Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Struggling Seamstress

I want to begin sewing my son some clothing. Each time I go out I notice that the price of quality clothing keeps creeping up. I have decided that even with my limited skill set I can make good quality clothing and toys that will last longer than many store brands. I made the crib set below for him one weekend. However, I must find the time...that is the tricky part.

On Sunday between church and a committee meeting I attempted to cut the fabric for Wyatt's first outfit. A simple little Jon Jon for an Easter egg hunt. This endeavor didn't go so well. I couldn't find any pins to pin the pattern to the material, Wyatt was doing his best to see over the table and pull all the fabric to the floor, and my sister in law (who was suppose to be watching Y) was chatting about the latest gossip around town. I got two of the 8 pieces cut out before I had to give in. It didn't help that I was struggling to read the pattern and cut out the correct size. At last I will give it a go another day when things are quite as distracting.

I hope to give it another try late this evening after Wyatt has retired and I have finished some domestic duties around the house. I am determined to make this outfit for him and to make it well. I want my children to have the opportunity to learn the value of homemade items. One of my favorite wedding gifts is a cross stitch that was given to us. It is simply a raccoon climbing a mailbox with our name embroidered into it. That is the only piece of art that has hung continuously in our house since the day we moved in. The time, energy, and love that went into creating that artwork overwhelms me.

I also have that feeling about the baby blankets made and given to us by friends, family, and former students. My son has two handmade quilts and half a dozen crocheted or homemade baby blankets. Until I developed this passion to create my own things at home I would purchase the items from other crafters. I love to help support and fund these projects. Creating things for others is the greatest form of kindness, it doesn't matter if you are creating breads or blankets, the love shines through.

Below is Wyatt after he was born. The cap was hand crocheted by a woman we never met. A group of ladies make enough to give on to each child born in the hospital. In this picture Wyatt is sitting on a quilt made just for him by a family friend. This quilt has traveled with us many times.

Monday, March 30, 2009

For the LOVE of Cloth

I am not your typical “natural parenting” mom. I believe in sustainability not necessarily organic. I think people need to realize that not all chemicals are bad, especially when used in the proper amounts. I also think people need to understand things from the producers or farmers point of view….without fertilizers and pesticides large farming operations could go under in certain conditions. Everyone in our country can’t afford the higher prices associated with “organic” products, but we can all take steps towards becoming more sustainable.

I am a “natural parenting” momma in many ways however I cloth diaper my son, drink raw milk, use natural products for cleaning, carry cloth grocery bags, recycle, shop thrift stores, and love to spend time outdoors with my family. For me cloth diapers are the biggest step towards sustainability that I have taken. My friends and family have all either said aloud or to themselves that I lost my mind and that cloth diapers are nasty, yucky, disgusting, etc. I have to disagree…

Cloth diapers are the most logical choice for those of us who wish to save money and help the environment. I originally chose to semi-cloth diaper my son to save money. For less than $50 I began using cloth diapers at home. I know, I know 50 BUCKS buys a lot of disposables however they only last so long. I am still using the cloth diapers I bought before he was born… the $50 worth of disposables are long gone filling up a landfill for the next 500 years. When my son was about 5 months old I decided to take some time off from work and decide what I wanted to do. During this time cloth diapers saved us tremendously. For almost 6 months we did not by a pack of diapers….it was great!

Let me dissolve some myths about cloth diapering….

Myth 1- I have to use pins, a diaper, and a diaper cover (that is too much work).

This is so not true. Yes the cheapest way to cloth diaper your child is to use the traditional CD method but if you are uncomfortable with pins then I suggest not doing this you WILL stick yourself and/or your child at least once or you could use these neat little things called Snappis. Today’s online world allows you access to a variety of cloth diapers. There are fitted, pockets, all-in-ones, and flushables.

Fitted CDs A fitted diaper has elastic at the legs and at the waist. It also has some type of closure to hold the diaper on the baby. This closure can be hook and look or snaps. A fitted diaper requires a cover. The absorbency of fitted cloth diapers varies based on the materials used in the construction of the diaper. Cotton fitteds are an inexpensive and popular choice. Hemp fitteds are slightly more expensive and also more absorbent than cotton.

Pocket CDs A pocket diaper is usually made of two layers of fabric sewn together to form a pocket for an absorbent insert. The entire diaper fastens onto your child and does not require the additional use of a cloth diaper cover. Pocket Diaper Inserts can be made of microfiber terry, cotton terry, hemp Chinese Prefold Diapers or even a regular kitchen towel folded to size.

All in Ones An all-in-one cloth diaper that has a waterproof cover and an absorbent inner liner and built in closures. It is all one piece. These diapers commonly fasten with hook and loop or snap fasteners. They may also be made of wool as the outer layer. All In Ones are frequently used by parents who need a convenient diaper for a day care, for quick and easy changes on the go, and by parents who just want the convenience of a one-piece diaper along with the ecological advantages of cloth.

Flushables, consist of washable, cotton outer and a plastic-free flushable diaper refill. They are made of breathable material just like sports clothing. So, babies stay dry and happy and are far less likely to get diaper rash.
Personally we have used fitted, all in ones and flushables. I love the all in ones because of their convenience however the flushables one are nice also.

Myth 2- Cloth diapers are more expensive that disposables.
The initial investment is higher however if you purchase diapers that can grow with your child then once you make the initial purchase you never have to buy diapers again.

Myth 3- Cloth diapers stink up the house and are hard to clean.
You shouldn't have anymore odor that you experience with disposable diapers. Many cloth diapering parents actually claim to smell less diaper pail odor when using cloth diapers simply because their cloth diapers aren't full of perfumes (like disposables).

Deo-disks are an inexpensive way to deal with diaper pail odor. These non-toxic deodorizers smell like citrus and do a great job cutting down on diaper pail odor. These deodorizing disks are used and recommended by diaper services.

BumGenius Odor Remover does a fantastic job removing the odors in diapers.
The best way to combat diaper pail odor is to wash cloth diapers frequently, at least every other day.

Finally, be sure that your diaper pail has a lid on it and keep it closed.

Here are some links to cloth diaper sites that I love

Where do I begin...

Hello All,

I am new to the blog scene however after reading many other blogs I feel that sharing my experiences with the world just might be useful to someone out there. My husband and I have been married almost 4 years and have a beautiful little boy. I work outside the home even though I wish I didn't have to. My day job is Environmental Outreach Coordinator for our county. My real job is being a full-time mom, farm hand, and domestic diva for my family.

We are located deep in the Bible belt in South Carolina. We have been raised very traditionally and conservatively and remain that way. Many of our family outings center around church events, 4-H activities, and farm life. I want my son and future children (God willing) to have a good example to follow in faith and family, so I believe we must make that a priority in our own lives. We do our best to set the standards high but as all people we have our downfalls.

My husband, William, is a full time farmer. We raise purebred sheep, beef cattle and operate a dairy farm. It is a huge undertaking and we have help from William's family. We are bless to be farming the same land that William's ansectors have farmed since the 1800's, maybe earlier.

I did not grow up in the area, my family is scattered all over the Southeast and Western part of the US. I have family in Georgia (my home state), Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, California, and Arizona. To keep up with my family we all have Facebook or Myspace.

I grew up in Middle Georgia. I could throw a rock from my back door and hit my grandparents house. I never realized until their influence on my life until after my Granny passed away. They instilled values and traditions in me that I hope to pass on to my children. My Granny loved to cook (fry) and create crafts. I learned to season a cast iron pan, sew a quilt, and crochet from her. My mother taught me how to bake cakes and make candy. I hope to share some of these skills and many others I have learned over the years with all of you in the coming months. Have a great day!

The Homespun Momma