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traditional homemaking: a homemade winter! - Page 16

post #301 of 324
It's been so quiet here lately! We must all have spring fever! Just popping in for an update.

I have a new project inspired by the fact our throw pillows are everywhere in our living room and we have lots of them. So... I am sewing buttons on them and using a bit of rustic yarn (brown twine-like) and making a little handle for each. My goal is to have them all hanging up on the wall sort of like fluffy wall art.

Other than that - trying to focus on the garden soon, watching everything melt here in WI which is magical. Next weekend we have plans to open the house up, take down all the plastic and start with the spring cleaning

Hope everyone is doing well and starting to get out and enjoy the spring!
post #302 of 324
We're having the most beautiful, perfect, fabulous spring weather here. It's like gardening heaven... except our whole garden area (the one full sun area in our shady yard) is a mudhole. A swamp. O Lord. I've got so much work to do out there and I can't do it! It's not muddy when it warms up. For one thing we often have late summer droughts, and it's low elevation is actually helpful then. Plus, once the grass (and weeds... I mean, wildflowers) get going, most of the rain will be taken up into the plants before it reaches the garden anyway. But for now: muddy, muddy mess.

On to better news: my morning (hah!) sickness is now 99.9% gone, so I can actually cook again! NourishedKitchen.com has a great-looking molasses custard recipe up I'm hoping to try on one of our last cold nights. Yum.
post #303 of 324
its rainy here! almost spring like but for the odd snowflake and the fact that everyting still looks dead. if you look closely there are bulbs poking up. the side of my house is thick with new poppies and the moss is getting greener every day.

tomorrow im attending a workshop on permaculture and mushroom cultivation..then sunday is our first community garden workparty! we will fin out which plots we get and meet some of the other gardeners.

the new house is looking hopeful. im still daydreaming about how it will look when im done with it..and about my raised beds and vining plants growing all up the front and back..

oh, and im pregnant

happy almost spring!
post #304 of 324
Originally Posted by MamaFern View Post
oh, and im pregnant
Yay! Congratulations! Our little ones will only be a few weeks apart.
post #305 of 324
I love reading this thread!

Congrats APBTlover and MamaFern!

The snow is melting, work is busy and today I went and bought "fancy fabric" for DD's birthday dress! She's asked for a Cinderella type dress and she picked out indigo crepe backed satin and indigo shimmering chiffon. We had such a good time at the craft store picking out her fabric...plus I found an amazing linen that I'm going to make these super cute mama/little girl smock tops out of. Now, if I can only find the time to sew...

Working OOH tomorrow and I might get a small chance to knit on my lunch break, but other than that...just getting ready to do a huge spring clean here next week.
DH started in the basement today and we'll slowly work our way upstairs...we have de-cluttering, re-arranging, and painting to accomplish.

I was so happy, I bought our groceries at the local co-op and managed to make all of the food before the produce went bad...and made a weeks worth of meals from scratch! 3 square meals for 7 days That's a record for me.
The best was some spinach stuffed shells, yum-O!
post #306 of 324
I am jealous of the loveliness and beautiful things made with your own hands. I ended up developing trigger fingers on both hands with all the knitting (OK, yes, probably overdid it), so I need to break from it for a while. Wanted to make a lightweight summer scarf/wrap for prayers but never got to it yet. Have been sort of inward-focused. I have lost about half the weight I need to, which means I am losing at the perfect rate, and I have avoided injury, so I will be ready for the bike-riding and walking and hard outdoor work of spring. Rakes and shovels and pitchforks.

Congratulations, MamaFern! I hope all is going well.

I've been working many hours at the office/for the office for the past couple of months...and it has been timed nicely, but it has meant less time to do wonderful things at home. But I have begun discussing with my boss and planning for the spring/summer/fall, when I will not be available in the office. It should be good. I am looking forward to a great summer with the kids.

We've streamlined the farm in the past weeks. I now have just two dairy does and my small buck, a ewe flock (with a sweet, new hair sheep!) plus my special wether, and the layer hens. Emus are gone, meat goats are gone, and I decluttered the house, too. Must be manifesting season. I have placed the order for apple trees, raspberries, asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, willows, grapes...I think that might be it. I am not starting my own seed this year, but will look hard to find a good source for starts. Need to start researching that.

Dh is gone right now, and my does are getting closer to delivery, but they still look like we have a little time, so I am not going to worry too much. Dh built the milkstand before he left, my mom gave me the stainless steel from when they had the cows, so I feel more ready.

The plan for the summer, besides working hard in the gardens, milking goats and learning how to do stuff with the milk, and putting hay into the barn, is to enjoy it. We will go into town a couple days a week to catch the lunch concerts, hit the library, swim at the pool. Nothing scheduled once soccer season is done. If we can get all the perennials planted that we want to, this will be the year that really pushes it toward our vision. I am also going to ask for perennial flower donations from anyone with perennial beds. We are working on a privacy fence, which will be begin again as soon as the thaw makes it possible. All these big investments make me glad to be working.

But for today, I have ds home with me, dd is on a sleepover, and we're trying to relax a little. Might make some cookies, but we're going to the library and cleaning barn for sure. Weather is still soupy and we both have colds, so probably not too much outside today. Still, lots going on.

Spring is almost here! Like ktg, I am enchanted by the thaw...and also picking up a lot of trash.
post #307 of 324
Thread Starter 
wow, congratulations mamas!

lots of great making. i have been so busy here, getting the windows cleaned, tomorrow we're having the big trees pruned to let in lots of light, i hope, i set about with a pressure washer to remove the awful old paint off the patio and restore the grey, much better already, and i've been seriously reorganising the house. we've been very busy having friends over for dinner, going on field trips, making things, it has been pretty much non-stop. today we had our first london spring day, really warm enough to retire the wooly coats and i am so ready for this! we went to a gorgeous flower market today, i got some tall (nearly tall as me!) cherry blossom branches to stand in a window, and a few other things for the house, it is feeling better and better. i really love the sewing group, and i've not been knitting as much but have a pair of socks i must finish before my love's birthday. i am hoping to start making pottery on tuesday

ijooj, so great that you've been so committed to fitness. i've fallen off that wagon, though i am partially saved by my 4 year old finally getting really robust walking, so i'm doing a lot more walking and a lot less carrying, hurrah! but i would like to get back to yoga. i feel like some other things need to be in order first. i have been working on my animation weekly, and getting other things done...one thing at a time! the garden is calling, our tulips are growing up daily and the daffodils are about to bust out. time to plant seeds. i've put up some opaque plastic on a couple of windows, taken down a horrible mesh curtain on the building's front door + changed it for that plastic, it is much brighter and better...so we are coming along. the shed is organised, and i'll be bringing in soil for the garden. i've ordered blueberries + strawberries! exciting! i hope to really get organised to grow and preserve food this year.

we all got fountain pens yesterday, yay! we are a bit inky-fingered, but so happy to have permanent pens, no more garbage!

post #308 of 324
Congratulations APBTlover & MamaFern!!! *squeeee* for new babies!

This weekend we took advantage of the wonderful weather and headed outside to take stock of our backyard & front to see what needed to be cleaned up and begin the process removing plants which I unfortunately have little to no love for.

Our arborvitiums got hit particularly hard this winter, so we have to wrap them up, to get them straightened out once again. DH dislikes them and wants "real" tree but forgets we have a huge telephone pole with eletrical wires right above that area - so no real trees . Also the arborvitums nicely block out our neighbors window. We found and removed 2 big groupings of buckthorn, and I found 2 other little sprouts Next weekend (if the weather is good) I'll be cutting down some horribly thorny bush which is next to the kids swing set and starting to plot how to move the 2 wild rose bushes to the south side of the house where the rest of the roses I inherited (from our previous owner) and let it climb up a weather worn wooden ladder if possible.

We have to prune/trim a pear tree and begin to layout & soil test for our veggie garden too. Then its deciding what plants we want in our backyard and how to maximize enclosing our space but with natural barriers. I'm thinking tall prairie grasses. I wild tall grasses

I finished sewing buttons on another pillow and I'm getting better at it i.e. less wild stitches and not looking as messy on the backside

Working on hanging up and identifying what we want in our house to make it ours... this is harder than I thought. I'm lucky if I get 1 piece up a weekend. I'm just not sure sometimes if it too country kitchy or just crazy haphazard blending of us. I'm trying to figure out places for my belly cast and a mirror which needs to get re-finished.

Made another batch of yogurt this weekend, trying to stay gf - but its tough. Looking to make a batch of hummus too
post #309 of 324
aside from generally maintaining my home, we haven't done a lot of traditional homemaking here. mostly, we are focused on getting the business organized! so, i admit that my focus has been there and keeping hawk in his happy happy activities.

but, i'm still working on baking bread.
post #310 of 324
_ktg_, what does buckthorn look like, where might it grow, and what's the deal?

Our willows, btw, are intended for barrier, too. If we like them, I'll get more each year, as they also provide nice browse for goats and sheep. Not weepers, but upright.

I am struggling between feeling so burned out by the whole solo working parent thing and just wanting to chuck work for a while and spend all my time at home. Soon it will be my home season, and I'll be wishing I could go to the office.
post #311 of 324
ahh buckthorn... how do I loathe thee! Its pretty much invaded most of the north (WI, MN, Northeastern forests) and is a nasty bugger.

Jooj - this gives a pretty good description of what it looks like. Right now it would be grey, with alterating branches/thorns which are perpendicular to each other.

post #312 of 324

Hello Traditional Homemakers!

I fell off the thread about 6 weeks ago, but you all have been on my mind. I read through and everyone has been busy! New floors! New home! New pregnancies! Sewing! Knitting! Cooking! Hooray!!!
I have been focusing on my midwifery studies. I am happy to report that I got certified in Neonatal resuscitiation, attended toLabor doula training- which was fabulous, learned how to encapsulate placenta, and have been loving this path!
After much research and debate, we have decided to save more before buying a house. In the meantime we are going to move my mom in to our apartment (am I insane???).
I am watching the snow melt a little each day in anticipation of gardening. The guys built a greenhouse for our communal garden (with the neighbors) and we will be doubling the number of beds this year. As for the garden I put in at the in-laws, I'm thinking of putting in an asparagus patch, lots of potatoes, and herbs so that I don't have too much maintenance to do over there.
So, Spring cleaning is in full swing and I am glad to revisit the thread. You ladies inspire me!
post #313 of 324
Thread Starter 
sounds very exciting angelique!
we are busy busy busy these days. london has finally warmed up, i have a garden full of daffodils, the bluebells are coming, and the tulips. i spent yesterday planting up all of the march seeds and will do another round in april. my strawberries arrived, exciting! nervous! i'm hoping that starting early will give me a great start when the little plants have to face the snails!

i did get to play with clay at my children's ceramics class, i go to the potters beautiful kitchen with another artist mama, and sit in mucky heaven. today at the museum of london we were looking at roman pots, and at the café i admit i ordered their soup because it came in such a gorgeous bowl, pedestal base and two lions on either side, curving in at the top a bit, white . i may try my hand at that once i get a good tea cup! i did make one but it is very little, i'd like to make a bigger one. just hand building.

i've been knitting like mad to finish my sweetheart's socks in time for his birthday! day after tomorrow - spring!! the are off knitty, widdershins again, this time in a silvery grey, cabled. a couple of homeschooling mamas are going to join our knitting sewing group after seeing me knitting, hurrah!

at that group this week i sewed my first pieces into 9-patches, how exciting to see all the colourwork coming together! i am very happy with it. i need to sew a lot of them, then add white sashing, and it may be autumn before they are done!! well...i don't mind. i keep working away.

i've got my partner's office organised, pretty much, finally - all over the house. i'm pleased to have it all put away.

what do you think, store away the canner til summer? or will there be things to do before then?

what are you working on these days?

post #314 of 324
Originally Posted by artparent View Post

what do you think, store away the canner til summer? or will there be things to do before then?

what are you working on these days?

I would say keep it out. I'm about to start on canning some staples and finally switch away from some of the processed foods we've relied upon for so long. Things on my list - beans (black, kidney, seasoned chili beans and garbanzo) so when I fail to have them sitting out to soak or in planning a meal I can quickly grab them and use them and know what is in them.
post #315 of 324
Thread Starter 
i would LOVE to do this, i've been meaning to - i'd love to make some soups to have on hand. but i've been too scared to start! any tips? sites? recipes?

post #316 of 324
Hi, Mamas!

Spring is really gearing up around here. We were given an awesome old barrel with holes already drilled in it, for filling with strawberries. We got in 36 plants and still haven't planted anything on top! We bought a couple of apple trees and a grapevine, all awaiting transplanting when the ground dries up a bit more. I can't wait!

We butchered our first home-raised rabbit this weekend, as well. It was so satisfying to FINALLY have truly "happy" meat on the table. We have seen these little ones since the day they were born and they have been clean, healthy, and happy every day of their lives. Any bits we didn't want went to the dogs, and DH has the pelt drying, so no waste at all. The only thing was, although the meat was divine, the recipe I used (a crockpot recipe in a tomato-based sauce) wasn't something we liked enough for regular rotation. Does anyone have any good rabbit recipes to share...?
post #317 of 324
I don't have any rabbit recipes, but I wanted to say "Way to go!" That sounds awesome APBTlover!
I was thinking about eating my cat this morning after she demolished my laundry drying rack...
Once it stops raining here, it will be time to play in the garden!
post #318 of 324
Originally Posted by AngeliqueW View Post
I was thinking about eating my cat this morning after she demolished my laundry drying rack...
Haha, I have definitely been there! Right now it's the pygmy goat, usually. We've taken to calling her "Barbecue."

ETA: Yes, I'm joking. But not about the nickname...
post #319 of 324
Hellooooo Ladies! Just wanting to pop in - did I miss that we moved to a Spring thread?

Hope everyone is doing great and staying busy!
post #320 of 324
Thread Starter 
hi ktg! very busy around our house, seems to have gone awfully quiet around this thread. i'm happy to start a new thread if folks are interested.. x

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