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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New giveaway! (expired)

Confessions of a First Time Mom

There's another chance to win a FREE custom fleece soaker! Ashley at Confessions of a First Time Mom is doing a month long "ditching disposables" event, and I'm happy to be part of it. Go to her site, and get your entries in! Lots of chances to enter. Drawing to be held Jan 6th.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Words from a retired cloth diaper addict...

For my non-cloth diaper followers, this may seem a little strange, but there IS such a thing as being a cloth diaper addict! I was one of them...albeit not as obsessed as some, but much more than I ever dreamed I'd become. It's fluff. It's soft. It's beautiful (beautiful you say?? YES!). It's a hobby. It's fun.

Now that my youngest is potty trained, I am left with my boring (but effective) night-prefolds and my wool covers. My stash has been downgraded. My diapers have been lent out, donated, or sold. It was actually a little hard for me to let them go--I remember waiting for my fluffy mail to get them!

There are a few things I learned were part of the CD-aholic syndrome that I didn't notice until I was retired:
  1. Staying up to 2am to catch the current stocking phenomenon is a rush, but is truly not necessary.
  2. Getting bummed that my child poo'd in a silky smooth Goodmama is bizarre - they ARE diapers aren't they?
  3. It is not normal (or necessary) to smell your laundry before and after putting it into the dryer 
  4. Writing down everything you did during a laundry routine to figure out exactly what cured the "stink issues" is not something most people do
  5. Organizing (and re-organizing) diapers is really just a way to admire them, not really get organized 
  6. (5a) Admiring a diaper is crazy.
  7. "Fluffy mail" is really just something we call it to make it ok that we keep buying diapers
  8. Nobody can really understand what a CD-aholic goes through unless they've been there themselves
  9. Charities like Miracle Diapers benefit from people like me when my obsession is over :) 
  10. There is a whole group of awesome mamas out there, and if it takes diapers to bring us together, then so be it!
  11. Cloth diapering is NOT less expensive than disposables when you can't stop buying them. (But in my opinion is still more eco-friendly).
  12. Pushing cloth diapers on your non-CD friends is just a ploy to enable yourself 
  13. (12a) your friends all thought you were crazy but didn't say anything
If you're currently obsessed with diapers, it's ok... just know you're not the only one, and you will get through it (AND your babies will grow up, and you'll be forced to retire as well). But, it will be all worth it :)

- Jen, A reformed Cloth diaper addict

Do you have any similar revelations? Share them here, leave a comment!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

And the winner is...

The winner of the giveaway for a Winkydinks custom fleece soaker and sample of Rockin’ Green Soap is @fancygrlnancy (Twitter name). Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who entered! It has been a lot of fun!

Merry Christmas to all!

A new Eco-friendly treasury

I was able to snag a treasury today. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Etsy Treasury feature: Polka dots!

I always feel lucky to be featured on an Etsy treasury. This one is all about polka dots and the EcoEtsy team!

Wordless Wednesday - Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Facts about bottled water

I was actually forwarded this in an email, and searched to find it online to share here. Sometimes graphics help get the point across! (click to view larger)

Presented by Online Education
The Facts About Bottled Water

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Favorite - Sewn Natural (and Sweet Greens giveaway!)

Today's favorite is a shop who has helped me in my quest to recycle!!
The story: I had a hard time just throwing out the leftover pieces of sweaters from my soakers and longies. I had quite a pile accumulated, but didn't know what to do with the smaller pieces (the larger ones I make into patchwork soakers). I offered the scraps to my fellow EcoEtsy team members. Jen, of Sewn Natural, was one who took some off my hands; and then she recently contacted me to see if I had more. "YES!!" I told her. I sent her 2 more pounds of scraps. It was a win-win for us both.

Look at these adorable felt hearts that she created!!! This is re-purposing at its part of that sweater shall go to waste! :)

The best part??? You can enter to win a set of these lovely felt hearts by visiting Sweet Greens during her 12 days of Etsy giveaways!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A little about me...

This interview was originally published on the Team EcoEtsy blog, but I thought I'd share it here as well with my followers and customers.

How did you get started in your chosen craft?
I started cloth diapering with my youngest son, and found a free pattern to make my own fleece soakers (i.e., waterproof covers). I made quite a few for myself and friends, and they convinced me to start selling them! Now I make them out of recycled wool too, along with longies and hats. The name Winkydinks is a play on our last name “Winckler” and “dinky” (for the little ones)!

How do you make your craft or etsy store eco friendly?
I use unwanted wool sweaters that I find from thrift stores, or if I’m lucky, from donations. Most of them are dirty and/or have holes, and I can work around those to get good pieces to use. I also make items out of new fleece, which is an alternative to wool (easier to care for, and just as re-usable). I use minimal packaging, and send items out in polymailers which can be reused multiple times – especially in the cloth diaper world where people buy/sell/trade diapers often. I also do all of my shipping from home, which saves several trips to the post office per week.

Why did you join the EcoEtsy Team?
To share ideas and motivation with like-minded Etsians! It’s great to have a support system. I love the thought that there are many more people living a more “green” lifestyle than just us.

What are you currently working on?
I’m currently taking a little break from custom orders, and only working on a few things for the shop. The holidays are a busy time for our family, and I felt the need to re-focus on family for a bit. (I also had quite a few Christmas gifts to make!) After January 1st, I’ll be back full swing and have a pile of sweaters prepped and ready to be transformed into new things!

What steps have you taken to lead a green life style?
We have really cut back on disposable products; using reusable paper towels, napkins, Kleenex, diapers, menstrual products, gift bags, sandwich baggies, lunch bags. I love using neat products that get more people interested in going green when they see them! We focus on reducing waste; recycling/composting, buying things with less packaging, reusing when we can, or just going without. We also use all-natural products whenever possible (cleaning, make-up, soap, laundry detergent, dryer balls, etc.).

Is your art/craft your full time job? If not what do you do to pay the bills?
No, I’m lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom with my boys (5 and 3). I started doing this as a hobby, but it has quickly turned into a part-time job – one that I can only work at while the kids are sleeping or away! It keeps me very busy, but I love it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Favorite - Scrabble Tile Pendants

These little pendants are my new addiction!

If you haven't seen them, they are cute little graphics on a scrabble tile and covered in a resin for protection. They hang from a simple chain or ribbon. There are many Etsians who offer these; and I have to admit, I personally have about 6 so far. They are inexpensive, fun, and also make great gifts!
Personal favorites that I can endorse:  Jesse Janes (pictured above) and: Happy Haven

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Replacing plastic baggies in your lunch

Did you know you don't need to use a handful of Ziploc baggies every time you pack a lunch? There are LOTS of options out there to replace them. My son recently started bringing his lunch to preschool, and I've gotten quite a few comments on our reusable items. I'm sure to find patterns he loves and he is very diligent about remembering to bring them home (instilling reduce, reuse, recycle at an early age!!).

Reusable snack and sandwich bags - These are baggies with zero waste! Turn them inside out and brush out the crumbs, or wash them when they get really dirty. Most are machine washable, depending on the materials. Some have velcro closures, some tops fold over, some have waterproof linings (double check the maker is using food approved materials), some have a carry handle...the options are bountiful! I have my old Ziploc baggie box filled with reusable baggies, and we rarely find the need for plastic ones anymore.
Click here for my fellow Team EcoEtsy members who sell these!

Wrap-n-mat - These washable sandwich wraps are SO wonderful. Package your sandwich (or other snacks), then unfold to create a germ-free placemat! We have patterns that suit each of our family members and use them for lunches, picnics, and car trips. Just wipe them down, or hand-wash and air dry. There are also WAHM versions of these available as well!

- Note: I find these options are best for short term storage. Crackers may get stale, and sandwiches dry, if stored too long.

BUT... If you're not quite ready to make the reusable leap...check out Ziploc's Evolve baggies - using less plastic, and manufactured using wind power. They're a little thinner, but still do the trick, and you get bonus points for washing and re-using them!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Booty Cubes winner announced!

Customer Appreciation Month
The winner of the full size package of Booty Cubes wipes solution and an organic cloth wipe is:
ANNA (post #23)

Congratulations, and thank you everyone for your entries!

(A random number was chosen via for blog entries 1-27).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Week #4 winner announced!

Customer Appreciation Month
This week's winner (giveaway #4 - paypal refund of purchase price on one item) is:
NEPTUNEBABY (sale #299, purchased on 11/11/09)

Congratulations, and thank you for your business!

(A random number was chosen via for purchases 285-319). 
Thank you everyone for your business and support. I loved doing Customer Appreciation Month and will be sure to do more in the future!

There's one more event this month! Enter to win a full size package of Booty Cubes wipes solution! Drawing to be held 11/30/09.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wool wash options

There are many options for caring for your wool. Each one you may find to have benefits over the other (which is why I personally have a tub full of various types of wool wash!)

Liquid Wool Wash: These are made commercially and by WAHMs and have everything together - wool wash and liquid lanolin. Wash and lanolize with one easy step. No rinsing required. They have just enough lanolin to keep your wool working right with every wash.

Wool Wash Bar: This is a solid form of wool wash (usually with lanolin). Great for stains and soil spots - just rub gently on wet wool and rinse. You can also use a wool wash bar to make a sink full of sudsy water to soak your woolies in and get the same effect as a liquid wool wash. Depending on the suds, you may need to rinse slightly. I find the liquid tends to have a bit more lanolin content, depends on the maker. 

Spray Lanolin: This is a form of liquid lanolin with no wash, put into a fine mist sprayer. Used to freshen up your woolies between washing (get a scent you LOVE!), or to add more lanolin after washing (especially helpful for night wool). Great for the "wetzone" area. Can be sprayed on wet or dry wool. I prefer to spray it on wet and it seems to soak in better.

Regular Wash: You can easily wash your wool using baby shampoo, or other mild soap/shampoo. You may not even need to lanolize for a few washes. When you notice they start to soak up too much liquid, smell, or not function right, its time to lanolize them.

Solid Lanolin: You can lanolize your wool separate from washing (great if you do a regular wash, or if you need an extra lanolin boost). Using Lansinoh (the purple tube you may recognize from breastfeeding) and very hot water to melt it, add to a sink full of warm water and your wool.

Liquid Lanolin: Like solid lanolin that you don't have to melt!

- Wash your wool inside out! Just in case your lanolin is not fully melted to avoid lanolin dark spots. Also it gets the bulk of the lanolin where you want it - on the inside!
- I prefer not to have my wool "sticky" with lanolin, but you'll figure out the right amount for you.
- Pick different scents and try them out, there are some wonderful ones out there!
- The most inexpensive option is to wash with baby shampoo and lanolize yourself with solid lanolin. Its a bit more time consuming, and doesn't have the fancy scents...but is definitely the cheapest!

I send out washing instructions with my items, however if you've never lanolized wool before, there are some great online tutorials. (Usually your wool wash will also come with instructions.)
Etsy Cloth Diaper Team
Diaper Pin - by Laura Gent
Green Mountain Diapers

All of my favorite sellers seem to have their shops closed right now :(
Ewe Need It (liquid, spray, and bars)
Ignite the Senses (bars)
Blue House Soaps (bars)
Eucalan is a good commercial brand. And there are LOTS of sellers on Etsy and HyenaCart that offer wool wash products.  

What are some of YOUR favorites or tips to share?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Giveaway #3 winner announced

Customer Appreciation Month
This week's winner (giveaway #3 - free custom fleece soaker or hat) is:
CANDACE (blog entry #10)

Congratulations, and thank you for entering! 
Candace - please send me a convo via Etsy to discuss your options for your soaker or hat! 

Click HERE for further details about all of the upcoming events this month!
(A random post number was chosen via for entries 1-34).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Booty Cubes now part of this month's festivities!

Cassondra at Booty Cubes was kind enough to offer up some of her amazing wipes solution cubes to my customers! I LOVE her wipes solution and foaming wipes solution, and she's wonderful to work with. If you've considered using cloth wipes before, her scents might help you make the decision!

BONUS BLOG GIVEAWAY! (drawing to be held 9pm PST, November 30th)
I'll be giving away a full sized package (2 oz) of Monkey Fartz scented Booty Cubes, along with a turned and top-stitched wipe (both donated by Cassondra) to one lucky winner!
Gain an additional entry (up to 3) by leaving a comment that you are:
- Following Booty Cubes on Facebook
- Following Winkydinks on Facebook
- Following Winkydinks on Twitter

I'll also be sending out Booty Cubes samples with my next 12 orders!

Also, don't forget to enter the blog giveaway for a free Winkydinks fleece diaper soaker or hat (ends 11/22)! Click here to enter!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Happening now! Giveaway #3 - a free custom!

Here are the details of this week's giveaway. You MUST comment on the ORIGINAL post HERE to be entered.

Giveaway #3 - November 22nd - Blog giveaway - I'll give away one custom fleece hat or diaper soaker to a current or future customer! Gain one entry by leaving a comment here about your favorite Winkydinks purchase or current item in my shop. Gain additional entries by leaving a separate comment stating you:
- follow me on Facebook
- follow my blog publicly
- follow me on Twitter
(up to 4 entries/comments per person. Your profile must be public so I know how to contact you, or leave your email address in the comment). Winner has 48 hours to respond, or a new winner will be chosen.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Giveaway #2 winner announced

Customer Appreciation Month
This week's winner (giveaway #2 - 48 load sample of Crunchy Clean diaper detergent) is:
Skylarne (for her purchase on 4/11/09)

Congratulations, and thank you for your business! 

Click HERE for further details about all of the upcoming events this month!
(all Etsy sales transactions from 11/08-present were assigned a number, and then a random number was chosen via

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Giveaway #1 winner announced!

Customer Appreciation Month
This week's winner (giveaway #1 - one free item) is:
Nakdak (for her purchase on 10/9/09)

Congratulations, and thank you for your business! 

Click HERE for further details about all of the upcoming events this month!
(all Etsy sales transactions from 11/08-present were assigned a number, and then a random number was chosen via

Monday, November 2, 2009

How to measure for longies/soakers

In most cases, sizes for cloth diaper covers are not as helpful as actual measurements. Here is a visual on how to calculate your child's measurements. If you don't have a flexible tape measure, this method also works with a straight ruler. (Or, you can take a piece of string and measure your results.)

Sometimes it's easier to measure a well fitting pair of pants than your squirmy child :) Keep in mind that if the pants you are measuring have an elastic waistband, you need to account for how much they are stretched when worn to get a good waist approximation. Also, remember to account for the bulk of the diaper you'll be putting underneath (hips and rise). Of course, if you have a cooperative child, you can also measure their body with a flexible tape or string.

When purchasing covers, remember that listed measurements are often "at rest" (which is what is shown below), but usually include a range that it will stretch to. If the item says the waist fits from 15-17" and your baby is 17", they will fit tighter but still be in the right range. Also, if you are at the maximum waist measurement, getting the cover over a bulky diaper might be difficult.

WAIST: The part that sits 1" or so ABOVE the diaper, near the belly button. Measure one side of the pants, then double for your waist measurement. Here the result is 16". (If measuring on the body, just put the tape/string around their waist like a belt for your result). Remember that the waist measurement must also stretch enough to get up and over the HIP measurement (see below).

RISE*: This is the measurement from front to back, through the crotch. You can start at the back, loop through the crotch and measure the result. Here the result is 17". (If you don't have a flexible tape, use string. Or simply measure the front, then add to the back. Often the front is slightly lower than the back, depending on design). Tape is slightly crooked to show the tape at the back. You should measure straight!

THIGH: Measure just below the crotch, at the fatty part of the thigh. Double your result for the thigh measurement. Here the result is 10". (Often you want longies to fit loose at the thigh, more like pants.)
Thigh measurement on a soaker (which usually you want to fit snug). Here the result is 9". (If measuring on the body, just put the tape/string all the way around their thigh for your result)

HIPS: This is the part just below the waist and hip bones (where the cloth diaper is). Measure across the front, and double your result. Here the result is 19". More room in the hips also allows for a more bulky diaper underneath. (If measuring on the body, just put the tape/string around their hips and OVER the diaper you'll be covering for your result).

INSEAM: Crotch to ankle measurement. Measure straight down. Here the result is 8".

*Notes about RISE: This measurement makes sure you have enough coverage to get the cover to actually cover the top of the diaper at the waist. When covering a fluffy bum, you need to make sure there is enough extra (or enough stretch) to allow for the bulk of the diaper. Otherwise, your rise shortens by an inch or two and you'll wind up with a cover that doesn't cover the waist of the diaper. Most wool stretches plenty to allow for this, however fleece does not stretch vertically, so be sure to add some to your actual rise measurement.

These fish longies are available for purchase here!
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Sunday, November 1, 2009

November is Winkydinks Customer Appreciation Month!

I'm so excited to have had a great first year on Etsy! I started by making diaper covers for myself, then friends, then selling them on Etsy a year ago, and now have over 280 sales and 340 hearts! I am so proud to have such a following and great customers. I pride myself on great customer service and hope you are all enjoying your purchases!

So for the month of November, I have lots going on to honor my wonderful customers: sales, charity donations, and weekly giveaways!

$1 shipping (US) & $2 shipping (Canada) - and additional items ship at a reduced rate!
Valid the entire month of November. Does not apply to prior purchases.

10% of all sales in the month of November will be donated to Miracle Diapers.
You can also help by purchasing this listing to send soakers to MD as well.

Giveaway #1- November 8th - Winner to choose ANY ONE item from my store for free (value up to $15.00)! I'll randomly select one of my past customers and contact them via Etsy convo (and e-mail if I have one). Winner has 7 days to respond, or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway #2 - November 15th - Winner receives a large sample of Crunchy Clean diaper detergent (unscented). I'll randomly select one of my past customers and contact them via Etsy convo (and e-mail if I have one). Winner has 7 days to respond, or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway #3 - November 22nd - Blog giveaway - I'll give away one custom fleece hat or diaper soaker to a current or future customer! Gain one entry by leaving a comment here about your favorite Winkydinks purchase or current item in my shop. Gain additional entries by leaving a separate comment stating you:
- follow me on Facebook
- follow my blog publicly
- follow me on Twitter
(up to 4 entries/comments per person. Your profile must be public so I know how to contact you, or leave your email address in the comment). Winner has 48 hours to respond, or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway #4 - November 29th - All purchases made Nov 1- Nov 29th at 9pm PDT, will be entered into a drawing, and the winner will receive a Paypal refund for their purchase of one item! (multi-item orders will receive refund for one item. Refund will not include shipping costs.)

BONUS GIVEAWAY   - November 30th -  A full sized package of Booty Cubes wipes solution (Monkey Fartz scent) and a cloth wipe. Entries must be made on the original blog post.
(Winners will be posted on my Etsy store and on this blog. Random customer from sales history chosen by exporting Etsy sales into an Excel file and using to select a line number).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Favorite - Baby Shea

If you are looking for THE softest blanket, you have to check these out! They make great baby shower gifts or loveys for your own children. I bought one for my son and it quickly became his favorite - he calls it "soft blankie".

Baby Shea also has the cutest hair clips and other baby shower gifts (burp cloths, onesies, pacifier clips).

The owner is a good friend of ours, and she inspired me and helped me get my Etsy shop started. We created a collaborative product as well, combining Baby Shea hairclips and Winkydinks fleece hats. Go check it out!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Minimize your laundry impact

We all have it (and lots of it!), here are some tips to help minimize your environmental impact when you do laundry:

1. Wash on cold – most items wash up well with cold water (even if they say “warm”)

2. Use natural detergent (or at least phosphate free) – or make your own!

3. Use wool dryer balls* instead of fabric sheets (or use 1/3 dryer sheet at a time, and re-use it more than once)

4. If you’re using a non-HE washing machine, be sure to adjust your water level manually based on the size of your load.

5. Dry your clothes outside whenever you can. If you don’t like the ‘crunchy’ feel, try putting them in the dryer on Air Only or on low heat for 15 minutes to fluff them back up.

6. Challenge yourself to use less water on wash day to balance out your water usage (a good one is flushing toilets less often – if its yellow, let it mellow! Or skip a shower on wash day.)

7. Wear clothes more than once when possible (especially jeans, bras, sweaters, towels, etc.) - it's really not disgusting, trust me.

8. Find a crafty use for your dryer lint (and let us know what it is)! Remember not to put your dryer lint out for the birds – it doesn’t make the best nesting material, opposite of what you might think! (

*Use 2-6 wool dryer balls to help fluff laundry and speed drying time. They don’t help with static in my experience, but drying synthetics (especially fleece) separately helps a lot with that. Lots of Etsy sellers make great wool dryer balls!

(Tip originally published by me on the EcoEtsy street team site)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fleece solids color chart

I finally created a color chart for all of my solid color fleece. There are so many it was hard to keep track. I think this does it! (Note: some color names have changed, and these are my own name definitions, not necessarily the "stock" fleece names).

My new workspace slogan

I ordered this vinyl lettering decal from Empressive Designs on Etsy and LOVE LOVE LOVE it!
"Creativity is Messy, and I'm VERY creative" -- I think it suits my working style just right :) Very easy to put up too!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dilute to save money and resources

Here's an easy, simple trick to stretch your dollar - and have an impact on the environment.
Use a foamer bottle for your hand soap dispensers. (You can buy them online)
Fill 1/3 with liquid soap, and the rest with water. It produces a great foamy lather (which kids love!).

Buy soap less often! (which means fewer trips to the store, fewer bottles to throw away, less $$ spent on soap, etc.)
My favorite is Kirk's Castille liquid soap in Peppermint.

Other things you can dilute and stretch your dollar -
- Fruit juice
- Shampoo
- Dish soap
- use less laundry detergent (did you know you actually need much less than the manufacturer recommends?)
- other ideas?? Share them!
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Favorite: McCoy Toys

I bought this pull toy for my 2 year old last Christmas, and he LOVES it! This grasshopper is well made and too cute for words. My sons both still love pulling it all around the house, as fast as they can, to see his legs wiggle around.

From a great seller, with fast shipping and great communication, if you're looking for handmade toys this holiday season, check them out! And while you're at it, take the Handmade Pledge!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

When raising eco-conscious kids backfires

Over the past several years, my husband and I have been trying to make more "green" choices for our family. From cloth diapering, reusable napkins and tissues, to focusing on less waste.
If we're lucky, our green efforts rub off on our kids, and sometimes more than we realize.

  • My 4 1/2 year old recently started taking lunch to preschool one day a week. We pack his lunch pail, reusable cup, cloth napkin, wrap-n-mat, and plastic spoon. I remind him to keep track of these things so we're sure to have them for next time. I picked him up and the FIRST thing he says to me is "the teachers threw away my spoon. I told them not to but they did anyway. What should we do?" Um...I guess we're off to look through the trash to uphold my own rule. Drat.
  • My 2 1/2 year old (who has been cloth diapered most of his life) wore a "paper" diaper on a 4 hour road trip. He refused to pee in the disposable - which is awesome for potty training...not so awesome for the 4 emergency "I have to go potty" stops along the side of the freeway!
  • When visiting IKEA, we stopped at the restaurant for a little snack. They have the natural brown napkins there and both my kids said "ooooh, PAPER napkins!!!" as if this was something new and exciting. But then they both said they were too scratchy. Am I raising cloth napkin snobs?
  • While playing in the park, both my kids are quick to point out litter, and run over to pick it up, handing it to me. I tell them "oh, honey, yes it would be great if we picked up that [gross, disgusting, wet, moldy] litter, but I don't have anything to put it in". As we put the litter back on the ground... :(
  • When visiting a friend's new house, she was mentioning how she didn't have room to set up her sewing machine. My 4 1/2 year old asked a few questions to her about her sewing machine and why she wasn't using it. Then turns to me and asks, with the most inquisitive look on his face, "But how do they make their soakers?"....Because everyone has diaper soakers, right? :)
Ahh, from the mouths of babes.
Enjoy them while they're little.

Share your own funny kid "going green" stories too! Leave a comment!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Miracle Diapers charity drive

When I started making soakers, I donated about 10 of them to Miracle Diapers. Katrina (the creator of the pattern I used) asked that if we use the pattern to sell items that we make at least one donation or offer one for free. Well...after finding out about Miracle Diapers, just one didn't seem like enough! (Photo at left is of my last donation, before I had my Etsy shop). I've been a supporter of them for 3 years now, and now I'd love your help!

I'm going to be sending more soakers their way, both from Winkydinks and from my customers. You can purchase the Miracle Diapers listing from my Etsy store (to cover materials and shipping), and I will make a soaker and send it off in your name. I'll also be adding to the stash out of my own pocket. My goal is to have them all done and shipped by December 1st.

You can also donate directly to them by visiting this page (which is tax deductible).

Thanks for your help!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Favorite - Blissful wallets

Another of my favorite Etsy purchases!

I found these wallets by Blissful and they were just what I needed. I love that I don't have to fold up my bills. There's plenty of room for my credit cards, a see through pocket for my license (or zoo membership card as shown here. he he). I was able to pick my fabric too and it was a quick turnaround time. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it and have gotten many compliments on it. Now I need one in black. And red. And blue...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cloth wipes

If you're already using cloth diapers, cloth wipes is an easy transition! You can wash them with your diapers and not need to worry about tossing disposable wipes separately (Or having them go through the wash on accident).

It's EASY! You can use regular washcloths, baby washcloths, make your own, or buy them from wonderul Etsy sellers! I've found that terry cloth and flannel works the best for us, but you can also find them in velour, sherpa, and other fabrics. The terry seems to really have "scrubbing power", if you know what I mean.

I fold them and keep them in a basket with a foamer bottle of wipes solution. You can also use a spray bottle or spritzer bottle. Some people also use a wipes warmer and keep wet cloths handy (just be carefuly of mildew problems). My favorite solutions are Booty Cubes (cubes or liquid) and Monkey Butt Soap Bits. You can also make your own! If you use them in a foamer, they don't get super foamy but work just fine for us. Or you can use the liquid and get much more foam (but also uses much more liquid).

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Capture those fruit flies!

If there's one thing that annoys me is fruit flies hovering all around the kitchen. You go to the farmer's market and stock up on produce, only to invite the pesky guys in as well. I finally found something that works to get rid of them - and its all natural!

You'll need:
- apple cider vinegar (NOT white vinegar)
- dish soap
- jar with a lid
- something sharp to poke holes

  1. Carefully poke some holes in the lid.
  2. Fill the jar with some apple cider vinegar (1/4 - 1/2 c.).
  3. Add a drop of dishwashing liquid and swirl it around a bit.
  4. Cover the jar with the lid.
  5. Sit patiently and wait.
My Trap:

See them floating in there?:

My catch after 3 days (after emptying most of the vinegar):

  • Make sure your counter compost container is emptied regularly (its a haven for fruit flies).
  • Just a drop of dish soap is all you need - it breaks the surface tension.
  • Although my holes were kind of large (and I saw some flies go in and then out), I was still a successful hunter!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Get ready for Halloween!

It's Fall and Halloween is right around the corner! Why not get an adorable black and orange soaker to suit the occasion?
Made to order just for you - you pick the size! Click here to order! Special pricing: $8 any size!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The giveaway winners chosen!

The winners were chosen for our giveaway on the Rambles and Shambles blog. They both got to choose their size and patterns (and they both chose the Save the Planet pattern!). Here's what's being sent out Monday! :) Congratulations Melissa and Danielle!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Friday Favorite - Terbearco

I have bought so many wonderful things from Etsy, I decided to share them in a weekly post "Friday Favorite". Enjoy!

I strive to be as green as possible when packaging my products - I don't use extra inner bags, tissue paper, or wrapping. I settled on using polymailer bags to mail my things for a few of reasons: 1 - they can be reused quite a few times, 2 - they are very durable, 3 - they look nice. I experimented using brown kraft paper but had to use so much tape to get it sturdy that it was no longer recyclable and couldn't be re-used.

So...I wanted to be sure my customer's know that my intent is for them to get the most out of the packaging and REUSE it! Many customers buy/sell/trade diapers and the polymailers come in very handy too.

I found the BEST rubber stamp seller on Etsy - Terbearco - with the perfect recycle themed products, and they do customs! Excellent quality and customer service.

Here's how mine looks!

Happy Recycling!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ditch shaving cream!


After my husband's robe and our towels started getting bleach spots, we finally discovered the culprit - Nivea Sensitive skin shave gel! Thinking to myself, "if its bleaching our things, what's it doing to our bodies??" I looked at the Cosmetics Database (which breaks down each ingredient and its known hazards) and we decided on the spot to stop using it. Now, what to use instead, you ask??

We had just started switching to more handmade cleaning products, so natural soaps seemed easy enough. I found an all natural shampoo/shave bar from Blue House Soaps and convinced my husband (who will try anything once in the name of "green") to give it a go. I ordered a badger bristle brush (from Amazon for $14), the soap (check out Etsy, too), and off we went! He just wets his face, runs the soap bar over it a few times, then lathers it in with the brush. You can also lather the brush and put it on that way, but this uses less soap - by airing it out each time rather than storing it in a cup, it doesn't dissolve as fast.

The conclusion: a WAY better shave, much nicer smelling, all natural, no can to throw away, no propellant, blades seem to last longer, and no bleaching of our towels!

Also, I've switched over to shampoo bars instead of bottled shampoo. They are all natural (no SLS!), smell great, work well, and don't have any packaging to throw away. There are great sellers on Etsy that make some wonderful shampoo bars and soaps!
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Enter to win a custom fleece soaker!

I've partnered with Sarah from the Rambles and Shambles blog for our first cloth diaper cover giveaway! Drawing to be held Sept 30, 2009.
See her blog for details and to enter!

Don't shy away from customs!

It may seem intimidating to sign up for a "custom" item from a seller. But really, this is the best way to get exactly what you want! For a lot of sellers (myself included), it is hard to anticipate what people will want (colors, sizes, etc.), so we put a small selection of pre-made items in the shop to give an example, and then allow people to order what they want via a "custom" listing.

In my shop, custom means: you pick the size and color from a gallery of fabrics a standard size chart (I don't normally do custom measurements, or made to fit).
I LOVE to do customs. They are no more work than a regular listing, and I can be sure to spend time on what people want rather than stocking the shop with things that will just sit. Don't shy away from them; use them and get exactly what you want! Don't be afraid to contact me to ask about special requests (like longer leg cuffs, higher rises, different front and back panels, or appliques). Unfortunately, I don't take custom orders/requests for wool - sorry!

I generally have a fast turnaround time (1-5 days, depending on number of items ordered and how many customs currently in queue), so its not too much different than ordering in stock items. And besides, I have a closet full of fleece waiting for a new home! :) See:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wool or Fleece? Which soaker to choose?

I sell both fleece and wool soakers at my Etsy shop, Winkydinks, and get quite a few questions about which is better. In my opinion, neither are better, they both are SUPER! Each has its pros and cons. I thought I’d share my opinions, in the hopes it helps someone else!

The way a soaker works is that it absorbs/repels liquid from the prefold/fitted/flat diaper before it leaks to the outer garment. This is compared to a PUL cover which is waterproof with elastic to hold it tight to the body/legs to prevent leaks.

Wool can hold wetness up to 30% of its dry weight, while still remaining dry to the touch. It contains natural lanolin, which acts as a moisture repellant and has anti-bacterial properties (which is why you want to wash it with a wash containing lanolin). It is also completely breathable, helping keep baby’s skin healthy while not getting too warm. Fleece is a synthetic material that has water repellant properties. Unlike wool, it does not absorb any moisture, but acts more as a barrier between the diaper and the outer clothing. A double layer of fleece in the wetzone (i.e. crotch) of the soaker is popular with fleece because it adds another layer for moisture to seep through.

The success of a soaker depends on how heavy your wetter is, how often you change, how absorbent your diaper is, the cover itself, etc. Fleece and wool will both compression wick. That means that the outer garment may feel damp to the touch, especially if the child is sitting or laying in one spot for long periods (car seat, crib). This is something you get used to, especially after having used waterPROOF covers. I personally have never had leaks to the point where the clothes are wet puddles.

The Comparison:

  • Wool will absorb extra liquid, fleece repels.
  • Both are breathable (some people argue wool is more so).
  • Wool is a natural fiber.
  • Fleece is inexpensive compared to wool.
  • Fleece can be machine laundered with diapers or regular laundry, wool has to be hand washed with special wash containing lanolin and laid flat to dry (which can take 2-3 days). On the flip side, fleece has to be washed often (I use mine a day or two, however some people wash them after each use) whereas you can air wool out and re-use it for several weeks between washings.
  • Wool is generally more stretchy than fleece (good for night time diapers). The bonus here is that it might last longer before you need the next size.
  • Depending on the thickness, wool is sometimes bulkier under clothing.
  • Fleece comes in many prints and colors, wool is available in many yarn shades and can be knit or crocheted. Recycled wool (i.e. sweaters) offers some nice patterns/prints as well.

My personal choice:
I love wool for night time. A heavy weight wool will have no leaks (in my experience). I also like wool at night because its more stretchy than fleece and I can get it over a huge night time bum more easily. I personally like fleece covers for daytime because they are so easy to care for. I use prefolds or fitteds under a single layer fleece cover and have no leaks. To me, fleece is more "grab and go" and I don't worry about ruining it, but I also love the properties of wool – therefore my stash is about 50% wool AND 50% fleece!

(This article was originally published here back in March on the Etsy Cloth Diaper team blog.)

Make your own laundry detergent!

I came across these recipes on diaperswappers, in the Green Families Forum. The author (Melissa) also has a shop on Etsy! Sew Fine Baby Boutique. There are lots of tips/advice within the thread if you want more information:

Super Gentle Homemade Laundry Soap

1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
1 (4 oz) bar Kirks Castile Soap

1. Slice soap into strips/chunks and run through food processor to make "soap beads". (Do NOT use your blender, you'll break it!)

2. Combine soap beads, Borax, and washing soda.

3. If desired, add 20+ drops of essential oil and stir with a fork to evenly distribute.

4. Store in a covered container. (I use an old OxiClean tub)

5. Use 1-2 tablespoon for small loads, 3-4 tablespoons for large loads.
(more or less depending on your water quality) Works well with any temperature water.

Another option:
Homemade Diaper Detergent

1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
1 cup Oxyclean Free

Combine all ingredients.

use 2 tablespoons for a small load, 1/4 cup for a large load.
(again, more or less depending on your water quality)

--This was originally posted here for Team EcoEtsy
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