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Archive for the ‘daughter’ Category

I had the honor of testing another Blank Slate Pattern recently– this time, a kids’ pattern!

The Snuggle PJs pattern was just released on Tuesday, and I made a set for V!

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The pajama top is a pattern for knit fabrics, and has this cool envelope neckline for easy dressing, and there are short-sleeve and long-sleeve options!

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The pants pattern is for woven fabrics.  These pajammies (yes. it’s a word. :)) that I’m showing off here are more of a spring set– short sleeves and a lightweight quilt cotton for the pants.  But can you imagine snuggly flannel pants with a cozy long-sleeve top?!

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Between the binding on the shirt neckline and the potential for contrast cuffs and waistband on the pants, there are endless opportunities for color combinations!  I actually made some “faux piping” (just a simple narrow fold of fabric) and inserted it between the pant leg and cuff to pull the pants and shirt together for this set.  I also decreased the rise quite a bit to fit V where she wanted the pants to lay on her waist.

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This was an incredibly quick sew, and it’s such a cute and satisfying result!!  I already have more in the works– both for V and for B.  The pattern comes in sizes 3 months to 12 years!  Make sure you check the size chart, because V is wearing a size 6 even though her RTW size is more often a 7.  B will also be sporting (in the future) a set that is a couple sizes smaller than his RTW size.

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Of course, Duck had to be involved in the photoshoot– Duck is V’s closest companion!

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Check out the pattern at Blank Slate, and keep an eye out here for future snuggly PJ incarnations!

P.S. Quilt HERE.  Pennant banner HERE.  Bird mobile HERE.

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Two weeks ago, I was able to take time with my daughter on two different days so that she could make some scrapbook layouts to add to her 8″x8″ album.

I’ve learned that it’s best for me to create a mini page kit for her (out of her own stash of supplies!  She has her own box.  I don’t ever use any of her items, even though some of her embellishments are so tempting! 😉 but I do add to her stash from mine on occasion.) Using page kits means that she has a coordinating set of products that are appropriate for the photos (which she also helps me to choose), and not an overwhelming mish-mash of everything in her scrapbook box.  I think it makes the final product look cohesive, and it also reduces my control-freak-stress because it’s not a free-for-all when she starts creating :).  It also minimizes the sticker-sneeze effect, haha!

I set up two page kits for her to scrapbook photos from our beach vacation last year.  We were preparing to go on this year’s annual trip to Myrtle Beach, and I wanted her to tell me her memories from last year before they got mixed up with this year’s memories!

This first page is about being on the beach.

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I asked her to tell me what she liked about being on the beach, and I printed out the words for her to copy in her own handwriting.  She is just starting to read a little bit on her own, and she loves writing things herself.  I love the idea of having her own words in her own handwriting in her own album!

This second page is about the fun she had in the pools at the building where we stayed.  Again, the words and handwriting are her own.

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We added lots of sparkle to this one– glittery circle and wavy strip stickers, prismatic hearts punched from the excess from a sticker sheet, rhinestones, and shiny studded tropical flower stickers.

Of course, anything sparkly delights my 5-year-old, but I also made sure to include the sparkly elements so that she could enter this page into the Simon Says Stamp “Anything Goes With Sparkle” summer vacation kids’ challenge.

Aside from my choosing the set of supplies for each page and applying adhesive using the ATG or liquid glue (PPA), she did the placement and final product selection for each of her pages.  I did remind her of things like layering, having embellishments and titles touch something to keep the page cohesive, and I tried to teach her about clustering in a visual triangle!  I am so glad that we got to spend this time together!

 

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Well, another week of VBS is in the books!   We had a crazy-and-fun time again this year, and of course, I couldn’t resist coming up with headwear (and sometimes more…) for each of the nights’ themes.  You know that I love costumes of any kind!

We tried to color-coordinate the themes to the kids’ class colors (because of course, I need to make it more challenging!).  B was in the “Lil’ Red Rockets” preschool group, and V was in the “Galactic Green” kindergarten class.  Husband and I did a little bit of pre-planning and a tiny bit of advance work, but most of these were developed on the day itself…  I intended to do headbands for V and myself again (since they worked out so well last year), and my friend P gave the awesome suggestion of decorating a ball cap for B!  My headband for the week, upon which I based all of my crazy decorations, was actually a cover (made from THIS pattern–I’ve made countless headband covers over the years!) that I sewed from the hot pink bandana that we wore to designate ourselves as the snack team.  I also made a quick ruffly clip with more strips from the bandana to embellish the headband even further– I also used this clip to help stabilize and attach some of the pieces.

My friend J gave us a hand-me-down red hat that we used for B’s headwear.  It had a team logo on the front, but I used my VBS iron-on logo and turned it into a patch to go over it.  I ironed the logo onto some heavy-weight cotton, which I had interfaced with fuseable interfacing.  Then I satin-stitched a border around the logo and cut it out close to the outside edge of the stitching.  I hand-basted this “patch” onto the front of the hat, and I think it turned out really cute!

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Monday night was space night.  I really, really wanted us each to have a rocket launching over our heads…and these creations, made from cardboard toilet paper tubes covered in paper with tissue paper flames, turned out to be more of a challenge than I expected!  I managed to rig them up well enough, though!

rocket selfie!  VBS day 1 (space theme)

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Tuesday night was super hero night.  Husband and I brainstormed a few superheroes that had a signature color that coordinated with each of our kids’ group color.  We chose logos, and I used my Silhouette to die cut or print-and-cut those logos from cardstock.   In keeping with the bobbing-above-the-head tradition, I mounted them on wire and attached them to each kid’s head.  B’s was mounted on his hat, and V’s wrapped around her hair bun.  I’ll show you my superhero contribution in a future post…(I couldn’t think of any hot pink superheroes that had easily-recognizable logos, so I went with an apron!)

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Wednesday night was color night– each kid dressed in their VBS T-shirt (a plain colored shirt with the iron-on logo affixed to the front), and I broke out the hair mascara from a few Halloweens ago and went to town on their hair.  The kids LOVED having their hair colored!  Vivian also wore a little ruffly hair clip I made from fabric scraps, and I painted her fingernails with green polish!

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Vivian with Galactic Green hair

Thursday night was pajama night.  I liked the moon-and-stars idea that I’d done last year, so I just modified the attachments I’d made for V and myself.  For B, I cut out red stars from textured craft foam and made a white felt moon (a red moon felt a little too grim!).

pajama night for VBS!  I made moons and stars for us to wear on our heads

pajama night for VBS!  I made moons and stars for us to wear on our heads

Friday night was create-your-own alien night.  By the end of this crazy week, I thought I was clean out of ideas (we also had our upstairs hall bathroom remodel begin on Wednesday morning, and on Friday morning, they needed to cut into my craft room ceiling for some plumbing work…)  However, some ideas came together at the last minute!  I’m going to do a separate post about my son’s outfit, but I’ll show my cute aliens off here, too!  B was a red robot alien, and V was a green sparkly alien!  We combined an old Tinkerbell dress-up costume with a sequined jacket her sparkly alien costume, and I made antennae eyes with pompoms and green mesh, which we attached to her hair buns with wire.

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In lieu of a garden this year, we’re container-growing bean plants that my kids started in a library class.  When last we saw the plants on the blog, they were tiny but fast-growing!

I’ve been keeping a bit of a photo record of them over the past month or so…Believe me, this is nothing scientific– just a photo whenever I remember to take one 🙂 It’s fun to see how the plants have grown.

bean plants today!

June 6

the bean plants today

June 14

the bean plants today

June 16

the bean plants today

June 29

 

the bean plants today

…and we spied flowers on June 29, too!

The kids were SUPER delighted to harvest their first beans on July 9.  We got three– one green, one purple, and one yellow (a wax bean??).

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First harvest! Three beans on July 9

Every day when we come home and get out of the car, the kids now rush over to the bean pot, which is just outside the garage, to check to see if there are any new beans for harvest.

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Sometimes they are a little bit over-eager (we’ve lost a vine or two to vigorous and non-traditional harvest methods), but I love how excited they are to pick beans– and then eat them!  They’ve decided they like them best when they are cooked, so I will heat some water in a tiny frying pan to blanch the beans for the kids.

 

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Near the end of April, my kids and I were watching crafting videos during lunch (as usual).  We came across a video from Jennifer McGuire (one of our favorites), in which she created rainbow backgrounds for cards using colored cardstock scraps.  My daughter (age 5.5 years) was intrigued, to say the least, and honestly, so was I!  She suggested that we make those cards, too–which is a frequent refrain, though not always possible.  But today, it was completely possible!

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I sliced up some cardstock scraps into strips of varying widths and presented V with a bundle of them, along with two halves of an 8.5″x11″ sheet of paper, pre-coated with adhesive.

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During her quiet time, she worked away at adding strips of cardstock to the under-layer of paper, and at the end, she had enough striped backgrounds to make four cards!

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She used two of the backgrounds to make cards for her Bible study teachers.  She wanted to mimic some of Jennifer’s designs, and so I cut out some butterfly designs that she chose, using my Silhouette SD– the base layer is vellum, and the detail is plain white cardstock.  She decided on the arrangement and wrote her notes inside.

Vivian's finished paper strip cards

We have lots of paper strips left, and I am looking forward to making more– with V, and also making some myself!

 

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At the end of February, my husband and I took our kids to a Great Wolf Lodge located a few hours from our house.  We realized that it was the first “vacation” we’d taken as just our nuclear family!  The kids had a blast (so did we!) and ever since we returned, they’ve been playing an imaginary game of Great Wolf Lodge all through the house (think sliding around on the floor pretending to be on water slides–ha!)

One day at the end of March, I was working through organizing and editing my photos from the month of February.  As I worked, I received an email with a free photobook offer from Shutterfly–that expired that night!  Thanks to some recent posts on the Lightroom Killer Tips blog, I had the idea of creating photo collages for photobooks on my mind.  I told my husband, “I’m dropping everything to do this today.  I think I can do it!”  And I did!  Woo!  It was probably the very fastest turnaround on a project for me, period.  I chose favorites from our trip, edited them, organized them into pages, made collages, added text, created a title page, covers, and spine and uploaded it to order– all in about 8 hours.  Whoa.

I’ve done a photobook this way before, but this time, it was even faster- I think because there were a lot fewer photos!  Last time, I just put the collages onto Shutterfly pages and printed, but this time, I wanted to have text along with the photos, so I kept that in mind while I constructed my photo collages.  I made the collages in LR, then imported the “printed-to-file” images into PSE and added text boxes.  The text is a slightly modified version of the captions I’d added to the metadata of my photos, so it went very quickly.

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I wanted the title page and final page to be a bit more fancy than just a white background, so I made those pages in PSE (they are still super simple!) and used Audrey Neal’s digital paper from the Whiteout collection to add a whimsical woodgrain.  I also did a quick internet search to find an image of the Great Wolf Lodge logo to use on the title page.

I used the Shutterfly templates to make my cover images and spine, then uploaded everything to print!  It was so satisfying to get it done so quickly.

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It was even more satisfying to get the book so soon after our trip, so that my kids could enjoy it.

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I even took the time to go through the many video clips I took while we were there and grab some screenshots of us going down the slides!

My kids were immediately drawn to the new photobook.  I loved seeing them sitting close on the couch to look at the book together!

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We had quite a few activities planned for the princess party.  As the guests arrived, we had Rapunzel/Tangled coloring pages and crayons out on the table, as well as little “kits” set up to make Pascal blowers.

coloring pages and Pascal blowers to put together in the dining room

I’m really glad that I switched from regular craft foam to adhesive craft foam–it made all the difference!

Vivian made a Pascal blower

Becker made a Pascal blower with Mommy's help

We also had beanbag games set up in the entryway, where guests could throw “apple” (red) beanbags into a hole for Maximus and “satchel” (black) beanbags into a hole for Flynn.

Vivian's fifth birthday party [Ed's camera]

We did one “organized” party game before the “main event!”  I had cut a whole pile of small paper apples with my Silhouette, and we hid them around the rooms in which the party was happening.  The guests each collected at least five and they turned them in for a “reward from Maximus”– a little bag of red and green M&Ms (they were supposed to be apples, haha!)

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do you spy my Rapunzel charm bracelet?  I was Disney-bounding Rapunzel for the party, of course! 😉

The main event was the whole reason we decided to put on this party!  Husband found out about “party princesses” (entertainers who come to a birthday party dressed as a favorite princess character) and decided that they would be absolutely perfect for V.  And of course, they were!  We had requested that Rapunzel come to V’s party, and we were delightedly surprised when Aurora came with her!  The princesses sang, told stories, worked on a little craft, and played some games with the guests.  It was so sweet to see the little girls interacting with the princesses!  At the end, Rapunzel did a little coronation ceremony for V and then V gave out “coronation gifts” to each of the guests (toy rings for the girls, and sticky hands for the boys).

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Aurora, Vivian, and Rapunzel

As we did the different activities, the guests put their little treats and treasures into paper bags that I’d labeled with their names on tags that were styled after the party invitation. Also inside each of those bags was a little watercolor set shaped like a palette, and I added a little tag that says “Add a few new paintings to your gallery”

one of the favors for the kids

The party was so much fun to plan and even more fun to see in action… but it was so much work (totally worth it)!  The next party we do will probably be for B’s fifth birthday party– a few years from now, haha!

This is the last post in my series about our daughter’s princess party; click here for all the posts

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