Saturday, January 28, 2017

DIY Chalkboard Fridge


   Earlier this month I have been writing down a list of things I want to accomplish each month with my spinning, home and homestead alongside my husband, I was writing so much that I kept using so much paper I would have to go and purchase some more! 
     The problem with that is I would often mix papers that were for short term goals, with long term goals, with grocery list, with menu for the week list, and/or with reminders for the day/week. Phew! That is a LOT of writing and papers and lack of organization, plus the fridge would be covered with so many papers it looked rather silly.

 I finally had this idea, Why not actually use the fridge as my writing material! I can jot down temporary reminders and easily erase when things that are listed are accomplished. That way i'm not wasting money or papers to the bin and it will look so cool and will be fun to do!

 Here is how I did our fridge:

 After much research I realized I did NOT need primer and I definitely didn't need magnetic primer. After searching other blogs and doing my own research, I found out that magnetic primer can cause infertility or miscarriage and my husband and I want children so this was a easy "nope" for me!  Also, it's apparent in the finished picture, that magnets will easily stick to the fridge over the chalkboard paint.
  All I used was:

  • Medium sand paper - lightly sanding the surface will help paint adhere to the fridge.
  • Rust-o-leum chalkboard paint - I only used one can and this paint is non toxic
  • 3 inch wide sponge brush (I grabbed 2)
 Everything came out less than $15.00

First, I cleaned fridge with a rag with warm water and dish soap and thoroughly cleaned it off and allowed to dry completely.

 I did sand right after. I could have done so before cleaning but I wanted to take off all the grime stuck to the surface so that the sanding can really get in there with no spots overlooked. When I sanded the fridge I didn't do so vigorously, I just did enough that the glossy look was almost gone. 

 Make sure to wipe off fridge after the sanding part and wash again with warm water and soap and allow to completely dry.

Once fridge was completely dry I then began painting...

 Do not be alarmed to open the can and see blue paint, that is completely normal!

 Stir paint well and with a brush carefully apply your first coat. Be aware that the paint is very thin! After you apply your first coat allow to dry for 4 hours... trust me. You will see that the paint is dry within the hour and will be tempted to to apply another coat right away... DON'T DO IT! I was impatient and waited only 2 hours and reapplied a coat on one corner just to see what would happen.. the first coat began to chip off immediately so I waited after that.

 I did 3 coats as I read in other blogs to do so and I wanted to do it right the first time. On the can it says you can use the chalk area after 24 hours, but in every blog I read they say to wait 48 hours... So impatient me I decided to wait only 24 hours and boy... did I regret it.

 I began to season the paint (i'll explain what that is later) exactly 24 hours after last coat and immediately there was chipping happening EVERYWHERE! So I had to stop what I was doing and start allllll ovveeerrrrr. Sigh...

 I started by sanding and now I realized why I didn't need primer because no matter how hard I sanded the paint would not come off  (in the areas I never messed with while I was experimenting). 

 I then did 4 coats of paint (I wanted to really cover the surface well) and did not touch it for 4 hours each application... After the last coat I waited 48 hours before touching.

 Here came the moment of truth, I began to season it and no chipping! 

 This is what seasoning is:

 If you begin writing or drawing on the fridge after the 48 hours without seasoning it you will leave behind a shadow line that will never come off. No matter if you try washing it off it will stay on there.

 When you season the fridge first, you will not leave behind shadow lines when you wipe it clean.

 With a white chalk, using the side of the chalk, begin drawing vertical the entire fridge:

 Then overlap with a horizontal covering (as seen with picture to the left).

    The finished result will look like the picture to the right.
 After you are finished then wipe clean with a rag or paper towel. After I wiped clean then I barely damped the rag with warm water and wiped clean again to not have any chalk residue left behind.

     I hope this will inspire any of you reading this to give this a shot! It was extremely easy to do and fun to do it! 


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Do not despise small beginnings...

2017 is here and I am extremely excited!

 I've never been big on resolutions ( I would always jokingly say, "My resolution is to not make a resolution this year") but this year is different except my husband and I are not making resolutions, we are instead doing something more realistic, planning and making a schedule and calendar to make this quiet land booming with life in the form of a large garden, chickens and helping our pasture thicken with rich food for our future flock and other sustainable animals.
Our first snow fall of 2017!

We have been watching Joel Salatin (we heard about him from the movie Food Inc. I encourage everyone to watch it) and Paul Gautschi  from and have learned so much from them that we wish to incorporate their teaches onto our own gardening and land.

Dustin planning out this year
 We have been writing down what we need to do, starting with a family garden for us and my parents then to keep chickens and then we shall do and build more from there. We have never done this before so we are a bit nervous but at the same time hopeful we will learn quickly , grow from our mistakes and celebrate victories when we thought it couldn't happen.

 We are dreaming BIG but starting out small... we want to look back to this year and remember our theme scripture: Do not despise small beginnings.

 So far we are getting the hang of toughening out the cold while living in a trailer. We got our first snow fall which brought in a very cold 10F degrees highs and a low of 3 degrees at night! Yet here we are warm and cozy in our small home.
Packing away Christmas 2016! We decided to try replanting our tree and see what happens.

 We are hoping to attend a Lambing School at the University of Kentucky the middle of this month (January) as it is to teach new sheep farmers the 101 on how to keep sheep. There will be many classes this year we wish to attend.

 I'm staring at the screen at the moment not knowing what else to write about, not because there is nothing to mention but because there is SO MUCH to write down that I do not know where to start, how to begin, what else to mention, and how to put it all down to make it interesting to read. My mind is completely blank... But then, I read the title of this post, "do not despise small beginnings" and this post is showing just that; a feeling of vulnerability, excitement, hope, nervousness, joy and peace at what this year and every year is about to bring.

My own plans for this year. So far I only have Jan - March

 Right now is the beginning of it all for us and I am thankful to share it with friends, family and whoever else is interested to follow along.

 There is only one way to end this, I suppose... Thank you for joining us in this amazing and exciting journey to growing and learning and living in simplicity... Let it begin!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Tennessee County Fair: Sheep


they were so sweet! They loved the attention
When the county fair came to our area September of this year, we went on a Friday on one of the hottest days ever (or so it felt like it was the hottest day ever... I dislike the humidity here very much.) and stood in line waiting to get tickets, when we did we hurried through the gate and the whole crowd walked to the left where all the food, rides and concerts were taking place and only a very small handful of people (including us) walked to the right...

 As we turned right you can smell that familiar smell that only a farm would smell like, dust particles were flying everywhere and instead of grass there was a thick layer of hay and dirt one had to wear boots to walk on, then you heard it... "Baaaaahhhhh.... Baaaahhhhhhh"  

 Ah, yes. The best part of the fair was right here, the sheep judging was about to commence and we arrived right on time.

 The smell of wool is the most amazing scent to me, seeing bags of raw wool on display as they were being judged made my fingers itchy to touch and spin them into something amazing, hearing the judges muttering what they thought about each fleece was intriguing and watching the judging while both young and old showed off their best in hopes they will leave with that coveted blue ribbon.

 I watched intently the judging to learn something, anything, as I want to show like they are showing to produce the best sheep so they may produce the best fleece! 

 I looked around the stands and besides my husband and myself there were only 10 people in the stands. I wanted to run to where the rides and concerts were taking place and speak in the Mic. " Do you not know what you are missing????" But I forget, not everyone is as passionate about wool as I am. Ah, well. Their loss!

 I watched everything and asked questions and at the same time I was knitting up a cabled hat for a friend with my own hand spun yarn, a fitting place to knit wool yarn don't you think?  

 One day I will be up there not just in our local county fair(s), but in many state fairs and I will learn and improve and we will provide the best quality wool because we will raise happy and healthy sheep.

  ... One day.   



Home is where the heart is

Thank you for joining us in our adventure like no other!
It has been almost 3 months since my last post concerning knitting or anything fiber related and 6 months since anything about our land we were waiting to move on, so I wonder what kind of post this will be?

 We are finally Home!!!!

 Do you not know how long we have been waiting for this? We purchased our property back in April but it was bare of any home, electricity, sewage or running water. It was just used to keep cattle on and the last time there was a home on it was maybe back in the late 40's if I remember correctly.

 We have been waiting because my parents were also going to move onto the land and their house needed to be built in order for us to move our fifth wheel trailer there to connect certain utilities up to. We purchased our '93 Jayco on Craigslist for $2,000 and we have been living in it for about a month.  
husband took off some of the wall in the slideout and replace it

 When we first purchased the trailer it was dirty in the inside and some of the siding came off and there was minimal water damage and some old mold here and there. After chatting with Dustin about it I said, "Well, we want to save money and you want to homestead. This could be our first project fixing it up!", after consulting with my dad who (along with my mom) went with us to check it out and found that it was actually very sturdy and sound (just needed some lovin'), we decided to make this Saved By the Bell era trailer our temporary home until we build our permanent dream home!

Let me go back and reminisce all that has happened when we first moved to our Home...

a break after cleaning rented house
 Packing up the rental house we stayed in for the past, almost, 2 years was quite easy as we didn't have much anyways but the cleaning... phew! That was a different story. We wanted to be a blessing to our amazing landlord who has shown us so much grace and mercy the very first 2 months moving in...

 When we first moved to Tennessee, Dustin worked in his new job merely a month and a half when he was let go to our shock. We were very nervous and somewhat afraid because we barely knew our surroundings, we had zero family in the area and we were just getting to know new people, so we were somewhat alone when this happened. We were afraid we would have to already move out of our home, so Dustin talked to the landlord feeling helpless and embarrassed that we just moved in and now we were about to move out on a year lease.   
My hottie loading a uhaul truck

 Our landlord was very compassionate and empathetic with what we were going through he said, "I will lower the rent $100 until you get back on your feet. Just let me know when you have a permanent job and we can raise it back to what was agreed upon."  The relief was so stupendous I broke down crying in deep gratitude. 

When Dustin found a better job than he did when we first moved here (he is still there today and they are so good to him!) we immediately told our landlord and before we even called we were so excited to raise our rent back to the original price! 

We were so happy we couldn't wait to raise the rent on ourselves. HeeHee!

Another blessing to have such a wonderful landlord was when my parents decided to leave California and make Tennessee home they were wondering where they would live. We asked our landlord if they may stay until we found a permanent home and he, AGAIN, was so understanding he agreed.

 When we cleaned that house we didn't just clean... we SCRUBBED and made it glisten and so clean you can drag your tongue across the floor of that house without getting a lick of dirt! We also had Sadie Girl (our large labrador) and you wouldn't even know we had a dog in that house.... Another blessing was when we first  looked at the house we didn't know he didn't want pets, so when he met with us the very first time we had sadie in the car. He was a little hesitant but after meeting Sadie girl for the first time, he fell head over heels in love with her (that pup knows how to make any person love her) and immediately took the "NO PETS" off the lease and there was no fee for her!

Stayed in a hotel for 3 days until my parents home was ready

  When we moved our furniture we (meaning Dustin and I) had to do it all ourselves (except unloading, we had a friend help us do that). Let me say something about my man... he is a genius.

 He loaded the whole house so quickly (I helped with small items) with large furniture he was not just the hulk but he was also the Brain using ingenuity to move very heavy items from the house to the truck and played some "tetris" with every item packing everything snug to make room for more if needed.    
My Viking man fixing bottom of trailer

We moved a 3 bedroom/2 bath home into a 5x10 storage unit and into a 32' trailer. We really purged what was not needed and what could easily be replaced.

 I love living small. I love our tiny kitchen, tiny living area and small bedroom (our Queen mattress fits perfectly). I love the simplicity of our lives now. Don't get me wrong, I do want a nice size home (i'm still not sure if farmhouse or cabin style yet) but it's nice to remind ourselves that big doesn't always mean better. I feel more peace living in our tiny home than I did when we rented a large home! Crazy, isn't it?

 Before moving in, my husband has been working fortifying the trailer, sealing leaks, ripping out some of the interior walls to kill any small mold issues and adding insulation and re-paneling... When I moved in I cleaned whatever needed to be cleaned, and began putting items away playing my own kind of tetris, such as, where to put my spinning wheel and fiber goodies, ALL our clothing, and many other needed and desired items (i'm still in shock how much room this trailer has!), Dustin told me after we moved in, "Wow, what a woman's touch can do to a place. When I came everyday it was so dull and lonely in here. It just felt like I was coming to fix something that wasn't mine yet. It was cold and lifeless. Then you moved in and made your presence known with the way you fixed everything up and the way you decorated and just you here brought this trailer to life... It's no longer just a trailer, it's a home. And a home I can't wait to come back too after work." That absolutely made me teary and happy!
First breakfast in our little home!

We had our first Thanksgiving on our land there. My parents were on the road so it was just Dustin and Sadie girl and myself. But I wasn't going to let that small area and very tiny oven stop me from making that Thanksgiving a memorable one...

A man and his dog on his land
We went to Costco and got a 12 pound turkey ( perfect size to fit in the oven and fridge), I purchased stuffing package and all the trimmings to add into the stuffing, turkey and to make gravy from scratch. I also purchased what I needed to make pumpkin and apple bread.   

Night before Thanksgiving I cooked for over 3 hours prepping and dicing and cutting and stuffing and glazing. After I prepped the turkey I looked out our kitchen window and saw 16 wild turkeys pecking away near a large water bucket we put out there for the wild animals as our pond dried completely up as East Tennessee has had a horrible drought. For a second I thought, "Sorry about your couins, turkeys." He was delicious. Ha Ha!

For about a month I just could not STAND the design of the interior walls. It looked like Saved by the Bell had a party in there and the 90's stayed plastered on the walls. I needed a solid cottage color. after a week of contemplating what kind of color I wanted I researched the best kind of primer for the walls (Gripper brand just in case anyone was wondering) and went to home depot and purchased a Cottage color from Behr. I started my project, Dustin liked what I was doing, grabbed the brush from my hand and decided to complete it.

 Hey! I'm not going to argue, if he wants to paint, by all means go ahead! Heehee!    
Choosing a color for the walls

 Anyways, fast forward to now...

It's December which means it is the most wonderful time of the year... Christmas! 

Each year I love going to get a tree from an amazing family-oriented Christmas tree place called Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm that we enjoy going to now every year to either cut our own tree or pick up one already cut.  But this year I thought there would be no way we could pick a full size tree and place it inside our home. I was really sad because we don't know when we will build our dream home so that meant for a few Christmas's we wouldn't be able to put a tree in our tiny home.

 I was thinking of getting a table top tree but after some eyeing a certain area of the living area and measuring I thought, "I will make this happen... we will have a tree no matter what!"

Perfect size tree, perfect color for walls!
 We made sure to get a tree that was not taller than my husband and perfect height would be my height (i'm about 5'4) and skinny as possible.

 We went to the tree farm and guess what? We found the perfect tree! We decorated it with Christmas Jazz on the background and Sadie girl watching curiously as Dustin did the lights first (that is HIS job and I love that he is so uncompromising on that and that he delights in the simple things like Christmas time... our children will cherish that in a father.) and I made french toast with bacon and coffee in santa cups with marshmallows!    

 Our dreams is starting to become a reality but also we realized what we thought were big dreams are nothing but that the simple things we are working toward and we are living in now are what dreams are made of! We are blessed, we are safe, we are secure, we are full of joy, full of thanks and full of hope!

First night moving in Dustin was fixing a leak. Such a hard worker!

Fried apples for our first breakfast. Yummm!

First night at our home we drove half a mile to be with our community of fellow believers to worship around the campfire

Sadie girl and I enjoying a view of our land after or walk
Spinning from the lock in my little home!

We get our drinking water from a local park that has a nonstop flowing fountain of fresh spring water!

Merry Christmas from the Edberg Clan to you!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

My first time knitting

I'm a crocheter. I've been crocheting for over 3 years going to a class at a community college in El Cajon, CA. My teacher MaryAnne was AMAZING! She made me excited to crochet and she was assisting the head teacher over the whole class (both crochet and knitting were being taught at the same time) by Athena who took over the knitting section.

 I really enjoy crocheting because it is extremely easy and forgiving if you make a mistake (just rip it out until you reach the stitch you messed up on and continue from there) and crocheting small items, like flowers, is fast and easy... but... I really did NOT like the bulky look a crochet item gives in wearable items like as sweater or gloves or head wear.

 I did crochet a sweater for Dustin which took me over 2 years to make because it was so extremely easy I was easily bored! Ha Ha!

This pattern is from Red Heart and it is called: Father Pullover  It is extremely easy to create and VERY warm (if using Red Heart Yarn I started out with 2 years ago).

 The only knitting I have ever done in my life was about 3 years ago I was sitting in our teeny tiny 2 bedroom apartment in Honolulu, Hawaii (just minutes walk to the beach and 3 min drive to Waikiki! For some that was paradise, but i'm a country girl... I thought at the time I thought we were going to live in Hawaii forever that I wanted to move to the country side of the island which would be from Mililani to North Shore.) and all I did was cast on and what I thought was 1 row... oh my goodness... I didn't know a knit from a purl and just went with what I thought was knitting... Oh dear... Hahahaha!

 Just over 2 weeks ago I had to try knitting. I wanted to learn to spin sock yarn and not just list for sale but to knit socks for my beloved husband as he works on our land to keep his feet warm and dry and for me and other loved ones as well.

 So I had leftover yarn I purchased from Walmart 4 years ago (I wasn't going to use my hand spun yarn. Haha I put a lot of work in that! I needed some practice yarn first before I try my hand at knitting my spun yarn.) and looked up youtube videos on the basic knit and purl and I began to practice. After 2 rounds of immediately understanding I had some US13 circular needles and decided to learn how to rib in the round. I was itching to not waste time and begin creating something.

 I searched and searched for a very SIMPLE knitting pattern for fingerless gloves after I found this pattern on Pinterest I found that though I didn't need it, she used double pointed needles.

 I went from only knowing cast on on straight needles to quickly jumping onto double pointed needles and not just that... but size ONE double pointed needles because I was working with fingering merino/mohair yarn I purchased at a yarnival in California before we moved to Tennessee (beautiful yarn)!!!!

 When I want to learn something, i'm determined. I dive in and then learn to swim. I'm insane in the membrane!

 I purchased size 1 double pointed needles and circular needles. I wanted to try one glove on each kind to get practice in at the same time.

 My first glove was on DPN.

 My husband and I were at a local mom and pop coffee shop that is non-profit to help families who have a heart for children to adopt! Plus their coffee is delicious and the ambience is relaxing, perfect for studying and crafting...

 I took out my DPN from it's packaging and I thought, "Wow... these needles sure are tiny and... the stitches can easily fall off the other end if i'm not careful and... I have to use all 4 at the same time in this pattern... and I have a fifth needle to use as my working needle... alrighty then."

Cast on and first row
 Listen to me and listen to me good... It took me 4... FOUR stinkin hours to cast on AND knit1 purl1 first row. FOUR HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 I remember how I thought, "pffffttt, I can easily do this. Come on now." when I read the pattern, my hands thought, "A little over confident up there in your head, girly.", my hands were right.

 I wanted to take one needle and stab at my ball of yarn and scream, "DIE! DIE! DIE!", I was literally this guy below:

 But I am no quitter... I kept practicing casting on and making sure my yarn wasn't twisted at each corner and while I was knitting along I was shaking because I was gripping so hard that I was literally sweating... i'm not kidding. I... was... sweating!

But after 4 hours of not giving up I finally got my cast on and first row perfectly!

I was so proud of my cast on and first row I wore it. Lol!

 The next couple days I kept going extremely slowly as to not mess it up and I enjoyed the rustic-ness double pointed needles feel and look like while using them, I felt like if I could do this! I can do anything! I kept going about 2 inches when I finally reached the part of the pattern that said to continue in stockinette stitch. Phew! Easy, all I gotta do is knit since there is no turning my work.

How cool to work all 5 needles! Very rustic and beautiful to behold.

La la la la laaaaaa... knit, knit, knit with confidence this time as if I was doing it for ages, I reached about 4 inches of stockinette when for the first time I actually looked at my work... wait ... what the...

No... NO GOD NO! I looked at the ribbing on the cuffs and the beginning looks good until at the halfway point I must have accidentally turned my work inside out or I began knitting the other way, no matter, I was knitting on the WRONG SIDE!!!! ::face palm:: and there I went just knitting away like a doofus! Anger made another special appearance.

yep... was knitting on the wrong side. Sigh.
This is right side! Can you tell the difference? By the way, this is from my second glove i'm working on with circular needles as my left glove is completely done.

 So I tried frogging (Which is not a stitch that looks like a frog so I learned.) and I did manage to go back quite some ways without ripping the whole thing out but that didnt work because I kept messing it up more. So... with a sigh of defeat, I took off the yarn from my needles and began to rip it ALL out. Felt like a kick to the gut.

 Did I give up? Pfffttt... NO! After talking to the yarn with dominance " you WILL submit, do you hear me? You WILL turn into a glove and you will LIKE IT!" and gave a pep talk to my needles, "It ain't over till the fat lady sings... shut up." I did some stretching and settled down and put on some Rocky music and pumped up to "Eye of the Tiger" as Sadie Girl watched on without batting a eye as she is used to seeing her Mistress go crazy... away I went... 13 stitches on each needle and and ribbing began from there, but this time I was super careful I didn't do anything stupid.

 FINALLY! I reached the point where I found out I was knitting wrong side and continued... I never felt so excited in all my knitting years-... I mean days!

If I wasn't crazy enough, after I reached past the thumb gusset I decided to look at YouTube videos and other blog patterns on how to make individual fingers but only halfway to keep the tips free! I am happy to say I actually found a way and had to improvise by increasing/decreasing so that it would be snug on my fingers and not too tight nor loose.

I had a scare. I thought I completely lost my fifth needle and as you can see in the background I tore the living room up! Thanks to my mom and dad who helped me locate it!

 Listen, don't be intimidated by anything... give what you are curious to create a try and don't give up! Ya, you WILL have a headache and want to stab your eye out with a DPN but hey... that only means you need to back away for a breather and return when you're ready... because when you finish it, you will feel extremely motivated and proud of yourself!

 Now that I have done gloves, I will be working with my own yarn to make beanies, gloves and soon be spinning sock yarn to knit up some socks! This is some fun stuff!

Here you see that I am knitting the index finger. It looks scary at first but in all honesty... it's NO big deal.

You don't have to start knitting at the VERY basic, if you have a knack for understanding the pattern and can follow a video or a friend/class then you can create anything with any kind of needles.

I'm a first time knitter and I created gloves with DPN and Circular needles. 

left glove: double pointed needles. right glove: circular needles