It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Craftiness, Day 3

I now have my storage bags. Another thing I’ve wanted for some time is bibs. I had a set for a while — freebies from Huggies — that I loved, but eventually they were just plain used to death. Since then I’ve found it remarkably difficult to find a set of bibs that do the job as well.

I bought half-a-dozen from IKEA a year or so ago. I checked the website so I could show them to you… and they don’t seem to be selling them any more. Good marketing decision, IKEA! They’re some form of plastic (good! wipe clean and saturation-proof!). They attach with velcro at the neck … weak, insipid velcro that FALLS off, people. Just … falls right open. Doesn’t even require a child to tug at it. Moreover, they’re too big round the neck. Even when the bib stays put, which is not often, the children still stain the necks of their shirts.

Pointless, really. An anti-bib.

Next I tried some of those molded plastic ones with the trough at the bottom. Equally wipe-clean-able, and saturation-proof. The closure at the neck was better (though still not flawless – a child could tug it off, but at least they didn’t FALL off), and they fit properly at the neck. Problem is, those plastic troughs don’t fit in behind a high chair tray. They’d work in a booster seat at the table, but in my high chairs the child ends up squashed at the belly and/or has the top edge of the bib digging into her pudgy little neck.

Boo.

So. Bibs have been a problem for a while. But, hey! I have time — I’m on holiday! I have space — my very own Craft Room!!! AND, I have fabric! Lots of that Value Village denim still left over.

But of course, these are fabric bibs. Fabric doesn’t just wipe clean, and it will saturate. Thus, I’ll need to line them: two layers are better than one. Something with a nap, something absorptive. I thought of towelling, but I didn’t have enough. Once again, I trawl my fabric stash, and… oh, isn’t that so cute?

The kitty-cat lining is flannel. Perfect. Not quite as good as terry-cloth, perhaps, but decently absorptive. Once upon a time, that fabric was a set of sheets. Then they became a duvet cover, and THEN they were curtains. Now they are bibs. Really cute bibs.

I am the queen of fabric recycling.

And, because I won’t be able to wipe them clean, and will probably never be able to use them twice in a row, I’ll need to make enough so that I can have a set in the laundry while I have a set in use. They attach with a press-fastener (aka ‘snaps’). If these prove to be inadequate to the tugs of a toddler, I will attach ribbons for tying.

Oh, they’re just so gosh-darn CUTE! I can hardly wait to see the tots in them!

September 1, 2010 Posted by | crafts | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

My frugal heart

I bought these for the older kids. An excellent activity for those who no longer need naps, but who are NOT allowed to disturb Mary during that precious afternoon quiet time.

The problem is, they’re a use-once, throw-away sort of book. It’s not the expense of this that bothers me most — though that does bother me! It’s the WASTE. Hate that. I am an eco-friendly sort primarily because I loathe waste. Buy an entire book so that your kid can roar through it in half an hour and toss it? I think not.

Besides, in your average family, you have toddlers around for what? Four or five years, depending on the number of children and their spacing? I have had toddlers around for twenty-two years now… I can’t conceive of the heap of paper I’d have tossed, buying individual books for that many children over that many years.

OFFENSIVE, people! This is OFFENSIVE!

But these are useful books, Educational, even. Parents love to see them scattered about, and heck, they may even teach the children the odd skill.

Sooo…

You slice out each page with a craft knife, and then slip each one into a page-protector. (I’m not normally a big fan of those things, either, but in this case I’ll make an exception. In the balancing of relative evils, plastic, used once for a long time, trumps paper used once and tossed, to be replaced by more, and then more, and then more paper, all to be used once then tossed. Perhaps I’m deluding myself, but such is my reasoning.)

You put your page protectors into a small binder, and provide the child with a dry-erase marker and a tissue. (For dry-erasing.) You would be wise to peek in at said child once in a while, lest you be requiring cleansing doses of Purell after too long a period of suspiciously quiet play. (Though why should I be suspicious of quiet play when quiet play was precisely what they were instructed to do? One of the conundrums of my profession…)

Ta-dah! Hours of fun. Emily has completed the entire tracing book every single day for a week. When she tires of it, William will have a go. A few years back, Darcy and George loved these books to bits, and maybe next year it’ll be Tyler and Noah. These two books are now six years old. SIX YEARS OF CONSTANT USE from what was designed to be a throw-away book.

Aaahhh… Warms my frugal heart, it does.

November 25, 2009 Posted by | books, crafts | , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments