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Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Football Post

 It's Superbowl time!  And, our team, the Seahawks, are playing.   Nine years ago, the Seahawks were also in the Bowl and we were pregnant.  The Seadogs lost the game and we lost our baby the same day.

Nine years later, the Seahawks are in the championship again, and we're the busy parents of three kids.  As a way to focus on the fun part of the day (getting to spend it with our kids), I decided to try sewing some custom fan gear.

I started with my first-ever circle skirt.  It was quite a learning experience but I love the way it looks on her (and no, the writing isn't upside down all the way around the skirt).  Next, I ironed the helmets from the fabric onto t-shirts for all three kids.  It was like magic.

My husband grew up in Latin America, so our family calls soccer "futbal."  Here is the quiet book page that I made for Skimmer's book.  Dragonfly claims that she also wants one.  I haven't decided if I'll give in yet or if I'll just switch the page between the two books.

The idea came from this picture.  Hers is much nicer.  Here is the free pattern so you can make your own:

Soccer Field

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Quiet Book #2

 The last few posts have been about Tadpole's quiet book (the small brown one- which isn't done).  This next book is for Skimmer (almost 3 years old).  For his book, I decided to use pre-cut white felt from Wal-mart (which turned out not to be uniform after all).  Tadpole's pages are roughly 6x9.  Skimmer's pages are 12x9.

This is a simple fastener page.  Lots of texture.
 This is a set of skills pages- zipping on one and snapping on another.  Both are made of old clothes from Goodwill (newborn or premie sizes).  I turned them inside out, sewed up their sides and bottom, and cut off the access fabric.  Then, I turned them right-side out and top stitched them onto the felt pages.  I'm hoping this will encourage the boys to practice their dressing skills.

This might not look like a sewing challenge but it is filled with new experiences.  The cages are cut into the felt from freezer paper stencils and then sewn onto vinyl.  I'd never sewn vinyl before so that was pretty exciting.

These cages are set up as pockets, which will have finger puppets inside them for some pretend play.  I haven't made the animals yet or even finished this page (I ran out of grey felt!).

The zoo page was inspired by this blog.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Still More Quiet Book

 Are you sick of Quiet Book pages yet.  They are my newest crafting obsession.  So easy and fun.  I love the "mixed media" aspect of them as well.  Most of it's felt but there are also ribbons, buttons, google eyes, craft sticks, hot glue, metal, magnets, clothes, and my sewing machine.  This project has me running all over the house for bit and bobs and inspiration.

This is a simple page for working on counting.  I used buttons, beads, rings, and paper straws.

 This was created as an easy, low skills page.  The fish are felt with felt loops on their backs to allow them to slide along with ribbon.  They also have google eyes for fun and interest.  The "seaweed" is rick-rack left over from the "Finding Nemo" adoption party last year.

The stop light was created with a template from Serving Pink Lemonade.  Unfortunately, I put the lights on upside down.  So silly.  I'm hoping that my cars-loving boys will enjoy putting this stoplight together (the right way).  Perhaps, we'll even sneak in some color matching/naming and a driving lesson.

More pages coming soon.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

More Quiet Book Pages

 I'm back with more quiet book pages.  This piggy bank is another "fought after" set-up.  The slit goes all the way though the page to spit the coins into a see-through zipper bag.  My kids were pretty fascinated with the "magic" of it.

Inspiration from here.
 This dump truck is not finished yet (I need my husband to bring up the anvil and hammer).  The wheels will have eyelets in them and be held on by buttons so that they can be spun.  My boys love spinning wheels!

The template for the truck came from the Serving Pink Lemonade website.

Most of this page is hot glued.
 Another "skills" page- clipping.  I had all of the ribbon already in the house and some of the clips.  My daughter loved clipping her car seat when she was about two years old, so I'm hoping that this will please the current two year old as well.
 I originally wanted to do a Mr Potato Head page, but I started getting twitchy when I thought about trying to keep track of all the pieces.  This "funny face" was my compromise.  The mouth will be done the same way as the wheels (eyelet and button) so that it can turn from smile to frown and back again.  I'm hoping that this will provide a conversation piece for my toddler to learn body parts and emotions.

I'll have more in a few days.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Quiet Books (the beginning of an obsession)

Pinterest got me again!  My latest crafting obsession is Quiet Books.  I'm aiming to create one for each of my kids (currently 3, 2, 1).  At first, I was going to focus on making simple fine-motor activities (zip, button, snap, etc).  As I dove deeper into the quiet book movement, I became swept away with all the adorable scenes, scenarios, and pretend play pages that other people had made.  Soon, I couldn't stop the cuteness.  Observe.

These were 2 of the first pages I made- one for zipping and one for snapping.  Both were cut from baby clothes and sewn to the felt pages.

I decided early in the process that I would make all the pages the same background color.  For this book, I chose a potato brown felt that I had bought by the yard and had hanging around the house.

This was another early page.  I had never made a buttonhole before (indeed I'm exploring many sewing "firsts" on this project).  The little plastic frog is from the Dollar Store and is glued to a piece of ric rac, which is then sewn to the inside of the pocket.  So far, this is the page that everyone is clamoring to have in their own books when the time comes.

Here's another super simple page.  I sewed a ribbon onto the glove and onto the page.  I also glued a small piece of metal onto the fingertip of the glove and put a magnet under the green fabric.  I'm hoping this combination will keep the glove in place as the pages are turned.  These first pages focused on what *I* want my kids to know: zips, snaps, buttons, how to put fingers in gloves.  It was only after more Pinterest research that I started creating pages that the kids might like (wink).

 Since this book will be for my almost 2 year old, I wanted to include some "babyish" pages that I thought he might still enjoy.  Ones that wouldn't require precise motor skills but would still be building muscles and coordination.

This page is filled with lots of textures, stuff that I found around the house and hot glued to the page.  From the top left, they are: pipe cleaner, fleece, strap, google eye, penny, plastic button, wood heart, plastic bag, satin ribbon, foam, elastic, rubber band, and scouring pad.
This is another "skills" page- lacing.  The frog button can jump through all the hoops to get to his home.  The house and road are made of felt and the hoops are key rings.

Ok, that's enough pages for now.  I'll post more soon!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

DIY Color Blocks

DIY Felt Pattern Blocks from In Our Pond

Amazingly, I think this may be an original idea (at least I haven't seen anything like it on Pinterest- and I looked).  I found the wood blocks at the Dollar Tree, 9 blocks for a dollar.  There are eight color blocks pictured here.  I hot glued felt onto each side, taking care that each block was the same pattern.  These blocks can be used to create patterns or pictures for homeschooling or in the car.

Here is a free PDF that I've created with idea cards to print and use.  These were inspired by the block puzzles on this blog and the color matching cards from this one.  Enjoy!

DIY Felt Pattern Blocks from In Our Pond