Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 348

Every year I want to get us some personalized stockings...well this year I just up and did it!  I have a Mommy one, Kris has a Daddy one and Adeline got one with her name on it.  And of course because Adeline is obsessed with wearing hats she had to have her's on her head! And of course as soon as I put it on, she had to take it off...I am hoping to get a cuter pic one of these days...maybe one where she's actually looking at the camera!

Here are our stockings...and I also have a matching tree skirt.
Let's hope that when we are blessed with more family members they still make these ones ;) 

Making Beanbags

Beanbags are a toy without age limits. They are open ended and just plain fun! ...and sooooooo easy to make yourself!

I can sew...but the extent of my sewing skills don't surpass sewing in a straight line.  I have made quilts before, and people think "Oh wow you made that, you must be some kind of amazing, gifted, brilliant sewer to be able to do something that that!!!"  - I may have embellished a bit, but you get the idea.  But no, really all quilting (the kind I have done) requires in the form of sewing skills is sewing in a straight line, over and over and over and over again.    

This project is much the's all about sewing in a straight's easy and it's quick, only took me 3 hours, from start to finish.  This included going down to the basement and digging out my sewing machine and fabric and feeding our daughter twice.  
...oh ya, and cheap too (I just used fabric I already had lying around)! 

a stack of fabric scraps

something to cut your fabric...and because I've quilted I have a rotary cuter, a cutting mat and a measuting square (makes it so much easier), but scissors and a paper pattern work just fine

a sewing machine...I'm not gonna lie, it would be just way too hard to make these sewing by hand ;)

and some beans to fill your bags...but I used split peas (I like how they feel better) I guess you have to call mine pea bags.  I wanted to use lentiles (I think the'd feel even better, but peas were about half the price).  A 900g bag is about 4 cups, so if you are doing 12 bags like I did, then you will need 2, 900g bags of peas.  Each bag of peas was about $1.25.

So here's what you do:

Cut your fabric...I cut mine into 5" squares (you'll need 2 squares for each beanbag), but really you can make them any size (I wouldn't recommend any smaller though) Was going for a kind of rainbow effect as you can see I have red (kind of) orange, yellow, green, blue, NO indigo (had none of that colour just lying around) and some purple (although it looks black).
I made 2 of each colour, which makes is so we can play matching games with them too.  Great for 2 and 3 year olds.  "Hey Kid, go get the other one that looks like this!" or "Hey Kid, go get the other yellow beanbag!" or even "Hey Kid, go show me which colour beanbag is missing!" (which might be for kids a bit older, depending on your child.

Face the right sides of your fabric together, then when your turn them inside out (which then will be right side one) you will have a little bag.  This part always makes my head hurt!

Sew along three (3) sides of your square.  Just leave one of the sides open (see below).  Oh ya, I forgot to mention getting your machine prepped...but I'm assuming you know that by now.  I just threaded my machine with white all around.  If I was a better stay at home mommy I would have chanced the colour of thread for each bag so it matched, but I'm not, so I didn't!

See how I sewed along three sides and left one wide open (that makes it easier to get the beans in.  Some people leave a teeny tiny little hole and us a thingie to get the beans in there...but again I'm not that woman! Do this with all your bags.  

Then I snip all the corners from the squares...see I have all the scraps to prove it.

Turn all your bags RIGHT. SIDE. OUT (yes I finally got it right!!!)

Iron them nice and flat...making sure your corners are all pulled out.

Fill them with beans (or peas like me).  I did this one bag at a time.  Fill a bag and sew, fill a bag and sew, fill a bag and get it.  Let me tell you, this here is the HARD part.  I like how 1/2 a cup or split peas feels in the bags, but really again do what feels good to you.  

Pin your bags...I know what you're thinking right now..."I don't need to pin the bag, it's only a 4.5" straight line, I think I can handle that!" and I thought that too...but after 3 botched bags (and I really HATE ripping seams!!!!!), I finally started pinning, then ask me how many I effed up....NONE!!!! So pin the bags.  It not only holds your two seams together, it holds your peas (or beans, if that's what you're using) in.  

Sew straight across the hole, as close to the edge as you can get (or your machine will let you). Again if I was a better stay at home mommy I would have coordinated each bag with the tread I used to sew it up...

Here's what they look like when done.  Not too bad if I do say so myself.  

Here are all 12 of my beanbags (I'm still gonna call them that, pea bags just doesn't have the same ring)

Sorry, I have yet to take a photo of Adeline playing with the bags...she's just not that into them yet...but my 23 year old brother was quite enjoying them when he was here yesterday.  Maybe I should make him a set for Christmas ;)

Games to play with Beanbags:

  • Beanbag toss
  • Beanbag sort
  • Fetch (Yes, we play fetch with our daughter All. The. Time!)
  • Counting beanbags
  • Hide and Seek
  • Stacking
  • Balancing them on our heads (Adeline's Favourite right now)
  • Colour identification
  • Juggling (Uncle Timmy's personal favourite)

Really there are about a BAZILLION games to play with Beanbags!!! If you have some great ones in mind don't hesitate to add them to the list in a comment below!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 346

Adeline loves the iPhone!! Adeline gets to watch about 20 minutes of TV a week, but we let her play with the iPhone, go figure ;) She is learning some valuable skills's a kids app with animals and counting and she's also learning how to swipe to the next screen...a skill I use thousands of times a day...well maybe not that many, but a lot!  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 345

Adeline has pretty much always enjoyed music. But just lately she has started asking to listen to music (using the actual sign and not the sign for again).  She now walks over to the ipod dock, decides she wants to listen to some music, she then comes to me and does the sign for music.  Just today she came to me and did the sign for music and I said "You want me to put on the music?" She then nodded her head, smiled, headed to the doc and climbed up on the chair to enjoy her music. I promptly put on her now favourite...Hanson Snowed In. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 344

Playing Outside
We definitely don't play outside enough!  Adeline LOVES it, but it's just so much darn work!  I enjoy being outside, but really there's not much to do in the winter (for me ;) ). Adeline is good with just doing her normal stuff and especially so because there is no (real) snow on the ground thus far. She pushes the car around saying zoom zoom (yes I say things in double and tripple all the time so Adeline does too!).  When she gets tired of that she checks out the fire pit, then asks for a swing.  She is content to just toddle around out there.  

Although I don't like bundeling up, or even getting Adeline all dressed for cold Edmonton days her up...I have to say she sure looks cute when she's all bundled up!  I just can't get enough of her dimples in the first shot!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 343

Painting Ornaments
Every year (well almost) since I can remember, I have made tree ornaments at Christmas time. It started with me and some dried pasta and nail polish in the basement of my childhood home and has evolved to wood and acrylics on my kitchen table of my own home with my family.

I have always enjoyed this non-formal tradition I have established in my life and it feels so great to pass this tradition on to Adeline. This year, as part of our 25 Days of Advent Activities we are doing it again! I picked up these simple snowflake picture frame ornaments from Michaels a couple months ago (because I also have done this with Kindergarten and First grade students I know Michaels gets them early (like September early) and sell out fast and they often don't restock once the've sold out). This year I picked up only three, not the 25 that I usually do, so it made it much easier to actually find enough.

So here is what we did...

Supplies Needed:
  • Wooden Ornament (does not need to hold a photo...I just like to make ones with photos most years, they make great keepsakes)
  • White Acrylic Paint
  • Glitter Paint
  • Q-Tips (to use a no clean paint brushes
1. Using the Q-tip and white acrylic paint, paint the ornament white all over (do the back if you want, but not necessary)
2. After the white paint is dry paint with glitter paint using q-tips again. When you paint with the glitter paint most imperfections you saw after the white dries will vanish (so no need to touch up after kids paint, yes even if you are a perfectionist like me)
3. Put Picture into frame (if a photo ornament) and hang on tree (or give as a gift, something I often do as well) - finished product photo to come.

There you have it, easy and fun craft to make with kids. You could even do this craft as part of a Christmas themed's fairly cheap and creates virtually no mess, yes even with 20 kids. Enjoy!