Saturday, June 18, 2011

Braley's Quilt

Braley’s Quilt
My Mom and I made a quilt for my niece Braley!  It was wonderful fun, especially since when I was sewing on the binding, she scrubbed my kitchen =) 

The pattern was pretty simple, and extremely geometric which made it perfect for my brother.  All we had to do was sew together nine-patches, and then we cut them and rotated to get the smaller, more random looking design.  The back is flannel, which we prefer for its snuggliness.    

Monday, June 13, 2011

Art Wall Frames

Art Wall Frames
About a year ago I made a very simple little art wall to show off Serenity’s crafts.  I just took some picture wire and a few eye screws and strung it up on the blank wall above my new cabinets under the stairs with clothespins to hold the art.  I loved the function, Serenity gets so excited to hang up her “beautiful projects!”  But since it was right inside my front door I thought I really should dress it up a bit.  But big picture frames are expensive!!!  So I made my own fake frames with three pieces of egg and dart trim from Lowe’s.  The ones I priced online were 300 dollars… each!  I made these for around 40… for both!  My sweet husband cut the boards on the miter saw and my Dad nailed them up with the nail gun since I was 41 weeks pregnant and couldn’t reach anymore =) 

And here is the result!  Two frames 28 by 36, with the old wire still working as the hanger!  So much more finished looking.  (The size was determined by how high I could get it with just 3 boards… 36 was the right width for my walls)

I’m thinking next I should paint or modge podge those clothespins… the fun never ends!  Oh, and possibly fill the nail holes and angles =)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fairy House =)

Serenity had a playdate with Grandma and ended up watching Tinkerbell’s Fairy Rescue on repeat for the rest of that day and the next, so I thought it would be fun to have a little fairy project!  (Not that it’s ever hard to convince me of that ;) 

We went on a hike with Daddy (a short one as I was a few days overdue by that point) and we collected bark, rocks, twigs, leaves, and a few nuts.  The next morning (already I’m only going out before 9am!) we went out to a special spot in the flower bed and built a little house!  It’s very simple, we just poked twigs in the ground, used bark for the roof and a big flat rock for the floor.  But it’s cute, and Serenity liked filling it with “presents” of nuts, dandelions and other flowers for the faeries!.  Probably when we do other hikes we can expand it, or possible make a few little faeries to go in it!  It’s in a flower bed so it doesn’t get mowed down.  Such fun!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Playing with the Mail

Playing with the Mail

Serenity’s started showing some interest in the mail recently.  She loves to deliver presents that she wraps in whatever is handy, envelopes, scarves, bags, anything.  She also likes to check the mail in the mailbox.  So I made her a little mailbox out of cardboard that I then covered with sticky back foam (my favorite toddler craft tool =)  In the morning she woke up to a mailbox of her very own!

I wrote her two letters, and put a postcard inside that her grandma had sent her.  On one, I wrote out her address and drew a stamp so she could get used to seeing what letters really look like.  And I wrote it in letter format with a Dear Serenity, and a Love, Mama.  The other envelope just had her name and address and a little message telling her to use the stickers inside to decorate her mailbox! 

It was fun, and if she continues to enjoy it I will totally make her a little mail delivery bag, and maybe some fabric envelopes and Velcro stamps and oh, the possibilities are endless =) 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Serenity’s Top Five Recent Library Choices

Serenity’s Top Five Recent Library Choices

The library is the one outing we just can't miss!  And not just because going weekly means we always have stuff that needs returning.  Serenity loves books, especially new ones!  Here are some of our favorite recent library finds!  

1.) She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain Jonathan Emmett
I grabbed this one on a whim, because she tends to like books we can sing with.  Well, it turned out to be hilarious!  The little girl coming around the mountain does crazy things like “Paint the whole town purple when she comes” and she “juggles with jello!”  Best of all, the book includes hand motions for the whole thing.  Since we returned it to the library, we haven’t stopped singing it and I often find her doing the motions on her own.  We are totally adding this to our library!

2.) Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
We are longtime fans of the Pigeon series and this one was just as much fun!  I must have read it like fifty times in the two weeks before we took it back.  The little girl leaves her bunny at the Laundromat and when the family runs back to get it speaks her first words. Serenity loves the silly language the little girl uses at first and the hilarious pictures.

3.) Ballerina by Peter Sis
This was a small board book that turned out to be such fun!  The little girl loves to dance and pretends she’s dancing all kinds of wonderful ballets!  Each dance had a color associated with it, and then she did a rainbow scarf dance at the end.  Perfect for little girls that are obsessed with color, like mine, and for dancers!  She loved practicing her twirl. =)

4.) The Red Wagon by Renata Liwska
I read a recommendation on this book from Momformation, and she was completely right.  The pictures were beautiful, and all the things the little fox imagines as she’s using her wagon to run an errand for her Mom are wonderful!  She pretends her wagon is a spaceship, a construction vehicle, a boat, and many other things.  It sparked our imaginations too. 

5.) Funny Face by Nicola Smee
We picked this book up at the library on the way to register at the hospital, which took way longer than I expected.  But it was fine, because Serenity spent the entire time reading herself this book!  Each page has a picture of a different emotion that the baby in the story experiences.  Serenity especially loved making the “Surprise Face!”  The last page is a mirror which is always fun.  It was great for talking about emotions and to practice recognizing them!

And I just have to share this picture =)  She's started asking for a "bed book" to sleep with her every night.  Sometimes I hear her reading it to herself in the monitor, and here is what her Daddy found when he went to check on her last night =) 

SuperWhy Book Club Card Table Tent: Roof!

Card Table Top:
The book club roof looks like an actual book, so I had to make a big book for Serenity’s card table tent as well!  What I ended up doing was just using felt to cover a big piece of cardboard that I bent in the middle several times to make it look like a book binding.  Then I took two big pieces of felt and glued them down the center so that the book has pages!  I think at some point we’ll use our felt board pieces to make our own stories in it!  Should be a blast!  And for now it’s a cute roof. =)   

If you want to see more, here are Sides One, Two, and Three!

To see the rest of the birthday extravaganza, go here!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

SuperWhy Book Club Card Table Tent: Side Four

If you want to see more, here are Sides One, Two, and Three!
Card Table Tent Side Four:
On this side I made a big book for her to “jump into!”  (they always do that on Super Why)  I ordered a ton of felt letters off of etsy, basically a set of scrabble tiles to figure out how many vowels I needed with some extra of certain letters to spell common words, like extra Ys and Zs. (Gotta be able to spell her whole name, and pizza!)  She loves writing words with the letters! And they are great for spelling games and rhyming games!  The book itself just has strips of the poky side of the Velcro, which the letters stick to very well.  (Which is good, because no way do I have the patience required to sew Velcro on each letter!!!)  

To see the rest of the birthday extravaganza, go here!

Friday, June 3, 2011

SuperWhy Book Club Card Table Tent: Side Three you want to see more, here's Side One and Side Two.

Card Table Tent Side Three:
This side was a LOT of fun!  I made a little doll out of felt and ironed it onto the side, and added Velcro so we could play dress up!  I just cut basic shapes out of felt for shoes, boots, and dresses, although I did fancy one of the dresses up to look like Belle’s ball gown, as Serenity was in a Beauty and the Beast phase for a while.  I added some strips of Velcro as a little closet to store the extra pieces.  She has bows in her yellow hair, and blue eyes, which my daughter likes to say, “her eyes are blue just like mine!”  The best part of these dresses is that I got to use this stiff iron-on stuff called fast2fuse that my Mom got, so they are very sturdy.  I like that stuff, although it seemed to take a long time to iron on securely.  Probably I was being too cautious as I have melted felt with my iron trying to iron it on something… more than once and to the detriment of my iron, that can’t be used without a press cloth right now!

To see the rest of the birthday extravaganza, go here!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

SuperWhy Book Club Card Table Tent: Side Two!

Here's the link to side one!
Card Table Tent Side Two:
The second side I wanted to have a window and some pockets to hold books like they have at the book club.  The window was easy enough, I just cut the hole the size I wanted, top stitched the lavender fabric in place, and then ironed on the yellow felt rectangles to the inside and outside.  The hardest part was that I wanted the felt to cover the raw edges of the lavender suede.  So ironing on the first side of the border, I had a little piece that I had to be careful not to iron until the top piece of felt was in place.    

Then as far as the pockets are concerned… mine is a cautionary tale.  I made them much too shallow( I wanted them to look like shelves), so they tend to dump out any full sized books.  They mostly just hold her stuffed Super readers, unless I put something stiff behind them.  So, make your pockets deeper, and the higher up one tends to hold stuff better than the one at the very bottom, unless you stiffen that side somehow.  I might go back and add sew a piece of cardboard into a casing to fix this problem… or not, as I seem to have moved on to other projects. 

I also added a little envelope pocket that we use to hold the letters for side #4, or I sometimes put her birthday cards in there so she can play mailbox!  She loves that!  

To see the rest of the birthday extravaganza, go here!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

SuperWhy Book Club Card Table Tent:Base and Side One

Card Table Tent!
These are so popular,  all over the internet, and I couldn’t resist making Serenity one for her second birthday.  Since the theme was a Princess Presto Tea Party, I made it look like the Book Club on Super Why =)  At least Side One, which I’ll describe first. =) 

The base I made out of a queen lavender suede duvet cover that I was done using.  I love that the fabric is so heavy, because this undoubtedly gets some hard use!  And, it worked perfectly to just drape it over the table and pin it like I was making a slipcover, and sewed the sides down. I just used the hems that were already in place!  Super easy, although it did mean that attaching the decorations was a little challenging, with all that fabric to shove around under my machine. Still worth it as hemming is not nearly as much fun as decorating. =) 

The front side has the door, which I made just by doubling a piece of felt, topstitching, and using iron-on steam a seam to add the question mark to the door.  I cut out a rectangle from the lavender duvet, topstitched the raw edges, and made the pink door a little larger than it so it would cover the gap.  I probably should have made it even a little bit larger, maybe two inches wider, as it sometimes has a gap now when someone has been climbing in the windows too much and the table pulls askew =) 

The huge pencils are attached with Velcro, and truth be told they spend a lot more time off the book club than on.  But I love that she enjoys pretending to write with them and all kinds of crazy games. =)  I made these by cutting a pool noodle from the dollar store in half.  Then I sewed rectangles together to make the pencil design, pink for the eraser, gray for the metal part, yellow for the pencil, off white for the sharpened part, and black for the lead.  I sewed down the long side and at the part that was supposed to look like a pencil I angled it to come to a point, and sewed a little up the other side.  There’s probably a better way to sew a cone but this was easy enough. =)  Then I stuffed the point with fiberfill, and then used the pool noodle to fill the rectangle.  I just pulled the pink fabric together at the top and sewed it shut!  Add some Velcro to the side and it was done!!!  

To see the rest of the birthday extravaganza, go here!