Art-earnative Life Farm Blog or Vlog 365 Fiber and Fabric Homestead

Day 10 of 365 Blog or Vlog

Updating from older blog

by Ameda Holmes

It seems to be quite ordinary to have multiple projects going at once. Whether it has to do with the multiplicity of chores that need to be done on a developing homestead, updating and repairing clothing, decor changes to the living spaces, improving organization, and creating items for sale, the project list sometimes seems to be getting longer as items are completed.

This doesn’t bother me at all. The production measured against my project list is quite satisfying. I did discover that I do have to create lists in order to keep from getting overwhelmed and confused. While I have received dismissive comments to the effect that the detail in my lists is unnecessary, I have found the detail is not only satisfying as it gets checked off, but needful actions don’t get overlooked.

There is a daily chore list where individual items just get a check mark as completed. Making the bed, feeding animals, doing dishes, taking out trash, etc.

A weekly list includes items such as dealing with leftovers. For example, freezing meals for the next week, making stew from left over meats and veggies. Baking bread, any cleaning and organizing projects, and mending, laundry & putting clothes away. With the guys working on remodeling and painting projects away from the homestead during the week, there is a need for portable meals to avoid additional expense.

A monthly list consists of the bills and due dates. While not actually projects, this is a very important part of our household organization. It is also where we schedule spending for materials and equipment.

While most of the homestead construction projects are on the shoulders and strength of the male half of this partnership, I do have input on appearance, priority and problem-solving. I also have some personal projects that are within my strength and energy level. This is a longer term list, as the time / money / energy equation gets continually updated.

A few items on the current list include:
Porch / greenhouse / dining room on the west side of the house. The entry stairs and first 8’x10′ porch are mostly completed.
We have a pile of reclaimed corrugated plastic roofing for this, and hopefully we have enough for the greenhouse as well.

A 16’x16′ deck / porch on the east side of the house that will eventually (hopefully this winter) get enclosed for my studio space.

An enclosed storage room under the south end of the house. The house mover left the several-hundred-pound trailer tongue under this area. Rahn got help to manhandle this out around the tie-down straps and help to dig out the sand to level the area prior to it getting enclosed.

A much larger rabbitry needs to be constructed to protect the bunnies from predators and extremes of weather. We lost bunnies to both this summer.

The current cages did get moved to where the new rabbitry will get constructed, and a start was made on the construction. More to be done here as well.

The garden:
First iteration of the garden is going to be in 5 gallon buckets enclosed by half-pallet sides. Most of the soil here is composed of sandstone gravel and clay. Very low in organic matter, so buckets of amended soil as we get larger amounts of compost made will do for now. We can get a nearly unlimited number of free pallets and buckets, and plan to get a chipper to chop up brush in the future.

When I was living in an apartment in Irving I had a successful container garden. The containers here at the homestead will be much larger.

Eventually most of the property will have gardens. Food is the first priority, of course. Some of the plants I want to grow for fiber and dye are quite decorative and will be sited with an eye towards enhancing the overall appearance of the property. I also want to get some wild blackberry starts to plant along the edges of the property, some fruit trees, and perhaps some nut trees.

I did get a dozen small trees from Arbor Day Foundation. I’ll be getting them sited this week.

The “Making” list has sub-headings of clothing, household, and trade goods. This is probably the largest list, though the homestead construction projects are individually larger items. This is also the list that gets longer as I work on items. I have a quirk where I’m working on a project, and a variant occurs to me. I’ll put it on the list and write down any details that pop up.

A couple examples of this:
I was knitting one of my favorite edgings on the lace wristers I was finishing. It occurred to me that I could use some of my acrylic yarn stash and knit panels to be mounted in reclaimed wood frames as fencing for the front yard. There was a FB post a few years ago where a knitter in the Shetland Isles made a fence around her garden using fishing net cord and over-sized needles. She used the same edging pattern as I was currently knitting.

Another variant of this was a project I did a few years ago as display panels. The panels I did then didn’t survive the multiple moves of the years between then and now, but I plan to get some of these done this week. Reclaimed lumber frames, and twine to make dream-catcher centers.

Other “Making” projects include clothing for both of us. I currently have several historical re-enactment items cut out that just need sewing.

I am also cutting up a number of old pairs of jeans and piecing them into fabric to be used for covers for furniture and a cowboy duster.

Reclaimed denim is also a great resource for the trade goods list. Little bags, medium bags, quilts, wall hangings, are all on the list to be done.

Then there is my sizable stash of fabrics, yarn, jewelry supplies, and the creativity that gets splattered around my work space.

An on-going item on the “making” list is regular time spent spinning yarns to be used in future projects. I can sometimes get some production done as part of public spinning demonstrations. Honestly, there is a lot more explaining of the process than actual spinning happening.

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