Friday, March 30, 2012

felt envelopes {DIY}

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I saw a cute idea the other day on Etsy (via Pinterest): play envelopes made of felt. (The Etsy seller has some very nice looking felt play items.  Way better than what I can do!)

This is a perfect plaything in our house, since Elizabeth is constantly making notes and writing letters to give to us.

I didn't follow any instructions, but they looked pretty easy to make, so I winged it, and wrote it down for you.

Felt Envelopes

Materials needed:
9x12 Felt in a variety of colors
sewing thread
sharpie or fabric marker

  1. Cut the felt in half, making 9x6 rectangles.
  2. First we'll mark the pocket of the envelope. Fold one short end of the felt up 3.5 inches, making a pocket that's 3.5 inches deep, 6 inches wide. There's a flap of felt that should be about 2 inches left.
  3. Mark where the felt overlays itself. This will be where the flaps folds over the envelope. 
  4. Mark about 1/4 inch past this mark, towards the flap.  This gives enough clearance for the flap to fold over, and cover the opening.
  5. On the flap, mark the center point of the short side (should be 3 inches).
  6. Now we're going to cut the flap into a triangle shape. Cut a straight line between the 1/4 inch mark and the flap center point. Repeat with other edge of the flap.  Keep the little triangle pieces. You'll need them.
  7. Fold the felt into the envelope shape, being sure to line up the short edge with the previously marked fold line. Mark on the pocket and on the fold where you want the velcro to attach.
  8. Sew the velcro on the envelope pocket and the flap.
  9. Using the leftover triangle pieces, cut a square about 1 inch on a side. This is your "stamp." If you have several colors of envelopes, feel free to mix and match stamp colors.
  10. Sew on stamp on to the front of the envelope.  Be sure to place it about 1/4 inch from the edge and the fold.
  11. While you're sewing things, go ahead and stitch a line across the edge of the pocket piece that you fold up.  I didn't do this, and it might cause some stability issues down the road.
  12. Almost done! Fold the pocket (for the final time) and pin it in place. Start at the bottom edge of the pocket of the envelope, keeping the stitch very close to the edge, and sew up the side, along the edges of the flap, and back down the side of the pocked of the envelope. Be sure to back stitch a bit when you start and finish.
  13. Get your sharpie, and "write" addresses on the front of your envelope.
All Done! You can fit a 3x5 index card in them, and give your child a little note, too!

You could get more decorative, and use pinking shears to make the edges of the stamp toothed, or you could even sew on a shape to the stamp, like a star.  I suppose I could have used thread to stitch on the "address," but hey, fast and easy works for me!

This is merely a guide, though, and you could make these any size you want, with whatever embellishments you are interested in.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

moved... check. unpacked... not so much.

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Slowly life is settling in to our new "normal."

We've been in our new home for about 2 months.  We're still unpacking.  There are boxes sitting in corners.  I've been exploring the joys and wonders of cable TV. Not good for unpacking. Excellent for watching the Food Network and HGTV. And Sprout.  The kids really like Sprout.

We've met some of our neighbors.  Our back yard butts up against another yard, no fences in between. This works out well for us, since they have a playset, and have invited our kids to play on it.  They seem like really great people. Elizabeth has met some girls her own age on our street, and likes to ride her bike with them on the sidewalk.

I'm even meeting new people here!  I've connected with a homechool group, and I hope to meet some other mamas through a homebirth group and through the Hoslitic Moms Network.  

I've found the grocery and discount stores.  I'm venturing back into couponing, since food costs are noticeably higher here than Missouri.  Gas prices, too.  Ouch. What a fine time to move to the area of the country that has THE highest gas prices. Perhaps I am glad that we haven't had a need to get a big ol' Suburban (yet). I've been going out of the house more days of the week.  Although I have taken all the kids with me (we even did a 7 hour shopping marathon! yay for them!  and bribery with Oberweis ice cream!), I prefer not to have them shopping with me.  I'm still trying to figure out where to get the best deals, and how to balance the benefits of shopping at several stores with spending the extra gas to go to more than one store.

I still don't have my computer set up.  I don't even have a desk yet. I've been getting by with the iPad, and using Jude's computer once in a while.  His computer has shown me the wonder that is Adobe Lightroom.  I want. I don't know my old Mac will support it, though. Le Sigh.

Other randomness: we went out adventuring a couple weeks ago, and were close to my favorite restaurant, Simon's.  How great is that, to be within 45 minutes of my favorite food?! How odd it is, to drive around in our car, and not the truck loaded down with our belongings.

It is totally whacked to have Jude come home after work. The kids aren't sure what to make of it. They're used to him going to work and being gone for DAYS. Yesterday, he went to work, and came back home for the day 3 hours later.  The kids and I pack lunch for him some days.  It feels so... 1950's housewife.  Except without the perfect hair, skirt, and heels. Not that most 50's housewives actually looked like the media representation.

I've been getting my craft on. Since I don't have a computer set up, I've been pinning ideas, and since I have a craftroom, I went out and got some supplies to be all crafty.  I'll be posting some bragshots in the future.


Adelle: 4 months

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What an engaging girl!

At 4 months:
She weighs 14.25 pounds. It safest to put her on the scale belly down, since she tries to roll off it!

She is 24.5 inches.  But really it's hard to tell.  She keeps wiggling.

She is in 3-6 months sized clothes, but some of the onsies are already too short, especially when wearing a cloth diaper!

She gurggles, coos, squeals, and likes it when we mimic her sounds.

She found her toes (a fun plaything). Fingers are still a favorite.

Adelle can roll over both directions. If you put her down on her back, she doesn't stay that way very long.

Scoots forward a few feet.  She shows intention in her movement, too - she digs in her toes and inchworms towards an item of interest.

Is now really too big for bathing in the bathroom sink. We do it anyway.

She loves drinking water from a cup.  Most of it dribbles down her face, and she is often shocked by the coolness of the water, but she goes for it, anyway!
She is starting to hawk over our food - she grabs at plates.

Since she is mooching, we've been giving her tastes of things - a dab of yogurt, a bit of grape, a taste of cooked carrot. No spoonfuls, of anything though. Just enough to let her taste buds know there are other things out there!

She holds her self up on her arms, when lying on her belly.

She lifts arms and legs, and rocks on her belly.

Since the weather has been warm, she has experienced grass between her toes and fingers. She seems to enjoy it.

She has a cinnamon roll belly button.  I know it's hard to see, but it's cute.  And flat.  Neither an innie or outie.  

Naps are totally haphazard.  We're a lot busier now that when we had just one child.  So, she grabs bits of naps here and there.  Usually she'll catch a 45 minute stretch at some point in the morning. I try to make sure we have a long stretch of nap time in the afternoon (2-3 hours), but sometimes that fails, too.

She sleeps pretty well at night. Since she sleeps with us, I don't notice her waking up much, as she settles quickly once she is being fed. Some nights she wakes several times, others just once.

Sometimes she is all fired up and ready to play.  At midnight.

 Adelle likes to suck on her thumb and index finger.  Or sometimes her whole fist.

 Some other snapshots of our month:

 Some days are harder than others.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Elizabeth: 5 years

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So, a few weeks ago, Elizabeth celebrated her 5th birthday.

She seems pleased to be 5 this year.  There weren't too many protestations of "I don't WANT to be older!" (I hear ya, kid. When did I get to be 33?)

On the evening that we moved here, I got a communal cake to celebrate the birthdays that had recently occurred, and Elizabeth and Nathanael's days, which were upcoming. Some of us even got birthday presents!

On the actual birthday, Elizabeth requested an Enterprise cake.

They go fast. See the flames and the stars? That means fast.
 So I made one. The Romulans must have attacked, because the rice-crispie warp nacelle seems to be damaged. 

E and Uni (Fullname Rainbow Uni Horn), her birthday pillow pet
Since it was just us at the house on her birthday, we skyped a little with Nana and Papa, ate pizza (the requested dinner) and skyped with Grandma and Grandpa.  While skyping with them, we decided to go ahead and bring out the cake, so she got a round of birthday singing from several people, hours away from each other.

Attack of the Silly Monster!

My precious girl. 

And now, a look back at the last 5 years: 

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