Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rocking Chair Redo

I should re-title this, "Another project that I'm glad I finished before Lindy gets mobile and more demanding."

Our new house is our new obsession, and I admit I'm completely addicted to KSL classifieds looking for deals on awesome items that we'll need for our new house. We haven't accumulated much furniture (junk and textbooks, yes... furniture, no), so I've been looking on KSL for things that we need and that also could provide me with opportunities to learn new things. Behold... my first re-upholstery project!

BEFORE: $10 Rocking Chair from a lady in AF.

AFTER: New fabric, new batting, a bit of sanding, & 2 coats of spray paint

After all this, I decided the seat needed MORE padding. So I bought a square of chair foam and redid the bottom, which will be much more comfy (not pictured because I took the chair apart again after these photos so that it could be stowed under the bed until we move).

The pictures make it look better than it is :) I'm definitely an amateur - there's lots of wrinkles and puckers around the edges, but it will work, and it was my first project of this type.

(It seems like a few of my friends have been re-upholstering stuff lately, but I promise I decided to do this way before even reading about other people's crafty pursuits).

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Fattest Quiet Book Ever!

 Does my quiet book make me look fat? In this case... yes... 

I bet you've been wondering what I've been working on for the last, um... 6 months. This is it! Of course it hasn't been a non-stop project, I took plenty of breaks - but it HAS been a non-stop mess. Thank you to Brett and my Mom for looking the other way as I left the sewing machine and a number of scraps of felt and string all over our dining table for 6 months.

Welp... here it is!

I made the cover out of a pair of jeans (pocket and button/button hole waist band included), and a cream colored bag that already had handles on it. It doesn't really match the innards of the book, but it's sturdy material, and I think it works.

The inside cover has a big green pocket that I plan on putting crayons and paper in. The first page is the "clock" page - my kids are going to know how to read a normal clock. I can't tell you how many times I had to take cell phones away in middle school because they "had to check what time it was" on their digital phone instead of the clock on the wall. Erg!

Apple tree page. I added numbers to the apples, in case that's handy someday... why not?

 Ok... this is probably my personal favorite. Each fish and the hook has a magnet. I don't know why fishing with magnets is so fun...  It's also good for learning how to do a drawstring and tying a bow.

Gum ball colors! You have to match the word with the colored gumball, and to the outlines inside the machine. This page was surprisingly long in the making with all the embroidery.

Flower buttons - the "vase" is also a pocket for holding them when they're not on the button centers.

Tic-Tac-Toe. The balls were felt stickers that I stuck onto craft foam and cut out. Easier and more durable than felt, I thought. And adds a little bit of sportiness to the book.

Counting bead thingy... My mom's book had one of these, and it never occurred to me that it was for counting - I just pushed the beads around or skipped that page.

Shoe tying and buckling. I bought these pairs of shoes at DI for $2 total, cut off the thick soles, and then sewed them on to the book. They don't look perfect, but they'll work. Sure they'll probably have Velcro all their lives, but why not hope for more?

One of my favorite pages in my Mom's quiet book was a weaving page... don't know why, it just was. I thought it kind of looked like a picnic blanket, so...

I made a dinner set, to practice how to set the table. These are stowed under the woven blanket.

This page kept me up at night, trying to figure out how I wanted to do it. It's supposed to be a caterpillar with letters making up the body. Each piece is double sided so that there are more letters to choose from - one side has the full alphabet, and I made more vowels and common consonants on the other side. But they're all mixed up, so the kiddos will have to do a lot of searching anyway. The trunk is just a big pocket with a zipper for all the pieces. The "cool" part is that each piece has a magnet inside, and the background has a couple small metal shingles behind the fabric for them to stick to. So they're kind of like refrigerator letter magnets.

Noah's Ark - the only semi-churchy page. There are entire books with spiritual themes, but... mine isn't one of them. I bought the finger puppets at IKEA (and then ran out of the store as quickly as I could manage through the maze - I hate that place). There are 10 puppets... this is partly why the book is sooooo fat, that boat is bulging.

Obese hair - just like me! The top of the braid between the two ribbon bows is already done and sewn down, but the rest can be loosened for practice. The front of her dress is a pocket for elastics.

I saw this online, and just really liked it - don't know why... They're supposed to be carrots, beets, and onions - all of which I like. The "dirt" is just a flap so that I can get the veggies back down through the holes.

Also saw this online, although I added some things like a loop over a handle for the upper door and a hook for the lower door. Who knew there were so many different types of closures to practice. And behind the doors are...
More finger puppets - handmade this time.

Last page... I was going to do a Mr. Potato Head, but found this idea instead. The felt circles are sewn down, and the purple pocket (on the inner sides of the cover again), is full of felt shapes.

I liked that there's a lot more room for creativity with this than with the classic Mr. Potato Head. You can do whatever you want! And if the pieces get lost, you can always make more, or different ones depending on what you need.

The End!

I pinned almost all of this from other people's blogs on Pinterest - if you want to see the original inspiration pages, go there.