Product Testing

So did I mention that my baby spits up?  There are many words for this: burp, spit, spit up, puke… you get the idea.  Whichever name you like, it is a total mess.  As a mother of three, with two kids who didn’t spit, I didn’t understand this element of parenting.  It is part preparedness and part spontaneity at all times.  You learn the signs and you learn the best way to hold the baby, as well as where every type of towel resides all over the house.

In addition, you learn the value of a burp cloth.  I had been given burp cloths with the other children and found other uses for them… rag for wiping down counter, lovey, face wiper after spaghetti, but never spit up.  Now I get it.  Now I am a pro.  Now I know burp cloths and understand the merits of what makes one good and what makes one great.  There are many burp cloths out there.  From plain old dish rags to embellished treasures, I believe the magic lies somewhere in between.  Having a background in clothing production, I am a self-proclaimed stickler for details.  I notice the small things and there is a part of me that is always ready to give my feedback:

  1. Absorbency is paramount: I believe that cloth diapers reign supreme in this category.  Most other cloths allow the spit to just slide right off.
  2. Style details: The importance of this has to do with the fact that it will be your primary accessory for quite a long time (the doctor tells me 12 months is totally possible – yikes).  This is your chance to add that splash of color that you might not feel bold enough to wear on your own!  Go for it.
  3. Attractive from both sides: Sometimes its important to be able to flip the thing over or find another corner.  You get my drift.  Life moves fast, you’ve gotta be ready for anything.

Through months of daily product testing and market research, I’ve found that there might be some room for improvement in the category of burp cloth.  I’ve come up with a solution that incorporates my love of style and cool fabrics with the function of a truly absorbent (read: boring) diaper.  I have been having fun experimenting with this and have been so inspired by the incredibly fun fabrics from a local business, Drygoods Design in Ballard, WA.  (Check out this site if you have a hankering for some great fabric:  I’ve come up with some winners and we are getting plenty of use out of each and every one I crank out.  If you come over for dinner sometime,  feel free to hold the baby ~ we’ll arm you appropriately…

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Singer Brilliance


My fingers feel itchy.  As a mother of three children under five, this is a bit unexpected.  It is not as though my hands stay idle for long – there is always something to attend to.  But this is different.  This is the desire to work on a project that allows for completion.  I have noticed as a mom, it can be wonderfully satisfying to dive into something, other than dishes or diapers, that has a beginning, a middle and, thankfully, an end.

Over the last year, this quest to find something to quell the itch in my fingers has covered a number of areas, from learning to preserve foods through pickling and canning to my newest endeavor, sewing.  It is not that I am trying to win the star of Molly Homemaker, but rather, I see that these types of projects have a timelessness.  They have been around for ages and are activities that our mothers’ mothers had available to them as well.  Moments in time that are both productive as well as soul satisfying.

About a month ago I broke open the box of my new Singer sewing machine.  It had stood in the corner of our house for about a year and a half silently mocking me, or possibly just waiting for the right time to be discovered.  This was something I bought myself at Costco, on a whim, for Christmas; on some level knowing that there would be a time when I would find space (in house and head) for this new craft.  My intention was that I would teach myself to sew and that I would love it.  During my pregnancy, in addition to getting the nursery ready, the area of house that we chose to “nest” was the creation of a laundry / project room.  I consider this new space my office and am so excited to have it.  My tendency to leave projects rolling (read: messy) is something that can drive my husband crazy, so I believe that the evolution of this room was for his well being  as well as mine.

It is amazing to me how sometimes things just come together and work.  My little Singer and I are getting to know one another in my new room and are developing a beautiful relationship.  I do love it.  Sometimes I can only turn it on for a moment or two before there is a wailing cry from another room, but even that is enough to feed my soul… for now.

Now, onto a new project to help these itchy fingers!