If you get green wood off a tree, make sure to dry it first. de-bark it, and apply a sealant (varnish, wax, etc.) to the ends.
Step 1: Materials and tools.
(murphy carver: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=53890&cat=1,130,43332,43339)
(flexcut detail knife: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=31090&cat=1,130,43332,43393)
strop with stropping compound (sort of optional, if you don't mind having dull knives...)
Gloves(also optional... helps with gripping the stick and protects your hands
Leather lap apron(optional. it helps protect your knees and legs if you are carving while sitting with the stick in your lap. i have a few pairs of pants with holes in them from before i got one of these...http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=55073&cat=1,130,43332)
Chisels(optional. they help quite a bit when you're carving things... you can do a lot of things that are hard to do or impossible with a knife with chisels.)
Step 2: Get a stick.
check to make sure there is no rotten patches on the wood you are about to take. if you are cutting a branch from a tree, make sure you know which branch you want so that you don't have to cut off another one. If you see a bird's nest avoid the branch it's on, and try not to disturb it. If you see a branch that you would like to get in the future put a marker of some sort on it (brightly coloured tape, a piece of rope, string, etc.) and return later.
Also, make sure the wood you get is sturdy enough to be used as a cane or staff.
Step 3: Removing the bark
if there is brown residue on the stick from the bark you will have to use your knife to shave it off.
Cut the stick to the length you want your staff or cane to be.
Step 4: Round out the tips of the staff or cane.
Step 5: Sanding
Step 6: Carving designs, faces, animals, etc. into the staff or cane.
find a drawing of an animal, design, or a face(or you can draw your own) and copy it onto the staff in a way so that you can carve it into the staff.
you can find many ideas on the internet simply by searching "carved staff" in a search engine such as google.
I haven't posted a picture for this one because i haven't decided what to do with my staff yet....
make sure to keep your knife sharp and clean for this.
Step 7: Finishing
I left mine natural because i am going to carve it once i decide what to carve into it. i will probably leave it natural then anyway, because there are some nice looking knots, and "imperfections" in the grain of the wood that i like(picture below). =)