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Top Five Homemaking Projects of 2014

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Greetings! On the eve of the new year I thought I would share some of my projects in the works (mentally, if not physically). This was originally posted here: radical homemaker thread?, but I thought others may want to chime in as well!

I wish you all a happy, healthy New Year! :joy


My Top Five Homemaking Projects to Kick Off 2014


  1. Make a worm compost bin. I have wanted to do this for a while. I do not have a yard for a compost pile, but I can accommodate a worm bin for food scraps.
  2. Make a sourdough starter. My friend had one going for a long time and I just never made one for myself. I guess I have been a little intimidated about making bread, and I go through bouts of being grain free. But now is the time.
  3. Crochet a denim rug. I found great ideas on line. I was wondering what to do about our old jeans.
  4. Sew reusable "paper" towels. I saw this on line and thought it was a good idea.
  5. Make some homemade yogurt. I really want to try this recipe because you don't need to heat it up and keep at a consistent temp. I get raw milk from a local goat guy (cow in the winter), so I think it will be tasty. Plus, once I have the yogurt I can make cream cheese and whey. Then I can do some more lacto-fermentation. I have only fermented ginger before with this method.


How 'bout you?

Edited by RebeloveMa - 12/31/13 at 1:01pm
post #2 of 25

We use old prefolds in place of paper towels, if that helps.  Sure is simpler, though those are pretty. :)

post #3 of 25

My husband has been making his own yogurt, 2 gallons at a time, for about 4 years now. He is SO proud of the fact that he doesn't buy yogurt anymore. Plus he uses whole fat, organic milk, and our kids love it plain, which is awesome. I'm too used to having sweetened, flavored yogurt to eat it plain, but I like it with granola, canned peaches, or honey. I've never heard of countertop yogurt. We use a giant dehydrator, but even with that, it's really easy to make.


Good luck!

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback!


@ appalachiamama: I do use rags in place of paper towels for most things, I just thought the "paper" towels were cool. :)  I plan on using old bath towels of varying colors and maybe putting a simple cut out of one color on to another. For example, a green towel with a blue heart. It is for fun, really. My friend and I will do it together.


So, do you all have a project list? I am always curious, and seeking out more ideas!

post #5 of 25

Great thread!  I am a maker through and through!  Here is my list so far....


1.  finish ALL unfinished projects (which include, my lo's quilt that was pushed aside for making holiday gifts, my lo's 3.5' play teepee, the wet felted bag I am almost done with, and finish felting all the soap I bought to felt for the holidays!)


2.  make clothes for me and the family (I used to wear my handmade creations all the time!  I miss that)


3.  make a quilted/appliqued wall hanging for the living room


4.  quilt a tarot/meditation mat


5.  finish the family's seven foot goddess tee pee (that has been started but I'm taking my time with this one)


6.  crochet boot cuffs (man I have wanted to do this for a long time!)


7.  make fun pennants for the play room


8.  use chalk board paint to make an art space on the wall in the play room


9.  do a jelly roll race with my batik pack! (here is a link for that one if you are wondering what the heck i'm talking about!)http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=missosur+star+jelly+roll+race&FORM=VIRE2#view=detail&mid=4F0C677E71121B787CEE4F0C677E71121B787CEE


10.  put some appliques and prints on plain yoga pants


11. paint a chicken (its a weird personal goal!)


12.  make the un-paper towels (thanks a lot RebeloveMa!  LOL)


13.  last but not least, im pretty obsessed with trying my hand at a Waldorf doll for my lo <3


ok,  I better stop before I get totally out of control!  its gonna be a busy year!  Hey, I love this thread so much I'd like to put forth the idea that we post our projects for each other as we finish them!!  Blessings to the makers!!

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

Wow! I like your top 13! I am particularly smitten with your teepee plans, both the kiddy and the Goddess! How super cool! I also plan on making a little teepee for my lo. So I will add that to my list; that's six. And I want to make some boot cuffs too. I saw some great ideas for upcycling sweaters into boot cuffs. So that is seven. I had to look up "felting soap". Very cool. And now I know what a jelly roll race is! :thumb Good luck! Oh, and when you say "paint a chicken" are we talking real? wooden? on paper? Just curious!


I love the idea of posting finished products. Hope to have a pic of something soon!

post #7 of 25

LOL re/ the chicken!  It will be painted on canvas, the chickens in the backyard will be spared!  BTW, I finished the little tee-pee, and it turned out great!  I'll post a pic asap :)

post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 

That clears it up! Can't wait to see the pic! I, of course, have started a couple of projects that were not on the list. Like a plant hanger made with branches. I'll post a pic! Today I will be starting the non-paper towel paper towel roll. Yay!

post #9 of 25

HI!  SO I totally have pics to share but I cant figure out how to get them up!!  Just spent the past 20 minutes trying!! headscratch.gif When I click the photo icon and select the upload photos button nothing happens!  Let me know if you have problems too, I cant wait to see the branch plant hanger!  I am so intrigued!! :bgbounce

post #10 of 25

Lets see


-a few more raised beds 

-finding (freecycle, Craiglist etc) planting containers for the deck (where I'm keeping all the herbs this year..) 


-Fiber goats.

-Ditching all plastic/paper. 

post #11 of 25

mommariffic, fun list!!! what do you mean by fiber goats?  as in raising goats for their hair?  im a fiber artist and would love to know what this is about!!!  also love your idea about finding planting containers! 

btw, if you want any chicken tips im yer gal!   chicken3.gif 

Edited by gardendweller - 1/15/14 at 8:24pm
post #12 of 25

OK, so it took me forever to find a way to get these pics up, but here they are!


Here is the finished teepee!


here is a close up of the pennants I made to go around the top,


and the wooden button closure, because im obsessed with wooden buttons!

post #13 of 25


here is the bag I made.  it was my first attempt at wet felting, its ALOT of work!! (and of course more wooden buttons!)


this one wasn't on my list but I bought this coat for dd and it had a boys sports theme patch so I covered it up with this flower I crocheted and sewed on, now im making a hat to match so im already off track from my original list!!!

post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 

Your teepee is awesome! Really, it is much more fine tuned than what I was going to go for. The details are truly beautiful. And I like your other projects too, so pretty! I too have strayed from my list. Instead of starting my non-paper towel roll, my friend and I made worm bins (still need the worms) and I finished a simple plant hanger for in front of my south-facing window. It will be able to hold six potted plants and there is still room on the window sill for a few others. I want to keep some of my herbs here. I will post a few pics today!

post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 

OK, here is the plant hanger. It is really a prototype... I may have to add some more supports once all the pots are in. I also might have to lower it a bit for the change in the sun's angle during summer. And, I think I want to use a different hanging mechanism. I don't really like the look of the paracord, but it is strong. SOOooo, just ignore the messy string hanging down.



It doesn't look like much, but imagine 4 - 6 more pots with flowers and herbs! I'll post another pic eventually, with all the plants.




So that is it. Like I said, I want to fine tune it. But the great thing about this project is that it was basically free. I used branches that had fallen from a tree in the front of my apartment building. All I had to buy were the hooks to hang it from (under $4) and the paracord ($2).


The compost bin isn't much to see, so I'll probably skip posting a picture of that! :wink

post #16 of 25

RebeloveMa, thanks for the compliments!  That teepee was more work than I pictured in my head!  I LOVE the branch plant holder idea!!!  I want to try it but I'm not sure the cats will leave it alone!  I may attempt a smaller version for the tiny window in the mudroom... Anyway, Id love to hear about how your worm bin comes out, I tried one a few years ago and my worms went kamikaze on me!  I finally freed all the worms because I was so sad they weren't happy!  Id love to hear how you made yours and an update on how its going, I may try another one!  This thread is so fun, thanks for keeping up with it!  :bouncy

post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hi! Just wanted to check into the thread. I am certainly pursuing my homemaking goals, but I am also a community college teacher and the semester started a couple of weeks ago. I am a busy bee!


Nevertheless, I have been taking steps towards my container garden. I will be making SWC for the first time. I ordered all of my seeds. Yikes! I am ambitious for having no actual yard! I am also busy in the kitchen. I will be making my first batch of raw milk yogurt this week as well as my first sourdough starter.


I hope you all are finding all the time you want to make your home!! :love

post #18 of 25

I always forget to come back and check out these threads! Wee. 


Fiber goats are totally new to me too! I am actually now (after talking with a friend) debating sheep vs an angora goat 



I do 99% of the homesteading. It's my goal to live like this, and my husband has no interest. So balancing all the animals + my own needs + the kids can get overwhelming. This year I also decided we are going to get ducks (yum duck eggs!) and so I've been researching breeds + what we need to get started (I have most of the materials) 


And beautiful projects everyone! 

post #19 of 25

I have totally strayed from my list, but my newest thing is making felt covered barrettes to keep the hair out of lo's eyes!!  I also decided to make over my sewing area (aka dining room, LOL!) so it's more functional, organized, and attractive.   Its slow going, but its getting there! :)

post #20 of 25

@ RebeloveMa - I love your plant hanger! That's rad! Looks so lovely and natural :)



Originally Posted by mommariffic View Post


Fiber goats are totally new to me too! I am actually now (after talking with a friend) debating sheep vs an angora goat 



I do 99% of the homesteading. It's my goal to live like this, and my husband has no interest. So balancing all the animals + my own needs + the kids can get overwhelming. This year I also decided we are going to get ducks (yum duck eggs!) and so I've been researching breeds + what we need to get started (I have most of the materials) 


Wow, I would like to say you're awesome for working so hard yourself to keep up the family homestead! It's our dream to have our own small homestead.. we have been researching different animals (livestock), trying to decide what we NEED, and what would be nice to have but still relatively simple to keep up with. I've gone back and forth in my mind about goats... it seems like you have to decide whether you want goats for milk, hair, or meat, instead of a combination of the three? Same with cattle, you have to choose whether you want the animal for milk or for meat? I'm still behind on my research on those two animals, which is why I'm asking.. I've mainly researched keeping chickens, since that's what we will be able to keep here, and I'd like to keep a few for practice. Ooooh ducks! That's another animal I'm very interested in keeping for eggs.. are there dual-purpose ducks as there are chickens? Oh man so many questions. I have a few more books to buy haha


My Top Five Homemaking Projects of 2014:

1. Grow a small vegetable and herb garden (we need to prepare the soil, it'll be time to start planting soon!)

2. Build a compost bin at our new home (we had one back in Texas, I miss it! I feel bad wasting bits of food...)

3. Raise a few chickens, for eggs (I'd like to get Wyandottes or Australorps)

4. Sew curtains, hem cleaning rags, repair/patch worn clothing.. a few other simple sewing projects, and I'd like to start trying to quilt. I have a million books about it I've been reading...

5. Make my own non-toxic candles from beeswax and coconut oil :)

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