Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Thomas treasure bag

At 3 1/2 years old, Master W. is just now getting to the age of wanting to save his treasures.

Super balls.

Shiny rocks.

Special cars.

Random found objects from the yard.

And other important things.

Unfortunately, he has no place to put said treasures, so they're often found littered about the house or lost under the bed.

Cue a massive internet hunt for treasure bag ideas... and one very frustrated mama. Most of the tutorials I came across involved making a messenger bag, which is great but I can't really see my guy as the messenger bag type (at least not at this age).

Finally, I realized that a simple zippered box bag would do the trick. I had a good-sized scrap of Thomas the Tank Engine fabric on hand from a prize pack that I won from Treading on Lego's SMS giveaway and was looking forward to getting started...

... when my sweet Miss C. decided to start the project (with scissors) while I wasn't looking. And now I have three much smaller scraps of Thomas fabric.

Oh, well. 

A mama must press on. 

So, I hopped onto Etsy and picked up a 1/2 yard of a newer Thomas print over at Blue Ridge Fabrics. This print is even better than the last one because it features his favorite train: Gordon. 

The fabric arrived earlier this week and after being safely stowed away from scissor-happy fingers I was able to turn it into this fully-lined boxy treasure bag using a tutorial I found over at Pretty Modern. I ended up quilting the outer shell, and added zipper tabs and a handle, but otherwise followed the tutorial to the letter. It's a good one, by the way!

I surprised him with it after nap time yesterday and the first words out of his mouth were a whispered, "Fank you, Mommy. I wuv it." He sure knows how to melt his mama's heart.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Birthday, Miss C.!

My little sweetie turned six years old this week. We celebrated with a little family party on her actual birthday (hooray for summer birthdays!) – just us and all four of her grandparents – and it was just perfect.

I love that we could savor each moment, and really soak up Miss C.'s excitement about her special day.

Miss C. requested a butterfly theme with pink cupcakes. I always enjoy making birthday cakes, and these little gems were no exception. I found a buttermilk cake recipe (I love cakes made with buttermilk) and piped the homemade butter cream frosting on with a Ziplock bag. No fancy pastry bags needed!

And her big birthday wish was a pair of roller skates. Watching her learning to skate reminds me so much of my own girlhood. I had my own roller skates too. They were white with orange laces and wheels... to match the awesome Garfield the Cat patch on the side. Really, does it get any more '80s than that? 

I'm so proud of the girl she is growing into. She's kind. Loving. Considerate. Funny. Joyful. Smart. 

And she's confident. 

I'm in love with the birthday outfit she chose: purple floral shirt, red plaid skirt and pink sandals (the beautiful apron is a birthday gift made for Miss C. by my mom). Her self-confidence really shines through with this outfit, and I love that she doesn't have a shred of doubt about herself. 

Oh, and check out the birthday button she asked me to make the night before her big day... because what if someone didn't know she was six?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

I always love it when my favorite illustrators of children's books debut a fabric collection. Nearly every child has a favorite bedtime story. It's the lucky few that have a quilt to match.

Mo Willems is the latest children's book illustrator to turn one of my favorite children's books into fabric greatness. Cloud 9 Fabrics has recently released a new collection of organic fabric, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, in honor of the book's 10th anniversary.

The first time I read 'Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus' was when Miss C. was just a toddler. We happened upon it at the library and took it home on a whim. We read that book over and over and over again! Miss C. cracked up every time I read it, and I just loved watching her expressive little face as she followed along.

I had heard about the fabric about a week ago, so I zipped on over to Fat Quarter Shop* to check it out. I just love how the collection turned out and wish I could get my hands on every single print in the line, though I must admit my favorite has to be Chorus Line. The expressions on that pigeon's face are priceless!

* Thank you to the good folks at Fat Quarter Shop for sending me one of your graphics to use in this post. This isn't a sponsored post, I just like their shop! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Another zippy gift.

Friday marks the last day of school and the official start of SUMMER VACATION!!! And yes, any discussion about SUMMER VACATION!!! must always be accompanied by dancing and shouting and extreme excitement.

Or is that just at my house?

Anyway, it's the end of the school year and time to squeeze in one last sewing project for Miss C.'s Kindergarten teacher: a zippy pouch.

We love Mrs. S. Not only did she teach our little Kindergartner how to read, write and do basic math, but she also helped her gain a better sense of how to be a good Christian Citizen. And, she's kind and patient with Master W. whenever we visit the classroom.

I chose fabrics very similar to the ones I used for her teacher's Christmas gift, knowing that she liked the color choices. This time, though, I didn't rely so heavily on Vintage Modern and took some tiny risks with color and pattern when selecting scraps to add to the mix. I was a little unsure of the pink at first, but I think it works well with the other colors.
I did make one little mistake... I placed the back panel upside down! The only way you can tell is that the birds are upside down in one of the prints. It was waaaay too late to go back by the time I noticed it. Oh well!

I love making teacher gifts, and I can't wait to do it again next year. Do you make your children's teacher gifts? I'd love to hear your ideas!