Mini Homestead…In A Trailer Park

Learning to Live for the Future

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Archive for the ‘Crafting’ Category

A Thanksgiving Post

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on November 10, 2010

turkey in the gourds

Image by Scorpions and Centaurs via Flickr

I love Thanksgiving. I love all of the baking and stove top cooking. I love the decorating. I love having my family gathered within my home. I love the aromas of the food cooking, and of the candles. It is a wonderful time. This is about how it is (planned) to go at my home this year:

The day before: Be sure I have everything I need. Bake 4 types of breads, and two pies. See which of these Zowie wants to make. Pick up the house in preparation for company. Be sure to freshen blankets in the dryer for Skye and Jonas to use. Remind Skye to bring pillows. Make sure all dishes are clean.

Thanksgiving morning: Get the mulled cider warming in the slowcooker. Put the bird and the vegetables in the oven. Set out the breads for snacking. Have Skye make the cheesecakes. Make sure everything else is ready for the cooktop.

Afternoon: Set out all food, plates, beverages, etc. Eat with my daughters (Skye and Zowie), Jonas (Skye’s boyfriend), my sister and my nephews. Great times! Sitting around the living room, eating, laughing and joking. My kitchen is too small for a table :). After dinner clean-up. Bringing out of Yule and Christmas decors. Watching Thanksgiving shows, taking down decors and decorating the Yule tree! Skye, Zowie and Jonas all spending the night.

The morning after: Jonas makes breakfast 🙂 I relax. I will, however, clean up after breakfast.

Sounds like a great time to me 🙂

I love Thanksgiving. I do not celebrate the Thanksgiving that is normally celebrated, as it is not historically correct – and not good. But I celebrate family, and all of the things that I am grateful for. I love staying home on this day and cooking. And I love my family being here. It is all so homey.

What are your Thanksgiving traditions? Do you make wonderful decorations for your table?

Possibly decorating with a gourd theme? Napkins, placemats, and candle holders can be created easily.

Maybe pumpkins are more your style. If so, consider these napkins, placemats and candle holders.

Still, you may prefer to decorate with apples. If this is the case, then try these crafts: Napkins, placemats and candle holders.

You may also wish to make pumpkin bowls to serve soups in.

And, let’s not forget about all of those wonderful leftovers. So many dishes can be created using them, that are quite tasty 🙂

I hope that each and everyone of of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving. One filled with joy and love.



Posted in Autumn Holidays, Crafting, Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Mini Homestead in a Trailer Park for 1/1/2010

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!!! I have ll of my goals written out and posted, for me to work on throughout the year.

I hope you are al doing well.

I have been clearing out some of my clutter. My nieces and nephews are mighty happy with some very special items that I have handed down to them, and my best friends boyfriend is enjoying ,y hand-me down wizards.

We are supposed to be having 1 or more feet of snow this weekend here in Maine. So far, it has only been a few inches. Zowie is gone for the weekend. Some of the shoveling will have to wait until she gets back.

The holidays were nice, filled with friends and family, and few gifts. We gave home-baked goods and homemade candles as gifts. I’m thinking this will be a yearly tradition.

I hope you are all doing well.


Posted in Crafting, Family Matters, Mini Homestead Happenings, Winter Holidays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mini Homestead Happenings 12/10/2009

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on December 10, 2009

Hello. Much has been happening here:

The windows are all closed up, the air conditioner is out of the window and the shovel has already been in use. We are ready for winter. Yup! We had a Nor’ Easter yesterday. Zowie had a day off school, which she was not happy about.

I have ordered wigs, so we will soon be making candles again. These will be given to friends and family as holiday gifts.

We are discussing what treats we will be making to give as gifts.

We have been doing some organizing and deep cleaning.

I have written an eBook and a few Special Reports for my freelance writing business, and am waiting for Zowie to edit them so that I can get them online. Zowie gets paid for her efforts.

What is going on at your homestead?


Posted in cleaning, Crafting, Mini Homestead Happenings, Winter Holidays, Winter Prep | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Easy Recycled Tied-Fleece Pillows

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on December 27, 2008

I did not even think to get pictures of these, but I can tell you how they were made.

To begin, I had two child-size double layer tied fleece blankets. Each were blue on the front piece, and teddy bears on the other piece. I know longer have small children, so they weren’t needed. My nephew took them apart and I washed them and dried them.

I also had two small living room throw pillows that were in need of repair. Rather than repair the fronts of these, I cut only the first layer of the fronts off and washed and dried the pillows.

I had fluff as well, in the shape of a long pillow form.

I started with the big pillow form for my 9 year old niece. I cut the two blue pieces to size on two sides only, so I wouldn’t have to cut as many fringes. When you do this, remember to leave enough fabric to fringe and tie. I be sure to cut both layers together to be sure that they are even. I do the same with the next step, which is cutting the fringes.

I usually do these types of projects with luck rather than measuring.

I tied it all up around the pillow form.

Now, I did the same for the two smaller pillows, using 1 blanket for each.

I have fleece left over, and the three projects took me only one evening to finish. No actual sewing was necessary.


Posted in Crafting | 4 Comments »

Mini Homestead Happenings for 12/21/2008

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on December 21, 2008

Yesterday was spent making tied felt pillows to give my nieces as holiday gifts. Zowie made sticker books for them, and we made a few other odds and ends.

Today I wrapped the recycled candles that Isaiah and I had made for people, and we put together the cocoa and marshmallow packets that Skye is giving to the kids today.

It is officially the winter solstice (first day of winter) and we are all meeting at Katies this afternoon for a celebration. It should be a lot of fun.

I have a few household chores to do, then I will get dressed. I will read from Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer, the third book in her Twilight series. It is a very good series, even if it was written for the younger generation. My daughter loves the series as well.


Posted in Crafting, Family Matters, Mini Homestead Happenings, Sewing/Quilting Projects, Winter Holidays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Mini Homestead Happenings for 12/17/2008

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on December 17, 2008

The last storm, and convening rain, did not leave us with a lot of snow. However, it is snowing real good out there again today. I swear I looked like Mrs. Frosty when arriving at the store while out for my walk.

We are busy getting out cards and making gifts. We have an almost no cost holiday gift-giving season going on here. I spent $1.00 on cards, and purchased stamps to mail the cards (I do not include this as a cost of gift-giving, as people would get letters from us anyway.) The address labels are always free.

Right, so I made purchases at yard sales at under $20.00, and I purchased food to make gifts at $25.00. Everything else is made from things on hand, so we paid nothing. I did have to mail Zowie’s Grandmothers’ gift, which cost about $5.80. So, I spent $50.80 for gifts for everyone but the girls. Most of their gifts were free. except I spent about $20.00 for a couple of things. So that is $70.80. That cost also includes baked goods that will be eaten here and not given as gifts, so gift giving cost me about $60.00. Not too bad. I do like to bake, but food prices have gone up so much that I won’t be doing as much of it for gifts this year.

Skye is coming for the weekend, and it will be great to see her again. We miss her a lot, but I am grateful that she is enjoying her life.

I hope that you are all enjoying the holiday season.


Posted in Crafting, Family Matters, Mini Homestead Happenings, Money Matters | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Mini Homestead Happenings for 11/25/2008

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on November 25, 2008

We are finished making most of the candles. I am done with my part anyway. Zowie will also be making another type of candle, from a kit, that does not require melting the wax, so I am cleaning up the candle making mess today.

I am beginning to get the trailer picked up for for our Thanksgiving celebration: Picking up the living room and kitchen clutter, cleaning the bathroom and keeping up with the dishes and the laundry.

We had some more snow in the night, but not a lot. The snow is not high out there yet, and I have not had to shovel more than the porch and steps as of yet.

Isaiah is making more gifts for people today, to give to them at the holidays. He has painted small piggy banks for the little ones, and pictures for his older cousins. He is making a door hanger and some sun catcher ornaments today. He is very busy.

I am greatful that I already have most of the winterizing done. We only have two windows left to do, and they can be done from inside the trailer. We have had some very cold days already. Today is a bit warmer than it has been as of late, so I went out for a walk this morning.

I have taken out my copy of The Encyclopedia of Country Living to read again. It was written by Carla Emery, and is packed with great homesteading information. I highly recommend the book. I have decided that I will read it again, because I haven’t done so in a few years.

Another book that I highly recommend is The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyzcyn. It has a lot of ideas for cooking from scratch and saving money on all aspects off life. Even though prices in the book do not match up with what prices are today, the overall ideas are still completely usable today.

I have been looking at homestead business idea and goat information this week, and I have had quite a few positive comments with great information that I will be adding to my homestead notebook.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Posted in Crafting, Family Matters, Goats, Mini Homestead Happenings, Winter Prep | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Homemade Candles from Old Candle Remains

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on November 24, 2008

So yesterday Isaiah (my nephew), Zowie and I made candles. We are still working on them today.

We don’t actually know how to make candles, mind you. We had tons of candle ends, and used wax melts, that we needed to do something with. Plus we had all kinds of candle jars/holders. We decided to reuse these items to make holiday gifts.


leftovers from used candles

used wax melts

used candle jars/holders

wicking – I purchased mine from Joanne Fabric. They have the metal ends for easy handling. They are $2.99 per package.

metal cans from soups, etc. Washed and labels removed.


something to stir each cans contents in


*** This can be time consuming, but it is easy. Please do not let small children use sharp knives by themselves.

1. Before you begin, you will want to cut the used candles into chunks. Remove wicking (saving longer pieces or pieces with the metal to reuse for ‘new’ candles.) You can separate like colors into different bowls, but I just throw them all into a large bowl, even the smallest shavings, and pick through them as I need them.

I do mix and match colors.

2. Wash out, and dry thoroughly, all candle jars/holders.

3. Now you are ready to begin. Fill pot(s) about 1/2 way with water and put on stove to boil on high heat. When boiling, reduce to medium heat.

4. While water is boiling, fill each can with the color(s) you wish to start with.

5. Put the cans in the pots and allow the wax to melt, stirring sometimes. Take wicking and dunk each one of the bottoms into melted wax, then put each in the center of one of the jars/holders.

6. Now pour melted wax into jars/holders, leaving a little head space.

7. When solidified, you will want to add just a little more wax to each to even out the surfaces.

*** You can either use just one color, or you can layer the colors by pouring in a little at a time and allowing it to solidify before adding the next layer.

Posted in Crafting | Tagged: , , , | 10 Comments »

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