Wednesday 25 November 2009

Birthday Lottery Winner

Congratulations to Atarah, the winner of the birthday lottery. I hope you enjoy your new pad and booster! :)

Friday 20 November 2009

Birthday Lottery!

It's my birthday on Tuesday, and in honour of this I'm holding a free lottery over at Cloth Pad Shop Europe. The winner will be drawn at 8pm British time on 24th November, and will receive this beautiful 9 inch light/medium pad. I will even throw in a PUL booster!

As always, international entries are welcome. Please click here to enter.

Good luck!

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Patterns, tutorial and snap setting service now available!

It's been a long time coming, but the patterns and tutorial are up at last! You can find them in the DIY section along with my new snap-setting service. (I originally wanted to call it a "snapping service", but thought people might get the wrong end of the stick.)

Strangely, it was getting sick that inspired me to finish it. I can't make pads from my bed, but I can type and use Photoshop! The patterns and tutorial took a lot longer than expected, but I'm really happy with the end result. I can't wait to see the pads people come up with! (Yes, that is a not-so-subtle hint to send me photos.)

Fortunately I'm starting to feel better again, so I'm easing myself back into pad making and hoping the store will look less bare soon. Or at least bare for the right reasons. :)

Sunday 13 September 2009

New Fabrics!

I have a hard time finding beautiful modern prints here in the UK, and often have to order my designer cottons from the USA. So, imagine my delight at stumbling upon Gone to Earth, a UK based supplier of stunning designer fabrics!

Some of these prints are already made up into pads in the shop, and yesterday I colour-matched thread so that I can make more this week. Yay! New prints make me feel so inspired!

I also found a beautiful floral print at my local quilt shop, which puts me in mind of dresses from the 1940s. It's more modern and graphic than the 1940s prints, but definitely has that vibe. If only I could justify buying enough of it to make a dress! Still, it's an absolute joy to work with, and makes beautiful pads.

Finally... I still have a small amount of fabric left from when I had my Reclaimed Fabric section. I've added a couple of pads made from upcycled fabric to my Cloth Pad Shop store, as part of the "ecology" theme. They are topped with the most gorgeous deep purple velour, and because they are upcycled, they are cheaper than my usual stock (remember, at CPS the price is in Euros!). I have more upcycled liners cut out and ready to sew, so keep an eye out!

Wednesday 26 August 2009

New Prices, New Cores

Wow, it's been a long time. Sorry about that. The last few weeks have been super busy - I've been dealing with family visits, sick pets, broken down cars, and prolonged bureacratic nonsense that I can't make head nor tail of. Why does everything always happen at once?!

Anyhow... the reason for today's update is that I am making a few minor changes at Luna Wolf. I wanted to let you know in advance, since it seems rude to just throw it out there without any notice.

The first change is pricing. You're probably thinking that there's only one way this can go, and I'm afraid you'd be right - I am indeed going to be raising my prices. I've kept them at this level for as long as I possibly could, but it's time for a revision. The prices of my supplies have continued to go up, and I'm at the point where I can no longer afford to keep this business unless I make some changes.

My new prices will come into effect on 7th September 2009. It was originally planned for 1st September, but since I posted this later then I intended, I'm giving you an extra week to make the most of the old prices. My new price list will be as follows:

Pantiliner: £3.75
8.5 inch pad: £4.85
9 inch pad: £5.45
Incontinence pad: £5.45
10.25 inch pad: £5.99
11.75 inch pad: £7.10
"Monster" night pad: £8.75
Menstrual cup bag: £2.75

Make-up remover pads, fabrics by the metre, Femmecups, and Femmecup starter sets will stay the same for now.

I do empathise with people who are on a tight budget, and I'm hoping that the price raise will enable me to start running free lotteries again, and hold sales once in a while. I also update my Squidoo lens regularly with ideas for creating a stash without breaking the bank.

The second change at Luna Wolf is that I am going to be reformulating some of my pad cores slightly. The core is the absorbent "soaker" part that is hidden inside. I use a mixture of medium and heavyweight bamboo fleece to create the absorbency I want for each pad, measured in GSM (grams per square metre). The higher the GSM, the more absorbent the pad. Anyway, I've decided to increase the GSM in some of my cores to make them even more absorbent. Since bamboo fleece is very thin and flexible for its extraordinary level of absorbency, it's unlikely that you will feel much difference in the thickness of the pads. You'll just find that the cores can hold even more fluid!

As always, if I use a heavier or lighter core, I will note it in the listing. But for my standard cores, here are the new GSM figures if you're interested. (I am not including the quilter's cotton or flannelette in these figures, even though these have some absorbency of their own.)

Pantiliner: 280gsm (no change)
8.5 inch pad: was 560gsm, now 605 gsm
9 inch pad: was 605 gsm, now 640 gsm
10.25 inch pad: 840 gsm (no change)
11.75 inch pad: was 840 gsm, now 880 gsm
"Monster" night pad: 880 gsm (no change)

I think that's all my news for now. A huge thanks to everybody who continues to support Luna Wolf, and I'll try not to be such a stranger to Blogspot anymore.

Friday 3 July 2009

New Fabric!

I had an appointment in town. As you've probably figured out by now, I find it impossible to go into town without visiting the quilting shop. And then I find it impossible to visit the quilting shop and come out empty handed.

The second is a Tina Givens print called "Sweet Poppies", which makes very jazzy looking pads. The quilting shop has several more prints from that collection, so I'm sure I'll be picking up more in due course!

However, I have saved the best for last. Worcester has a fabulous vintage clothing shop just across from where my appointment was. A few months ago, it is where I found this dress:

(Yes, that is me in a wig. I went to a 60s themed party. It was a hoot!)

Anyway, in one corner of the shop there is a suitcase filled with vintage fabric. That is where I found this little gem:

Is this not the best piece of fabric you have ever seen?! Daffodils! Birds! Welsh hats! I grew up on the Welsh border, so I may be slightly biased... but I think this is the highlight of my fabric collection. Everything about it makes me grin.

Now I just have to decide what to do with it. I don't think I'll be making it into pads, because I'd only be able to get one girl on each, and the beauty of the fabric (in my opinion) is having the girls in lines. There's not enough to make a skirt, unfortunately. I'm leaning towards a cutesy apron, which is the closest thing. Any other ideas?

New Product - PUL Boosters

I've added a brand new product to the store - PUL boosters. These can be placed underneath any Luna Wolf pad (and lots of other brands too!) to add an extra layer of absorbency and a waterproof barrier. Do you have lots of pantiliners but not enough medium flow pads? Now you can make the most of your existing stash without having to buy new pads!


Saturday 27 June 2009

Packaging Changes

A while back, I did a packaging poll in the Cloth Pads community as well as a mini poll here. I'd been thinking for a while about revamping my packaging, and wanted to get people's views before I did anything.

I've always wrapped pads in tissue paper and put in a brown paper envelope with a mini business card (tied with ribbon to turn it into a handy bookmark... or at least that's the idea), care instructions if it's a first order, and a packing slip. Occasionally I'll include a Femmecup leaflet, since I am contractually obliged to promote them. While the result looks pretty, it bothers me that a) the pads aren't protected from moisture, and b) the tissue paper is likely to get discarded. The last thing I want to do is burden people with things to throw away.

So, what do people want from their pad packaging? Are extra touches nice or a nuisance? Everybody had differing views. Here are some of the interesting things I learned:

  • Most people preferred minimal packaging, and wanted their pads straight in the envelope.
  • A resealable bag was rated slightly higher than tissue paper.
  • Most people would save tissue paper to reuse later, a slightly lower number of people would throw it away, and a few would recycle it.
  • Almost everybody who participated would reuse a resealable bag.
  • A sticker on a resealable bag would not be a hindrance to most people. A couple of people mentioned that a sticker with a reference to cloth pads would stop them from re-using it.
  • Most people would not like to receive care instructions on paper if they were available online. One person came up with the idea of putting the care instructions on the packing slip so that no extra paper would be used, which received a very positive response.

If you'd like to see the actual results from the survey (in graph form), please click here.

After a lot of thought, I have decided to replace the tissue paper with a resealable bag. While I like the idea of putting the pads straight in the envelope, this leaves them vulnerable to loss or damage if the envelope tears. Since the resealable bag was the second most popular option, it seems like a reasonable compromise. It's more protective than tissue paper, and is more likely to be re-used.

I'll still include my little card (unless instructed otherwise), but the care instructions will no longer be a separate sheet. I will be printing these on the bottom of the packing slip. They'll be easy to cut off and separate from the other details, which could be useful if the items are a gift.

I will still keep tissue paper on hand, and would like to find a CubeCart mod that would enable me to offer free gift wrapping.

Until then, please do make use of CubeCart's comments facility if you have special packaging requests. During the checkout process there is an opportunity to write a comment, which I receive with the order. If you'd like me to include or omit any packaging, I'll be happy to oblige!

Monday 22 June 2009

I shall go to the ball!

Not pad related, but I wanted to record my latest sewing project for posterity. My first ever dress!

Please click to enlarge, if you are inclined.

I had been searching and searching for a decent summer dress, and had tried on just about every dress on the high street. NOTHING fit. My top and bottom halves are two different sizes, so anything that fits my top half won't go over my hips, and anything that fits my hips gapes at the bust. After a day of trekking around town trying on dresses, I suddenly thought: this is stupid. I know how to sew. I will stop this madness and make my own!

The pattern is New Look 6773, and the fabric is flat cotton. I custom made it to my measurements, so it actually fits my bust AND hips! Amazing! The lining is red, the same as the front band and straps. It was supposed to have boning, but I really couldn't be bothered with that, so I left it out. The halterneck holds it up just fine.

It started out about 8 inches longer, but I shortened it quite radically. Only after I'd cut off the excess and spent three hours handsewing a blind hem did I realise that I actually preferred it longer. Oh well. I will just have to make another!

Thursday 18 June 2009

June Lottery Winner

Belated congratulations to silvermuse, the winner of the June lottery liner. I hope you enjoy it!

Monday 8 June 2009

My Verdict on the Co-operative Own Brand Stain Remover Powder

Pad cleaning time again! This cycle I replaced my usual Vanish Oxi Action with the Co-operative's own brand to see how the two compare.

I'd say the Co-op's version is about 90% as effective as the Vanish. When the pads came out of the washing machine I was left with one barely visible stain, which disappeared after the pad dried.

The Co-op's version doesn't smell as strong as the Vanish, which is nice for people with chemical sensitivies. (I actually rather like the sherberty smell of the Vanish, though, so I missed it a bit.) It gets odour out nicely, and left my pads smelling clean and fresh.

Although the Vanish seems to have a little extra "oomph", the Co-op's version is plenty good enough for my purposes. It works well, it's about half the price, and better still it's BUAV approved.

I'll definitely be using this from now on, in conjunction with Ecover stain remover for spot-treatment.

Thursday 4 June 2009

June Lottery

I recently did a custom order for a really awesome lady, who generously donated some of her own fabric for my June lottery liner. The lottery is over at my Cloth Pad Shop store, and the lucky winner will receive this beautiful liner FREE, inclusive of shipping. International entries welcome!

Wednesday 3 June 2009

Pad Care, Soaking, and Odour

I've had a few queries about pad care, particularly since the weather's warmed up. Warmer weather and soak pots don't mix very well, often resulting in musty smelling pads... and let's be frank, nobody wants to wear a pad that smells like an armpit.

Fortunately, you don't have to. Over the last few months I've perfected a new pad care routine which involves minimal soaking and leaves my pads looking and smelling beautiful, so I thought I'd share it.

My Pad Care Method

When I take off a pad, I fold it in on itself, and snap. Like this:

I then put it unrinsed into a waterproof zippered bag. Yes, unrinsed. I was sceptical at first; I was afraid unrinsed pads would stink, but they don't. Obviously, if you put your face into the bag and inhale deeply you'll be able to smell your pads, but you wouldn't do that anyway, would you? I keep my waterproof bag in our (small) bathroom, and neither my partner or I can smell my pads at all. (Believe me, if my pads stank, my partner would have something to say about it.)

My waterproof bag is nothing fancy; it's a large toiletries bag that I picked up for about 50p at a charity shop.

When I'm ready to clean my pads, I do it in three easy steps.

Step 1: Open the pads up, drop them into the soaking container, and fill with cold water. I do this in the morning about an hour before my shower - you'll find out why in a minute. After an hour, I tip out the water.

Step 2: Time to rinse. You could fill your soak pot again, swish around a bit and tip the water out... or, you could do what I do: dump your pads into the shower enclosure or bathtub, and take a shower with them. The combination of the shower water and me trampling about on them gets them pretty good and clean.

At this point, you could wash and dry as normal, spot-treating any stains if you are so inclined. Ecover stain remover is great, I highly recommend it. I am very finicky about stains, though, so I like to add one more step to ensure my pads are pristine.

Step 3: Dump the pads back in the soaking container, and this time add warm water and a scoop of Vanish Oxi Action, or similar oxygen based laundry cleaner. Oxy Clean is widely used in the USA, and seems to be approximately the same thing. Make sure whichever version you get is colour safe! The Vanish comes in a bright pink container and looks like this:

The Co-Op has their own brand which I will try in a couple of days and let you know how it compares.

Swoosh around a bit to dissolve the crystals, and leave for another hour or so. When you come back to it, you will be amazed at how beautiful your pads look (and smell!) Now you can wash and dry as normal. I wash at 30 degrees with no problems. I like to air dry outside (when the weather permits), but that's a matter of personal preference.

I have been doing this for about a year now, and my pads always come out looking and smelling perfect. Rinsing every pad and then soaking for the duration of my cycle has never worked for me - I always had odour problems, and it was a whole lot of effort. It works great for some women, and power to them, but it doesn't suit everybody. I've found my method to be an easy and effective alternative.

If the idea of storing unrinsed pads squicks you out and you'd rather stick to soaking, here are some tips for keeping your pads and soak water smelling fresh:

  • Add a couple of tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda to your soak water. Bicarb absorbs odour.
  • Add a couple of drops of tea tree oil or other essential oil to your soak water. Make sure you wash your pads thoroughly afterwards, as tea tree can be irritating to some women.
  • Change your soak water often, at least once a day.
  • Before washing, give your pads a final soak in Oxi Action or similar.
  • Add a quarter to half a cup of white vinegar to your wash (if you machine wash)
  • Dry pads outside if possible.

Do you have any tricks for keeping your soak water smelling fresh? Or a pad care method that works really well for you? If so, please leave a comment and tell me about it - I'd love to know!

Sunday 24 May 2009

Lottery Winner!

The lottery over at Cloth Pad Shop closed tonight, and the winner of the batik liner is... hollyberry! Congratulations Holly, I hope you enjoy your new liner.

For those who missed out this time, don't worry. This was so much fun, I'm going to make it a regular event!

Wednesday 20 May 2009

Snap Woes are over!

The new snaps and dies arrived... and... they work perfectly! I definitely prefer the new ones, they look and feel really sturdy and secure, plus they are easier to apply. I hope you'll love them as much as I do. I got two different sizes - small ones for liners and 8.5 inch pads, and larger ones for 9 inches and above. I'm not quite sure what to do with the old snaps and dies - keep them for backup perhaps?

I also splurged on some new fabric. House of Fraser in Worcester has started stocking Amy Butler, Kaffe Fassett and Heather Bailey prints (be still my heart), and my favourite little quilting shop had a half price sale, so I couldn't not buy anything. Right? Right?

Midwest Modern by Amy Butler. Yum.

Garden Maze - so cheerful and summery!

Go see the rest here. :)

Monday 11 May 2009

Snap Woes

After a year of working beautifully, my snap press has suddenly started misbehaving. The store from which I originally bought it is ignoring my pleas for help, so I've ordered new dies and a different brand of snaps from a different source. We'll see if that does the trick.

In the meantime I'm limping along with the old snaps/dies. I test each snap thoroughly before putting pads up for sale, and again before I send them out, so none of the "bad snaps" should manage to sneak through. If, however, you experience a problem with a snap, please send the pad back to me so I can fix it. You can find my address on the packaging/packing slip, or send me an email and I will give it to you. Snaps are guaranteed for the life of the pad, and I will replace them free of charge if they fail. It doesn't matter how old (or stained) the pad is, as long as it's clean!

Sunday 10 May 2009

Free Lottery!

Welcome to the new Luna Wolf blog! The old wordpress one got eaten during the server move last year, so I thought it was about time I started a new one. Why not subscribe and be the first to hear about new fabrics, special offers, etc?

Today's news is that I'm running a FREE lottery over at my Cloth Pad Shop store for this liner:

To enter, simply click this link and add the item to your cart. Don't worry, you won't be charged. The winner will be picked randomly by the shopping cart system on 23rd May, and will be notified by email. International entries welcome!

Good luck!