Making things for Shovel

Anyone who has met my little girl has also met Shovel.

She takes Shovel everywhere with her. Apparently Shovel loves to go shopping. She shares her food with Shovel and luckily it appears Shovel will eat things that Izzie isn’t too keen on. Shovel will also check out new territory by being thrown in that direction.

The famous ShovelThis is a rare picture of Shovel, on her own.

Most pictures of her are with Izzie. In fact any of our holidays photos with Izzie in front of various scenes, have been photo-bombed by Shovel.

She’s everywhere!

So, Izzie is now liking to do things with Shovel that I do with her. She likes to brush her teeth, comb her hair and feed her. Recently she has decided that she likes trying to put shoes and bibs on Shovel.

This gave me an idea. Izzie loves Sing and Sign and currently one of her favourites is about Jessie cat needing the potty. Izzie wears cloth nappies so I decided to make a cloth nappy for Shovel.

Now this ended up not being quite as easy as thought it might be. I know people come in all shapes and sizes, and so it seems do dollies!

I used paper to fit around Shovel to get the basic sizing and then cut out a pattern. I used some scraps of patterned material and just used some plain cotton for the lining. I top-stitched the whole things and then added a couple of poppers. Below are some photos I took of the process – as you can see, Shovel is an ‘unusual’ shape 🙂

My little girl loved the nappy so much I made another one and a little bag to keep them in – which I’ll post another day!

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What a waste – wet wipe litter up 50% on UK beaches!

babywipe

BBC News

As you know, I don’t really like to throw things away and this headline today reminded me why I chose to use reusable nappies and wipes.

Here’s the full article from the BBC.

It’s awful to think what we are doing to our environment just for the sake of what appears to be convenience. If people understood the alternatives out there a little better than it might not seem more convenient…

When I first started using reusable nappies I was still using baby wipes. I found that I was popping my nappies in the nappy bin for washing and then throwing away the baby wipes into the dust bin. It seemed a bit odd. So, I did a bit more research and found out about reusable wipes.

I bought a set of bamboo Cheeky Wipes and have never looked back. They aren’t the only solution out there as there are plenty of other brands and some people make their own, or buy cheap flannels from the Pound shops. You don’t even need a special box to store them in – you can improvise. I use a commercial baby wipes box that was given to us as a baby gift.

They are SOOOOOOO much better than a disposable baby wipe. If I do use baby wipes (like if we go away – yeah I’m not perfect!) I find I need to use a lot of them to clean a mucky bum. Is it just me or do they seem to smear everything? With the bamboo reusable wipes, you tend to just need one or two. Then they just get wrapped up in the dirty nappy and popped in the nappy bin for the next wash.

girl hero fabricI use reusable wipes for hands and faces too. Again I just tend to use one wipe for each meal rather than a handful of baby wipes. I have a couple of little double zipper wet bags for them – clean wipes in one side, dirty in the other. They are from My Little Patch, who make to order in all sorts of fabrics. I have one in a sort of ‘biff, bang, pow’ material and another in ‘girl hero’. The ‘girl hero’ one has Wonder Woman on it so I was smitten!

Actually, one thing I did find when I was still using baby wipes. If they go through the washing machine by accident, they come out as lovely clean wipes. I actually used to reuse them as wipes (dampened) or as liners in the cloth nappies. They would actually go through the washer several times before they started to break up…

Geeky sewing inspiration

I bought a fancy new sewing machine a little while ago and have made a few things using it, but not many.

geeky materialMy little girl is now in nursery a couple of afternoons a week so I have a little bit more time to sit down and try some new things. A couple of weeks ago I decided to have a search around to look for some new fabrics to give me some inspiration. They arrived last week. They’re a  wonderful mixture of sci-fi, comic book, techie, Wonder Woman and zombies. A real geeky mixture!

I’ve just finished making some coffee cosies for cafetieres. So far I’ve make a Wonder Woman, a Pacman, a zombie and a Star Wars cosy. They are all lined in a nice soft fleece to keep the coffee warm but keep the cosy nice and slim. I’ve also top-stitched them to give them a neat finish

I’ve put some tabs on the top and bottom and poppers on the tabs to make it easy to take the covers on and off. These keep the cosy nice and snug.

P1020820So what do you think? Nice and geeky?

Now I’m trying to think what to make next with all this lovely fabric. Gadget covers, baby bibs or taggy blankets? Any ideas?

These four are currently on sale in my Etsy shop.

 

Handmade valentine – a chip off the old block!

Handmade valentineMy little girl has started nursery a couple of afternoons a week. It’s a dual thing – it gives her a little independence and also gives me some time to get on top of orders.

Anyway, imagine my surprise when I when to pick her up the day before Valentine’s Day. She’d made us a Valentine’s Day card with her handprints. It’s very cute and was very unexpected.

Handmade gifts are just perfect and I love the way the nursery gets the little ones involved in making things like this as hopefully it will be a something they want to continue with. Obviously I don’t mean making hand print valentine’s cards, but the pleasure that you get from making something yourself.

I can remember rainy days when I was little – they were for making things. Covering balloons with paper and paste, learning to crochet, peg dolls, that cotton reel knitting thingie, painting with pieces of potato, pom-poms, pipe-cleaner animals and so on and so on. None of these things ever cost much money but gave so much pleasure!

Tangled wool solution – recycled, fantastic, elastic bands!

I have finally found a good use for something that I avidly save rather than throwing away… OK, I don’t like to throw things away. Fact. I buy spring onions from the local supermarket and they always have a blue elastic band holding them together. I always, always save these little elastic bands. My kitchen rammel draw is full of the little things. It’s handy to have elastic bands at hand, but I have lots of them!

I’ve used them occasionally in crochet, if I need some elastic. But there are still lots of them, just sitting there, looking for a new purpose.

Zombie tea cosyToday I had some free time so decided to have a bit of a tidy up. I have a box in which I store my almost finished/just started projects. So if I’ve just sold a zombie tea cosy, then I’ll start to make up a new one, so its all ready to go when the next person wants to give one of my little zombies a new home. The problem is, I very often get side-tracked, either by a new order, or something else I’d just like to try out… yes, you’ve guessed it – this box is bursting at the seams and has lots of wool in there. Lots of little bits of wool that I use for finishing off.

Because I keep stuffing things in there, then rummaging around for some half-finished piece of work, the bits of wool continuously get tangled. It’s annoying.

Well I sorted it out today. Moved out the wool I’m not actually using and put it in one of the wool boxes and then attempted to tackled the ‘tangle’. Basically it’s lots of those small balls of wool. All tangled together. Again.

Wool boxSo, this is where I had the light bulb moment. I popped one of my fantastic elastic bands around each the little balls. Job’s a good ‘un. The wool isn’t tangled, and I get to use something that I felt like I was hoarding because I couldn’t bear to throw stuff away that should be useful 🙂

Oh, there are still quite a few of these elastic bands left, so I either find another use, of just simply buy more wool…

Real nappy stories, or “Really, and she poos in that?”

Anyone who reads my blog regularly will know that I like to reuse and recycle and don’t really like to throw things away.

When I was pregnant I came across a couple of mentions of reusable nappies so I looked into it a bit more. The more I looked the more I realised that I didn’t like the idea of having a bin full of dirty nappies clogging up my rubbish and going off to refill. Not to mention the plastic and chemicals.

Did you know that if Henry VIII had worn disposable nappies, that they still wouldn’t have broken down in he landfill yet?

Anyway, times have really moved on from when I was a baby and nappies were a terry square, a pin and some crackly waterproof cover. It can be quite bewildering looking at all the different types. As I was a novice to all this I originally went for AIO (all in ones) as I thought they’d be easier. I later tried some pockets (PUL outer with inserts) and found they were as easy to use and dried a bit more quickly. I use 2 parters (PUL shell and fitted bamboo nappy) at night as they are more absorbent and last her the full 12 hour (plus).

I struggled a bit for the first 2 months as the BTP (birth to potty) nappies I had really didn’t fit my long skinny baby very well. I wish there’d been more information around to help me as I should have been able to cloth bum from newborn. I later found out lots of suggestions for cheap newborn solutions. I eventually managed to find some cheapie velcro nappies that I could adjust a bit more for a snug fit and we moved properly away from disposables.

Real nappiesBut, it’s now been a year of using them!

We use the odd disposable now and the – like if we go away and visit family – but I really like the idea of how I’ve saved all that rubbish going off to the tip. And the nappies are really cute. And, my little girl looks really cute in them 🙂

I’ve had some interesting comments along the way including “does she poo in that?”, “you’re brave”, “how cool are they!” and “wow, Batman nappies?”…

I’ll try and post more on this and other greener things I do like my reusable wipes!

 

Quick crochet – baby bunny blankies

I don’t have quite as much time to spend on new crochet projects at the moment so I’ve been trying to think of some new things to try that don’t take me too much time.

Crochet baby blanketsI quite like the ‘growth’ of blankets, either doing round and round of granny stitch or by making lots of little granny squares and then crocheting or sewing them together. I’ve also been liking doing a spot of amigurumi over the last 18 months, but it can be quite fiddly doing some of the smaller bits and needs a biggish stretch of time to concentrate and count rows.

Crochet amigurumi rabbitI’ve also been using my sewing machine quite a bit more and have been making some taggy blankies – as per my previous post on this – taggy obsessions.

I thought I might try to combine these so decided to crochet some baby comfort blankies with bunnies in one corner.

I managed to work a couple up pretty quickly, doing the blanket bit during the evening when I don’t have to concentrate too much and then the bunnies during the day when my little girl was having her short naps.

A friend recently had a baby, so I thought one might make a nice gift for her, and the other one has now gone into my Etsy shop.

What do you think? I think he has quite a cheeky little face 🙂