Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Play Mat/Bag

This is going to be very picture/word heavy, so prepare yourselves.  I do not always do things the easy way either, so bear with me through this.

I am an over-packer.  Big time.  Michael will tell you.  We could be going somewhere for one night and I could pack an entire suitcase full of just just for me... Just in case I need 8 shirts and multiple pairs of shoes when we may not even be going anywhere...

Now that we're packing for three instead of just two, it's even worse.  I throw tons and tons of toys into a separate bag for Natalie to play with, plus an extra blanket for her to lay on.  This over-packing problem isn't going to go away, but I decided to make a bag for her toys that would also turn into a play mat to make things a tiny bit better.

I saw these Lay-n-Go mats and thought they were a pretty stinking good idea, but I am too cheap to buy one.

So I attempted to make my own.

I picked out some fabric at Hobby Lobby since I had a gift card there. 

I got way more than needed for this project, but the width of the fabric was about 44 1/2".  So I cut the fabric to make a 44 1/2" square.

Then I folded in it half, then in half again to end up with this:
I TRIED to draw a curve just by eyeballing it on the open ended corner of the fabric (not the corner where the folds meet) thinking that this would give me a circle.  Well it wasn't quite enough of a curve and I ended up with kind of a square with rounded edges... But that was ok with me.

Opened up on top of the other fabric I planned on using.  

Both fabrics cut out. 

My shape is obviously not a circle, but you know... It works.
I bought some satin blanket binding to do the binding around the outside of the ''circle''.  I don't think you need a specific width of binding but you'll want something wide enough to hold whatever cord you choose to use to cinch the bag closed.  Mine was approximately 2" wide.  And I did not need 2 packages for this project... I had a little bit left after just using one. 

Then I used some eyelets to make the holes for my cord.

I just laid the binding out around the edge without pinning it first so that I could just estimate on where I wanted the eyelets to be.

You can see where I set the eyelets down to mark where I wanted them.

With the eyelets in place.  Follow the directions on your eyelet tool if you don't know how to do these, they are super easy though.

You'll only want the eyelets to go through one layer of the binding.
I made my cord ahead of time, but you could probably just use ribbon or rope or nylon or anything else.  I made mine out of strips of the polka dot fabric...  You'll need to figure out the circumference of your circle to see how much you'll need (that applies to the binding, too).

My approximately 47 inch circle (including the binding) had a circumference of around 11 1/2 feet.  So I made my cord a bit longer to be sure I would have enough.

Then I put the cord inside the binding as close to the fold as I could get it, and then pinned above the cord so I wouldn't accidentally sew it to the binding or mat.

Lacing it through the eyelet from underneath and back in from the top.

All pinned.
I did end up with plenty extra cord so I cut it down to just be the right length, and sewed the ends together.  Then sewed the binding on and I was done!

The bag/mat is also reversible which I enjoy.

Natalie playing to give you an idea of how big it is.

That may or may not make any sense to anyone else, but I'm glad I at least got it figured out :)

Now we just need to go somewhere and put it to use!  She does play on it when we're home too, though, obviously.  But I think it will come in handy!

Ginger Snap Crafts
Someday Crafts
Southern Lovely
Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom
Bear Rabbit Bear 
A Glimpse Inside 
Yesterday On Tuesday
Tatertots and Jello
  Not Just a Housewife

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Four Months Old

Natalie is four months old today!

She is practicing her screaming skills for hours every day... BUT, they are happy screams so I don't mind too much :)  

She's also started taking swimming class!  She had her first one last week, and her second one today.  Last week she was perfectly happy for the first 10 minutes, then we had to stand the kids up on the edge of the pool (where there is a drain) and she FLIPPED out.  Screamed her head off for the next fifteen minutes straight... Not happy screams, either...  She calmed down for the last 5 minutes and passed out as soon as we got in the car.  

Today was much better.  I don't think she smiled once, but she didn't cry either.  She started to fuss a couple of times, but didn't really cry and definitely didn't scream... so I'm happy.  She even went down the slide today, so that was fun.  She even tolerated the drain this time.

She seems so much older to me than 4 months.  I think I say that every time, but she really does seem older.

She is a pretty funny kid.  She is SO smiley and happy, but she's starting to get a little more demanding about what she's doing/where she's playing.  But that is to be expected.  She's hilarious and adorable and super strong.  She gets lots of compliments on her strength which I enjoy :)

She does not sit up on her own yet, really, but she can do it pretty well if she's sitting on something soft like the couch or her chair.  While we were taking these 4 month pictures she sat like this on her chair for a really long time... so of course I took about 100 pictures of it.  Sadly that is probably barely an exaggeration.  I get a little carried away.

(I love this one)

Dexter is obsessed with her sometimes.  He goes crazy on her and licks her hands and plays with her feet when she's playing on the floor and just gets so excited... but then there are times where if we're holding her and Dexter wants to lay by us he'll growl if she touches him.  But I'm glad he has some interest in her and is gentle with her whenever he does try to play.

She started to roll from her back to her stomach now.  She started doing that a couple of weeks ago.  She doesn't love being on her tummy though so she gets mad after a minute or so.  I need to work on distracting her better to keep her there for a while longer until she starts liking it.

She is fun.  And she cracks us up nonstop.  It's fun to watch her getting smarter and stronger and cuter every day.  She still loves bath time... especially sucking water out of her wash cloths... Pre-soap, don't worry.

Basically, we think she's kind of awesome.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Our Final Mythical Creature Drawing

Yay, our anniversary present is here!

I've had the frame hidden under Natalie's crib waiting for the picture to get here and it finally did!  Don't ask me why I hid the frame when Michael already knew what the present was... It's just more fun to make it somewhat of a surprise.  He doesn't know it's here, so it will be fun for him to get home from work in a few minutes and see it on the wall :)

 I just got a super cheap frame from Walmart for it, but some day it would be fun to have a nicer one.

(P.S. Remember when I got two of those red pillows at Target for $7.50 a piece?  I had been stalking them for a while.  I almost bought them when there were 2 left for $12.50, but didn't... I had them in my cart and ended up putting them back.  Then we went back a week later or so and they were gone and I was sad... but some wandering around led me to them in a different area for $7.50, so I couldn't let them go.  I got excited and asked Michael if he saw how much they cost...

 Michael "$8 a piece?"
Michael: "Is that a good price for pillows?"
 Me: "....................................................................Yes."

The End.)

Here's the digital version of it so you can see it better:

It looks even better as a 20x30 poster :)  

Natalie is having fun looking at it with me today.

Do yourselves a favor and have a portrait done of your family.  I am in love with ours!!!!

I got it done HERE.  Check it out.