Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ash Tree Meadow Holiday Discount

20% off Ash Tree Meadow Prints!

Ash Tree Meadow would like to send out a little bit of love for the Holidays! 20% off your purchase! Just type in HOLIDAY2011 when asked for a coupon code during checkout if you purchase something from the shop, and Etsy will discount your order by 20%! Hopefully, you can find someone who would love an Ash Tree Meadow print as a gift this Holiday season. Of course, you could just give yourself a little gift too! ;-)

Check it out on the left sidebar or here!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tot School: 15.5 Months

Tot School

~15.5 Months~

This week, in tot school, we worked quite a bit with our magnet board and a set of picture/object magnets.

We have been exploring and talking about the shape of a circle as well this week. You can see some circle objects peeking out behind her arm in this picture. The Stink Bug gets a kick out of digging through the entire container and pulling out the objects that are circles. Some times she will stick them on the board, other times she will stack them all in one hand and walk around the room with them, putting them in interesting places.

We have also been working with some picture/word flash cards. These cards have a picture on one side, and the word on the other. We mostly have been working with her identifying the picture, and signing or saying what it is. I will also show her the word but, I do not expect her to recognize the words.

This week we brought out a fun preschool game to play with; although, we have been making up our own toddler games with it. The game is made up of various farm animals, which can be separated into half's, and haystacks to hide them under.

Here is a close up of what they look like. We have had lots of fun, opening and closing the halves, and putting them in the container, one in each haystack. We also play "the nut shell game" where I ask the Stink Bug to figure out which haystack the animal is hiding under. Lots of fun to watch her "try" to follow the moving haystack. We are definitely working on some object permanence and tracking skills with that game!

Upcycled Sweater Toddler Dress 2

Upcycled Sweater Toddler Dress

Upcycled Sweater Toddler Dress 2

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I needed a new semi-casual dress for my Stink Bug to wear for our family get together. I really didn't want to go out and buy anything new so, I started digging around in my closet for some old sweaters that I was no longer wearing. I tend to have a pile of those hanging around.

This particular sweater no longer fit me well but, was in good shape. To get the main body pieces of the dress, I laid another dress (which currently fits my daughter) on top of my sweater. I cut around it, making sure to leave enough room for seam allowances. I only cut out the body sections here.

Upcycled Sweater Toddler Dress

After that, I eye balled, and cut the length that I wanted her sleeves to be. Once again, being sure to leave enough room for seam allowances. I wanted to use the "curl" of the cuff so, I cut from the bottom of the sleeve. Less sewing for me! YAY!

Upcycled Sweater Toddler Dress

With the body of the dress inside out, and the sleeve RIGHT side out, I tucked the sleeve in and pinned it. If you are unsure of whether or not your sleeve has the correct side out, pin it and turn the whole dress right side out. You will quickly see if you have it done correctly. Better safe, than have to spend your time seam ripping, and fixing! Go head and sew the sleeves as well as the sides of the dress.

Upcycled Sweater Toddler Dress

Next, I eye balled how much of the neck of the sweater I wanted to use, and cut it. I wanted the neck to be somewhat large on the Stink Bug. (She has a larger head and HATES to have things pulled over it!) I thought it would add to the over all look as well. You may not like this look, by all means, change away!

Upcycled Sweater Toddler Dress

Here is the neck, over the body of the dress.

Upcycled Sweater Toddler Dress

I wanted to give the neckline a little bit more room, and shape so I cut out the front of the neckline a little bit deeper than the back.

Upcycled Sweater Toddler Dress

Turn the dress inside out, if it isn't already, and the neck piece right side out. Pin together, just as you did with the sleeves. Check as before. Sew all the way around the neck once you have checked!

Upcycled Sweater Toddler Dress

Turn your dress right side out and check your work!

Upcycled Sweater Toddler Dress

Add some embellishments if you like. I used some of the left over sleeve fabric to add a little star. I zig-zag stitched around the edges to sew it onto the front of the dress.

Upcycled Sweater Toddler Dress

Here is the cute owner of the dress, my Stink Bug! I made sure to leave her lots of room to wear it through the rest of the winter! I paired it with some cute leggings, and she was ready for Thanksgiving.

Upcycled Sweater Toddler Dress

My model was ready to be finished, and did not want her picture taken ANYMORE! Unfortunately, this sad picture was the only one that I got of her standing up. I am sorry Stink Bug!

Upcycled Sweater Toddler Dress

For you busy moms who are thinking, "Who has the time?!" I completed the dress, as well as one for Christmas, in one nap time. (Check out the other dress .) Which for my Stink Bug, was right at an hour. I even took pictures! I am sure you can do it in a nap time too!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Signing Saturday

Here is a little clip of some of our signing fun from this past Saturday! The Stink Bug is 15.5 months old!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Toddler Christmas List

christmas gifts

(image source)

Not sure what to get your little one for Christmas this year? I thought I would share what our Stink Bug has on her list! She is currently 15 months old but, I have quite a few gifts on her list that I know she will need to "grow into" this year. Much can change in the development of a toddler in just a few short months. I find that it is better to have toys that she can grow into, rather than toys she will quickly grow out of.

I have tried to include information on where you can buy some of these, as well as approximately how much they cost! I hope this helps you make your little one's Christmas list! Oh and for those of you who are curious, this is THE list that we gave to asking relatives (grandparents, etc.) so, clearly your little one might not need bows or leggings! :-)

Here is a little snippet...

You can download her whole list for free here!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Signing Saturday

I thought I would start a fun new segment to my blog called Signing Saturday! I hope you enjoy getting to meet my Stink Bug! We were having a good time signing during lunch, not the best signing, but still fun all the same! Enjoy!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tot School: 15 Months

Tot School

~15 Months~

Our first activity this week was a tot tray activity. We worked on sponging up water. The Stink Bug has had a recent fascination with using paper towels to wipe EVERYTHING! She gets a kick out of wiping her baby doll's faces too so, I figured, why not give it a try! I modeled how to do it once, by sprinkling some water on the tray and then wiping it up with the sponge. She really took off after that!

She got so into the water sprinkling that she enthusiastically shook it ALL over the tray, as well as herself.

The wiping she was a bit more careful with but, really wasn't into getting every drop wiped up. She really wanted to get the wiping over with so she could get back to the sprinkling!

We also worked on putting small objects into an ice cube tray again this week. This time we used "puffed" treats.

You can see how that went over...

She was of course more interested in using leaves!

We also worked on this AWESOME latches board. At first, I wasn't sure that she would be able to master the latches without assistance but, she has been fascinated by it, and by the end of the week mastered opening each one.

There are a few that she has a difficult time closing but, I think that is mostly because once the latch is unlatched, and the little door or window is opened, the activity is "finished" to her. I don't think that she really sees the point in latching it back each time. I will definitely keep this activity out for awhile for her to explore, and will bring it out again when we talk about numbers and colors. (Each door has a different latch as well as a color, number, and corresponding number of animals inside.)

Last but not least, we have been working a lot on shape sorting/puzzle type toys this week. We have a few toys that she used to practice this but, this is the only picture that I took. (This particular toy has a triangle, circle, and square.) This week she was able to do circles, without any issues, as well as stars and some squares. I believe that these shapes seem to be a little bit easier for her right now because they don't require her to turn her wrist quite as far to figure out how the shape fits into the hole. Triangles are a bit much for her at the moment.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Christmas in the Making!

I have begun working on some things for the Stink Bug for Christmas. (I can't believe that it is November already!) I have also been pulling some things out that I have already made, and had put away until the Stink Bug got older. One sweet little project that I am working on is a doll. I will leave out the tedious details but, here is some of what went into her creation thus far.

I tried my hand at tea dyeing some muslin. Very simple, and easy. I would recommend it to anyone. The only problem was that I decided to try tea dyeing AFTER I cut the fabric. A silly thing to do but, it came out just fine in the end.

My first attempt at a drawn on face. I typically embroider faces but, this gave me much more freedom and allowed me to copy a face that I liked more easily. (Yeah....her eyes...I goofed up there... but I guess that makes her VERY home made! :-D )

Here is Miss Dolly all sewn together and waiting for some stuffing! (Gotta love my camera phone flash shadow...)

Getting Stuffed! (You can see the pattern directions that I used underneath her. They are Raggedy Ann patterns but, I really didn't feel like making a raggedy Ann for the Stink Bug. I really just wanted to use the base pattern, and I am glad I did! I will use it again in the future.)

My first attempt at doll wig making went well. Each strand of hair was 10 inches long. I pulled apart the three strands of yarn that made up the piece, and then tied them together in the middle with a knot. After that I sewed on each "strand" of hair. I added them in rows across, and then down the entire wig. You can see the rows here. I think there were about 100 or more "strands" all together. Very tedious. It took HOURS. I wont do it this way again I don't think...

Here is the finished wig from the inside. You can see that the thread tension I used bunched the wig. It turned out to be just fine though. Thank heavens!

Here she is so far! She still needs some stitching across her elbows and knees. Oh, and of course, she needs some clothes too! I am sure that the Stink Bug would love her without clothes though. She seems to have a fascination with bellies and belly buttons anymore. Perhaps I will be making her some clothes for ME to enjoy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Leibster Blog Award

Amanda over at the blog Nursery Rhymes and Fun Times nominated me for a blog award called the Leibster Award! You can check out the award and details/rules for nomination here! It's an award for up and coming blogs with less than 200 subscribers. It's my first ever blog award and this week with the lack of my posting I really don't feel like I much deserve it! Thank you so much Amanda, what a nice compliment! Definitely made my day!


Tot School: 14.5 Months

Tot School

~14.5 Months~

This week was not a typical tot school week for us with getting our house on the market. We mostly worked on last weeks activities. Especially the oatmeal container puzzle. You can see last weeks activities here. I also worked on making a new play room/school room for us to enjoy until the house sells.

One of the things that we put in the new "playroom" was our sand/water table. The Stink Bug received this as a birthday gift, and I knew better than to put sand in it for the little bit of summer that she had left to enjoy it. I also knew that she was just a bit too small to enjoy sand and that I wanted to bring it in for the winter without making a sandy mess.

The first few days that it was in our "playroom" I left it empty, aside from a few toys that we used in the water. She mostly just took the toys out and left them all over the room. Then I decided to add a bit of fun to the mix (and maybe some stupidity). I added some brown rice and some left over rainbow rice. (You can check out my rainbow rice tutorial here.) She LOVED it.

Tot School 14 months

Soon after she started playing she realized that the rice made a satisfying sound as she poured it onto the foam mat below. Ugh. Not so smart on my part. I had MUCH cleaning up to do. When faced with the idea of taking the table out, I realized that I really didn't want to. It wasn't her who had the problem. It was me. So, I re-purposed an old hand vac that we found during our house clean up as the "rice pick-er-upper" and have to remember not to cringe when she pours it on the floor.

Tot School 14 months

All for the name of sensory play, right? At least I will have a place to make her sensory play now, and wont be limited to what I can fit in a small bin. Who knows, by the 20th time of vacuuming up the rice, it may be replaced with something less "messy." Maybe pom poms. What do you think would be a cheap and safe "base sensory material" for her table?

Check out a sneak peak of something that I have been working on! Check back soon to see what it is!

Long Over Due!

We have had quite the interesting last week or so. Our house is FINALLY on the market. Which is an awesome thing, but also very scary. I am really learning to beef up my "leaning on Gods" timing muscles when it comes to the selling of this house. I am also learning how to keep a "show ready" home. Which is a HUGE feat when you have a toddler who likes to follow behind and pull out every item that you put away. It is definitely helping me learn to be the house keeper that I have often wished I was. Knowing that at any time someone could be looking into every room of your house, even the closet that you like to stuff things into, is unnerving. You know, THAT closet. You know you have one. If it is not a closet, then it is a drawer. Better yet, you probably have both. I know I sure did!

I have also not been feeling very well (I have Hashimotos- I will have to make a post on this some time.)and was dragging around until I finally went in for some blood work this past week. I can't wait to feel better! All excuses aside, I am sorry that I did not update this past week! I have been kicking myself. I promise I will do better!

Every had one of those weeks?! Where every time you turn around something happens that takes you extra time to clean up or fix? I couldn't help but laugh out loud and take a picture of the Stink Bug with an ENTIRE roll of toilet paper all over the bathroom floor. I knew that things were a little bit too quiet while I was taking a shower... she was having a blast that's for sure!

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