Saturday, February 21, 2009

Green Laundry

Upon entering my laundry room, it looks fairly typical (the cloth diaper pail on the wall isn't as common), but when you check out the shelf of my laundry essentials, it may look a little different than most.

I have to admit, before I started cloth diapering the boys, I really didn't know too much about how to turn my laundry room green. Once I learned about why cloth diapers needed a environmentally-friendly detergent, I started to learn about the environmentally-unfriendly ingredients that were in the detergents I was using (brand-name stuff, cleaned my clothes and smelled good).

Then I learned about why dryer sheets weren't great for me, my clothes, or those of my kids. We live in a dry climate (not the desert, but close enough), and so I thought I was destined to use fabric sheets forever (since I long ago swore off fabric softener).

After learning why the stuff I was using wasn't good, I found some even MORE amazing eco-friendly alternatives. And now I'm hooked. I'll never go back to petrochemical based items again. And as I told a friend recently, I'm actually loving laundry day (regular laundry and diaper laundry!).

So, what do I use?

For detergent, I occasionally use Allen's Naturally. Allen's is a fantastic, bio-degradable, dye and perfume free detergent that is eco-friendly. It is fantastic for diapers and clothes, but if you're like most people, it's nice to have a scent. Nice smelling things are always a little cozier. You can add some vinegar to the rinse cycle scented with an essential oil, but I'm lucky to get the detergent in. More steps take time!

Enter Crunchy Clean. Really, it is eco-friendly detergent heaven. It is available in a regular and diaper friendly version (although the diaper version works well on clothes too) and dozens of wonderful scents. The scents range from fruity to spicy to fresh and clean. There is a scent to please everyone. And it comes in unscented too. As a work-at-home mom, I love that this is actually a homemade product, and I'm a huge fan of supporting small business.

(See the glass jar (I had a jar that fit the 136-load order perfectly!) and reusable containers with powdered detergent? I can't pick one scent, so I have a scent (Linen Breeze) for clothes, and two scents (Baby Bee Clean and Vanilla Insanity) for diapers).

If I need to get out the stinkies, some Bac Out (by BioKleen) or a little vinegar in a Downy Ball (for the rinse cycle) are ideal. And I found a plant based, eco-friendly (and kind to your skin) fabric softener for those times when I wash the sheets - Ecover.

On to drying. Ideally, it'd be great to line dry everything. But I admit, I don't. So the dryer is used. Once I eliminated dryer sheets, I learned about dryer balls. I found some at a big chain store, the plastic, "As Seen on TV" balls. They were priced right, but really didn't work that great. I still had static, and I hated using the plastic things!

I recently discovered Fuzzy Wuzzy Dryer Balls, another handmade product. And I'm in love. These 100% merino wool balls are not only beautiful, but they're natural and work SO much better than those plastic ones I used for months. They even nearly eliminated the static that I was afraid would happen if I didn't use dryer sheets in this semi-arid desert!

My laundry now is not only clean, but smells good, is fluffy dry and everything I'm using is better for my family and the environment.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Some Bunny Loves You!

Sock Monkey has made his debut as an....Easter Bunny!

This is another one of my favorites, his soft bunny ears are the best (and even Small Fry was cuddling with the shirt when I showed it to him this morning). The ears are a super-soft white microfleece and the pink parts are a pink minkee.

I've got a variety of sizes in long and short-sleeved onesies, and a limited supply of long-sleeved shirts.

Available in my shop now!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rockets Everywhere!

I am so in love with these new prints from FreeSpirit fabrics, and just had to make something from them. I finally got a breather from other things, and needed a night in my studio to create. So I made these two adorable onesie/pants sets (they are also available in custom sizes). Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

To Do: Buy Loads of Fabric

Done. I'm done shopping (for a while). I went on a spree the past two weeks replenishing my stash and getting some new items for new projects I have in mind.

I posted about all the diaper/reusable snack bag supplies I got over the weekend. Before that, I received a wonderful package of fabric from another Etsy seller, Lucky Kaeru Fabrics, SO easy and quick to work with and she had everything in stock that I needed. I forgot to take a picture of when it came in though - but here's a pic of my refolded, reorganized "stash on the side" (it's fabric that doesn't fit into any shelving unit and is used primarily for items I will sell). The fabrics in the middle stack, top half are my Lucky Kaeru fabrics. (And some other new items from my store!)

Yesterday, I received another wonderful package of fabric from Fat Quarter Shop. I've ordered from them a few times now and am always 100% pleased with the customer service and quality I get. I am SO excited to replenish my sock monkey fabric stash and add a few new pieces (I got a sample pack of Amy Butler's Midwest Modern 2 line and some larger pieces).

Sock Monkey Diaper!

Well, it's a sock monkey color diaper. Some of that brown PUL I got in the mail on Saturday, and the red fleece went to making this diaper. Small Fry loves it (and I think it's pretty cute too!)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Amy Butler Reusable Snack/Sandwich Bags!

I dove into my favorite collection, Amy Butler's Midwest Modern, to make the latest snack bags. (Some sold before I even got this blog post up - but I have more if you're interested!) If you'd like to see a particular design or want a custom set of snack bags, please send me a note over on Etsy!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fluffy Mail

In the cloth diapering world, "fluffy mail" is the joyous event of getting a new cloth diaper in the mail. It is always fun, as I know (from first hand experience) that a great deal of the attraction in modern cloth diapering is all of the options and the endless amounts of cuteness.

I am so happy Fed-Ex delivers on Saturday (I have fabric coming via UPS, but not until Tuesday, boo). My doorbell rang about noon today and a wonderful box of "fluffy mail" arrived.

This time, it was not a finished cloth diaper, but instead a whole new stash of stuff to diapers! I have been using the white PUL (laminated knit - typically seen in cloth diapers), to line the inside of my reusable snack bags, and of course, I couldn't just order boring, white PUL, so I added a few (okay, many) other items to the order.

I got PUL in dark brown, light brown, black and melon, microfleece in red and white, organic hemp fleece (yeah!), and lots of velcro (for the reusable snack bags), and various kinds of elastic (including some fold-over elastic for diaper covers, another woohoo! - I'm planning on making diaper covers with matching t-shirts.)

Fluffy mail on a Saturday, couldn't be better!