Caring for Embroidery Pieces

You love your embroidered treasures- table linens, cloth napkins, a stitched pillow cover…. but when they start to look like they need to be freshened up, you don’t know where to begin. Stitches can be very delicate and easily snagged on other things, and you can’t just throw them in the washing machine. How do you take care of embroidered items, both new and old?

We have a step by step that will show you exactly how to take care of all your embroidered treasures! Read on for all the info.

Step 1: Assess & Treat Spots

Take a good look at the item- if there are any obvious marks, pretreat the spots with a Eucalan wipe, or add some undiluted Eucalan directly to the marks. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.

Step 2: Washing

Fill your sink, bucket, or large bowl with cool water and add one capful or one pod of Eucalan in the scent of your choice. Add as many items as will comfortably fit, and let soak for about ten minutes, lightly agitating the water. If they have some stubborn spots that have not been set with an iron already, let soak for an hour. If the fabric can handle it, gently scrub with a cloth or a soft bristled toothbrush. **Only the fabric portion, never the actual embroidery threads!**

Then remove from the water (no need to rinse with our no-rinse formula!) and gently squeeze out extra moisture. Roll the items in a towel one at a time, and then lay flat to dry away from heat or light (which  could cause shrinking or discolouration).

Step 3: Assessment- the Sequel

Take a good look at the items once they are dry. If there are still any spots, repeat the washing and pre-treating process (steps 1 and 2).

Step 4: Ironing

Once you feel that they are looking their best, iron them. Make sure the surface of your iron is clean, and use a spray bottle to spray the fabric surface to ensure a smooth finish. Adjust heat settings as necessary for moving between cotton, linen, and synthetic. Be extra careful with lace sections and embroidery. If your piece has any applique, use a light heat setting, in case the applique is made from polyester or other man-made fabrics. We recommend using a white pressing cloth to protect delicate fibres.

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Caring for Cloth Diapers

So many young families are cloth diapering their babies, and the benefits are clear- less waste and reduced costs – especially if cloth diapering another baby when the older child has outgrown them!

The tricky part of washing cloth diapers is using something that helps get the diapers clean, but is gentle enough for baby’s delicate skin, especially in such tender areas. Eucalan is gentle enough to wash all of your baby’s items – clothes, soft toys, and blankets. So it is a natural fit to wash your baby’s cloth diapers and inserts with Eucalan, too!

There are many different types of cloth diapers available, so these are general care guidelines. Experiment with what works best for you and your diapers.

Hand Wash/Sink Method (best for four or fewer diapers)

For hand washing, give a quick rinse to the diapers in the sink, then add one capful (or one pod) of Eucalan in the scent of your choice to the water. Submerge the dipaers and inserts, and let soak for ten minutes.  We recommend Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lavender or Wrapture (scented with jasmine) for their naturally-occurring antibacterial benefits, as they are made with pure essential oils. Gently agitate the water, and then drain the water. Wring out the inserts, and roll diaper covers in a towel to absorb excess water.

Washing Machine Method  (best for 5 diapers/inserts or more)

Set your washing machine to cold , and put in the dipaers and inserts. We recommend running a quick rinse cycle at the beginning of washing diapers. Then add one pod or a capful of Eucalan in the scent of your choice to the washing machine.  Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lavender or Wrapture (scented with jasmine essential oil) have naturally-occurring antibacterial benefits, and are a great choice. Run your washing machine as you normally would.

Drying

Typically we recommend you hang your delicates away from sunlight to prevent fading, but if you don’t mind the sun doing a little natural lightening on your colourful cloth diapers, feel free to hang them outside in the sunlight, or tumble dry in the dryer if your cloth diaper care instructions are fine with that too- we know sometimes you need those cloth diapers in a hurry!

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Wet Blocking Crocheted Lace: Morgana Shawl Tips

In our last blog post, we shared the stunning FREE crochet pattern from Kristin Omdahl for the Morgana Crocheted Shawl. If you haven’t picked up your free copy of the pattern yet, you can do so by signing up for our newsletter right here. The pattern will be emailed to you right away!

Kristin has put together a video that shows exactly how to wet block and finish crocheted lace, which is helpful to any crocheter, regardless of whether you are making the Morgana shawl or not.  It features Eucalan Wrapture, the jasmine-scented delicate wash we developed with Kristin herself! Check out her amazing video right here:

If you are unsure about your crochet skills, the stitches, or wet blocking crocheted lace, Kristin has a whole series of really helpful videos to walk you through every step of the Morgana Shawl.

Happy Crocheting!

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Free Crochet Pattern! Morgana Shawl

The phenomenal Kristin Omdahl has created a beautiful 3-colour crochet shawl pattern- the Morgana shawl!

This shawl features alternating stripes of light turquoise, leaf green, and lavender. The colours are perfect for spring and summer, but of course it would also look beautiful crocheted in a single colour. Perhaps your new go-to accessory this year?

It’s a free pattern for our newsletter subscribers! All you have to do to get a copy of the pattern is sign up here, and the full pattern pdf will be in your inbox really quickly.

To make a shawl just like the one shown, you’ll need a Tidbit Trio kit by Kristin Omdahl Yarns– the yarn is 100% bamboo, so very breathable and has a lovely sheen to it. There are all sorts of colour choices for the yarn, so have fun combining your favourites into something that is completely you!

Kristin is also the wonder behind Wrapture, our jasmine scented wash. Naturally, we recommend you use Wrapture for wet blocking your shawl when it’s done, as lace really looks its best once it’s been blocked. Kristin has put together videos on how to do this, as well as how to read a crochet chart and work the edging- find them all right here.

You can also read Kristin’s blog post about the shawl she designed right here!

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Wet Blocking Knits: Tips and Tricks

There are lots of different ways to block knitted and crocheted items, but they all share many similarities. Here are some fantastic ways to block your knits- and you’ll definitely pick up some new tips. We’ve been fortunate to have some great reviews and love from all sorts of crafty bloggers, and we thought it would be great to share the tips and tricks for blocking your knits that have featured Eucalan!

How to Spray Block Your Knit and Crocheted Items. The Spray technique is a great way to cut down on drying time dramatically. Read all about it here.

Top Tips for Blocking Your Knits, from the famous London Loop yarn shop. Especially great tips for blocking lace, and swatches.

3 Different Ways to Block Your Knits – knits that need to be seamed, items made in the round, and the speedy steam blocking method- all great techniques.

How to Wet Block a Sweater, from Flax & Twine. Wet blocking larger items like a sweater takes a bit of effort, and this is a great step-by-step.

Knitting Expat has a great tutorial on how she wet blocks her knits, and her towel method for removing excess water after wet blocking is a must-do.

How to wet block a hat- hats can be tricky, but this is a great tutorial. With a little bit of guidance, you can do it!

Speaking of wet blocking hats,  knitted tams have their own challenges – here’s a great tutorial on wet blocking a tam (you need a plate!)

Are there any blocking tutorials you would like to see that we haven’t covered? Let us know in the comments!

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Best Travel Tips: Round Up

Do you have any fun trips planned for this year? If you are going away for a few days or a huge trip halfway around the world for weeks on end, traveling can be stressful and challenging. But there are so many tips out there to help make it easier – easier to plan, easier to save money, and easier to pack. Read on for my top tips for making travel easier and more affordable!

Air travel is more expensive than ever before, but it is still the fastest way to get anywhere that is too far to drive. Here are some great tips on booking the cheapest airfare possible.

You’ve worked hard to earn your vacation time, so why lose a day or two at either end to jet lag, when traveling well out of your usual time zone? Here are fantastic tips for combating jet lag, so you can make the most of your arrival at your beautiful vacation spot, and don’t feel exhausted when you return home.

Travel can be expensive, even when you are doing it cheaply. The solution? Start planning, and start saving! Here is a great post of how to save up money to travel.

Then when you get wherever you are going, you might still want to travel on a budget – This post has 39 ideas on different ways to do things for free while you travel. It won’t be glamorous, but it will be exciting! Read the full post here.

Packing light is not something that comes naturally to everyone, but there are some brilliant tips out there that even the most well-traveled person might not have tried before! Here are all sorts of great ideas to minimize how much you pack, and keep your bag organized.

When packing light, minimize how many items you are bringing by considering a capsule travel wardrobe. This is a great post with ideas on how to pack fewer items, and combine them in a an almost limitless combination to feel like you have lots of outfits. Check it out here.

Once you get wherever you are going, wouldn’t it be nice if your travel photos were as good as your memories of a place? Here are some great tips on improving your travel photography.

Do you struggle with actually getting any sleep on an airplane? Me too. This post has  great tips for helping you get some rest on that next overnight flight- because after all, they are usually the cheapest! Read the post here.

If you are going to be traveling with kids at all, it’s worth really being prepared to keep them occupied, no matter what method you are traveling by. This post has more than 50 different ideas for occupying a toddler (and really, any kid!) on long trips.

Speaking of traveling with kids, we have a free download full of amazing ideas to make your family travel planning significantly less stressful- you can get it right here!

We are so passionate about travel, we also have Pinterest boards for all sorts of smart travel tipsroad trip tips, traveling with kids, travel guides for near and far, and even a big board just on Paris!

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How to Wash a Wool Blanket

Did you know that wool can last  more than 20 years, provided it is well cared-for? The classic wool blanket is a winter staple for any home, but at this point in the year, yours probably needs a little TLC.  There’s no need for an expensive trip to the dry cleaners: you can wash your blanket safely and easily by using Eucalan in the washing machine! Today, we’ll show you how to wash an organic wool blanket from Shepherd’s Lamb, a working family ranch located in New Mexico whose flock provides the fleece for their heirloom-quality woven blankets.

Lanolin is a naturally-occurring waxy substance which coats a sheep’s fleece, which is often removed when processing the fibres. The lanolin in our no-rinse formula naturally conditions wool fibres to keep them supple while also reducing static.  We recommend our Eucalyptus or Lavender scents, which are both scented with essential oils that are naturally antiseptic and moth-repellent.

Before washing your blanket, it’s important to remove soils and stains as soon as possible, either by pre-treating with a Stain Treating Towelette or spot treating with full-strength Eucalan  where needed.

Then, follow the instructions below for the type of washing machine you have:

Top Loading Machine:

  • Set your washing machine to delicates.
  • Fill drum with cool water.
  • Add 4 Tbsp Eucalan for a large blanket.
  • Submerse blanket and run through gentle/handwash cycle (tip: try adding a few towels to balance out the load!).
  • Hang blanket to dry thoroughly.

Front Loading Machine:

  • Place blanket in drum.
  • Set to delicate cycle with cool water.
  • Add 4 Tbsp Eucalan to detergent compartment in drawer.
  • Run cycle.
  • Hang blanket to dry thoroughly.

We recommend washing your blankets a few times throughout the winter, and also before packing them away for the season. Do not pack away a damp blanket – make sure it is fully dry before storing, and be sure to use air-tight containers to keep out unwanted pests, and when you unpack them from storage, always examine your blankets for small holes which can be a sign of moths (click here for tips on dealing with these unwanted pests).

With proper care, you’ll enjoy the warmth and durability of your wool blanket for years to come!

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Valentine’s Recipe Ideas – Round Up!

There are so many fun ways to inject a bit of love into food around this time of year, even if you aren’t really big on Valentine’s Day. There’s something a little magical about expressing love to our family and friends – and seeing happy little hearts is always cheery! Here are my top picks for fun Valentine’s themed recipe ideas:

Heart Shaped Pop Tarts

Does someone you care about love pop tarts? Why not make them these amazing heart shaped ones at home- they taste so much better than the boxed variety, and they are so pretty! The recipe can be found right here.

Rainbow Heart Mini Oreos

If you aren’t much for baking, this is a much easier idea – piping little hearts onto mini Oreos! This is super easy, done with candy melts in the colours of your choice. or you could use royal icing if you prefer! The best part? The hearts don’t have to be perfect. Details and how to are on the original post, here.

Valetine’s Day Icing Palette

If you are doing some icing decorating on your Valetine’s treats, why not consider a colour palette that is fresh and has a bit of a twist on the typical colours? There are great ideas from a real icing master right here, be sure to check it out.

Bacon Hearts

Not everyone has a sweet tooth- but a lot of people love bacon! If you have some bacon lovers in your life, how about making them some heart shaped bacon? It’s easier than you think – and if you don’t have a non stick oven sheet, put down some parchment paper instead, so the hearts don’t stick to the pan. Full details and how-to can be found here.

Bouquet of Bacon Roses

And if you thought bacon hearts were a good idea but you really wanted a showstopper for your special someone, how about bacon roses?  Talk about an unforgettable Valentine’s Day gift for the bacon lover in your life! Full step by step is here.

Sweet & Salty Valentine’s Fudge

With only 5 ingredients, this comes together so easily, and is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to pick between something sweet and something salty. Find the recipe here.

Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes

If you are making a special dinner at home, this would be a perfect dessert – individual raspberry cheesecakes, in little mason jars (or ramekins!). What’s even better is this recipe only makes 4 servings, so it’s perfect for a small group – or for seconds the next day! Recipe is here.

Drunken Strawberries

These drunken strawberries are so delicious, and definitely the naughtiest of the recipe ideas! Soaked in rosé, frozen, and rolled in sugar, these are a wonderful treat but oh-so-easy to make. Full post can be found here.

Valentine’s Day English Muffin Breakfast

A final savoury idea- cooking eggs in a heart shape! One heart shaped cookie cutter is all you need to either make the whole egg heart shaped, or just the yoke- put the cookie cutter around the yoke, then break the yoke with a fork for it to fill the shape. Find the how-to right here.

Which treat are you most likely to make? Something sweet or savoury? Do you have any go-to Valentine’s themed recipes to share?

We have a Pinterest board full of great recipes and other Valentine’s ideas – check it out here!

 

Galentine’s Gatherings: How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Your Friends

Galentine’s is the fun, modern way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your female friends and take the focus off romantic relationships. Celebrating Galentine’s is a brilliant way to  honour your friendships and make the season a lot more fun and relaxing. This is especially true if you are single, but even if you are coupled up you just might find that your Galentine’s gatherings are far more fun than any romantic night out! Scroll down for our top ideas on celebrating your friendships with a Galentine’s night in.

Galentine’s Tea Party

On the weekend closest to Valentine’s Day, host a Galentine’s tea party! Focus on lots of pink and red foods, like strawberries and jams, and use the prettiest plates and glasses you can find- suggest your friends all bring whatever special occasion serving dishes they have that fit the theme, and celebrate in high style! See more details here.

Spa Night

Have everyone bring some ingredients for a few DIY spa recipes, different shades of nail polish, and host a pampering night in! You can even have everyone contribute a beauty product or skin care item to swap, too. Focusing on healthy drinks and snacks keep the self-care theme strong. There are lots of great ideas to be found here.

‘Chick Flick’ Movie Night

Grab some popcorn, wine, and some cozy blankets for a lighthearted movie night! You can vote on your top picks prior to the event, or make a game time decision when everyone arrives and you look over the choices. See more ideas on a chick flick movie night (and some top film choices!) here.

Craft Night

Pick a project in advance (or choose a couple different ideas if your group has a range of crafting strengths) and have everyone bring a few materials for the projects, and whip up something amazing with your girlfriends. And don’t worry if it ends up bring a crafting fail – sometimes it’s even funnier when a crafting project doesn’t work out, and you can laugh about it together! See more details here.

Pancakes & Pyjama Party

Who says pyjamas and pancakes are only for weekends? Have a low key night in with your girlfriends by encouraging everyone to come in their pyjamas and then serve up lots of pancakes and fresh fruit (or you can do it on the weekend for a brunch, there are no rules!). Maybe combine it with the chick flick movie night? And if your group has the time, by all means turn it into a sleepover! Check out more of this idea here.

Chocolate Tasting Party

For the ultimate indulgence, host a chocolate tasting party! Have everyone bring different types of chocolate, and experiment with different pairings and find a new favourite. There’s a whole world of chocolate out there- why not find something new with your friends? Find more details on this idea here.

Looking for more fun girls night and Galentine’s ideas? We have a Pinterest board full of them right here! Be sure to follow.

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How to Care for Your Sports Bras

Depending on how frequently you work out and how many sports bras you have, your sports bras will need to be replaced every 1-2 years. But with proper care, you can help extend the life and shape of your sports bras to maximize their performance and ensure they last as long as possible.

It’s best to have a few  that you can rotate through, as they need to be washed after each wear and the more sports bras you have, the less wear and tear on any one bra. We also recommend using a natural detergent like Eucalan, as harsh chemicals can have adverse effects on technical fibres and cause faster deterioration.

You will know it’s time to replace your sports bras if:

  • Your weight has changed by more than 5 pounds
  • The fabric no longer feels as snug and supportive as it did when it was new
  • It is moving around too much when you are working out

Considering how expensive sports bras can be, you will want to do everything possible to take good care of them. Here’s the best way to wash your sports bra to ensure it will stay like new for as long as possible!

Important! No matter which way you choose to wash your sports bras, always wash them after each wear to remove sweat and odours.

Hand Wash/Sink Method

For hand washing, add one capful (or one pod) of Eucalan in the scent of your choice to the water. Submerge your sports bra (or bras), and let soak for ten minutes.  We recommend Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lavender or Wrapture (scented with jasmine) for their naturally-occurring antibacterial benefits, as they are made with pure essential oils. Gently agitate the water, and then drain the water. Don’t wring the fabric, gently roll the sports bras in a towel to help absorb the excess water, and lay flat to dry away from heat and direct sunlight.

Washing Machine Method

Set your washing machine to cold – hot water can contribute to fabrics shrinking, and speed up the breakdown of technical fibres like spandex!  If your sports bras have small straps on them, use a mesh lingerie bag to prevent the straps from getting tangled or caught in the machine. Add one pod or a capful of Eucalan in the scent of your choice to the washing machine.  Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lavender or Wrapture (scented with jasmine essential oil) have naturally-occurring antibacterial benefits, and are a great choice. When the spin cycle is complete, lay your sports bras flat to dry away from heat and direct sunlight.

P.S. – If it’s been a while since you last cleaned your yoga mat, we have a post showing  just how to do that, too!

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