April 27, 2009


in the kitchen › sewing ›

All natural cleaners

This has been a long time coming for me.  I've been wanting to try the all-natural cleaner route for a while but I've also had quite a stock from the generous pounding from our church of cleaners to use up.  Well, this week I ran out of laundry soap, all purpose cleaner, sanitizing spray, baby wipes and dishwasher soap.  I started looking all over this town for a bar of laundry soap and a box of Super Washing soda and I finally found it (at Harris Teeter for you local folks).  So I got out my empty spray bottles and restocked. 

Here's the recipes I used:

Laundry Soap:

  • 1 bar Fels Naptha laundry soap OR Ivory Soap
  • 1 cup. Borax
  • 1 cup. Super Washing Soda

-cut the soap in cubes and then grind everything in the food processor till the soap is fine.  Use 1 T. per load and more if you have heavy soiled clothes.  I'm not sure if this is alright to use on cloth diapers.  I'll have to find out.

update- it seems it is NOT good for the fuzzi bunz which is what I use.

Dishwasher Soap- I posted this before, but this time I used super washing soda.

  • Mix Equal parts Borax, Washing Soda and Dishwasher soap.  Use 2 T. per load.

All Purpose Spray #1- Use in Bathrooms, sinks, oven (if you actually clean your oven, that is) etc.


  • 1/4 cup. Washing Soda
  • 1 quart water
  • 1/4 t. Tea Tree Oil (totally optional)


When you wipe this stuff off, use a wet cloth.  It can leave a powdery film otherwise.

Sanitizing Spray

  • Bleach and water.  I know some people stay clear of bleach, but I use it sparingly and have no qualms with the stuff.  I used about 1/4 bleach and the rest water.

Window Cleaner AND All Purpose Cleaner #2- Countertops etc.


  • 1/4 c. vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid hand soap
  • 2 cups water


Note- the vinegar smell disappears once it dries.  But I kindof like the smell of pickles!

If you're cleaning windows, you can use newspaper instead of papertowels to prevent streaking.  That's what we always used growing up.  It will make your hands black though so be careful.

I'm adding some Lavender Essential Oil, just because I have it and love the way it smells.

Homemade Baby Wipes and Spray

Ok, this may seem weird, but it actually isn't.  I still use disposable wipes when I'm out.  I'm not that hardcore.  I have some wipes I made out of flannel although many people just use cheapo washcloths.  For the spray- fill the spray bottle with water and a few squirts of baby soap.  Spray your washcloths or baby wipes and wipe away!


I made these wipes as a gift for a friend's baby shower a couple of years ago.  My wipes are much less cute and much less pink. 

The good thing is that the wipes double as hankies.  After you wash them of course.


Now I guess I should clean something.  I guess I'll start with putting all these cleaners away.

a purse and beautiful flowers

Here are the photos of a purse I made a couple of weeks ago from a FREE pattern.   Switching out the winter purse for the fun spring one is always a delight.  This was my first bag that I made following a pattern.  Again, for someone who doesn't know a ton about sewing, following a pattern is so much easier because you don't have to try to wrap your brain around how to get it to work--- especially a lined bag.  However, I'm sure that after I follow a few more patterns I could easily make one without a pattern.

Mistakes were made and fortunately a big one was able to be covered up by a button.  But it was fun and is very usable although not terribly large (it should have been bigger than it turned out but like I said....mistakes).  

Do you see the beautiful roses?  They are part of a collection of flowers I got to take home from the Women's conference at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte.  I was the music leader this weekend and it was SO much fun.  I hope I am invited to lead music for many more conferences.  It's always so great to be under the teaching of wonderful teachers and in the company of such great Christian women.  

I wish they could stay like this forever.  They smell so wonderful.


April 22, 2009


sewing ›

airplane appliques

Now that I realized how simple it is to take an ordinary shirt and make it adorable, I'm wanting to do this  all the time.  Remember the FIRST time I appliqued the boys shirts?  (Wow, they've grown up so much!)  Here is my second attempt.  Now that I've discovered fusible interfacing, I think I could do this again.  It really didn't take long at all.

I used a women's shirt made of seersucker fabric to make Owen's shorts and the appliques.  I used this tutorial to guide me.  They were supposed to be for Deacon but they were hip huggers on him and now need to be altered to fit Owen better.  The red polo shirts had to be altered to fit them properly.  The one Owen is wearing is a very misshapen size 3T and the one Deacon is wearing is a misshapen 5T, both hand-me-downs.

Deacon gets really excited about matching Owen.  I was thinking I would make a dinosaur but Deacon insisted on having an airplane.  So that's what we have.  It's cute isn't it?

My husband who dresses much better than I do and is quite clean cut these days says, "So I guess these aren't meant to be tucked in".  No, they aren't.  How in the world do you keep a kid's shirt tucked in anyway?

April 19, 2009

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sewing ›

For a new bride

I made this apron for a bridal shower gift this weekend.  I thought it turned out great, I was so happy to give it away but part of me really wanted to keep it for myself!  It was my first time really following a real pattern.  I thought it turned out pretty nice.  

I like the internet patterns better because of all the great color pictures, but I think I did alright doing it the old fashioned way.  I had both the fabric which I found in a remnant bin at Schoolhouse Fabrics in Virginia and the pattern stashed away in a drawer so I didn't have to buy anything new to get it made for the bridal shower.  

As I folded it up, I thought it was so lovely by itself that I opted to not wrap it.  

The future bride held it up to her body and with her black high heeled pumps and classic shoulder length hairdo she looked like someone straight out of the 50's.  I hope she enjoys it.

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