Monday’s on the Homestead in Pictures

Pretty much every Monday morning I give our three youngest girls the morning off.
hey get to sleep in until about 10, and I take care of the animal chores.

One Monday morning a few weeks ago, I thought I should snap some photos to share with you all. These were all just snapshots taken with my phone, as it’s been too cold to take out my professional camera, plus it gets in the way during feeding.

Up and at it at 5:25 for some prayer time with hubby.

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5:40 Out of bed, and straight to the washer and dryer!
I’m excited to see how my load of ‘laundry’ is looking this am!

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Ahhh… freshly dyed fabrics. It’s especially fun when trying new ways to dye.

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Coffee time.

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Start the bread maker. I need 3 or 4 batches of dough for today’s baking.

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Time for my morning devotions & writing in my prayer journal. I’ve been doing this for about 18 years now. A very good habit to start my days with!

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Time to fill up the water jugs and a bucket of raw food for the barn cats.

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Scout & Bentley join me for the walk to the barn.

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First up, piggies. This is Oreo, our sow. She’s a purebred Berkshire.
We’re hoping she’ll have babies this spring. If we timed it all right, and all works well, she should have piglets mid May!

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And this is Red, (I called him Tam, but the kids outnumbered me 3-1). He’s a purebred Tamworth boar who’s staying with us for a while. If he did his job well, we’ll know soon enough. He gets to stay at least until things warm up. For now, him and Oreo keep each other nice and warm. I’d rather Oreo have company for the cold months. Once things warm up, he’ll be going back to his farm. Who knows, maybe he’ll come visit Oreo again next winter. ;)

We bred Oreo to a tamworth because her sister had been bred to a tamworth and she had the most delightful little red piglets with black spots. Both breeds are great, so we thought we’d try the cross for ourselves. My kids never saw her sister’s piglets, so they are anxiously waiting to see if these piglets turn out as cute as I said they would. lol

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This will be our first time ever breeding a pig, we’ve always just raised weaner pigs in the past (piglets that have been weaned) so it’s pretty exciting. Of course we have no clue if it’s going to work, and if it did, how many piglets Oreo will have, and even if they will all survive. It’s all a guessing game until the end. I guess you can’t count your piglets until …

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Time to feed the sheep!

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And the horses anxiously await their turn!

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Munch munch munch, horses are happy once again.

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Time to feed the chickens, ducks, and guinea hens.

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And pick up the rewards!

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Two kitties who are staying in the house when it’s cold since they’ve not been feeling great. (We do keep a heated place for the barn cats in the loft, but when they are kittens, or sick, I like them inside when needed) Patches, our almost 17 year old cat, dares to allow the kittens to share in a plate of salmon. This is not usual. lol Grumpyoldcat doesn’t like to share but was too busy being excited over the smell of salmon that she didn’t mind them too much… this time.

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Worstebrodjes all finished for dinner. It’s ground beef and pork mixed with spices, rolled into small sausage shapes. Then you wrap that in bread dough, and bake.
( I should have taken some pics of the process).
While I made the worstebrodjes at the table, the girls did their school work.
I seem to have missed taking anymore photos after this point. The day just gets away on me.

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After school I cut fabrics and sewed, and sewed, and sewed some more.
I’ve been working on a couple of blankets as well as pads.

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We had our simple dinner of worstebrodjes (truth be told, they were our lunch too. We couldn’t wait until supper time to dig in!)
And then, off to bed. Tomorrow is another day!

Some time when the weather warms up a bit I’ll follow the girls around while they each do their morning chores and share a day on the homestead from their perspective. Perhaps one day one of them would even like to blog about their days!

It’s almost time for the Dragon’s Den!

Anyone who knows me well, knows I have an entrepreneurial drive. Of course, this means I love shows like the Dragons Den here in Canada, and the Shark Tank in the US.

This week, we finally get to watch our fellow Canadian pad making company, TreeHugger, on the Dragons Den!! To say I’m excited is to put it very mildly. Even my girls are excited! They know this business of making pads probably better than most, and they understand the heart, the blood, sweat and tears that goes into the making of a successful business in a ‘unique’ market! So it only makes sense that we are very anxious to see how TreeHugger’s pitch turns out on the show, TOMORROW NIGHT!
I know Crystal and her husband have been waiting a LONG time to finally be able to share their pitch with the world! This is big news in the pad making industry, especially for Canada! Just think of how many people will be hearing about cloth pads for the very first time! It’s very exciting!!

Would I want to be on the Dragon’s Den? This is something my girls asked me. My answer; No, I really commend Crystal and her husband for stepping out! It’s a huge step. Even IF they did not make a deal, this is huge for their business! It takes a lot of work to prepare for this! I’ve messaged with Crystal about the show, and I know they’ve been working around the clock to prepare their website and everything behind the scenes for the upcoming show!

Julia (our daughter) says she would go on the Dragon’s Den. She’s brave like that. lol

The work isn’t the reason I wouldn’t want to be on Dragon’s Den though. It’s simply not how we vision our business growing, right now. For us, our ‘business plan’ is different from most. Our business supports our family along with my husband’s full time job. I began this business to bring in an income that allows me to stay at home, homeschool our children, AND, allows our family to achieve our dream of homesteading. All of these things have had to balance. Home, Homeschooling, Homesteading, AND Home Business. It’s been a very difficult balance, with the Home Business tipping the scales a LOT, most of the time. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. We love what we do and we just continue to strive for that even balance!

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However, just because it’s not my desire to grow in leaps and bounds overnight by appearing on a show like the Dragon’s Den, does not mean we’re stagnant. Far from it! We’re simply interested in growing more at the rate of our children’s growth. Day by day, week by week, year by year. Just as children seem to grow slowly at the time it’s happening, before you know it, they are adults, out the door, and on their own! That’s how our business is. It seems to grow slowly at the moment, yet over the years it’s become bigger than we ever could have dreamed. I expect that will continue.

Our younger three daughters are getting older (Shaylah & Julia just turned 15 in Dec. and Elsa just turned 17 this month), and as the girls mature, they seem to find their own niche within the business, and that area of the business begins to grow. They also come alongside where ever help is needed, and that allows more growth. That is exactly how we’ve planned, and hoped, it would be from the very beginning. Each person joining in where they desire, and where their talents fit.

Right now, the growth for all three is in helping with dyeing fabrics as a new side adventure. Julia has also become a lot more involved in the day to day running of the business. She has now officially become Homestead Emporium’sAssistant Manager“. Quite the title for a 15 year old, but she’s ready for it. I’ve always said she has plans to take over one day!

Even Alesia, our eldest daughter who is now married and lives 2 hours away, is planning to come back to work part time for Homestead Emporium. Alesia worked alongside me for many years! It’s wonderful to be able to welcome her back again, even if it is part time, and only online for now. Perhaps that will change and she will have time for a bigger role in the business again too. Maybe when children come along in the future once her husband has completed his schooling. The skies the limit really, only time will tell! Things always have a way of working out really well within this business, for everyone involved.

For now, we love watching the business grow at a rate that works well for our family, and our homestead. We have our wonderful helper Wendy and her husband Ryan, constantly working behind the scenes! I’m lost when it comes to a lot of the webwork etc. and I love that even Wendy can work from her home, as it fits into her family’s schedule! That’s what this business is all about. So yes, we are growing, but I guess you could say in a more ‘organic‘ way. Like the tortoise, we’re slow and steady… and that’s ok with me. I’m all about enjoying life along the way, and striving towards that balance each and every day!

If you don’t have cable tv, be sure to check out the episode, it should be right online here either during, or right after the show is on tv:

http://www.cbc.ca/dragonsden/

We really hope to be watching direct tomorrow evening, but we’ll pvr it just in case we get too busy sewing here in our own home business!

How about you, will you be watching the Dragon’s Den tomorrow night?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Time to think about getting dirty!

It’s that time of the year again!
So many are saying winter is lasting too long and they can’t wait until it’s over. I say it’s going by much too fast! There’s so much to do before spring arrives!
First and foremost on the agenda is planning and preparing for the garden!
The garden today. Snowy but still providing corn stalks for the pigs and sunflower heads for the egg layers.

The garden today. Snowy but still providing corn stalks for the pigs and sunflower heads for the egg layers.

This past weekend hubby got to work putting together our new tiller. This is the first time we won’t have to borrow or rent a tiller to break ground in our garden. He managed to get it all done, and ready to go! So nice to know that once the snow melts, we can start turning dirt! Ahhh… I just love the thought of it. We’ve been tossing our ash into the garden all winter, and come spring we’ll add in some compost that’s been brewing from our kitchen and all our animals for the past 2 years, we’ll till it all in, and away we go for another gardening season!

Garden plot planning.

Garden plot planning has begun.

On my agenda, is picking out a second tiller, a small one for keeping on top of the weeds between aisles this year. It’s my birthday wish, (last year I asked for, and received, a seeder! It’s wonderful, especially for planting all the little seeds like carrots, beets, corn, etc.) and hubby asked me to research which tiller I think I’ll like best. I’ve narrowed it down to two, and I’ve asked him to research them a little further and decide which he feels is the best and will last the longest. These are the two we are researching so far.
One of my favourite garden preps to do is order THE SEEDS!
Last year I ordered my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, also known as rareseeds.com
Their catalogue is my favourite magazine. Seriously! The photos are fantastic, as you can see on their website, and I love reading all about the different varieties and dreaming up what I’ll plant this year! And dream about things I’ll plant in future years, once I get a little better at this gardening thing.
I thought I’d share with you what I’ve ordered, and add in some notes about why I’m re-ordering some of these, and how they grew for me last year.
First off, this year I decided NOT to order any of the following seeds that I would have to start indoors:
Tomatoes, peppers, and onions.
Last year I attempted to grow each of those from seed and since I do not have a proper set up with natural light, it just wasn’t worth the effort. My pepper plants we ‘ok’ but didn’t transfer well, but since they looked promising, I ended up not buying many new plants and thus had no peppers to speak of last year.
My tomato plants were all VERY leggy, so they really didn’t do well at all and I ended up replacing any and all plants with starts from the nursery. So that was a pretty good waste of my time. Something I don’t have an extra abundance of here between the homestead, homeschooling and the business!
Onions, again, they started our promising, but since I was using heat lamps and not proper grow lamps, none grew enough to amount to anything, and again, simply a waste of my time. We ended up buying 200 starter bulbs, and they grew fantastic, so we’ll go that route from the start and forget about the seeds.
Last year bounty.

Last years bounty.

Here’s what I DID order again this year:
Golden Bantam 12-Row Corn

Golden Bantam 12-Row Corn

  • Item No: CN143
    This corn was HUGE and very impressive, the plants that is. However, we didn’t actually end up with any corn cobs that matured well enough for us to eat them. I am replanting this corn though, in hopes that perhaps it was just an off year AND, because even though WE didn’t eat the corn, our pigs are STILL enjoying the stalks well into winter. It’s near the end of Jan now and today I picked some stalks again just for the pigs. So as a treat for the animals, even if we never taste this corn ourselves, it’s worth a few rows of space in our garden. And, as I mentioned, the plants grew so big that it really was very impressive!

    The stalks on the left are from baker creek seeds.

    The stalks on the left are from baker creek seeds.

Detroit Dark Red Beet

Detroit Dark Red Beet

  • Item No: BT110
    These grew exceptionally well for us. The tops were tasty too. These beets are also very hardy keepers. It’s near the end of Jan and we are still eating them every week from our cold cellar. We have so many, that every time I cook some, I cook extra so that I can give all the left overs to the chickens/ducks/guineas. Our horses also like them raw! It’s like bonus vitamins for the whole homestead, all winter long!
Big Beet!

Big Beet!

Golden Beet

Golden Beet

  • Item No: BT102
    Again, like the beets above, these also grew really really well! I absolutely LOVE the golden colour of these beets! They look so beautiful steamed alongside their red counterparts!
Chioggia (Bassano) Beet

Chioggia (Bassano) Beet

  • Item No: BT104
    I’m trying these beets out for the first time this year. I was so happy with my decision to try out golden beets that I decided even more variety in colour would be even more fun!
Cantare Bean

Cantare Bean

  • Item No: BN153
    These beans did not do well for us this past year, but I’m going to blame user error and not the seeds. There were part of our garden we stayed on top of the weeds really well last year, but our bean section was not one of those parts. I fear the weeds took over before we could salvage these bean plants. We have plans to mulch with straw this year, so we’re hoping that will help keep the weeds down, and I’ve read it also helps the bean plants root better.
Broad Windsor Fava Bean

Broad Windsor Fava Bean

  • Item No: FB101
    Broad beans always seem to grow well for me. They grow straight, tall, and faster than our weeds seem to grow so it’s easy for the kids and I to keep the weeds away. They freeze real well too and taste great boiled in a bit of salt water, and then fried in some bacon grease. Home grown bacon grease is even better. Yum!
Sugar Ann Snap Pea 1/2 LB

Sugar Ann Snap Pea 1/2 LB

  • Item No: SN107F
    Even though, as I mentioned above, the weeds go ahead of us in the bean/pea section of our garden last year, these Sugar Ann Snap Peas still seemed to fair out quite well despite fighting for air among weeds as tall as me! We still ate as much as we possibly could straight from the garden, and froze extras for stir fry too! I can’t even imagine how well they will do with our plans to mulch straw around them this year! If all goes well, we should have peas coming out of our ears. lolsnap peas
Royalty Purple Pod Bush Bean

Royalty Purple Pod Bush Bean

  • Item No: BN101
    Again, as with the Cantare beans, we didn’t actually see much of anything with these last year. I will try again, because I believe it was user error and weeds, and not the seeds.
Russian Black Seeded Sunflower

Russian Black Seeded Sunflower

  • Item No: JS140
    I have not grown these yet. I’m really aiming to grow enough large sunflowers with edible seeds for our chickens/ducks/guineas to eat all winter. We’ll see how it goes, and I need to figure out how to save the seeds. This past fall I attempted to hang them in the cold cellar to save the heads, and they rotted. Not good! I’m thinking the slight dampness and cool climate of the cold cellar was a mistake. I need to research further.
Distinto Mixture Sunflower

Distinto Mixture Sunflower

  • Item No: FL258
    Order these just for fun!

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Teddy Bear - Sunflower

Teddy Bear – Sunflower

  • Item No: FL724
    We grew these last year and they were so CUTE! I loved being able to pick some on my way out of the garden, and keep them in a vase in the house. I don’t have flower beds yet, so these are wonderful in the meantime. I look forward to their brightness again this year!
Titan Sunflower

Titan Sunflower

  • Item No: FL749
    As the website says, these are impressive, massive sunflowers. Since I first began gardening with the kids we’ve been growing the largest sunflowers we can possibly find. these do not disappoint! An added bonus, the bees around here LOVE them! Anything that attracts bees to our property is promised a spot in my garden year after year!
Alaska Garden Pea

Alaska Garden Pea

  • Item No: GP101
    These grew a little better than the beans did last year, but again, the weeds got the better of them. I look forward to trying again this year, with straw mulched around the plants in hopes of a better outcome. I REALLY want to dry peas for my peasoup, which we all love here in our home. Especially with our home grown ham!
Little Marvel Garden Pea 1/2 LB

Little Marvel Garden Pea 1/2 LB

  • Item No: GP102F
    Same with these, didn’t stand much of a chance last year and I’m hoping for better results this year.
Blacktail Mountain Watermelon

Blacktail Mountain Watermelon

  • Item No: WM129|
    So… this is the third, and final year, I will be attempting to grow melons. I ordered all three of these melon varieties last year and they all started out quite promising… but then came the HUGE weeds, and we kind of lost them for a bit, and by the time we dug the weeds away from the plants I think it was too late for them to mature fully in our shorter growing season. I choose only short growing season varieties, but I’m pretty sure that means they’ll grow in a short season WITHOUT being drowned out by weeds. lol We have a plan to mulch around these dainty little plants as they grow too. WEEDS be gone! (we still refuse to use any weed killers though! We WILL figure this out, naturally!)
Collective Farm Woman Melon

Collective Farm Woman Melon

  • Item No: OML110
    Same as above.
Minnesota Midget Melon

Minnesota Midget Melon

  • Item No: AML140
    Same again, as above.
Echinacea Purpurea

Echinacea Purpurea

  • Item No: HB119
    I decided each year I should attempt to add a new herb to my garden. Last year was mint. This year it will be echinacea. I’d like to make my own tincture. I need to decide if I’m going to plant it right into the garden, or into a half barrel. I’m thinking a barrel to keep it contained, but I’m concerned that may not be the best for the winters out here. We’ll see what I can find when I research further while awaiting springs arrival.
Straight Eight Cucumber

Straight Eight Cucumber

  • Item No: CU168
    So far since starting our homestead garden two years ago I have yet to truly successfully grow cucumbers. I’m really not sure why. I think the weeds are partly to blame again, so this year we are going to plant them in hills rather than rows, and mulch straw heavily around those hills. As you’ve probably guessed, I’m hoping straw will be our saving grace against weeds this year. I also did hills last year, and found it so much easier to weed than rows. With rows, it’s quite hard to find your little tiny starts between weeds and weeding them gets scary for fear of pulling the good with the bad. The straw & hills should help to define where the plants are.
Muncher Cucumber

Muncher Cucumber

  • Item No: CU174
    Again, see above. Both the above variety and this variety I haven’t tried before, but they require shorter growing seasons than the cucs I’ve attempted to grow in the past, so I’m hoping this will help me to have more success along with the hills and mulch.Another thing I grew from Baker Creek Seeds last year was carrots. Lots and lots of carrots! I only planted HALF the seeds I bought, so I won’t need to buy them again this year, but we ended up with probably a few hundred pounds of carrots. lol
    I’d like to point out the wonderful variety they have, because we had success with all the colours of carrots we planted! Here’s their entire selection:

    http://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetables/carrots/

    Gorgeous colour!

    Gorgeous colour!

    These are the ones we planted. The colour was superb and went very well with our golden and red beets! I was sure I purchased another coloured variety, but I can’t find it at the moment.

    http://www.rareseeds.com/cosmic-purple-carrot/

    Next year when I need to purchase carrot seeds again, I’ll also be adding in these:
    http://www.rareseeds.com/pusa-rudhira-red-carrot/
    and these: http://www.rareseeds.com/amarillo-carrot/

    Just like in my home busines, I love colour everywhere!

    Colour on the Homestead

    Colour on the Homestead

    So there you have my seed order for this year.
    There’s a few things we’ll be purchasing from the nursery. Our Roma Tomatoes. We had great success with them last year.

    Plenty of tomatoes!

    Plenty of tomatoes!

    We will be trying something a little different this year in hopes of having them ripen earlier, but last summer was a little more wet than usual, so that could be completely different this summer and ripening may not be an issue. We still ended up eating these tomatoes well into November! With plenty of tomato paste and sauces made too.

    Peaches and Cream Corn.

    Peaches and Cream Corn.

    We’ll also grow the peaches and cream variety of corn again. We’ve been able to eat corn all winter from what we pulled from the garden and froze. :)

    I think that’s just about everything to do with our garden so far!

    How about you? What are your garden plans for this year? 
    Whether you’re in the country, or the city, planning a garden, or filling some containers with a few tomato plants and some salad greens, I’d love to hear about it!

The making of a product here at the Homestead Emporium

*This is a repost of an older blog post from when we were still back on the West Coast, we’ve since moved to the prairies but not much has changed except our work space is completely different, and Alesia no longer works for me, Julia does now, along with the occasional help from Elsa. Shaylah helps where she can too. The girls are no longer little as in the photos, but 15 & 17. I also have another helper, Wendy, who does all our product listings and webwork with the help of her fantastic husband Ryan. 

The making of a product, in photos and a few words, here on the blog.

The very first step is to wash, and then dye, the top layer fabrics. Mostly bamboo velour, but sometimes organic cotton velour, bamboo fleece and even silk. I also wash & dry all the inner fabrics, a couple of times, on hot, to ensure they will not shrink after we have created our products, and you’ve received them!

This is one of my favorite parts. Time consuming, yes, but oh SO much fun!
I LOVE playing with color!

Once the fabric is dyed, I cut out each and every top layer. The prettiest part of the pad!
Julia has begun helping with this part now, but we usually kind of argue over who gets to cut the pad tops that week. We both love the job, especially when we have dyed new fabrics! It is so rewarding to be a part of beautiful fabrics become products!

From there, Julia cuts the inner layers and the backing layers.

I let her know which backing layer is needed for each top cut, and away she goes, leaving me with something that looks like this.

Then I sew up each one. Sewing and serging where needed!

Until I have a nice big stack that looks something like this!

From there, the snaps are put on by our son, usually each Wednesday. He works 8-10 Monday to Friday as a heavy duty mechanic apprentice and often has other jobs working for farmers etc. so occasionally I have to wait until he has time… I am blessed to have his help though, so I try not to complain. ;)


Threads are snipped off , Elsa usually does this job, along with using a lint roller to make sure all the fluffs from the cut fabrics are cleaned off.


Snaps are randomly tested.
(We try our best to test every one, but some days get very busy.)

After that, it’s time for photos! See my expensive set up? Ha!
Ironing board near the window, and white poster/card board thingy. It may not be fancy, but it works.

The products are then put into the hyenacart shop for sale each Friday, and some make their way to our etsy shop throughout the rest of the week.

From there, once ordered by our awesome customers, they are packaged into clear bags.

Then packaged into their poly mailers to keep everything well protected.Shipping and custom labels put on.

And away they go to each of you, with an email sent off to you to let you know that your package is on it’s way!

And that is the making of a product (or two, or three, or two hundred), here at Homestead Emporium!

Let’s talk about- liners.

*Here on the blog I am reviewing reasons to make the switch to cloth pads, and what to do once you have made the decision to switch. This post was originally posted in Aug. 2011 and has been revised for today.

DSC_2893

When I posted about my thong liner being featured on regretsy, it was all in fun. However, in reading the many comments on both of the featured posts, about the thong liner, and WHY would anyone even need one, it’s caused me to realize that there seems to be a WHOLE lot of misconceptions about liners!

For me, someone who has used liners pretty much their entire adult life, especially since having children, this was really quite surprising!

In my life, liners are as common place as underwear, even before I had this business.

I don’t wear one, without the other.

There were a ton of questions and comments regarding why anyone would even need or want to wear a liner, so I thought I’d explain some of the why’s here on the blog.

This topic can’t really be explained properly without at least a little TMI (too much info), but I’ll try to answer some questions as delicately as I can.

A Riainbow of Light Wrap Wing Pads.

A Riainbow of Light Wrap Wing Pads.

Why do some women wear liners, every day?

I can answer with MY reasons for wearing a liner daily. Simply to keep me feeling fresh! I have always had a slightly ‘overactive’ body and I really hate feeling ‘damp’, so I wear liners. They keep me feeling fresh, and on days my body is a little more overactive then others (during ovulation is one of these times), I can simply change my liner through out the day as often as I need to. Changing underwear several times a day isn’t exactly easy.

Besides, if you’re working outside of the home, which I did for many years, it’s really not practical to be carrying around extra underwear, now is it? However, keeping a small stash of liners in your purse, in a small wetbag, is very practical, and simple!


*double sided pad wetbag by sweetslings

Now that I’ve had five children, there is another reason to use liners, and I know I’m not alone.

I have issues with mild stress incontinence. Other women have issues with an overactive bladder. The article linked explains that 1 in five women 40 and over, have issues with incontinence. Can you imagine how many women that is?

I ship world wide. There are Homestead Emporium liners being used not just in Canada and the US, but France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Malaysia, China, Japan, Africa, Norway, Mexico, Greece, Sweden… and more.
*(Unfortunately, at this time we are not able to ship our incontinence or menstrual pads to the US due to FDA regulations.)

Check out our map which some of our customers have added themselves to, and add yourself if you’re also a Homestead Emporium customer!

Another reason to use/need liners is as a backup. Whether you’re a menstrual cup user, or even if you use tampons, having a liner protecting you “just in case” is a great preventative measure.

I once had a customer share a story with me. She had just gone back to work after being home on maternity leave. She wore a liner that day, as her monthly cycle had not returned yet and she had no idea when it would. She wanted to be safe, just in case.

Sure enough, her cycle began THAT day. She was concerned because all she had worn was a liner. However, the liner kept her completely protected until she got home!

I always love hearing these stories.

And that is one last great reason to wear liners. Just in case.

Just in case your period starts while you are out.

Just in case you KNOW your cycle is going to begin soon, but you don’t know exactly when. Use a liner, and be confident you won’t have a ‘mess’ to worry about when you’re out and about!

Just in case you THINK your period is over, but your body decides to ‘shed’ just a little bit more, at the end of your cycle. Wear a liner until you can be 110% sure your body is finished ‘cleaning itself’ for another cycle.

So that brings us to more questions asked in the comments section of those regretsy posts.

Why would anyone need a thong liner?

To me, the answer is quite simple. Some women need to wear liners on a daily basis, some of those women wear thong underwear.

Why would anyone wear a ‘breathable’ liner? Isn’t that defeating the purpose of a liner?

Some women, like myself, don’t always need waterproof protection. They simply need a little extra absorbency for the day. Something to keep them feeling dryer then just underwear. That’s who I make breathable liners for. Consider these an ‘extension’ of regular breathable underwear.

All of these liners also work for another issue many women face. Even if they never have a problem with any sort of incontinence, or overactive bladder, they may experience times of ‘discharge’, especially while pregnant and/or during ovulation.

Why are there so many types of styles and sizes?

Because there are so many types of women! We are not ‘cookie cut outs’. We come in different sizes and shapes, and so do Homestead Emporium liners. Each woman will find some styles of pads, and sizes of pads, will work better for them then others. There are also different needs. Some only need a little extra protection (pantywraps are good for this) and other’s need a more full absorbency protection, like for mild incontinence (our 8 inch liners and light pads are good for this).

liners

I’ve also added a 7 inch Tiny Liner to the mix, and changed the thong liner. It is no longer rounded at the end.

I’m working on some new photos, hopefully coming soon, of all our liners together, front and back.

So there you have it. Some of the reasons why women use liners and light pads.

*If you have more examples of why women use liners, or would like to share your own story, leave a comment! If you’d like to leave a comment, but would like it to remain anonymous, simply say so at the top of your comment and I will be sure to leave out any of your information (email addy, name etc.) when approving the comment to be posted to the blog.

 

Disposable pads vs. cloth

*Here on the blog I am reviewing reasons to make the switch to cloth pads, and what to do once you have made the decision to switch. This post was originally posted in Aug. 2011 and has been revised for today.

Disposable pads vs. cloth.

There is no comparison.

On a local radio station this morning they had a “Three Things You Should Know”.
One of the three things they discussed was that one of the large disposable pad companies had come out with a new ‘fall’ line of fashionable disposable pads.

First off, I will commend this company for trying to branch out, and make periods something that’s positive and even possibly FUN! As a cloth pad maker, that is part of what I do in my business. Help women feel better during their monthly by creating pads that are not just practical, but fun, pretty, AND comfortable too!

Those of you who have been using cloth pads for years though, know that it’s not all about the fun.

The disposable pad companies can add all the color they want to their pads, and while it makes them pretty, and I’m ALL for pretty things for us women, they are still missing out on the most important aspect of why women use cloth.

Comfort.

Plain and simple.

The pretty colors, the hand dyed velours, that’s all just a bonus.

The COMFORT is the one thing that keeps women coming back, over and over again.

COMFORT is what we women NEED.

And comfort, is what drives me to keep tweaking, and reconstructing the designs here at Homestead Emporium, until each pad is SO comfortable, you’d rather wear a luxurious cloth pad, then to go without!

*What do YOU love best about cloth? Is it the colors, or is it the comfort?
What helped you decide to make the switch to cloth pads?

I’ve decided to make the switch, now what?

*Originally posted on June 16 2011.
I am asked this question so often, that I felt it needed to be revised and bumped back up again because making that first step into the wonderful world of cloth can be very confusing!

So you’ve decided that you’re finally going to do it!

You’re going to make that big switch, the switch from disposable pads, to cloth pads.

Now what?

Where to begin? What to buy? There’s SO many options, so much to choose from, it can be SO confusing!

How many pads does one truly ‘NEED’ for their period?

I’m going to try and keep this post as simple, and short, yet as informative as possible.

How many pads YOU will personally need in total depends a lot upon how often you’ll be washing your stash. For example, if you are able to wash your stash daily then your stash needn’t be so large.

If you usually wear one disposable pad per night, then you just need one night time pad per day.

If you are changing out your disposable pads 4-8 times per day, then you’d need 4-8 regular flow pads per day.

If you have a lighter flow, you’ll need even less pads.

If your flow is heavier, you will need more pads, OR simply more of the heavy flow pads instead of more of the regular flow pads and wash more often then one with a lighter flow or a larger stash of pads.

A cloth pad stash does not NEED to break your budget.
I know you have possibly seen huge stashes on facebook pad groups etc. but often these women have such large stashes simply because they want to. Or they have been buying or making cloth pads for years, and their stash has grown over time. When you first start out with cloth pads, if you are on a tight budget, begin with the basics and as you have the funds, grow from there. Keep it simple, it can get overwhelming!

I’ve found in speaking with hundreds of women about their periods, even those with the heaviest flow usually have days where their flow does taper down. Personally, I use about 4-8 heavy flow pads per day for my cycle because I have 24-48 hours where my flow is very heavy. However, once it tapers down, I am fine with the regular flow pads and I really only need about 4-8 of those per day. As my flow tapers down even more, I switch over to a light pad/panty liner. I really don’t like to wear more pad then I need to.

Cloth Pads Canada

So to share, in real short form, here are a few examples of packages for each type of flow.

Typical Regular- Heavy Flow Package:

  • 2-6 Heavy Flow pads (the largest will be used at night to keep you well protected)
  • 6-12 Regular Flow Pads
  • 2-4 Light Flow Pads/Panty Liners

Heavy Flow Package:

  • 4-8 Heavy Flow pads (if you have a super heavy flow, 1 or 2 UltiMax are helpful)
  • 4-8 Regular Flow Pads
  • 2-4 Light Flow Pads/Panty Liners

Light – Regular Flow Package:

  • 1-2 Heavy Flow pads (mainly to keep you well protected at night)
  • 4-8 Regular Flow Pads
  • 2-4 Light Flow Pads/Panty Liners
I hope this helps ease some confusion for those of you wanting to take that first step into the wonderful world of cloth! If you’d like to read more, I have several articles pertaining to cloth pads in my All About Cloth section here on the blog.
I have several other links for your reading pleasure as well:
And if you’re still unsure and would like to read feedback from other women just like you, we have LOTS:
So if you have been hesitant before now, I hope this eases your mind and gives you the boost you need to simply go for it, just do it. It really IS much easier, and much more comfortable, then you could ever imagine!

My pad stash

*This post was originally written in 2011, so it`s really time to snap a new photo of my stash. Although, it is almost exactly the same today except my drawstring bag finally got tossed and I have had to add several UltiMax pads to my stash. Seems the older I get, the heavier my flow has decided to get too! Back to the topic!

I’d like to share some of my thoughts, before I share pics.

I contemplated making this post password protected. It’s not that I’m embarrassed in any way to share pics of my pad stash! It’s simply because I’m not naive.

I run a reusable pad business, and, in the time I’ve run this business I’ve seen, and received, enough backlash about the whole reusable pad thing being ‘gross’ that I realize sharing a photo of my WELL-used pads may be pretty darn disgusting to some. I’ve had some of these pads for many years!

HOWEVER, after I put a password on this post while writing it, then thinking about it some more, and changing my mind to make it public, I’d like to tell you why.

Reusable pads are NOT gross. I can not stress this enough.
To ‘hide’ my pad stash because SOME people might think it is gross, well… what would I be saying then?!!

Just like breastfeeding in public should become the NORM, so it should be with pads, and menstruation.

Umm… in case anyone didn’t receive the memo, most women/girls menstruate. Menstruation is what gives us LIFE. Shouldn’t that be celebrated? Not shamed?

It’s not gross, it’s natural. Messy, yes, it can be, but many things in life are messy and messy does not make it gross. It just make it messy!

So there you have my thoughts this morning as I prepared to post my stash pics. I’m posting these because I’ve got great customers (I really do have the awesome privilege to know some very wonderful women through this business!!) who posted THEIR stash pics, and I want to show you all that yes, I too really do USE these pads I create. My use of these pads is what helps me put LOTS of thought into what I create! Every single month I’m trying to think of ways to make them even better then before! If I didn’t use them myself, I wouldn’t have come this far with their designs!

This is how I store my pads. Large pads in my simple draw string stash bag which I’ve been using for 8 years now, and it probably shows… and liners in a simple mesh wash bag. I keep these stored in the cabinet in my bathroom. Then I have a larger good.mama wetbag for my large soiled pads, and a smaller wetbag I won in a ‘lottery’ on hyenacart a couple of years ago (it has no tag so I don’t know who made it!) for my soiled liners. These also stay in my cabinet in the bathroom.

I simply wash these wetbags along with my pads! They’ve both held up great!

And here is my stash.

I believe I may still be missing a few from this photo because I know for sure that I have at LEAST 3 or 4 regular comfort contour pads, but they are a favorite of one daughters… so I have a feeling they ended up in her stash. I personally prefer the wrap wing pads, and that clearly shows.

I also have WAY too many liners. However, some of these ended up in my stash because I made them for Elsa, who has extreme sensory issues and decided she doesn’t like any with wrap wings, AT ALL. Others are in my stash because they were seconds, and who couldn’t use more liners when you need them daily right?

I also added my homemade undies stash in there. As you can see, it’s pretty basic. Seven pair for now, mostly high waist. I have 2 more pair in the works! I’d like to make myself more, but… as far as my own stash goes with pads, and undies, it’s customers first, me… not so much. ha!

And just for fun, because they were kicking around in my bathroom, I added some of my wash & facial cloths in the mix.

So there you have it! My stash. 

*Will you be brave and share a photo of your stash?
I see on facebook pages for cloth pad users, lots of people post what-I-wore-this-month photos! I LOVE that! I especially love seeing our pads in the mix!! It warms my heart!

Welcoming in the new year with a contest.

*Contest is closed, we have our winners!

Drum roll please…
We have our winners!

Kayla D on January 5, 2015 at 10:37 pm said:
Oooh, I would love a package from you. I have several pads, and two sets of nursing pads—you make FANTASTIC stuff! Your pads and nursing pads are by far superior to other brands!!

Heather B. on January 24, 2015 at 11:20 pm said:
I love all of your products! I have one of (or perhaps THE) first quilt and it is one of my most treasured possessions! My kids are cuddled up with it as I speak.

Congratulations Kayla D. & Heather B.!
Email me at homesteademporium@gmail.com to claim your prize!
———————————————

This new year is a different one for us at the Homestead Emporium. This new change with the FDA regulations set on cloth pad makers, changes quite a bit for us. Our main product line worldwide has always been our pads, and especially to our customers in the USA.

However, we want to remind everyone that we’re not just all about pads.
And with that, we’d like to offer you a chance to win a gift from us, open to all of you, world wide, including FREE shipping! Keep reading for details below!

A Riainbow of Light Wrap Wing Pads.

A Riainbow of Light Wrap Wing Pads.

Since the beginning we’ve offered everything we could think of that was unique, and created with fabrics, to help our customers to live a healthier lifestyle.

Homestead Emporium reusable cotton balls - cosmetic pads.

Homestead Emporium reusable cotton balls – cosmetic pads.

Our reusable cotton balls – cosmetic pads have always been a staple for many of our customers! While they may not be quite as creative as our line of pads, they are great for every day uses too numerous to count from cleaning off make up, to cleaning wounds, and some of our customers even use them for removing nail polish. I’ve even used them myself to patch an injured eye. You can’t get much gentler then bamboo velour for cleaning your skin or to aid in the healing process of ouchies.

Hand Dyed Bamboo Velour Rainbow Quilt.

Hand Dyed Bamboo Velour Rainbow Quilt.

Our hand dyed bamboo velour quilts, another favourite luxury item of our awesome customers. What could be better then snuggling in the ultimate of softness?!
Unlike their polyester fleece counterparts, bamboo velour blankets never make you overheated, but instead, simply cozy and warm.

Bamboo Velour Custom Quilt.

Bamboo Velour Custom Quilt.

I’ve been working on my own bamboo velour quilt for going on two years now. lol My children’s quilts, and customers quilts, always come first. I’m determined to finish my soon though so I can stop ‘borrowing’ the ones I made for my girls.

Bamboo Velour Baby Quilt.

Bamboo Velour Baby Quilt.

Perhaps I’ll have time to make more baby size quilts now too.

Baby booties & lil'shroom mittens.

Baby booties & lil’shroom mittens.

Baby booties and mitts!

Dyeing fabrics.

Dyeing fabrics.

We hope to offer hand dyed fabrics very soon too, possibly at this upcoming Friday’s stocking on our hyenacart, and soon after, in our etsy shop.

Stack of fluffy dyed goodness.

Stack of fluffy previously dyed goodness.

We have lots of other products I’ve been wanting to stock recently as well, but we just haven’t had enough time in a day to get it all done. Be on the look out soon for more of the following.

Luxury Cloths

LuxuryCloths

Super soft tissues.

Tissues

Lots more nursing pads!

nursing pads

Pillows.

Pillows

VersaPads!
Created not just to be a change pad, but to be used everywhere you’re trying to avoid big clean ups, like on your bed for night time feeds. In your toddlers bed when potty training.
Those were the two main reasons I created the VersaPad, due to constantly changing bedding in the middle of the night, especially with our twins! Our VersaPads saved me SO much time and energy in the middle of the night!

versapad

And last but not least, our pacifier blankets.

Poppetjie

The Poppetjie.

poppetjie2

Our handy little blankie that saves you countless hours searching for the all elusive night time pacifier.

DSC_3812

Our cloth pads will always be our main product line, but we hope ALL our customers will continue to enjoy all the other products we’ve created just for your family, from ours.

*To enter into our contest for a completely FREE gift package from Homestead Emporium, simply leave a comment here, AND subscribe to our blog!
It’s easy to subscribe, simply visit our blog’s home page here: http://homesteademporium.com/blog/
And enter your email address into our SUBSCRIBE option found near the top right corner.

To increase your chances in winning, share our blog with your friends and come back and let us know where you shared in another comment! If we receive lots of comments, and links back, we’ll increase the odds of winning by sending out MORE gift packages to MORE winners!

The winner(s) will receive a complimentary set of facial cloths, a small bar of homemade soap, and more!

This is me, not making resolutions.

firesky

Just last night I posted about how I don’t really make resolutions.

However, I think our minds just can’t help but wander and ponder the topic of resolutions when the new year comes along, no matter how hard we might try not to!

But here’s an example of why I don’t really do resolutions, no matter how much my mind may try to tell me I should do this one, or that one.

My mind would like me to make a resolution to blog more regularly.
However, what my mind does not realize is that it’s simply not that simple!
It’s not as easy as just deciding, “I’m going to write more, because I really want to!”

You see… in order for me to blog more often, I would have to figure out a way to create more hours in my day. I tend to be a painfully slow blogger… I’m not really sure why, I’m not sure if everyone is a slow blogger, or if I’m just special.

A blog post can easily take me at LEAST an hour to put together. Quite often, if I’m blogging about a topic I need to research a little, or dig through my photos, it can easily take me 2 hours.

So where, and how, can I just fit in 1 or 2+ hours of something extra into my daily routine?
I’ve decided that the only way to do it would be to get up earlier then I do now.

And thus begins my reason for not doing resolutions.

One resolution of wanting to blog more then becomes a whole lo.oo.on.nn.ng list of even more resolutions. In order to keep a resolution to blog more, I will need to get up earlier. In order to get up earlier, I will either have to get to sleep earlier, or forfeit sleep. Since most nights I usually sleep no more then 6 or 7 hours, I’m thinking forfeiting 1 or 2 hours of that sleep may not be a great idea. I sew a lot, and cut a lot of fabric, and it wouldn’t be so wise to fall asleep at the machine or while slicing through some thick fabrics with my fingers nearby…

*shudder*

Now that I’ve most likely seared a horrible image into your mind (I have a wild visual imagination, I should know better),  you see why I don’t do resolutions.

A resolution is not just ‘a’ resolution. It really seems like a pretty good set up for failure. Unless of course you’re one of those rare people who have all the time in the world to rearrange every other part of your day in order to fit in all these new resolutions.

Nah… I didn’t think so.

However, I’m also not one to give up on at least TRYING to attain something I feel is important to me.

I enjoy writing. I enjoy connecting with others through my writing.
Besides, my one word for this year is ‘fear’ (overcoming fear) and one of the fears I have is to write without readers.

So… I guess I’m not setting myself up for a resolution in wanting to blog more, I’m just working through my one word! Yay me!

How’s your second day of the New Year going?