Category Archives: Crafts

Cloth Wipes Update, Homemade Menstrual Pads and a Giveaway!

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We’ve been enjoying visiting with family from out of town, and this is the first chance I’ve had to update the blog! So, first things first.

Cloth Wipes: I’ve been using them since I finished sewing them. I’m in love. They are so soft! And surprisingly absorbent. I haven’t had any problems with it getting wet all the way through. I’ve even been using them for my middle of the night bathroom breaks, and it’s so easy! Once you get used to it, it’s a breeze. I’ll admit. The first time I was going to use them, I was a little nervous. Not sure why. Just maybe because it was a change from my normal habits? I love a good routine and this was a bit outside my comfort zone. But, I just jumped in and did it. I went to Toys R Us and bought a 3-pack of wet bags for dirty diapers and I leave one of the bags next to the toilet. When I’m done with the cloth wipe, I just throw it in the bag and zip it back up. And you know what, it doesn’t even smell like anything. A big plus. Overall, I’m VERY pleased with the cloth wipes and will continue to use them. I cut up the rest of our sheet set and made about 30 or so wipes. I’m doing a load of laundry now and I just threw them in with the towels and wash cloths. Easy peasy.

Menstrual Pads: I figure, I’m on a roll. Might as well give reusable pads a shot too, right? No one told me that after you have a baby, you bleed. I mean, you’d think I would have picked that up in a book or something along the way. But no, I did not. Imagine my shock and surprise when the nurse in labor and delivery took a chux pad, folded it up and stuffed it into these makeshift mesh underwear. I was like, um…what the heck is that for? Naive, yes. This time around, I refuse to have crinkly plastic touching an ever so sensitive area after I push this baby out. I found a couple of patterns online on ehow.com, but I just took bits and pieces from that site and constructed my own. I can’t be for sure how they work since I won’t ┬áneed them for another 6 months, but I made 2. They are pretty and they make me smile. I plan on making more this weekend.

Here is my tutorial on what I did:

I started by making a template on thin cardboard from a disposable pad I had on hand.

 

These are the supplies I used. Flannel squares, waterproof pads, snaps, needles and pinking shears. (I ended up not using the shears since they only cut paper. What?!)

 

I traced the middle absorbent portion of the pad onto flannel to add to the middle of my own.

 

The finished flannel piece.

 

I got 5 flannel pieces onto the waterproof pad and traced and cut these out.

 

Pin the flannel piece to the waterproof pad. Sew around the edges using a zig zag stitch.

 

Sew around the edges of the absorbent middle. Also sew a few lines in the middle so the flow knows where to go.

 

Stop and have a break. I suggest Boston Cream Pie yogurt.

 

Trace the cardboard template onto your pretty flannel piece, doubled over. After you cut it out, you will have 2 identical pieces (top and bottom of your pad.)

 

Pin and sew the absorbent middle onto your flannel pieces. Flannel pieces should be right sides together. Leave one edge open so you can turn the whole thing right side out.

 

I sewed big triangle shapes onto the pad. Not sure why. The directions said to. So I did. I'm a follower.

 

Hand sew the snaps on. Make sure they are facing the right way. Otherwise, you may or may not cry.

 

The finished product.

 

So compact when you fold it up and snap it together!

I think with time…and practice, these will get easier to do. It was pretty much trial and error making these two, and they aren’t as “finished” as I’d like them to be. But, I think they’ll do the job, and it sure as heck isn’t crinkly plastic!

And now, a Giveaway. I think this is my first ever. Actually, I’m sure this is my first ever. I have a bundle of 7 Cloth Wipes to give away. In the comments section, leave a comment why you’d like to try the cloth wipes and also if you’d ever consider using the reusable menstrual pads. Or if you are a guy, these would make a lovely (yet perhaps inappropriate?) gift. ­čÖé I’ll pick the winner this Friday, July 8 by noon. Good luck!

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Cloth Wipes

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My friend, Megan over at SortaCrunchy┬áhas inspired me in more ways than one. From her, I have been encouraged to use the Oil Cleanse Method, practice Natural Family Planning, and now I’ve decided that I’ll start using cloth wipes instead of toilet paper. (See her post here.) I figure that I alone am going through a roll of toilet paper a week (the single rolls people, not those huge triple rolls that won’t fit on the holder) and this is just a way to save money. And cut back on waste. And also help out the environment. (For the record, I do buy Trader Joe’s toilet paper which is made without the use of┬áchlorine, but it all adds up.)

So, I sacrificed a set of our winter flannel sheets (sorry Honey) and made a few wipes to try out. Here is what I did.

I cut 8x8 inch squares of our old flannel sheets, pinning 2 of the squares (wrong side) together.

 

I used a zig-zag stitch on the sewing machine to help with fraying edges. This was not a precise project at all. Pandora helped me get through it.

Close up of the zig-zag stitch.

In the end, I got 10 cloth wipes made.

 

Finished project. Not pretty, but they'll work.

 

I obviously have not used them yet. That would be gross if I took pictures of it. And for the record (mainly for my sis, Kat) I’m only using them for #1. I think for #2, I’ll stick with flushable toilet paper. And yes Kat, and I just said #2. Like, I’m 7 or something. ­čÖé

Recycling Crayons

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I’m from Oklahoma, and I don’t think I have ever pronounced “crayon” correctly, according to my hubby. I say it like crown. Trying to say cray-on just seems foreign to me. Owen also says crown, so hubby loses.

We had a gazillion (okay, maybe 30) broken crayon pieces, free cheapy crayons Owen has gotten at restaurants and goodie bags, and some really old crayons that had seen better days. I suggested to Owen that we break up all the crayons into little pieces and melt them into bigger, rainbow crayons. Fun stuff.

We started by soaking the crayons in a bowl of water to┬áloosen┬áthe paper. Don’t even try to peel it when it’s dry. Dang near impossible.

After the paper was soft, we (I) peeled the wrappers off, broke the crayons into smaller pieces, and let Owen decide which cupcake tin to put them in. I used an old, disposable cupcake pan I had, just so I wouldn’t have to worry about clean up later.

While you are letting your child meticulously place each crayon piece in the cupcake tin, pre-heat your oven to 350. When it is preheated, turn off your oven and place the crayons inside. They will start to melt. Ours took about 10 minutes or so to look like soup. Immediately put the cupcake tin in your freezer for 15 minutes, until hardened. Then, turn them out onto a towel or your hand. (They are fragile and will shatter if you turn it out onto your counter.)

Owen has not yet colored with them, mainly because he is playing dinosaur catcher and doesn’t have time to be bothered with fancy crayons. Also because I want to let them get to room temp before he colors (throws) with them.

And if anyone is curious, this is me today. I don’t feel nearly as big as I did a few nights ago…maybe because I’m feeling more and more sick all the time and can’t hardly stand to eat (besides pickled okra and ginger ale….)

Don't mind the spilled ginger ale on my shirt. I'm messy.

How to Recover a Chair

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Clearly this isn’t really a “How To” since I’ve only recovered exactly one chair in my entire life. I’m not an expert. I had to have my hubby’s help, since using a staple gun is somehow a 2 person job. At least for me it is.

We got this chair from Grandma Irene. The original fabric was a blue and white gingham print, and the fabric itself wasn’t a sturdy upholstery fabric, it was more of a soft cotton. So, after years of us sitting in it, and Owen jumping off of it, the fabric started to tear. Then the foam pad started to tear and leave little bits of foam all over the floor. Then the chair became too hard to sit on, so we threw an old bed pillow on it. It was tacky.

Tacky Chair

I started off by flipping the chair on the back and unscrewing the seat from the rest of the chair.

After I took the seat off, I just took my kitchen shears and cut the old fabric off. I didn’t have the time (or patience) to try and get the 40,000 staples out of the chair. And I’m not sure why my hand looks so scary in the picture below.

I took the plywood cut out from the seat bottom and put it on top of my the new foam I bought at Joann Fabrics. I just free-handed the outline, but made it about 1/2 inch bigger on each side, so the side of the chair would have some cushion on it.

When I was done, it looked like this:

I then took the Home Decor/Upholstery fabric I bought and laid it out. I cut a rough outline of the plywood, making sure to leave enough room on each side for the fabric to be pulled around and stapled.

I started stapling the fabric from the front of the chair, then stapled the back, and then each side, making sure to pull tight each time I stapled. Hubby helped me do the corners, since every time I tried, it just looked like a big mess of fabric. This is what it looked like after I had stapled it.

I cut off all the excess fabric and put in a few more staples, just for good measure. (I love staple guns. They are the best thing ever, right after glue guns.)

Here is the chair after I put it back together.

I think the entire project cost me about $25. The new seat cushion was about $12, the fabric was $10 and I had to buy more staples for the staple gun for about $3.

Now we have a cute chair in our living room. Funky colors, which I like. Sturdy enough now for Owen to jump off of, and Sean likes it because it’s not too girly. Success!

Fancy Picture Frames

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We were desperately in need or some wall-candy above our bed. We have plenty of ceiling decorations and a fabulously colorful duvet cover, but….blank walls. Blank walls make me sad.

When we move, the FIRST thing I want to do is hang up wall decorations, even before we’ve unpacked and put the couch in its place.

Owen and I have been doing lots of coloring and painting lately, and the fridge and his display wall were getting full.

Enter Dollar Store.

We dropped by this afternoon to check it out. We wandered every aisle. Owen even picked up 104 Toy Story stickers for $1. Score!

I found these unfinished frames on the frame aisle, and the acrylic paint on their craft aisle.

Just remember that these are items from a dollar store…you pay for what you get. Each little color of paint painted exactly one frame. The paint is thin and you need a gazillion coats. Hubby said it would have worked better if I had primed the frames, but I was just wanting to get decorations on the wall, people. They look fine. ­čÖé

Overall, I’m ┬ápretty pleased with how it turned out. They are colorful and match our duvet cover and bring some color to our walls.

Owen says ┬áhe does not like them, however, because I told him he can’t touch them. Hubby just smiled and said, Nice.

Oh well, I like them. I think they’ll stay.

Entire project: $7 plus tax

Total time: 2 hours (the paint dries FAST)

Fancy Clothes Pins

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I’ve been searching for a way to display Owen’s artwork that doesn’t include magnets and my fridge. ┬áMy fridge is already full of pictures and notes and art work and scribbles. haha I had some clothes pins that I actually used to use to hang up our clothes, but since we’re in an apartment now, the clothes pins are taking a vacation. I had some ribbon and of course a glue gun, so I got to work.

I cut the ribbon (same width as clothes pins) the length of the clothes pins, 2 ribbons per clothes pin, one for each side. Then, I put a zig-zag strip of glue on the clothes pin, and attached the ribbon. After I made 8 of these, I took a length of the same ribbon and hung it above Owen’s play area. Then, I hung his art work with the pins. SO cute. And functional. And cute!

Clothes pins with ribbons

The clothes pins after I glued the ribbons on

The finished product. Sorry the flag banner is in the way!

Crafty McCrafterson

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It’s not a secret that I have always wanted to be crafty. I dreamt of the days where I’d be able to show up to work, and tell everyone that I MADE my skirt. Or, to be able to tell one of Owen’s friends that I MADE the birthday gift. I recently stumbled upon a GREAT book, The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule. (She blogs at www.soulemama.typepad.com) I’ve been reading her blog religiously, and trying to channel all her creativity as best I can. In her book, she had a pattern for an EASY colored pencil/marker/ink pen holder. I decided to give it a shot and try making it. One of Owen’s little friend from┬ádaycare┬áis celebrating her 4th birthday this weekend, so what better gift to give Sofia than a hot pink colored pencil holder?!

Sean, Owen and I visited our local Joanne Fabric SUPER store. It’s overwhelming and massive and WONDERFUL. Sean and I were in heaven. Owen loved the button aisle.

I picked out a hot pink felt for Sofia’s pencil holder. Sean then decided that he wanted a holder for himself, for all of his knitting needles, yarn, patterns, etc. So, he chose a boring black. ha ha!

Here is the finished product of Sofia’s sweet pencil holder. Sean and I really want to “get back to the basics” of toys for Owen and we’re trying to wean out battery operated toys/toys that require absolutely no imagination. This does not mean I’m going crazy and throwing out all of his toys, but we want to have the majority of Owen’s toys battery-free.

Okay, here is the pencil holder:

The outside of the pencil case.

The outside of the pencil case.

 

Inside of the pencil case.

Inside of the pencil case.

┬áAnd here are my two boys, with pretend hair made from scrap felt. Also, check out Owen’s fancy necklace that he found in Mommy’s jewelry dish.

Hot pink hair is stylish, if you didn't know...

Hot pink hair is stylish, if you didn't know...

┬áAnd one last picture! This past weekend, we had a Father’s Day cookout at my mom and dodd’s house. I decided to make Cherry Limeade to drink (as in, SONIC Cherry Limeade.) Being from the South, you have never experienced heaven until you’ve had a Sonic Cherry Limeade. While we didn’t have the Sonic ice (you Southerners know what I’m talking about!), it was still so yummy! I found this recipe on Kelly’s blog (www.kellyskornerblog.com) and have really been enjoying her entries. She has a link to her recipe page, and that’s where I found the limeade! So excited! This will definitely be a staple item at all family get togethers!

Recipe:

1 Can frozen limeade, 1 2-liter Sprite, 1 jar cherries with juice, 1 lime. Wash and slice lime. Put all ingredients into a punch bowl, including the juice from the cherries. Stir well and add ice.  ENJOY!

Sonic Cherry Limeade

Sonic Cherry Limeade

 Hope everyone has a great Tuesday!