Sunday, December 13, 2015

Other Quilted Play Mats

After making our large pirate island play mat, we've made several more. Some for my boys, others as gifts. I even sewed some of them entirely by myself! (BE PROUD). Hope you like them!

Double-sided pond/stream:


Dinosaur World:

Arctic World #1:

Antarctic World (with storage bag):

I'll post a tutorial soon so you can play along! If you decide to make your own, I'd love to see! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The quilt that started them all: Pirate Island

Not long after we moved to WA, a sweet friend from TX told me she was getting rid of her boy's Schliech animal collection. They had accumulated them over birthdays and holidays when the boys were younger, but they no longer played with them and she needed the extra room for other toy storage. She was purging some of their toys (and trying to make a little cash for storage containers) so she was selling 20+ animals for $10! Anyone who has bought them for their kids knows that many of the animals are more than $10 a piece so I knew that was a steal! I told her I would be happy to take them off her hands, as long as she let me pay her $20 instead. We only had about 5 animals at that time, and they were my boys FAVORITE toys. It was like Christmas morning when we received them and unpacked each cherished one! I don't know about you, but my 3 little boys are obsessed with animals and dinosaurs. Each day brings a new treasured tag-along from our animal drawer. Well, when I called my mom to let the boys share their excitemt about our new animals with their Gigee, she informed me that she was ready to get rid of her big collection of Schleich animals as well because the other older cousins had outgrown them and she too wanted to gain back some storage space at her house. And of course she wouldn't let me pay her (she is awesome and stubborn like that), so in the span of a month we went from 5 animals to around 100 for only $20! We had so much fun separating them by groups and using fabrics and blocks to create worlds for our animals and dinosaurs to play in! 

But after a few months of dragging fabrics out and putting them away, I got the idea to buy a play mat for the boys to play with their animals on. But when looking online, I was really disappointed in what online shopping had to offer. There were beautiful felt mats, but I knew my ruff-and-tumble boys would tear those expensive felt art play mats to shreds in 5 seconds and there was no way they'd last. And the carpet play mats were big and bulky and ugly and didn't meet my easy-to-stowaway criteria. Even the fabric play mats fell short because all them were a contradiction of 2D/3D/skewed perspective that made my inner perfectionist twitch. So when my mom came for her visit in the Spring, we set to work creating our very own quilted play mat for my boys. I drew up the design, we went shopping at my local fabric store, and over the next few days we cut and shaped the fabrics into an aerial view wonderland for our toys.

 My mom did all the sewing on this one (since I was still scared of my fancy shmancy new Pfaff my awesome husband bought me at the time), and I cannot praise her flawless stitching enough. This quilt is gorgeous!

Because we live in the Puget Sound area, we of course have a collection of tiny driftwood pieces and beach rocks that make such great additions to our play and add a whole new tactile/sensory level that contrasts the softness of the quilt and makes our pretend play feel even more real. 

Shown below are some inexpensive aquarium plants I bought at the pet store to use in our play as well and the boys LOVE them. Most of them were $1 or $2 a piece, and they have held up well. (I wouldn't recommend them for kids under 3 or children who still mouth toys, because some plant parts can detach and possibly present a choking hazard.)

I'm so extremely happy with how the quilted play mat came out, and I am very grateful to my mother for helping make my idea a reality. And now that I'm starting to make quilted play mats on my own for friends and family (and in the process conquering my fear of overly-complicated sewing machines), I truly appreciate all the love she poured into every stitch. And even though I'd always rather have my mom by my side while I'm sewing instead of a million miles away back in TX, I am so very grateful for these quilted treasures that remind of us her every time we play. Love you Mommy!

Thanks for stopping by! If you get inspired to make your own quilted play mat, I'd love to see! Happy crafting!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

SSS Wednesday Challenge: Spots and Dots

Thought it would be fun to enter the Spots and Dots challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp blog this week:

Here's my card:

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Make It Monday #172: Rainbow Medallions

Howdy Bloggers and Blogettes! I was actually able to sneak in a card this past week for Papertrey Ink's Make It Monday challenge! I was so exstatic to FINALLY have my hands on my new Make It Market Shakers & Sprinles Card Kit, I just had to ink it up! Dawn always has such great card ideas, and just loved how colorful and fun this project turned out. Here's the challenge if you'd like to check it out:

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Make It Monday #171-Pop Up Die Cuts

Howdy Blogers and Blogettes! I can't believe I actually got to make a card! It's been forever! Our awesome neighbor Sean's birthday was this week, so I thought I would give this week's MIM at Papertrey Ink (PTI) a try. I feel SO RUSTY. I tried to keep it simple in design for a more masculine feel (and to not overthink or overcomplicate it), and he loved it so I call it a win. :) The inside stamp is a large Happy Birthday.

Here's the challenge:

Cardstock: PTI white, Wplus9 navy
Dies: Wplus9 sailboat, PTI small scallop
Stamps: PTI
Other: PTI cork

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ocean Party Invites

Howdy bloggers and bloggets! My fabulous and faithful friend Paula encouraged me to dust off the cobwebs on the old blog and link up to Simon Says Stamp this week for a chance to win $50 towards their products. I haven't gotten to make many cards lately, (Ok, ok...NONE) but since I just finished creating custom invites for my son's 3rd Ocean Splash birthday party, I figured it would count for an "anything goes" challenge. My son loves dolphins, sharks, octopi, and whales (orcas are his FAVORITE) so I drew up a relatively simple and childish sketch of his favorite sea creatures throwing a third birthday for a fish (who seems a little nervous about it).  After pencil sketching, then outlining, I colored the image using my trusty Copic markers and boy am I rusty! Once I was finished I merely scanned it into my computer and used the JPEG to create an invitation in Word.  I ended up using the original image as decoration at the party, and all my boys love it so I count it as a success. Of course, they are only 4, 3, & 1...but that's ok.  They're my biggest fans.

Thanks for stopping by!

Here's the link to the challenge if you want to enter today!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

PTI Make It Monday #108: Inked Backgrounds and Sympathy Cards

Hello Bloggers and Bloggettes. It's been a rough past two weeks here, not going to lie. My dear friend who was a Navy pilot died in a plane crash here in WA during a routine training mission on April 11th along with 2 other airmen. We have been having quite a hard time coming to grips with it all, and making sympathy cards when you yourself are in mourning is not easy. She was an incredibly amazing and beautiful person inside and out, and even though I know she is happily with Jesus, it doesn't make me miss her less. Her husband is also a very dear friend of ours and this card was made for him. I was completely lacking in a good sympathy sentiment set and motivation for his card when Hero Arts (via Amazon) and Papertrey Ink's MIM came to my rescue. I liked the soft look of the sponging and thought it would pair nicely with my chosen PTI images. It was an easy card to put together thankfully, since I had several others I had already made for his family and her family as well. I sponged the background, stamped and embossed the silhouettes, and added the banner with the embossed sentiment. Pretty simple. Thanks for stopping by. If you don't mind, say a little prayer for the families of the 3 crash victims who are deeply grieving for their lost loved ones. And hug your loved ones a little tighter today. Our lives are but a beautiful breath.

Cardstock: PTI white
Ink: Versamark, (Momento) Bamboo Leaves, Pear Tart, Dandelion, Tangelo, (PTI) Kraft,
Embossing Powder: (Filigree) White, Gold
Stamps: (Hero Arts) Remember/Sympathy, (PTI) In the Meadow, Masculine Motifs
Other: Square Punch (to notch the banner), Scoretape