Archive for the ‘daughter’ Category

While her brother was making a layout with me, V was working on a layout of her own for her 8″x8″ album.  I’d printed a collage of photos and saved a bit of ephemera from a friend’s birthday party she’d attended, and I put together a little page kit for her that coordinated with them.  To make the kit, I chose some papers, some punch-out letter tiles, a few journaling spots so she had some options, and a number of embellishments from her own personal stash.  I find that it helps me to relax and helps her to be more focused when there is a limited set of supplies to choose from for any given page.

After she decided which paper should be the background, I cut it to size, and she went to town to create her very own layout by herself.  I aided by providing adhesives, but otherwise, the design is entirely her own.  She even composed her own her title and picked out the letter tiles to spell it out.


She really took the “sparkle” part of the kids’  “Anything Goes With Glitter” summer vacation challenge on the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge blog to heart… she used almost every glitter sticker she had to sprinkle this layout!


I’m proud of her for creating this layout (and writing her own journaling!) all by herself!

(P.S. See B’s layout HERE)


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Bunny and Bug



I’m not exactly sure what gave me the idea, but I decided that each of my kids should get a special mommy-made softie for Christmas.  I love Ikat Bag’s Menagerie pattern, and since I’ve already made a squid, I knew that the pattern is really straightforward and well-written– and therefore manageable in the short amount of time I had free before Christmas.

I chose to make a Bunny and a Bug, because those are nicknames I use for my children.



Bug is made from “anti-pill” fleece from Joann.  He is soft and snuggly, but I must say, I am super unimpressed with the “anti-pill” nature of the fabric.  He was pilled almost as soon as my son hugged him!  But thankfully, that doesn’t inhibit him from being cuddly.

I found some faux fur in a nice grey color for Bunny (I was surprised (and happy) that when I asked V about the color of an ideal bunny, she chose grey instead of white.  I love grey!!). The inside of Bunny’s ears and her tummy are made from scraps leftover from V’s bathrobe.

These softies were a quick and inexpensive project to make, and since B isn’t much of a softie kid in general, and since V has a seemingly endless supply of them, I didn’t expect these two to become beloved toys.  I was delighted, though, when Bug became B’s most-snuggled animal, and V was so taken with Bunny that she wanted to bring her for show-and-tell at school.  Both kids insisted on bringing them on the airplane for our holiday travel (and Bunny got pulled aside in security because she was so dense! Whoops!).


Even months later, Bug and Bunny are counted among the “favored few” of the kids’ stuffed animals.  That makes my maker-mommy heart so happy.


just look at those faces! 

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Otter class Valentines

In my last post, I showed the first of two big Valentine projects that V did this year.  Of course, if we have a Valentine mailbox, that means that Valentines were exchanged– and V and I came up with a plan for her to make her own: all twenty-four! (enough for all of her classmates, her teacher, and a few extras)


Otters are one of V’s favorite animals, and so for Christmas, she received a set of otter stamps by My Favorite Things.  I have loved watching her reach for them again and again to make cards for friends and family, and she used them again for this project.

We decided on a circular design, and I use the print-and-cut feature on my Silhouette to create a card front that had a sentiment inspired by the stamp set (and a little more kindergarten-classmate friendly :)) and left room for the otter stamp.

V did all of the stamping herself:


She used a practice piece to work out the colors she’d use for each part of the otter.  All on her own, she realized that it would be most efficient to batch-process her coloring! She first colored the otter’s heart, then the pink cheeks, and finally the two colors for the otter’s fur.

On the back, V wrote each classmate’s name and her own on the print-and-cut scalloped circle.  She adhered the layers together, and we attached them to a little packet of candy hearts.

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This was also a really cool opportunity for us to see some of the power of prayer.  The day before, my Silhouette had simply not turned on.  On this day, it turned on and started to work, but it was still giving me trouble.  The machine even turned off in the middle of one of the cuts!  As I expressed my concern to my kids (we were all together working in the craft room), we stopped and prayed together that the machine would work long enough to finish the class cards!  And it did!  Finally, it got through the last sheet of card backs, and we all stopped again to thank God for the gift of a working machine!

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Here are the finished valentines!




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Valentine castle mailbox

I’d like to share a couple projects that V did recently for Valentine’s Day at school.  I’m really proud of her!


This first project is her Valentine mailbox.  The instructions that were sent home said that this was a family project, so we made it one!  (They also said that the only limit was our imagination…and it had to have the student’s name clearly marked on the front!)

I did a little pre-searching on Pinterest to gather some options from which V could choose.  As soon as she saw our short-list, she immediately chose a castle.  What we made is based on THIS and THIS.  Husband went searching for cardboard parts and oversaw V drawing out some crenellations to then cut with scissors.



I glued all the parts together and then spray painted the whole thing purple (well, as much as I could with an almost-empty can of paint!).  B watched this process with great interest!

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After the structure dried (and aired out–wow! I forgot how pungent spray paint is), I brought out a bunch of embellishments, and Vivian decorated her castle.  I was impressed with her choice of design– simply doilies and flowers, with some rick-rack trim.  She wrapped the cardboard tubes with paper, and then we got out the glue gun!


Since I have a low-temp glue gun, I thought this would be a great opportunity to start teaching her how to use it.  She attached spirals of ribbon to each of the towers, and then used the glue gun to attach the towers to the main structure.  I was really proud of V– at first, she was understandably a little scared to use the glue gun, but she gained confidence as I helped her, and by the end, she was using it by herself (I was right next to her, of course!!).



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…and here are the “glamor shots” of the finished castle!






V’s classmates were able to put their valentines into the box via the little drawbridge.

It looked like her kindergarten Valentine’s Day party was a lot of fun!



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So… funny story about the fabric for Husband’s Star Wars pajamas

Somehow I did some very poor addition and the first cut of fabric I purchased for his pajamas was only enough for either the shirt or the pants, but not both…and with a significant amount left over after making either one of those pieces.  There was enough left to make pajama pants for the kids, so I had the bright idea that they could have coordinating jammies with Daddy!  And then I sort of felt left out, so I purchased even more fabric so that I could also have coordinating pajamas!

The kids’ pajamas are made with the Blank Slate Snuggle PJs pattern.  I actually had a hard time finding just the right navy blue knit fabric for the tops… and in the end, I found just the right color in some men’s Hanes T-shirts!  I bought three 4XL shirts and cut them up for the new PJ shirts for the three of us.  I also added white piping at the cuffs of the pants so that they’d match Daddy’s pajamas!  The shirts are trimmed with white knit fabric to mimic the white piping.



For my pajamas, I modified the pajama pants pattern from Simplicity 1504, and I made myself a Blank Slate Texana Tank with a placket made of the same Star Wars fabric.  It should have buttons, and it *will* have buttons in the near future, but I didn’ t have matching buttons on hand!  I finished these three sets of pajamas on December 23, and I didn’t want to make a trip to the store to get more in time!



And so in the end, our whole family has coordinating pajamas!  I am pretty excited about this, and there’s a very high chance that we will have more matching jammies in the future!


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Even though I knew it was coming up, somehow V’s 6th birthday still snuck up on me!  For the two weeks prior, I was quite busy with a lecture for Bible study, so I didn’t really start designing her cake until the actual day of her birthday (shame on me!).  I knew she wanted a Moana cake, and since I wanted to have it ready by the end of school on Friday (the next day after her birthday), I knew it couldn’t be too involved. I did a brief survey on Pinterest (wow, there are some amazing cakes out there…) and decided to combine a few ideas.



On the top of the cake, I used a paper stencil to apply green decorator sugar in the shape of her iconic spiral (also referencing the Heart of Te Fiti).*  On the sides, I used more stencils to sort of “spackle” a buttercream star strip design that is taken from her top. ** (Had I been feeling more ambitious, I would have added some of the line designs above and below, but I was also running out of time!)


I was able to find nice images online from which to create my stencils; I used the trace feature in my Silhouette software and cut the stencils from plain cardstock.





To top it all off (pun intended :)), I piped some large red tropical flowers with royal icing, and I also used some flowers I had previously made so that I could create a tropical flower cluster.

It was a pretty big hit with my Moana-loving little six-year-old!  I loved seeing the excitement on her face as she saw it when she walked in the door after school on Friday!

*Inspired by these cupcakes and using this stencil
**Inspired by this costume (stencil in the post)

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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!


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!


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?!


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.


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.


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


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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