What My Nana Knew Update (and a teeny tiny giveaway)

I’ve had What My Nana Knew on the brain.

I’m just madly, wildly in love with the idea!

I don’t come from country people. Sometimes I wish I did, but the fact is I don’t. And the fact is a lot of us don’t. But our Nanas still had a ton of innovative, creative ideas that helped them through the Great Depression that are valid and helpful in today’s world, too.

So I’ve decided to do something that feels so risky to me that it makes my heart beat hard and my hands shake a little as I type. I don’t know why the thought of offering a What My Nana Knew ‘zine is scarier than putting myself out here everyday to you all, but it is. Maybe because I’ll be asking for a little money? That feels presumptuous. What if no one buys it? What if my poor little ‘zine just sits all alone in a box because no one is interested?

But I feel in my heart that this is going to be a fun and adventurous ride. And if no one buys What My Nana Knew-the ‘zine…well, I’ll just give it away.

It will be, when all is said and done, a 20 page 1/2 size little booklet. So far (as you can see) I have the front and back covers done, and the table of contents. Which means, I know what I want to put in, I just have to write it.

This edition of W hat My Nana Knew, the ‘zine, will be about food storage without a garden. I think a lot of people get intimidated by the idea of canning and cold storage and whatnot, because they think it has to involve extensive gardening. The ‘zine will have a page for each season with seasonal foods listed, and how to store them, plus another page for each season with recipes. There will be a section for food storage under special circumstances (such as food allergies) and another one for DIY projects. There is even a page of ideas for those who would like to try their green thumb on for size on a small scale. Then a couple of pages of resources.

I’ll charge $4 dollars, postage in the US paid. My plan is to have quarterly (seasonal) editions with a different theme for each. I’m not trying to get rich here. I think that this information is super important, and I want to get it out in a useful way. Sometimes having something in your hand is the most useful, don’t you think? This edition should be ready to go in March.

Please, please, if you have any thoughts or ideas or just want to help quell my fears that this is a silly idea that no one will be interested in, leave me a comment. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

In the meantime, I still plan to have a monthly What My Nana Knew post here. This month’s post will be about cold food storage. I’d planned to post that at the end of January, but it felt rushed and I decided to spend more time on it. So expect that in a couple of weeks.

And now to the give-away!

There is one thing my Nana knew that she taught me when I was a little girl. That’s how to crochet. Every time I pick up a hook, I feel her right there with me. So I thought, to celebrate my little idea, I’d have a little giveaway to honor my Nana. The first thing she taught me to make was these little wash cloths. I still make them to this day.

They’re 100 percent cotton, and the bright sunny yellow makes me think of spring. Use them on your face, or on your dishes. Use them to help wean yourself from paper towels. Let them help you make a small change.

To win these three pretty little reusable wash cloths, all you have to do is post a comment here. If you would like to post about this giveaway on your blog, or follow me on your RSS feed, you can do that and post more comments here for two more chances to win. I’ll choose a winner randomly on Valentine’s day.



Filed under spirit

36 responses to “What My Nana Knew Update (and a teeny tiny giveaway)

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  3. Ooooooooh! Those cloths are adorable! (And yes, I am weaning myself off of paper towels. ; )

    Your little booklet is adorable too–I too wish I knew how to do all the things my grandmothers did. On the other hand, I am also glad I don’t do some of the things they did–like wean their babies early and then raise them on homemade formula of evaporated canned milk mixed with Caro syrup!

  4. jeanna

    I love the washcloths. I can’t tell from the picture what stich you use. They look like such a nice gift giving idea. Would you mind revealing the stich you use and/or directions for making this adorable cloth?

    Thanks so much.

  5. I’d love to win these washcloths! My mother buys something similar every summer at the farmer’s market, and oh, how I wish I knew how to make them. I just began learning to knit, so I suppose that in a few weeks I’ll try to figure this out. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. I already subscribe to your RSS feed, and I love reading your posts every day. 🙂 I’ll buy one of your booklets, as long as I don’t have to pay with paypal.

  7. Here’s my suggestion, when you create your ‘zine, use paypal. It’s sometimes so much easier for me to log in and click a few buttons than sending a check or etc.

    Good Luck! What a great idea!

  8. Amy

    I love the cloths. I am going to my first knitting class tomorrow. I am so excited! Hopefully I will be able to make my own cloths in the near future, but I would still love to wins yours 🙂 My change for January was to stop using paper towels and so far I’ve been successful!

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  10. nanas know alot so glad I am one I would love to win these little washcloths

  11. I absolutely LOVE the handmade dish cloths. I consider myself so lucky when I find one or someone gives me one. They are so great and remind me of my grandmother. I feel so good using them and take great pride in my 4 that I own. I would love to add your colorful ones to my drawer. I thought they were only knitted. Didn’t know you could crochet them. I crochet but not knit. I would like the pattern for the crochet ones. Thanks

  12. Stephany

    I love your wash cloths and the idea for your zine! I was not raised in the country, but I was blessed with parents, grandparents, and a great grandmother who taught me how to budget, run a frugal household and stretch a dollar for my family as far as possible. I’m trying to expand upon their knowledge by learning about homemade green cleaning products, having a large vegetable garden, and preserving food. We planted 10 heritage apple trees this year, and I can’t wait to have all those apples to can with! Of all the skills they taught me, the women in my family are not knowledgeable about knitting and crocheting. I would love it if you would do a zine on crocheting projects, as well as anything about basket making, soap making and candle making. I absolutely love your blog, and I definitely think your zine will be well received.

    • Basket making…what a great idea! I will do one on crocheting, and knitting (that should be hilarious…I don’t know how to knit!) And soap and candle making, too. Thank you so much for the encouragement. (I haven’t been posting replies, because for some reason I wanted to keep these comments just for the contest, but I can’t take it! Thank all of you for the ideas and support.)

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  14. Marci

    They are so pretty!

  15. Sarah Laughlin

    I used to make these when I was young and LOVE them, but have had no time in recent years to make them myself.

  16. These are adorable. You are fortunate to have this skill. I would love to be able to buy these at my farmers market- or make them myself, although while I can weave, the needle arts are not so fond of me. I think the ‘zine is a great idea.

  17. My maternal grandmother died long before I was born but I wish I could have met her. Each fall she would buy potatoes, onions, and carrots to store in the cellar. Back in the twenties and thirties you had to cold store foods to get through the winter, when there was no garden. She also made a crock of head cheese and would keep that in a cold place. We certainly don’t appreciate how easy life is for us now!

    I’m looking forward to your monthly updates!

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  22. Courtney

    I love all the beautiful colors!

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  26. Brilliant! The ‘zine and the washcloths! I love a bright yellow in the winter. And I bet everyone will be able to find one thing in your ‘zine that will make their life easier and/or save them money. I look forward to reading it!

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  29. Penny Saver

    I made a paper zine in high school and college, and I’m kinda ridiculously excited that you’re making one now! I love the idea of making it about things your Nana knew. A lot of that self-sustaining knowledge is dying and preserving it is awesome.

    How about some things she made from scratch? Is your Nana still around? Can you ask her about grocery shopping when she was young? I’d be interested to hear her experiences of procuring food when she was a child. Perhaps an interview with her about what HER Nana knew about food that our generation has lost?

    • I wish so badly I could do that interview. It would be amazing. But I have to use my memory, because my Nana was 94 when I was 16, 22 years ago! She was an amazing woman. And I’m ridiculously excited that you are excited!

  30. Your zine is not a silly idea – it is a wonderful idea! Tons of people (me included) wish we knew these things our grandmothers knew. Okay, so mine didn’t – I asked her. But she was/is an anomaly…

    And those are gorgeous dishcloths. The colors are wonderful.

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  32. Melissa Nelson

    Since both myself and my husband were laid off, I have been implementing many things my Nana did years ago. Lucky for me, I spent several weeks in the summer at her farm and learned to garden and can so we can eat well. I am also dusting off my knitting and sewing skills and trying to teach myself to crochet.
    Love the washclothes!

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