Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Owen's First Birthday

I had been thinking a long time about what to do to celebrate Owen's first birthday. I looked on Pinterest of course for inspiration, asked my little sister what she thought, and tried to think of the very best theme, date, time, etc. 

Eventually, I concluded that it was all a little too overwhelming for something he wouldn't even remember. I decided we would do a very simple celebration with a couple of friends on his birthday. 

Then my two younger sisters came to visit, and last minute, we decided to throw him a party before they had to go home.  They wanted to help with everything and be here to celebrate, so I figured, why not?

We chose a circus theme and I think it turned out great. He had fun and so did we. 

The first thing we did was make some decorations. We loved this idea from pinterest. It was so easy and looked great! Kennedy and I used cups, bowls, and small tupperwares to make different size circles on bright colored paper. We cut them out and taped them to black thread and then taped them up on each side of the ONE letters that Katy had made. 

We loved the highchair decorations from this party, so Katy and Kennedy made some just like it. Super cute!

I had red and white stripe fabric in my stash that went perfectly with the theme. We hung that up, used the extra paper circles to add decoration, and hung balloons. 

For food, we had homemade corndogs, homemade mashed potatoes, fruit salad, circus animal cookies, cherry sours, and of course cupcakes!

Owen got an extra large cupcake all to himself (pictured in the center).

After eating dinner, Owen opened his present from Mark and Caitlin. He took the top tissue paper out, took his present out (a sheriff onesie!), and was so excited about the last tissue paper. To him, that was the real present!

We loved having Aunt Katy and Aunt Kennedy here! They were so much fun and so helpful and we sure do miss them!

We took a little break after dinner and before dessert to let the food settle. Owen loved playing with the big dice! 

 Here is his cake smash outfit!! I just thought it was the cutest thing. 

Hat tutorial found here. I printed the pattern on cardstock, made the hat, then hot-glued the chevron fabric on it. I made the pom-pom for the top and added yarn to tie under his chin.

Tie tutorial and pattern found here. I printed the pattern and followed her tutorial and it turned out great!

Diaper cover tutorial and pattern found here. As with the tie, I printed the pattern and followed the tutorial. I used size 12-24 months because my little man has a big bum! It was a little big, but the elastic made it fit just fine. 

He didn't like the stickiness of the frosting at first, but I think he was enjoying it by the end. 

 After a nice bath to clean up, he relaxed with a bottle, then went to bed. 

Happy birthday to my sweet boy!!

Quiet Book Pages 6 and 7: Barn and Grassy Hill

As I was making the quiet book, these pages were my favorite of all the ones I had made. They turned out so cute and didn't take a ton of time!

Pages 6 and 7: Barn and Grassy Hill

Teaches: Animals, imaginative play, using finger puppets

My inspiration and pattern for these pages came from here. It was SO nice having a template for everything rather than having to draw it out myself. It made it go a lot faster, and I love how it turned out!

I just printed off her template, cut out the pieces and sewed everything together! The whole barn page is machine stitched on. 

As is the grassy hill page. I used one whole piece of green felt for this page and cut it to make pocket for the animals to go in. 

The barn doors stay closed via velcro.

And there are the finger puppet animals!! Tucked nicely into their little pocket.

I just love these little animals. They were all hand stitched together, then the eyes were added using puffy paint. 

Here is the empty barn.

And the animals playing on the hill. 

Super fun and super cute! Thanks Jocelyn for the awesome template!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Quiet Book Pages 4 and 5: Numbers and Math

Of all the pages I did, I think these took the most amount of time. It was worth the extra effort of hand stitching to get the end result though!

Pages 4 and 5: Numbers and Math

Teaches: numbers and counting, order, addition, subtraction

My inspiration for these pages came from all over. After looking at several quiet books, I knew I wanted a page with numbers. I initially wasn't planning on doing a math page, but I just couldn't help myself. Math is my favorite, so why not add it in? 

This is what I came up with: 

For the numbers, I found a web page that had numbers as coloring pages. I zoomed the screen to be the right size, then traced them by holding plain white paper right up to the computer screen and tracing (lightly) using a pencil. 

I picked the three colors of felt I wanted to use, cut the numbers out of the paper and used those as my pattern to cut the numbers out of felt. 

With each number cut out, I then cut out black rectangles to be just larger than the numbers. I used a blanket stitch to hand sew each number onto the black. That is the part that took forever. I love how they turned out though, so I'm glad I took the time to do it that way. 

I then cut nine more black rectangles, machine stitched one side of velcro on each, then machine stitched those to the page. I then realized that if I didn't want machine stitching to show through my numbers (which I didn't) I was going to have to hand stitch the other side of velcro on the back of the number rectangles. I knew I would rather take the time now to do the work and have it be exactly how I wanted, so I did. 

For the math page, a similar approach was taken. I made a whole second set of numbers (plus a 0) to allow every possible addition and subtraction formula of the numbers 1-9 to be done. The plus, minus, and both equal signs were hand stitched onto the page. 

As with the numbers page, these numbers velcro on and off. A large pocket was sewn to the bottom of the page to hold the extra numbers. 

So far, these have been two of Owen's favorite pages. He may not know what they are actually for, but he loves the velcro and the bright colors!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Quiet Book Pages 2 and 3: Traffic Light and Road

These pages were fun to make! I did a mix of hand stitching and machine stitching and wouldn't change a thing about them. 

Pages 2 and 3: Traffic Light and Road

Teaches: Traffic light and meaning, imaginative play, velcro

My inspiration for this page came from here.

Her pages looked great, so I wanted mine to look just like hers. This is how mine turned out: 

As with the shapes page, I made sketches of both of these pages which I then used as a pattern. 

For the traffic light page, I cut out the black and one layer of felt for a red, yellow, and green circle. I machine stitched those onto the black, then added a square of velcro. The black felt piece was then machine stitched onto the page. I then cut two layers of felt of each color, machine stitched them together, trimmed, and added the other side of a square of velcro. 

The rhyme was written in sharpie on the same thick interfacing I used on the shapes page. (It goes to the same tune as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)

The road page was mostly hand stitched using a blanket stitch. I really love how it turned out! 

The red block at the top is a "garage" for the little car I made! It is wider on one end, then stitched down in straight lines to allow room for the car to go in. 

I also attached a ribbon to the car and the back of the garage so the car doesn't get lost!

Once again, here are the pages together! If you have questions, just leave a comment and I will do my best to answer them!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Quiet Book Page 1: Shapes

This first page took me much longer than it should have to complete. It was the combination of getting started and not knowing exactly how I wanted to do this page that made it so time consuming. With that in mind, my first suggestion for each page is to plan exactly what you want before you do anything. 

Page 1: Shapes

Teaches: Snaps, Shapes, Colors

My inspiration for this page came from the shapes page in Sabrina's quiet book off of The Quiet Book Blog

I love how perfect all of Sabrina's pages look. The matching colors, the amazing stitching, everything! Her shapes page was my favorite that I found, so I decided to copy it to the best of my ability. 

Here is what I came up with: 

For all of my pages, I first make a general sketch of what the page would look like on letter size paper (8.5 inches by 11 inches). For these shapes, I traced Owen's shape blocks because they were just the size I needed. I then decided on the colors for each of the shapes. I cut two layers of felt and one layer of a coordinating cotton for each shape.

I machine stitched the two layers of felt together, trimmed the edges, and then added a snap to the center. 

I used Heat N' Bond Lite for the cotton shapes attached to the pages. I ironed the first side on, added the snap, then ironed it to the page. I then zig-zag stitched around the outside to keep it in place. 

I used a very thick interfacing and sharpie to write the names of the shapes. I cut them to size, wrote the shape names, and then machine stitched around the edges. 

Here is pictured how the shapes snap on to their matching cotton shape. 

And a closer picture of the outer stitching:

Below is the circle. Two layers of blue felt machine stitched together with a snap applied to both layers. My recommendation here is to trim to what you have sewn. Even if your stitching isn't perfect, the trimming will make that shape look great!

Here are four extra shapes. This was my first attempt at what I wanted to do. I cut out one layer and applied the snaps. They look pretty but are way too flimsy. 

No worries though, because they just get tucked right in to that nice little pocket at the bottom of the page as extras!

Once again, here is the page overall. Although it is not quite as pretty as Sabrina's, I love how it turned out!!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

How to Start a Quiet Book

I have been so excited to start a quiet book for a while now and finally got to it! I decided to make it for Owen's birthday, so I have been working like crazy to get it done. For the next few posts, I will show each page (or 2 pages if they go together), link to where I got my inspiration, talk about what I did, and hopefully inspire you to create your own book. 

The first step in creating my quiet book was getting ideas from several places. I started with the quiet book that one of my best friends made, then looked online to find even more ideas. I wrote down all the pages I thought I might like in my book, then narrowed the list down to a feasible amount. I wrote down the pages in the order I thought would flow best and came up with 18 total pages. 

I have been collecting different supplies for the past few months, knowing that I would want to make my book fairly soon. As a summary, the supplies I gathered are as follows:

1. LOTS of felt in all sorts of colors!! I got a lot from thrift stores, but also bought some from Walmart, and a few extra sheets from Joann's. I have so many different colors and a bunch of black. I love the variety and I like having the black as a go-to for backgrounds and such.
2. Different colors of thread, a sewing machine, and a sewing needle for hand stitching
3. Muslin, or other type of neutral color fabric
4. Fusible fleece interfacing
5. Snaps and snap tool, grommets and grommet tool, velcro, 1.5 inch binder rings
6. Ribbon, buttons, shoe laces, phone cord
7. Iron-on ABC's

I may have left out something, but everything will be included as the pages are posted!

For my pages, the fabric I am using is tan and medium weight. I had it in my fabric stash and it looked great, so I used it! The pages have been cut to be 10.5 inches by 12 inches. 

 After cutting out the pages, the next step was to iron on the interfacing. I decided to use thicker interfacing and just do one layer between 2 pages; so I ironed it on all left-side pages (all even-numbered pages). I labeled the pages with small numbers in the bottom right corners so I can keep track of what goes where. 

For my quiet book, I keep it together in the order it will be put together at the end. I am already having fun flipping through it and seeing how it is coming together!

If you are looking to start a quiet book, or if you just want to see mine, stay tuned over the next few weeks for some inspiration and instruction! 


Monday, July 14, 2014

Baby Boy Pajamas

In early June, Owen and I took a trip to Nevada to see my family. For those who might not know, it is HOT in Nevada! The only pajamas Owen owns are the sleeper kind with the little footies. That just wasn't going to cut it for that kind of weather. 

I told Nathan that we should probably get some cooler pajamas for the trip, and he suggested I just make some. He often suggests I make things, even random things that I honestly can't make, but this time, he was right. I definitely could make pajamas!

Using the t-shirt scraps from the quilt I made, I whipped up some pajamas!

And they were kinda crappy. I made it up as I went, not really following a pattern and using random pieces of t-shirt. The neck ended up being WAY too big, so I stitched it together in the front and back. That looked super tacky, so I added a little cougar logo which in my opinion, improved it tremendously. They still weren't great, but they would work for what we needed them for!

So here they are:

And they fit!

And he can still move and play!

Round of applause for cool (literally) pajamas!


Easter 2014

Easter was forever ago, I realize that, but I did a lot of sewing for it and thought I would write a blog post about all the outfits!

First is an idea I saw on pinterest! It was a baby girl outfit there, but I decided it was definitely able to be made into a boy version as well, so I went for it! Owen was not in the mood for taking pictures, so this is the best I got. I love how it turned out though!! 

One of my very best friends is also super crafty (see her blog here) and we decided to make shirts for each other's little guys. I used felt and puffy paint for mine and she used vinyl for hers! Looks professional right? Owen sure liked it! 

For Easter Sunday, I knew I wanted to have matching outfits for the three of us. I decided to make myself a skirt first. I didn't have any fabric I liked, so using plain white and a white and light pink plaid, I crafted some chevron fabric to use. I then used this tutorial to make my skirt. I don't have a picture of just my skirt, but it turned out cute. I loved having pockets!! If you want to know how to make the chevron, let me know and I will do a post about that. 

For Owen's outfit, I made a cute little vest with a matching bowtie. He looked adorable of course. For the vest, I drafted a pattern from a vest that he currently fit and it worked like a charm. I then added 3 buttons with button holes. 

Nathan already had a pink tie to match us, so he wore that. I loved having matching outfits! A friend of ours took some quick pictures for us and they turned out perfect. 

Happy Easter!! 


Sunday, July 13, 2014

T-shirt Quilt Part 2

Starting from where I left off last time, I had the t-shirts all cut out. From there, I then bought and ironed interfacing on the back of all the pieces made of t-shirt fabric. I already had black cotton in my fabric stash so I used that and cut strips out to go in between the t-shirt pieces. I then laid it all out and here is what I have:

Then Owen woke up, so he got to hang out in his pack-and-play!

And mostly shove his face up against the mesh and lick it. At least he was happy, right?

I decided to sew the pieces together in sections to make it so I wasn't working with one huge piece until the end. I ended up making 3 sections:

After the whole top was sewn together, I laid out the top on the back (I didn't use batting) and pinned it together to quilt it. I then rolled up the sides to start quilting from the center.

All quilted together!!

The last step was the binding. One of my best friends gave me the brilliant idea of using the back for the binding by just folding it to the front. I loved that idea because then the blanket would be soft on the edges as well as the much better for snuggling with! I folded it to the front and pinned it to the raw edges were under. 

And here is my house just after I finished the quilt. Cleaning for the day was a little lacking.

But I stitched the edges and had a finished quilt!! The mess was worth it. 
I love it and I'm excited to be able to keep the memories these t-shirts hold in a blanket forever! So fun.