a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Quiet Book Page 5: Unzip the tent and find. . .

. . .things our kids and grandkids would take on a camping trip. Except, I forgot the Lacrosse sticks and the guitars!

Here are the steps I took:

1. Cut a tent out of felt. The section on the bottom was added because I goofed and had to make it longer. It worked out however, because the little extra length makes it easier to grasp and open the zipper. 

The extra work of a tent window would not be necessary except a) I wanted to feature Puppy (explanation below the next photo) and b) I had a partial bolt of  "screening-type" material I bought months for some unknown reason.

2. Made the tent interior on a piece of card stock or heavy paper.  I use free computer clip art and stickers, sizing them, either larger or smaller, when necessary.

Note: the  same Sticko brand stickers I pay $1.00 for at
Wal-Mart cost $1.99 at JoAnn's.

The photo of "Puppy" our shelter find  is included in memory of him. He was three or four when we adopted him and he blessed our lives for 12 years. If you want to learn more about him, simply type Puppy in the upper left hand search box  on my blog. You will learn how to make a dog coat  from a 50 cent thrift shop pillow sham and more ---- 4 posts in all.

You can see Puppy's plate of food is enclosed in plastic. That is because I used cooked ground beef to get the look  I was after!

3. Photo copy  the completed layout and place it in a clear plastic page protector (or you could cover it with clear plastic contact paper or laminate it), basted around the edges because the plastic is slippery, and cut away the extra.

4. Securely sewed the zipper into the tent. To keep the zipper from slipping I took the time to hand sew it before machine stitching. I found it easiest to put the zipper in the one-piece tent and then slit the opening.

5. Placed the plastic-covered interior layout where I wanted it  it on the felt page.  Again I basted first, to keep it from slipping.

6. Added the foreground. I used a piece of sand paper for texture as the sand and topped it with felt grass.  I just kind of wing it as I go.

I was really pleased how the zig-zag stitch connecting the sandpaper and the felt really gave it a well-groomed lawn look!

7. Positioned the tent over the interior and sewed around the sides and top.

8.  I completed the page with a sticky back owl (which, of course, I sewed around for added security) and didn't do a very good job trying to put feet on it; some star-looking beads, and a glittering moon from a sheet of fancy stuff found in the felt square section of Hobby Lobby. 

I considered writing Whooo by the owl but
I'd hate to overdooo it!

'til we stitch again,
      I am, sometimes less simple than, Simply, Gail

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Holy Cow! Quiet Book Page 4 Mixes Things Up . . .

            . . .if That's How They Choose to Play

Most quiet books have a matching page--usually shapes or colors.
I decided to mix things up a little bit.

I remember children's books from my past that had their pages cut horizontally in thirds, allowing you to turn the page sections individually creating crazy combinations. 

I found the following example on line but couldn't get a clear photo of it.  The links for the instructions and the templates are found below.

I wanted to do a variation of the flip book as a quiet book page ---- and I wanted to do animals.I was having a hard time finding similar size animals UNTIL I found this amazing (and free!)  site. 

There are 12 animals on this site.  I especially love the crab but couldn't find a way to use him in this project. I tried, unsuccessfully, to draw the bodies on heavy Pellon.  Finally I decided on basic felt bodies. 

I used:
  • simple shapes and stitches
  • added different textures (yarn, sisal, embroidery thread) for the tails
  • a couple of plastic self-sticking bee and butterfly embellishments from a $1.00 packet. I have mentioned before I don't trust the self-stick stuff so I sew over the top of them to make sure they are secure
I added:
  • the banana when I discovered I cut the monkey's thumb on the wrong side of his hand
  • a simple baby bird under the wing of the bird --- just because
  • a movable trunk so the elephant can reach the bees 
  • the (a  paperclip) bone because I had it and thought it was cute
  • a plastic pocket in the center to hold the heads

animal clipart crab
I especially love the crab but couldn't find a way to use him in this project.
animal clipart wolf
This one was labeled gray wolf but I altered him so he would look like Elliot, the Chihuahua. If I say so myself I think I did a pretty good job of it. You can compare my efforts by comparing this original with the one on the quiet book page below.  

If you are really interested, you can check out the peek-a-boo page I posted at the same time as another  copy-cat   recipe ---  Orange Julia. 

When you peek-a-boo you can see the original Elliot (he is the one with the short hair.  The long hair is son Luke)


I printed the animals on card stock, out out the heads and had them laminated. I learned that, at least in our area, most places that laminate no longer use the laminating pouches. The off-the-roll laminating process is great for large items but terrible (and possibly impossible) when you want to laminate a bunch of small items. 

Staples, the office supply store, has both types and their pouches come in different thicknesses which is handy. I choose the heaviest which probably wasn't necessary.  Since I am doing 12 books with six animals on a page it took three pouches.  Again, I took the extra time to cut out the individual cardstock heads before laminating them because I wanted the "borders" around each head to be clear.  If you look closely at the picture below you an see I didn't follow the lines when cutting out the plastic. Plus, you don't need to look close at all to see the pocket is crooked!

I wasn't sure what to use to back the heads so they would stick to the felt.  I considered gluing rough sandpaper, using the rough side of sticky-back Velcro, and pieces of glued-on felt.  I suggest testing what you choose to use to see how it works with the laminate---its reaction to glues and the strength of the bonds. 

I am currently working on the template for a camping page ---- incorporating most of what I think would be  included if all of the male (and yes, some of the female) members of our family were to stock the campsite.  I was somewhat limited by what I could find to use in the time I had to search but you, and they, will get the stitcher picture.