DIY Homesteading

Looking for an expert on these topics?

My favorite homesteading pinterest boards seem to always come to the rescue. This time of year, the rescue is needed in the gift-giving department. Tis the season to start to panic about those gift-giving needs that I haven’t figured out yet…

It’s cold these days, the New England daylight hours of winter are too short, and Selah’s thick, furry coat assures us of the inevitable long winter months ahead.

But looking at this season through the lens of Philippians 4:8, I am grateful that I get to “steam clean” my clothes the way grandma used to on these chilly mornings (see my picture below). I’m grateful that my Thanksgiving week was a charming one filled with slow-paced moments that were worth deliberately, intentionally lingering in. And I am grateful that we started decorating both home and church for the holidays, which has been a wonderful diversion for me as I wait to receive my final printed proof in the mail before Sweet Maple hits the press this week!

I wrote here about how I strive (and fail, and try again) to have a positive outlook on every situation.

But where do I turn when I’m looking for an expert on a homesteading topic? What boards do I scroll through on Pinterest for inspiration? What are my favorite homesteading pinterest boards? Of course my friends Jill Winger and Quinn Veon are two of my favorite pinners.

I also have a few other blogging friends whom you may not know, and these ladies are truly experts in their fields. It’s those friends I wanna share with you today. It dawned on me that Danielle, Kim, Linda, Kathi, and I all have great inspiration for Christmas gift giving that you might find pretty handy this week if you’re panicking a little, maybe kinda like someone else I know… but I’m not naming any names. And unless someone tells you about these awesome boards, well you may never find them in the never-ending, addictively crazy world of pinterest.

Need inspiration? Peruse these unique gift ideas for anyone who loves maple.

I’ll start with the one expert I know you do know on my list…

Maple Magic

While I never claim to be a true expert at anything, because I feel I’m failing too often, I sure have learned an awful lot about making maple syrup in my backyard since our family moved to our rural New England homestead, complete with 14 wooded acres.

Two years worth of failure in just about every way one can fail at making maple syrup, I’ve reached that “a-ha” stage where maybe, just maybe, I can call myself an expert.

Okay, who am I kidding…

I’ll never be the maple syrup expert around here. But I am the wife of the most amazing (and handsome) sugarmaker I know and I’m pretty darn good about writing about his endeavors. If you’d like to follow my board all about tapping for syrup, making syrup, using syrup (tapped or purchased) to make maple sugar, and even baking with maple sugar, you wanna go here and follow my “Sweet Maple” board. This winter I’ll be adding lots more great maple-infused posts; so be sure to follow.

And pin this gift-giving inspiration for anyone. (Or read the post.) Well, anyone who loves maple, but really who doesn’t love maple?


Sewing Savvy

Danielle, at Spring Lake Homestead, is amazing. This woman can sew circles around a square peg and rip seams out of seemingly nothing. Of course I know nothing about sewing, thus my lame analogies. (That’s my teenage daughter above, making a baby quilt for her riding instructor. She learned everything she knows about a sewing needle from my mother-in-law, and nothing from her momma.) But I have not only followed along on Danielle’s wonderful tutorials but even seen her seamstress abilities up close and very personal, as this fb live video shows.

Danielle has a great Sewing Board that you totally need to follow if you’d like to gain from her sewing expertise. And, don’t miss her post all about gift-giving ideas for the sewist.

Rugs to Riches

Kim, at Day to Day Adventures, can turn rags to riches and she’ll even let you walk all over her work. She is the expert to call on if you wanna make some beautiful rugs out of rags. My daughters have made some amazing braided wool rugs that make my heart skip a beat. I shared a little with you last winter when I shared my post on how I clean our wool rugs.

But Kim’s rugs look beautiful and require nothing more than scrap fabric. Now that’s a frugal, useful craft if ever I’ve heard of one. So follow Kim’s Rag Rug board here. And check out Kim’s resource page for some sweet rag rug tutorials and resources that would make wonderful gifts.

This is how I clean my rugs, complete with instructional video. Bonus: it’s good exercise.

Homeschool Encouragement

My friend Linda writes at Apron Strings and Other Things and she is self-declared “imperfect in practically every way,” yet she’s definitely an expert at homeschooling… 8 children, 3 decades, and still going strong. (I’m only about 1/2 qualified, in terms of number of students and length of years.) Be sure to follow Linda’s homeschool encouragement board. If you’re knee deep in homeschooling or just wondering what it’s all about, there’s plenty there for you!

Check out these totally piece-of-cake, no-brainer ways you can support my efforts here on SoulyRested.

Homesteader Gifts

Then there’s Kathi, at Oak Hill Homestead. She’s an all around expert at so many homesteading topics, from goat cheese to soap making, from gardening tips to kitchen hacks. But today I wanna point you toward her years’ worth of gift-giving idea posts for homesteaders. You’re sure to get some great gift-giving inspiration there!

No matter what you’re buying, from maple syrup to cast iron pans, if you’re shopping on Amazon this holiday season you can support our little family farm if you shop Amazon through this link.

The Experts

To sum it up, if you’re looking for an expert at…

Backyard Maple Syrup? Follow my Sweet Maple board.

Sewing Tutorials? Follow Danielle’s sewing board.

Rag Rug Lessons? Follow Kim’s rug board.

Homeschooling? Follow Linda’s board of encouragement.


By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder,

and someone else is building on it. I Corinthians 3:10

Please follow along!

Please take a second to follow along here on SoulyRested to catch up on a few of my memorable mishaps, discover fascinating things about my centuries-old farmhouse, glean a little parenting/homeschooling insight from this momma who’s been failing at the effort for almost 2 decades, or enjoy the inside scoop on the secrets other legit homesteaders might not tell you.

I hope my focus always encourages you, because simple joys require hard work. Let’s face it, we all need all the encouragement we can get! As soon as you subscribe (in the box at the end of this post), you’ll have immediate access to my Resource Library, which includes many useful printables, including helpful ones related to backyard maple syrup. And, destined to be the most popular item in my Resource Library–A SWEET TASTE–this giant, full-color, 5-chapter, 33-page eBook is my gift to you… a tiny introduction to Sweet Maple, which will be available in print any day now! (Insert crazy lady doing happy dance.)

Your FREE copy of A Sweet Taste includes:

— 8 Questions everyone should ask before they tap trees.

— Amazing recipes using all-natural maple syrup.

— Numerous reasons that maple should be your favorite sweetener.

— A long list of what makes sugar maples so special.

Plus, it’s a wonderful little peek into Sweet Maple. If you enjoy your complimentary copy of A Sweet Taste, you’ll LOVE Sweet Maple.

Many readers often ask what camera I use to take the images you find here on SoulyRested. I love my Nikon; you can read more about my camera and even purchase your own here.

Glance at my Resource Page if you’d like to get a glimpse of all the supplies I use and recommend for everything from gardening, to homeschooling, to chicken care, to nature journaling, to maple syrup making.

I’d love to connect!

To find me in some other neck of the woods, just click any (or every!) box below:


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DISCLOSURE: Do you enjoy tips and encouragement you find here on SoulyRested? Would you like to know how you can support my efforts? I may receive monetary compensation for any link to any products or services from this blog. While using these links won’t cost you anything, it will go a long way toward helping me pay the blogging bills. You can even use this link to amazon whenever you shop there–which you’ll also find on the sidebar of every post. Again, it won’t cost you an extra penny. I sincerely appreciate your support; in fact, it’s a huge blessing to me! Thank you! ♥

Merry Christmas

I hope that you have time to slow down and savor the everyday joys this holiday season, I pray that you personally know what I know about that very first Christmas, and I sincerely wish you a truly blessed, very merry Christmas.

Do you have a nativity scene? You’ll love this post: a newbie homesteader ponders the first Christmas.

Don’t forget to subscribe for access to my Resource Library. There you’ll find my FREE EBOOK–A Sweet Taste–as well as amazing recipes for things like whoopie pie cookies, maple sap switchel, and Grandmom’s perfect pie crust.

Heck, before you even scroll down and subscribe, I have a free eBook for you. Download Maple Goodness here or just click on the eBook image below. Your family will truly love the Best Ever Maple Scone recipe in this free eBook.

Then type your email address in the box below for the 33-page eBook, A Sweet Taste, and so much more.

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