Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Homesteading a Step at a Time

Let me be clear. I do not own any land. I don't even own the house my family lives in. We are planning on moving this year, and buying a nice house with at least two (preferably 5) acres. I have wanted to live somewhere I could have chickens for years, but alas, that has yet to occur. I have a very serious 5-10 year plan that will initiate the year we buy our first home. The plan has everything from a large garden, small orchard, goats, cow, and chickens!

In the mean time, I have decided that each year I will learn one or two new things that will be useful when I am growing my own food and raising my own animals. Two years ago, it was bread making. I have a Panasonic SD-YD250 that I love. I have had it for a couple years, but really started using it last year. I can make pizza dough, dessert breads, sweet breads, and dinner rolls. I learned how to make different kinds of bread this year, advancing my bread making skills! My favorite is sour cream bread.

Fresh loaf of bread


This year I started using herbal remedies for my family's ailments (teas and syrups mostly). I used herbs from my deck garden, which I grew organically, in a standing planter my husband built. I made a lot of teas which kept the cold symptoms as bay, and syrups were for the kids! Much easier to give them than store medicine. They were begging for it! It was even easy to give to my baby because it tasted good! I also started making my body care products, like body cream.

My deck planter!


So whether we move or not this year, I plan on tackling canning with locally grown fruits and veggies. I will try and further advance my bread making abilities and herbal knowledge. I will also be expanding the herbs I have in my deck garden. These sorts of things help assuage my desire to make things by hand, and create what I own. It helps keep me in touch with the Earth, while at the same time preparing me for the day when my dreams are more tangible.

Whether your home sits on a half acre or no acres (like mine), there are things that you can learn how to do to become more self sufficient and treat your body better! Like:

Bread making
Weaving
Container gardening or traditional gardening
Herbalism
Canning fruits and veggies
Making your body care products
Making dairy products (if you can get ahold of the raw milk!)

Can you add some more things to this list? I would love to hear your suggestions!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Paintings are Getting Better

My big MomMe goal that I achieved last weekend…. I set aside time to paint! It turned out really well! I bought some of the tiny 5x5 canvases and used my good acrylic paint. Lately, I have been painting on paper, using the student level paint, but for this project, I found an image online that I liked, and just went for it! I can already see what I would do differently, but this is something I would hang up in my house!

 

I used the Windsor & Newton Galeria Acrylic paints, which I purchased 50% off the original price with a wonderful Michael’s coupon. I love the quality of the paint, and the colors are nice and bright. I also picked up a tabletop easel at Michael’s for $10! It was originally $20, but they were doing a 50% off special for all of the easels as well! I bought a set of Artist’s Loft brushes some time ago, which I am still getting a lot of use out of. I will eventually buy higher quality brushes, but if you have ever walked down that aisle in a craft store, you will know why I am waiting until I elevate my skills.

 

I have actually painted a few pictures this month, that I haven’t blogged about. I purchased “Learn how to Paint in Acrylics with 50 small paintings”. Lovely book, and the author/artist keeps things very simple which I appreciate. Some of the initial painting topics don’t really interest me (e.g. a piece of toast), but I am going to do them to acquire the skills and techniques that he has laid out in the book.

I loved painting landscapes when I was a child, so I will be trying to paint those in addition to painting the small paintings in this book. I found an image online that I was inspired by, so I went with it: