Bear Season has come and gone. Deer season came along and I was lucky enough to fill a few tags and get some meat canned and in the freezer. Now we are just patiently waiting on snow. Snow for trailing bobcats with the hounds. With this few weeks of lull and waiting, I figured I had better get some crafting done! So I picked a few different ideas I wanted to make and got to work! I think after all this crafting Wayne and the hounds are all seriously ready for the snow to come! Here’s a few of the things I’ve been up to…
1- Soap Making. This has possibly become my new favorite pastime! Aside from hunting of course 😉 Soap making is so versatile and fun to make! It is much like cooking, using different recipes, ingredients and methods. I have been making different types of soap too. The foaming hand soap is LOVELY on your hands and smells sooo wonderful!! My favorite flavors are the Theives/Sweet Orange, Peppermint/Ylang Ylang and Pine/Cedarwood. My skin loves it when I wash my hands! I owe the credit of this to my mom. She wanted to make the foaming hand soap, and now I think we are both addicted!!
I’ve also been making cold process soap. This is much the same as Dove or Irish Spring bar soap you would buy at the store. Cold process soap is so fun to make and your imagination is the only limitation as to what you can do! There are endless variations with scents, oils, colors, methods, etc…
The biggest downfall of cold process soap is waiting 4-6 weeks for the curing process so you can try out your new soap! I’ve learned there is quite a science to making this soap! Every kind of oil and amount change the structure of your soap and how well it cleanses, lathers and softens your skin. Along with the different essential oils added to benefit your skin as well. Everytime I make a new batch of soap I learn so much. Yes, sometimes by the mistakes I make, but that’s how we learn right?! I’ve done a ton of research and I think every batch is superior to the prior. Here are a few pics of some different kinds of cold process soaps I’ve been getting into!
2- Succulents!! Oh my how I love succulents!!! Some friends and I went to a succulent class at a greenhouse nearby and we made some beautiful little pumpkin succulent planters just in time for the holidays! I also made a whiskey barrel fairy garden for our living room. 🙂 It was a lot of fun making and now all I have to do is keep it alive! :0 No pressure!! Here are a few pics of our succulent spoils.
3- Knitting. Another pastime my mom introduced me to! My mom has been knitting for awhile now and made some AMAZING blankets, hats and scarfs! I have been lucky enough to enjoy some of them! She says “knitting is SO easy! You should try it! Well my best friend from decades ago gifted me a knifty knitter way back when. Unfortunately I never really figured out how to use it, but I never let it go either. Nowadays with YouTube, Pinterest, and all the findings online anyone can figure out how to do just about anything! So my mom got me started on knitting a few hats and that is about as far as it has gotten so far. Now I find with Christmas closing in, I am just running short on time! I have a TON of ideas of things I would like to make….just need a little extra time!! Here are a few pics of the few hats I’ve knitted so far. The two little girls hats were really fun and simple to do. The one with my scary face picture is a messy bun hat. It turned out pretty cute, but it needs some elastic in it. Otherwise it just rides up my head when I move. So that’s not too cool. Have I mentioned I learn best from my mistakes…??
4- Pressure Canning. We tried a few new things this year. Including making canned venison stew. This has turned out to quickly become a staple meal in our home. I have canned chicken soup for a few years and the venison is a nice addition. You can simply heat and eat, thicken the broth and throw it in a pie crust for venison pot pie, or our favorite, add some broth and dumplings and have venison stew with dumplings! I love going through our canning pantry and making hearty healthy meals in no time!
We added peppers, onions, garlic and mushrooms to the venison we canned this year. In addition to these, I made a HUGE batch of chili in the nescoe and then canned that as well. Wayne made some delicious 16 bean soup out of some leftover ham we had. Can you guess what we did with that as well?? Oh ya! So I envision super fast and tasty meals in our very near future! I love pressure canning food and I am so excited that Wayne gets into it as well. It reminds us both of our grandparents and how much hard work went into everything they did. From prepping the gardens, harvesting and preserving. I am so happy we can share this together! Here are a few pics of some of the canning we did recently… Until the snow flies…..