BDS Book Festival – Make Your Place and Make It Last + a Chat with Raleigh Briggs

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: November 24, 2020
BDS Book Festival – Make Your Place and Make It Last + a Chat with Raleigh Briggs

Every once in a while I will come across an author that simply charms the heck out of me. Such is the case with todays entry in the Backdoor Survival Book Festival.

Today I am very excited to introduce you to Raleigh Briggs, the author of Make It Last: Prolonging + Preserving the Things We Love and Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills. Oh my gosh – you are going to love these books and of course, one lucky ready will have an opportunity to win a copy of each of these two books.

Make it last & Make your place - Small

So why do I love these books so much? First of all, they are hand written and hand illustrated. See what I mean by charming? But beyond that, it is what is under the covers that counts.

These books are chock full of tips and how-to’s covering everything from health and first aid to household cleaning, to gardening, repairing clothes and fixing all kinds of things around the home. Have a leaky faucet? The Make It Last book will tell you how. Need to wash your hair but are out of shampoo? Make Your Place will show you how.

Make Your Place Inside Pages

I could go on and on but why not turn things over to Raleigh so she can put things in to her own words? Enjoy Raleigh and what she has to say then be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.

A Chat with Raleigh Briggs

My books are Make It Last: Prolonging + Preserving the Things We Love and Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills. Both are how-to books focusing on DIY domestic skills.

Make Your Place covers herbal remedies, making nontoxic house cleaners, and gardening. Make It Last focuses on home repair, food preservation, and mending clothes. For each book, I spent about a year or two researching, testing recipes, and writing. Both books are hand-written and illustrated by me.

I am hardly the first author to write about DIY skills, so I had plenty of resources at my disposal. I spent a lot of time at the library, and I then supplemented my findings with careful internet research. Then, I tested out the techniques I discovered and made adjustments as I saw fit.

I love learning new skills, so it was exciting to be able to share them through my writing. But also, I wanted to be an advocate for self-education and reclaiming the skills a lot more of us used to have. The skills the books cover are especially helpful if you’re trying to save money or want to be a more conscious consumer.

And they’re fun, too!

The Book Giveaway

A copy of each of Raleigh’s two books have been reserved for one lucky reader. Here is this week’s quiz question (you know how I like to make you think!).

What is your favorite, tried and true, nesting skill?

To enter the giveaway, you need to answer this question by responding in the comments area at the end of this article. The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced in the following Sunday Survival Buzz. He or she will have 48 hours to claim the winning books.

Note: If you are reading this article in your email client, you must go to the Backdoor Survival website to enter this giveaway in the comments area at the bottom of the article.

summer book festival 2013_04

The Final Word

My love affair with salves continues and Raleigh offers up a DIY herbal salve that I just have to try. And then there is a section on fixing a non-cooperating zipper. Who has not had that happen to them at precisely the wrong moment. Like I said, useful, practical stuff that, in all of its quirkiness, is a delight to read.

I hope you will enter the giveaway – I just wish that I could give a copy to everyone!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Facebook which is updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or link to a free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon. You can also follow Backdoor Survival on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Spotlight Items: Make It Last: Prolonging + Preserving the Things We Love

This is a practical guide to prolonging the lives of cherished items in the home. Tips for mending clothing, preserving the harvest from a home garden, drying herbs and meat, and other money-saving ideas are accompanied by humorous handwritten anecdotes and illustrations. This manual is a treasured addition to the library of anyone interested in keeping costs down, being more self-sufficient, and cultivating new skills.

Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills

This little book is a charming collection of 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 necessary know-how.

Bargain Bin: Listed below are all of the books in the current Backdoor Survival Book Festival. There are both fiction and non-fiction titles and a bit of something for everyone.owl reading book


Backyard Cuisine: Bringing Foraged Food to Your Table
Home Remedies
Living on the Edge: A Family’s Journey to Self-Sufficiency
Make It Last: Prolonging + Preserving the Things We Love
Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills
The Pocket Guide to Wild Mushrooms: Helpful Tips for Mushrooming in the Field
Good Clean Food
The Amazing 2000-Hour Flashlight
Recipes and Tips for Sustainable Living
The People’s Apocalypse
Go Green, Spend Less, Live Better


Going Home: A Novel of Survival (The Survivalist Series)
Surviving Home: A Novel (The Survivalist Series)
Expatriates: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse
The Border Marches
Rivers: A Novel
After the Blackout
The End: A Postapocalyptic Novel (The New World Series)
The Long Road: A Postapocalyptic Novel (The New World Series)
3 Prepper Romances: Escape To My Arms, plus 2 other e-books (your choice)
Prepper Pete Prepares: An Introduction to Prepping for Kids


The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
Escaping Home: A Novel (The Survivalist Series)
Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival


Emergency Essential Monthly 2

Emergency Essential Order Jul 2013_03

The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more. I have a monthly budget and each month I add a bit more FD products to my long term storage – always making my selection from sale items.

There are a lot new items that are put on sale each month – be sure to take a look.

Note: I earn a small commission on your purchase making this a great way to support Backdoor Survival which will always be free to everyone.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials


I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here.

The Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items
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Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


Just released! My new eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage will provide you with everything you need to create an affordable food storage plan, including what to buy and how to store it. Nothing scary and nothing overwhelming – you really can do this!

Now available at Amazon.

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48 Responses to “BDS Book Festival – Make Your Place and Make It Last + a Chat with Raleigh Briggs”

  1. My family seem to think that my cooking is aces. I guess my tried and true nesting skill is my cooking. It feeds my family good food and sustains us with what we have.

  2. I would have to say my baking skills. I love baking and started when I was 9 or 10. I love trying new recipes and always get asked to make more.

  3. I am fairly good at fixing things don’t if this is a skill or just not afraid to tear into something to see if I can fix it rather than throw it away and buy a new one. To me it is broke already so how can I hurt it??? Then again I grew up in the time when you had to fix stuff we couldn’t afford to buy new stuff if something looked fixable. Some may call this being a “cheap” we called it survival.

  4. Making sure where we are nesting has lots of comfort food and a cozy fire going in the fireplace…lest we forget…plenty of chocolate!!

  5. Even though I am a guy, I do most of the food prep. in my family. My daughters have learned a lot of my skills. I learned to cook and prepare food at age 6 because my mom was not healthy enough to do it all the time. So that is one skill I learned along with the guy thing of learning to repair most of the things that break in a kitchen. Been doing it for 50+ years.

  6. I grew up in a family that preserved a large garden, smoking meats, repairing the clothes and house. I am very pleased that we survive with the very basic living skills. It brings confidence and comfort to all of us.

  7. Cooking is my…no our favorite nesting skill….The fragrance of breads, stews, chili, desserts wrap around my kitchen and home and when my son and grandson walk in, they smile as the intoxicating scents engulf them…No need for air fresheners with cinnamon apple pie or artisan bread or garlic breads to make us feel loved and cozy.

  8. I have long been a gardner…even before “prepping” became a thing of interest. I raise a fairly large veggie garden and I love knowing what I am eating and where it came from!!

  9. Gosh, I have to list a favorite? LOL! Having raised three children, gardened, cooked, cleaned, raised animals for pleasure and food, built a cabin, building a house, ran an in-home day-care, worked more than one job outside the home at a time, sewn clothes, yardsaled, and other skills too numerous to mention, I would have to say that my favorite nesting skill is being well-organized. The best homemaker is an organized homemaker. How else can you do numerous jobs, kids, cooking, gardening, canning, and everything else if you don’t know what you’re doing, how long it will take, where the objects required to complete the tasks are stored, and let’s not forget, as preppers, a well-stocked and organized pantry! 🙂

  10. My favorite nesting skill is sewing. If I had a dedicated sewing room I would sew everyday. I have to say I don’t think it is a highly practical or economical nesting skill. I sew because I love it and it makes me feel good.

    My second favorite “skill”, which is probably much more practical and useful, is my herb garden, and dried herbs.

  11. My favorite nesting skill would be cooking. You can’t beat the feeling of providing balanced and good tasting meals for your family.

  12. Favorite nesting skill-Making wherever our family is feel like home. Being together and remembering past activities while making new memories of whatever we are doing together today.

  13. Being able to cook from scratch, and not cooking from scratch.(I hope you know what I mean) Being able to do it both ways is best I believe. Able to fix things without calling people to do it. Being an electrician helps, and making do with what you have. This is imbred to us Southerners. I like it

  14. Just recently it has been my cooking skills. Just switched to Paleo eating and have expanded my food and cooking style.

  15. I have mad fire making skills. Regardless of the weather, I seem to have a knack for starting the fire and keeping it alive. I practice for fun and to show off to my grandaughter.

  16. Repairing or repurposing broken or non working items. Never throw away something just because it no longer works for what it was made for! (Did you know that a non-working microwave oven makes a good Faraday cage?)

  17. I’m afraid I don’t really have a nesting skill. But I can do a little bit of everything & I’ve got a good library of resources.

  18. I have 3 favorites, and they seem to be my family’s favs too.
    1-cooking, they all check the stove and fridge when they walk in.
    2-sewing, I do it for a living and to relax.

  19. i would say that my skills with raising backyard animals, watering systems and gardening are my aces in the hole.

  20. My husband & I took on the adventure of soap-making! And we love it! Not only do we make bar soap but we make our own laundry soap, dishwasher detergent, hand pump cleaner & foam pump hand cleaners. But the very best thing is the interest that our grown children have shown. They are now beginning to dabble in the creative arts as well! Thank you Gaye, for all the wonderful instructions!

  21. Once our 4 children became of the age to go to school, my wife went back to full time employment. My chosen profession only required me to work 3 months a year, so the rest of the year, I was the chief cook and bottle washer. I have always enjoyed cooking, so I would say this is my nesting skill.

  22. Old skill – sewing. I’ve done a fair amount, more when my kids were little and less since I’ve been working full time. However, retirement is on the horizon, so one of the 1st things I plan on doing is figuring out how to use the treadle sewing machine I picked up at a garage sale a couple of years back!
    New skill – about a year ago, I got a pressure canner. This past summer, I canned some of the corn from our garden, and have been canning other things also.

  23. For the holidays, I have an “open-house” essentially. There are a few people that I’ve invited to stop by for Christmas Eve, if they wish to just sit and gab and enjoy some baked goodies ……not sure what.. yet, and hot drinks. I did this last year and 5 people stopped by… was nice. It was very casual…..Christmas music in the background ( could barely hear it by the time everyone was in and talking).
    So I guess this nest is just a comfortable place.

    • oops I didn’t mean to comment a second time. However, can I comment a 2nd time if i also have you on facebook, or is that cheating? If I reply to someones comment is that considered another entry?

    • In this case, only one entry will count. If there are duplicates from someone who is NOT trying to cheat, I simply duplicate the extra in my email so no worries. Everyone once in awhile, the same person will enter using slightly different email address but with the same ISP and IP address. In that case, I eliminate both entries.

      Some giveaways will tell you to come back and make a second entry telling me you “liked” BDS on FB. The rules change from giveaway to giveaway 🙂

  24. Inviting neighbors ( practically strangers ) over for one of the holidays and not catering to them. They come, I have things ready for them to help themselves and we sit and talk about just anything…..while listening to some music or having a holiday DVD running at low volume, unless someone is interested in watching. It’s better then spending Christmas alone….ya know? This year, I”ll decorate a bit more.

  25. My most enjoyable nesting skill is knitting. Most practical is cooking from scratch. I really enjoy hay box cooking and used it to make beef stew when we lost power after Hurricane Sandy. It was thrilling to see my sister-in-law’s jaw drop when I pulled the piping hot beef stew out of our hay box that I had made earlier that day. She thought she was getting reheated canned food, but she was treated to the homemade stuff even though we had no electricity.

  26. Baking bread. I can make many different kinds but my current favourite is a soda bread (no yeast so it is relatively quick) which I can make entirely from shelf stable ingredients.

  27. You’re right! That is a hard question to answer; as I’m sure we all have multiple nesting skills. For me, organization and sewing would be my best. Also, I am always looking for new ideas to share with my mission in Uganda.

  28. My nesting skills vary depending on the situation. I can sew, cook and build anything you need. My skills run from fixing cars to electrical and plumbing. I also can hunt and prep wild game.

  29. What do you mean by “nesting skill”? What is “nesting” to you? My first thought was make a nest type pile with which to start a fire, does that count?

  30. I’m still trying to determine my useful skills, but would probably go with developing a library of different topics for additional research and reminders.

  31. I would say my best nesting skill is my resourcefulness. Normally, I can make a meal, preserve food and fix most anything with the barest of materials. I try to read and learn everything I can so as to be an asset instead of a liability.

  32. I would have to say my favorite nesting skill is cooking comfort food from scratch.
    I am also proficient at keeping the house in repair, but it is not necessarily a favorite skill. That and I am the designated wood stove operator. (I have been attempting to delegate keeping the fire burning to almost anyone else, but I am having trouble finding “takers”.)

  33. My family had a small farm and chores were a normal everyday activity. My parents would fix things many times before getting something new. on at least 2 ocations our truck broke the fan V-Belt. my dad would ask for my moms pantiehose and we would proceed on our way. Mom not to happy but pleased we were on our way. this “fix it around the farm” attitude is probably my number 1.

  34. My nesting instincts have significantly slowed down from when I was raising 4 girls, taking care of the home, tending a vegie garden, cooking, baking, creating holiday family events… for over 30yrs. Things done while raising children….you know? Now my nest is empty but my girls have picked up where I left off. They still remember special times and things I’ve forgotten. I’m happy about the memories they keep.

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