Saturday, January 7, 2012

Planning for 2012

As a big list-maker, I've been working this week on three lists of projects and goals I'd like to accomplish in 2012.   The lists are centered around: crafting, the house, and homesteading. 

Resolutions, what?  I think I'll just stick to projects this year! 

Crafting Projects
After painting a bunch of furniture last year, I'd like to switch gears this year and focus on sewing projects, both with the machine and by hand.   I'm sure I'll still paint here and there, but I'd love to venture beyond making pillow covers and curtains, and try sewing clothes for a change of pace.

Perhaps a pair of pajama bottoms for the winter?  This dress would be adorable to make for the summer!  And based on the tutorial, a novice sewer (like moi) can make it...


And something I can't wait to get started on is embroidery.  After discovering Cornflower Creations on Etsy this fall, I've become a wee bit obsessed with vintage-style embroidery.  Jacklyn, of Cornflower Creations, has so many adorable embroidered tea towels that I would love to buy all of them, but I just about died when I saw her redwork chicken towel.  And so it had to go in the Etsy shopping cart and come home to live in my kitchen.

{Cornflower Creations}

There's something about sitting with a needle, thread, and hoop of fabric, stitching away serenely. And you can easily turn embroidery into art by placing it in a hoop and hanging it up!

The other area of sewing I'd like to try in 2012 is quilting.  Now, there's no way I can possibly sew an entire quilt--or even a baby quilt.  But a potholder seems very attainable. :)  And I do need some more, so why not?

Some quilted potholder inspiration...




Other crafty projects I'd like to try in 2012:
-big bunting for my front and side porches this spring
-fabric-wrapped wreaths for the seasons
-clay tags

And of course, there will be many beautiful, creative projects online that I'll have to try, but this list at least gets me started and helps keep me focused.  Or as focused as I can be...

Around-the-House Projects
Priority numero uno: landscape the exterior of the house!

It's been more than four years since we finished building and moved in.  We have a nice yard, but between all the other house and homesteading projects, we've had no money, no energy, or a combination thereof, to tackle this.

I'd love to plant a variety of English rose bushes, lilac, hydrangea, wisteria, and jasmine.  Anything that flowers and smells beautiful is what I'm going for. And also low-growing plants to go around the perimeter of the wrap-around porch. I should mention here that I have no experience with any of this, so I have a feeling I'll be spending a lot of time on the Internet doing research. :)   Here are few photos I pinned for inspiration:



And the other big project:  finish the office/craft room!  Or as I currently call it, the crap room.  This is the space where I pile (I can't honestly say 'store' because there is about zero organization happening) my crafting supplies, as well as keep the candles for the Etsy shop.  I'd share a photo but it's difficult to walk into the room at the's that bad.

Anyway, I have a glorious vision in my head of making this a Cath Kidston/Tanya Whelan-themed, cheerful space.  The room has great potential with lots of natural light, white beadboard walls, and cute furniture by way of this desk and this armoire.  I just need to pull it all together by building a work table (I'm thinking planked farmhouse style) for the sewing machine and figuring out how the heck to organize all the crap.  If I can just get a system in place, this room will be awesome, and I'll have a happy, inspiring place to craft.  Wish me luck!

In between these two big projects, there are also the very unsexy tasks of:
-fixing the clothesline so I can actually hang laundry to dry this spring and summer
-re-doing the compost pile, which has been terribly neglected
-painting the porch floor of our new storage building
-coming up with a DIY recycling station for our laundry room
Homesteading Projects
After raising and slaughtering pigs this year--and yes, I realize I never wrote about this even though I'd planned on it (story of this blog...)--my husband and I have decided to forgo another porcine project for 2012 since we have enough pork in the freezer to last us well into 2013!

Instead, we're looking at adding a few more hens to the flock as some of the gals are getting older and not laying as frequently.  And since we'll no doubt grow weary of eating pork at some point, we're hoping to raise meat chickens with friends who are also homesteading on a small scale.

I don't know if we'll have time to do this, but I'd love to establish a honeybee hive in 2012 on our property. One of the fellows who helped us slaughter the pigs in late December is a hobby apiarist and after talking to him, my interest in keeping a couple of hives was piqued.  Because honey is delicious.

This final project is a definite because I've promised Jacob we'll do it, but we're going to plant a pumpkin patch this summer!   This kid loves pumpkins and Halloween.

And out of the blue one night he said he wanted to sell pumpkins this fall.  I thought that was such a cool idea--and the country version of having a lemonade stand?   So we'll look for a variety of heirloom pumpkin seeds and get them in the ground in June and see what happens!

Whew! So, there are my lofty aspirations for 2012. What are yours?



  1. Hello Erin,

    I so enjoyed reading this post! Lovely lofty goals you have for this year.
    LOVE what you did with the armoir and I am a huge Tanya Wheal fan.

    I sew quite a lot, but have never tackled quilt. One of my best friends here in Warrenton owns a quilt shop and is always trying to get me to give quilting a try. Maybe someday.

    I would love to have a few chickens...we have three acres ans are zoned agri so we could do it. Fresh eggs...YUM!

    I look forward to seeing the studio progress into an inspirational workplace for you...keep us posted.

    Enjoy the week!

    Janet xox

  2. Erin, I am so with you on many of your plans, especially the sewing...all I can make so far are pillows and curtains as well! I'm attempting a tote/purse this month...eek! Would love to do some pajama bottoms or a dress like you showed too. If you figure it out, maybe you can help me! I want to tackle the landscaping also at our house and a vegetable you I have no knowledge in these matters ;)
    Lot's of research will be done, witha dash of professional help too!
    Looking forward to seeing you check off these items on your list!

  3. P.S. A Cath K/Tanya W craft room would be adorable!!!!

  4. Awesome projects for 2012! I too would love to start a honeybee hive this year. We also want to process some extra roosters for meat as well. Maybe we can keep each other accountable with all our homesteading goals!

  5. that dress is so cute! and we are so on the same page! i am making smaller crafts much more of a priority this year. still painting furniture, of course, but i need to try some other things, too. and i have made clay tags and they are SUPER easy. so you can certainly scratch that off the list soon!
    we are also going to be doing some landscaping this spring, seeing as we just moved here and it needs it! :) i can't wait to see what you do!
    and i would love to have chickens, but chris is not on board. lots of people here have them, and i eat egg whites every morning, so i would love it! :)

  6. I can't sew except by hand and it has been awhile since I picked up a needle. You have inspired me!

    Your projects sound very doable and I know you will feel wonderful as you cross them off your list! Best wishes, Erin!


  7. I'm sure if you can make quilted pot holders, you can work up to a quilt!

  8. I love the quilted potholders idea!

  9. I love plans and new beginnings. mwa! (and I am doing pumpkins this year too because sista' they're just awesome!


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