A Heart “Felt” Gift

Ever since I started making my hand cut felt sets, I never had the best storage system. To be honest, I didn’t think they would be such a hit in my Etsy Shop and at Market House. I thoroughly enjoy creating these sets so I’m very glad they took off so well.

When I started, I was also living in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment with no storage. All my sewing and felt supplies were boxed up after each use. When we moved to our house, I suddenly had so much room. The fabric took priority over the felt when I started using Erin’s old dresser and changing table for storage. The felt just stayed in the same box. It was hard to keep it organized and very quickly, the box came to look like this:

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Ugh!!! So embarrassed to show you my felt box!

Yeah….not good. And yes, the pile has toppled over a few times.
Last month, I came across an inspiring photo on Pinterest
for organization in a closet. All done by the container store materials. I knew I needed something exactly like it. Yet the sticker shock ($900) from The Container Store brought me to tears. I posted on Facebook asking for my friends to help me find a cheaper solution with the same look. My good friend who lives literally on the other side of the planet found a very similar item at Ikea and suggested it to me. Thanks Ashley!!!  It was a no brainer to add the Algot system to my Christmas list. I put three down each at around $50-60 and waited to see if it ended up under the tree.
Well, I’m so pleased to say that I received one of them from my blessed sister in law!

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ALGOT organization bin system from IKEA

It was a breeze to put together and each bin slides out easily. So, that pile of felt in the brown box was given a new home this afternoon:

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My organized felt!!!!!!!

OMG!!!! THANK YOU ARIANNE LEE!!!!!! YOU ARE TRULY THE BEST SISTER IN LAW EVER!!!!!!!
All of my felt supplies are right in one spot….ORGANIZED!!!
I put two colors in each bin:

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Red and orange felt

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Yellow and green felt

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Blue and pink/purple felt

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Black, Grey and Brown felt

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Cream and White Felt

As you can see, the basket pulls out far enough for me to easily see and reach the back color of felt. I didn’t even know I had that much felt! I always feel like I’m almost out of a needed color! This will definitely help save me some pennies when supply shopping!
As you can see, I put my pre cut felt sets, patterns and embroidery supplies in the bottom basket easy to grab in the same location (they used to be in 2 different rooms)

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Felt patterns and embroidery supplies!

This system will eventually be put in the office closet once someone with a newborn on the way wants the dresser/changer combo. For now, it’s in a great spot too!

Well, I’m off to work on some felt set orders!! Some of my sets are Limited Edition, so act fast as new sets will be introduced soon!

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Homemade Toddler Activities

This month, I’m challenging myself to have more creative activities for Erin.  I am trying to keep it simple in terms of set up and clean up and cheap as well (we are on a budget!).  Winter has already become “boring” around here, so I need to give my developing toddler some fun, entertaining and time passing activities! Yet again, Pinterest has become my friend in this task.

Last week, I made finger paint with a light colored pudding.  I made an easy quick banana cream pudding (from the box), divided it into 4 different containers and added food coloring to make the pudding more fun.  This is how it turned out:

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IMAG0609_BURST002 IMAG0608_BURST005 IMAG0604Erin really enjoyed it.  So much so that whenever I open the fridge to get food out for a meal, she points to the pudding paint in the back asking to use it.  Once she was done, we just dunked her in the bathtub and watch the pudding come off(another fun activity).  I was actually really surprised that she never tried to eat it.  It wasn’t until the end of the project, when she laughed covering her mouth with a pudding covered hand, and then accidentally licking her lips did she realize that this stuff tasted pretty sweet!

This week, we used some of the left over pudding paint to make Valentine’s Day art. I got his idea from a fellow mom.  I only took out the red pudding paint for this task.  During nap time, I grabbed 4 pieces of paper from our printer, and made the word “LOVE” with one letter on each paper out of pieces of masking tape (you can make the “O” into a heart if you like).

After nap, and a few episodes of Dora (our limit is 2), the artist was ready to indulge her crafty side!  I wanted the paper to be as flat as possible so I set them on a cookie sheet on top of her chair.

It took overnight for them to fully dry.  Here is our end product:

IMAG0624 IMAG0623 IMAG0622 IMAG0621 IMAG0635I plan on framing them and hanging them up permanently, but I wanted them hung sooner as I’m sure it will take me a century and a half to actually frame them!

Today, I set the pudding paint aside and used the stove for our next activity.  I found a few recipes online to make homemade playdoh.  This was really neat because I had all the ingredients already!

The recipe is such:

1 Cup Baking Soda

1 1/2 Cups water

1 Cup Corn Starch.

Mix all three ingredients together, heat on a stove under medium heat until thick and then pour onto a plate or wax paper.

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Do you know what I love most about this recipe?  I can use a bunch of corn starch!  I never use it really when I cook so I always end up having to throw a bunch out once it expires!  I just might really like this playdoh to use up my corn starch and not waste it!

This recipe made A LOT of playdoh.  Before I heated it, I used yellow food coloring to give it color (it would have been white otherwise) Now that I know how much it really makes, next time, I’ll divide it like I did the pudding before I heat it to make more colors.

Here is a picture of our artist at work:

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The perfectionist had a tantrum early on because the playdoh wasn't staying where she wanted it to.

The perfectionist had a tantrum early on because the playdoh wasn’t staying where she wanted it to.

After we regrouped

After we regrouped

The American Sandwich

Peanut Butter: a delicious, gooey, sticky spread that MANY American children rave about.  Couple that with a fruit flavored jelly (or banana, or honey) and some good bread and you have the American child’s delight!

Did you know that A 2002 survey showed the average American will eat 2,500 PB&J sandwiches before graduating high school? Did you also know that peanut butter used to be a delicacy served only in tea rooms in NYC? However, by 1920, it was so common and cheap it was seen on a military soldier’s ration list frequently.  All because of Good Housekeeping Magazine urging middle America to use meat grinders to grind peanuts to make the spread.  All that is fascinating, isn’t it?

I thoroughly enjoyed this type of sandwich as a child, and I still do.  Back when I was doing ministry full time, I was surprised to hear a number of my students couldn’t stand peanut butter!  Apparently, it’s not as much of a staple in an Asian American home.  Even my own husband would prefer “cold cuts” (that’s deli meat to your west coasters) between his two slices of wheat over peanut butter and jelly.

I waited a long time to introduce Erin to peanut butter.  I have a fear of finding out Erin’s allergies or lack there of. I am armed with a bottle of children’s Benadryl in our medicine cabinet. Fortunately, we’ve never had to use it.  The only thing she seems to not be able to tolerate so far is salmon.  For me, I think I just have this looming fear that my kid will be allergic to nuts.  Peanuts.  It’s so common, that I think I just think about it more.  Her first taste of peanut butter was at Christmas this year when my sister in law brought some AMAZINGLY AWESOME peanut butter reindeer cookies.  (thank you Pinterest!)

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Since then, we’ve shied away from the stuff. But today, I braved it.  I brought out the peanut butter and fixed my toddler her very first peanut butter and jelly sandwich!  I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

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What is this you’ve put on my bread, mom?

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Let me taste….

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AWESOME!!!

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“One more?”

I think she loved it!