boogie gets a bath (squ 28)–how to wash stuffed animals

be-dey has a boogie bear, boogie bear, boogie bear,

be-dey has a boogie bear, it’s fleece was slushy snow.

and everywhere that be-dey went, boogie bear was sure to go…

ever since miss e started getting attached to boogie my biggest quandary was how to keep boogie clean.  and by clean i don’t mean keeping boogie looking as white as snow.  i just cared that boogie smelled pleasant, or at the very least not odorous.  but my problem was that, in the past, when i’ve thrown my own stuffed animals in the washer and dryer their furry fur came out matted, knotty, and ratty.  so i hesitated sending boogie through the wash for that very reason because its soft gund fur is part of what miss e favors.  for the past year i would give boogie baking soda “baths” (no water).

well, something horrible happened to boogie.  miss e threw up on it.  so there was no avoiding the issue anymore.  miss e, boogie, and i went to our neighborhood dry cleaner to find out if they could have boogie dry cleaned within an hour or two (you know, before nap time).  the lady told me they don’t dry clean stuffed animals with plastic parts (such as eyes and nose) because the parts would melt.  so i asked her how i can preserve the original softness of the fur if i washed it myself???

she read boogie’s tag and told me i can immerse the bear in water (even though a lot of tags say just to spot/surface clean).  well…she’s the pro…these were her instructions and what i did:

1 TBS mild detergent (such as woolite)

2 dryer balls

  1. fill a bucket with warm water and mild detergent.
  2. immerse stuffed animal in water and massage it a bit.
  3. then rinse stuffed animal under clean water until there are no more bubbles coming out when you squeeze it.  gently wring out as much water as possible. (after squeezing out the water, i found wrapping the bear in a towel and leaving it for 10-15 minutes pulls out some more water.)
  4. this step is the IMPORTANT part that keeps the fur soft.  let the animal air dry for about 24 hours.  do not throw doll into the dryer until it is mostly dried.  the dry cleaning lady explained that the fur gets ruined when it is still damp/wet and it comes in contact with high heat.
  5. when the stuffed animal is dry to touch (it can be a little bit damp on the inside), but the fur has to be completely dry!!! then you can throw the doll into the dryer along with 2 dryer balls (or tennis balls) for 30-40 minutes.
  6. the dryer balls are necessary to agitate and fluff up the fur.  our dry cleaning lady says that it’s the “touching” of the dryer balls that brush and fluff the fur.  so don’t neglect this step either!

afraid to ruin boogie’s fur, i followed her instructions to the T.  and boogie turned out beautifully.  boogie’s fur was just as soft as before, and a whole lot cleaner and fresher smelling!  i am so grateful to our dry cleaning lady!

look how happy she looks to finally get boogie back!

one thing to remember is that it does take about 24 hours for the stuffed animal to dry, so plan for a substitute doll if your child needs their lovey to go to sleep.  luckily we have 5 gund bears in all colors and sizes.  boogie is the favorite.  in my excitement of being able to wash the animals i tossed 3 of the 5 gunds into the water without thinking about how long  it would take for them to dry.  i kept telling her throughout the day that boogie is drying, but when bedtime rolled around it took her a few minutes to fully realize what i had been explaining to her.  miss e managed to go to bed with the other 2 bears after some tears and repeated explanation.

the next morning we immediately tossed boogie and others into the dryer.  boogie still felt a tad damp when i pulled it out of the dryer, but she didn’t let me throw it back in the dryer…she flat out refused to let it go.

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yipes! sneaky tuesdays (squ 25, 26, 27)

these past few weeks, tuesdays have been sneaking up on me just as fast as mondays!  i haven’t been able to keep up with my embroidery class as well this time around.  I’m still working on my monochrome piece and the class has already moved on to the color segment.  lots of guests and families visiting, a bout of family illness, not to mention attending the video training has set me back quite a few weeks.

squares 25 & 26:  in the first three weeks of my embroidery class we’ve been learning how to create texture with different kinds of threads and different kinds of stitches while keeping the “picture” relatively monochrome.

square 27:  since i was a kid, seeing the classic l.l. bean canvas tote bags somehow always remind me of summer.  (idea inspired by kaori shimazu’s embroidery.)

and look!  we’re already half way through the year (and towel)…

stay-put towels (parent must-haves)

i wish i had known about stay-put towels two years ago.  by the time miss e was able to stand up all our kitchen and bathroom towels got very acquainted with the floor.  when it first started i had the energy to pick the towels up and rehang them, and rehang them, and rehang them…aaaaaand rehaaaaang them…less than 10 seconds after they have been rehung they would be snatched off the towel bars and re-strewn on the floor.   did she think it was a game or did she detest the sight of towels neatly hung above her eye level?  i gave up rehanging towels after a few weeks and accepted towels on the floor as a new home decor.  towels would stay on the floor until miss e was asleep (or company was coming over).

i’ve seen stay-put towels that have crocheted loop tops with a button or with complicated drawstrings.  they looked harder to make than rehanging the towels even 30x a day.  but today i saw this clever towel with a simple cut out corner slit.  it looked immediately doable.

taste and see, stay-put towel

so i went and grabbed our orange towel off our bathroom towel bar and decided it was getting transformed into a stay-put towel.  janay has a really fancy embroidery machine that can make a nice, even, right-angled slit for the towel to go through.  i had to simplify my stay-put towel a tad.  i was able to convert my towel in less than 5 minutes.

so here’s a stay-put towel “tutorial” *hack version:  (which will take me longer to write out than the time it took me to sew the slit.  i think you might get how to do it just by looking at my finished towel picture.)DSC_0069

  1. take a kitchen/hand towel, go down 2-3 inches from the top of the towel and draw a centered 4-5 inch line.
  2. on your sewing machine, sew a straight stitch across this line.  then zigzag over the straight stitch two or three times.
  3. move your needle 1/4″ down from the first line you’ve sewn.  sew another straight line (same length) parallel to the first line.  zigzag over the second straight stitch two or three times. (you’re essentially make a very long button hole)
  4. sew the ends of the two lines together by stitching a few forward and back stitched (perpendicular to the two long lines) to keep the ends from ripping apart.
  5. clip your long “button hole” open.  ta-dah!
  6. go hang up your towel and observe how it stays put even after little hands wipe and tug on it!

DSC_0070i’m considering to give these stay-put towels as one-year old presents.  (of course i will make this nicer looking version.) one-years olds don’t even know its their birthday, their mamas are the ones that need a bit of a pat on the back for a job well done for the past year…and maybe spared from a few headaches trying to rehang their towels in the coming days when the little one starts toddling all over the place.