Reusable Grocery Bags and book reviews

Today's craft was finally making some reusable grocery bags. The ones I have from the stores are getting worn and I don't find them easy to clean, so I bought some home dec fabric on clearance for $2/yard and made these bags. I used the pattern from One Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins. For the second bag, I changed the handle length because I like longer handles so I can carry more bags by putting some over my shoulder. I have more to make, but found this pattern to be easy and use only a yard of fabric. Plus they are machine washable. I have some denim that I bought ages ago and never made the project so I think that will become more bags as well.
Side by Side Comparison

Following pattern
With my changes

Hazel's favorite books from the library right now are Forever Friends by Carin Berger and Snow Ponies by Cynthia Cotten. Forever Friends is a nice book that goes through all the seasons with a bird and a bunny. It is an easy quick read for a bedtime story. She likes the pictures. Snow Ponies is really a winter book about Old Man Winter and his ponies. Again I think she likes the pictures because when I ask her questions about what is happening she really doesn't know, yet she keeps asking me to read it over and over. It is one I definitely want to take out again in the winter.

Tonight we celebrated my birthday (which is tomorrow). Hazel was so excited to go to Spinelli's and get a cake. She didn't want to eat dinner--just wanted cake. Oh, well. She had fun. Here is a picture of the beautiful cake.

Well, good night!

You've Got Mail

 I am almost finished with Hazel's mailboxes and envelopes. I used an old diaper box for the Post Office Box with lots of blue construction paper. To make the mail door, I cut a flap off and attached it with yarn. I took my engineer husband's advice and attached it to the top so it opens up instead of the way the real ones do. I also searched for the USPS logo on line. Not very easy to get a clean copy of it, but I printed it on clear sticker pages and attached them. So far Hazel has mailed her books.
Side View of Post Office Mailbox

Post Office Mailbox
 From a shoe box, I made her a mailbox. I added her name and our house number. I still need to make a flag for it which I will attach with a brad so it can rotate and I need to attach something to keep the box closed. I am thinking I will use either a button or bead and an elastic. (I will probably do the same thing for the post office box back where I left an opening to get things out.
Hazel's mailbox
Her envelopes
I searched for images of envelope templates. Here are a few I found: A2 envelope, Custom square card envelope,card envelope. Then I added stamp images to them and some with post marks. Here are some: Forever Stamp Liberty bell, Statue of Liberty First Class, Cat in the Hat, Sleeping Beauty. Postmarks: Washington DC, Saugus, MA (our hometown). Then I printed them out on different colored paper. Some of them I used legal size and changed the size of the envelopes. Then I covered the paper with clear contact paper and cut them out. I glued the envelopes together without closing the flap. I still have many more to make her and I also bought some postcards which I will put the contact paper on. Today I bought her a set of 4 overhead pens. If she uses these on the clear contact paper, it washes off. So she can "address" her envelopes however she wants and we can erase it later and re do it. I love the idea! As you can see she does as well since she already drew on all of the envelopes I finished. I made the envelopes so she can put papers in them if she wants. I think this should provide hours of fun for her.


Time for Mail Update

Hazel and I got back to painting the boxes for her mailboxes. I realized that I think we are going to need to cover them with paper instead because after two coats, the boxes are still showing through. Oh, well. I did pick up some post cards to cover and have looked at some envelope templates. Just need to print them out and try covering them.

I will post more when we do more. Today was really spent with Fluffy. The good news is she seems to really like Hazel.

Help inspire me and tell me what you have been working on. Any new ideas?

Been on vacation

So my dear husband, Steven has been off the last two weeks. Somehow his vacation made me have no free time. We did go visit my parents at Cape Cod for a week. While there both of my sisters came at different times and an uncle and cousin (and her family) also visited though they were staying somewhere else. It seemed that every day someone was coming or going. Needless to say Hazel did not nap while there and was too excited constantly. It was not the most relaxing vacation we have had.
Hazel sitting out on the deck

 Hazel took this one of me on the deck of my parents the view!

Hazel swimming with my sister

 Out to lunch!

Hazel and her one and only first cousin, Ian

My beloved Simba helping me quilt
A couple of weeks ago, we put our beloved 17-year-old cat down. He had been sick for quite awhile and we did not want him to suffer anymore. Today I took Hazel to the animal shelter to adopt Fluffy. She had picked the name Fluffy around the time we put Simba down. We went to the shelter and saw it as a sign from God that one of the 5-month-old kittens was named Fluffy. We brought her home. Now we are going through the process of introducing a new kitten to the house and to Pumpkin.

Hopefully soon I'll be back to making crafts with Hazel. Until then...enjoy!!

Time for Mail

Yesterday was a hard day. We decided the time had come to put our beloved cat, Simba, out of his misery. He was 17-years-old and had been sick with probably cancer for over a year. The last few weeks he had gotten much worse, so we knew it was time. We will miss him dearly.

Wind Wands

After our Father's Day painting experience Hazel seems to have a fear of wind. In particular of things blowing away. If we are outdoors and get a paper anything (napkin today) she asks me to put it in my purse right away so it will not blow away. Turning to the Waldorf Education Philosophy, I turned to my copy of Creative Play for Your Toddler: Steiner Waldorf Expertise and Toy Projects for 2-4s by Christopher Clouder and Janni Nicol.

The cover actually shows a child playing with a wind wand. Since Steiner believed we learn through all of our senses and children need to be stimulated through their senses, this is a perfect toy to play with wind and learn a bit more about it. It can be used either inside or outside, though outside will be better for getting Hazel use to the wind.

Today, I finally got around to make a wind wand for Hazel. I have been meaning to for quite awhile, but it took a bit to find all the supplies. First it took me awhile to find something to make the circle. The book called for cane, which is not easy to find in the usual craft stores. I got lucky however and found a cane type circle/wreath the perfect size without rough spots (this was one of the problems I kept having) at the Dollar Tree. Today I picked up the different ribbons for $1 a spool at Michaels. I decided to go with a rainbow theme and bought one of each color I could find in the $1 bin.
Now I have to wait until Hazel wakes up to see if she likes it. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be beautiful, so maybe we can try it outside then.

My next projects: a tote bag for Hazel to carry around Ducky and possibly her sippy cup;
a chair cover for Steve's office chair--one of the cats has scratched it horribly;
new bags that will be washable for shopping--the ones I bought are getting old and yucky--they also say you wash them regularly especially if you put meats and produce in them, so I want ones that are easily machine washed. I found some decorator fabric today at Joanns for $2 / yard and I bought 5 yards, so there are three bags.

Well, enjoy your day!

Please let me know what you are up to.