3 Projects, 1 Week | Week 18 | #52wonderfilledweeks

You know what I hate right now? Computers.  I spent last night watching DIY television with my husband and my visiting mom (it was her last night here) while writing my blog for publication first thing Sunday morning and suddenly, POOF, it was gone.  Close to 30 pictures, explanations, everything...how freaking frustrating is that?!?!? The wind literally was just sucked out of my sails...ugh...and I was so excited to share with you the three little projects I/we tackled this week.  So here I go again...

With my Mom in town for Bubba's birthday last week (remember he turned one and I made him this super cute outfit and cake for last week's entry) I was really proud that we got so much accomplished.  None of it was terribly difficult or time consuming but all were worth while projects and served a purpose (which sometimes are my favorite ones to tackle).


Project #1 | Wonder's Cloth Wipe Solution & Vinyl Jug Label

When we had P 4.5 years ago one of the things I was determined to do was cloth diaper.  I was interested in it for both the ecological and economic reasons.  Hubs and I are both freaked out by trash and waste and quite honestly if we could save a buck at the same time it seemed like a no brainer.  It was slow going at first but by the time she was three months old we were cloth diapering full time, and by full time I mean at home during the day, at home during the night and naps, out on errands, family vacations, you name it, she wore a cloth 24/7! With cloth diapers came cloth wipes.  Makes sense right? Cloth wipes are actually one of our favorite things, they clean better than a "sposie" wipe.  Seriously, what might take 5-6 disposable wipes to clean up, a cloth wipe can take care of in 3 at the most! They are fresh smelling, no harsh chemicals, and they can double as a handy wipe, make up remover or quick facial wash in lieu of the throw away ones. Combined with the OXO Wipe Dispenser (we love the travel one too!) it's a match made in heaven.  I make a gallon jug of solution about 3-4 times a year and it takes about 5 minutes.  Once it's made up I just pour out about one to one and a half cups, warm in the microwave for about 45 seconds to make sure the oil is good and melted and add to my folded stack of wipes.  I have all the convenience of a disposable but with very little cost or time involved.  Below I'll show you how I make the mixture and fold the wipes so they still "pop" up out of the dispenser.

While working on this project I realized that I was tired of my lame recipe scribbled on a post it and taped in our pantry.  It dawned on me that I could not only use some 651 vinyl to label my empty (old vinegar jug) but also add the recipe so it's always within reach!

My lame and really old recipe taped into our pantry!

Designing and cutting my new label.

Weeding with a tired P in the background.

Using my pattern weight (aka giant washer) to adhere the vinyl to the jug.

There, now isn't that better?

  • 1/2 C Liquid Castile
  • 1/2 C Coconut Oil
  • 16 C Warm/Hot Water

This is really easy to make, and will only take about 5 minutes in real time.  Trust me.

I melt the coconut oil in the microwave.
You can do this alone or add to water and heat like I have done here.

You want to make sure that it is completely melted for maximum mixing.
This batch went back into the microwave after this picture.

Once melted I use a funnel to pour it into our recycled jug.

Then add you liquid castile directly to the jug.  We really favor the lavender scent from Dr. Bronner's.
When you're done add the remaining water (the warmer the better) carefully to your jug.

When you're ready to make a batch of wipes I use a pyrex and warm up about 1 to 1 1/2 C of the solution.
The solution stays fairly mixed just in our pantry but it can "glob" back together thanks to the oil so I heat it up again real quick before I add it to the wipe dispenser.

It's really simple to fold your wipes so they "pop" up just like the disposable kind.
Start with one wipe laid out on your folding area.

Lay your second wipe on top of the first but overlapping just half of the second over the first.

Fold the remaining exposed portion of the first wipe over the second.

Lay your next wipe (in this case it's the third wipe) on top of the second, overlapping just half again.

Fold the exposed portion of the second wipe over the third.  

Continue stacking and folding wipes alternating from left and right until you have a stack.
I use between 20-30 wipes.

Viola! A stack of the BEST wipes you will ever use.

Pour your warm solution over the wipes and then press down the blue weight on top
of the wipes to squeeze the solution through all the layers.

Done! These also make GREAT wet Kleenexes for those tender noses when the winter colds strike.


Project #2 | Kid Friendly Mobile Project

Since P loves a good project both sets of grandparents are always on the lookout for kid friendly activities.  Most recently while at JoAnn's my Mom saw some wooden garden mobiles for sale.  They were basically different lengths of branches, peeled with holes drilled, strung onto twine with large wooden beads between.  She thought the mobile looked easy enough for her to construct with P while she would be here visiting and asked us to be on the look out for branches between 1" - 2.5" in diameter to use.  It was a great teaching moment as we helped P look for fallen branches during the Earth Day Clean Up.  She kept grabbing any branch she saw and we would ask, is this bigger or smaller than X branch that we already had.  Soon she started spotting like sized sticks and our choice of branches was more than adequate! My Mom picked up some large, "crystal" beads to hang at the bottom of the mobiles and some pink glass beads to string in between. Start to finish this project took less than an hour.  

I cut the branches in varying lengths from about 4" to 8". 
Have I mentioned how much I love having a saw at the ready?!

I drilled holes for the twine, or in our case ribbon.  I used a 3/16th drill bit.

Grandma laid out the branches in ascending (or descending depending on which end you were on) order.
While Grandma kept hers in order, P chose hers at random...of course.

I grabbed my large yarn needles I use for tying quilts to help thread the ribbon through the holes.

All done!! Aren't they pretty?? 

P with her creation under our "whimsy" tree, LOL!


Project #3 | The Student becomes the Teacher!

I come from a long line of crafters, seamstresses, quilters...I grew up with my Mom making clothes for myself and my sister.  She made our prom/dance dresses and even made my wedding dress.  When I was in high school I made a good amount of clothes for myself, usually out of woven materials and often shorts or simple dresses.  It wasn't until a few years ago that I dived into the world of knits and really started sewing my complete wardrobe.  A few weeks ago my Mom mentioned to me that she'd like to find a simple go to v-neck shirt pattern since she was having a harder time finding things she like recently.  I knew we could knock out a pattern hack when she was here for her visit so as soon as Bubba went down for his nap Monday I rushed her to the basement to get started.  First I had her try on my Mama Claire, v- neck hack from week 8. She liked the fit and style but we both agreed it could use some length. I had to refresh myself on the v-neck construction but other than that the shirt went together quickly, turned out great, and she was even able to wear it out on a test run to a performance I had later in the week.  All wins!

Cutting out the pattern after we traced and added length.

The 3/4 sleeves were a touch to long so we zipped them off and they turned out perfect.

Serging away.

Turned out great! This guy at the Hofbrauhaus Chicago thought so at least, HA!

Also, a trip to Chicago as a crafter is not complete without heading off to Textile Discount Outlet!
Mom stocked up on leather, I grabbed a handful of zippers and some pretty gray fabric for new
living room pillows and a wine colored sparkle fabric for some new head shots.


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