Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fabric Selections

Below you will find images of all my available fabrics.  Print names can be found in the picture caption. 

Row 1: Quatrefoil, Mod Floral, Paisley.  
Row  2: Triangle, Sea Beauty, Hedgehog. 
Row 3: Leaf, Sleepy Owl, Magnolia.
Row 4: Sharks, Monkey,Mountain
Row 5: Tropical, Mauve, Pink Whale

Top Row: Pears. Baking, Cherries.
Middle Row: Utensil, Veggie (sold out), Hot Sauce. 


 And lastly, the prints shown below are limited in stock.  Please inquire about availability.
Top Row: Camo, Red Sock Monkey, Vintage Plane
Middle Row: Star Wars, Campfire, Plates

Top Row: Retro Owl, Cactus, Arrow
Middle Row: Math, Equations, Navy Dot
Bottom Row: Antique, Watermelon, Fishing

Top Row: Blue Owl (sold out), Aqua Cupcake, Sweet Shop, Green Chevron
Middle Row: Horses, Princess, Elephant, Flamingo.
Bottom Row: Minions, Pink Cupcake, Skulls, Marvel

Last, but not least: the fabrics below are 100% Organic Cotton

Top Row: Mini Rose, Tires
Bottom Row: Airplane, Art Deco

Another use for your wet bags

As soon as we hit the middle of July it feels like the joys of summer break are fading away. Soon I'll be back to thinking about lesson plans and school supplies. Before I go there, though, as a last hurrah to summer fun I'd like to talk about one of my favorite uses of a wet bag. In our house our wet bags get used the most in the summertime. They are so perfect for throwing in a suitcase or bringing to the pool or beach.

When my daughter heads to camp it is our go to bag to pack. Most recently she attended adventure camp which involved exploring in the woods and tromping through streams. We threw an extra set of clothes and a small towel in her wet bag and then she had a place to throw her muddy things when they returned from their excursion.

In my own shop I have been focusing mostly on wet bags with a dry pocket. These are my personal favorite because there are just so many options for storage. Throw a bathing suit and towel in the large pocket, sunscreen and swim goggles in the front and you're set to go!  The size pictured is a 12" wide by 15" long which I find is the perfect size to fit both a bathing suit and towel. 

I hope that you have a wet bag to use for your summer adventures. Tell me about what's in your wet bag right now!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Africa Fabric

My husband and I recently traveled to Africa with the purpose of serving with the local chapter of Youth for Christ. We spent two weeks in the country of Sierra Leone serving with the ministry teams in detention centers, slums and community programs for young people. There was so much that we learned while we were there, but we were particularly struck by the living conditions and challenges that people face on a daily basis. Sierra Leone just came out of the Ebola crisis, which followed 10 years of civil war. The economy is still recovering from these hardships, and this has a direct effect on the people.

While I was in Sierra Leone, one of my favorite things was seeing the women wearing traditional African clothing. The fabric that they use for this clothing is beautifully colored and reflects the cheerful dispositions of the local people. When I see the patterns and colors I am reminded that there is hope for the people of Sierra Leone.

I was able to purchase a small amount of this colorful fabric and bring it back with me to America. It is my goal to use this fabric to make a limited edition series of African bags. These bags will be priced higher than my normal bags with the goal of raising money to send back to Africa. There are three areas where I'd like to send the proceeds, I will outline them below:

  1. The Baptist Vocational Training Center: I enjoyed spending time with the young ladies in this group. I taught them how to sew their own wet bags and showed them how to make Mooncatchers (http://mooncatchers.weebly.com/). I noticed that there were not enough sewing machines for each of the girls to work. I'd like to raise money to purchase an additional machine or two.

  2. YFC Beauty School: My husband and I shared some small business tips with the young ladies in the beauty school. We were most struck by the pay rate they receive for braiding hair, which is about the equivalent of $4 per hour. There were a couple of young ladies getting ready to start their own shops, but lacked the capital to do so. We'd like to send some money to help them reach their goals.

  3. Linda: We spent a lot of time sharing in the poorest communities or slums. Linda was a young lady who accompanied us on most of these ventures. She spends her days ministering in these communities and giving them a message of hope. Linda does this as a volunteer. Linda also shared that her father is currently unemployed and has been so for several years. We'd like to send a portion of money to Linda so that she can be paid staff and so she can help support her family.

I would ask you to consider partnering with me in sending hope to those in Sierra Leone by purchasing a bag from my Africa series. All proceeds go to support the three groups listed above.

More about the bags:

While I have some ability to do custom requests, I will be limiting this series to one bag style, available in two sizes. This will be the wet/dry bag with gusset in the xsmall (8” wide x 6” long) and tiny size (6” wide x5”long). Unfortunately, because of the weight of the fabric, I am unable to do straps with snaps.

These bags, while constructed with the same quality materials and craftsmanship as my other wet bags, require a little extra care. The fabric is a wax cotton, purchased in Africa. It should be washed in cold water, and must be line dried. DO NOT put it in the dryer, as this may cause the wax finish to melt and the colors of the dye to run. You should be aware that because this fabric is created by hand, there are sometimes very small imperfections in the print. These are part of the charm in having a bag created with a hand-printed African fabric.

I have six different prints available, options will be listed in my Etsy shop:

Monday, December 29, 2014

Kitchen Wet Bags

I have created a lot of different kitchen wet bags since I first started listing them in my shop.  I thought it would be nice to have a gallery of some of the styles that are still available. 

Here's to a clean kitchen!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Loving the Snack Bags

You may have noticed if you’ve been visiting my ETSY shop that I am now making reusable cloth snack bags. This is a relatively new venture on my part, but the manufacture of the snack bag is the same as my wet bags, so you can expect the same quality craftsmanship.

How it all began…

It started with my kitchen wet bag and a stash of “seconds” wipes which I use as un-paper towels. It really started to irk me that I could eliminate the additional cost of purchasing paper towels but I was unable to totally eradicate plastic baggies from my kitchen. I did have a few cloth snack bags that my Aunt Judi gave me as a gift several years ago and we did use these sometimes (usually when we had run out of the plastic variety!). So what was the problem?! I believe the lack of use was for two reasons:

The first:

These bags, although beautifully crafted (Aunt Judi is a quilter), were made with Velcro closures. Velcro is really not my favorite for a snack bag. Not only does it accumulate crumbs and gunk from the sandwich/snack, but it also will start to collect other gross things when washed in the machine with your other laundry…like hair. Yuck! Velcro is also very noisy. Not a great choice for carrying a snack to church. Imagine us sitting in service when our five year old decides to start consuming her snack *enter very loud Velcro sound*.

The second:

There just never seemed to be enough baggies. In addition to Aunt Judi’s 4 or so bags I had a few bags which I had attempted to sew in my early days of sewing. These were lined with PUL (not a great choice for a snack bag- I’ll explain this later), and had a variety of closures (buttons, fold over, etc…). They quickly ran out. With three of us taking lunch to work, this small supply only lasted a couple of days.

Let me introduce you to the snack bag that works for me.

I’ll be the first to admit- these bags are pretty simple! The exterior is constructed of 100% cotton fabric, the interior is a white ripstop nylon fabric. The bag is sealed with a high quality YKK zipper. I also offer the option of adding on a strap with a snap, which I think is great for little kids who still travel in a stroller. Snap the strap onto the stroller and most messy spills will be avoided.

Why do I use ripstop nylon to line the bags? Why not PUL or ProCare? The simplest answer to this is that I have not found evidence that PUL and ProCare are food safe. A have found many sources that claim that the ripstop nylon is foodsafe. Not to mention, although the ripstop nylon is not waterproof, it is very water resistant, lightweight, super durable and has a nice finish that works well with food products.

I can make my snack bags in just about any size. My regular sizes are as follows:

Mini Size: 4” wide by 4” long with a 1” gusset.

Snack Size: 6” wide by 6” long.

Sandwich Size: 7” wide by 7” long.

If you are interested in ordering in bulk- I offer a 10% discount on orders of 10 bags or more. This, by the way, is a great deal!

Monday, April 9, 2012

FAQ #3: Which wet bag is right for me?

First let’s have a general discussion about wet bags and storing cloth diapers. This is an area which some people spend a lifetime researching and others spend little to no time researching. I was one of those that spent little to no time researching this topic when I was cloth diapering my own daughter- however I was soon thinking that I should’ve done more research!

The first question to ask is: what will I do with those dirty diapers? When asking this one must also think about the following: how the diapers will be washed, how often will they be washed, do I care about stains, etc… Allow me to elaborate.

Choosing a storage system and how you will wash your diapers goes hand in hand. Perhaps the most important decision to make is whether you will rinse your diapers or not. Most cloth diaper users just assume that rinsing or dunking is a natural part of the cloth diaper washing process. Not so! It is a choice, totally not necessary but preferable to some.

What is rinsing or dunking you ask? Rinsing and dinking are 2 techniques for removing poo from cloth diapers. Note: diapers that are wet with just liquids do not get rinsed or dunked, the washing machine will take care of this. Rinsing involves using a removable shower head to spray the poo off the diaper into the potty. Dunking involves dipping the poopy diaper into the potty until the poo falls off.

I started my cloth diaper journey with dunking. I did not care to invest in a diaper sprayer and so dunking in the toilet was the only other option (I thought). I took the advice of a good friend and dedicated a kitchen utensil to the function of scraping excess poo off the diaper after dunking (it has since retired to the landfill). Totally gross- I know!

After a few months of dunking I realized that this was totally unnecessary. It happened one afternoon, I brought the poopy diaper into the bathroom to be dunked and before I got it in the toilet water the poo just fell off into the potty. Hmm…that made me think. From that point on all I had to do was plop the poo off, no dunking or scraping required. I found dunking and scraping actually just made the poo harder to get off!

I should mention that my daughter was now a toddler, so her bowel movements were generally solid and this assisted in allowing the poo to be plopped rather than dunked or rinsed.

This was my own experience with dunking, and so I asked around to see what others had experienced. To my surprise many had discovered the same- that rinsing and dunking was totally unnecessary and just made cloth diapering more complicated than it needed to be. But wait- what about newborn poo? Surely that can’t be plopped into the toilet?!

Very true, newborn poo cannot be plopped. Does this mean that newborn diapers need to be rinsed? Well, yes and no. From birth to when newborns start on solids, their poo is water soluable. This means that the poo will dissolve in the wash. Just put the dirty diapers in your pail and be done with them till wash day. There is a small window of time when newborns are introduced to solids and have “sticky” poo that rinsing or dunking may be preferable, but this is such a short amount of time it shouldn’t affect your storage system.

Now that we’ve addressed the rinsing question, let’s move on to dirty diaper storage. There are 2 basic systems: wet pail and dry pail. I do not personally know anyone who uses a wet pail, but I will offer a brief discussion on this in case you may be interested.

A wet pail storage system is when you store dirty diapers in a pail filled with water. Some folks prefer this method for newborn diapers so as to reduce stains on their prefolds. A wet pail does not require a wet bag or liner, however a mesh bag may be useful for removing the diapers and putting them into the washing machine. While I have never used a wet pail system with diapers, I do use this storage method for my mama cloth. Please remember if you have little ones in your house (which you probably do!) and your wet pail is in an accessible area to keep a lid on the wet pail to prevent drowning.

On to dry pail: a dry pail is a system of storing dirty diapers without the addition of liquids. There are 2 basic types of dry pail- a hanging wet bag or a pail with a wet bag liner.

I stored my diapers in a 13-gallon garbage can lined with a pail liner and covered with a pop top lid. This is a very basic system and will work well for most people. It does not involve zippers, it is simple to operate, and it will tolerate diapers that have been rinsed or dunked. It does, however, sometimes get stinky (if you have more than a couple of days of dirty diapers in there), and takes up a lot of room in the space that it occupies.

The other option is a hanging wet bag. This is a very popular option because its footprint is small and it can be purchased in cute cotton prints to match the d├ęcor in the room where it lives. It also has the added benefit of a zipper which assists in holding in smells for longer periods of time. This option is not always a good choice for folks that rinse or dunk their diapers as unless the bag is sealed it can fairly quickly leak or wick moisture. It can also be more difficult to use when you’ve got a dirty diaper in one hand an active baby on the changing table and a zipper to navigate.

Moving on from the large storage systems, there are also countless options for on the go storage. Many companies (my own included) carry wet bags with a cotton outer and waterproof inner in a variety of sizes. Some questions to ask when choosing the right wet bag for you are: what size/s will I need, how many should I purchase, what will I be putting in the wet bag?

At the very least everyone should own a small-medium sized wet bag (yes, even those that don’t use cloth diapers!). How many times did I need to wrap up some dirty/wet items in a plastic bag while I was out of the house? Pretty much every time I went out with my daughter! Those of us who have children know that messes happen. Whether you are using cloth diapers or not, you will have a baby who gets pee/poop on their cutest outfit- this is a part of being a parent. Please consider investing in a wet bag to keep in your diaper bag for those days when a mess occurs. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but it also is so much easier to throw the bag in the wash with the dirty clothing items and it looks a lot cuter in your diaper bag!

If you do use cloth diapers you will also probably need a wet bag to keep in your diaper bag for days when you need to change a diaper while on the go. The size is your choice, but I recommend at least a medium size so that you have room for at least 2 diapers.

If you are able to get more than one wet bag: consider investing in 2 or 3 wet bags. One medium for running errands, one large for day trips and one small or x-small for holding wet wipes.

I know that wet bags can add a lot to your cloth diaper budget, but consider the following:

The life of a wet bag extends far beyond the time it is used for cloth diapers. I purchased 3 wet bags when I first started cloth diapering. I still use all three. The small is great for holding my mama cloth when I’m on the go, the large is perfect for holding our wet bathing suits after we’ve been at the pool or to the beach (my daughter uses one everyday when she is at summer camp) and the drawstring pail liner serves as an excellent bag for our dirty laundry when we are on vacation.

Wet bags also make great registry items. Some folks might feel a little weird about buying you a cloth diaper, but they are certainly OK purchasing a waterproof bag. Even those that don’t understand cloth diapers can understand the use of a waterproof bag in a diaper bag.

I hope I’ve effectively described the different types of wet bags and helped you make a decision about what you will need. Now that this post is becoming way longer than I expected, let me conclude by listing the types of wet bags I sell in my ETSY shop:

Drawstring Pail Liners: these come in a variety of sizes and I’m happy to custom make something to fit the pail of your choice- just send me a message with your pail dimensions.

Zipper Wet Bags:

X-Small: (8” wide by 6” long) this is the size I prefer for my mama-cloth. Also great for holding a few wipes, makeup, art supplies, snacks, etc…

Small: (8” wide by 10” long) perfect for a set of wipes or for holding one large diaper or two small diapers. Also great as an overnight mama cloth bag.

Medium: (10” wide by 14” long) this bag is the ideal size for running errands. This size can hold 4-6 diapers.

Large: (12” wide by 15” long) the day-tripper. Large enough to hold 6-8 diapers, perfect for those overnight trips to Grandma’s. Try having it made with towel rod handles and make it a kitchen wet bag (see my previous post on kitchen wet bags).

X-Large: (12” wide by 24” long) this size is a hanging wet bag. The hanging wet bag can hold 12-24 diapers and is perfect for storing a couple of days worth of dirty diapers. Hang it on your doorknob handle, a closet door knob, or a hook. Try adding towel rod handles instead for easier access to the zipper and for hanging on a towel rod or changing table.