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Living a more sustainable self sufficient life

When I started this slow living journey I started to think more about the way we consume. Not just in regards to food but clothing, tools and appliances. Often I feel torn between the want to support local artisans and the need to be able to buy something cheaply so I have more money for a rainy day and for the bigger goal of buying our own property.

Part of the reason we try to make and grow so much ourselves is that we had a lot of debt when I fell pregnant with my first. We wanted to be able to provide and eat the best meals and wear good quality garments that didn’t support questionable companies. So not having a lot of money really left us with two choices buy cheap crap (and buy it constantly because we all know it doesn’t last the distance) or learn to do it ourselves. I’m sure you can guess what direction we went in!

A huge influence in the beginning our simple living journey was Rhonda Hetzel I regularly read her blog Down to Earth while I was pregnant visualizing myself living the beautiful life style she described. As soon as her book came out I bought it and I still regularly use it for its wonderful recipes. Her tips on debt reduction greatly helped us learn to manage our money and become debt free. So although we do not own property yet we are 100% debt free which is a great achievement
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When I was a child my mother worked very hard making craft items and children’s clothing to sell at markets for extra money. She taught me basic sewing as a child (unfortunately I’m still very basic when it comes to seeing) and I could sew my dolls clothes something I loved doing but didn’t pursue much in my early 20s. My children now have some of the clothes my mother made and hand painted. The quality far outweighs anything we could buy at the department store and the kids love wearing clothing made for them by their Oma.

More recently I started crocheting and I’ve found I really had a passion for it. My first attempt was when I was pregnant with my first. I was trying to crochet baby slippers and I don’t know what I did wrong but they were not slippers they were monsters!! I cast crochet aside and went back to knitting but had to give this up due to carpal tunnel.

I didnt pick up the hook again until after my second was born 3 years later. Again I had carpal tunnel but for some reason when knitting triggered it crochet did not and so I made the giant blanket seen in my earlier post. Since then I crochet daily and have started listing some creations on etsy.
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But crocheting has led me to wonder how do the beautiful yarns we use in projects get produced and are they ethical? There are a lot of beautifully dyed yarns from China using Australian wool and it blows my mind we send fleeces (and food) overseas to be processed, packaged and sent back. I wanted quality yarn that was ethically produced I could use to make long lasting garments. Unfortunately yarn like this is expensive to buy and never one to do things by halves I’ve purchased a huge garbage bag full of raw Alpaca fleece am preparing the fibre with a old cat brush and am now started learning to spin on a drop spindle with my 4 year old. The yarns are rough but we are getting better and their is so much to learn. I have a great admiration for spinners and weavers and am really looking forward to seeing where this journey takes us next. 💮🌺🌻🌸

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