Potato Head Quiet Book

So, we’re going on a long drive for vacation next week. And the kids will sit quietly in their seats for the entire trip. I can dream, right? Since kids aren’t naturally quiet, I’ve been putting together a bunch of things to keep them busy. Our oldest two are way past the baby quiet book stage so I made a potato head page for each of them. They will be taking a binder with on the trip so I made them 8×11 so they would fit nicely in there.

Start by cutting out an 8×11 rectangle of felt or fleece. I used fleece for the page and felt for the rest of the pieces. Except for the potato, I didn’t have enough brown felt so I used a piece of cordouroy from an old pair of pants. Put button holes along the edge so you can put it in a binder. Then draw out your basic potato shape. It’s easier to get it perfect if you fold a piece of paper in half, draw half a potato, cut it out and unfold it, and you have a perfectly uniform potato. Use this pattern piece to cut out your potato. Then cut out 2 arm pieces. Use fabric glue to put it all together like this;

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Then, using your paper potato pattern as a template, draw out the pieces you want on paper. Then cut out the paper pieces and use them as your pattern. My son loves super heroes so i just googled the characters and added the words potato head. There’s a potato head for pretty much every super hero. So, I made a superman…

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And the Hulk

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The classic Mr. Potato…

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And Brendan’s favorite; Spider-Man…

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The small pieces like pupils and earings are glued on with fabric glue as well. For Rachel I made the classic Mrs. PotatoDSCN4119

Her favourite princess, Belle

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And Ariel

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And Rapunzel

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The kids picked out the characters and helped pick out colors. But, they have not played with them yet so it’ll be more fun once we’re on our trip. I put the pages in their binders and put all the little pieces in a ziploc bag. Hopefully it’ll keep them occupied for at least 30 minutes. Hopefully…

Stone Patio

So we finally did it! And by it, I mean finish the patio. We finished it last summer actually but, we wanted to do it since we moved in and it took over a year to finish it. What?! A year! Okay so normally it should take one weekend but, I started it one day and then it just sat there for a long long time because I was pregnant and didn’t feel like doing it.
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This is what we started with. You’re probably all thinking, “what’s wrong with that?”. This picture is in the early spring; note the bare trees behind the house. In the summer we literally mowed this area because weeds just came out everywhere. Also the tree stump roots had made the bricks very uneven. And there’s never any shade on this side of the house. And it’s on the opposite end of the house from the kitchen so for bbq it was not convenient at all. You can see our bbq on the front porch. Here’s where I wanted it:
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It’s right by the kitchen door and it’s mostly shaded in the morning, mostly sunny in the afternoon but by 5pm it’s completely shaded. Perfect for bbq at supper time.
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First, we had to remove the bricks and stack them against the house where we wanted them.
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Then we dug out a few inches of dirt and put down gravel. We had to stamp it down with whatever that thing inthe picture is called.
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Then we laid down some metal pipes and, using a level, made sure that they sloped away from the house. We put a piece of wood under them as you can see in the picture.
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Then dump the packing sand down( we just reused the stuff from where the patio was before) and scrape a board along the pipes to make it perfectly smooth. You were wondering what the pipes were really for, right?
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Then, remove just the first pipe and fill in the crevice as you lay down the bricks. DO NOT WALK ON THE SAND AFTER YOU LEVELED IT! Unless you want to redo it. Start laying the bricks in one corner and walk on them. Note the pot of packing sand and a little piece of wood to make sure I filled the crevice evenly.
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When it’s all done, dump a sand called Quick-crete down and sweep it in all the cracks.
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Water it down and repeat the sand the next day because it settles. Unfortunately, the ants got to ours before it really hardened and we need to do ours again.
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We did the gravel, packing sand and bricks in 2 days. The bricks were moved from the other side of the house in 1 day thanks to my sister in laws. We dug out the few inches of soil in a few evenings when we had time. So it didn’t take that much time in total. It just sat there for a few months in between steps.
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But, now we can enjoy it for many years. And we have been. We seem to host dinner in the summer a lot more than we used to.
I hope I didn’t discourage anyone with how long it took us to get our act together and finish this project. We’re just reallygood at procrastinating

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Cloth Diapers

So I decided to jump on the cloth diapers bandwagon. Okay more like I’m sitting in my lawn chair by the curb as it parades by. I only started cloth diapering with my 3rd child, after she started solid food, only at home and only during the day. So I guess that sort of makes me a ‘poser’. At least I made them myself!
I couldn’t justify spending 12-35 dollars on a single diaper. Not if IĀ  can buy the PUL fabric for 15-25 dollars a metre(depends where you shop and whether it’s a solid color or pretty pattern). I bought 1 metre and got 8 diapers. One metre of cotton for the inside of the diaper at 6 dollars. And 1 metre of terry cloth at 4 dollars. Oh and a 10 dollar box of snaps and about 3 dollars worth of elasticĀ 
So that adds up to $48. Four diapers at $12 would be $48; the cheap ones, not necessarily the exact style you want. I made 8 diapers. Sooo….sew!

Here’s where I got the pattern for the diaper and the soaker.She has lots if styles to choose from so if you have a preference, you’re sure to find something. The one I used is the M-L fitted.
And here’s a tutorial showing the easiest way to sew them up. It’s got lots of pictures and easy to follow instructions so I decided not to make a tutorial of my own. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke! The only thing I did different was I had the PUL on the outside and the cotton on the inside. The PUL has pretty little butterflies so I wanted them visible.
Front…

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Back…

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Soaker…

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Soaker snapped in place…

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And on the cutest bum ever…

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Use a microtex needle in your sewing machine to sew these up; they make smaller holes than a regular needle. And throw them in the dryer before you use them, the heat will sort of seal the holes around the thread.
Also you’re going to need a wet bag to hold the wet diapers when you’re out. Here’s a tutorial for that.
Happy sewing!

Crinkly Letter Taggie

Another taggie toy? Yeah, but they’re cute and babies love them! And you can personalize them with the baby’s first initial. These are easy enough for a beginning sewist so why not give it a try?

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Aren’t they cute? The M is our little Madison’s and the J and K were for my nephews. All 3 of them are really close in age.
I had a pile of 5.5 inch squares that I had cut from scraps of fabric. It seemed like the perfect size for tiny hands. And the squares had straight edges so it was easier than randomly  drawing a letter on the fabric. Start by cutting out 2 letters…

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A piece of cellophane that’s a bit bigger than the letters(I just recycled some from a gift basket)…

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And a few pieces of ribbon…

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Layer them with the cellophane in the middle…

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Pin the ribbons wherever you want. I  chose just to put them on the straight edge. Just put them between the layers…

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Pin all the layers together and sew around the edge…

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Now, carefully tear away the excess cellophane. This is way easier than cutting out the letter and trying to keep it from slipping around while you pin it and sew it. It should tear right along where you sewed.
Then, set your sewing machine to a zigzag stitch with the stitch length at just above zero and the width all the way up. This will create a satin stitch. Sew as close to the edge as you can…

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Trim the edges with a scissor. I added a button hole so I could attach it to those little plastic links…

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And there you go! Easy peasy!

Owl Taggie Toy

Owls are the new cool when it comes to baby stuff and I am okay with that. Actually, I’m loving it! I really wanted to redo the nursery for Madison in owls but couldn’t find the stuff I wanted at the price I wanted. So I just make owl taggies and give them to every baby I come across. Here’s how…
First, download this pattern . Print it out at 200% for this project because it’s a bit small. Sometimes the link doesn’t work for me so, download and print this one instead. The owl is a bit more round    but it will work just as well.
Then cut out all the pieces. Cut out some ribbons at 3inches in length. Singe the ends with a lighter so they don’t fray. I cut a notch in 2 pieces of ribbon for the feet.

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Pin the wings on. Sew really close to the edge. Do the same with the eye pieces.

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Sew the eyes on…

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And then choose a satin stitch on your sewing machine or, select a zigzag and set the stitch length at just above zero. Sew around the eyes and the edge of the wings.

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Do the same with the beak. And sew buttons on for pupils.

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Then, pin the ribbons on and sew around the edge…

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If you want to make a crinkly owl, pin some cellophane to the wrong side of the back piece.

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Then put the right sides together…

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And sew around the edge…

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Turn him right side out…

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Tuck in the open ends and topstitch closed. Topstitch all around the owl…

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And make a few more!

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Quilted Ornaments

I’ve seen dozens of these beautiful ornaments on pinterest but, most of them lead to Etsy. I looked around a bit and finally found a tutorial in English. Following the directions in the link,  I made these:

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And my wonderful sister in law made these for me:

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The last on was made with ribbons. Here’s a side view of how i covered the middle with ribbon:

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They are a bit time consuming but totally worth the results!

Glitter Snowflake Ornaments

Okay these turned out really nice considering they’re made from glue and glitter. I found this tutorial on pinterest, glanced over it and dove in. The problem with glancing is that I forgot the really important part about rubbing dish soap on the wax paper so the hot glue doesn’t stick to it. Oops! I ended up cutting the wax paper off and it was very time consuming because of all the edges but they still turned out great.
Just follow the directions in the link and yours will turn out, too. I just used school glue instead of mod podge and did an extra coat of glue on top of the glitter after it had dried because it was shedding everywhere. And I mean everywhere! I even found a piece of glitter on the inside of Madison’s soother, like inside the part she sucks on. How it got in there will forever be a mystery. Anyway, here’s some pictures:
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I want to make some with silver glitter yet but, I’m still cleaning up the glitter from making these last week. So if you’re willing to find glitter in the weirdest places, feel free to try making these snowflakes. And while you have the glitter out, make a few of these:
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It’s paper towel tubes cut in pieces, glued in the center and glittered the same way as the snowflakes. Easy peasy!