Where Did I Put My Instruction Book?

Posted by organicneedle in blogtastic, Etsy, organicneedle, organicneedle bags

Ahhh…back after a lovely little vacation…and back to my 1/3 life crisis. Here is the poop. I’m not sure what to do with the Organic Needle…or anything else for that matter. I had/have some ideas for bags that I really liked…still like. Cool little ways to create something meaningful and sustainable. Started blogging about it and various other stuff floating about in my head… and a year and a half later…here I am. Now what?

I love designing new bags and bringing them from brain…to paper…to organic cloth. Seeing something wasteful and figuring out how to make it sustainable through a reusable item gives me goose bumps…little nerdy goose bumps. It feels a little like birthing something…only with a lot fewer F bombs…okay… slightly fewer F bombs. The fact that other people like them too has been really cool.

And I love writing. It clears my little head…organizes my thoughts witch tend to be like popcorn kernels coming out of an air popper if left unattended. Plus…I love connecting with other people who have similar interests if not zip codes. So the blog part of Organic Needle has really been a terrific added bonus…for me…maybe not so much for the poor people who read me.

But…here is the major poop in the road. In order for Organic Needle to become the next THING…I would need to hire sewers, contract out to a small scale manufacturer, advertise, travel, become incorporated…etc. etc. etc. And that part brings me no joy. Not an ounce. And frankly…I am a tad bit of a control freak..just a smidge… and the bigger a business gets…the less control you really have over the end product. So where do I go from here? You might say…well Needle …why not just leave it as it is? I could. But deep down in my little soul…I am a bit of a Lisa Simpson. I function better with a plan…a very detailed…moving forward…very type A plan. The idea of having a business that isn’t on a path to the next stage bothers me. This indecision is combined with having to decide on a pile of other paths surrounding me. Will I go back to PS teaching? Move on to college level teaching? Finish my PHD? Move into real estate…(don’t ask)? Freelance? Become a professional speed bump? I still have 2 more years home with my little guy…so I have time…time to freak myself out about having no plan. And…yes…I am grateful to have the problem of too many enjoyable options in my future…I am too well aware of what a gift of a problem it is. But the not knowing what my next step and the 20 after that are bugs the bajeebies out of me and makes me restless…which makes me not enjoy the present as much as I should. And I am all about me enjoying me. So I either need some serious Valium, a personality transplant, or to do some soul searching and figure out what exactly I plan to do…which path to ungracefully charge down.

So…if I am not here as often as I should be I am just off looking for my map. Or I have accidentally sewn myself into something and you should be calling for help.



Soap Saver Bag and Scrubbie Cloths Results In!!!!!

Posted by organicneedle in Etsy, organic cotton, organicneedle, organicneedle bags

My guinea pigs are the best! guniea pigFirst I shale brief the newcomers on what the hairy heck I’m talking about.  A few weeks ago I put out the call to get a few readers to help me out with new Organic Needle designs. (Whenever I have a new idea I force readers to play along.) So for this guinea pig round I sent out my new organic cotton soap saver/body scrubbie bag and my organic cotton mesh scrubbie washcloths. Gave my test piggies a few weeks to get nice and dirty and try them out and anxiously awaited their feedback.

And here it is…..
Organic Cotton Mesh Soap Saver Bag/Scrubbie Review Highlights (Thanks Beth & Carol for Testing!)
OK…results here were pretty consistent with my own findings which is always a plus. The cotton mesh got good reviews for having a decent amount of exfoliation without being too abrasive. Both reviewers and I found it to be a practical and easy solution for where to put soap shards. The major complaint from the testers and myself…the bag was too big. “I would probably vote for the same width, but almost 50% shorter. The drawstring is also kind of long. I felt weird rubbing this long rope on my body, so I wrapped it around the neck of the bag a couple of times until it was just long enough to hang when not in use.” Fortunately…this is a very easy design fix and one I intend to implement. The original bag was 4×61/2. The new design is 4×5. I want to make sure it is still long enough to hold a regular bar of soap if someone chose to put in a fresh bar. One tester loved the texture of the material for all over body washing, but found it didn’t always rinse out completely. Tough to change this since it is due to the porous nature of the material…which is also what provides the lovely exfoliation. Overall…I am very pleased with the results. “I’ve been looking for a good solution to the soap shard dilemma for a long time, and this is the best so far.” Can’t complain about that.

Organic Cotton Mesh Washcloth (Thanks Heather and Cat!)
Reviewer #1:
Overall, I love this! The size is good and I like that it held up to machine washing/drying. I think this is perfect for light exfoliation and I use it on my face every day. I have sensitive dry-to-normal skin and I liked that it was gentle enough to not irritate my skin, but I still felt like it got dead skin cells and makeup off.

I wouldn’t recommend this for heavier exfoliation as there’s not enough scrub in it but it was also great for light exfoliation on my arms and shoulders too.

The only improvement I would suggest would be to maybe add a hanging loop to one corner. I tend to use this in the shower and I wanted to be able to hang it more securely (draping it over my shower caddy sometimes resulted in it falling down before it was dry).Hmmmm….a hangy loop…interesting..this could happen. I think I will present it as an option.

Reviewer #2:
“Actually, what I used it most for was to take my eye makeup off. When I use a normal washcloth, the cloth absorbs too much of the baby oil and I end up having to use tons of baby oil to get my makeup off. Your cloth worked just perfectly though i had to be gentle. 🙂

When I washed it, the makeup didn’t come out though. I’m still trying to figure out what to soak it in to see if I can clean the cloth up. Not that it matters too much to me (who else sees it anyway), but it might to others.

Overall, I like it!” I’m not sure about the cleaning out of baby oil. Anyone out there have a solution for this?

And me:
I have to say…I LOVE my new washcloths, if I do say so myself. I find them to be the perfect amount of scrub for daily washing.

Once again…THANK YOU TESTERS. You have no idea how helpful it is to get such quality feedback before I market things. I can’t wait to put the changes into place and get things up on Etsy. And for the rest of you…don’t fret…I will always have half-baked design ideas that need testing. You will all get a chance to be my little piggies eventually.

*Photos to follow after the new changes have been made!*



On Your Mark, Get Set………Wash Yourselves Silly!!!!!!!!!

Posted by organicneedle in Etsy, organicneedle, organicneedle bags, organics, projects, sewing

By random drawing, test piggies winners have been chosen. I will be sending out my goods this weekend. I drew for the bag first and then with the leftover names drew for the cloths.   Beth and CT will be bagging their soap shards and Heather & Cat will be sloughing away their winter layers with the cloths. In about 2 weeks they will all report back and let us all know if they survived the experimentation.

I have been using my soap bag for about 2 weeks so far…and I’m digging it.  The washcloth is also a big hit for me, but I am very curious to hear everyone’s thoughts.

So ladies…go enjoy yourselves a nice relaxing bath and get to work!!!!monkey in tub



More Needle in the Shower

Posted by organicneedle in Etsy, organic cotton, organicneedle, projects, sewing

Need to slough off that layer of winter skin? Well…while trying out my soap bag I discovered something…..the organic cotton mesh makes a nice sorta loofah-like washcloth.  Hmmmmm.  I will be making myself a few cloths and perhaps adding them to the Etsy collection. Anyone interested in trying one out? You know my give-away rules. Leave a comment and be prepared to wash and tell.  I’ll be sewing up two extra for the daring & exfoliant deprived.



Etsy Lets You Go Local

Posted by organicneedle in Etsy

etsyThose of you who shop Etsy may already know that they have a great shop local option, but since someone asked about it last post I thought it might be worth highlighting.  Go to their home page, click Buy, and a list of options shows up.  Shop Local is the 5th option down.  Click and away you go.  So now you can support small business, support the material use you want, and keep those carbon feet as tiny as possible.  So have yourself a nice little spree without the guilt.



Burt’s Bees Soap Review: Radiance Exfoliating Body Bar with Royal Jelly & Milk and Shea Butter Body Bar

Posted by organicneedle in Etsy, product review

In the past I have told you about our love of the Burt man in the shower.  We use the Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar and were using the Peppermint Shower Bar.  Let’s just say it was all getting a little heavy on the mint around here.  So I started trying some of Burt’s lighter scented soaps.

This one has a really nice light smell, not at all overwhelming and leaved the body feeling very clean and refreshed.  No filminess to it at all.  I did wash my face with it and found it a bit strong and irritating.  All the ingredients are natural but this one has a huge list of plant extracts in it, one of which my face didn’t like.  If you have very sensitive skin or plant allergies, this may not be for you.  Overall I really like it as a body bar and will order it again.

Naturally Nourishing Milk & Shea Butter Body Bar

I really liked this one too.  The scent is so light and soft.  It is ultra creamy, making it good for the body but, again, best left off the face.  Another plus to this one is that it only has 5 ingredients.  Just 5.  I will definitely order this one again too.

Packaging:  Excellent.  Both come in paperboard boxes made with 80% recycled content and are recyclable.  Neither came with any plastic shrink wrapping on the soap or the box.  They are available in 2 packs, saves a little bit more on the packaging.

Price: Okay.  $4.29 for a 4oz bar or $8.49 for 2 bars.  Not insane…not cheap.

As far as the whole local thing…I have been cruising Etsy for a local soap maker, but have yet to find one that makes soaps I want.  (Yes…Etsy does let you shop locally!)  When the weather improves I will cruise the open markets and hopefully make a connection.  For now…while the words witch and tit are in the daily forcast, I shall be ordering my body scrubbies from good ol’ Drugstore.



Last Minute Sewing Projects

Posted by organicneedle in Etsy, handmade holidays, organic cotton, organicneedle

I’m thinking Harmony fabric scarves people. Harmony makes the most beautiful organic cottons you can imagine…cotton art. I had better stop typing and get my sweet fanny in gear if they will be ready for the holidays. Do you think Santa will put off x-mas for a week or two if I ask really nicely…or promise to never threaten to kick him in the nards again?santa



What can I say?

Posted by organicneedle in Etsy, handmade holidays, organicneedle, organicneedle bags, organics, sewing, tea/tea bag


Yes…I was meaning to spend this week giving you more glorious examples of much better and more artistic things to buy this holiday season than the ol’ Walmart crap, but what can I say? My little tea bags seem to be all the rage. Trust me…I am in nooooo way complaining…just not able to assist in the art selections at the moment. Just go to Etsy…you will find something you will like. If you are too lazy to browse their vast variety of goodies…just buy everyone you’ve ever met an Organicneedle tea bag or two. All the cool people are doing it. You do want to be cool, don’t you? 🙂



Artistic Gifts For & From the Twisted

Posted by organicneedle in Etsy, handmade holidays

Do you have friends with sinister senses of humor who would rather have icicles driven through their eye sockets than get yet another smiling Santa on a surf board ornament? Well today is your lucky day. I have for you some great artists with truly unique, dark & oh so enjoyable perspectives.

Check out Oh the Humanity and his many visions of Death’s more causal side. Death Takes a Moment…or…Death Poops

Foliage offers a wonderfully creepy new twist on hand soap.

And who can’t relate to Badbird’s The Blue Bird of Happiness and The Little Red Bird of Crankiness?

Who says the holidays need to be sacrin? Respect the twisted and get them something they will actually appreciate AND support creative minds. Maybe then you would stop finding those flaming bags of yule log in front of your house the day after Christmas. Handing out plastic surfing santa ornaments and those pooh bags? Yes, Virginia, there is a connection.



Save Art From Your Budget Chopping Block!

Posted by organicneedle in Economics, Etsy, handmade holidays

While many of us are cutting back on the extras this year, I am going to make a plea to keep ART off the budget chopping block. If the choice is between feeding your kids or buying a new Picasso, the choice should be obvious…even to me. If, however, you intend to spend money this holiday season on some non-essentials, I say get all artsy crafty on your receivers’ tinseled behinds. Good for the giftees, good for you, good for the artists, and in some cases even good for the planet!

This week and next I will be featuring some interesting artists and crafters of various sorts to get your brains out of the big store box. Not to late to include any talent you’ve discovered!

Just think…support THIS.

Or…This. Yet another set of reindeer horns. Which do you think your giftees would rather have? (OK bad question if you have a lot of friends dieing for any opportunity to use the word “horny” in polite conversation.)horns