Product Review Archives - Love Australian Handmade
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Amanda Brandl Marsupials and Monotremes – new fabric release!

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Hey! Tidy up your car!

Who here has little kids?  Yeah?  Me too.

Ok who has little kids that leave your poor car a mess after their little tornado bodies have ripped through after a car trip?  Yeah?  ME TOO!!

It doesn’t matter how much I try, I always have little wrappers, rouge sultanas, boxes, drawings on the back of receipts and trinkets galore!  Don’t even talk to me about that festy banana skin I found the other day.  Shudder.

 

I’ve done the little plastic bag in the car, then a box, but it doesn’t quite cut it with things falling out or the entire thing toppling over.  However I stumbled across a new Australian handmade product called LuxeBins – a stylish functional bin for your car.  They are slim tidy bins that hang off the back of your car seat with a clip (or anywhere really), and are sewn with black waterproof lining by Tahlia on the Mornington Peninsula. The clever bit is that inside is a plastic mould that ensures the bin stays open for easy access.  The plastic mould unsnaps at the bottom and you press can it flat, making it an easy wipe down for cleaning. It’s so easy.  And even the plastic mould was designed and made in the Mornington Peninsula!  They come to you lined ready with a biodegradable liner so you can use them straight away.

 

Black waterproof fabric a tad boring for you?  Not a worry!  Tahlia also has bins that come with fabric outer covers to brighten things up a bit.  You can have fun here and get the kids to choose what fabric cover they would like!
I took them for a test run in the car and we all loved them!  The kids were intrigued.  I kept one lined to use as a bin, but the other I left unlined so we could use it for things for the kids to play with on car trips.  The CarBins are deceptively deep too, we could fit HEAPS of stuff in there.  In Ana’s bin we popped in two chapter books, a notepad, bunch of textas, a few small cars and dinosaurs, with room to spare!  Having a dedicated area for both rubbish bits and little toys helped us all keep the car a more in order.  And I’m not going to pretend, I need all the help I can get!!

 

These smart CarBins will be a permanent fixture in our car.  Not only are they sturdy, useful and functional, but I love that they are a handmade in Australia AND affordable.  Further, this lessens the need for those plastic bags floating around the car and makes for a more sustainable way to keep the car tidy.
The CarBin is $25, however right now Tahlia has a 20% off code (XMASDEAL) in her Etsy store, right in time for Christmas!  The offer will last until Christmas Eve and orders must be in by Monday December 17th to receive them in time for Christmas.

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Reusable shopping bags – get your DIY on!!

Australia has been moving towards banning free single use plastic bags for some time.  From 1 July 2018, free single use plastic bags will be phased out from major retails stores, making them banned virtually nationwide.

Bans of single use plastic bags in various states started back in 2009, with Queensland and Western Australia being the latest states to ban single use bags on 1 July.

Each year, major supermarket chain customers would use an estimated 6 billion plastic bags.  That’s a lot of plastic bags!

So now what? There are plenty of options for reusable bags, but have you considered making your own?

They are not as difficult as you may think!  Alana from Rosie Petal Patterns has a fabulous reusable bag pattern for the DIYers! Based in Australind in the South West of WA, Alana developed a pattern to suit the major supermarket bag packing racks – making them easy to pack, no fuss!

This is what Alana has to say about developing her pattern:

“Around August last year I began experimenting with fabric shopping bags. I was surprised to find there was a bit of a science to it! After consulting with my audience at Rosie Petal and experimenting with my prototypes, my check list of “must haves” were: They must fit in the bag holders at all the major shops, they must be compact enough to be stored inside my handbag, and they must be strong and comfortable to handle and carry. And of course, be beautiful! Many months have passed since then, and I am so happy to wake up to new stories of people having fun sewing their BYO bags. I love stories of stashes being sewn up instead of lingering on the shelves, and how they are being gifted to dear ones, school fetes and fundraisers. A practical gift is the best kind in my book!”

For once in my life, I am actually prepared for a change!  I’ve been planning this for ages, as I ALWAYS forget to bring grocery bags with me!

I purchased Alana’s pattern some months ago to test them out in preparation for this change in Queensland.  The pattern is really easy to follow, with both pattern pieces or measurements provided, depending on which works better for you.  They don’t take long to make, but I do suggest if you are making several at a time, cut them all on one go and make them in a ‘production style’ (ie make all straps at once, sew all bag components first etc).  Alana also has her own pattern group, so if you are stuck, you can always ask for tips and advice.

I love how you can completely personalise the bags – use bright fabrics, use your favourite licensed character fabric, upcycle with vintage sheets, spots and stripes – the options are endless!

They also make a fabulous handmade gift for friends and family, or end of year gift for teachers.

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I Love This Shiz! – Lil Bit Better

Who is a fan of house cleaning? Anyone? Anyone??! Not many hands going up (mine certainly isn’t) are there?

I’ll tell you one of the reasons why I don’t like cleaning (other than the obvious fact that I’d rather be on the couch watching Girls or something). It’s the harsh chemicals. Chemicals and ingredients in traditional cleaning products can impact on the environment in numerous ways, such as the rate in which they break down (assuming they are biodegradable), how they impact our waterways and wildlife, and if they have any potential effects on the people that use them. And it’s not only the effects that chemicals may on the environment, but the chemicals in commercial cleaning products often gave me really bad headaches and made my dermatitis flare up.

Then we stumbled across Lil Bit Better, a handmade business based in Melbourne, Victoria. The owner Liz, is passionate about changing the way we use cleaning products. Keenly aware of the environmental impact harsh chemicals have on the environment, she has created an amazing range of handmade natural and low impact cleaning products.

I’ve bought quite a few of Liz’s handmade cleaning products, and I’m going to share a few of my favourites with you!

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