Thursday, October 31, 2013

Part IV: Finished quiet book - Colours/Colors

By coincidence this book turned out to also be an animals book: a blue whale, green frogs, yellow chick, orange fish (goldfish), pink pig and red crab.

The blue page has a whale that unbuttons from the book. It can be removed, and also swiveled around on the button to flip up its tail.

The orange fish can be caught with the magnetic fishing rod and the pink pig finger puppet attaches at the back with velcro.

The green frogs are attached with snap fasteners and are an activity in size matching. The yellow chick lives in an egg that can be opened with a zipper.

The red crab is a velcro matching puzzle of sorts.

See more here:

And see my other books here:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Part III - Shapes Quiet Book

Here is the third kind of Quiet Book that I finished over the last week. It's the Shapes activity book.

The Triangle page has a cute little tent which opens with a zipper to a little sleeping bag, also opening with a zipper.

Next is the Rectangle page which uses velcro to match colours and sizes. Next time I might do a sky background and make it look like a cityscape.

The Square page has the pieces of a house that stick on with velcro. Just the square pieces can be taken off.

The Circle page has a bus with wheels that come off (velcro again, but next time I'll use buttons to add some variety). The Oval page is the cute little chicken in a egg page that I've used in a couple of my other books.

The Diamond page is a little puzzle.

You can find my other two books here:

And a closer look at the Shapes book in my Etsy shop:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Part II - Alphabet Quiet Book

This is another of the Quiet Books that I finished at the weekend. I'm really happy with the variety of activities to do on the different pages.

A is for Apple...
The colours on this page came up really nicely. The apples are fastened on with velcro. Beneath each apple is the same shape to make it easy to match the sizes. 

B is for Balloon...
I've used velcro again here to fasten on the balloons in a colour matching activity. In the past I've also used coloured buttons and metal snap fasteners.

C is for Cat...
This is a simple page, but nice for practicing tying knots or bows.

D is for Dog...
My daughter has one of these pages in her quiet book and she loves opening and closing the buckle. Great for fine motor skills.

E is for Egg...
I love zipper pages. I think it's because my daughter has always enjoyed playing with the zipper page in her quiet book. Such a simple idea to us, but for little ones, they love opening the zipper and finding a little surprise inside to take out and put back in.

F is for Fish...
Magnetic fishing is always so much fun.

Stay tuned for some "How to" posts in the near future :)

See more at

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Finished - four new sets of quiet books! Instalment one: Counting

Last night I felt like I had accomplished something big. It's taken several weeks of half an hour per evening to get these eight quiet books (two in each of the four new designs - counting, alphabet, colours and shapes) finished. 

Miss almost 3 loves counting. Almost to the point of obsession at the moment. We're a bilingual family and she now manages to get to 13 in both English and German. Most numbers beyond 13 come out something that sounds a lot like sixteen. Anyway, the point of that is that her bead counter is her favourite page in the Quiet Book that I made her more than a year ago. I wanted to find a way to include one in this counting book, so I decided to just go up to five.

One shoe... two people...

And my two favourite pages: three animal finger puppets and four balloons.

And finally, five fish!

Check it out in more detail in my etsy shop: and stay tuned for some patterns and instructions in the coming months.

Lesley :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Upcycle: Toddler girl's top and skirt from a business shirt

When my husband cleaned out some of his old work shirts, I picked a few that I thought would make cute girls' clothes. This one stood out the most. 

I decided to make a dress for my daughter, so I measured her chest and waist and added in a little to get my width. I also measured from the top of her shoulder down to where I wanted the length and added in enough for hems and seams to get my length. 

This was my first go and I was a bit quick to cut the collar out, making the neck hole too large for my daughter. In the most recent upcycle I just unpicked the collar and removed it, sewing the casing back together.

I also cut out two belt loops and a long strip to make a tie belt from. 

After hemming all openings, I discovered that the neck was too large, so I gathered through the neckline and as well as solving that problem, it pulled the top of the dress into an altogether better shape - win win!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Works in progress: Quiet books, toddler sun hat

The quiet books are coming along slowly. Miss almost three has had a few stays in hospital over the last few weeks after having her tonsils and adenoids removed and Mr 10 months has dropped back to two naps per day now so it also seems those quiet little snippets of time during the day when I could work on sewing have passed as there's always one child awake.

These are the bead counters that will go into the counting book. My daughter loves the bead counter page in her quiet book. It's so simple but looks so effective.

Also for the counting book is this shoe page, where little ones can practice tying a bow. My daughter is still at the stage where all she wants to do is try to put her foot into the open shoe, but I'm sure she'll catch on soon.

I love this dog page, which will go into the alphabet book. It's another simple idea that looks really effective. 

Three complete pages out of twenty four... there's still a long way to go! 

Although it's sun hat weather all year round here in Brisbane, after cleaning out my kids' clothes cupboards recently and noticing how much they've both grown in these last few months, I realised that Miss almost 3 needed a new hat.

I bought some of the yellow beach hut fabric last year and used it up in no time making baby hats, pants and shorts. Recently it was all on sale again and I bought some more, as well as the cute hot air balloons design above. My daughter loved it and chose it for her new summer hat. I used this Oliver + S free pattern I found that it's a bit on the small side, so I'd go a size up next time. We'll try it out at the park tomorrow :)