Quiet Book

So my little baby turns one in two weeks. It is crazy how time flies. One comes with a whole new age of walking, fidgeting, and general ransacking of the house. This has also become a difficulty at church lately so I have been working on a project, a quiet book! While it won't entertain my little baby, it will entertain my older girls and give me a chance to keep all the kids at a manageable noise level. :)

This is the folder I plan to keep it all in. It is a regular folder that I modge podged with a pink fabric.
The first page is a red barn. It has two folding doors. I sewed the doors first and then the top of the barn. I outlined the top of the barn with white. All the pages and contents are made from felt. The doors of the barn are double layered and contain paper to make them stiffer.
Under the doors I have a white pocket. I sewed the white pocket first. It now contains 4 finger pockets. A pig, a cat, a cow, and a chicken.
The second page is a Mr. Potato head. I have since added more accessories...I have to admit, I got a little carried away with all the fun faces I could put on the Mr. Potato! (I'll update more pictures next week)

I have three more pages that currently working on but I will update those next week!


Organizing Our Home: Mini Fabric Bolts & Mini-Mini Bolts

I have to confess. I have A LOT of fabric. My husband might say that I have TOO MUCH fabric, but we can discuss that another day. The biggest problem with my fabric is that all the pieces are different. Some are just left overs from another project, some are fat quarters, and some are a few yards, just waiting to be cut and sewn. It seemed that no matter how I folded and piled, it never looked or was organized. I often knew (or thought I knew) that I had a certain piece of fabric, but then I couldn't find it. Or I would tear everything apart looking for it and end up frustrated and with a bigger mess.

I have seen a number of different ideas for making mini bolts, but I had a hard time finding the materials recommended or didn't want to spend that much money.

What you need:
20 x 30 Foam Core Board (I found mine at Walmart for under $2 a board)
Jumbo Paper Clips (found at Walmart in the Office Supply section)
Ruler/Yard Stick & Pencil
Sharp Knife

I first measured and drew out the cutting lines. The Mini Bolts measured 10 inches x 5 inches. I drew out all the lines I needed to cut on and then cut along the lines with sharp knife. Then I took a piece of fine sandpaper and gentle smoothed out the rough spots and edges.

Then I took my fabric, layed it out flat, folded the raw edges to the center, and began wrapping it around one board. When I got the end of the fabric I folded the edges under and secured them to the other layers of fabric using the jumbo paper clips.

For the Mini-Mini Bolts: Draw lines that are 6 inches x 4 inches. And follow that same instructions for cutting and folding.

I found that I could fit up to about 2 yards of neatly folded cotton on a Mini Bolt and the Mini-Mini Bolts were perfect for fat quarters, 1/4-1/2 yard cuts, and smaller left over pieces.

I love how I can easily see and grab what pieces I need and how neat and tidy it makes my shelves look. And how inexpensive it turned out to be. Hope this gives you an idea of organizing your creative space, have a great weekend!


Valentine Wreath....

I wanted to make a wreath for our mantel for Valentine's Day, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money or time or brain power working on something. I am really happy with how this wreath turned out and it didn't have to be 'perfect'.

Here's what you need:
Coffee Filters (They come in a huge package, this was actually left over from another project I did)
Fabric Dye (I used Tuplip Red and found it at Walmart)
Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
Wreath form, whatever size and shape you would like

FIRST: you need to dye your coffee filters. This isn't hard and it doesn't have to be perfect. I used a large plastic tub in my sink. I DID NOT use all the dye. Just a bit, until it was the color I was looking for. I put about a tablespoon of salt in the tub, then the powdered dye, and added about 2 cups of boiling water. I stirred until it was all dissolved.

You MUST WEAR GLOVES! I wore throw-away medical gloves, but it doesn't really matter what you wear, just wear gloves. I dripped some on the back of my hand and could not get it off, it is slowly fading, but still there.

Add the coffee filters to the tub of dye. Make sure that they are fully covered, move them around and let them sit for as long as you like. The longer they sit in the dye the darker they will be. I did 3 batches of coffee filters, the first I let sit the longest time, and then less time and less to get a multi-shade look. 

(Sorry there are no pictures of this, but I was home alone and I didn't want to dye my hands or my camera)

Over the tub ring out the coffee filters, they are amazingly strong and I just rung out all the excess moisture. And then place them in another dry tub or bucket (remember nothing that you love it might be dyed for a while).

Once I had all the coffee filters rung out, I threw them in the dryer. Yes, my clothes dryer. I adjusted the temp to be low-medium and then let them tumble around. But watch them, this is probably a no-no and a fire hazard, so don't leave your dryer unattended. But it only took a few minutes for the coffee filters to be fluffed and dry.

Now it is time to make the ruffley-flower things for the wreath. First, fold a coffee filter in half.
 Then cut it along the fold. Now you have 2 halves.
 Fold one half in half like this.
 Then in half again.

 Then twist the pointed end. If you don't want your wreath to be real fluffy, twist it more. If you want fluff, twist less.
 Snip off the pointy part with scissors.
 Then hold the twisted part and pull apart all the the different folded layers to look like this. Then glue it to the wreath form with hot glue. And repeat until your wreath is full. 
I added a small piece of ribbon to the back for hanging and you are done! Enjoy!


Rice Crispy Valentines

 I saw this yummy and easy treat idea at Mel's Kitchen Cafe the other day (see post HERE) and decided to try it out and add my own spin to it. Can I just say that chocolate dipped rice crispy treats are heaven sent! Who knew something so simple could make such a difference? We ate about half of the treats I made, but the other half went to my kid's friends for Valentine's day. I put two hearts in each goodie bag (found at Wal-mart) and added the saying, "You make my heart go SNAP, CRACKLE, POP!" I came up with that saying right out of my own little head... :) Happy Valentine's everyone!