FAST Blog: Family Homestead

Permaculture, Preparedness, Homesteading & Survival

Big This Week

Recent Posts

Monday, 2 September 2019

Hands On Homeschooling : Stone Age Cave Art

Cave Art Home Schooling Style

Recently as part of the kids home education we've been learning about the Stone Age and getting immersed in everything from the clothing to the food, lifestyle and culture. It seemed fitting since we curently live in a cave to get up close and personal with some cave art.


Cave art and petroglyphs fall well within the activities of my own hobbies and even my work through Thor's Threads , so after showing the children several examples of prehistoric art we started off by putting down the basic shapes using charcoal, since that would have been available to our ancestors as an art medium.

Charcoal Cave Art

We wanted to make sure that the art we made reflected the importance of the Hunter/Gatherer lifestyle and the connection with the land and nature. As part of this, and to maintain an authentic experience, we decided to use only natural and local resources to make our own paint.

Locally foraged rocks full of mineral pigments for our art
We crushed up the minerals using hammerstones, a paleolithic tool we'd learnt about during our other research. For brushes we beat the end of twigs in to brush shapes and then used them to mix the crushed rock dust with a little water for our paint pigments. 

Paleolithic style paint brush
Stone Age Art Tools

Natural Mineral Pigments
4yo Aurora Making Cave Art Barefoot

It's so much easier for a child to learn about history by recreating it outdoors, and its certainly more fun than being sat at a desk!

Adding Colour To Our Cave Art

Using colours that occur naturally for your own local area is such a grounding experience, allowing you to use the nature around you to paint pictures of your local ecosystems is just incredible. After using earth resources to create the pigments for the earth colours in our art, we then needed to extract some pigments from local plants too

Extracting Plant Pigments
We chose San Pedro, a vigorous flowering weed that is prolific in our area and gives a lovely deep green when mashed with a hammer stone and a little water.


Using Plant Pigments to Paint Plants

It has been so much fun to create these things with the kids, to teach them the ancient petroglyphs that represent the sun and the moon, to teach them about the way that early humans lived and the challenges they faced.















In many of the paintings we added small hidden details, like shamans drumming near caves in the mountains or singing to stags beneath the moon. In some of the photos the hunters are clearly successful like when they bring down the bull. In others we see their arrows fell short and the mighty stag will live to fight another day.

Petroglyphic Stag Cave Art
I wanted to express to the children how difficult a landscape it must have been to our ancestors, that the hunt was not always successful and that nothing was guaranteed, that our ancestors had to fight for their survival. And that is why in this last painting we see that the Hunter has met his match, that sometimes the hunter can become the hunted.

Sabretooth Cave Art
Hope you've enjoyed reading about this little homeschooling adventure :)













Share:

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Why Mend Things?

Did you know it takes 7,600 litres of water to make your favourite pair of jeans?

Textile production, even for natural textiles, takes a real toll on the environment. Add to this the fact that most fabrics these days are not biodegradable and it really starts to become a problem for our planet that we need to own up to and start to combat. For me there is no space for an ego whilst we stand on a dying planet. I find no shame in repairing the clothes I love and using visible mending techniques we can really celebrate not only the journey that our clothes have been through but also the fact we are doing our bit for the environment.

I'm a fairly active guy, I'm pretty adventurous and inevitably my clothes take a real battering. This vintage pair of Desigual shorts cost me the whole of €3 at the local carboot sale and after a few months of wear they needed a little TLC. I used 100% Egyptian Cotton thread for my mending to make sure at the final end of their life they wont contain any plastic threads and can always be composted, and all of my stiching is of course done by hand with a needle and thread.



First up I had to reinforce an area that was pulling out around the label, so I laid down some abstract stitches around the tag just going where I felt the fabric needed the helping hand. As you can see the edges of the pockets were getting pretty frayed so that became my next task.




It's fairly simple work to completely encapsulate an edge like this in stitches, although a little time consuming of course.  Next up there was a small hole that had started getting worse on the front corner of a pocket, so I stabilised the area with some decorative sashiko stitching and a tiny hand embroidered skull to cover the hole.




Lastly I added a couple of Thor's Threads patches to the front pockets. I'm super happy with how they have turned out so far, the more they need mending the more character they accumulate, becoming wearable art in the process.


Stay tuned for plenty more mending as I finish up some of the projects I'm currently working on

Share:

Monday, 5 August 2019

Wyrd Talks - Episode One

 Hey friends,

As always, it's been a minute since we last updated the blog in any detail. We're finding it really hard to find the time to be honest. What with both of us having increasingly busy creative businesses, home schooling the two Wildings, and managing bits and bobs of the build as they're coming along...life is going by quite rapidly at the moment.

A few things have started progressing on the build recently and we really want to start documenting more as we go along. It's always been important to us to be really open and truthful about this whole process. However, without being able to find the time to blog well, we had a little spark of an idea a few weeks ago and decided to try our hand at vlogging - making videos of us chatting basically. Surprisingly you can manage to squeeze in quite a bit of information in a short video, that would take a much longer time to write out + edit.

So, we sat down and recorded our first Vlog as a bit of an introduction to who we are and what we're trying to do here at Wyrdwood. We were both a little apprehensive at the prospect of recording ourselves talking, but in honour of keeping things simple and honest, we decided not to chop + edit our chat at all, so what you see is the raw, organic and unfiltered 'Us'.


So, we hope you enjoy our first Wyrd Talks. Please let us know what you think and if you have any questions or topic suggestions for our next vlog, feel free to let us know.

Happy weekend, Folks!

Re-shared from www.wyrdwoodacres.com


Share:

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Animal Shorts - Sashiko Mending


I've had these shorts now since I was 11 years old, they have 20 years of memories locked inside them and there was just no way I was going to let them fall apart.

With my current forays into visible mending I thought it was as good a chance as any to practice some new patterns. I've been very drawn to Sashiko stitching recently, which is a form of mending originally from Japan that seeks to celebrate the mend rather than to hide it. For this reason I chose a bright orange thread, to honour the original orange detailing on these shorts.
Animal Shorts - Sashiko Mending


From years of use the fabric was wearing thin at a couple of stress points, so my first port of call was to reinforce a previously mended area with some mountain form sashiko stitches

Sashiko Mountain Form

Next I needed to do a quick rear end mend to immobilise and stabilise a tear that was forming at the seam, again with sashiko stitches 



Sashiko Rear End Mend
Sashiko Stitches

Lastly I created another patch of sashiko stitching to mirror the area on the other leg and lend some strength to the thinning fabric on the opposite side

Sashiko Stitches

Visible Mending has given me such a new found love of hand sewing, and its a great way to breath extra life into the clothes you love.

I'll be back for the next installment of my mending madness very soon!
Share:

Monday, 15 July 2019

Breaking Ground

As we mentioned before, the whole Brexit debacle has pretty much killed any chance we had at getting a mortgage or funding through conventional methods and financial institutions as Spain is terrified that all the expats will run back to the UK and leave their debts behind them. 

It would have been so easy for us to give up, after all we've been through so far, to put the land up for sale and come back to a miserable life in England with our tails between our legs.

But I think you and I both know that was never going to happen. Anyone that has followed this blog for a while likely knows by now that we tend to not let a little hardship put us off reaching for our dreams. It wouldn't be any fun if it was easy, right?

And so we decided to push on. To self fund, to save as much as we can every month and chip away at building our dream home. We may not build the house as fast as we had hoped but by the gods we will build it one way or another! With this mindset, we finally broke ground




On a triumphant day for our family, Using a friends digger we started excavating the footings.



One tiny trench for mankind, but for our family it was a major victory to finally have something physical to show for all of our hard work. There's still some digging to do before we can pour the concrete but I'll be sure to keep you all updated on this part of our adventure. Me and Carly will also be doing some Vlogs chatting about the project, our progress and all the things that crop up along the way, we're looking forward to uploading the first one very soon.
Share:

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Never-ending Mending

And I'm back! The blogger app doesn't work for me now, it hasn't been updated in years and will not allow photos to upload any more. luckily I've found a third party app called BloggerPro and I'm back in action again :) So lets have a look at my Never-ending Mending trews.

Sashiko Boro Mending Frugal Thrifting Homesteading
visible mending - back of combats
Last year I stumbled upon visible mending and got a little bitten by the mending bug.
prior to discovering visible mending I would always try to make any repair invisible, as if it was something to be ashamed of. Visible mending teaches us to celebrate the damage and celebrate the repair using bright colours and decorative stitches, and it is also a very forgiving form of mending that even a complete novice can pick up and give it a go. 
 At the time my favourite pair of combats were on their last legs and in desperate need of TLC so before they got to the scrap heap I started practicing some visible mending techniques to pull them back together.


I started at the back where the pocket had a tear in the corner along a stress point


Visibile Mending - Sashiko rear end mend
When I first started mending this set of jean I had never sewn anything other than patches, so I was pretty much making it up as I went along! 


sashiko crotch repair - Mending clothes

The next area that received a dose of my early mending was wear in the crotch area that needed a bit of reinforcement.

Patch repair - sashiko mending
I had a patch with a slight defect but it was perfect to use for the inside of the crotch repair to add some strength and a cheeky hidden message!


sashiko pocket rear end mend

The other pocket also tore out in the corner and I love how visible the progression in my hand sewing is in this image compared tp my first attempt. 
Presstud repair
one of the presstuds on the back had torn out of the flap so a quick magic mending sorted that one out, and on close inspedction one of the poppers on the front was also about to rip out which leads me to the front of the trews.




Never-ending Mending - Front
My last mend on this pair was to immobilise and reinforce a very small rip that was forming above the pocket.

Starburst Sashiko mending
This mend was probably my favourite one. Throughout this project I've really discovered a love of hand sewing and how therapeutic it can be to sit and sew for a while, I'm already planning my next few visible mending projects :)

Do you practice visible mending or do you prefer invisible mending?




Share:

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Blogger App Issue

One of the main reasons I have been away from blogging is that I can no longer seem to upload images from the blogger app on my phone? is anyone else having issues with this? It's a major pain to have to upload every single image through my laptop instead of being able to blog from my phone whenever I have a spare minute :(
Share:

Etsy

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blog Design Created by pipdig