Monday, November 26, 2012

During the holidays we might be tempted to dig ourselves deeply into debt. Buying Furbies and Barbies, Power-wheels and Ipods. Buying any and every hot item to satisfy the whims of our children, spouses, and loved ones.

But what if... 

Our gifts were born of love, instead of luxury.

Our hands contributed more to our giving than our gas tanks.

Inspiration, rather than lists, lead the way to finding that perfect something for that perfect someone.

We put more time and effort into handcrafting heartfelt gifts for those we love, rather than filling up the space under our trees with miscellaneous store-bought goodies just to fill up that space.

I would LOVE to help you make that happen! I plan to have a series of tutorials, aiding you in finding inspiration, and instruction, to make some lovely gifts for your loved ones this holiday season. Here is the first of those tutorials!


What you're going to need
  • 2 colors of contrasting fabrics (I used flannel for both sides, but you can also use terrycloth, velour, or any soft, yummy, absorbant material)
  • thread (I used contrasting colors for my thread as well, purple on the top spool, and blue on the bottom. It added a really cool effect, and gave different color to each side of the cloths)
  • wipe box lid (to use as a pattern for your cloths)
  • fabric sheers or rotary cutter
  • fabric marker
  • Complimenting color bias tape (not pictured here)

Step 1 Start with laying your fabric pieces right side together. Fold this over so you end up with wrong sides of the same fabric touching. This will double your cutting efforts!

Step 2 Trace your wipe lid across your folded fabric, getting the pieces as close together as possible. Mine were actually touching so that in making 1 cut I was actually shaping the left side of 1 wipe, and the right side of the other.

Step 3 Cut the sides and tops of your traced wipes. When you have these cut, your bottom will be connected. slide your sheers in between this fold and cut across. Like so.

Step 4 Your fabric is already in the right position, so now it's time to sew! Check that your machine is threaded properly and start halfway down one of the long sides of the wipe sewing the 2 fabric pieces together. Leave a 1 inch section unsewn, so you can turn the wipe rightside out.

Step 5 This is what it will look like. Be sure to trim any excess fabric from the edges.

Step 6 Turn the wipe rightside out by poking your finger into one of the corners and working it through the hole that your left on the side. Continue this with all the corners, tugging gently to get all the fabric out.

Step 7 You will be left with a small hole in the side. Simply tuck this in on itself to line up with the rest of the edge and begin stitching at this location.

Step 8 Now stitch around the entire edge, as close to the edge as you can get. you can use a more decorative stitch if you so desire. And voila, you're done! Lather, rinse, repeat, and you'll have a handmade set of baby wipes/washcloths in minutes!

Step 9 To add an extra handmade touch and really make your gift pop get a piece of complimenting bias tape. Measure and cut to go around the wipes with about an inch overlapping. Stitch the ends together with a contrasting thread and a decorative stitch and you have a BEAUTIFUL, thoughtful, well put together gift that you can be proud to give to any parent!

Friday, November 9, 2012

When I think of cloth diapers I think of beautifully patterned, fluffy, squishy goodness. I think of well stocked diaper stashes, and endless supplies of absorbent inserts. Unfortunately, for alot of the world their diaper supplies aren't quite so cushy, and in lieu of diapers they use old cloths, or sometimes nothing at all. 

Enter The Little Bee Co.

Where soft bums are scare, and babies are lacking in squishy goodness, The Little Bee Co. is helping. Every diaper that is purchased through their company is matched with another diaper donated to an orphan in need. They have done diaper drops in China, Russia, the US, East Africa, South America, and more. The mission statement "Bee changed and change the world" is one they take seriously. With names like Honduran Sunrise, Cambodian Blush, and Turkish Moon, each of their vibrantly colored diapers is named for a place where children are desperately in need.

I was given the opportunity to try one of their Bee Changed Bamboo Solids diapers, and I have to say it is the softest thing I have EVER felt! The PUL outter is a stunning blue, called African Rain. The inner is a soft, plush, cozy bamboo fleece. Each Bee Changed Bamboo diaper comes with 2 microfiber inserts, or for a few more dollars you can upgrade to hemp and organic cotton inserts. There are 12 different colors to choose from, and this is a one size diaper that will bring your baby home from the hospital, and keep them dry until they are potty trained.
I made sure to give my new fluff a proper test run, so after prepping the hemp inserts I set my princess up for some sweet dreams in her new Bee Changed diaper. I used both inserts, and by morning they were heavily wet, but not thoroughly soaked. And this is with a sippy of milk before bed! Her sheets were dry, and when I picked her up in the morning, my shirt stayed dry too. (You cloth mamas know the dread of a wet spot on your shirt before that first morning diaper change!)

Next up was a several hour outing to the grocery store. Moving around presents a whole other host of obstacles to cloth diapering because the pressure of sitting on the diaper, as opposed to the light weight of sleeping, tends to squish out liquid from the inserts, and more times than I care to admit I've had to change my kiddos clothes because of diaper mishaps. We were in car seats, in shopping carts, and back in the carseat for a good 3 hours (without a change) and when I got home her clothes were still completely dry!

I don't have a single complaint about our Little Bee Co. diaper, and with the adorable Bee Change tag on the back, I found myself wanting to hike up her dress to show off the adorable saying and the gorgeous color. This is one of our new favorites! The inserts are also contoured, and fit in all of my other pockets. Score!

I feel blessed to live in a country where we are able to provide for our family so well. We are not rich, but our babies are always taken care of. I can only wish the same for every child around the world. You can purchase diapers from The Little Bee Co. in good conscience, knowing your little ones bottom will be clean and dry, and at the same time you are providing for another precious baby somewhere in the world. 

To keep an eye on The Little Bee Co. continuing diaper drops check out there Diaper Drops page.

I want to leave you with a Bible verse that is quoted on the Bee Changed Mission Statement page, and I urge you to watch the video below that goes into further detail about The Little Bee Co.'s mission.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as Pure and Faultless is to care for orphans"
James 1:27

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

No GMOs & Prop 37

Posted by Unknown On 6:32 PM | No comments

Yes, I live in the South. A long, long, long… long way from California. But with the elections being done, the votes having been cast, and federal, state, city, and county officials finding their places in office, there was a proposition, Prop 37, way out west, that I had my eye on.

Prop 37 would have required all retailers and food and beverage companies to label genetically modified ingredients. For the life of me I can’t think of one. single. reason. not to have our food properly labeled. Except for this. Ignorance is bliss. I didn’t say it was a good reason, but that is the only plausible explanation. It’s easier to stick your head in the sand and play the part of the proverbial ostrich than to meet with change head on and be called into action.

Is that who we are as a nation? Do we prefer to ignore important information in favor of convenience? I guess we really have become the fast food nation.

I shake my head, and hope that some day soon America will realize that knowledge is power. Well, to be clear, prop 37 was only defeated by a small margin, and considering the powerhouse companies fighting against it (Monsanto, Hershey Co., etc) that’s not a bad loss. It was close. Next time, I hope it wins by a landslide. 

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