Monday, January 26, 2015

Quiet Book Pages

Last fall I spent a considerable amount of time making quiet book pages for my grandchildren.  I've learned a few things along the way - and the next set I make will likely be a little different than those I have completed.  I made some about 1.5 years ago that were very similar in style to the ones I have pictured here.

Even though I will do some things differently with the next set, the desired outcome has been the same - the kids love them.  They do provide a quiet activity for them to do - especially in places like church or the car.  So no matter how you do them, just do something.  I've got some ideas I can't wait to make happen!

The first quiet book I made, I made my own cover.  This one I used a 3-ring binder.  I glued a layer of warm and natural to the binder, then glued the cover to the warm and natural.  I sewed the straps on before it was glued.  Easy peasy!  Although, I probably should have used a 2" binder rather than a 1".  It really limits how many pages can be put in the book at a time.

After the fabric was glued onto the outside of the binder - I flipped it over and glued it down on the inside.  I then took a piece of card stock and covered it in the green striped fabric and glued it to the inside covers.  This covered up the edges of the outer fabric that had been folded over and glued down.

I love the barn page.  I found the cute finger puppets on-line.  I decided to try using the pencil pouch to store them in rather than making a pocket on the page.  Love that!
Another thing I learned ... SEW EVERYTHING!  When I took this picture I hadn't sewn along the outside of the barn or on the white pieces at all.  It wasn't long before those edges were pulling up and the pieces were detaching from the barn even though I had used a LOT of glue.  Before it was given away - everything was stitched.

The I Spy page made from fabric that is on their I Spy quilts.  This was taken before the finishing touches were put on the page.

This was a fun one to do - but if I were to do it again I might use regular cotton fabric as a background and make the bee so he could be moved around.

I used tablecloth vinyl to make the packet and filled it with buttons and beads and all sorts of tiny trinkets I found.  Use your 40-50% off coupons on this one!

This is one that I glued down REALLY well and figured I didn't need to sew anything.  The first time my grandson was on this page, he was picking at the edges and it was already starting to come apart.  Ugh....lesson learned.   SEW EVERYTHING!

LOVE this page!  I chose to not cut out felt numbers and letters.  Got these in a package of foam stickers.  I added E6000 adhesive to the backs of them and they did stick VERY WELL!

And look - the flaps lift up with little jewels for them to count.  Again, I used the E6000 adhesive to glue them down.

Felt strips with a fabric backing.  I wish now I had used all felt....  You can see the fray edges of the fabric.  These can be stuck together to make a chain, or simply connected one to the other to make a long strip.  Good color practice and eye/hand coordination when sticking them together.

I think this is one of my top three favorite pages!  The fish slide back and forth along the ribbon.  I lined the fish with vinyl so they would slide easily.  The other critters on top were cut out of fabric and glued to felt with a velcro backing on them so they will stick to the 'sand'.  The edges should have been treated with FrayCheck - not sure if that happened before it was given away!  

There were several more pages that I did - Mr Potato Head, tic-tac-toe, an Easter egg with Easter themed finger puppets, etc.

The one VERY IMPORTANT thing that you need to know about making your quiet book is this:  NEVER TELL YOUR HUSBAND HOW MUCH MONEY YOU SPENT DOING IT!!!   I would purchase things with coupons and on sale, and get things a little at a time, but I stopped keeping track of how much it was costing me because they have truly been a labor of love.

As I said - I'm already planning the next set of pages to do.  I will tell you this:  there will not be any holes in the pages.  I'm looking at a totally different way of putting them together in a book.  Can't wait!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Anxiety - Part Two!

So - the previous post I wrote about anxiety - and how I was going to stay on top of it so I didn't have the kind of experience that Sandra Turley had?!  Remember that?  Well - I'm happy to say that I did just that - I had almost exactly the same experience that she did. 

It was Tuesday night, December 16th.  I could not go to sleep.  You know those nights when you lie there wide awake?  Yup - one of those nights.  After an hour or so of tossing and turning I decided to head to the recliner so I wouldn't disturb the hubby.  He had an important meeting early the next morning.  I'd been there about 1/2 hour - just enjoying looking at the Christmas lights - when BAM

My heart started doing somersaults.  Seriously.  It felt like it was violently flopping back and forth in my chest.  Then I got an intense pain around the sternum area.  I thought I was having a heart attack, so was going to call out to the sleeping hubster, but suddenly I couldn't get my breath.  I was nauseous and dizzy and had a difficult time getting out of the chair.  I made it to the hall closet where the medicine is kept and took an aspirin.  They say to do that if you are having a heart attack.  

Now, this is where you DON'T do what I did next.  I could breathe a little easier and my acrobatic heart had slowed down considerably, so instead of waking up my husband and heading to the emergency room or calling 911, I decided to head to the computer.  Yup - that's what we all do when we think we might be dieing, right?!  Guess I should have written my final farewell while I was at the keyboard.  Instead I googled heart attack symptoms and really, it didn't seem like that was what was happening to me.  So I googled panic attack symptoms.  BINGO!  Every symptom - I just checked them off one by one.  By this time I had decided that I wasn't going to die, so I popped one of my pills for anxiety and headed back to the recliner.  Within 20 minutes all symptoms were gone and I felt much better. 

I hope to NEVER have another panic/anxiety attack.  It was seriously the scariest medical situation I've ever been through. 

I had made a major decision to quit my job, which I knew would alleviate some of the stress I was having in my life.  Our little family has experienced a lot of stressful situations this last year.  Some of them were really wonderful - like a new grandbaby being born, a daughter and her family moving into their own home, and another daughter moving back 'home'.  Some were really difficult - like my husband being put on probation at his job unjustly and everything that went along with that including a quick emergency flight home to be with him; opening up a new school with double the student population and everything that goes along with that, including spending time in classrooms once a week.  I'm not a teacher.  I wanted to be a teacher once - long, long ago.  But after that first practicum experience, I knew that I would be eaten alive by those children so I changed my major.  So this experience of being in the classroom often left me in tears in the nearest bathroom when I was done. 

In hindsight, I can tell you some things that I've learned.
  1. If something is being overly stressful in your life - don't play the martyr and stick with it because you don't want to feel like a failure.
  2. Don't worry about doing everything, all of the time.  It's ok to let some things go and not be perfect.  Why is it that we sometimes feel we have to be the 'superwoman'?  That's just wrong!
  3. Be honest with your feelings and talk with someone about them - be it your spouse, a trusted friend, your doctor or another professional.
  4. A strong relationship with your Father in Heaven can help you through really difficult times.
  5. Studying the scriptures can give you insight and strength and help you feel the love of your Savior.
  6. "Those that be with us are greater than those that be with them."  2 Kings 6:16.  I believe that the adversary is working overtime to make us feel that we have failed and that we are of no worth.  I also believe that we have a loving Father in Heaven and his son Jesus Christ who know us personally and love us perfectly.  Through the gifts and blessings of the Atonement, we can be succored and strengthened through the Savior.
  7. When you are having a medical emergency - don't google it!  Get professional medical help immediately.
 Our lives are full of stress.  Learning to cope - and learning to let go of certain things will help us enjoy the life that is ours to live.  Carpe' Diem!