The Love of Natural Products: Part 2





Welcome back to the “Part 2” of this topic!  This is fun for me to talk about because I not only use them, I make them!

Enter: “Natural Dryer Sheets”.  These beauties can be made from any fabric you like and any scent you like.   I like simple, vintage looking fabrics along with the smell of lavender.

These little guys look like a little closed pouch, and are filled with scented material.  They are yet another alternative to chemical ridden commercial sheets.  We already know the result of using the commercial sheets, so these are the better option, in my opinion. Another win-win as they not only save money, but they work with the heat of the dryer to make your laundry smell so good!

Simply toss your laundry into the dryer, toss in 2 of these “sheets”, start the dryer and when the cycle is complete, enjoy the great smell that is being emitted from your clothing.

I not only use them, but I also sell these in my Etsy shop.  (

If you use these, let me know how you like them!

Life is simple:  eat, sleep, handmade

~The Gingham Bow


The Love of Natural Products: Part 1

I like things natural.  I like things that I don’t have to spend a lot of money on, but still get the job done…..correctly.

This brings me to wool dryer balls.  They are natural, good to my dryer, and aren’t all that expensive to make.  They are better for your dryer than commercial dryer sheets and they are reusable cycle after cycle.  They are also known as  (“Natural Fabric Softener”)

Natural:  they are these cute little balls that are made from wool.

Safe for my dryer:  they don’t leave a residue on fabrics, and they don’t leave a residue on the walls of the dryer.

Frugal:  They are not that expensive to purchase (On a lot of etsy shops) and they are even cheaper to make yourself.  You can reuse these bad boys cycle after cycle.

All of the above mentioned make it a total win-win for me!  They also seem to cut the drying time of the cycle, as the wool absorbs the moisture in the fabrics that are being dried.  I love going as natural as possible.    I don’t like using products that are full of chemicals and the residue those commercial sheets leave on fabrics is disgusting.

They are super easy to make, also.  If you have some wool, (not a wool blend, a pure wool) an old pair of pantyhose, and some hot water and a dryer…you are good to go!

I have linked an article written by Dolly from The Hibiscus House.  She wrote a wonderful post about these little balls of magic.

She has other great articles on her page as well.

Life is simple:  eat, sleep, handmade

~The Gingham Bow

The good ole iron

First off, I apologize for not posting since the middle of March.  Between nasty colds and being preoccupied with school things for the kids and other day to day things happening, I haven’t had much time to sit and write, let alone much of anything else getting done.

Onto my post:

Today I was ironing.  Yes, I still do that.  In fact, I quite enjoy the task of ironing.  Seeing things wrinkled or not pressed to perfection, then taking this hot thing and moving it across the fabric and seeing instant smoothness and pressed lines, makes me very happy.

old iron image(This is not me nor is it my iron…which I’m sure no one thought it was,  but it is just a pretty darned cool pic)

Back to the reason why I’m mentioning the ironing part.  I was standing there, ironing away, and the thought came to me!  Talk about ironing!  Well, not ironing because that can be pretty boring, but ironing water!  (Hey, you take your moments of inspiration from wherever they may come from!)

I use ironing water to scent the things I am ironing.  Ironing water is that lovely stuff that scents things as you iron and makes the items smell nice and fresh.  However, there are a couple of issues I have.  Most commercial ironing water is not only not cheap, but it is full of chemicals.  Yuck!  I’m not a chemical kinda girl.  I try and avoid those as much as I can and I’m not going to pay for a bottle full of chemicals that are bad for you.  Solution: Make your own!!!!  The internet is loaded with “recipes” for this, but I will share mine.  It is so easy, you’ll want an EXCUSE to start ironing.  (Maybe not, but I’m trying to inspire some people if need be).

You’ll need:

essential oil of your choice  (be careful of certain oils, ie., orange, as it can possibly stain clothing)

glass spray bottle  (plastic breaks down over time due to the essential oils, but if you’re planning on dumping the remaining water, I’m sure you can use it)

water (preferably distilled or filtered)

Fill your spray bottle with water.  Add approx. 10-15 drops essential oil of choice and shake.  Shake before using and spray on the item to be ironed.  I do section by section of the part I am ironing of the time.

Happy ironing!

Life is simple:  eat, sleep, handmade

~The Gingham Bow

Thought for Today

I was online earlier and I saw a quote that someone had attached to their signature.  “Do not educate your children to be rich.  Educate them to be happy. So when they grow up, they will know the value of things, not the price.”  I have no idea who first said this, but it makes wonderful sense to me.

I’m trying so hard to raise my children to be decent people.  Who isn’t though, right?  This quote really hit home today for some reason.  It stood out to me.  It stood out to me so much, that I printed it and put it up on my fridge.  It will serve as a reminder to anyone who opens the fridge that it isn’t about how much money you make, who has what as far as material things, who has the most expensive “toys”,  this comes down to what kind of a human being you are.  How you are as a person.  You don’t need material things in life to be happy.  Value what you have.  Value happiness.  Value love.  Value the important things in life.  Having a lot of money or the most expensive items does not make one person better than the other.


I’m thinking about doing a post a week about quotes that I find interesting.  Let me know what you think.  Comment or email me!

Life is simple:  eat, sleep, handmade

~The Gingham Bow


Paper Flowers

I’m a knitter, crocheter, and I sew.  If I’m making something “girly”, I like to embellish it. Usually, I make a flower to go with it and attach it to the finished piece.  To me, it makes the item look “complete”, all while dressing it up a bit.

I’m planning on making some paper flowers as well.  Same concept as the fabric/yarn ones, just want to use paper to make them, frame them, and use them as wall decorations.

While on the internet the other evening, I came across a post from Victoria over at  Her tutorial explains how to make the roses. I’ll admit I’m better at fabric and yarn crafting rather than paper crafting, but this tutorial makes it look easy to do, along with making a simple, yet fabulous flower.

If you are interested in paper roses, this is the tutorial to look at.  The link is:

Life is simple:  eat, sleep, handmade

~The Gingham Bow


Getting Ideas

There are a few blogs that I subscribe to and read.  I like to get ideas, inspiration, and learn hints and tips I may otherwise not know.  I have several that I like.  I like the DIY ones, simple living, and cooking ones.

One blog that I’ve been following for quite some time is Oakhill Homestead.  The owner of the blog is Kathi and she pens oodles in information!

I subscribe to her blog, so of course I get alerted whenever she writes a new post.  One post in particular that grabbed my attention was her post on “Five Food You Should Make At Home.”  The link to this wonderful post is here:

In this post, she describes how by making these 5 items, you will not only save money, (win-win) but be healthier in the process.  (Double win-win!!)  I know I try and do both.  I enjoy making things from scratch.  Not only do I save the money, but I feel better that I’m feeding my family foods that aren’t laced with preservatives and chemicals.  One day, take the time to read some of the ingredient labels…oh boy!  There are ingredients I can’t even pronounce, let alone know what they are even for!

Kathi has graciously allowed me to mention her blog on mine.  I strongly urge you to read it, follow it, and try some of her ideas and recipes.  HINT– try the pancakes from scratch…fluffy and yummy!!!

Her blog is:  Once you get reading it, you’ll find yourself checking out her other posts.

Life is simple:  eat, sleep, handmade

~The Gingham Bow