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Archive for the ‘son’ Category

One of my goals for this year is to finish my son’s Project 365 album.  I’d really like to finish it by his birthday (near the end of June), so I decided to get started.  In April, I finally submitted a HUGE order of photos to Persnickety Prints– I’d spent quite a bit of time over the previous months (and months…almost a year?!) planning inserts and determining where I was missing photos in my daily pockets (I also printed photos for other projects).  I’m still not finished with that process, but I was getting antsy and wanted/needed to start actually putting things together.

After my order came in, I spent an hour or two cutting smaller photos apart and slipping photos into their appropriate pockets.

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My approach for finishing the inserts will be to just pick whatever one strikes my fancy at the moment!

This past weekend was iNSD, and even though I was slammed with a cold and allergies on Saturday, I mustered my strength on Sunday to get started on one of the inserts: the one for Thanksgiving 2014.

When I was planning out the page, I’d pulled a few older products (some paper lace, chipboard, and some felt embellishments) from my stash and stuck them into the album to remind me to use them.  It was a good starting point when I feel so out of practice with pockets!

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I added in some scraps of patterned paper and some Project Life cards (Jade edition).

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For the journaling, I used some navy print-and-cut labels I’ve made (and keep making!) with my Silhouette.  I think I need these in every color in multiple sizes.  I’m loving labels for adding little bits of story onto my photos.

On the back of this insert, I highlighted one of the days from this weekend when we celebrated my daughter’s birthday.  Since it’s my son’s album, I focused on his part of that story.

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This time, I used some old Project Life patterned paper (remember the Cherry Edition, before it was called the Cherry edition??) and more of those labels, this time in black.  The one Project Life card (middle right) is from the Baby Edition (the old yellow one).

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Bunny and Bug

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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.

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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!).

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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.

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just look at those faces! 

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Ever since we came up with the nautical theme for my son’s room (before he was born), and we’d chosen his name, I’ve wanted to make him one of these banners!  I guess that now that he’s almost four, it’s about time.

A few weeks ago, rather out of the blue, my daughter asked me to put up a banner on her door.  I’ve put this banner on her door in the past, and she’d remembered it.  As I did, my son asked why he didn’t have a banner for his door.  Since it was spring break, and I thought I had lots of extra time (ha!), I told him that I would make him one.

And I did!

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I did an image search for “nautical flag alphabet” to figure out which flag corresponded to what letter, and I constructed the flags out of colored cardstock, based on 4″ squares.

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I went old-school with hand-set eyelets in white textured cardstock strips along the top of each flag.  I threaded them onto off-white yarn to mimic the look of rope.

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I think my son is pleased to have a banner of his own, and it makes me happy to see it hanging on his bedroom door!  It also feels really good to make a project that’s been on my wishlist for years!

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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.

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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!

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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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VBS robot alien

This little “costume” for my son was one of the most last-minute of the VBS theme costumes, but I think it’s my favorite!

Earlier in the week, Husband spent a lot of time getting Becker’s antennae just right; they are made from thin copper tubing and red plastic beads.

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We hadn’t gotten much further than that when Friday morning rolled around.   I was stumped.  I browsed Pinterest for “easy boy alien costume” and similar searches, but was coming up with almost nothing reasonable!  On top of that, I didn’t have much access to my craft room because our contractors were replacing plumbing and had to cut into my ceiling to do so.

Somehow, though, the Pinterest search sparked the idea of a robot costume, and one of the VBS directors had mentioned lots of eyes…  I ran downstairs to my craft supplies and gathered all sorts of bits and bobs and my glue gun.  I assembled my crazy concoction on the kitchen counter while my kids played nearby.

The robot panel is on a base of felt, and I combined felt scraps with textured craft foam to make the different pieces.  I used reflective cardboard for the dial and added beads and sequins from a stash of random bits to give the idea of buttons.  There are little sliders, too– and they actually slide!– fluorescent green pipe cleaners thread through the plastic pony beads.  And of course, since it’s an alien robot costume, there are lots and lots of googly eyes.

robot alien shirt for VBS!

robot alien shirt for VBS!

robot alien shirt for VBS!

I sized the base panel to cover the screen printing on one of B’s red T-shirts, and while I had a phone meeting that afternoon, I hand-basted it into place!  B was so excited about his robot shirt, and it made the work worthwhile!

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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 the background this summer, behind and amongst all the other projects I’ve been working on, whether shared on the blog or not, I’ve been attempting to finish up my son’s photo-a-day baby album.  The last time I posted on my blog about this was when he was about seven months old!  You can see all the posts related to this album by clicking HERE.

I have to say, I’m proud of myself for how well I kept up with the daily documentation in this album.  By the time he turned one year old, I had a card written for almost every single day, and I had photos chosen, if not printed, for each of those days.  However, I wanted to do more with the album than that.  There were a lot of huge, big, and smaller events, celebrations, and moments that I wanted to highlight with extra inserts, and that’s what I’ve been working on this summer.

I thought that after the thrill of success with my China album in Finish-it-February, I would be able to hit the deadline of my son’s third birthday in late June, but this project is quite a bit bigger…

in progress: B's photo-a-day baby album

Throughout June and July, the two binders that compose this album project have been out on my craft island, surrounded by extra cards, embellishments, and notes.  I had some of my extra photos printed already, but the vast majority of these extra inserts needed to have photos chosen and their configurations planned.

I’ve been going through the album page by page, methodically noting where I need additional “stuff”.  You can see in the photo above that I’m making notes on tiny scraps of paper and slotting them into page protector spots, or even sketching out whole inserts and attaching them to one of the rings as a placeholder until I have the photos printed…and I even need to get my hands on some more page protectors.

I am about 3/4 of the way through the album with this process, and I have prepared over 100 4″x6″ prints so far– and many of them are a collage of more than one photo!  Once I’ve gone through the entire album, I will place my order with Persnickety Prints, and then I’ll go back through the album again to finish all of the pages.

The other bit thing I need to do to finish the album is to add title cards for each week (with the date) and in the case of most weeks, I also need to add a filler 3″x4″ card.

Maybe I’ll have it finished by my son’s fourth birthday!  Let’s hope!!

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