More Christmas Fun

Today I started on the next set of Christmas gifts – lotions, balms, and other bath goodies for the ladies. I meant to take pictures of the process, but the processes are either time -sensitive, or I needed to keep a very close eye on my little helper, so I didn’t get as many pics as I intended.

Vinegar Hair Rinse

First up was Natural Hair Rinse, an excellent alternative to commercial hair conditioners. Made from apple cider vinegar, water, and essential oils. Easy peasy. I’ve been using this for much longer than I’ve been doing anything else Granola-like.

Sugar Scrub

Next, Sugar Scrub. Mmmmm. Also very easy. Brown sugar, oil, and vanilla. (Edible, too, as Wally discovered. “Mmmm. That’s Good!”)

Wally Helping

Here’s my adorable helper, making his “smile” face. He helped dump ingredients into the bowl, stir, and spoon the scrub into the tubs while I labeled them. (look at how efficient I am – the crockpot in the background is actually cooking our dinner – leftover turkey mixed with BBQ sauce.)

The most involved item of the day was the lip balm. First we measured out the ingredients (Shea butter, olive oil, beeswax, avocado oil, EOs) using my digital postal scale (which is actually a kitchen scale), then we melted them in a glass measuring cup placed inside a hot water bath.Melting the Balm Ingredients

After everything was all melted together, I stirred in the essential oil and then quickly quickly filled up my little containers. This was my first time making lip balm, and I didn’t realize that the recipe I was following would make about a metric ton of balm, so I filled all my containers and had a LOT left over. I’m going to see if I can find more containers locally tomorrow, then remelt the leftover and put it into containers and store it in the fridge.

If you decide to make your own lip balm at home, you might think about covering the floor and work surfaces with old newspapers.

Just in case.

Just in case you somehow manage to knock over your glass measuring cup still half-full of melted lip balm.

I’m just sayin’.

Christmas Crafts

This year, again, we’re going 100% homemade for Christmas presents. Here’s the first batch of gifts, all finished and ready to go. I even have the fabric gift bags done, though those are not pictured here. (But you can see them here. I’m swiping the SpongeBob and Scooby ones for these presents unless someone buys them in the meantime.)

First, raw-edge applique Tshirts for all of the kids in the family, except one teenage boy, who we deemed to be too cool for such a gift.

Tshirt 1
This is actually not raw-edge applique like the others. I mounted the circles to a separate piece of fabric, put them BEHIND the tshirt, sewed around the circles, then cut out the red Tshirt to expose the circles. I found myself mulling over whether this would work one day while driving, and am pleased to report that it turned out really good!

Tshirts 2 Tshirts 3

Yoda, a pig, flowers, and a ballerina. All raw-edge applique.
Tshirt 4

And the elephant one is for Wally!
Next: Pillowcases. Pillowcases are fun, right? And they’re easy. I made all of these with French seams, so there are no raw or serged edges sticking out. They’re oversize, to make it easier for children to get their pillows in.

Pillowcases 1 Pillowcases 2

Hannah Montana and Lizzie McGuire iron-ons, Star Wars for both nephews.

Pillowcases 3

Tink and Bratz. (Don’t get me started on Bratz. I hate them.)
So there you have it. It feels good to have these done. It took, all told, about a day and a half of work, a nice diversion from diaper sewing.

As a side note, I bought all of the Tshirts secondhand. Factoring in all materials used, average Tshirt cost was $1.43

The pillowcases are all new material, purchased over the course of a few weeks using 50% coupons. Even after factoring in $2 for the 2 sheets of iron-on transfer paper, the average pillowcase cost is $1.91.

So, there you go. Presents for all but one of my neices and nephews for an average of $3.34 per child.

Birthday

Today, my little boy turned two years old! Wow. I can't really believe that it's been two years since our lives changed forever with Wally's peaceful birth. I'm sure everyone reading this can relate!!

It's almost difficult to remember who I used to be before I was a mama. I have changed so incredibly much in the past two years. I've become much more crunchy, that's for certain. I'm more motivated to make healthy choices for my family. I have so little time to do things that are just for me. I also have more struggles with controlling my moods and emotions under the stress and almost constant tiredness that seem to accompany motherhood. I'm growing, changing, and – hopefully – maturing right along with my little man.

At any rate. We had a nice get-together with mostly family. Seven children, all told. It was pretty crazy, but Wally held up well. We mostly let him wander and do whatever he wanted. He opened some presents because they struck his fancy, then the gift opening ground to a halt when he decided to have some more to eat. Hey, opening presents is supposed to be fun, right? It's not fun if you're being forced to do it!

In other news…

  • I restocked both Large and Medium Pockets. The 16 mediums sold out within two days. I hope to be able to restock small and medium pockets before the end of the month, but I have a large stack of custom orders to complete first!
  • I have added more ring slings, including some made from solarveil, which is great for summer!
  • I have four colors of solarveil in stock, available for wraps, ring slings, or Asian carriers. White, Khaki, Blue, and Black. Just let me know if you want something from that fabric – and move quick before it's gone!!