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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!!
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