Sunday, February 22, 2015

Quiet Book for Baby A

I discovered quiet books on Pinterest and knew they were something that I'd like to try my hand at making. I made one for my niece's 2nd birthday and then another for Caroline for Christmas. After seeing those, a friend asked if I would make one for her son's 2nd birthday. She found pages that she liked on Pinterest and I basically copied them. So none of these ideas are mine - just putting that out there. There are several blogs that have amazing examples of quiet books.

This book had 16 pages, so there are a lot of pictures to show. A lot.

The cover is made out of flannel and I made sure to include a flap to keep it closed. I used button holes on each page and on the cover along with 2 inch binder rings to secure all of the pages.

A train with wheels that button on and off and blocks being stored.

This page was a real labor of love, but I love how it turned out. Behind each flap are the buttons to match the number on the flap.

This was another really labor intensive page. The child will match the crayons with its colored tip that's sewn on the page. The crayons can be stored in the little crayon box.

No quiet book would be complete without a tying page!

The piggy bank page is a back to back one so the child can put coins in the bank and then get them out of the zippered page on the back side.

Another quiet book staple: the shape matching page. 

I'm not sure that a two year old will ever see a real life phone with a cord, but he'll be able to practice dialing. The next page is a little phone book so he can practice numbers and recognize family members.

I've included a mailbox page in each of the books I've made. I found a great tip for the flag: they used a grommet and then sewed a button up through the grommet. It worked like a charm! The mail was actually pretty fun to make, but the mailbox filled up quickly.

The barn with doors that open to reveal finger puppet animals!

A tetris style puzzle page:

An abacus page:

 This boy dress up page was really cute. The costumes hide in the treasure chest.

Last, but not least, the sailboat page. It was the first time I sewed a zipper! The octopus and whale hide in the zippered pouch.

That wraps it up! It was so fun to make, but definitely a huge undertaking! I hope Baby A enjoys it for years to come!!

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fabric Alphabet Magnets

When Bill built our baby gate, we decided to use magnetic primer and chalkboard paint on the main panel. Since Caroline is too young to use chalk (I tried it and she shoved it right in her mouth) we're taking advantage of the magnetic feature right now.

I would love to say that I whipped these alphabet magnets up in an hour, but it was a more time consuming project than that. I'd say I spent a total of 10 hours over the course of a few weeks to complete them all. It wasn't hard work, but there are 26 letters!

I started by ironing some heat n bond onto my fabric and using the Silhouette to cut out all of the letters.

Then I ironed some interfacing onto several different fabrics to make them stronger and more durable. I cut the fabric into rectangles and ironed the letters onto the rectangles.

I used a layer of batting to give the letters a little heft and to give the magnets something to grasp. I folded the rectangles in half and sandwiched in the batting with a strong magnet on either side of the batting. I sewed the batting in place on the folded edge and continued to sew around the perimeter of the rectangle. After I finished sewing, I trimmed the fabric and was left with nice, neat magnets.

This basket came from the dollar spot at Target and holds the extra magnets when they're not being used.

Caroline likes to play with them, so it was definitely worth the time and effort. She is especially intrigued by how they stick to each other!

I love the mix of fabrics and the personality that they add to the baby gate. I'll probably make a few more with repeats of letters so we can actually write words like "mom" and "dad." Luckily we can at least write Caroline!

Thanks for reading,

Friday, March 21, 2014

Monthly Baby Onesies

File this one under "I wish I thought to do this before Caroline was born."

I take photos of Caroline each month to document all of her changes. I use a plain white onesie and blocks to spell out her name and how many months old she is. I've seen so many variations on the monthly photos and I can't wait to try out some new ideas when we have a second baby.

A friend of mine is expecting a baby at the end of May. Its their first child, so as an "experienced" mom (I use that term loosely!), I thought it'd be fun to give her special onesies to use for monthly photos.

 The parents-to-be decided not to find out whether they are having a boy or girl, so I stuck with grays and yellow. I'm including some bows in the package just in case they need to girl-ify the photos :)
 I just love how the onesies gradually get larger, although it was a challenge to decide what sizes to buy. I hope they fit every month, although it could provide a few laughs if the baby is a little chunker :)
I'm considering making a few sets of these to sell in my etsy shop. Is this something you would think about purchasing as a special baby gift? They certainly are precious!

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Overlapping Wall Frames & Mirror

Unbelievably, we've lived in our house for almost four years. I'm at the point where I'm starting to tire of the original decor and am ready for some changes. So as not to drive my husband batty, or spend a ton of money, I started small.

Right after we moved in, I hung a photo gallery wall with a big mirror on the main wall in our kitchen. I loved it at first, but it was starting to feel too busy to me. Once again inspired by pinterest, I decided to try something new.

I painted the mirror a creamy off-white and found a great deal on frames that I had been obsessing over at Target. My husband helped to hang the frames so they overlapped. We used wall anchors and then some really long screws so that the screw could stick out about an inch from the wall.

I just adore how it turned out. Simple but grown-up.
I have since put in photos of our family, but I never had a chance to take new photos while it was actually sunny outside... maybe because it seems like winter is here to stay forever.
I also updated our $10 thrift store dresser, but that's a post for another day :)

Am I the only one that feels the need to redecorate on a constant basis? I am considering having a garage sale to try and sell some of the things that I have phased out, but I don't know if I'm quite that brave. Any suggestions?

Thanks for reading,