Five Green Acres Mary Jo + Andrew Borchardt Poynette, WI
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Still tapping Super-Human reserves…

Still tapping Super-Human reserves…
March 31, 2009 Mary Jo

Oh, where do I start?  I’ve been so busy making.  And making and making and making.  This urge to sew has consumed me, almost entirely, leaving me no choice but to Make my way out.  So that’s exactly what I’ve been doing, embracing the mysterious, almost-primal force that is this baby’s gift to me.

Flannel baby wipes.  We use cloth diapers, very happily, and it follows to also use cloth wipes.  (In my humble opinion, there is nothing nicer for a sweet little butt than warm flannel wipes soaking in this.)  We did the same for Isadora, of course, but those wipes are now in the cleaning rag bin, necessitating a fresh batch for the sweet butt soon to emerge.  This project loomed over me for some time, hulking in its importance and urgency, but requiring that I get reacquainted with my serger.  For those of you not familiar with sergers, I’ll just say that they are big, scary, fancy sewing machines with two needles and four big cones of thread to do specialized sewing tricks.  They are finicky, unpredictable, mysterious in their operations, at least in my experience.  And temperamental.  But, much like a wild horse that has been broken, gaining a mastery over her will open up previously-unimagined horizons and will take you there with deftness and great speed.  So I sat down, communed with my own serger, rethreaded her, did a mysterious chant with crossed fingers and a hearty dose of optimism and fired her up.  Success!  Wipes are done.  And then I promptly broke my needle, so the serger has retired to the corral to be rethreaded at a later date.

Most definitely NOT urgent was this project that I just had to whip out to satisfy the Instant-Gratification Genie that sometimes pops up and demands results.  Isadora and I found this pillow on a thrifting adventure and it shouted, “Book Bag!” so I had no choice but to fufill the request.  It sat on my cutting table amidst the other, more legitimate pre-baby projects and I just couldn’t take the whining from it any longer, so it jumped to the front of the line with glee.

Whew.  “Good riddance,” muttered the other queued projects in my studio, as it left on the shoulders of Isadora, off to be filled with random, colorful things.

Oh!  Remember this, from the other day?

Here’s what was inside:

It’s a Mei Tai, a pouch-like baby carrier that is greatly esteemed in our house.  It ties around the waist and over the shoulders and can comfortably hold a baby or toddler leaving your hands free to do anything you wish.  We love our own mei tai and I’ve assumed a sort of missionary status in promoting them to others.  This was made from an Ikea pillow cover that I’d been saving just for this purpose.  The blooms are felted wool circles and the straps are made from a roll of upholstery fabric I was bequeathed recently.

Let’s now venture over to the rocking chair.  I had great intentions of sewing a new cover for the cushion that came with the chair, so I threw it in the washer to get all the dusties out and make it ready to go for that time in the future when I’d tackle the project.  I had not planned on that time coming so urgently, but it emerged from the washer and drier in shambles and fluffed to about 10 times its pre-washed size.  All of the cushy stuffing that had laid so nicely was now fluffed and balled up and freaking out, creating a big, big problem.  Rocking is an important part of my day.  I foresee it to be an important coping strategy while in early labor.  Damn.  With a new sense of urgency and panic, I hit the fabric store to figure out a plan for making a new cushion.  I returned with some foam and quilt batting and used a beautiful thrifted coverlet for the new covering, stapling it all to the underside of the base.  It’s lovely and looks great in the kitchen, but this Princess can detect a pea under there, or at least the hard, unyielding wooden base.  It will definitely need more robust cushioning, but at a later date, please.  For now, this will suffice; I’m running out of steam.

Back to the subject of sweet little baby butts…

Our little baby’s butt will need some salve to keep it so sweet and soft and protected, so clearly a balm-making session was in order.  We are big, big fans of LuSa Organic’s Booty Balm and used it judiciously on Isadora’s own sweet butt.  Of course we still are big, big fans of the Booty Balm, but I’ve since gained a chest full of herbs and oils and know-how.  Mix that with this stubborn dictum to Make it Myself and a prevailing Nesting wind and the outcome is a lovely salve of my own hand, sure to keep the most stubborn of rashes at bay.  Should you have your own baby butt to protect, do run out now to LuSa’s beautiful website and check out the other delights.  We’ll be replenishing our Wipe Juice just as soon as it runs out.

And that shall conclude our tour for today.  Not because it encompasses all that I have recently made, but because it is all I have the energy to report on right now.  And likely all you have the energy to read about right now.  Tomorrow, I’ll unveil my crowning achievement, the most ambitious, off-the-cuff, no-pattern sewing project I’ve ever tackled (and conquered) to date.  Ooh – aren’t you excited???

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