Added more fabrics

I did order a bunch of fold over elastics yesterday. I also ordered more PUL because I am out. I should get it soon.

Once I get both the PUL and the FOE, I can start getting busy with diapers again.

Yesterday, I went to JoAnn's. Just wandering around, getting my me time. They have sales on certain fabrics so I bought several cuts with the intentions of making skirts or dresses for my daughter. I got enough per fabric to be able to make other skirts to sell.

I've washed them. Just haven't cut them yet. We were busy getting other things done today.

Recently, I put several men's sweater patterns in my Ravelry queue. My husband needed sweaters badly. We went to Kohl's today to get his work shoes, which soles broke in half last week. So, while we were there, we noticed they were having sales on winter clothes. We managed to find 2 sweaters for him at 75% discount and his work shoes. Since he has these sweaters now, I don't have to knit him a sweater anytime soon. I still want to knit them, but not just now.

We're getting antsy to start gardening. We were looking at this small greenhouse; big enough to put starters in. We were also looking at Excalibur dehydrator. We will be doing a lot of dried tomatoes, apples, and whatever else we can do. We can also use it to make yogurt etc. We should be getting it within the next week or so. My husband is pretty excited about that one. That and the greenhouse are his toys.

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It's payday. Time to sit down and get the utilities bills taken care off.

The telephone/internet and satellite bills are the same every month. Nothing exciting there.

The exciting part for me was the gas and electric bills. These two are combined in one bill every month. A few entries ago, I wrote about having DTE Energy coming over to analyze our energy usage. I guess he wasn't kidding when he said he couldn't suggest an improvement for us to save energy.

I was looking at the bills and here's what we have for the last three months:
November $95
December $120
January $130

I am not bragging. Just stating the fact that this house has a big open layout on the ground floor. We thought it would take a lot to heat it up. I guess we are pleasantly surprised!

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Bags of goodies

I received two paper bags of old t-shirts and all sorts of fabric from our cousin in DC. Thanks, Laura!

My daughter and I went through them. She picked a couple of fabrics that she wanted me to make skirts for her. There are several cuts in there that I can use for diapers, and some I can use to make a quilt someday. Pretty neat stuff!

Didn't do much today. It's Thursday. The third day of the week where I cooked dinner. We've been eating a lot of leftovers the past couple of days. Grocery day is coming up again. I think this time I am buying flour and rice in bulk. I am getting two pails with tight lid to store these things. We go through them very quickly so it would make more sense for us to buy in big quantity.

I did make some headway on log cabin blanket.

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Positive reviews

I have received several positive reviews from the sales I made.

The lady with the cats diapers received the diapers today. She left me a raving review that it just made my day. This is what she had to say:
"She makes AWESOME diapers and super fast! They are adorable and made very well!!" - MMM

I hope other possible customers would read my reviews and will be spurred on by this feedback. That was really nice that she did that.

On other news, the bumble bee skirt is sold. Yay!

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These remind me of spring and summer

I got the skirts done. They're cute (because of the prints on the fabric, mind you)! They're so cute, I feel sad that maybe they'll leave my home to go to someone else's. :P So melodramatic. :D

This one is size 1T - about 8.5" in length.

These two are size 2T to petite 3T - about 11" in length. I tried one on my son(gasp! grin) and it fits him great. He is a bit tall for his age, so they should fit girls ages 2 to 3 fine.

I guess I should cut more fleece that I have to make my stash of NB and small diapers. I am waiting for this weekend to order some fold over elastics because I want to use the fleece that I have to make diaper covers, instead of pockets. I could just wait until then.

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Cold day

It's cold today. It makes me think of the warmer months coming. It'd be nice.

Speaking of warmer months, I have been itching to make more little girls skirts. So I grabbed some of my holiday money and got six cuts of cotton fabric. I am going to make layered skirts for toddlers. 3 skirts. I don't have a specific pattern, so I'll just use the basic rectangle cuts for the skirts' panels. They'll have a bit of twirls in them.

I'll put them up for sale when I am done with them.

The fabrics are in the washer at the moment. I can't wait!

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I finally attached the link

I had not attached my store to this blog for several reasons. It's not important for me to share the reasons. Maybe I just wasn't ready to share.

My parents-in-law dropped by today to drop off my daughter from weekend stay with them. We had them stay for dinner. I happened to have four loaves of bread rising when they arrived, so we had a loaf at dinner time. There is nothing like warm and soft bread.

Anyhow, my mother-in-law suggested that I should put a link to my store here. I was contemplating doing that before. I guess I was just buying my time before I do so. After she suggested that, I went ahead and did it.

It's a quiet night tonight. The kids are already in bed. I am going to pick up the log cabin blanket and continue knitting.

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Custom Order

I completed the custom order last night.

I'll wash them today and mail them out tomorrow.

I received a note from a potential customer yesterday. She may be interested in buying the buzzy bee skirt. The all yellow one. She'll measure her daughter today and will let me know. I made an offer for her that if she thinks it's too big, I can make a smaller one for her.

A couple more diaper sales and I'll have made my first $100 in sales. ;P

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Things to do today

1) Make loaves of bread for next week.

2) Complete the custom ordered diapers so I can mail them on Monday. The customer picked blue kitty fabric:

It'll be cute.

That's it.

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These were even quicker

I cut my first fitteds last night. Cut three and sewn two. I sew the last one this morning. These were even quicker to complete than pocket diapers!

These diapers will need a waterproof cover. The outer fabrics are flannel or cotton knit, inner layers are organic bamboo velour (OBV). The hidden layer is terry cotton. The soaker is a flat sheet of 2 layers of OBV. It should dry faster since it's flat, not stacked.

They're up for sale.

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Hot pack for shoulder blades

Husband's boss has been complaining about stiff neck and sore shoulders and upper back. She was planning on buying a hot pack and he told her that I could make her one. He's my PR. :D

In the end, she did commission me to make her one. I don't have a pattern for the hot pack she needs so I just wing it. I finished it. My husband will take it in to her tomorrow.

The picture isn't clear because I used the phone camera. Too lazy to use the other camera.

I told her if it doesn't work out, she can return it. No big deal.

I am not cooking tonight. It was supposed to be a leftover night, but either I didn't cook enough or we were too hungry the past couple of days. There's no leftover. :p Pizza it is. 2 medium, 3 toppings with 2 liter pop for $12. Not bad. We'll for sure have leftover after tonight.

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The theme is buzzy bee

Sewn another bee skirt. This one is not as twirly as the other one. It should fit infants and toddlers. It's a couple of inches shorter than the other skirt, and has smaller waist. I've put is up for sale.

Maybe there's too much black for a little girl. I like it but I am not everybody.

Update: Sold 3 diapers this week. Hopefully, there will be more to come. I'm excited!

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Coming up for air

Not much going on in this household for the last week and a half. Stomach bug and cold paid a visit.

I didn't get much done with sewing or baking. My chores everyday last week were to make dinner and laundry.

I finally start sewing again two nights ago and made a flame diaper in small size.

This one is a bit thick because I used 2 layers of fleece, not PUL, and organic bamboo velour. It's up for sale as seconds because the sewing quality is not great.

Yesterday, I made a toddler size twirly skirt.

This is also up for sale.

I received an email this morning from a lady who saw one of my postings. She is ordering a couple of the newborn diapers. I am going to send her a link for the pics of fabrics that I have. She can choose what she'd like to have for the outer layer.

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Time to get grocery

We've been buying grocery every two weeks, with the exception of milk. I have the list ready and the next two weeks menu ready. However, I don't have the energy to go and get it.

So far, we've averaged about $60 per week for grocery. I don't think that's a bad average considering I cook for every dinner every night. Even if I don't cook every night, I usually make a big enough meal to last another meal the next day. That number includes all the meat, chicken, produce, flour, rice, pasta, milk, etc. Not too shabby.

It helps that we don't eat beef that much anymore. I also buy the meat only when they're on sale. For the chickens, I buy bags of frozen chicken strips when they're 50% off. We have a lot of eggs on hand. I usually buy about 3 dozen everytime I get grocery. Good and easy protein for a meal or two.

Can we keep to this pattern? I don't know. Things changes all the time. I haven't been doing weight training as much, so I don't crave as much red meat. That would change if I change my exercise routine.

At this point, I just hope we can keep to this pattern regularly.

UPDATE: I spent $111 on groceries shopping last night and that's because of the freaking Gillette Mach3 razors that cost $12. Otherwise, it would have been $100 for two weeks of groceries and sundries.

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What I have up for sale

I updated the sites where I have the postings. I just got a message that someone is buying the bumble bee diaper.

Whooo.... wouldn't it be great if this happens every day?

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What a thrill!

You'd think I had sold a lot of diapers to be this hyper. Hah!

I put up two newborn diapers for sale at several places yesterday. Sold one of the two today. Got the payment, packaged the diaper and insert and it'll be on its way tomorrow.

I am laughing at myself. I sold one diaper and I am acting like I've sold 10 at one time.

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Counting the days and the diapers

Counting the day
I started the homemade yeast two days ago. On the first day, about 8 hours into the experiment, this was what I got:

It's still bubbling on the counter. I think I can start the drying process tomorrow.

Counting the diapers

I was doing the diaper laundry tonight. The above is my son's stash. To satisfy our curiousity (my husband and me), we counted out how many diapers our son has. Currently, including the dirty ones in the wet bag, he has 30 diapers that are used daily. Out of thirty diapers, 3 were store bought at reduced price. I counted all the diapers that I have sewn for him and it was 40 diapers. This is including the ones that are a bit small for him. I put those away for later use.

On average, a commercial pocket diaper costs $17.95 (I use Fuzzi Bunz for comparison because that's what my diapers are like). 40 diapers at $17.95 per diaper comes up to $718.00. Mind boggling.

My cost for making all these diapers, material would be about $100 because I always bought the material at sales or remnants. It didn't take me long to make these diapers so I'll put in $100 for labor. Approximate total is $200.00

We've saved $518. On one size only. What if we were to buy all the other sizes. Yeesh!

Counting the newborn diapers
The target is to have about 24 newborn diapers on hand. I have made three so far. I cut 6 sets tonight.

Three to keep, three to sell.

Then I will have 6 newborn diapers on hand. 18 more to go.

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Carbon footprint

I did one last year. I don't remember what we our score was but it was about half of the nation's average.

I just did another one from 1/1/09 to 1/1/10. I put in 5 people in the household, including our housemate. We scored at 9.30 tonnes of CO2. It's slightly less than half of the national average but I am sure we could better than this.

Just have to try harder at reducing our waste.

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Changing the dinner menu

Here's the hot cross bun. It's yummy. Unfortunately, my daughter's best friend broke her front tooth while biting into the crust. :D It was really loose originally. She still have a couple more teeth that are really loose.

I was going to make meatloaf for dinner tonight but got sidetracked with work stuff. If I still made the meatloaf, it won't be ready until about 7:30 or so.

I modified a cheeseburger soup to fit what I have in the pantry. I don't have this recipe written down anywhere else.

1 1/2 cup water
2 medium potatoes, cubed
2 carrots, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon beef granules
2 oz diced jalapeno (canned diced jalapeno would work)
1 lbs lean ground beef
2 1/2 cups milk
1 packet cheese mix from Mac and Cheese box, since I don't have enough real cheese. Otherwise, use 8oz shredded cheddar or 8oz Velveeta. If you use either one of these cheese, add 1/2 tsp of salt.
1/2 cup of sundried (dehydrated in our case) cherry tomatoes

Mix the first seven ingredients, cook until the potatoes are soft. In the meantime, brown the beef.

Once the potatoes are soft, add the browned beef and 2 1/2 cups of milk in the pot. Stir together and bring to boil. then add the cheese. Stir again until it is well mixed. Add the sundried tomatoes.

We'll have this with cheesy garlic bread. I got a loaf of Italian bread on clearance from the store during the weekend. I sliced it in half lengthwise, brush olive oil mix (1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder) on the bread, spread shredded cheese (we have a bag of quesadilla cheese) on the bread. Close the bread, wrap it in foils. Bake in 350F oven until the cheese melted. Take of the top foil and bake for another 10 minutes so you'll get crusty top.

I haven't eat yet but my husband just got back from work and immediately grabbed a bowl of soup and a slice of bread. He said it's good. So, I guess this impromptu soup works!

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It was lunch time, and thinking about food

I put together the yeast mixture and the dry mix for the hot cross bun during lunch. Right now I am just waiting for the yeast to be done before going to the next step. This is the recipe I use: Hot Cross Buns.

That was about 10 minutes ago. The yeast mix has already rose by almost half again.

I'll wait another 5 minutes before adding it to the flour mix.

Yesterday, I was thinking about how to make homemade yeast. I bake a lot of bread lately so I go through a lot of yeast. I googled it (isn't google wonderful?). I found a couple of ways to do it. I am going to try them both. But today, I tried only the first method (it's in the towel covered bowl in photo).

How to make homemade yeast, method I
2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar

Mix the above ingredients in a bowl. Cover with a cheesecloth or whatever thin towels you have. Let it rest at room temperature.

What supposed to happen is that the mixture should "catch" live yeast from the air. Since I've been baking a lot with yeast these past months, it couldn't have been better timing. There should be plenty of yeast in the air. I am supposed to leave the bowl hanging out in the kitchen for until it's bubbly. If it's bubbling, then it has captured the yeast. Then I am going to let it sit for another 3-4 days for it to continue bubbling.

After that, according to the recipe, I should spread it out on a cookie sheet and let it dry. Once it dries, I am supposed to grind up the pieces until I get powdered yeast.

People have done this for ages, and I am only now finding out and wanting to do this on my own.

I am learning.

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Taco seasoning mix

When I found a recipe for something that I need/making for meals, I like to record the recipe finds here. That way, at least I have somewhere where I can go back to and find the notes.

Tonight's dinner is chicken taco with avocado. The problem was I ran out of taco seasoning. But I have plenty of spices in the cabinet.

Here's the taco seasoning mix that I found and made. This mix should last us a few more meals.

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What do we do today?

Another loaf of bread since the previous loaf has about 1.5" left. Thank God for the mixer. I still have to knead the dough for about 10 minutes but it's a lot better than having to mix the batch by hand all the way. I love my kitchenaid.

I remember my husband's suggestion to cut a slit in the middle of the loaf so it wouldn't split on the side. And it worked.

I am still learning.

I am contemplating making hot cross buns tonight. That'd be good to have for breakfast and whatnot.

Sometime ago, I made a pattern called 20-minutes headband. Well, today I did a 20-minute skirt. I cut the pink zebra fabric to size, straight stitch the sides. Serged the bottom and top. Overstitched the top and bottom edges, add elastic, and voila. Got a skirt. She's wearing it now.

It fits well. She's liking skirts now. Just as well, since she doesn't have many pairs of pants that are in her size anymore. These are easy to make and I have quite a few fabric cuts I can use.

I think I'll make another diaper tonight.

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Things for today

I am knitting my daughter's socks. The pattern looks cool, even if it has 16 rows pattern. I am on row 3 of the pattern. Hah!

It is almost dinner time. The man just took out the casserole out of the oven. We are having Brown Rice and Lentil casserole for dinner tonight. I added chopped up carrot to the mix. It smells good. I am not a fan of brown rice, but this recipe receives really great reviews. I'll give it a try.

Update: It would be better not to use reduced sodium chicken broth while making the casserole. If you do, you have to add more sodium, otherwise it is REALLY bland. Add plenty of other spices too. Or maybe that's just us. Hmm...

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Two more things off the list

I finished sewing the cover for the standup mixer last night.

I used up the froggy flannel. There is a layer of fleece between froggy sheet and another flannel sheet. For the front and back panel, they are just two layers of flannel. I suppose I should have pressed them.

That's one down.

I also made a robe for my son from towel material that I have. I took his measurements; chest, hips, shoulder width, body length and arm length and circumference. I added another inch to each measurement so the robe would be bigger. Hopefully, he can wear this for a while yet. Anyhow, I drew the measurements on the fabric and cut them accordingly. I was wing-ing the pattern. It turned out ok. I didn't pin anything down, so I couldn't expect it to come out very tidy.

What's important, though, is that he loves it.

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Capturing yesterday

The bread loaves. Thank you new yeast!

Pizza. One dough batch yields three 12" pizza dough. I make this once a week. I usually make one cheese pizza for the kids, one chicken and broccoli or pineapple and one potato and rosemary pizza for us. There is usually enough leftover for lunch and possibly dinner the next day.

The nightgown. The fabric is a knit fabric. It stretches and stretches. Size 7 nightgown all of a sudden looks huge on my daughter. She wore it last night to bed. It hangs on her a bit, but she'll grow and the fit will be better.

The skirt. I went and grabbed some lace for the bottom of the skirt. It is a simple pattern. The original pattern called for a contrasting fabric for the bottom and the top of the skirt. I didn't want the hassle hence the lace. I just cut the fabric longer to accomodate the lack of extra fabric.

The boy's airplanes diaper. It is made with a couple of layers of fleece with alova suede for the inner fabric.

We'll have company with a toddler along today. If I have time, I am going to tackle making a cover for the Kitchenaid mixer.

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Day two of the new year

Oh yeah, I am absolutely glad he made me get the machine. It cut down my diaper sewing time by half! I finished cutting a diapers for my son by 10:40pm and started sewing immediately. When I got done sewing, it was 11:01pm. Yup, I am bragging. :D I am bragging about how great this machine is working for me.

Anyhow, I finished three sewing projects today; a nightgown and a skirt for my daughter, and a diaper for my son. I thought I was done making diapers for him but we still have a couple of the first editions. I only used one layer of fleece for those diapers, and well, they are worn. It wouldn't hurt to have a couple extras.

Other than sewing, I baked two batches of bread and one batch of pizza dough. The pizza dough was for our dinner.

Gah... it's late. I am going to bed. I'll put up the photos tomorrow.

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A new thing for the new beginning

Yeah, I am glad he really insisted on getting the sewing machine. The difference is like between night and day. I am also glad I picked to get this model, not the higher model. The reasons? I've used it for about an hour and this model has everything that I am ever going to use. I don't know anything fancier. As I mentioned before, this one is about $100 cheaper, too. No sense in getting something fancier if I am not going to use all the stitches.

The old machine is packed away. It is still working but may not be for long if I use it daily. I am handing it down to my daughter when she is old enough. For now, its place is in the attic.

Moving on.

I made a batch of cinnamon rolls this morning. Boy, this batch rose! I guess the yeast that I have been using was a dud. The breads and rolls I have been making prior to the new jar, rose MAYBE slightly. Another thing to toss out; the old jar of yeast. Not that there is much left in there. Maybe a couple of teaspoonsful.

The rolls resting for a few minutes before baking.

All done with glaze.

We gave some to a friend who stopped by.

Another new thing for today. I've finished the upholstery on two more dining table chairs.

I added more stuffing to make the seats more cushy (is there such a word?)

Laying the new fabric on top. Started tacking the fabric under the seat.

And... the final result.

I have one more chair to do. I would have done it today but I ran out of tack.

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More for the new year

Since a few of us and our friends are not feeling too great, we ended up not having a get together tonight.

As usual, when I have time on my hand, I set up my sewing station.

The kids and I got more fabric today. I am going to make a couple more nightgowns for my daughter since the ones she has no longer fit her. She picked a knit fabric in pink (what else though I admit that this is cute) with cute zebras all over. I got enough of that fabric for two to three jammies. I cut one so far.

We also bought several cuts of fleece. Two cuts are for my son's PJ pants, the others are for diapers and miscellaneous things. My son picked a fleece with airplanes and one with penguins. They are both red.

So, tonight, I cut four things; one nightgown, two fleece pants for my son and one fleece pants for my daughter. I've sewn her pants and one of his.

I'll sew the other ones tomorrow. I might even have a new sewing machine by then. My husband is buying me a new machine. This one is about 11 years old and starting to not perform as well as it used to. Actually he wanted to get it a few months ago and I kept stalling because a) I didn't want him to spend the money and b) I think the I have now will last for a bit longer. He threatened to go out by himself and get the one we've been looking at. I made a bargained to go for a cheaper model but have what I need.

I guess that's what we'll be doing tomorrow.

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