Using the help of one of my sons, we did some brainstorming to improve the design. For one, we added more petals and used copper wire for the stem. Texturing each petal was the fun part, we traded the texturing job, one for you, one for me, one for you, and one for me.
When Daniel and I started this homesteading journey long ago, I fell in love with the Christmas hamper basket. We started out on our land building a homestead from scratch, we sure didn’t have a lot of money, but I loved giving gifts. Reading old books got me seriously curious about the old fashioned idea of Hamper baskets. It seemed the perfect answer, I grew my own food, made my own soaps, candles, and herbal teas.
And, to me, homesteading has always been about the food! What a perfect way to showcase your bounty from your homestead, along with seasonal favorites.
What is really interesting is that giving of hampers was often a charitable gesture, until a London department store caught on to the idea of sending hampers as gifts to family and loved ones.
What a delightful tradition. Simple, frugal, and you don’t have to worry about your gift going into a yard sale pile next year 😉 And really, I couldn’t think of a better way to share your own handmade delicacies.
I collect unique hamper and picnic style baskets all year long, I often find my best ones at thrift stores. I also keep on the lookout for vintage mugs, tea cups, and cool jars.
Here are a few ideas to fill your baskets brimming full with all kinds of Christmas goodness!
Start out with a beautiful basket, jars, bags, tissue paper, twine and labels.
Fill your basket full, brimming is best. You want someone to feel blessed, loved and fed.
Here is a list of things you might want to put in your Hamper Basket:
Jams and Jellies
Smoked or Dried Meats
Coffee, Tea, Cocoa
Homemade Candies and Confections
You get the idea! Food, lots and lots of food.
I also like to add Mugs, soaps, lip balm, candles, hand towels, heirloom seeds, and anything that adds a cozy charm to the hamper.
Sending love, and holiday greetings from our homestead to yours.
– Abby Jo
We tend to bake on the weekends and we like to make it special. Pastries and fancy cakes are amazing tea time treats. Any one who knows me, knows I love some tea time 🙂 But alas, I have never made macarons, until now. I always thought they might be a bit too fancy for me to make. Simply not true! With this great tutorial, Angela the ParisienneFarmgirl made the whole process easy and explained everything very well. The picture above is my first batch ever, I think they turned out pretty good! I need to work on size control :)
If you ever get the hankering to make some yummy French cookies, check out this great tutorial!
I know a lot of you have been around for awhile, but I have been getting a lot of new readers. I think there is a little confusion over where we live and what we are doing. So, I’m going to clarify a few things again for all the new readers 🙂 We live in a small town setting on a small lot. Town homesteading, if you will, we purchased this property as an investment. We have lived here for just over a year and plan on fixing and improving our property for the next 2-4 years. Our BIG goal, is to buy ten to twenty acres and homestead full time. We are working on putting things into place now, that will pay off later. We also have a goal to learn as much as we can, right now while we have the time. Because we know how much work it is to start a homestead from scratch, how do we know? Well, for five years we lived off-grid building up our five-acre homestead. We sold our five-acre homestead a year ago, to regroup, reinvest, and plan for our future.
I know a lot of you like the Off-Grid info, and part of you would like more on town homesteading. I plan on giving a little of both worlds. We will revisit our old homestead, and show you how we apply what we learned from homesteading those five years. We are working on permaculture design on our town lot and it’s really changing how we look at gardening. Like I said before, “I really believe you can homestead anywhere, it’s a mindset more than anything”.
Daniel made it out of pallet wood, and I love it.
Happy almost Spring!
– Abby Jo
Add the meat of choice to a zip lock bag, pour in olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a three to one ratio (vinegar 1 and balsamic 3), next you are going to add lots of minced garlic (to each his own taste), salt & pepper, and a Mediterranean herb mix. Let sit over night. When you take it out, let it sit at room temp. for a least an hour before cooking. This makes for a quick and super easy marinade.
This weekend was one of those perfect weekends. We cooked together, worked side by side, and had fits of laughter. Every bit of food you see posted today, are pics of what we made this weekend. We connected and recharged.
We decided the last evening to forgo dinner, and have a high tea instead.
– Abby Jo
One thing I love about old sewing machines is how they were built like cars. Who thought of making all those knobs look like they came off a vintage car radio? It adds so much character and glamour.
I’m hoping to make many more things like it, this summer and I’ll keep you posted.
DIY: How To Make Wattle Fencimg Step by Step
How to make wattle fencing step by step… When I see Wattle fencing, I feel the moist British fog clinging to my skin and a wistful smile crosses my face.
Wattle Fencing came on the scene around the Middle Ages and was a popular construction method for animal and land management. The Wattle hurdle (a section of fencing ranging 5-7 feet long) was and still is, heavily used on sheep farms in the British countryside.
One of the benefits of using Wattle panel or hurdles is the encouragement of animal rotation that helps prevent overgrazing and also greatly reduce’s worm loads on animals that are regularly moved to new feeding areas.
Concerns About Making Wattle Fencing
When I first thought about making Wattle hurdles, I had three main questions:
- How strong could a bunch of sticks really be?
- Aren’t these hurdles going to be insanely heavy?
- And lastly, how long were they going to last?
Well, after building and most importantly, using these hurdles with animals over a long period of time, I feel I can answer these three questions.
To the first concern of how strong could the hurdles be? Let me tell you I’m forever reassured of that doubt, wattle fencing once dried is a strong and sturdy form of fencing.
On to the second concern about the overall weight of the hurdle. You must remember, that when building the hurdles all the materials must be “green” or freshly cut. Only green material can handle the stress of bending in different directions. The weight of green materials will shed off after the hurdles are put to work through a warm summer and have thoroughly dried. You will be left with a strong, but light hurdle panel.
And to the third and most important concern, how long could the wattle panels last or better said, are they worth the time it takes to build them? In answer to this, 6 years have gone by with many of the wattle hurdles only needing minor repairs. The only noticeable sign that time has passed is the falling off of the bark giving the wattle hurdles a warm sun baked look.
How to Make Wattle Fencing Step by Step
So, let’s start… how to make wattle fencing step by step. Here is our pictorial guide in which we use our local and abundant resource, thousands of Bull Pine Trees.
First, gather yourself a large armful of your local material and make two piles. The stake pile needs to be everything 1 1/2” in diameter or larger. The wattle pile should be 1” or less.
Take your bundle of tapered stakes to a hurdle jig, made of anything laying around. ( ex. log, 2×4, 4×4, scrap lumber) Nail or screw outriggers on both ends of the jig to keep it stable while building the hurdle. Drill 1 1/2” holes in the jig about 16” to 18” apart. The distance the stakes need to totally depend on the size of material you are using for the wattle. The larger the wattle material the further apart the stakes will need to be.
Now you know how to make wattle fencing step by step!
Now put that beautiful wattle to work! We used it in our gardens, as a privacy fence and of course, for the animals.
Wattle is a beautiful and practical approach to fencing, and with these newly found skills, funny things could start happening. You just may find yourself spending a silly amount of time admiring the newest addition to your garden or livestock fencing, with a warm beverage in hand. Waiting for that British fog to roll in.