Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Repost: Fabric Quiet Book

Today I'm reposting an oldie but a goodie.... the very first big, complicated sewing project I tackled when I first became a mother. I made this quiet book eight years ago for my little baby who is turning nine in a few weeks. I am going to have a nine year old! Ack!

But enough reminiscing.

First page: an artist's palette. Each of the colors snaps onto the palette. It's a matching game.

Then we have Mr. Elephant. If you pull on his tail, he sucks the peanuts up his trunk.

On the next page, the belt on top of the pants can be latched and unlatched. Luckily these pants won't fall down... hee hee!

One of my favorite pages is the treasure chest. It has a real lock and key and when you unlock it, you can reach into the pocket on front. Sometimes I put fruit snacks or secret messages in there for my kids to find.

The next page is shoe tying. I have since changed out the purple cording for real shoelaces. That cording was a nightmare for me to tie and impossible for any child.

The next page is a piggy bank and a tithing envelope. The kids use the fake money to decide how much money they should save and how much goes to tithing.

Then we have the face page. It's everyone's favorite page. The face pieces are all lined with felt so they stick to the felt face shape. If you look carefully, you can see that the page is actually a big pocket so that all the face pieces can be stored inside.

After all these years, I still haven't finished the "family tree" page. There are supposed to be apples with pictures of our family on them that they can velcro on and off the tree. Oh, well. It was a good idea.

The next page is Jonah and the whale. The whale has a zippy mouth so he can eat Jonah.

The red, white and blue page is a big pocket that holds paper dolls. 

My son loves the race track page. The little micromachine car can drive around the track and "park" in the light green pocket. All of the road signs snap on and off too.

Next we have hair braiding. The flowers on her hat can also be buttoned and unbuttoned.

The fishing page is fun. I put paper clips inside the fish so that the magnet on the end of the fishing pole will grab them. All the stuff can be stored behind the page... do you like that water scalloped edge on the pocket?

The very last page has two pockets. One holds crayons and the other holds a little pad of paper to draw on.

The book cover is made of denim. Each page in the book has three buttonholes down the sides. I slid metal rings through the buttonholes to bind the book together. The pages are all stabilized with iron-on fusing.

I also made a bag to store it in:

This project was a labor of love, but definitely worth it. My kids still love this book! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Well, That Got Done Sooner Than I Thought It Would...

I recently shared the progress I've been making in the downstairs family room. I thought it would be quite a while before I finished up down there, but things came together for me and I am done!

Let's take a little look back to the very beginning:

So blah.

Here's how it looks today:

I found the map at a school that was being demolished. They were selling everything they weren't taking to the new school. Scored it for $5! It rolls up and down and I have to admit that sometimes I do it just for fun. I feel like a school teacher! I love the bright pop of color it adds to the room.

I hid the big tangle of computer cords by sticking two sheets of dollar store foam core between the desk and the cords. You can hardly see the foam core and it is hands-down better than seeing that mess of cords! I'm rather proud of that solution... I tell ya, those cords had me stumped for the longest time!

 Aw stink. I forgot to put the chair I recovered in the picture!

I used steel wool and vinegar to stain the top of the desk. I'll write up a separate post on that some time. It was a very interesting experience!

The desk would look so much tidier without the computer tower and the printer, but hello... I live here. Things have to be functional. 

And in true blogger fashion, here's a good old before-and-after photo:

Now I won't be embarrassed to have people come downstairs!

Monday, July 21, 2014

"Love is Sweet" Bridal Shower

My baby sister got married Saturday! It's been a crazy couple of weeks... you know how weddings go. But the wedding is done, she is off on her honeymoon, and I finally have a second to breath and catch up on all the happenings.

First up, my other sister and I worked together to throw her bridal shower. She's a food blogger and I'm a crafty DIY blogger, so teaming up was perfect! 

We decided to go with the theme "Love is Sweet" mostly so we could eat a lot of treats. haha. Here's the spread:

I used my trash-to-treasure chalkboard as a menu. That thing has come in so handy! I also reused the tissue paper poms and paper lanterns I used at the tea party. Then I bought a girly floral paper pack from Michaels ($5 yo!) and made it into a banner. It says "Love is Sweet" but it's kinda hard to see in the photos.

I found a wire picnic caddy set at a thrift store. It had a big tray, a cup dispenser and a napkin/utensil holder, all for $3. But they were ugly hunter green plastic coated wire. A little aqua spray paint, and you would never have guessed how they looked to begin with:

And aren't those little cups stinkin' cute? I have been collecting them from thrift stores. The chevron spoons and yellow baker's twine are from Joanns.

The food was to die for. Seriously. Bacon-wrapped pineapple with a honey-sriracha glaze, Nutella mousse, oreo cake donuts, homemade churros, chocolate chip cookie cup shots ... are you drooling yet? You can get copies of all the recipes on my sister's blog HERE.

Next up is the gift table:

I am in love with this vintage sheet. It adds so much color and whimsy.

This chalkboard is actually not a chalkboard at all. It's a piece of dollar store black foam core. I used chalk on it and it worked smashingly. How did I get such neat lettering? I just have really awesome handwriting. Ha! Not! Actually, I printed it from the computer and used THIS technique to transfer it to the chalkboard.

The little triangle border? I had all the triangles left after cutting the banners and thought, "Why not use them for something!" I love being able to use something that otherwise would have been thrown away.

The last little thing was the sparkling waters we gave out as party favors. I made a little tag that said, "Love is sweet. Please take a treat." I printed them out, punched holes in the corner, then tied them to the drink with more yellow baker's twine. Easy peasy! And those drinks are yummay.

The party was a success. It was kind of special to be able to work with one sister to throw a party for my other sister. Now all three girls in the family are married women! Love really is sweet.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Progress! (Downstairs Family Room)

This week is CRAZY week around here... my sister is getting married on Saturday! Plans were going smoothly until she went to pick up her wedding dress and the alterations were atrocious. Seriously, it was bad. Now we are scrambling to make things work. I am taking over a lot of the tasks my mom was going to do so that she can fix the hot mess of the ugly wedding dress.

But, I have been meaning to share the progress I've been making downstairs. Do you remember the before picture?

Here's the "halfway there" photo:

It's a little better, huh? I painted the bookcases and stained the top of the desk. I dejunked the bookcases, too. Man, we had a lot of stuff  that just needed to be tossed! I decided to pack up old college textbooks because I know we are not going to be reading those any time soon. And I moved some books to other parts of the house. With the extra space, I was able to style things a little more nicely:

Do you see that apothecary jar full of marbles? They belonged to my husband's uncle when he was a boy. I just love them and am so glad we can have them on display!

I still need to:

- paint the desk legs
- add art to the wall
- hide the jumble of computer cords

But it's coming along!
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