Wednesday, June 18, 2008

DIY cleaners

So on one of the forums I'm a member of, there was a posting about homemade laundry soap. I've heard of doing this a number of times, but usually it involves grating bars of soap, and it just never appealed to me. But then there was this recipe that was apparently suggested by a bio-chemical engineer or something. Anyhoo I gave it a shot... review to follow!

6.5cups washing soda (apparently you can buy a 55oz box which is the exact amount, but I could only find a "30% more" box so had to measure it)
1/2cup Borax
2cups Oxyclean
1/2cup Calgon water softener
1/2cup Simple Green (I used Bio-Vert as thats what I could find)

Mix dry ingredients together, then add Simple Green. Mix well to avoid the clumps. Use 1/4cup per load (half that for diapers). Dissolve in hot water before using (I keep a cup beside my washing machine, fill with hot water from the machine, then switch to cold to actually wash my clothes). It is an extra step, but it hasn't been as much of a hassle as I expected.

So I have now used up the whole batch. It worked. My clothes and diapers were clean. I didn't experience some of the miracle stain removal others claimed, but it was fine. The pre-dissolving was a bit of a pain in the ass, but not too bad. My only complaint was I didn't like the smell. I think it was the all purpose I used. So I am back to my beloved Country Save for the diapers and Roan and Ciarans laundry, and Purex for the rest of the house.

BUT!!! I did discover that it is awesome as a scouring powder!! With our stinky sulphuric well water, the tiles/tub in our bathroom are stained orange. Even Comet could not remove the stains, and I am very reluctant to try anything stronger. But on a whim I gave this detergent a shot, and with a little elbow grease I was amazed to see some white tile again!!! I didn't have the time to do whole tub/surround, but as soon as I do I'm looking forward to a white bathroom again. I will be making another batch of detergent just for this purpose.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm a planner

I'm coming to the realization I'm a planner. I love to plan out my projects, I think about them, pick out my materials, rethink about them, maybe have a dream or two, read lots of tutorials about what I want to do, scour my forums for tips, etc. But when it actually comes time to make the project, I stall.

Poor Roan is wearing bikini bottom diapers now he's getting so big. I have all my materials, I have finally decided (after changing my mind many times) how I want to make them. Yet I'm so pooped by the time the boys are in bed that I just haven't gotten around to doing anything about them.

Tonight I finally cut out two. So its a start. But at this pace I'd better learn about ec'ing! Or just skip to making larges!

Anyways, I don't like to call myself a procrastinator (although I'm sure others don't have that issue), so I'm just going to go with I'm a 'planner'!

Friday, June 13, 2008

My New Diaper Bag!

I adore some of the diaper bags out on the market. I seriously considered getting a Jujube, but come on, $130 for a fricken diaper bag? I'm way too cheap, I mean frugal, for that. And like so many other times I think, I can make that! So I scoured the web for that perfect tutorial and found this.

(Please excuse the different font, I am c&p'ing this from a post I made on a sewing forum and I'm too damn lazy to change it)

About halfway through I realized the dimensions just weren't right for what I wanted, and some of the instructions I didn't like. But I finished it, I'm glad I did as it was a learning experience, and I will use it for now because its bigger than what I currently have, but I am already planning out my next one.

The outer is a brown corduroy and the inner is a lavender cotton (fully machine washable). There is a pocket on the front of the bag, and six pockets inside. There is also a divider inside, but following the instructions made it super narrow on one side and huge on the other. Also I don't like how all the seams are visible on the inside. Looking closer at the original bag I think maybe she did the seams on the outside and then used binding? I'm so novice I don't even know if thats what its called.

Anyways I think I technically did a pretty good job, so I'm happy for that. And I have a pretty good idea of what I want, so I'm planning out my next one. I just have to whip up a med stash for my son first (ha! that takes me forever!).

The Bag


The lined outside pocket


The inside showing the divider.


So I'm glad to have finished a project. It feels like ages since I've done anything worth posting about. But I actually have a few new things I'm about to start, I just have to do the diapers first. I got all ten yards of velour prewashed today, so will hopefully have my pattern ready to go tomorrow and should be cutting by Sunday. Poor little Roans tush is starting to creep out of the back of his smalls, so I really have no time to procrastinate any longer!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

There's always a first

Now that my newborn is no longer a newborn (almost 4mths!) and is sleeping better, and my toddler is at least in bed better (sleep, well thats another story), and my husband works crazy long hours, I find myself with a little time again to get back into the groove. Sewing is my current crafting choice, I can never find things made exactly how *I* want them and I'm too cheap to pay good money for something that isn't just right. Crochet has taken a bit of a back bench, but my hooks and yarn are just waiting for my return. And what better way to track my progress, hits and misses than with a blog. No promises for regular updates, but I do like to have a record of all my stuff. And hopefully there will be much more for me to post about!

So today Roan decided to take a blissful TWO hour nap!!! When I put him down, I had the fullest intentions of finishing the aplix on one of the final four diapers that I had left to finish. I figured that as he's now growing out of the smalls, and I will be starting to make his mediums this week (my 10yds of squishy beautiful velour are waiting for me at the post office!!) that I should at least finish the last diapers he's currently using. At this point its more for resale value than my convenience. So I set Ciaran up with puzzles in my room (my sewing area) and I got started. Can you believe it, but I managed to get ALL FOUR of them done!! I was a sewing machine! Only one hiccup when my top thread kept throwing up on a certain spot (still don't know what that was about), but otherwise they all turned out awesome. This may not seem like a big deal to many seamstresses, but between the rethreading, filling the of course empty bobbin, stopping to do a few puzzles, laundry, letting the cats and dog outside, letting the cats and dogs back inside because its raining, drying off all the mud from said cats and dogs, getting snacks, potty breaks, etc etc etc, I couldn't believe I finished it all!!

So with that behind me, I can now concentrate on finishing my diaper bag. I'm about 2/3rds done. Its okay. I'm not as thrilled with the size as I hoped, but I was just following a tutorial and have a horrible time envisioning things if they're not in front of me. But I'm learning lots, the bag technically looks really great I think, but I have a few personal likes/dislikes about the bag. I'm already planning out the next one...

And like I mentioned, my velour has arrived in Canada! I got it from a co-op, and I can't wait to get my hands on it. So soft and squishy. Its for Roan's med stash, as well I stocked up on the white for the miscellanous things you love to have white velour for.

And then some other 'On My List To-Do' items, I want to make some glass magnets. I'm tired of Ciarans crappy plastic magnets holding up all the loose crap on our fridge (not sure 'holding up' is the correct term when it takes four of them to hold up one piece of paper). And as I'm too cheap to actually buy some, I did some googling and I don't think they're all that difficult. So sometime this week I'm going to take the boys to Michaels and see what I can find. Oh, and I need some nighttime nursing pads. I'm thinking some of that white velour will be perfect!

So now I'm off to figure out how this whole 'Blogger' site works and try and get my old blog posted over here. Looking forward to my new 'home'!