Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Quiet Book, L-S

I love this page! It's just a bunch of ribbons and a lion face, but I think it's fun!

This is also one of my favorites, and also really took a long time! I sewed each button onto a felt cutout, then sewed the whole thing on to the background. Hanna likes to look at and touch all the buttons. 

N is for noodles! They are made of yarn and sewn down to the red bowl.

Hanna likes this page. The owl can go in and out of the hole in the tree. I saw a page like this on imagine our life . Her pages are amazing and mine is nowhere near that awesome, but they are fun to look at and get ideas from!

The penguin is next to the owl page, so Hanna loves to put the penguin into the tree hole too. 

Q is for quilt. I made this tiny quilt out of fabric samples that were so cute I didn't want to throw them away, but they were like 2 inch squares, so I had no use for them... until now! It also has some cute tiny pillows. Hanna likes to put toys to bed in the quilt. The q is under the quilt.

This rainbow has beads to someday practice counting. And the colors of the rainbow. 

This snowman has changeable hats. In retrospect I wish I would have sewn them onto the other side of the page, because they are always getting tangled in the next page, but oh well. 

That's it for today!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

More Quiet Book Pages

I saw this idea all over the internet.  I chose to attach the flowers to ribbons, just like everything else in the book, because I do not like to lose things and despite that fact, things are always getting lost! The flowers button on and off. This was my first time making button holes! They are not exactly shirt quality, but they work for the book.

I love this page! G is for garden.  The carrots are attached to a ribbon inside the button hole and sewn down to the bottom of the page. They pop out like you are harvesting them, and can go back in. The vine-y thing is supposed to be a tomato plant. Didn't turn out all that well, but I guess it could just be an imaginary plant... or something. 

This was another one that was popular on the internet. And since I have girls, I thought they would really like this page. I was right! My big girls really love it. Hanny will like it more as she gets older. The yarn hair is sewn down with a zig zag stitch in 3 places, then the bottom of the hair can be braided and clips can be put on. I could't figure out the nose, so it's a no nose face. 

I for ice cream.  The cones are sewn down and the scoops are on ribbons and can be stacked in any order. 

The jellyfish page! This is another of my favorites. It's just tentacle ribbons sewn onto a jellyfish body, but I think it's fun. 

The kite page was pretty easy. The kite moves around and it is supposed to look like the K is flying it. 

One other thing: I decided to do all lowercase letters for this book. Usually you see them in capitals, but I found that when teaching my older two to read, they had a really hard time with recognizing lowercase letters. They knew all the sounds but couldn't really read because they didn't know the lowercase alphabet.  So I made all the letters lowercase in this book in hopes that Hanna will be able to recognize the lowercase  letters when it comes time for her to learn to read. 

Thanks for looking!

Friday, January 02, 2015

What I' ve Been Up to...

This is the front page, the letters come loose but are secured with
ribbon so Hanna can practice putting the letters of her name in
the right order. 

Here's the A page.  A simple apple, with a flap that lifts up to
show seeds underneath.
 In September, I decided to make an ABC quiet book for Hanna for Christmas.   I had all this scrap felt and thought it would be a fun and inexpensive project to make,  I was right about the fun, but very wrong about the inexpensive part. All in all, it didn't turn out to be that expensive, but just a lot more than I had anticipated when I thought I would just be able to use what I had.   Also, it took all of my spare time for the better part of two months.  But it was fun to make.  I like projects where I don't have to use a pattern because then I don't feel like I've messed up all the time.

B is for barn.  The doors open and I added a puffy lamb on a ribbon
to play on the page. 

C is for cupcakes.  The frostings are attached to a ribbon and
the sequin on each frosting corresponds to the color for the
cupcake liner to practice colors. It also has the same number of
sequins on the frosting as the number on the liner to practice one
to one correspondence. 
 I did a lot of google searches for ideas for my pages and I came to a lot of blogs featuring quiet book pages.  I took ideas from all over the place, but didn't use anyone's patterns or exact ideas.  But I was so grateful to others who had posted their books and gave me a great jumping off point for my pages.  In the spirit of that, I would like to share the pages I have made as well and hope they can give some inspiration!
Hanna loves ducks, so I made D the duck page. The ducks can
move around, but are once again secured with ribbon.  

This is one of my favorite pages.  The egg can hide inside the
shell, and she can pretend to crack it open and put the egg into
the frying pan. Super fun. 
I think, looking back, it would have been better to tackle a smaller quiet book as my first attempt. After all, an ABC book has a lot of pages! But I'm really happy with the way it turned out and Hanna really loves it, which was the goal all along. Even my 5 & 7 year olds love it and I hope to create some more activity pages for them after a long break from quiet book making!  So here's the beginning of the book; I will be posting some more of the pages soon!

Friday, November 14, 2014


Remember all those pumpkins we grew in the garden? Well, the ones that didn't get made into Jack-O-Lanterns were turned into pumpkin puree last weekend.  We took two huge pumpkins (I know you are supposed to use smaller sugar pumpkins, but we used what we had!) and cut, roasted, and pureed them to use in recipes all fall and winter long! I love pumpkin in so many things, so it was really exciting to be able to use our own pumpkins in this way. The hardest part of this was cutting through the pumpkin since we used such large ones. Patrick was at work, so it was up to me to slice them up.  Once that was done, we roasted the pieces at 350°F for about an hour.  

Then the blending!! We used, not kidding, every blending device in the house to try and puree this stuff. I got out the food processor (mine is not very effective, should have known it wouldn't work), the blender, the baby food processor, and then finally, the immersion blender (Winner!).  

In the end, we ended up with 15 cups of pumpkin, which I froze in individual bags so it would be easy to grab and defrost for recipes.  This was hard work and took the better part of an afternoon, but I can now add pumpkin to whatever my heart desires all winter long! Joy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Post Halloween Post

So I know it's a few weeks after Halloween already (where does the time go?) but I wanted to post some pictures of our Halloween festivities.  The night before Halloween, we carved our pumpkins. We grew all these (and more) pumpkins in our garden this year. Pumpkins were about the only thing that did grow. But we got plenty for carving and the kids had a great time. Hanna had her own little pumpkin to color on. 

Here's Leah's. I'm really not sure what she was trying to carve. I think it started out as a face and then she got a little carried away with the knife. 

Kaiya did all the scooping, scraping, and carving herself this year.  She did a great job on her first solo pumpkin carving.

Here are the girls in costume before we left the house, then once we were ready to go out trick or treating with their friends.  By that time, they were so bundled up you could hardly tell what the costumes were. Good thing I spent an entire month working on them! The girls had a great Halloween this year and are already talking about what they want to be next year!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Making Halloween Costumes without Spending any Money, Part 3

So here is the last Halloween costume for this year. I knew this would be the easiest so I saved it for last. Kaiya asked to be a jellyfish for Halloween this year.  After some internet searching, I found some cute ideas for making a jellyfish costume with an umbrella.  Some of the ideas I saw were quite elaborate and very beautiful. But the one I made is pretty simple. I started with a smaller, purse sized umbrella. This was one that we have had for years stuffed away in the car and when I opened it up, it was kind of breaking anyway. So it's just as well we use it for this costume!

I put a large piece of blue fabric over the top (you guessed it, the last of my curtain fabric!!), but you could just as easily leave it plain. I put a few stitches through the fabric and around the metal wires of the umbrella to hold it in place.

The girls liked it this way and I almost just left the long pieces hanging off the umbrella, but then decided to sew them up to look more like the bell of a jellyfish. 

For this part I just gathered the material and hand sewed through it to create a puffy bottom.  I wasn't sure how it would come out, but I think it turned out looking jellyfish-y enough.

Now for the fun part.  I have had this pink curling ribbon for about 4 years now. I don't remember why I bought such a large spool of it (must have been on sale or something) but it has come in handy A LOT since then. So if you ever see a large spool of curling ribbon and think, when would I use all this?, just buy it. 

So I cut a large piece of curling ribbon and tied it around the the umbrella spoke (is that what it's called? It should be if it isn't).  And then I curled it up.  Repeat about 25 times.  

Here's Kaiya with the finished jellyfish. I may put some more ribbon on for tonight.  She will wear matching top and bottom colors so the focus is on the jellyfish. This is also a good costume for cold weather because she can layer up without covering the costume. It is NOT a good costume for wind, however, which is what we are supposed to have tonight. Crossing my fingers that the weather clears up before Trick or Treat!

Thanks for reading my costume posts! Hope you have a fun and cheap Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Making Halloween Costumes without Spending Money, Part 2

So this is Hanna's costume, which took way more time than I thought it would. Hanna is going to be a starfish this year. At first, I thought I would just use my leftover orange fleece and cut two star shapes and sew them together, leaving openings for the feet and hands, and of course, her head. But the more I thought about the outcome, the more I knew she would not look like a starfish, and instead she would look like an orange blob. She won't keep her arms out and she won't keep a hat on for the top of the star. So I searched a little more and found this idea and thought it was completely adorable. And my version of this starfish is not nearly as well done as hers, but we did what we could without purchasing anything and it turned out alright. So here goes...

I started with a plain white onesie turtleneck and a sparkly white tutu type skirt. We had to go with the turtleneck because it's cold here in Oregon at Halloween time (that's certainly one thing I miss about Death Valley!)  From there I cut a large starfish pattern and a smaller one from the girls' roll of easel paper.  I then cut one big starfish from the orange fleece, hoping the fleece will help to keep her warm on Halloween night. That piece was then hand sewn to the onesie. I wanted to be able to remove it later and keep using the onesie, so I just made some big stitches to hold it on. 

Patrick told me that my starfish were not "pointy enough", so I find it necessary at this time to point out that I was going for cute cartoony type starfish and not anatomically correct ocean creatures. 

Step 2 in the process was to pin and cut the smaller starfish out of regular scrap fabric in orange, green, and blue. I wanted the fronts and backs to be different because you will be able to see the backs when it is finished. 

The next picture is after the fronts and backs are sewn together. I did not cut my corners on the inside, so they are a little puffy, which is what I wanted. I thought it would give the costume some dimension.

One of these starfish will be sewn onto the skirt and the other one onto the big starfish on the onesie. 

Next I went through a lot of trial and error in working on the skirt. I didn't want to cover it completely, and I wanted it to look like seaweed, so eventually I settled on making some seaweed type strips to sew onto it all around. I used some leftover curtain fabric (those curtains are really coming in handy after 5 years!) and sewed it to some green scrap fabric in strips, making the seam look like a wave. Then I turned them right side in and once I had made enough, sewed them around the skirt. I should have tucked the edges under before sewing them down, but didn't, so I needed to make something to go over the top of all the unfinished seams. I decided just to sew some more blue around the waist of the skirt and cover it all up. I worked really hard to pull the elastic and pin it tightly so it would still be stretchy when I was done, but somehow when I pulled the pins it gathered back together and in the end it is not very stretchy at all. She can still get into it at least.

Now, Hanna is in that stage of absolutely hating to get dressed. Or undressed. Or put a jacket on, or socks, or a hat, or anything at all that I try. So she was pretty grouchy about having to put this costume on just so I could take a picture. I got several pictures of her screaming and swinging at me, but no really-cute-happy-to-be-wearing-the-costume-Mommy-spent-3-weeks-on type pictures. Here was the best one, but still not great! The orange on the skirt part is the other starfish. And she really did look adorable in it. Hopefully we will get some better pictures Halloween night!