Thursday, January 29, 2015

Happy New Year!!!!!!!

Wow, it's been more than a year since I posted! It's crazy. I keep wanting to, but life keeps getting in the way. Well, it's a new year, so I'll be doing things a bit differently. I'll stop neglecting this blog for sure.
I've gotten into so many new things! I decided that I wanted to be less of a consumer, so I've been busy learning to make things myself. Here's what I've learned to do over the past year:

* Sew - Been wanting to learn this forever, so I finally pulled out the new sewing machine that hubby had purchased for me the year before. I don't know why I procrastinated on this for so long. I enjoy the process. I haven't made much, but at least I know I can do it. I made a zippered pouch by watching a YouTube video, and with hubby's help.

* Beading - Learned to do beading from my good friend, Montez. She got me started with peyote stitch and I took off from there. I have two necklaces that have been waiting for months for closures. I'll be finishing those up soon.

* Homesteading - Well, not completely, but I've been making a lot of my own products that I formerly bought. One in particular is Kombucha. I was buying this weekly for my daughter, as a way to help boost her immune system and as a way to lessen eczema and asthma. I must say that it has help her a great deal.

One day, I decided I would try to make it myself. I found a recipe on-line and was successful with it. I've been adding flavorings like, anise, ginger, hibiscus, lemon. It tastes pretty good, and my daughter likes it. Money saved there.

I've also been making my own cleaning products with simple ingredients like baking soda and white vinegar. I'm about to venture into making my own laundry detergent next. I have all the ingredients ready to go!

Also, I've been making my own skin and hair care products. I use to make and sell products many years ago, then stopped. And, I had been mixing my own body butters for years, but wanted to really get into making other things as a way to save money and to prove that it could be done. I've been making facial cleansing grains, facial serums (which can also be used on hair and body, since I like multi-purpose things, deodorants ( because the aluminum content, among other shady ingredients in store bought is scary), toothpaste, salves, and more. All the items are made using natural and organic ingredients, many of which I already have in my kitchen. Making these items has really taught me that much of what we discard is useful for many things, if we just use our imagination. I've shared with friends and co-workers who all like my products. That was a great confidence booster!

Of course, my garden was a big thing last year. I invested lots of time and energy and a little money into making it better and more productive. Since I live in a big city, I don't have much land space for gardening as I'd like, I had incorporated lots of containers for growing in. It's been a success so far. I am really looking forward to Spring, to experiment with growing new veggies and flowers, and to see how the soil amendments I added will make for a more productive and healthier garden. With seed saving and collecting, I'm definitely ready to go.
I definitely want to learn canning next.

Recycling, re-purposing, and re-using MANY things.

*Weaving - I'm been messing around with weaving on a small scale. I've done several small woven pieces on a homemade cardboard loom. Yes, cardboard! And using some very early hand spun yarns that I had saved up. Everything turned out wonderful. At some point, I'll make a larger frame loom, so that I can make larger pieces.

* Spinning - I finally had the courage to attempt Navajo plying again, and I just love how my yarns turned out. It's a technique that I'll be using quite often, especially since my spun singles turn out so darned thin. :)

I think that about covers everything.

My perspective on life over the past year has surely changed, and I believe by incorporating some new ways of thinking, I have enhanced my life and the lives of my family greatly! I'm loving the new and improved me.

Hopefully, next post I'll have photos to share.

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