My Tiny Room

Monday, October 4, 2021

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Last year I became obsessed with tiny houses. My main inspiration is honey.thistle on Instagram. I had never thought that tiny houses could be so trendy. That they could just be tiny versions of all of the furniture I wish I had. And when I had this realization... well it was something I needed to do. So I found a set of empty rooms online, called my sister and mother, and had a tiny house party.


This was my mood board for the project. I had a few base things I knew I wanted, then I let myself get creative with the rest of it. The lamp is a number one item on my wishlist, but it also over a thousand dollars. Now I have a tiny version that cost me about... 2 dollars?

I can't really give you a step by step of how I made this because I was really flying by the seat of my pants. I see it as more of a piece of art than a DIY.


What I can tell you is how we made our little house craft party work.  I bought these little rooms from Amazon, then I filled the table with a ton of supplies. I'm talking felt, straws, paper clips, foam, scissors, hot glue, popsicle sticks, fabric... it looked like a craft store had exploded on my table. I also did a ton of research (aka I had a pretty full board on Pinterest) of how other people had created their own tiny furniture. I printed out pictures and hung them up for inspiration.


I think one of the most interesting parts is figuring out what things are created with. Like that little side table is a piece of wood with some paper clips hot glued to the bottom of it. My tiny lamp is sanded dowel rods with a drop of hot glue at the top. This sputnik lamp is skewers hot glued together, and painted gold with hot glue as the bulbs.


Having people over to work on the houses together was so nice, because I don't think it's something I would have focused on if I had been by myself. I will warn you, we were working on our rooms for about 5 hours and all of us had to work alone afterwards to finish them. It was really cool to see the different personalities, though. My mom's was a classic farmhouse vibe, which even included a crocheted black and white rug. My sister, on the other hand, covered her whole back wall with bookshelves and make a ton of tiny eclectic decorations to add, making a truly magical space. I even made a cute little room with Ronan the next week, with rainbow walls and beads for little fairy lights!
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DIY "Sun"glasses Case

Monday, September 13, 2021

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I can't believe this is my first time sharing a sewing pattern on this blog! I have been sewing all of my life, making purses and other small things. Recently I taught a lesson about sewing in my art class and I dreamed up this retro-inspired sunglasses case. I loved it so much that I decided to finish and photograph it to share on here!


 


Supplies:
Felt (Blue and Yellow)
Thread (Blue and Yellow)
Needle
Scissors
Straight Pins
Marker


  

I have included a link to a .pdf pattern I created, but I thought it might be interesting to see how I designed this! First I sketched out my ideas, then I created a mock-up out of construction paper to make sure everything would work. When I was happy with how it looked I took apart my mock-up and used pieces of it as a pattern for the finished piece. Working with felt is easy because I didn't have to make any changes for hems and such!


Step one: Cut out your pattern.
 Download and cut out the pattern (link to .pdf  can be found at the end of this post.) Trace onto your felt using a marker, or pin the pattern directly to the felt. Cut out your pieces.


Step two: Sew on your circle.
You want half of your sun to be on the blue and half of it to be off. Sew around the part attached to the blue, and sew a line along the top of your blue fabric. I left a little bit of a hole so I actually have a secret pocket! 
I chose to also sew around the half of the sun that wasn't attached to anything to give it a more finished look.


Step Three: Sew on your rays!
Arrange the sun rays so they are evenly placed and look how you want them to. Pin them down, then fold the fabric in half to make sure everything looks right. You should be able to fold the sun over like a flap and have the rays look like they are coming out of it. See the picture above for an example of how they should be placed!



Step Five: Sew up your edges!
Fold your blue felt in half and sew a seam on both sides!



I love the way this turned out. It's so sweet and a little funky. It's a perfect container for all of my fun sunglasses!



Click here to download the .pdf pattern!


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Food Truck Book Basket

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

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I first picked food trucks as our book basket theme simply because it was a vehicle type that Ro hadn't obsessed over yet. But as we dove deeper into the books I realized that this theme was a marvelous way to introduce Ronan to a variety of foods from different cultures. Food, where we live, tends to be pizza,  hamburgers,  or hot dogs, so it was fun to read about falafel and shwarma! And the added bonus of everything having wheels kept my kid interested the whole time!


We actually had two activities for this book basket! For the first activity we just had some pretend fun with a Duplo truck we built and some food I printed out. I tried to include both food that was easily recognizable and some new food as well! I had him color the food so I could say "I want the yellow falafel." We took turns ordering and serving the food, and obviously pretending to eat it!


The second activity is something you can buy online! Adam and I are always on the hunt for age-appropriate games for Ronan that are enjoyable for the whole family. I had seen Frankie's Food Truck Fiasco before and considered buying it, so when I put together this basket I decided it was time. This game teaches shape matching and uses tongs to help develop little hand muscles! A round of this game also goes pretty quickly, which is a must-have when you are working with a short attention span! The added bonus of having a board book you can also purchase (or check out from your library!) is so nice. I was able to introduce him to the concepts of the game without forcing him to listen to the instructions!

Now on to my favorite part: books! As always I curated this collection to include the best stories with the yummiest looking food and the most beautiful illustrations. Links for the books are below the pictures!







 

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Ten Things

Monday, August 30, 2021

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I love the quilts that Rachel Denbow of Smile and Wave makes. She just chooses the best colors and patterns. And she also dyes fabric naturally, which is a dream of mine!

Home Work is my current favorite show. Every single episode has some detail that I absolutely love. I think my favorite might be the peep-hole eyes painting. Or maybe the ottoman that doubles as a ball pit? A house that is filled with antiques but also created for kids to enjoy is basically the pennicle of design for me!

I think I would like to try my hand at making fruit leathers like this recipe from Lil Luna. Have you ever made anything like this? How did it turn out?

This Leather Cardholder DIY Kit from Lifearrow on Etsy is so cute! I'm into the thought of making my own leather item without having to learn a whole new skill.

Instagram keeps showing me this giant ice cream cone planter and honestly I have perfect spot picked out for it. I'm just going to have to put it on my Christmas list!

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What YA Readin? Chapter Six: Maggie Steifvater - Human or Ethereal Being

Saturday, August 28, 2021

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This episode focuses on one of our favorite authors, Maggie Stiefvater!


You can listen to this episode on Anchor.fm.



Maggie Stiefvater Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter


YA Books by Maggie Stifvater:

The Raven Cycle

Wolves of Mercy Falls (Shiver, etc)

Lament

The Dream Trilogy (Call Down the Hawk)

Swamp Thing: Twin Branches

All the Crooked Saints

The Scorpio Races


Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell


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Pretty Tile Matching Game

Monday, August 16, 2021

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I saw the game Azul and instantly fell in love with what I thought I was: a beautifully designed matching game that would be great to play with our three-year-old. Turns out it's a lot more complicated than that, offering much more gameplay and a multiplayer aspect... so great for Adam and I, not great for our three-year-old.

But I couldn't get the idea of a colorful, artistic, well-designed, and unique matching tile game out of my head. In a perfect world, I would have created hand-crafted ceramic tiles with beautiful vibrant glazes, fired in my own kiln, because how pretty would that have been? But I limited myself to the supplies I had on hand and created them out of watercolor paper and sticky back foam. 


Supplies:
Thick Paper (I used water color paper)
Sticky Back Foam in various colors
Scissors
Paper


Step One: Create your patterns.
I drew my patterns out on 2x2in squares of grid paper, then cut them out to be traced. To make things easier, label the pieces with color and how many you need to cut out.

I find that straight lines are always easier to cut out than curves, and you can make a leaf look beautiful just by adding tones to it. The simpler the design, the less trouble you will have putting it together.


Step Two: Trace your patterns and cut them out.
Trace your pattern pieces onto the back of your sticky back foam. To simplify things trace everything you need to cut out at one time. Sometimes you can nestle triangles into the gaps of each other and make cutting so much easier!


Step Three: Peel and stick your foam pieces.
This step is both the simplest and the most frustrating. Trying to place tiny stickers symmetrically can be a bit of a pain. But don't sweat little mistakes, they won't be noticeable in the end.

Feel free to copy my designs if you don't feel like creating your own! 



I was set on these looking more like art than a game. And while I didn't get the hand-glazed tiles of my dreams, I kind of love the 3D effect from using the foam. It looks clean, bright, and very poke-able. Which is a selling point for both me and my three year old. 
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Our Tricky Lemonade Stand

Monday, July 19, 2021

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We have all seen a lemonade stand. Adorable, sweet, tart, cheap. All around a good time. But you know what is better than a boring old cute lemonade stand?

A tricky lemonade stand!

We used some simple methods to add magic to the mundane. And maybe a little bit of gross to the mundane as well. What can I say? It's tricky!



Prep for this was easy, but it is something you have to plan ahead for. For our "tricky" ice cubes we filled our ice trays with gummi worms before we added the water. I have heard that boiling water will freeze clearer (our cubes were almost too smoky to see the worms) but I'm not sure what that would do to the candy.


Ronan was able to help with every part of this lemonade stand (being that it was his and all) and that included everything we prepped. He helped me put the worms in for the ice cubes, get them in and out of the freezer, and even used the tongs to put them into the customers glasses. Actually, I think using the tongs might have been his favorite part!


Let's talk about the real star of this stand: color changing lemonade. This recipe is an old library secret that we have used for years to add a little magic to our programs. The trick? Put a little food coloring at the bottom of the cup. So simple, but so genius. As soon as any liquid hits the bottom it will change color. We added our food coloring the night before. The cups I chose had a little space at the bottom when they stacked, so we could add the food coloring and then store them stacked up without making a mess. 


The reactions to the color changing lemonade were priceless. Ro and I had a bit of an act going on where I would ask him what color the lemonade was, and when he responded with "Yellow!" I would say "Are you sure?" and then pour the glass. Even the adults were dumbfounded for a second!


I am including a link to a .pdf of some signs that say "the Tricky Lemonade Stand." Feel free to print them out and color them for your own signs, and please use our ideas to make your own stand a little bit tricky! This idea might be my favorite thing we've done all summer. It's a perfect way to add some magic to a hot day!



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