Saturday, May 19, 2012

Our Homemade LIfestyle (& Giveaway!!)

So this is my last post in a four part series on our lifestyle.  I stared with “Our Sustainable Lifestyle”, then talked about “Our Frugal Lifestyle” and most recently talked about “Our (Relatively) Simple Lifestyle”.  I feel like all of these types of living go hand in hand and that they all blur into one another.  The homemade lifestyle is a direct outgrowth of being sustainable, simple and frugal.  I was blessed have a homemade childhood and enjoy continuing this in my adult life.

Homemade in the Kitchen
Banana Pudding, I remember fondly eating many of these made by my Mom and Granny.
I have very early memories of planting gardens and helping process the harvest.  I remember snapping green beans, shucking corn, shelling beans, gathering potatoes, picking tomatoes, and sterilizing jars and lids.  We did this not only at home but would go up the road (a whole ½ mile) to my Granny’s house to help her do the same.  There is a lot of family together time while snapping 2 – 5 gallon buckets full of green beans!  Now we do these same things but have also added some new things as well.  We love to can salsa, and make our own spaghetti sauce.  We have enjoyed canning soups and have found that canned wild meats are fantastic!  Jeremy loves to make homemade sausage, pepperoni and jerky.  I enjoy making pesto that I freeze in ice cube trays and then put in a large freeze bag.  It is handy to take a cube out to season various foods or to put on bread with olive oil. 
Pesto ingredients, basil from our garden.

Pesto ready to freeze.
Blueberry Pie!
Most of our meals are homemade as well.  We especially love my homemade granola, deer kabobs, banana pudding, yogurt fruit freezer pops, ice cream, persimmon cheesecake, chocolate chip walnut cookies, mashed potatoes, and a variety of soups and stews. 

Homemade Gifts           
Fish Quilt that I finished for Brayden last week! 
I enjoy making homemade gifts as does my hubby.  My chosen medium is, of course, cloth.  His is wood or meat!!  We also love to give homemade food gifts such as granola, summer sausage, or jams.  We have made mostly homemade gifts for many years now.   While this can be a frugal choice, sometimes it isn’t.  For the most part we choose to make gifts because it shows how much we care, as we know time is more valuable than money.  We have made many things over the years.  Jeremy has made lots of neat things from wood, mini picnic tables, twirling acrobats, climbing bears, shelves, signs and many other things. 
Jeremy has made names like these for most of the children in our lives!
I have made lots of clothes, pj pants, robes, appliquéd t-shirts, bags, soft books, banners, quilts, pillow cases and aprons.  I’ve also made grapevine wreaths, trellises from saplings, photo books, Christmas ornaments and plenty of other things I’ve long forgotten about!  Don’t tell anyone, but I do believe I get as much out of the process as the receiver.  I so enjoy making things and thinking about the person that will get it. 

Homemade Décor
We make various things for our home at home.  I love being at home and am now very much a homebody.  I don’t want to go out to the stores to get everything for my home; I’d rather make some of it at home.  We have made furniture, quilts, pillows, curtains and many other things for our home.  I actually have many home projects on deck for this year.  I plan to make placemats, table runners, pot holders, decorative pillows, pillow shams and more roman shades.  I also have several tree stumps that I want to turn into coffee tables! 

What homemade things to do you love?  What’s your favorite homemade gift? What homemade things do you like to make?  Answer these questions by commenting on the blog and I will choose one commentor at random to receive one of my homemade gifts….and it’s a surprise! 


Hannah said...

love all your home made stuff. I have made baby quilts, greeting cards, cross stitch pictures and made some of my clothes. It is fun to make something and should be proud you did

Amanda said...

I love all kinds of homemade things from household cleaners to clothes. Jill and I have been currently on a mission to find creative uses for a ton of old wooden pallets that came with our cabin. So far we have disassembled some to make compost bins and most recently I painted one to look like an American Flag to hang in our yard. There is so much satisfaction in knowing that you can do things on your own without conforming to a society where everything is disposable. I love to give homemade canned goods and am slowly getting into giving knitted gifts as well.

Brook said...

I love just about everything handmade over store-bought. Being a knitter, I love hand knits, but also pottery, sewn items, handmade soaps, etc. :)

Denise Shaw said...

I especially love homemade afghans and quilts. The warmth-givers I love most in my home were given as wedding gifts or made for my children and given at baby showers. There are a couple of pieces my mother made for my daughters that are of heirloom quality and poise. I know how time consuming these projects can be and truly cherish the love that went into every stitch. I'm always so shocked that someone would go through all that effort to be a blessing to me or my family. I dearly love to cross stitch, but don't have a single piece of my own work in my home as I always think of someone I should give it to as I'm stitching. I haven't done any pieces lately, teenage children and work overtook my spare time for quite a few years, but I fully intend to return to it as I approach my golden years.

Cort said...

I love all things homemade! I'm going to try the pesto ice cubes this year! :)

Sarah G said...

Love all this!! We love homemade things here at our home as well..Nothing better! Great work!

Sandy Kolaks said...

I love your series. I love to garden and I can green beans, salsa, apple sauce, and peach jam. I either grow or buy from our local farmers market everything we need. My husband hunts which provides most of our meat. We live very simply and I love that our money goes to support our friends and neighbors. I shop at Goodwill and our entertainment is listing to local bands and having a wonderful home cooked meal with friends. We always try to buy local or used and I love that our house is filled with items that all have a story.

Anonymous said...

Homemade always wins out over store bought! My favorite things to make and give are food. Most of my favorite possessions are handmade gifts. My grandfather makes handmade baskets and my grandmother makes beautiful dish rags and give them out at Christmas. My mother made the quilt and window treatments in my boys room. These are so special because they are handmade! Holly Ring

Marilyn M. said...

I too feel like I should have been born in the pioneer days,I love anything primitive.
My favorite homemade things of the past are mom's homemade noodles.
I still love making my own greeting cards.I enjoy the site alot.
I think your both wonderful parents!
Your friend Marilyn M.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen,
I love your post but most of all I love the way you live your lives. So healthy and important for the kids and great for the environment. I wish there was many more like you. I try my best to live my life the same way. You and Brook always inspire me to work harder. Keep it up! Maybe someone else will catch it!!!

TC said...

I love all your post but what's more is the way you live your lives. Homemade is the way to go. Growing and canning and being frugal is somewhat unheard of anymore. I have been told that we live in a throw away society, and I believe it. Keep up the good work you do. It is so important that the kids have this opportunity to learn from you. You and Brook inspire me to work harder at the things I do too. We need more people like your family and maybe you can rub off on someone to do the same.

shandastorm said...

I have really enjoyed reading your blog & i must say you have inspired me to try a few things here and there. My husband & I both love the "Homemade Lifestyle". We are currently building our kitchen cabinets from recycled maple wood. My current sofa table was made from an old wooden pallet the hubby found at work & he even made me some lamps from them too! We are bee keepers too and not only do we get the sweet honey but i get to use the beeswax to make my candles! what a plus right :0) Recently i read about homemade laundry detergent & thought i'd try it...another score!!! I wish i was as creative as you Jennifer and make the beautiful quilts & clothing and all but when it comes to the sewing machine I just can't figure it out lol maybe if i win you'll show me how to sew, we can even share a bag of chips (minus the diesel fuel );0)