Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Where has the time gone?

Oops. I have been M.I.A. for almost five months! So much has changed around here. After a busy holiday season, we moved to a new apartment. We have a little backyard for Duden to play in, plenty of space, an incredible view of the mountains and best of all, we have the most awesome neighbor. Get this, she has a little boy and she designs and sews kids apparel! Could it be more perfect? Yep. It could. She also shares my dreams of opening a store one day. Lots of ideas have been thrown around latlely.

Also, perhaps the best news of all: I was able to leave my job. I am now a full time stay at home mom! My new boss rocks. And he's super cute.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fun With Lanolin

The best part about using wool covers is the fact they only have to be washed every two to three weeks. Yay! The less laundry the better. Also, wool covers can be lanolized to renew their water repellency. This can be done if you notice they are absorbing water when washing. It is really easy to lanolize wool covers. I just finished lanolizing two pairs of longies. They will be great for Duden to wear this winter. The only things needed are a sink, water, baby soap, lanolin and a small jar. I just used some of my leftover Lansinoh from when Duden was first born.

First, I filled a sink with warm water and some baby soap. 

I gently washed the covers and let them soak for five minutes.

While they were soaking I took some mirror pics to keep myself entertained. Always fun.

Next, I rinsed carefully rinsed the covers under running water.

Then, I mixed a little bit of lanolin in the jar with hot water.

I shook, shook, shook the jar. I danced around while shaking. D began to get sleepy. Yep, multitasking.

I then refilled the sink with warm water and put the diaper covers in. I poured the lanolin mixture on top and let the diapers soak for ten minutes. I threw the jar and lid for good measure, I figured more lanolin wouldn't hurt.

Duden fell asleep. I put him down for a nap.

After ten minutes, I drained the sink and rolled the diaper covers up in a towel. 

Now, his longies are drying on a rack, waiting to be used!

I am so glad I found this diapering system. My next project is to make Duden a stash of fitted diapers to use under his wool covers. I am even playing with the idea of using upcycled t-shirts to make them. It could be cute! I think I'll go check out the thrift shop so I can get started!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wool Crazy.

The rainy season has started here on the Olympic Peninsula. It is officially autumn, my favorite season. Crisp air and shorter days mean boots, pumpkin spice lattes, fires in the fireplace and wool scarves. This year, baby gets to experience the coziness fall brings. I have become obsessed, and I mean obsessed with wool diaper covers.

Upcycled Wool Diaper Cover 

First of all, they work. I was totally skeptical, but its true. The wool's natural lanolin is water repellent. And just like wool camping socks, wool keeps you warm in the winter, (even when wet) and cool in the summer. This property alone makes it one of the best materials, probably ever.

Wool diaper covers are adorable! They look so cozy and cute. Perfect for autumn. They can be in the form of pants or wraps or pull ups. I love putting Duden in his wool longies paired with a matching shirt, or a pull up cover with leg warmers.

Wool diaper covers are sustainable. No need for synthetic fabrics. I can't be the only one super excited about this! As much as I loved being able to make diapers out of PUL, I am much happier to reuse old wool sweaters to make my products. Half the fun is shopping for sweaters. Also, I really like the idea of having a natural fabric on baby. I think I may have found a new direction for BumbleButts, I am gong wool; sustainable, upcycled, natural. I think I have found my calling!

Check out my new products, more like this to come!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

This Girl is on Fire.

Now that my line is officially carried in a retail store, I am ready ready to make this thing real. I suppose its time I actually write down my goals. I had a teacher once tell me that goals are just dreams until you write them down. So here goes. I want to open my own cloth diaper store. I would like that store to carry diapers that I make, other popular brands, detergent, diaper sprayers, wet bags, liners and other cloth diapering accessories.

 It would be a store where an expectant mom could go to begin her stash, learn about cloth diapering, and get everything she would need to get started, all in one place. It would be a store where been experienced moms could replace their favorite items or pick up some more detergent. It would also provide a diaper service so that more people could effectively cloth diaper. Finally, it would offer cloth diaper seminars to teach people how to cloth diaper.

I hope that this dream (turned goal) will someday become reality. For now, I have plans to design different types of diapers. Little Dude has outgrown most of the ones I've made him, so it's time to work out some more styles. I'm definitely thinking some one-size, maybe some all-in-ones, and I'm going to experiment more with some pull-up style cloth diapers since my little guy is so wiggly these days.

I am so excited thinking about all the things I could make. Maybe... nursing pads too? Time will tell. Now I better get sewing while I can, naps are short these days!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Today's The Day

Well, I am proud to report that today I dropped off an order of twenty diapers at Quimper Mercantile in Port Townsend, Wa. This store started it all for me. I was already making cloth diapers for my son, and I happened to read in the paper that a new store was asking artists to bring their goods to an event with hopes of selling some locally made products. I thought I might as well give it a shot. I packed up my cloth diapers, my six month old, toys, bottles, slings, and all the guts I could muster and headed out on the hour long drive to pitch my product. I think it's a good thing that I brought the adorable baby/product tester because they seemed to love him! And my diapers as well. I left eagerly awaiting a promised phone call. Needless to say I was thrilled when they ordered twenty. And so I got to work.

Quimper Mercantile Company, Port Townsend, WA
Quimper Mercantile is a unique store. It is community owned and individuals can buy stock, which keeps the store running. They sell locally and commercially made products and have a great selection of inventory. What a wonderful way to keep shopping local! I am so grateful that the people running this store were able to recognize my passion and give me the confidence to pursue my business and my dreams. I hope that one day I will look back on this experience as the first step to opening up my cloth diaper shop, but for now I'll just keep on sewing!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

On A Roll

I had so much success with my homemade cloth diaper laundry detergent that I started looking for other thing I could make myself. Yay, making stuff! Saving money! Science experiments! Anyway. It's no secret that cloth diapering can be messy. What cloth diapering lacks in cleanliness, it makes up for in frugality and Eco-friendliness. Is that a word? So, if I could find a way to remove stains that would definitely give cloth diapering more points.

There are two easy ways to remove stains from cloth diapers. The first is easy, free, and available everywhere. The secret? The sun! Hang cloth diapers in the sun and they will be white as new in a few hours. I have no idea how it works, it's like magic. But, what do you do when you live in the Pacific Northwest, like I do, and time with the sun is severely limited to a few weeks in August?  Enter homemade stain remover.

1 part Dawn dish soap (the blue one)
2 parts hydrogen peroxide

Easy! I mixed these together and store it in a spray bottle. But does it work? I tested it on a cloth diaper that was used to clean. Yes, that is really just chicken noodle soup.


I'd say it works well enough for me, and I like the idea of knowing exactly what I'm putting on my baby's clothing. For now, I'll keep it!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

In Pursuit of Happiness

It is my goal in life to be a stay-at-home-mom (or I guess work-at-home-mom if you want to get technical about it). Unfortunately, at this point in our lives, I have to work. I went back to work when Duden was only seven weeks old. It seemed totally normal at the time but as I look back I regret leaving my teeny tiny baby. Eagerly, I jumped right back into the workforce,  five to six days a week. I have always been somewhat of a workaholic. 

At first going back to work was wonderful. I was making money, interacting with people who could actually talk and I got to see all my old friends. Pretty soon, however, the novelty wore off, and I missed my baby with a fierce passion only a working mom of a newborn could understand. I realized that working so much was not working for us, so I decided to cut back at work. I went from five shifts to two, the bare minimum for survival. In order to do this, I began looking for ways to cut costs. 

I was already saving money by using cloth diapers, but I wondered if there was more I could do. I do at least one load of laundry per day, whether it be diapers or clothing, and that adds up to a lot of water and detergent. Here comes the win-win situation: making my own laundry detergent! (what!?!) I never thought this was something I'd be excited about but somehow it gives me a strange sense of accomplishment. It also saves a ton of money. I originally wanted to use a recipe containing fels-naphtha soap, borax and washing soda. This recipe works great for cleaning clothes but, unfortunately, it is not a good idea to use this on cloth diapers. Yes, it gets them very clean. Eventually, though, the soap build-up fom the fels-naphtha will cause the diapers to repel liquids, rendering them useless. Don't worry, I have found a solution.

The Perfect Cloth Diaper Detergent

 1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
1/2 cup of oxygen cleaner (like oxyclean)

Mix all the ingredients together. I use an old wipes container to store
 mine in. Be sure to label the contents and keep away from children as you would with any cleaning products. This makes a very easy to use powdered laundry detergent. You only need to use 1 TBS per load, so it lasts a long time. Save even more money by hanging diapers to dry!