Friday, August 28, 2009

paper journal tutorial...and magazine paper envelopes!!

Several people have asked me how to make those paper journals I blogged about awhile back, so here is a tutorial. They're super easy! It's best to hunker down with a stack of paper and make a bundle of them assembly line like--then you have a bunch on hand for little quick gifts for your friends, drawing books for your children, journals for yourself, etc.

First you need some scrapbooking paper--I bought a stack of it at JoAnn's on sale.

You can make these journals any size--when I laid the white paper on the scrapbook paper it fit perfectly (you want that slight overhang on the edges since that is the cover of the journal), so I only had to make one cut at the bottom. Note--you could leave the extra at the bottom if you want a pocket in your journal. Just fold it up and sew or staple the edges of the journal to enclose it. Also, this 'full size' journal will only work if you can sew it. You can of course make smaller ones and staple the pages in, as long as you make a size that the stapler can reach in the middle. OR, you can make these larger ones without a machine if you punch holes with a hammer and an awl (I have also done that) and hand sew with some twine, that's cool too.

I didn't make a pocket, so I cut off the excess. Save it! Makes great bookmarks or you can make itty bitty books. I love miniatures, so I'm inclined to make some dollhouse books. Then I could skip the machine, use one staple, and voila! So, you don't need a paper cutter, scissors will work fine.

Now take your paper. I used 8 sheets--you don't want so many that you can't sew or staple them all. Fold each one individually if you want a crisp, clean look. And with the paper--this is also a great way to recycle used paper--I have used papers from the children that only have printing on one side and made journals with them.

Now unfold and stack them all together.

Center them on the cover, leaving space all around. If you're sewing, you may need a denim needle. Use a basting stitch, if you use a tighter stitch it will tear the paper (ask me how I know!).

And there you go! Sewing paper is fun!

oooh-look at what my friend Jill gave me! I was delighted to get these. It's genius! You're recycling magazine paper AND making something useful and beautiful. I just love it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

(another) frog in truck, dollhouse, & cowgirl

I just love wood toys. LOVE them. Something about the timeless-ness of them, the close feel of nature, the pleasing texture. It just is the best. So of course I seek them out. I swear I can find wood toys (if they are there) in a rummage sale or at a thrift store in about 3 seconds. This is where we've picked up most of ours. I've also found some sweet deals on craigslist, like the Plan City Parking Garage for $20. I know that these are toys that I will pass down to my children. I have a whole 'nother thing for vintage children's books too, but that's another post...

I put this dollhouse together for Lily (another idea from The Children's Year craft book) for Lily and she was highly entertained. I simply recycled a cardboard box and glued on fabric scraps, then she furnished it with her Plan City dollhouse furniture and clothespin dolls (our whole family was in there). That round piece there by her hand up above is actually a sink, not a toilet, as it appears. Rest assured though, the toilet IS in there. Seriously.

And here is my girl in one of her get-ups. She's completely comfortable in her own skin, knows where she's going and how she's getting there. I love that about her, even if it makes me crazy half the time.

She's a climber. Have I mentioned that??

Thursday, August 13, 2009

'superfrog' is found and new school bags

I moved the piano the other day in order to plug in my sewing machine...and found this little guy--Eric's lentil-stuffed beanbag frog (made from the cool crafting book 'A Children's Year'). He had been stuck there for who knows how long. Since he's Superfrog, I wonder why he didn't fly back out?? Anyway, he's back into the light of day now, fighting froggy crime again hopefully.
After taking the big kids to school, we decided to make Lily her own bag and pencil pouch for her 'school'. Following the montessori approach of sandpaper letters (on my list to make) I sewed her name on the bag in wool felt letters and showed her how to trace them with her finger. Here are the completely unstaged (and completely awesome) outtakes from the bag photo shoot.

And here's Grace with her new messenger style bag. She was thrilled to pick out the fabric and it turned out pretty well & she loves it, so I'm thrilled too. Note: we've never been to Aeropostale. The shirt is a resale shop find as is most of her wardrobe--yeah. Grace isn't label conscious at all, and I'm thankful for that! She loves this shade of green.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

re-working and calvin's photo book

I had Rob install these shelves last weekend above the play kitchen and it works so much better. It's nice to be able to display some of the nice kitchen items on their own shelves, just like we like to arrange our 'real' shelves with nice things.

on to my sewing table. I'm over the pink and looking to paint it aqua. I'm going to buy some Mythic Paint (non toxic! No VOC's!) and paint it soon. I am also going to make a simple machine cover, since I'm also over leaving my maching 'out' all the time and sewing stuff sprawled everywhere.

Not the greatest pictures (looking for a 'new' used good camera!) but I had to take pictures of Calvin's photo book of his first year, heaven forbid anything happen to it! Each photo (beginning with July 08) coordinates with one of the photos we took of him in that month.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

dining al fresco

How I love eating outside in our cozy backyard, enjoying a laid back meal and food we have grown ourselves or gotten from local farmers.