Decorating without buying and garden happenings!

Last year at a craft show the sweet girl next to us sold these beautiful things made out of corn stalks and leaves. I loved them because they were pretty and because you can just compost them after using. So, I took some corn stalk tassels, a few weeds with pretty tops and a few ears of popcorn and created this:

74CBB28E-764C-425A-9778-4649B2ED7FFB
Just used what we already had! 
46F3E58D-F7A3-423F-B4FB-924593927A5A
Corn stalks were from popcorn this year! 

I also still have some yummy things coming out of the garden! The tomatoes and pepper plants are still going strong!

9E99C0DA-0493-484C-BC4D-715F807B29D8
Nice little harvest today! 

Plus there were a whole basket of overly ripe tomatoes for the chickens!

The weather is supposed to be cooling off soon, so we are putting some of the luffas into the greenhouse to dry out the rest of the way!

03E25E81-85FA-48C7-8B98-83ED5B99764C
Another soon-to-be scrubber

The bees are enjoying this beautiful day and some are still bringing in pollen!

5BFE7A12-99B0-447A-888D-6207EA397B41
Honeybees! 

And my big lump of a dog likes to sunbathe!

F607F1DC-B5DB-4A14-9BBE-E6E7E529759A
Ol’ Sherman! 

I also put my garlic in the ground today (next post will be all about that!) and continued to pull up weeds and dead plants!Cleaning up the garden in the fall is so important! It doesn’t leave a home for all those unwanted pests that may have invaded your garden this summer! Enjoy your remaining hours this weekend and keep blooming where your planted! 🌱💚

Getting craft show ready!

Autumn Glory is usually our biggest craft show in this area. I’ve been with my mom selling in years past, but this will be the first year that we finally use our Llewellyn Homestead name. Oh, and the first year for my husband to sell his blacksmithed items! (Pictures of his creations below!)

I have not been crafting quite as much, but I’m still getting some finished! I have lots of unpaper napkins, unpaper towels, reusable makeup removers, crocheted chickens and even wet jet style refills ready!

BBE6CEB6-B597-49A1-9B03-CF56020367BB
What all I put labels on last night! 

And, since I didn’t want to buy a bunch of business cards, I thought it would send out that zero waste vibe to make our own from a stamper and some old boxes! I love the way that they turned out!

B024E366-41AE-44F2-AE97-2F18E5658FB3
Homemade business cards! 

And that business card holder that the Mr made… it looks amazing with our cards in it!

BBC20E73-C12B-4BA2-8039-742AC7D1F001
Love everything about this! 

And we will be taking our luffa and birdhouse gourd seeds with us too! Turns out that our stamper fits perfectly into a coin envelope!

15E0E41C-8176-48E3-91E5-7EED7FAC434D
So many seeds!!

And here is the real reason that I’m falling behind in the craft department! We are still getting lots from the garden and I need to put it up!

E8482FD9-A5DC-44B9-87E0-2D4E89762F51
Our first luffa! 
D65AB49B-B8F8-4267-A6C9-EB1A4664112A
All that popcorn peeled! 

Tonight’s objective is to get our set up squared away, finish up a few not-quite-ready items and write on that easel that we upcycled from the boy’s old crib. So much to do, so little time! Keep blooming away! 🌱

Blacksmithing up a storm!

The Mr has been forging his heart out lately! Just about everytime I walk into the garage, I can hear pounding and smell coal smoke. (Weirdly enough that sulpher smell reminds me of my childhood home.)

E8B39A2D-E8E3-4AFC-8D30-6EA0207607B5
Bending a railroad spike 

After bending several, he attached them to some old barn wood and created an absolutely gorgeous and rustic rack!

203E03A1-1333-4220-9BEF-9C94F3DA2234
Hooks on barn wood 

He also bent some horseshoe nails to create a unique leash or key rack!

1306BDAF-9A15-4D96-9C5B-203D9AB5EC69
Horseshoe nail rack! 

He was even able to upcycle a few of our ball jars into candle/plant/flower holders!

0DB52866-86EE-400E-AA49-EE48051FEFC9
Mason jar holder with forged hooks

The business card holder is my absolute favorite! We have ordered a business card stamper and will be upcycling some cereal boxes into business card!

C8BF4FE8-8163-4E18-8DA3-90E57D94167A
My favorite!! Business card holder! 

I have been creating some upcycled crafts as well! We turned some wine bottles into self watering  planters! I planted them with spider plants!

C0964677-B90C-451D-A8FA-4756C8A2D769
I love the one I have, so we made some more! 

And I figured that I’d finish with my crazy chicken that enjoys roosting on our fence in the morning!

02917961-66A6-4A4D-8791-DE29C221F2C8
She is crazy! 

Enjoy your weekend and keep blooming!!

September goals update 2017

September was a month of colossal harvests, produce stands set up, still getting acquainted with my new students and working around our tiny homestead! Here are how the goals are going:

1. Zero waste our home! We have been eating a lot from the garden, which is great! Also, the ketchup that I made is amazing and we are loving not having to buy plastic bottles!

2. Declutter 20 items per month. We got rid of some motorcycle helmets that we don’t use (and made a few bucks!) We found a scrapper to take our satellite dish! Oh, and we got rid of our home phone.

3. Create only 12 bags of garbage per year. Americans are super wasteful. We are going to try to only produce one 13 gallon kitchen trash bag per month. Still on bag 5, but it’s filling up fast.

IMG_8956
Still on bag 5! 

4. Merge crafting and homestead business. The Mr has been Blacksmithing up a storm this month!! All credit goes to him for working so hard!!

IMG_9489
Dinner bells
IMG_9509
Flower basket hooks
B0F9B3D7-42F1-4F53-939E-DF1C15D57885
Business card holder

5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. #comeonmrllewellyn!!

6. Expand the garden. We are definitely working on this! We tilled up the area for expansion next year! We have big plans!!

IMG_9473
Expanded garden and planted cover crop! 

7. Grow some different plants. Luffa gourds were so fun to grow last year, and we are growing more this year! The okra grew great this year. We harvested so many cucumelons! The popcorn is picked and drying in the basement and we are now successful at growing our own wine cap mushrooms. And you know what… they were the best mushrooms that I have ever had!


8. Make a chicken viewing area. Yeah, um, I don’t think we are going to do this! I have some good ideas for 2018!!!

IMG_8427
Whitey the chicken who is always running around! 

9.Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! My class recycled around 150 pounds of plastic film last year. The plastic bag recycling program has started! I also started a collection area for plastics bottles and k cups at work. Oh, and my students wrote to our mayor to try to get a recycling program here!

10. Track our solar panels. This month we reached 1.39 mwh ! And our electric bill was less than $6 again! I’m interested to see how this goes with the cold months coming up!

8B4D2703-91C9-4A3A-87CF-2EB81DCAF80E
11. Continue beekeeping. We are still providing lodging for our flying insect friends! They are “busy bees!” And I am hoping for them to overwinter well!

IMG_9538
They are still finding flowers! 

12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and only a few this year. I’m soooo looking forward to our winter project of working on our new-to-us camper!

IMG_9169
It’s safely being stored in the garage! 

How are your goals going?! Have you starting thinking about goals for next year? Keep blooming where you are planted!! 🌱💚

Mushroom growing, harvests, crafting and donating

This weekend was full of all the reasons why I put so much into this lifestyle that we are wanting to live.

Remember the mushroom spawn that I spread in a raised bed back in early May? Well, the mushrooms have finally popped up for harvesting! (Best find of the weekend!)

IMG_9543
Delicious winecap mushrooms! 

Also, a few of the birdhouse gourds had fallen on the ground. So, I decided to go ahead and pull them from the dead vibe and start the drying out process.

IMG_9556
Super-sized birdhouse gourds

And the garden is still producing so much! I really am not sure of what I’m going to make out of all of these tomatoes at this point!

IMG_9528
All picked on Saturday!
IMG_9529
Our first beets harvested! 

We had our last produce sale of the season, but it was unfortunately a flop. So, I gave a lot of produce to family and friends!

IMG_9532
Tomatoes coming out my ears! 

And now onto all the crafting that has been going on around here! The Mr has been busy beating on metal and blacksmithing lots for our upcoming craft show!

IMG_9509
Hanging basket hooks
IMG_9489
Dinner bells! 

And I have been sewing up a storm too! I’ve been working on unpaper towels and napkins. Also, I have sewing up reusable wet jet refills. Now to hope that the customers at the craft show enjoy a more zero waste lifestyle!

IMG_9539
Sewing so much! 

I officially got tired of my crazy long hair this weekend, and decided to get it cut off! 14 inches to be exact and I’ll be donating it to a wig making organization. I figure since it grows so fast, I might as well use it for something!

IMG_9522
Future wig! 

I hope that you all were able to enjoy your weekend and that your garden is still flourishing!

IMG_9538
Bees are still working the dandelions! 

Keep blooming where you are planted!

Honey sale and other homestead happenings

Last weekend we had our first sale event here at the homestead! It was a honey and egg sale! We sold out of honey and sold a lot of eggs! Plus, people got to taste some cucumelons and look at my craftiness! It was great!

IMG_8742
Homestead sale!

We also had several people notice our garage decor! Ha! I finally got the Mr to hang the hooks he blacksmithed for the onions and garlic!

I will be sharing a walk through the garden later on the week, but I thought I’d share an update on the fence line garden! The left was this week, top right is end of June and bottom right was the end of May!

IMG_8761
Slowly growing!

The birdhouse gourds and growing all over the chicken run!

IMG_8772
Birdhouse gourds!

We have been having some great harvests this week too! Lots of onions, some zucchini, cucumbers and even a good many cucumelons!

IMG_8785
Our harvest this morning!

We have hit some pretty good sales on things we have really been looking for lately! First up is an amazing pond insert. We were looking for something that we could add plants to so the bees would have a more reliable water source. Well, here’s our $10 yardsale find! (We had lots of digging and prying to do, but we got it finished!)

IMG_8773
Tiny pond for a tiny homestead

When we were buying some chicken food at tractor supply, I found an amazing half off deal on a gardening hat!

IMG_8771
Love this hat!

And while I was searching for water plants that weren’t there, Lowe’s had their perennials for only $3! So I snatched up some!

IMG_8800
Hostas
IMG_8799
Yellow coneflowers

And On a totally different topic, Sherman has a play mate for a few days! We just love squishy faced dogs around here!

IMG_8798
Sherman loves his new friend!

Have a great week and continue to bloom where you are planted!

Beekeeping, crafting and harvesting

This week it finally rained a bit and now the garden is quickly coming to life! Everything is growing and we have been able to harvest around 40 cloves of garlic, 17 pounds of potatoes and I’m about ready to pull some onions too!

IMG_8658
I ❤️ this sight! 

We have also been harvesting some squash, cucumbers and some adorable tiny cucumelons!

IMG_8687
Tiny cucumelons

And my Sherman dog loves to help harvest everything! He has been known to pick his own green beans, eat cucumbers and zucchini from the plant and now this:

IMG_8663
He begs for cucumelons! 

And the bees are taking off! (Well, 3 out of 4 are doing well.) The split that I did is not doing well, but I learned how I’d do it differently next year, so all is well if I learned something! The swarms we caught are doing amazing! This queen is a laying machine!

I was able to weed the beeyard, do a check in on all the hives and rearrange them a bit. I love the accomplished feeling after checking in on the bees!

IMG_8659
Bees at work! 

For the upcoming fair I am entering some of my items made from my bees wax and honey. I’ve made some lipbalm already, but I’ve also made some melt and pour honey and goats milk luffa soap.

IMG_8648
Luffa soap with honey and my luffas! 

I was also being crafty and made a craft that depicts some part of beekeeping. So, I made a langstroth hive pillow.

IMG_8680
I ❤️ the way it turned out! 

Also, we have lots of flowers blooming and so much beauty around here!

IMG_8673
Gladiolus beauties! 

And of course with the summer rain, comes some beautiful rainbows!

IMG_8681