Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Giving Joy

"...for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
Luke 2:30-32 ESV 
For the past several years, I have desired to do something more at Christmas time.  The Christmas season approaches and I think, "I need to do something to give" and then my life gets "busy" and I don't really do anything.  This year, God placed an opportunity right in my lap.  A nursing home in my area has a weekly church service on Wednesdays that several of the local churches rotate through.  This year, my church was scheduled for December 25.  When my pastor announced the opportunity to help out, I jumped on board.  So today, for about an hour and a half my sister, E, and I joined about 20 or so people from our church to visit, sing carols, and present God's love to those who cannot join their families on this day.  This is a tradition that I would like to continue.

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Today I did something I've never done before...

I went to see a movie on Christmas Eve!  My brother, J, and I went to see "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" today.  It was a pretty good movie and it was fun to sit and watch it with my bro.

Did you start any new traditions this year?  Are you planning on doing them another year?

Merry Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas is coming... Safari Animals

This post wraps up the Quiet Book series.  Hope you enjoyed seeing all the pages.

This page was not part of my original plans for the book, but when I asked my sister what farm animals my niece A likes (for this PAGE) she said that A really likes wild animals especially hippos, monkeys, and giraffes.  So the hunt for an idea for an animal page began.  The idea was hatched when I saw this BLOG POST.  For more history on this page, see this POST.

To make this page, I first traced out the animal outlines on paper and then transferred them to felt.  I sewed the bodies onto the background with a sewing machine. I stitched in the details on the face by hand making sure to include the snap on the back.  For the hippo, giraffe, and monkey, I sewed the snap behind an eye.  For the lion, I sewed the snap onto the back of the mane and then sewed the face to the mane.  I made sure the snap on the back of the head and the snap on the page lined up.  Now you can switch the animal's heads around.  
Having fun switching the heads around.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas is coming... Mailbox

My niece, like most children, enjoys practicing writing like her parents and the other big people in her life.  On this page, she can scribble in a notebook and then "mail" her letters in the mail box. Go HERE for a template for the mailbox (My few attempts at sketching a mailbox were all fails as I cannot draw perspective very well).

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas is coming... Weaving

No quiet book would be complete without a weaving page.  A lattice top pie is a delicious way to practice weaving.  To make this page, I traced a bowl to make the circle of the pie.  After that I just cut out wavy lattice pieces.  I sewed around the edge of the pie with a zigzag stitch making sure all the layers were coming together.  I did not use any adhesive to hold the layers together, but it was not too difficult to keep the layers from moving by using a few pins.  If any of the lattice pieces were too long, I trimmed the ends after sewing it together.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas is coming...It's all about the shoes

When I was younger, I had a quiet book that my grandmother made for me.  There was a shoe page that I enjoyed tying and untying.  I wanted to do something similar in A's book, but I wanted it to be cute too.  The idea of a ballet shoe caught my eye when I saw it HERE

I drew a ballet shoe onto a piece of paper and then transferred it to the felt.  I then took a length of ribbon and pinned it in the pattern I wanted and sewed all the way up and back on both sides of the ribbon.  I made sure the sewing was extra strong at the tying end. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas is coming... Cutting Board

A loves helping her mom in the kitchen, so when I saw this page HERE I decided to make a cutting board and sectioned veggies/fruit page.  The only thing I forgot to add was a plastic knife. Would you add any other foods to this page?
Cutting Board and food in pocket.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Christmas is coming... Farm

This page is one of my favourite pages.  I had fun measuring the red felt to make the barn outline and then figuring out the best way to sew the white details onto the page.  A ruler was my best friend as I created the barn.  After the page was together, I sewed up the finger puppets.  If you want to make finger puppets like these, check out THIS blog.  It has all the patterns.  I just printed and traced out my puppets and then sewed them together.

Look what's inside!
A having fun playing with the puppets.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas is coming...Gardening

This is a fun page, but not as wonderful as I thought it would be.  My inspiration came from HERE and HERE. On this page, are planted onions, carrots, and beets.  There is a Velcro closing at the bottom of the page so any vegetables that get planted too deep can be retrieved.  

To make this page, I drew a hilly line along a piece of brown felt and green felt.  I chose a background of blue felt with a little white cloud in the corner.  For the word "garden", I wrote on the felt in pen and then hand stitched over top.  It was a little tricky to put the layers together as I wanted to leave a pocket at the bottom with a velcro closure, and make a pocket to hold the veggies with the green felt.  I just played around with my sewing machine until all the layers were together.  For the veggies, I just used scraps of felt and made them look like onions, carrots, and beets.  I am guessing that the veggies will get lost and I will have to make more in the future. 


Friday, November 22, 2013

Christmas is coming... Paint Palette

This book nearly overwhelmed me and took so much longer to make than I thought it would.  I spent a couple weeks working on it in during most of my free time.  For many of the pages I got my ideas from THIS blog found via Pinterest. 
The first page in A's book is a paint palette.  I traced out a palette and paint splotch onto paper and then copied that over to the felt.  I first tried putting on sticky velcro.  Bad idea because it does not stick to felt.  Plan B was to get some sew on velcro and cut it into little squares and attached the soft side to the paint colours and the hook side to the palette.  It worked!  I also sewed a couple pieces of white felt onto the background to hold the paintbrush.
Sewing Velcro on the paint colours.
Laying out the page

A knows what to do with paint.  :-)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Christmas is coming... Texture Book

For my eight-month-old niece, B, I made a texture book for her to play with and chew on.  I knew that she is teething and I thought she would like a book that she can really sink her teeth (or her gums) into.  I took my ideas from THIS blog found via Pinterest. The lovely shapes on the centre page were made by my friend who is coaching me as I make a quilt from the fabric my grandmother used to make outfits for us when we were younger (look for a post on that in the next couple months).  She has a surger machine and finished off the edges of the fabric using it.
The cover ... made out of a shiny pillowcase I picked up at a second hand store.
Page 1 ... A shiny piece of satiny material from my grandmother. 
She made dresses for my sisters and I and used this fabric for the skirts.
Page 2 ... Lace taken from dresses I tore up to make my quilt on a background of fun fabric.

Page 3 ... Fur cut from a teddy bear I found at a second hand store edged by fabric I got from my grandmother.
Page 4 & 5 ... Shapes made out of a variety of textures (Square=fur, Triangle=quilt batting, Circle=wash cloth)

Page 6 ... Blanket from the Teddy Bear from page 3
Page 7 ... Piece of corduroy from leftover material
from my grandmother’s collection.
Page 8 ... A granny square crochet block.
Button closure ...
Yum! I love it.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Christmas is coming...The gifts are given

My craft workspace took over the dining room table!
 A couple weeks ago, I posted a SNEAK PEAK of my nieces Christmas gifts.  Last weekend, my sister and her family came to visit and I gave my nieces their gifts.  I made each of them a quiet book and over the next few weeks, I will post pictures of each of the pages in the books as well as instructions or where I got my inspiration for the page.  
Warning: Making a quiet book is rewarding, but VERY time consuming! :-)

Wrapped and ready to go.  The bigger book is for my two-year-old niece (referred to as A in these posts) and the smaller book is for my Eight-month-old niece (referred to as B in these posts)
Yum! Yum! B sinks her gums into the book before she even gets the wrapping off.
A loves opening presents!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I'm seeing white spots...

A couple days ago I was talking to my brother in Texas and while he was talking to me, he was swatting mosquitoes.  I do not think I will be swatting any buzzing insects anytime soon.  :)  There are big fluffy white things falling from the sky.  Hello Canadian winter!

Yesterday on my way home from work
Today on my way to work

Friday, October 18, 2013

Christmas is coming ... a sneak peak

This year, I decided to make something special for my nieces for Christmas.  Each of them are gettng  a "Quiet Book".  If you ever decide to make one, know that it can take up to 500 times as long as you expect to make one (that might be a bit of an exaggeration... maybe...).

Here's a sneak peak at my rough sketch of the animal page in the book for my 2 year old niece. Apparently she loves jungle animals, so I made up this special page for her where each of the animal's heads are attached with a snap and can be switched around.  I cannot draw very well, so I borrowed a few kids' drawing books from the library and spent about an hour making these sketches. I will post pictures of the finished project after I give it to her in November. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Autumn is here

“While the earth remains, 
Seedtime and harvest, 
Cold and heat, 
Winter and summer, 
And day and night Shall not cease.”
-a promise from God (Genesis 8:22)
Even though fall is not my favourite season, I am still appreciating it beauty found in nature as it prepares for the cold of winter.

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