• linkedin

Another simple holiday gift

Here’s a simple holiday … and problem solver … you can build in an afternoon. You need a few sticks of wood and a pre-cut round disc you can buy at most home centers. Easy to customize to fit your—or someone else’s—needs. Start making sawdust.
5) CPRNER SJHELF Rid simple layouts (dragged) 6 CORNER) Rid simple layouts (dragged) 1

“Books, Banter & Little Bites” — July 30, Squash Blossom FarL

On July 30th (2016), I’ll be participating in a fun author event at Squash Blossom Farm. Lucie Amundsen (of “Locally Laid” eggs and same-name book fame) will be speaking about her memoir and business. I’ll build a Leopold Bench and talk about “The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects.” Teresa Marrone will be talking about her just-released book “Dishing Up Minnesota: 150 Recipes from the Land of 10,000 Lakes,” then leading a foraging hike through magical Squash Blossom Farm afterwards.

Lots more information at Facebook events page and the Squash Blossom Website click here

Teresa Marrone, author of "Dishing up Minnesota: 150 Recipes from the Land of 10,000 Lakes"

Teresa Marrone, author of “Dishing up Minnesota: 150 Recipes from the Land of 10,000 Lakes”

Lucie Amundsen of "Locally Laid" eggs and book fame.

Lucie Amundsen of “Locally Laid” eggs and book fame.

Spike Carlsen will build this Leopold Bench—then give it away to someone attending the event!!

Spike Carlsen will build this Leopold Bench—then give it away to someone attending the event!!


“Books Say Holidays Best”; a win-win-win thing

Happy cyber-book-Monday! Workman Publishing (in conjunction with my publisher) is running a WorkmanHoliday2015_1200x900_VF promotion. If you go to the link listed below and type HOLIDAY into the promo code box you’ll get 20% off. PLUS they donate a copy of their “Good & CHeap” cookbook to a person or family in need. Sort of a win-win-win thing. The link is


Heading to the Mother Earth News Fair in Topeka this weekend (Oct. 24-24, 2015)MEN crowd cropped copy Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 10.28.08 AM to give 2 presentations: One is titled “The Not To Big Dwelling” which revolves around CABIN LESSONS, doing-it-yourself and using oddball building materials to build a unique place. The second is called “Build 3 Benches in an Hour” which involves—well—you get it. It’s a great venue and great group of people. If you know anyone in the area, spread the word!! More info at

Spike’s heading to Northfield, Oct. 1; 7 pm.

Spike’s heading down to Content Bookstore in Northfield (314 Division St) to talk about “Cabin Lessons.” The event is Oct. 1st and will start at 7 p.m. Spike will discuss blending a family, writing, building on an eroding cliff and other adventures. Come on down and help spread the word.cropped-Cabin_Lessons-final_cover.jpg

UPCOMING APPEARANCES (pretty eclectic stuff!)

Here’s a list of my upcoming appearances and speaking gigs. A pretty eclectic lineup; everything from The Mother Earth News Fair to The Heartland Fal Fourm to the Twin Cities Book Festival to (huh?) a style show.Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 9.06.44 AM

Midwest Independent Bookseller spring meeting—here we come!

Kat and I are heading to the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association spring meeting in Spring Green tomorrow.



Long live indies!!

Midwest Independent Bookseller Association logo

Eight authors (including myself) will have an opportunity to make presentations about their upcoming releases, mingle and THANK THESE FOLKS FOR THE WONDERFUL WORK THEY DO!! Attached are photos of a couple of the fine folks from Valley Booksellers in Stillwater and another from a previous meeting.




Cabin Lessons here we come! (Book launch at Stillwater Public Library , May 6, 7:00!)




clamp 3 loWorking on an arch top cabinet as part of an all-in-one changing table—dresser—closet—storage chest for our soon-to-be-born 6th granddaughter. Lot harder than building square stuff, but more fun and educational, too. I’ll keep posting photos as things progress. Due date? Early May. Gonna keep cranking.

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR—one of the greatest shows on earth!

Just returned from the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, PA and have to say it was the best organized, most informative and most entertaining event I’ve been to in a decade. I was there with the gang from Storey Publications 
There were over 200 workshops and demonstrations with topics like “What the Cluck? Getting Started with Chickens,” “Live Simply so That Others Can Simply Live” (Ed Begley Jr.—remember him?), “Aquaponic Gardening,” “Eating Fresh from Farm to Table,” and “5 Simple Projects and 25 Great Tips for the Backyard Homesteader” (by yours truly). The people were friendly, the vibe was inviting and it just felt good being there. There were people selling everything from portable lumber mills to solar panels to handcrafted beers. There’s another fair in Topeka in October and—rumor has it—one is coming to WIsconsin in 2015. Check it out.

Mother Earth News Fair

Great crowd, great people, great food, great information. You know—just great.

Great crowd, great people, great food, great information. You know—just great.


I’m headed to the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania next weekend (Sept. 12-14) where I’ll be giving four presentations (“5 Projects and 25 tips in one Hour” and “How to build a Garden Cart). Featured speakers include Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms,  Ed Begley Jr. and Jesse Bloom (“What the Cluck: Getting Started on Gardening with Chickens”). Lots more information at Come on down if you’re in the neighborhood.2014-Pennsylvania-Program-Guide-for-rotator jpg