Cold weather, no garden, so yuck

I am beyond ready for spring! It’s still a little early for seed starting, and we are going through a cold spell. Gross.

But, at least I have my crafting to keep me busy! So, yay for that! And we have a small craft show this weekend, so we are cautiously optimistic! Here’s what we have (plus a few more things) 😊

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Birdhouses!
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Bottle openers
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Garden aprons
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Garden markers
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Wand dusters 
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Floor dusters
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Crochet dishcloths
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Chicken hot pads
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Mason jar drink cups
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Luffa gourd seeds! 

So much accomplished! We are pretty proud of what we have accomplished! If you’re local, we hope to see you! We will also have some wildflower honey for sale!

February 2017 Goals Update!

February came and went and we were able to get some major things accomplished! The mister got his forge up and running and I have been crocheting and sewing like a maniac! So, here’s how it is going:

1. Zero waste our home! We already do a good bit to avoid creating trash, but there is always room for improvement! We have been replacing packaged food with homemade. We phased out packaged lemon bars with homemade! The only leftovers were egg shells that were dried and crushed for tomatoes and lemons that were put in the compost!

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Zero waste lemon bars! 

2. Declutter 20 items per month. Last year I decluttered 2016 items from this house. We were able to get rid of 12 things this month. A few of the mister’s shirts and cups that we don’t use!

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They found new homes! 

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! We had to take out our first trash bag and the second is only halfway full! (Spoiler alert, I have some crazy ideas for less garbage this summer!)

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First bag of garbage

4. Merge crafting and homestead business. The mister has made some bottle openers with his forge and I’ve been making some aprons! My aprons will be carried in a local store, so that’s kind of a big deal!

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Gardening/gathering aprons

5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. (And continue preserving our harvest!) Hopefully this will happen before strawberry season! 🍓

6. Expand the garden. We won’t be planting the grandparent’s garden this year, but we will be expanding our own garden! The garlic and rhubarb have started doing their thing!

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Garlic and rhubarb

7. Grow some different plants. Last year I was so excited about the luffa gourds that I grew. I’ll be growing them again along with some other different plants. So far on the list: luffa, strawberry popcorn, cucamelons and birdhouse gourds.

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Birdhouse gourds from last year!

8. Make a chicken viewing area. In the warm months, I love sitting by the garden and watching the chickens and bees. But, I normally sit on the ground. We are hoping to make a nice seated area in the spring!

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Egg production is picking up! 

9. Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! My class recycled 55 pounds of plastic bags through the trex program and we saved the hug drink cups from the garbage in my class!

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They will be recycled! ♻️ 

10. Track our solar panels. So, February was our first full month of solar energy. We produced about 840 kWh this month!

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Solar power! 

11. Continue beekeeping. Well, the bad news is that the yellow hive didn’t make it. The good news is that we were able to get lots of yummy honey! We are planning on getting another hive in April!

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Raw honey!

12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and have some major traveling ideas for this year! We didn’t do much this month, but we have been thinking of all the places that we need to visit!

So, there you have it! February flew right out the window, and in a March I need to get moving on gardening! Only 30 more days until the next recap, so get to work! 😊

If you set goals, how are yours going?

Craftiest weekend ever!

This week was absolutely beautiful, minus me being able to get a poison ivy rash all over myself. Ugh! But,this beautiful weather has awoken spring!

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Garlic and rhubarb!
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Crocus ready to bloom! 
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Pretty eggs! 

And the chickens have been loving the warmer days! Today I grabbed 6 eggs out of the coop! (And I’m pretty proud that I can hold 6 eggs in one hand!)

Now on to the hobby weekend! The hubby was busy with his new forge banging on metal. He whipped out a couple bottle openers that were amazing!

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Look at that hot metal! 

The boy was busy using the belt sander to whittle down sticks into gnome garden stakes. Then he painted them to be super gnome-like! I think he did great!

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Gnomes! 

And I spent the weekend sewing lots and lots! A local store is going to carry some of my garden aprons! That’s super exciting! And these are a few that I have ready!

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Garden aprons! 

And last but not least, the mister and I stained the birdhouse gourds and they will be available at our first craft fair as well! Yay! Now to finish working on a couple things for our February Goals Update!!

Extended weekends = extra work

Don’t you just love getting an extra day tacked on this weekend? I know that I do! Yay for President’s day! Last weekend was spent cleaning out an old beehive that didn’t make it through the winter.

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Liquid gold! Aka honey

But this beautiful weekend has me scratching my head and wondering if spring could really be that close! My rhubarb is trying to make its appearance along with my garlic! And even my little crocus flowers want to come up!

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The start of the crocus plant!

And since last week had the holiday Valentine’s Day, we kind of skipped out on that. I just don’t need a card or sweets or really anything extra to pollute this Earth. So, my smart hubby created me a nice card out of a lucky charms box. I’m telling you, I’ve got the type of husband that treats me like everyday is Valentine’s Day with his sweetness!

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Look at that ♻️ heart!!!

All week long I kept finding sticky patches from honey all around the house and our home actually smelled like bees. I need to find the best way to melt down and clean the wax, but I’m new to all this! So, that will be another post!

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Wax, a honey gift and our sellable size!

This week also was another dreaded day as a teacher and parent. Parent conference day! Most of the time I get to say only great things to parents about their children.But it’s not fun having to do the opposite of that as a teacher. Then, going as a parent to my middle school boy’s conferences. Oh my! He’s a great kid, but still figuring the whole middle school thing out. One great thing I learned is that he’s very musical. I already thought he was great, but hearing it from his band teacher made my day! 🥁

So, while I worked hard, my hubby took the boy and a friend to skyzone. He has been wanting to go for a while, so I’m loving the fact that he was able to make that happen! I love experience gifts instead of plastic garbage!

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Slam dunk!

So, now for the rest of the weekend, I plan on sewing, crocheting and working so hard to finish all my orders! I’m beyond proud that people want my creations!

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Personalized towels

Just don’t tell Sherman that I don’t plan on sleeping the weekend away!

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He loves me!

 

Pretty busy for February!

This weekend just absolutely flew by! I swear that we had more touches of this and that all weekend. I was summoned to go pick up the old jars of food from my Granny’s to get rid of. Of course I get to keep all of the ball jars. Definite win!

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Nice inheritance of jars!

Since the weather was so beautiful, I knew it was a chance to really clean out the coop. That was a lot of work!

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Clean, clean, clean! 

Then, I finally got around to cleaning out my vermicompost bin. There were lots of worms and also lots of worm castings! My seedlings will enjoy this boost when they get put in the ground!

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Worm castings

I was also able to take a picture of my fence area. It’s where I grew the luffas last year. I’m hoping to expand it out and landscape it in!

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Random planning where I could put plants 

And now where my Sunday disappeared to: spinning honey. Since we lost a hive over the winter, we decided to go ahead and harvest the honey. Thank goodness we have a kid that has a crazy amount of energy. He spun at least 90% of the honey out of the frames! Go boy go!

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Lots of honey! 

Finally, we were forced to take out our first bag of garbage this year. Sherman wasn’t even sure what we were doing. So, that’s bag number 1!

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First bag of garbage

And I had to share this sweet piece of jewelry that was passed down from my Granny. My mom can remember her mom wearing it to church when she was a kid. So, I wore it to church today.

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So vintage that it’s awesome! 

So, here’s to another week! As a teacher I get to enjoy Valentine’s Day with 8 year olds and enjoy receiving some sweet teacher valentines! Enjoy your week!

Tribute to my favorite gardener

This weekend was a difficult one for my family. My Granny was laid to rest and we all spent the weekend reminiscing about what an amazing lady she was.

She was the first gardener that I ever knew. She would work side by side with my Pap in the garden doing whatever needed done. They were quite the dynamic duo. Even after my Pap passed away, over 20 years ago, Granny continued planting her garden, making the best pickles around and canning her goodies. She was the one I asked so many questions to throughout  the garden season. She was my favorite garden guru.

Outside of gardening, she was an excellent seamstress, crocheter, knitter, first aid expert (you should see the scar on my eyebrow where she butterflied my eye lid back together!) and could even mushroom and ginseng hunt with the best of them!

I know that she was proud of everything that we do here at the Llewellyn Homestead, she told me herself. She always was so positive that we would be successful at anything that we tried hard at. If only everyone could have such an amazing support system in their family.

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She grew sunflowers taller than our house! 🌻 

So, gardening will always be quite the reminder of the most amazing Grandma. Thanks for teaching me all about plants Granny!

January 2017 New Year Goals Update! 

January was a quick month! It had some beautiful days and we were able to get a lot accomplished around our tiny homestead! So, here’s the first month Update:

1. Zero waste our home! We already do a good bit to avoid creating trash, but there is always room for improvement! Here’s the last post on what we already do: https://littlellewellynhomestead.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/zero-waste/   This month we made some yogurt to get rid of those pesky plastic containers! 

2. Declutter 20 items per month. Last year I decluttered 2016 items from this house. We got rid of over 20 plastic storage containers. Well, we cleaned them out and they will be finding a new home! 


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! Good news is that we are still on bag number 1!!


4. Merge crafting and homestead business. We were able to get our business number and create our logo! We are going to be at our first vendor show in March!! So we need to get moving on making crafts! 


5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. (And continue preserving our harvest!) Hopefully this will happen before strawberry season! 🍓 

6. Expand the garden. We won’t be planting the grandparent’s garden this year, but we will be expanding our own garden! This will be happening in the spring! 


7. Grow some different plants. Last year I was so excited about the luffa gourds that I grew. I’ll be growing them again along with some other different plants. Cucamelons are definitely on the list! And now strawberry popcorn! It’s not strawberry at all, but definitely popcorn! 


8. Make a chicken viewing area. In the warm months I love sitting by the garden and watching the chickens and bees, but I normally sit on the ground. We are hoping to make a nice seated area in the spring! But here’s a picture of some pretty eggs for now! 


9. Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! We started a plastic film recycling program and it’s been pretty successful so far. We collected 14 pounds of plastic bags in one month. Also, my boss bought paper products, instead of plastic and styrofoam for a faculty breakfast! Baby steps!!


10. Track our solar panels. The panels were installed in December. It took FOREVER for the power company to turn on our meter! So, we used them for about a week in January. 


11. Continue beekeeping. We made it through our first year of beekeeping and we are hoping they overwinter well. They have been out taking cleansing flights on the pretty days! 


12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and have some major traveling ideas for this year! We didn’t do much this month, but we have started planning our big summer trip! 

So, there you have it! January was not the best month, but turned out ok. Let’s go February! If you set goals, how are yours going?