Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Baggin it

I did it! The other day (in my vernacular that could mean last week, a couple months ago, sometime last year, or anytime that is not today) I decided to belt out some reusable baggies and mats with my new fabric stash from Jo-Anns (thanks to a patient spouse and fun shopping trip in Pittsburgh) and the PUL I ordered from Very Baby. I actually made my first one as a gift and used snaps to close it. It'll work well enough, but I was disappointed with the way the snaps puckered the PUL (sorry Henrik)!

So this time, this other day, I thought I'd try velcro. I wanted to try a couple different prototypes. The trick is that it is waterproof with the PUL except if you sew through the PUL (to sew the velcro on) then you put little holes in it and no more waterproofing. Also, without some kind of fold-down flap or zip-loc closure, the bag can leak. So my idea was to make a lunch bag/sandwich bag size with a closure similar to a dry bag. Here is the result of that, which I think worked pretty well:

I also have seen some cool bags by Snack Taxi and ReUsies, so I thought I'd try one with just a flap:

Then I wanted some different sizes and out came these guys:

I also wanted a placemat for Oliver kind of like Mimi the Sardine's. So I just serged the PUL to some cotton and viola! But I thought it would be cool if I could close it and make it like a sandwich wrap (kind of like Wrap-n-Mat or Betz White's). So my next one will have to have some kind of velcro or closure.

I also got some raincoats from the thrift and thought I could make lunch bags with those. In the meantime I did a little internetting to see the eco-grooviness of all of this. I mean, right now BPA in plastics is a big deal, so how safe is PUL or raincoat vinyl? Probably not, eh? Turns out lots of folks had the same questions and it was pretty easy to find information. Some good links are Here and Here. But the end result is this: if you are currently using disposable plastic bags for sandwiches or snacks, the PUL will be no different. If you are avoiding plastic containers for your food, maybe try making them with oilcloth (or making your own!). PUL and vinyl (like all plastics, really) should not be microwaved or heated if you plan to have them in contact with food. But I don't cook my sandwich bags and I feel pretty good about it. I do however wash my PUL (and all cloth diaper fabric) on hot. I think it's okay. Not scary, but that's my choice.
One downside that I have noticed with the resuable snack bags: they aren't airtight. Waterproof, breathable is great when hiking, but not for leaving your Goldfish in your lunch pail overnight. Staleness. A minor issue.

Speaking of PUL and not eating off of it, I made a new diaper pail liner with a big piece of PUL and some fold-over-elastic. Came out a little larger than I hoped (should have used a smaller piece of elastic) but it's working great. Next up: some wet bags with thrift store zippers.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Our camera died

So, our camera died. Right in the middle of Chris and Elly's wedding actually. Not particularly good timing. I didn't realize how much we'd come to use that thing to document everything. So we've been without for a week now, which seems like an eternity. We've already missed Oliver's pony ride, family night in the Airstream, Brian demolishing the cabin kitchen, and Cricket sleeping on Oliver sleeping. Critical times.
Luckily, not before we captured Oliver with Aunt Chick in June

Thursday, September 10, 2009

blowing in the wind

Call me crazy but I like diapers hanging on a line. I know. But there's something about it. Reminds me of that plastic bag video in American Beauty. Or maybe that's a little too artsy. Maybe it just reminds me of a bra tree or underwear fence. You know, knickers against a backdrop of trees and sky (or mountains in the case of the one we photographed in Wanaka, NZ, below). (And if you check out this guy's website you can see some more -better- pictures of the underwear fence too.)

Monday, September 7, 2009

why are we here?

So why did I start a blog? I guess primarily I wanted a place to share little Oliver blips with the family, and friends too. Then I started thinking that I'd also like to share snippets about food, projects, art, the property, daily life... stuff. Kinda like a good catch-up conversation with friends, but a bit more one-sided. Or maybe like Ravelry (a fun website introduced to me by neighbor Jods. It's like Facebook for knitters. You can share projects, look at what other people make, get inspired, check out knitting eye candy...) for sewing, cooking, urban homesteading, and the like.
Good times at Green Garden
Anyway I thought I'd give it a try. I remember reading Defne's holiday letter one year and looking at all the pictures and thinking, "MAN do they have some fun in that family!" Nothing but smiles and laughing. OK, so Defne says this isn't always the case, but it is a nice picture. So although this may be mostly about the Kudej family - it'll be a bit more of fun moments, grand achievements, and neato projects and less of venting. Not that we don't vent and have tough days (ha! you all know me and know that!), but I guess I don't intend to dwell.

Brian took Oliver and I to the park so we wouldn't dwell on our Chicken Pox

I recently read this post on Soulemama (yup, Jodanna found that one too), which seemed like an eloquent explanation about keeping it positive. So anyway. Here we are. Thanks for reading! Thanks for your comments. It's great to keep in touch with more than a Facebook thumbs up.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hello, Summer!

Sunday was an aberration of summer 09. Beautiful - sunny - breezy... So we packed many summer adventures into one day. Starting with some crafting: I'm assuming my blog posts aren't top on Chris and Elly's list ... so I'm posting a picture of their wedded bliss duvet cover. I finally got a sun-filled day to wash and hang it to dry:
I thought it was all original - an idea totally my own. But then when I looked at it hung on the line, it seemed very Denyse Schmidt-esque. Ah well, we all get inspiration from somewhere.

With the warm air, we couldn't resist a trip to the property. Brian made some wood from some aspen he didn't care for, Oliver helped, and I picked blueberries.

Then we went down the street to a farm field feast. Our local Slow Food chapter put on a dinner at Seeds and Spores Farm, where we had great food, great company, and a beautiful time on the farm. I even met a fellow Ravelry-er from Marquette and eyed her sweaters and hand-knit woolens all evening.

Oliver sat on Lenny (he started saying "horse" only the day before) and couldn't stop talking about horses the whole rest of the evening. We took several walks by the horses and even fed Lenny some clover. That inspired a whole new round of "horse! horse!" and Oliver started picking all sorts of grass and weeds, holding his arm out and saying "horse!" as if one would magically appear to eat the grass (even if we were nowhere near the horses). We closed with an amazing fresh cream and raspberry clafouti and headed home.