Sensory Board

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Here is another project that I completed for Christmas    Again, this was something that I had wanted to do for quite a while that I never got around to. I love that this blog is keeping me busy doing things that I always wanted to!

When I first set my sights on doing this I had a huge list of things that I wanted to put on the board, but then I thought that it would get far too expensive and it would also defeat the purpose and become too much of a sensory overload. Therefore, I thought quite a bit about what I really wanted to achieve with the board and decided on a few mechanical items and a few textural items. For the mechanical items he could play with, I decided to go with a chain lock, a Velcro patch, a light switch, a wheel, and a tiny “door” to open. For the textural items I attached a carpet sample, a wooden letter, and a couple embroidery hoops with minky and silk fabrics in them. Another item we put on was a small mirror so he can smile and make faces at himself. We searched for a while to find the right board to use for this project and finally came up with a wooden shelf that my husband had made a few years ago and never got put up. It ended up being the perfect size for the items we chose! We decided not to mount it on anything so if could be portable and we didn’t want the hazard of it tipping over if it were attached to an easel type setup.

My son loves playing with his board and his sister likes sitting next to him and helping him discover all the activities on it. The best part of this project was that the majority of the items were things we already had in the house, so it was definitely budget friendly!

Have a happy day!

Names and Faces Book

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I have wanted to do a names and faces book ever since my daughter’s first Christmas, but never got around to it. Therefore, this Christmas when we were struggling with gift ideas for my son, I decided to finally make it happen. I had seen the one that could be ordered from Shutterfly and loved it, but I did not love the fact that when it was done, I couldn’t add to it. Our extended family has changed a lot in the past year and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down in the foreseeable future. So, I decided to make my own by taking pictures I had and adding the people’s names to them using Picmonkey and then printing them out. After this step my original plan was to simply put them in a photo album and call it a day. However, inspiration struck again while I was at Hobby Lobby and I decided to make a really quick and simple scrapbook out of it using an 8×8 album. I love the way it turned out and look forward to adding new pages for him soon!

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Have a Happy Day!

 

Quick Advent Calendar

Who else was shocked that yesterday was already December 1st! It seems like Halloween was only yesterday. As I was lying in bed last night it dawned on me that I had planned on doing our first Advent Calendar this year and I had nothing done for it! Therefore, this morning I took the little one’s into my craft room and got to work on a quick calendar that would give my little girl a fun activity for each day this month leading up to Christmas.
To begin, I picked out some pieces of holiday scrapbook paper and let her pick the one that we wanted to use as our calendar backdrop. I used my Cricut to cut out 24 squares that would hold our daily activities and I also cut out numbers 1-24 to go on each square. I pasted three sides of the squares onto the paper, leaving the top open.

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After this was complete, I went back to my Cricut and cut out tags that would fit in each square and that had a tab on the top so grabbing the activity each day would be easy for our little lady. After that was done, I went onto the computer and printed out the list of activities that we are going to complete throughout the month.

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I thought of the holiday traditions that we do each year anyway and added a few more that I thought would be fun. For the upcoming years, I will probably stick with the ones that we have done year after year and the ones that we find that we really enjoyed, but I’ll mix in some new ones here and there to keep it interesting. Here is the list for this year.

  • Christmas Light Tour
  • Make Gingerbread Houses
  • Visit Santa
  • Watch Polar Express
  • Make Neighbor Gifts
  • Read Christmas Story
  • Make Christmas Cards
  • Write Santa
  • Sweet Treat
  • Color Christmas Pages
  • Make Paper Snowflakes
  • Bake Cookies
  • Watch Christmas Movie
  • Sledding
  • Picnic by the Tree
  • Decorate Christmas Tree
  • Window Shopping
  • Take a Wintry Walk
  • Make Apple Cider and Popcorn
  • Snowball Fight
  • Christmas Song Dance Party
  • Deliver Christmas Cards
  • Hot Chocolate Night
  • Christmas Craft

I attached each activity to the tab and went about dispersing them throughout the month. I tried to make each activity small enough to do in the evening when my husband gets home and for the few activities that would take longer, I placed them in the weekends. I folded the tabs of each tag over the edge of the square to further ensure that my two year old’s little fingers could easily get them out without destroying the calendar each day.
And there we have our first ever Advent Calendar!

Advent 5

Self-Binding Blanket

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Sewing is an extremely new hobby that I have picked up. To say I am a novice at it would be a great understatement. However, at one point I had some fabric that I bought to make a car seat canopy, which I ended up not needing. Therefore, when I was searching what I could do with the fabric, I discovered these blankets. To be honest, the thought of me trying this terrified me. For some reason, I always had a complete mental block when it came to sewing. Prior to finding these blankets, my sewing consisted of a couple of burp cloths and “helping” my mom sew some curtains (by help I mean ironing while she sewed). Anyway, I thought I would give this a shot and see what happened even though I was completely confused by the online tutorial. That blanket turned out to be my favorite one that I have done so far, probably because I loved the fabric and it was the first thing I had made my son.

Since then, I have made two more and I love how simple they are and how cute they turned out. Therefore, for my fourth undertaking I decided to share with you all how I make them and how simple they really are.

First, cut the fabric to the dimensions that you want, making sure that the backing fabric is ten inches larger. For this blanket, my dimensions were 37×47. Next, find the middle of each side of each fabric and place a pin.

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Place the backing fabric face up and lay the front fabric on top of it with the pattern side down. Match the middles of each fabric on one of their sides and pin them together. NOTE: If you are new at this and this step is confusing and you can’t envision the final outcome, don’t worry. I was having trouble with this also. Keep going.

Blanket Together

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Sew the edges together using a straight stitch. After one side is done, match another sides middle points and repeat. Do this for three sides, and on the fourth side leave a small opening in the middle to pull the blanket right side out.

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After you are done sewing the four sides, this is what it should look like.

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Next is making the corners. Fold the fabric so it makes a triangle and place a ruler or some sort of straight edge where the back fabric meets the front fabric in the corner. Draw a line where this happens and sew a straight stitch on the line.

After you sew the stitch, pull the corner through and make sure it the binding is correct before you cut the excess fabric off. I have learned this lesson the hard way. Do this with all four corners.

After this is complete, pull all the fabric through the opening. Sew a zigzag stitch all around the blanket where the front fabric and the backing fabric meet. The zigzag stitch will close the opening that was left for pulling the fabric through.

That’s it! Now you have a cuddly blanket to snuggle in or give as a gift.

Notes: The material that I have used together is minky and cotton, minky and flannel, and minky and another cuddly type fabric. My favorite combination so far has been the minky and cotton, but the others were not hard either. I have heard that the minky fabric can be difficult to work with, however, as I stated before, I am a new sewer and I haven’t had problems with it. The only time I have had problems with these is when I’m not thinking about each step or am in a hurry to get it done. Take your time and you will have a beautiful blanket to show off!

 

Resticking a Cricut Mat

When you are a crafter and scrapbooker, you know you can go through a lot of money with all the gadgets and gizmos that are out there. Along with these gadgets and gizmos, you also need their accessories in order for them to function properly. Sometimes it seems like an endless cycle of spending. One way that I was looking to save a little was to reuse my Cricut mats once they were not sticking anymore.

To do this, I did a little research on my beloved Pinterest and basically found out that all I needed to do was get the mat as clean as possible and then reapply new adhesive. Sounded easy enough for me.

From my research into essential oils, I discovered that lemon oil acts as good as Goo Gone. Therefore, this was my method of choice to get the mats clean.

Before:

before mat

After:

After Mat

After this, I originally applied Elmer’s Craft Bond Spray Adhesive.  However, after it had dried, nothing would stick to the mat.  Back to the drawing board I went.  After some more Pinterest research, I discovered this little gem and went out and scooped it up at Hobby Lobby and onto the Cricut mats it went.

Glue

After allowing it to dry a few hours (after the blue tint goes away), the Cricut mats were as good as new and ready to use!