Confessions of a off grid granny

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I cannot believe it’s October already, the days are still warm but the evenings and nights are getting cooler, it’s almost sweater weather! I am so looking forward to our first woodfire in the wood stove. I have a little confession that I’m going to tell you, but don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret just between us… I’ve been looking for a set of footed pajamas, just like the ones I wore when I was a little girl. Yeah, I know, it’s a little silly for a 50+ year old grandma to want to wear footed PJs, but it’s what I want. I have looked around and there are quite a few to choose from, but most of them are in the $30+ range and I’m not ready to spend that much money on something I’m going to lounge and sleep in. The really good ones, the thick cushy ones are a lot more expensive than that! I think what I’ll end up doing is making my own, I found a quite a few tutorials on YouTube about how to make these and I like the idea of knowing what they are going to be made of.

OK, now that we have that out of the way, I’m also thinking about Christmas, with Halloween a month away and Thanksgiving the following month, Christmas is truly right around the corner. If I start now, I’ll have plenty of time to put together some fun homemade gifts. I tend to think too complicated for these sorts of things, I need to simplify my ideas, I have lots of raw materials out here on my 6 acres, twigs, rocks, sand… Turning to YouTube I am in the process of getting some crafty DIY ideas, here are some I found.

Actually this first one I’m thinking about making for a friend whose birthday is on Halloween, I looked around and found some solar rechargeable lights for Mason Jars that would work great with this.

One more 🙂 actually this would be more for Halloween, but you have a month until that hits…

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How To Make An Awesome Shirt From A Wool Blanket

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How To Make An Awesome Shirt From A Wool Blanket Have you ever heard anyone say invest in wool? Well I would, It’s getting more and more expensive and it has so much potential when SHTF. Wool is just fantastic… There are several kinds of blends of wool you need to watch out for! There …

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6 Indoor Homestead Projects To Keep You Busy All Winter

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6 Indoor Homestead Projects To Keep You Busy All Winter

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Homesteading doesn’t have to stop just because it’s winter. The garden may be put up, and the outdoor projects put on hold, but there are many useful ways to keep your hands busy and pass the time all winter long.

Here are six ideas:

1. Bee hives.

Constructing bee hives and honey frames is a simple, but very time consuming process – and winter is the perfect time for it. If you plan to keep bees during the spring, you’ll have to start early to get all of your equipment assembled in time. If you’re not an advanced woodworker, it’s common (and cost effective) to buy all of the hive pieces already cut, but you’ll still need to assemble them. Hive boxes need to be nailed together, glued and painted, but the real work comes in assembling the tiny fragile honey frames and attaching a paper thin wax foundation where the bees will begin their work. A simple work bench, a tiny hammer, and box upon box of tiny brad nails are all you need for tools. You’ll then need patience and time as each of anywhere between 40 and 60 frames are assembled for each hive you plan to keep.

2. Crochet blankets.

6 Indoor Homestead Projects To Keep You Busy All Winter

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Perhaps one of the easiest crafts to learn, basic crochet is great for anyone with two hands who can count to three. Simple repetitive motions help you feel productive as you sit by the fire to pass the time. Working on larger crochet blankets has the added benefit that it, by definition, keeps a blanket (the part which you’ve finished thus far) on your lap, helping you stay warm. There are dozens of beginner blankets online, easy enough to be made by grade school children.  Once you’ve mastered the basics, the sky’s the limit and projects can become more complex if you choose. Or, keep it simple, and pull out that half-finished blanket each winter for slow additions that keep you warm while you work.

3. Felted hats.

While you spent most of the summer trying to keep things in your life, literally and figuratively, from tangling, felting is just the opposite. When felting, your goal is to get wool to tangle intentionally into an attractive shape such as a warm wool-felted hat that can last a lifetime. If you’re intimidated by the complicated patterns and precision required for knitting, perhaps give felting a try.

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While there are a number of ways to felt wool, wet felting is a great way to start. The simplest projects layer wet wool on top of a child’s ball, wrap it to keep it in place, and then have you bounce the ball around the house. The impact causes the wet fibers to tangle. Needle felting is also an option, and the wool is placed over a foam hat form, and stabbed repeatedly with specialized barbed felting needles that hook the wool and tangle it into layers.

4. Hooked rugs.

In a cabin mid-winter, regardless how warm the air is from the wood stove, a cold floor will dampen your mood and make you acutely aware of the winter chill. Hooked rugs are a simple way to keep your feet warm while adding an attractive accent to any room. The process is simple. Beginning with a backing such as burlap, you use a rug-hooking hook that looks a bit like a very small metal crochet hook to pull loops of cut wool strips through the burlap. Each loop forms a loop in the rug, either small, tight and compact, or big and fluffy. While rug hooking is physically very easy, having the artistic vision to take small loops of wool and design an attractive masterpiece can be a bit of a challenge. Start with simple patterns and designs, and soon enough you’ll be ready to tackle more complicated artistry, such as the elaborate shaded flowers so common in antique hooked rugs.

5. Soap making.

6 Indoor Homestead Projects To Keep You Busy All Winter

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As a hot stove-top task with shelf-stable ingredients, soap making is an ideal wintertime task. If you’re looking for the most basic home soap craft, then try melt-and-pour soaps. Just melt the soap down and pour it into a beautiful custom mold to create unique gifts for your family. Once you’ve mastered molding your own soaps, try making cold process soap, which involves mixing lye and a fat base, including anything from fancy store-bought almond oil or shea butter, or simply making a basic tallow soap out of your own rendered fat. While you’ll need to be conscious of safety — using eye protection, gloves, long sleeves and working in a well-ventilated area — soap making is easy to learn at home.

6. Home remedies.

Winter is a great time to bolster your supply of home remedies. Tinctures that start with dried herbs and alcohol need only a cool dark place and time to extract. Herbal teas can be mixed, and recipes refined to combine good taste with the medicinal properties you’re seeking. Beyond these simple tasks, there are also more complicated remedies, like healing salves, that take time, heat and patience. Salves start by infusing herbs into oils, such as olive, almond or sunflower. Those infused oils are then mixed with emulsifying wax to make them into smooth creams or solid lotion bars and lip balms. These topical remedies can be used all year round and are a great way not only to keep your hands busy in winter, but also to keep them moisturized.

What winter projects would you add to the list? Share your tips in the section below:

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Handmade Herbal Gifts

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Handmade Herbal Gifts Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Listen in player below! Calling all DIYers! Want some ideas for frugal, quick-to-make holiday gifts? You still have time to to make loads of handmade, natural, herbal gifts. Be sure to listen to Herbal Prepper Live this Sunday to learn how. The herbal crafts I’m covering require … Continue reading Handmade Herbal Gifts

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22 Cool DIY Spring Crafts for Kids to Make

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22 Cool DIY Spring Crafts for Kids to Make Everyone is feeling the crunch on their pocketbooks and are looking for ways to still maintain the lifestyle they are used to while not spending as much money as they used to. If you have children, the tightened budget can be especially harsh and as summer …

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Stocking Up!

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But maybe not in the way you would think of me stocking up… I’m stocking up on my knitted and crocheted good to sell because even though nothing is selling now, they seem to sell real good at Christmas….and yes, Christmas is a long time away but these things take time to make. Last year I sold 15 of one particular hat! I’d like to be really stocked up on that hat this year and in several sizes. So now while it is slow, I am going to take the time to make these extras.
 It’s boring. Making the same hat, over and over again in different sizes and colors but I think I will feel much better when it is done. I won’t do them all at once. I’ll do four or five and then make something new or work on another item that sells good (or I hope will sell good).

No more dragons for my grandson…

Or bibs for the new baby coming in Sept…

Or flowers for a very sick friend….

I must focus on…hats….

20 Clever And Crafty Uses For K-Cups

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20 Clever And Crafty Uses For K-Cups Most of us love our cup(s) of coffee in the morning. Let’s face it, we need our coffee in the morning. Nothing has made it easier to brew at home than the Keurig. Last year Keurig Green Mountain sold more than 9 billion K-cups. That’s billion, with a “B”. …

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Chalkola Chalk Markers = Amazing!

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These Chalk Markers have so many uses! You can write on no-porous items, like glass, mirrors, chalkboards, canisters, and anything else that is non-porous. If you make a mistake or want to change anything just take a damp cloth and wipe it off. Cool!

These make a great addition to any crafty persons bag of tricks. Would be great for any type of Job that you set up displays for , like in a window or glass display case. Imagine – this Christmas using these to make awesome window decor or to label your gifts. Use them to label the champagne glasses at your wedding dinner?? Do your car windows up to support the local school team! The possibilities are just endless on what you could use these for.

These are just so amazing and the fact that you can wash it off with ease is the best part. It takes just a couple of minutes to get them prepped , but after that the chalk paint flows perfectly and you are creating your art!!  Take any DIY project to the next level. Create something amazing.

You can find out more about them Here ~

And the Knitting Continues…

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…and I can’t seem to get away from it. I have always been a crocheter, NOT a knitter but I love these hats and things and am so excited to be learning new KNITTING stitches! And I have learned to knit with two colors…at once! And I think to myself “Crocheting is easier, faster. Why are you knitting?” And I don’t know why? ! And I have no started making up the patterns and putting them in my Etsy shop because so many people want the patterns.

Anyway, I did get the scarf and mittens done for my granddaughter to go with that hat in the last post. The mittens were a real challenge but now I have a pattern for it. I have started on the pink one for my other granddaughter but it got interrupted by the minecraft hat for my grandson and now there is a minecraft one for my daughters friend on my needles so it has been put off again. Good thing those are Christmas presents.

This was a new stitch involving the “left twist”. This hat looks so good on Michelle I think it might just be hers now. 
This was a pattern of my own design. A little baby photo prop set. I have put this pattern in my Etsy store. It was a challenge to make as well. 

My grandsons minecraft hat. I had never knitted with two colors like this but always wanted to learn! Very exciting!
Just some Halloween baby hats. 

Other than knitting, I have finally made my way to the dentist to see about my broken tooth. If it had just been broken I wouldn’t have worried about it but the thing was really hurting. My dentist says I can do a root canal where they basically build me a fake tooth for $2300 or I can do an extraction (they tell you about this like it is an afterthought that you will never choose) for $230. The dentist tells me that losing your first adult tooth is like losing a thumb…yeah okay, I know a lot of people who have lost adult teeth and no one said it was like losing a thumb…not that it matters since we can’t afford $2300 and I will be having mine extracted for the $230 which I really can’t afford either but we’ll make due.
Anyway, I am off to go deliver some egg while I am in town picking up…yarn…I never even meant to post here today just stopped here while reading another blog. …

Update 9/24/15

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Hi all, not much going on here lately. I have been knitting and crocheting a LOT. I have added several things to my Etsy store and had some local orders but not a lot. Right now I am working on some hat/scarf/mitten sets that I will give my granddaughters for Christmas. I have been able to knit for 40 years but always the same things, mittens, slippers but now I am doing a lot of hats and scarves too and with these Christmas gifts I learned to do the basket weave stitch (which is so simple) and have applied it to them. Here is one hat done and I am working on the matching scarf now.

I am thinking of doing a fuchsia color for the second set but we’ll see what yarn is available when I get to it. I imagine the mittens will take more figuring but I think I can do it just fine.

In other news, the chickens are laying like crazy but I am selling the eggs. I am only asking $2 but it is hard for me to even ask anything. It has helped with paying for the feed.  I have someone coming to get the 4 dozen in the refrigerator today.

I am still working at the state park on the weekends and we take a trail walk every Sunday if it isn’t raining. I have not found a job for during the week yet which I am slightly thankful for because I am really enjoying having some time at home–not that I seem to get very  much done…

Just starting to have a few cooler days here. I wish we had a real fall though because ours will only last a short few days and then it will just be cold again.

Well, it is time for me to play violin. I just wanted to get on here and let you all know I was still alive.

This is what happens….

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when I don’t get to collect the eggs for a couple days. I haven’t even counted them all. I took three dozen to work the other day to give to one of the rangers, I will take more this week and hope to give them away to a few more co-workers. I have some neighbors who I am sure could use some. I know, I know, I should sell them but I have a rule…I don’t sell to neighbors and friends. I used to have a neighbor who would make me take money for them…I hated that.

Anyway, being home for 4 days a week, I have had a chance to crochet again.  I have always loved to crochet and used to do a lot of it when my kids were little and I was home. Now I have a lot of spare time at home and work (and they don’t mind if I crochet as long as the shop looks good and is taken care of) so I have listed things on I don’t really care if they all sell but I am having a lot of fun doing it again. I tend to jump from one project to another but that is part of the fun. Here is my etsy shop.
Right now I am working on some cute things for babies and should have them listed as soon as my safety eyes come in.
Other than that I am not doing a lot but Phil did get the pallet fence in the back yard rebuilt yesterday so the dogs will stop getting out now. I would go get a picture of it for you but it is trying to rain outside.
I have managed to get my little pond mostly cleaned out and a pump going in it to aerate the water but there are no fish in it now. I do have a few frogs that are living in it happily though.
Phil, Michelle and I did take another hike yesterday but had to do a smaller trail that was only a little over 2 miles because it was threatening to rain and actually did sprinkle big drops on us for about half the trail but that only helped to keep us cooler as it was about 95 F here yesterday.
So that’s it, nothing exciting but I am keeping busy.