Thursday, April 18, 2013

Quiet Book

So, I've never done a crafty post before, and I'm not sure how to go about it, but I've mentioned before that I was working on/made Owen a quiet book! I've questioned whether or not I should even write this post, since I had a lot of online inspiration, even used a template for several pages, and didn't really use a ton of personal creativity -- but I did make this book for my son with my own two hands and I worked really, really hard on it, so I want to celebrate and remember that! I'm really proud that I started and finished such a big project and I really think it turned out well!

I started my first two pages (the farm and hill) at the beginning of February (right before my sister's wedding) and I completed the rest of the book by March - so it took about a month overall - and unfortunately while lots of people say they completed their quiet books for about $30 - mine cost darn near $100, but I still have a ton of leftover supplies and will probably be able to make 2-3 more books with only a few small purchases. (I had to buy packs of things like buttons, embroidery thread, and ribbon, etc. to use only a small amount - and after the first two pages I absolutely HAD to buy a nice pair of left-handed scissors!!! - those things were a life project saver!)

I have a TON of other ideas and pins of pages to make, but the book is almost 2 inches thick already, so I'm thinking those ideas will need to go into additional books! The pages are currently bound with 2 rings in buttonholes, but I need to get some bigger rings so the pages will turn more easily and I still need to come up with a cover for the whole thing, but by the time I finished these pages, I was ready for a little break from sewing! It's been a month now, so I pulled this back out to start to put it together and get it ready for Owen and I thought it was about time to document it all at the very least for posterities sake!

The first set of pages are obviously all of our names for Owen to touch/trace/name the letters. I eventually plan on making letters for him to match with those, but since he's a few years from that anyway, I didn't bother with that yet. The page underneath is a whiteboard of sorts. It is transparency sheet sewed into a frame with a printed page behind it that I can switch out. This page was difficult to sew and I actually broke a needle trying to get through the transparency sheet - so it didn't turn out a nicely as I'd like, but I'll probably redo it in the future. I got my inspiration to do a name page from Homemade By Jill - but I ended up deciding to do the whole family instead of just Owen - especially since that means that Owen and Noah can both use it as time goes on.

These next pages are pretty basic (and LAZY - I used foam stickers for the numbers and letters!!). I found the idea for the numbers page on Sew Can Do - I loved the idea of using the ribbon and combining number recognition with quantity in a simple toddler-friendly way! I plan on making Owen/Noah a better ABC page as he gets older, but the stickers work for now - he can easily explore them and I can replace any that get messed up, so we'll stick with it until he's showing readiness for more letter work!

Next, I have the elephant/balloons page to work on color words and the shape matching page (the shapes come off with velcro). I saw lots of shape pages all over, so I don't really think that one needs any recognition, but the elephant with balloons was inspired by Jill's elephant page from Montoya's Meaningful Memories and Musings. She made a super cute elephant holding balloons that is a color matching page, but that combined with the inspiration of the written words on Toni's mermaid fish/shape page - I decided to adapt it so that my balloons would match with the color word and be a little harder - so that page will work when the boys are older too! I also decided to keep my balloons attached on their strings so they wouldn't get lost - we'll see if that becomes a tangled mess, I might have to eventually cut those off and add some velcro.

These 8 pages are all closely taken from Jocelyn's template from Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows! Her quiet book was soo cute and her Quiet Book Blog linked me to a ton of other cute quiet books that served for inspiration for lots of future pages!!! There are several other pages in her quiet book that I plan to make in the future as well - her whole book is just ADORABLE! I love all the pages and I foresee hours of fun with Mr/Mrs. Potato-Head, the decorate-a-dinosaur and button flowers, the farm with puppets, and the apple tree and ladybug that help O work with snaps and zippers! He's had a little practice with the Potato Head page already and gets super excited whenever I pull it out!

These two pages are actually the last and first (respectively) pages of my quiet book. The first page (on the right) is just a simple weaving page - part of Jocelyn's template and many, many, many other quiet books - and the last page is a tool box for my little "engineer" who attempts to use just about anything to "ficks" all the chairs/gates/things in our house - if he can see a screw...then he is using keys/any toy with a point/and stealing actual tools to attempt to turn it and fix all the things! I looked the pictures from Keely's tool box page to help with the perspective and sizing of my tools, but I cut and made them myself - so the tool page is sort of a combo between a copied and creative.

So, like I said, I had a lot of inspiration - that I've hopefully given all the credit to those that it is due! Those ladies are super creative and I totally latched onto that - although I did come up with a few tweaks of my own and I'm really proud of myself for my hard work because even with the ideas - this was a TON of work! Since I finished it, I've been going back and forth on whether I want to give Owen the book as his gift when Noah is born or wait until his second birthday in August (we'll just have to see where he is developmentally come June). He's watched me make it and has looked at all the pages (so it's not a surprise - but at this age he doesn't seem to get that concept anyway), but - when I've given him the chance to explore it a little - he's still really ROUGH with it, and after ALL the man-hours I put in....I just can't handle that, so it's staying put away for a few more months while we keep working on those fine motor skills!

This has been the biggest project I've taken on since Owen was born and it was so much fun getting back into doing something crafty and creative! I really hope to keep it up by making more Quiet Books and pages  - and making lots of other crafty projects for my kiddos and my home!
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