Speaking at the Craftcation Conference

Well Saturday is a big day for me. I am one of the scheduled speakers at the Craftcation Conference and I’m just a little nervous about it! I will be speaking about raising chickens of all things. I hope I don’t bore the crowd to tears talking about poultry for an hour!

Most of you know this here blog as a sewing blog but when I originally started it , the idea was to chronicle our family’s move to an old farmhouse from Santa Monica, to try homesteading out here in a rural agricultural valley of Ventura County, an hour and a half and a world away from Los Angeles, where Santa Monica is.

 When we first moved out here seven years ago I had major culture shock but I adapted slowly. No one knew a Prada bag from a Gucci or cared, and the mothers around here went to church in the mornings instead of the gym. I eventually caught on and started attending church myself but that is another story.

We made a decision to homeschool, grow our own food, raise chickens and rabbits, and I even got a horse and started learning how to herd cows. Those horsey people down at the stable must have had a good laugh at my expense, that’s for sure. The truth was I was terrified of my giant quarter horse and he knew it and loved to let me know he was the boss, not me! I did have some pretty boots. What a poseur.
Although we live in a farm area the quality of the food in the local markets is pretty bad and I had to drive a half an hour to find anything organic. ( Another good reason to try growing what we could..)
So now we grow food, raise chickens, and buy our cows and pigs from a local rancher and have them processed by the local butcher. I do a lot of canning with the girls and my husband does most of the outside work. He is very excited about his new tiller and is planning to expand the garden. I guess you could say we are country people now.
Of course the next step in homesteading was to try making clothes. Sure I always sewed, having a degree in fashion design. But for years I only sewed Halloween costumes and was too lazy to actually make my own wardrobe.

With all the time I saved not shopping,  I had a lot more of it than I thought I would. ( The shopping out here was pretty atrocious, except the thrift shop which is pretty good…) Shopping was like an addiction for me and no matter how much I bought I was just thinking about getting something new. It’s like a hole that never got filled. I still am like that a little bit, but at least I am thinking about what I can make for me or the kids instead of what I can buy.

So if you have read this far, thanks for reading this little story about our life. Let me know if you will be attending the conference and we can meet up. Wish me luck! I still have to write my speech.

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-McKenzie

Comments

  1. says

    Good luck! What a lovely story of you and your family’s country living sounds great.
    Enjoy your thursday and once again good luck with the speech.

  2. says

    Good luck, you will be great! You’ve got a lot to share. Funny, I’ve done the opposite of you, raised on a farm, and now I’m living in the land of gel nails and convertibles. Time to get back to my roots! Janelle

  3. Vintage Girl says

    We have so much in common, We moved to the country 8 years ago, raise chickens,and homeschool. Life is very different for sure. Pray about your speech, ask what you should share and to take away your fear that you would bore people, chances are they won’t be bored, but interested. I’ve had to speak and sing in front of thousands of people and my only help has been to pray, hope that helps, knock’em dead!

  4. A.J.A. says

    You will be great! I think it will be interesting to a lot of people just for the fact that they don’t realize how easy keeping chickens can be and how much healthier the eggs are. You can tell them about your awesome coop! We just got 6 new chicks- they are so cute when they are small.

  5. says

    You will do great. Ask St. Gabriel the Archangel to help you with your speach. He is the big announcement guy after all. Guy? Um, angel. He is, by Church tradition, the heralder of all great events, even if the bible does not specify him. According to tradition.

  6. Mary says

    Justine, Thanks for sharing some background to your life. Your speech will be great…just let your enthusiasm for your new life shine through. I live in an OR ranch town near the CA border and life is very different from what we see in magazines and on TV. I love living next to wilderness but sure do miss a more liberal political tone.

  7. says

    I really enjoyed reading a little bit more about your back story. It’s really interesting and you are living out a dream of mine. Someday I’ll live out in the country and do what you’re doing now 🙂 🙂 Have fun at that conference…oh, and I’d love to hear more about your homesteading stuff, in addition to all the cool sewing that you do already 🙂 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of CAlifornia, Heather 🙂

  8. radmegan says

    Hi! I am REALLY looking forward to your session! I’m speaking at craftcation too (in a few minutes in fact- hence reading blogs to CALM MYSELF DOWN!) Anyway! You session is right before one of mine on Saturday, but you can bet your BOOTS that I’ll be there! Heck, I’d love to listen to you talk about chickens for several hours!

    Hope I get to meet you in person! (I’m guessing your chicken talk will be packed girl) but if not, know that I’ll be in the crowd rootin for ya!

    xoxo
    radmegan

  9. says

    Good luck!!! Cluck cluck!

    I’m originally from Santa Barbara and I moved to L.A. … well, Manhattan Beach, so it’s not all that bad, but it is a different world! I hope to return to my home, SB, someday. My mom is still there, so thankfully I get to go home often. I think your country live sounds fabulous and I love watching what you sew!

    Peace,
    Erinn
    Sticky Genius

  10. Justine of SewCountryChick says

    I cant wait to get a reply thingy put on this comment form so I can answer everyone individually!these stories from all of you are so cool and thanks for the encouragement!