Tuesday, August 31, 2010

come, join me on the green side . . .

i am convinced that my little fox must be in the middle of a growth spurt.  he is acting like a newborn again with the 'i'm starving' screams and the constant soiling of diapers.  so, since we are cloth diapering i spent the day organizing and laundering in efforts to streamline the process a bit.  i managed to get some painting in, but i decided to dedicate today's blog post to cloth diaper education.

first, some background.  i first realistically considered cloth diapers not even a year ago (didn't even know i was expecting #2 a year ago!) and when i did the decision was solely for economic reasons.  don't get me wrong, i love the earth, but i despise spending money just to throw it away.  that's insane.  so that's why i drank the kool-aid, but i am hooked on them for so many reasons:
1 - we never run out of diapers
2 - they are so super cute (see below)
3 - my son has never had a diaper rash
4 - no infamous 'blow-outs', and they leak no more than disposable diapers
5 - no nasty gel goo touching my babe's bottom, only sweet, soft, fluffy cotton or bamboo
6 - my little guy was born with his father's lack of butt, and cloth diapers have awarded him one heck of a cotton booty

so, time for show and tell . . .

this is a prefold (specifically a green mountain diaper yellow edge prefold) on the left and on the right it is modeled by my handsome growing boy (2mo+).  prefolds are the old-school cloth diaper system, and still the cheapest way to go.  modernized a little by the snappi (the blue thing holding it all together) that replaced the diaper pins.  i do own diaper pins but i've never used them!

prefold require a cover, so here's a partially complete shot to show you all the pieces:

an alternative to the prefolds is to use what are called 'fitteds'.  a fitted diaper is an absorbent prefold equivalent that has some sort of closure so you don't have to use the snappi or pins.  fitteds also come in the most adorable prints and patterns.  unfortunately, the adorable-ness disappears under the cover, but it does make diaper changes just a bit more colorful.

left - our stellar model in a fitted with a cover ready to go on
right - a group shot of all the fitteds i had clean at the moment.  see what i mean by cute?  zebra stripes, knights and dragons, safari animals, atari, zoo critters

here he is at 2 weeks old in a fitted with garden gnomes on it

a few super-cute covers.  most of our covers are ugly and purely functional, but a few cute ones in the mix makes me happy.

the last type of clothe dipe is extremely similar to a disposable diaper in function.  it is also, generally, the most expensive way to go.  this is the 'all-in-one' or 'one-size'.  an all-in-one is all the absorbency of a prefold or fitted but already has a waterproof outer covering, so you just throw it on them.

this is a yellow bumgenius all-in-one

every diaper type i have mentioned so far is sized.  this means you have to buy larger diapers as your baby grows.  the exception is the one-size diaper.  the one-size snaps in the front so you can adjust the length and thereby the size of the diaper.  the absorbent pads are separate and you tuck them into pockets in the back of the diaper.  it's slightly more work than the all-in-one, but i set all my one-sizes up when i pull them from the dryer so they are ready to go.

left - sporting a bumgenius one-size on the smallest setting
right - a happy hienies one-size to show the adjustment snaps

we use a little bit of everything, as you can see.

now, i know what you are thinking . . . i didn't make any of these diapers, so why are they on the my blog?  well, my dear, i did make my own cloth wipes!

from left to right top to bottom: funky chicks, aqua dots, blue dots, bunnies, chickens, vintage chicks, monkeys, pigs, sharks, turtles.
most are double-sided flannel, but some are flannel/terry cloth

all stacked up!

so, i've sold you on the easy and cute, but how about the buck?  a lot of people will like the idea of cloth then run away screaming when they see the price tag.  if you go with one-sized or all-in-ones and want to buy them brand new you can expect to pay a bundle (if you go this way and use the diapers for 2 children they are still cheaper than disposables for the 2 children), the difference is that you are paying all at one time instead of spreading it across 3 years.  but, if you go with a cheaper option (prefolds, econobum) or buy used (which all of the above diapers are) you'll have saved 1000's over your child's infancy.
screaming boy means this post is over!


Monday, August 30, 2010

a goat called donkey

yet another day sacrificed for the sake of family . . .

i am sure that you all have these days, where your well made plans are beaten down by those who require more of your attention than you have to give, and when your home is more akin to a train station than a sanctuary.  i forgot to eat lunch.

the bright side: i got some of my errands done and got some good deals on items that will be art someday (a few canvasses, fabric, items for towel cakes, etc).

the dreary side: no creative pursuits today. 

if my little fox lets me sleep tonight i have promised that we can stay home all day tomorrow in our pajamas and cuddle and make beautiful things.  the larger painting i have been slaving over (she does have a title, now - 'dorothy') is begging me to finish her.

but i cannot leave you with nothing!  what shall i pull from my archives to wow you?  ah - I have just the thing . . .

my daughter had a dear stuffed goat.  his name was donkey.  that alone is a terribly long story, but i digress.  i chose donkey as a subject for a project in my drawing class.

'portrait of a goat called donkey'

isn't he sweet?  this little diddy is quite indicative of how i like to draw - ordered chaos, if you please.  i like to do a bit of an organized scribble.  i don't know of anyone else who draws like this, so we will call it the 'jo method'.

at the time i was also working a bit with embroidering on paper, and my drawing professor allowed me to experiment a little with the idea of drawing with thread.

'cotton portrait of a goat called donkey'

every line you see is a piece of thread.  i believe this portrait took me about 4 hours to complete.  labor of love, i assure you.

are you wow-ed?

it's time to get ready for bed.  wish me sleep.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

day of rest?

not for me!  sundays are the day i use to catch up with life.  i ran errands and cleaned house and organized and cooked the day away.  and then, when dinner was done and my surroundings were less horrible than they were this morning, and the babe was asleep, and i finally had an opportunity to be artistic and make loveliness . . . i decided to take my kiddos on a walk.

my babies!  no criticism of the picture as it was taken with my phone.

i've lived in this town since i was five, and as long as i can recall it has been the walking-est town i know of.  everyone walks.  we live about 2 blocks off the main street and within walking distance of 4 parks (with playgrounds), and while we are less than satisfied with the building in which we reside, we are completely in love with our 'home'.

so we walked and rolled.  the weather was g o r g e o u s, which is oh so rare for st louis.  my sweet husband even came out and joined us for a bit.  it was wonderful.

my apologies for the lack of project.  i only hope you got a moment of joy from your day as i did mine.

good night.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

under the wire . . .

a day had nearly passed without recounting my day. shutter the thought . . .

today was the bridal shower of my cousin. i received many "ahhh"s for my towel cake and several recommendations that i do it professionally. i'll consider it.

the shower wasn't terribly long, but the preparation of myself and my two kiddos for the shower took me most of the morning and has completely depleted my energy. fret not, as i do have some show and tell.

i thought of this 'thing' i wanted to paint a few days ago and last night i couldn't take it anymore. so i started it yesterday evening and this morning . . . voila!

it reads "this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart . . . i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)". it's a line from an e. e. cummings poem (that i love - read it here). this expert is a bit long for a piece title, which i am still mulling over.

i like it. the orange 'blasts' coming from the small heart were an afterthought, intended to add a bit more color, and i am less than thrilled with the outcome (mostly that they resemble candy corn and ultimately don't seem to fit). i am also seeking out new and more fabulous ways to paint text.

i do have a dear love for poetry, thanks in part to my high school literature teacher (shout out to Sr. Elaine!), and i do hope to make a series of paintings inspired by my other favorite poems. i've officially added it to my list of possible future pursuits. won't it be grand when i win the magical time lottery and can accomplish all those items on the list?!?! no, but really, suggest me some awesome poems to inspire me and we'll see what rolls out . . .

'tis one minute to my bedtime. sweet dreams.


Friday, August 27, 2010

school daze

ack! only 20 minutes before big sister gets out of school and i've not posted anything! the horror!
last night was 'meet the teacher night' at her school. it's slightly humorous to me because i attended the school myself once upon a time. then it was "my school". it became my mom's school when she began teaching there (still does), and now it belongs to my daughter. as far as schools go not too much has changed. she had the same kindergarten teacher i had, has the same principal, and it was only by sheer chance that she did not get the same first grade teacher i had. the teacher she does have attended the school as well only a couple years ahead of me. her brother was in my class. meet the teacher? we've met.

i have been painting for a good part of the day, but it's been backgrounds and in-process stuff . . . nothing worth sharing, yet. instead i will show off a project from last week. it goes along with all these school memories, anyways.

every year my/her school's priest comes up with a yearlong theme (this is a catholic school - did i mention that?). the last two years i have designed a bulletin board to go along with the theme that remains up for the entire year. the first year i was commissioned by my mother, as it was her turn to do the board. last year the other third grade teacher asked me to do it for her turn (she made my family dinner in thanks and it was totally worth it!), and this year i assumed that the job was mine. it seems i was correct.

father normally releases the year's theme about a week before school starts, so i was eagerly waiting to see what my challenge would be this year.

2008-2009's theme was "come holy spirit, guide us on our journey. teach us to listen, learn, and love", and this is my visual interpretation:

2009-2010's theme was "lord god, our hope is in you, for you can do all things, provide all things, and overcome all things" . . .

(a detail shot)

and this year it is "christ has set us free so be the change you want the world to see". here ya go:


i am pretty proud of it, and i love all the feedback that i get throughout the year. next year i am thinking of signing the thing.

i really have enjoyed these. can't wait until next year!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

why my baby is so much more awesome than your baby (at least today, to me), so there!

last night my sweet, wonderful, precious baby boy slept for 9 hours with only one small wake up for diaper/food. i'll remind you that he is but 2 months old and normally sleeps for 3 hours at a time. today, he is my hero.

he has also been sweet as pie and is letting me work on a large canvas i have been dying to finish. i am getting closer, but i will not share until it is complete. worry not, i am taking plenty of in-process pics. rather, today i think i will show you a few more of my mosaic flowers . . .
i am quite obsessive about the naming of my work. i take it as seriously as naming a child. if i develop a series of pieces i typically do assign a theme to the names. for this "mosaic flowers" series i am using names of female catholic saints, all beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. having 24 of this size i used all the letters except q and x (you can imagine how many female saints had names with these letters!) and when i started working in a larger format i started the alphabet over, but still using the saintly names. now that it's all typed out there it seems a bit complicated. i suppose it has become an obsession of keeping all things organized, but i digress.
to thank the boy for the gift of sleep i have decided to take him on a walk if the opportunity presents itself today. another gorgeous day in st. louis (rare, indeed!), so i may take my camera along. bliss!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

much of my day today will be spent cleaning in the basement, so it is unlikely that i will have time to dedicate to loveliness. you see, the basement has become something of an indoor pool and i need to go down and determine what has been destroyed and clean up some. i am bracing myself for sadness.

and so i offer what has been my august project. i had not used an actual paint brush for more than face painting since high school. it was hard for me then, but i am older and steadier, now, so i decided to pick up painting again. the result has been a series of small pieces i am calling "mosaic flowers". allow me to introduce . . .





these are just 4 of the 26 total i have produced. these and 21 others are 3.5" wood discs. it is time to move on from this specific project, for now. i am excited to see if/how these sell at the art walk, and perhaps my etsy.

*update* we have returned from walking big sister to school and i am even more sad due to the gorgeous weather that i will not get to enjoy while cleaning the basement. might have to make time for a walk today :)
**another update** the basement damage is bad but not horrible. losses include a few of my less precious drawings, some toys, a handful of books, and a mini christmas tree. it seems the dry portion of the basement isn't reliable as such :(


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

sweet surprises

my heart belongs to film photography. and while my wallet definitely pulls me to digital my heart wins out every once in a while. i will go out with my kiddos and spend a roll of film on a beautiful day, throw that roll in the drawer with the rest, and wait to win the lottery so that one day i might develop the whole lot of them. sigh.

. . . or i can pull out a roll at random and develop it and see what lovely surprises await me!

look what came out . . .

based on the clothes she is wearing and the fact that the field we went to for these shots is now a parking lot, i would say that roll of film was about 2 years old. that would have put my little peach at about 4 years old. she was 2 when i took my first photo class so she has been learning to model as i have learned to shoot.

some some the ol' archive:

awwwww! 2 years old - my baby!

time to hit the grocery.