Thursday, December 8, 2011

Brock's quiet book

My friend Amy (Chickenbone Jones) emailed me one day with a link to a quiet book and said it looks like something I could make. I replied that there was no way I'd be spending my time on something like that.

Then, I made one.

A quiet book is a cloth book full of activities for small children. I should take a moment to apologize for my terrible photos. It's a part of reading the Additional Jesus blog. Sorry. Just is.

Brock loves animals, and he quickly learned the pig snort sound. He now makes that sound whenever he sees any kind of animal. Or families.

So I put a pig on the cover. One thing I should admit right now is that I was pretty gung-ho about this project at the outset, but I quickly lost interest. I was also going to applique his name on the front, but ...

The ellipses ... kinda how this project went ... starts off bold and then sorta peters off ...

By the way, as a copy editor, I insist that all ellipses consist of three, and no more than three, dots, and that there is a space on either side of them.

Open the cover, and this is the first page. I made my pages go all the way across and then attached them by putting them wrong-sides together and stitching with a zigzag stitch. Then I used pinking shears to trim them. Once I had my pages, I put them together and stitched down the center. That green in the middle at the bottom is part of the other side of that page, which makes up the last page. I didn't do a very good job of making sure it didn't extend past the center. Oops.

I initially planned to do this in a nicer fashion, but ... ellipsis again ...

This page has balloons. Brock loves balloons. I swear that one time he said balloon, even though he really doesn't say much of anything. These balloons snap on. I used that snap tape that you can buy by the yard and clipped off one at a time. I also added a present with a ribbon he can practice tying. Someday. Not now. Not even close. For the balloon ribbons, I used rickrack and ribbons, and I added a string of pom-poms at top for textile fun.

The bird is pretty simple. I just appliqued a circle on, adding the beak, legs and tail feathers as I got to those parts so that they would be caught inside the stitching. It held the feathers surprisingly well. I took another wad of feathers and sewed them on as a wing. Then I glued a googly eye on with hot glue.

The next page is a pond scene and a robot.

The water has little slits cut out for the puppets to slide into. They are $1 finger puppets I found at Michael's. I glued them to popsicle sticks to make them easier for little hands and keep them from falling out and getting lost. The grass and pond are made of felt and the trees at the top I found in the scrapbooking section at Michael's. The goose is a button.

The big robot is made of felt with little washer things I found in the garage attached here and there. I used wire to make a thingie for them to slide on, and although this might seem a little questionable, I put tons of wire in the back and wound and wound and wound it so that it can't come loose and the washers shouldn't be accessible. I sewed more washers on for eyes and buttons for decorations. The other robot I found at Hobby Lobby. He seems to prefer it to the one I worked really hard on.

The last page is a dinosaur and some grazing sheep.

The dinosaur is padded and has a zipper in his tummy. There are leaves hidden inside, an undigested treasure trove. I was initially going to put little people, but I decided to make him a vegetarian instead because I thought that might be a bit creepy. Plus, although I'm not so good at history, I'm pretty sure people didn't exist when dinos did. And this book is accurate if nothing.

The other side of the page has green felt for the grass, cut with pinking shears. The sheep are also made from felt, but I glued cotton balls on top for texture. I had a little white picket fence from Hobby Lobby that I was going to stitch on so he'd have something to open and close, but it just wasn't working out.

The sun and tree are also made of felt. I put farm animal buttons in the tree instead of fruit. Wouldn't it be fun if you could just go pick a piglet right out of a tree? What if it were ready to eat? Like you just take a bite and it is crispy bacon?

The back of the book is the pig's butt. For the little tail, I bought one of those foam visors at Hobby Lobby for $1. I cut the coil cord off and made a hole and stuck it through.

It was pretty labor intensive. And mine isn't even very good. If you plan to make a quiet book, I recommend using Pinterest to find lots of great ideas and planning your pages in advance. Then go to the craft store with a plan. But also be open to new ideas and keep your eyes peeled (yuck) for cool things you could add in. Also, this won't be as cheap as you're thinking. All those $1 items seem to add up.

Good luck!


Jdel: said...

um. this is really good, i dont know what you are talking about. very impressed.

Amy said...

Robyn! You are MARVELOUS! I knew you could do it. I really hope Brock loses interest in it just in time for me to buy it for Alex.