Dinky Manor

The Lurid Details Of My Only Handmade Mandate for 2011

Because, you know, it’s never too early to set yourself up for crushing failure, here are my initial expectations/rules for my ONLY HANDMADE IN 2011 Mandate:

  1. Unless I can figure out how to get a full-ride scholarship to an Italian school for shoemakers this year, I will not be getting new shoes. Why? Because any new clothing I add to my wardrobe in the next twelve months has to be sewn or otherwise manufactured by me.
  2. All gifts in 2011 must be handmade. This includes gifts for discerning, corporate clients who don’t have a clue that I’m one of those awful treehuggers.
  3. My boyfriend, Mr. Foxypants, is absolutely not getting a sweater. Or any other item hand knit by me. If he asks you to take part in some rules lawyering scheme to get around this rule, the answer to him is NO. I have unfortunate personal experience with the Knitting Curse, which is totally, 100% real.
  4. The Crafty Crap Bureau must be purged to fit ALL crafty crap supplies. This includes the entire sewing kit, the supplies for the Valentine Card-Making Party, wrapping paper, beading and leather working tools, and all half-finished projects.
  5. All half-finished knitting projects and quilting projects that should have been finished in 2010, will be finished in 2011 or they will be donated, half-finished, to charity.
  6. Sticky Acres/The Jam Fairy must be in the black by the end of 2011 and must not result in a canning induced nervous breakdown. A reasonable business plan must be created.
  7. Back in September of 2010 I decided that one of my New Years Resolutions would be to make a different variety of jam every week for a year. Alas, I’m still holding myself to this promise.
  8. I will source enough free fruit this year to produce 52 different varieties of preserves. I can buy additional ingredients to include in the preserves, but the main ingredient of each preserve must be sourced locally and cost nothing.
  9. Sticky Acres Apiaries must increase its honey yield (40 pounds of honey) from last year.
  10. I will finally plant my backlog of seeds…even the ones that are 13 years old.
  11. Garden, bee yard and gleaning results will be tallied in an organized fashion. Many thanks to the Dervaes Family in Pasadena for their Homesteading bookkeeping inspiration and to Julia Park Tracey for supplying me with an actual spreadsheet!
  12. Meals will be planned with military precision, or at least the ex-military precision of Food Whimsy. No more wasted food at Dinky Manor.
  13. I will start baking my own bread again or die trying. (Alternate choice: convince Mr. Foxypants to bake the bread since he loves doing that anyway).
  14. I can eat prepared food at restaurants and at the homes of others, but the bulk of the food I feed myself this year needs to be cooked from as close to scratch as possible.
  15. I’m invoking the Ancient Mariner rule (which is a rule that I totally made up, but this is my list after all), which states that ingredients such as coffee, tea, salt, elephants and spices that were traded in centuries past by sea are exempt from the “From Scratch”/locally sourced rules.


  1. Debbie
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I love your list! I understand about the no homemade gifts for Mr. Foxypants because my mother doesn’t get homemade gifts any longer either. One year I slaved over a counted-cross stitch picture for her which she proclaimed “looked as good a store bought”. Yeah, okay. So now my knitted socks and quilts and other items go to those I know will appreciate it. 2 pairs of socks already put away for Christmas 2011. One pair is already wrapped and tagged.

  2. Eileen
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    On Breadbaking . . . over the holiday I unearthed my middle school home-ec project from a breakbaking class – in which I had to type up TEN bread recipes. (& when I say type, I mean as in with a typewriter!) So we made cinnamon rolls twice, and my plan is to do one of the recipes each week to see how they turn out. Then I’m going to “republish” with photos & add to my Etsy store. Ha!

    Love your list – sending you lots of good ju-ju to accomplish it to the best of your abilities.

  3. carol wood
    Posted January 5, 2011 at 2:53 am | Permalink

    Dude – totally into it! Wish I had the time and patience to stick to your plan. Love it. Do you know about the MakeShift lady? http://makeshiftproject.blogspot.com/ She made her clothing for a year and made shoes. If interested, maybe she’ll have some reasonable ideas. As I recall, she wasn’t pleased with the outcome, but her lessons learned are your potential improvements! Good luck!!!
    Carol (from The Compact)

  4. Posted January 9, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    I believe I have been challenged. I had fallen off the menu planning wagon, and gotten back on. It just doesn’t make it to my recipe scrapbook blog much anymore; now my google tasks is full of it. So I should probably get back on that…I made a new sidebar to list the menu plan, but will try to update with more test recipes and pictures.

  5. Posted February 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I love the Ancient Mariner rule. Especially the bit about elephants.

  6. btoblake
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    That’s a heck of an impressive set of goals, I look forward to following your efforts.

    (If you suddenly develop a desire to make shoes, it’s do-able. While a modern dressy heel is as layered as a wedding cake, sandals and historical shoes are easier, and hobbyists post lots of free designs. A light leather shoe is really nice in the garden.
    moccasins: http://www.natureskills.com/how_to_make_moccasins.html
    medieval shoes: http://home.earthlink.net/~lizjones429/shoe-advice.html
    dress shoes: http://www.marywalesloomis.com/ )

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