Sunday, September 22, 2013

Preparing for Fall!!! Yea!!

Things going on Stoney Creek...

That time of year is quickly approaching! We are so geeked! We LOVE fall and winter, we're a little crazy about the Christmas season. Not about materialistic aspects so much but for the SEASON which for me starts the day after Halloween. No disrespect to Thanksgiving, we still give it many props even though it will likely be celebrated among Christmas decor. This year we also hope to stock up our Etsy shops for the holiday shopping season so hopefully you will be hearing more from us as we come up with gift ideas to warm the hearts of your friends & loved ones.

~ So here's the latest ~

Summer is coming to end..... and we still have tomatos to can!

Last week I officially harvested sunflower seeds for the first time! I YouTubed it :)

I refernced this video

We have an almost entirely new flock of chickens this year, the first half of 2013 was a rough year for the chicken at Stoney Creek. Hawks, possoms, our rottweiler & malamute really did a number on them. We wired over their run and the malamute went to live with Jesus and the possum well, lets say a car took care of him. So we're pretty optimistic for the 2013-2014 season! 

Finally the most important preparations for the fall and winter season is Fire Wood! 

We don't heat exclusively with wood but we do burn nearly all day & night, which saves us a ton on that gas bill!

Have a great fall season everyone!

The Sheps
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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Melt & Pour Soap Making

I know NOTHING about soap making, I'm a total & complete newb!

For my birthday, last July the husband gave me ingredients for making my own cleaning / beauty products. One of the ingredients he gave me was glycerine. Today I finally decided to make something with it. So here's how it all played out. 

I knew I wanted to color it & add pretty things. I did a little tiny bit of reserach on this & wasn't really happy with what I found. The husband had a great idea to make the color myself suggesting I juice the cabbage in the fridge. I thought that was a great idea except I didn't want purple, I wanted green so I decided to juice kale instead. 

The kale juice is like food coloring, it doesn't take much. 

I then pulled out my essential oils & pulled some herbs off of the plants I brought in for the winter, specifically rosemary & thyme. 
I also wanted a milky oatmeal type soap so I figured I would open a can of coconut milk & try adding that to the glycerine. (I read that using adding a little coconut milk can help make the soap harder & last longer). I also opened up a chai tea bag to use the dried herbs & such.

coconut milk

I took the chunks of glycerine and estimated how much would be needed to fill my molds, I then microwaved it at 15 second intervals until it was melted. I used a glass pyrex measuring dish & a wooden spoon for this process.

I then poured the melted glycerine it into the molds and promptly added my color, oils & textured items. It sets up pretty quick. 

The left is patchouli / orange with a little coconut milk.

The center is rosemary eucalyptus.

The right is coconut milk, oatmeal, chai & lavender.

I decided I wanted to use up more of my canned coconut milk so I poured it into into a small loaf dish, approximately 1/3 of the dish. I then melted more glycerine and added it to the dish while mixing in lots of oats, thyme and lavender. I sprayed the dish with vegetable spray, hopefully I can get it out, its taking longer to set up :)

Well thats that, I suppose my next step is to make soap with lye, I think process is a bit more complicated :)

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Garden & Flower markers

We found a lovely bag of old silverware at an antique shops in a nearby town. We snatched it up in case the wares happened to be sterling any good preppers would do! :) But alas it's all silver plated, that's great though! Now we can use it all for projects! 

I started off  trying to flatten and stamp a couple of pieces with just a hammer, take my advice now and don't bother with just a hammer! Our neighbor (a blacksmith) let me borrow a chunk of railroad rail and I then opted for a 5lb hammer and it worked much better that way!

See Apartment Therapy's blog on how to stamp your own silverware.

We will be listing a few bundles of our wares on our Etsy shop soon, so you can get in on the fun! 

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Happy Cleaning!

There's just something about self-reliance that gets me super geeked!

I love the idea of learning how to make products by hand that most people would normally buy at the grocery store. This sort of knowledge is important for all of us for a couple of reasons. These products are usually much more sustainable, environmentally friendly and healthier than their store bought counterparts. They generally cost MUCH less than their store bought counterparts. AND The most important reason, in my opinion, is having the knowledge to be able to meet your families needs regardless of what is going on in the economy, government etc. All it takes is one tornado, earth quake, flood, (enter disaster here) and the supply chain to your hometown could be interrupted for days). Ok, enough of my "prepper" bandwagon :)

Pictured above is a natural & super effective cleaning solution. Your grandma knew it as "white vinegar" I know it as the stinky stuff we run through our coffee pot once a month. So I came across some recipes for sprucing up your vinegar so it's not so stinky.

I chose orange peels for mine, oranges are such a healthy snack & a good thirst quencher so I like to have them around throughout the year. Instead of composting those peels, throw them in a mason jar and fill the jar with white vinegar. Let the jar sit for a week and see what you think of the scent. If it's still too vinegar-ey then add some essential oils, I'm adding tangerine to mine. Once your vinegar smells good to you, drain the vinegar into a bottle with sprayer attachment and you're done! 

Click on the pic below for your own recipe card!

Also click on the pic below for your own laundry detergent recipe card! 
This recipe comes from Natural Home & Garden

Happy / Healthy Cleaning!
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bottoms up! Treasury

The Husband (Bernie) who I'm sure will start posting on the blog occasionally, has been cranking out some super great treasuries!!

Check out his latest, he really has an eye for this stuff!

If you're a member of Etsy, stop by & leave a comment! 

'Bottoms up!' by stoneycreekmerc

Pop, beer, coffee, whiskey advertisements, vessels, trays, and covers
















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Monday, April 16, 2012

Who says you can't eat healthy at work??

Fresh Tomato Smoothies!
At Stoney Creek we're kinda foodies. I'm a different kind of foodie than my husband is though. He is trained in culinary, baking & pastry. So he knows good food and good ingredients. Me on the other hand, I'm mostly concerned about only HEALTHY food. The two go hand in hand mostly but he hasn't come over to my way of thinking for lunch yet. 

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Prepping for Spring Planting

Herb Garden

We're prepping for spring planting here at the homestead! 

Pictured here is our herb garden, the strawberries took over last year so the husband quite painstakingly thinned and transplanted the berries. 

Berry Bed

We now have a raised bed planted entirely in strawberries and they already have blooms on them!

Bloomin Berries!

The berries that he thinned out have been sold locally and even shipped out of state. Everyone seems to be having great success with their new berry plants!

We're hoping to sell much more of our bounty this year. I have visions of a farm stand out by the road & cut flower beds where the locals can come pick up a pretty bouquet on their way home from work! I have an entire raised bed reserved for this as well as a couple of other beds around the yard. I'm pretty excited to see this happen!!

Seed Starting

We have started our pepper & tomato plants, I did this last weekend and then we had a cold snap so there aren't any sprouts yet but I'm hoping to see some soon! All of the clay pots are flower seeds.

Bee Balm

A gardener friend gave me Bee Balm last year that a client didn't want anymore. I transplanted it at the end of it's growing season. I've had my fingers crossed that it would come and much to my delight I do believe it has! It's the lighter green spear shaped leaves. They smell great already!! I'm very excited!!

Due to our early spring this year we have lots of things budding. Which meant lots of things to cover this week as the temps dipped down to 30 at night but that's ok, I'll take the early spring!

Wild Roses
This wild rose, believe it or not, was dug up out of the middle of our yard. Hence it's "wildness". It has grown exceedingly well and is climbing on the decorative section of picket fence quite nicely! 

The best things in life are always free!

Soon I hope to have a tutorial posted on some cute little garden markers,
until then.... good day!

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