Tuesday, September 22, 2009

bamboo pads and other new products

Finally! I've finished 34 new regular and ultra cloth pads and have put them up for sale at my store at Cloth Pad Shop. Lots of great new things, based on my experiments and observations. First of all, I shortened the length of the regular pad by 1 cm and made the two ends the same shape and size (the original regular pad has the back a bit longer and wider).

Then I added channels in the center of the regular pad so that the fluid remains in that area as much as possible, without spreading to the wings.

And finally, I changed the shape slightly so that the two ends can be folded in and the wings snapped over them. Doing this makes a sort of package that is very easy to carry when you're out and about.

The ultra pads are the same as before.

I have also introduced the new ecological cucicucicoo line: regular and ultra pads made with only bamboo velour (while the classic pads have cotton terry cloth on the inside) and cotton PUL as waterproof layer. Bamboo is considered a very ecological plant. It doesn't require pesticides and it absorbs more greenhouse gasses and releases more oxygen than does cotton. In addition, it is naturally anti-bacterial. Bamboo velour is super soft and very absorbent. These pads don't have anything synthetic in them, except for the lamination on the back side of the PUL, which doesn't come in contact with the skin. These pads are like a caress!

Even better, cucicucicoo bamboo velour pads (both regular and ultra) have the new features I wrote about earlier: center channels for distributing fluid better and the shape that can be folded into a "packet."

Right now I have three colors of bamboo velour: light blue, dark pink and green, even though my stash of green is all gone, so if you like it, there's no time to lose!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

happy saint's day, sofia!

My daughter was born in August, when pretty much everyone in Italy goes on vacation, so she can never celebrate with her friends and family at home. So we throw her a party for her onomastico, saint's name day, as is celebrated in Catholic countries. I've had a lot of work to do, but I did what I could manage for her party. Unfortunately almost all of the pictures I took of what I did are horrid, but they'll just have to do!

First of all, we made a sort of banner saying "Auguri," (a very generic sort of "congratulations" that is used for every possible occassion). I have pictures of every birthday party I had as a girl with all the guests under a "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" banner that my mother made from colored construction paper. Every year, the same banner and quite often the same kids.

So I found a couple of shoeboxes, cut out the letters and punched holes at the tops to string them up. Then my daughter and I painted them with acrylic paint. I had imagined doing each letter a different color, but the fact the virtually all our paint had dried up foiled my plans and we had to settle for a different color of glitter for each letter. A nice afternoon project to do together and I assure you that it does look much nicer than you would think from this photo!

Then the favor. I still haven't figured out if it's typical in Italy to give out birthday party favors (it is in the United States), but I prepared them anyway. Last year I brought sidewalk chalk home from the USA and all the kids (including the old ones) who live in our apartment complex were completely enthralled, because this sort of mega-chalk doesn't exist here, and kept asking me for months afterwards if I had any more of "that big chalk" and where I had bought it.

So this year I bought a few boxes and put a package of five with Colombian lollypops and some little plastic toys in cloth drawstring sacks. I made a bunch of these sacks in just a few hours and my daughter helped me turn them right side out and fill them up.

And I made the desserts. I didn't take a picture of the Rice Krispies Treats, a typically American thing, made from the breakfast cereal and melted marshmallows. They're always a success because first of all, they're yummy, and second, nobody in Italy knows what marshmallows are. I did remember to take pictures of the Hello Kitty cake, even though the pictures are horrid. I cut out the shape of her head from a rectangular chocolate cake, covered it with white frosting and added liquorice whip whiskers and candy eyes, nose and flower. Auguri, Sofia mia!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

international day without plastic bags

Anyone who knows me even a bit knows that one thing I hate are plastic bags. If a person reuses them, for example to make a lamp, that's great, but we all know that way too many plastic bags get loose, harming the environment and animals. Last month we spent a week in Taganga, on the Caribbean Sea in Colombia, while they were doing some public construction work on the streets. Digging holes near the shore they uncovered a layer of trash, mostly plastic bags, squashed between layers of soil that have built up over the years. All this plastic was pretty far down, not at all at the surface, so we can surmise that it had been there for quite a few years, but it hadn't decomposed even a bit. It was just a bit ripped up.

I read in the Italian newspaper la Repubblica that the 12th of September will be the first international day without plastic bags, meaning consumers should refrain from accepting stores' plastic bags, using instead washable bags or already used bags. Hoping that people realize that it's not at all difficult and they continue to do so. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

Guess what else I found in those holes in the street in Colombia? A flip-flop, like new despite all those years it had been buried. Poor little guy...if only he could've had a happier ending....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

window crayons

Every free moment these days I spend making new menstrual pads for my Cloth Pad Shop store, so I don't have my own original things to write about right now. Instead I'm writing about something I brought back home to Italy from the United States: window crayons.

They're big twistable crayons that are softer than regular ones so their color spreads very well on glass with nice, strong shades. They might exist in Italy, though I've never seen them. In any case, they can always be ordered from other countries on eBay. In the past I've bought window markers, but the color comes off if you go back over where it's already colored and it smudges way too easily.

My little girl just loves drawing, coloring and painting and any sort of new proposal is always welcome. So when I asked her if she'd like to color on the windows, she got pretty excited. As you can see here, she also drew on the wooden door, but luckily these crayons wash off really easily not only from your hands, but also from glass and other surfaces.

Yesterday was my husband's first day of train rides for work after summer vacation so we decided to make his return home all the nicer with a welcome message on the mirror just inside the door. He was more than happy, as was the munchkin. So what's my conclusion? Money well spent!