Friday, October 28, 2011

I Make Home.

I make home.

I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to stay home this year. And, because my surgery scheduled for October 10th didn’t happen, I am currently enjoying the gift of time I didn’t think I’d have on my feet.

One of the things I’ve done a lot of is reading. Little Boy and I attend the children’s time at the library every week, and I’ve begun a bit of a love affair with the library. I’ve been reading a lot of things about old homemaking crafts, gardening, and homesteading. I really enjoyed the book Radical Homemakers, and I’m trying to make my own, more natural versions of lots of household things (i.e. body soap, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, bread, juice).

We are making plans to do gardening differently this coming year and are working toward having some laying chickens in the backyard come spring. I am really enjoying getting my hands dirty. I love to make things, especially when making them means that I am avoiding being a consumer, doing something green, or providing a better product for my family. I am loving the idea of making our home as self-sufficient as possible, using a lot of the old homestead traditions.

While I am enjoying these various projects, relishing a slower pace, and loving my time with my little man, I do admit I’ve had a bit of an identity crisis. “What do you do?’ It’s a question I don’t get asked a lot around here, but John and I recently attended our college reunion, and it was the first time I stumbled over my answer. For the past 10 years, my I’m-a-teacher answer has been at the ready. Now, what do I do? It’s certainly not nothing. “I stay home.” Well, not most days. “I’m a homemaker.” It sounds like such a label, that brings with it so many other stereotypes. Today, when John popped in to say hello at lunch, he smelled the baking bread and said, “It smells like home in here.” I like it. That means I’m doing my job today. So, what is my job? “I make home.” I like that answer. It’s active. And I am active. I actively nurture Little Boy; I actively create things to support our family; I actively make a home that’s warm and nice to return to for the three of our brood who are away during the day.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Driftwood Centerpiece

Yesterday, I discovered  I can already tell that it will be a love/hate relationship.  Today, it was love.  I found inspiration and went with it.  Someone had pinned a table centerpiece that was a railroad tie with holes drilled to hold tealight candles.  It brought to mind the old piece of driftwood that I found along the White River a few years back on one of John and I's anniversary trips to the cabin.  For whatever reason (I think it's its unique shape), when I saw this piece of wood along the bank of the river, I loved it.  I cleaned it up, brought it home with us, and have had it sitting on the back porch ever since.  Today, it was promoted from backportch ornament to kitchen table centerpiece.  Here's what I did . . .
This 1.5" drill bit is the perfect size to fit tealight candles.

I decided which way I wanted to orient the wood on the table and drilled holes in the wood, being sure to keep the drill perpendicular to the floor.

See how perfectly the candle fits!

I put in a total of 7 holes.

Then, I brought it in to the table!  It may not be traditional decor, and it may not stay on the table forever, but I think it's beautiful!  Plus, it was super easy and didn't cost me a penny. I suspect that not all of the Pinterest-inspired crafts in my future will be the same.  That's where the hate part of the love/hate relationship will come in.  :)