.
Anyway a great book if you want some great recipes without the holier than though attitude you sometimes get with this type of book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fun read, although limited in scope April 8 2012
By CanadianMother TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This little volume is unique in that the author, Raleigh Briggs, has not only illustrated the book, but written the entire text in her own handwriting. This gives the book a casual, quirky style that makes for a fun read.

Make Your Place tries to show the reader that we can all take care of ourselves, our homes and our gardens without the use of expensive and/or toxic products from the grocery store or pharmacy. The book is divided into three main sections: Health and First Aid, in which Raleigh gives information on using a variety of herbal remedies; Non Toxic Cleaning and Body Care, in which she lists her personal recipes for different cleaning tasks; and Gardening, where she gives tips on cheap organic gardening, which she calls "the greatest nesting skill on Earth."

I really enjoyed reading this book--all three sections of the book gave me loads of ideas for things I'd like to try. However, I will say that this book is not comprehensive, but more like a jumping off point for those interested in the self-sufficient lifestyle. For example, the book gives Raleigh's personal recipe for homemade deodorant--but I have seen many other different recipes on the Internet that might be equally good, so I would likely do a bit of research before I decided to make the recipe listed here.

However, for someone who is just getting started with making their own household products, this book would be nice, because it assumes the reader has no prior knowledge and lays everything out clearly. It's easy to understand, and as I previously said it's a fun book to read. I would recommend this book to anyone newly interested in making their own natural products for home and garden.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  79 reviews
180 of 184 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dozens of people ask where I got this book! July 27 2009
By Aliza Sollins - Published on
In July 2009, I demonstrated various urban sustainability projects at a festival in Baltimore City. This book was part of my natural, homemade cleaning supplies display. Dozens of people picked up the book and were very curious to know where I got it. They all wanted to purchase it right then and there. I wished I had contacted Raleigh or Microcosm Publishing to become a distributor!

Throughout the day, many people asked me for natural ways to get rid of pests, clean different types of surfaces, etc. and I often picked up the book and turned right to Raleigh's very detailed Table of Contents. How to get rid of fleas? Clean wood floors? Make liquid dish soap? It's all right there.

From gardening to essential oils, Raleigh included it all! Not to mention the fact that the book is beautifully handwritten and illustrated. I often get my tips from the internet, but Raleigh's book is wonderful to leave in the kitchen or bathroom as an instant recipe book and guide.

A definite must-have starting guide for anyone interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle.
87 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Wonderful May 6 2010
By FroggyMama - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love books, and have collected quite a library of volumes relating to my varied interests. Some of those interests are natural/herbal health care, natural body care, "green" household cleaning, and urban homesteading. All of those books in my library have one or more of the same ideas contained in this little volume. Yet for some reason, I absolutely love this book. It may be the awkward but adorable handwriting complete with heart-dotted i's, reminding me of my middle school diary. It could be the cute illustrations, with flowers that talk and bubble letter titles, or the little flowers and stars that emphasize the text. I have rarely read a book of this type that uses words like "nast" and "barf", or describes how to deal with crabs or yeast infections with such aplomb. And really, while it may contain recipes and ideas I have found in many other places, it also has some very new ideas that I enjoyed with surprise. All in all, I have the strangest feeling that this book will see more use in my house than several other more comprehensive volumes in my library, and I know that I will have fun in the process.
52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Feel Like the Low Reviewers Were the Author's Old Teachers.. July 8 2011
By Absolem - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For anybody who is wondering, this book was published by Microcosm Publishing, a DIY and punk rock publishing house. Keep this in mind when coming across "offensive" terms and phrases. Quite frankly though, I found none. I did however find this book to be extensively useful and reader friendly.
The articles are all hand written in very neat penmanship, all the illustrations are hand drawn, and everything in the book has been tried out first by the author. There are three sections in the book Health and First Aid, Nontoxic Cleaning and Body Care, and Gardening. The first section includes directions on how to make tinctures and salves, a list of herbs that are antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral, and also a list of which herbs and essential oils to avoid if pregnant. More useful than you know. The second section is a combination of replacements for bleach, Clorox and the like, and then recipes for herbal shampoos and whatever else you might call body care. The last section is pretty self explanatory. Gardening without choking up the ground with a jug of Wal-Mart bought chemicals. Chapters include composting, space managing and fertilizing.
I personally found the First Aid section most useful, and most tailored to my needs. This book is very informative and well worth the money. It doesn't take up a load of space (roughly 7 x 5 inches and half an inch thick, 125 pages), it goes over personal safety at the beginning of the book and includes a further reading section (more DIY punk rock goodness) at the back.

It isn't lofty or pompous, or some 100% organic and natural twerpy, skinny assed vegan kid preaching some rhetoric they heard in their college dorm. I think it is well written and friendly, there isn't any political commentary slipped in between instructions on how to turn crunchy dried things into medicinal liquid (which is more rare than you would believe). It's a good book if you are interested in an alternative way to keep yourself and your home healthy and clean.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great little book Jan. 8 2011
By Lori Ann - Published on
This book is a little smaller than I expected but that's not a bad thing -- it's a portable size to keep handy when you need to look something up. It's got three (all handwritten & hand-drawn) sections, one on health/beauty, one for household cleaning, and one on gardening/composting. I found the gardening/composting section most helpful with all its detailed tips and really practical hints. Trellising, sprouting, and good garden-buddies to plant together or in rotation. I was really impressed with the depth of the information in this section.

I didn't get much out of the other two sections, but I'm already pretty into making my own cleaning supplies and don't keep around near as many ingredients as this book's recipes call for (so many different essential oils, for example). So it wasn't the make-me-a-better-housewife book I expected in that regard -- mostly just cream, spray, etc. recipes. But, if you don't already have your favorite recipes for, say, a window cleaner, or an ointment for a cut, you can get them here, and they look good too!
39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine and recommended read for anyone who wants to make their life a little smoother and more enjoyable Aug. 8 2009
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Some skills are just good to have. "Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable, Nesting Skills" is a collection of simple and effective skills to improve one's life around the house. The skills range from dealing with the simple messes, to the injuries one faces in life, to dealing with menstrual-cycle induced bad moods. "Make Your Place" is a fine and recommended read for anyone who wants to make their life a little smoother and more enjoyable.
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