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.



Soap On A Rope Twisted Green: Introducing the Organic Cotton Soap Saver ** CALLING ALL GUINEA PIGS!!!!**

Posted by organicneedle in energy, family, organic cotton, organicneedle, organicneedle bags

Let me tell you…the ol’ needle has been in total slug mode lately.  Not sure if it is the weather, old age, or a serious case of hotdog fingers…but I haven’t been inspired to create much of anything new.  But all that changed the other day in the shower as I was attempting to chase the last sliver of my Burt’s Milk & Shea Butter Soap around the tub.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a more dignified way of being a soap conservationist?  And then I remembered a trick my grandparents used.  They used to have a little dish where they would just park the old slivers.  When they collected enough they actually pressed them into a new bar.  I have no intention of buying or building a soap press, but it did get the ol’ brain operating again.  What about an organic mesh bag that could hold the scraps AND/OR be used as a little scrubber at the same time?  Huh?  Huh?    The porous slightly scratchy nature of my organic cotton natural mesh seems like it would be perfect for the job.  Such a bag could also hold a fresh bar, allowing it to be hung and dried out thoroughly between uses…less waste than sitting in a pool of it’s own soap juice.

The bag is quite simple…just 2x organic cotton mesh with organic cotton cording.  No added chemicals to your routine.  I could add a tagua nut to make it fancy or these new wooden buttons I have my eye on…but we can chat more on that once I’ve perfected functionality.guneashower

Now, as usual I will be needing some guinea pigs, preferable ones who bathe a lot and use bar, not liquid soap.  Now…if you plan on using it as a scrubber, it should be a one per customer kind of deal for obvious hygiene reasons.  (If the soap bag makes it through trials, I will probably offer either different choices in cord color or add a tagua nut for personal ID purposes.) If you are just going to use it as a sliver collector for future pressing or as a bar drier, than by all means invite as many people into your shower as per your wont. Any takers? Anyone out there willing to get in the tub with for me?  If so, leave a comment.

As usual, I never give anything away without making you work for it.  Your assignment…should you choose to accept: wash yourself for 2 weeks and then answer these questions.

1.  If you used it as a whole soap bar drier was the bag a proper size to hold your typical bar of soap?  If not…give me some dimensions.  Was the string a good length?

2.  If you used it as a scrubber, was the texture to your liking?  Did the material hold up well?

3.  Did you have any issues with my arch nemesis mildew, mustiness, or mold?

4.  Does this seem like something you would REALLY use long term?  Why or why not?

4.  Any thoughts, concerns, major complaints…keep it relative to the bag people….ideas for improvement?

I’ll be sending out 2 for trials next Friday…so you have until then to put your name in the pot.



Year in Review

Posted by organicneedle in blogtastic, organicneedle, organicneedle bags

It is about this time last year that I began an attempt to focus my energy and creativity on projects outside the box of mommydom. To track my new efforts I decided to start a little blog…not thinking it would amount to too much, just a little outlet to keep from becoming the woman who shows up at school with lipstick on her forehead. But then things happened…with a little help. Well… here it is…where I was a year ago…the beginnings of the organicneedle…the seedling stage.

December 28, 2007
Starting A Blog
This blog is one of hopefully many steps I will be taking to regain, or at least incorporate a little, an adult existence. I have spent the past 41/2 years home, raising my two boys. I don’t feel the need at the moment to go on and on about the endless joys of motherhood -which there are many. My focus here is on finding a life beyond- perhaps regaining some of the old and definitely adding some new. Pre-babies I was a NYC teacher. Although I loved teaching, my youngest is only 18 months and I have no desire to ship him off to daycare yet. So going back to my old life, old identity, even many of my old friends, isn’t fully possible. But there still has to be something that fits, that uses an adult brain without sacrificing the priority of child raising. I find my lack of intellectual stimulation is causing me to be bored with many things I previously enjoyed. I feel myself less interested in the same old mom conversations. Less sure of who I am and what I want to say or do in life. I have always been a rather focussed, success driven person. After being home for a few years I find myself sitting on several side projects, two of which are small businesses well into the planning phases, without the motivation to complete anything. I feel like I have been mentally sidelined and I’m not quite sure how exactly to get back into the game- or which game I even want to play. I know I am not the first woman to feel herself slipping away into the cloak of motherhood, nor will I be the last. It gets even the best of us. My hope that is if I have a place to report to, bounce ideas off of, I will keep my quest to remain a whole person a priority and not let it slip down the list of things to do below the laundry.
Posted by organicneedle at 8:00 PM

Here’s one of the key things that happened that I must share with you…a little lesson in encouragement. It was Burbanmom who found my little pee-on of a blog and encouraged me every step of the way to keep going…my own needle-wielding cheerleader. If I had gone unheard would I have persevered? I’m not sure I would have. See, in the beginning, I didn’t tell anyone of my bizarre ideas about sewing…and bags. Just not what my crew does…a little too homespun…unsafe…weird. But she heard and took the time to respond, really respond,…and I will always be in her debt. An encouraging word is sometimes all someone needs to make a really important step…or stitch. So in the incoming year remember not to be stingy with those positive words…they are much more powerful than you can imagine.



Check Out My Scarves! Or…Why Babies Hate Me

Posted by organicneedle in organicneedle, organics, product review, random rants, sewing


I have had these super vibrant soft organic cotton Harmony fabrics for a few months now…with overly ambitious plans to create baby blankets with them. As I was was prepping the material I realized that I wanted to wear them. So…I stitched myself up a little magic. I LOVE these not only because the patterns just make me smile, but they are also soooooo soft. (I sometimes find wool scarves a bit rough on my precious skin.) So tough luck babies…these are for the Mama. Well…I may have a few over at Etsy for anyone else craving a little splash of color this winter.

(Yes…my photos definately need a professional touch. I swear I could be standing on the sun and still not get enough light.)



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? 🙂



Walmart Need Not Apply: Calling All Artists and Craftsmen

Posted by organicneedle in blogtastic, Etsy, organicneedle, product review

I will be off the computer for a few days to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family…but I will still be using my brain. I will pause and allow time for snickering. Done now? Let’s face it people… if you haven’t started MAKING gifts yet, you ain’t going homemade this year…at least not from your home. Time to start thinking of other ways to check off your list without selling your soul to Walmart. I’ve told you about cyber gifts, but maybe those just won’t work for all you need to please. So besides stuffing myself with manateeesq portions at my ma’s this week, I will be preparing a little series all about what alternatives there are for purchasing gifts this year of the artistic nature. As usual, I don’t want to do all the work myself. So…if you have a favorite painter, seamstress, potter, quilter, soap maker, cheese sculptor, creator of any kind drop me a line in the comments and I will include them in the series. Trust me…they will appreciate your efforts. (Yes…it is okay if YOU are your favorite creator. I won’t tell…you little self-promoter you.)

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!