Thursday, May 23, 2013

TP Tube Peeps

 Pencil Crayon Love
TP Tube People

Quiet Book...Finally!

 Fabric Book with Snap Lock

It has taken months of naptime, possibly even a year (?) but O's Quiet Book is complete!
Thanks to Pinterest, none of the idea's are originals. I was just too amazed with the incredibly talented and innovative mom's...I had to honour them by copying their work!
We combined our favourites to come up with O's own version.

Much like everything else she lays hands on!

 The Laundry Line

Every time I made a new page, it became my favourite.
This Laundry Line was very much taken from Pinterest. Not much original here!
Tiny clothespegs and an open basket can pin or store clothes.
A teeny pair of underwear, a flowery blouse and hippie pants were made by taking scraps of fabric, cutting the shape and sewing them onto a felt backing. This makes them stiff enough to pin or store.

Inspired By "Pops & Podge"

The Rainbow

This page still needs some work.
Currently there are no tactile options, just learning about colours (and the order they appear in the rainbow).
There is a pocket in the right cloud, for future inspiration.

Inspired By "Imagine Our Life"

 The Mailbox

The first full page spread is a Postal theme.
Since Post Office visits are a very welcome part of our week, we could not leave behind the Mailbox!

It opens in a 'snap' and has space to hold letters.
The red flag reminds us of Framma & Frampa's cottage or Grandpa Roy's farm, where people still use these markers to indicate 'full' or 'empty'.

 The Carrier

This page took the longest, since it is actually original.
The post sachel unfolds down and snaps back up (as it is bursting and the sides could not be sewn shut!)

Inside, three felt envelopes are attached with a ribbon.
They can reach the inside of the mailbox adjacent, but mostly the ribbon is to prevent lost mail!
We honoured Chinese and Canadian flags as stamps.
Inside the envelopes are Chinese (pinyin) and English notes.

 Snap Back Envelopes

Our intent is to have family and friends back home write teeny letters to O, so she can read messages from Canada every day. Likewise, we will ask our friends in China to write her messages in pinyin.

Inspired By "Imagine Our Life"

The Stovetop

Also a full page spread, The Stovetop features a place to cook and enjoy food. 
The stove burner rotates to L (low), M (medium) or H (high).
The top of the placemat is open to store felt food and eventually a felt pan.


Honouring what we consider Canada's National Food; pancakes!

The Pirates Beach

Another full page spread, The Pirates Beach is definitely the brightest of the bunch with it's sand and summer sky as the backdrop.
Inside the Treasure Box are a string of pearls bought here in China.


The simplistic map opens when you untie the ribbon.
Starting at Palm Island, the embroidery trail leads land lubbers to the Pirate Ship.

Message in a Bottle

The cork opening snaps off to reveal a spot for a rolled Message in a Bottle.

The Camp Out

The final full page spread is likely my favourite.
I am attracted to the colour combination and sharp lines of the tent, that contrast with the wavy lines of the open fire.
A few copper coloured sequins serve as stars in the sky.
The tent can be tied down by yellow string. Two round jewelery rings serve as 'pegs'.

Critter Camping

Iron-on critters (a fox in the tent opening & a hedgehog with jar of jam in the tent) serve as Peek-a-Boo surprises when you lift the tent flaps.

Tic Tac Toe

Last but not least, the game of Tic Tac Toe-to-go.
Nine playing pieces (X's & heart's) are attached by velcro adjacent the velcro playing board.

As it turns out (unbeknownst to me, until now) I was really drawn to the work by "Imagine Our Life".
Search "Quiet Books" on Pinterest and you will not be disappointed.
Some lovely tactile activities to tuck in your bag for the next outing.

Toddler Cozy Pants

Evening Wear-turned Toddler Pants

A few days ago, a delivery came for Daddy.
We ordered him some evening wear that turned out way too sexy-snug.
The fabric was too perfect to not use up, so we converted them into Toddler Cozy Pants.

I took a pair of O's roomiest fleece pants and made a faux pattern out of paper (pictured above.)
I used the outside seam of Daddy's pants to avoid more sewing than necessary and in two minutes, O had some lovely new low-riders!

Vegan Bites: Chocolate Drop Cookies

Frozen Cookies

Back in the day when I was a nanny, the kids I looked after requested my mothers Chocolate Drop Cookies, almost daily. They are easy to make, relatively cheap and easy for kids to help with.

The other day I ran across a similar recipe on Pinterest, but it was a Vegan version. We hardly had any of the ingredients listed (Ooooh we miss Maple Syrup!), so we concocted our own version.
Really, these are so simple, you could mix and match depending on what is in your cupboard!
I love that these have no sugar, are full of healthy toddler fats & of course, calcium & iron-rich carob.

Vegan Chocolate Drops
~1 T coconut oil
~1-2 T nut/seed butter
~3 T carob powder
~1 cup oats
Freeze 30 minutes.

They were best left in the freezer with the Carob Popsicles that are now Self-Serve!

Vegan Bites: Comfort Cabbage Rolls

 Granny's Veggie Version

Something about Cabbage Rolls reminds me of my Granny.
Never in my life have I made Vegan Cabbage Rolls, but something inside me was needing some nostalgia, so I read a few recipes and concocted my own version.
They lacked a lot of spice, but hit the nostalgia nail right on the head.
O loved the filling, but can always do without the greens.

Vegan Cabbage Rolls
~1 head cabbage (steam and separate leaves)
~6-8 large tomatoes (steam & skin)

Puree steamed tomatoes in blender.
Simmer on stove with...
~1 pinch salt & pepper
~1 t baking soda
~1 clove garlic
~1/2 minced onion
~oregano & rosemary

Saute in olive oil...
~4 cloves garlic
~1 minced onion
~salt & pepper
~1 t each chili powder, allspice & paprika
~2 t lemon juice
~2 cups cooked (green) lentils
~1 cup cooked brown rice

Roll the filling in cabbage leaves.
Pour a layer of tomato sauce in baking pan.
Place rolls on top and cover with another layer of sauce.
Bake on lowest temp. for 40 mins.

Gary: Creepy Cutie's

Garden-Friend Gary

Dad's balcony crops are coming along quickly now.
We have also welcomed a little critter to our family, by the name of 'Gary' (courtesy of Spongebob!)
O loves finding Gary's new hiding spot each day, though Dad is none-too-pleased that it MAY be Gary chowing on his greens!

And just in case you want to incorporate a little reading into your gardening activities, "Titch" is my seasonal recommendation. 
Published prior to my time and very-much a classic, by Pat Hutchins!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Puppet Show


Before O was born, there was a whole lot of creating going on. Adam used to come home from work and ask when the baby (still in utero!) would be old enough to play with the heaps of projects piling up.

Now is the time...and it was well worth the prep!
Yesterday, I brought out the Doorway Puppet Theatre. The two of us could not stop laughing at the shows we were making up. It was nice to reminisce about the days I was making all these toys and wondering who baby would be...and fast forward to the here and now...

We have a great collection of finger puppets and a couple hand puppets from IKEA, friends and Auntie. The most beloved is the raccoon in the garbage can (courtesy of Auntie!). So we started with him..and a piglet O named 'Oink' for the show.

I took the first round but had plenty of pointers from my one-woman audience ("make them chase each other!") Then O took her turn, her head barely reaching the puppet window. 
She was a natural!
Starting off with "NOW FOR THE PUPPET SHOW!"..and then changed her voice (high or low) for each character!