Tumblebug really enjoys the opposites books by Leslie Patricelli.  We have BIG little, Yummy Yucky, and Quiet Loud. He loves to be able to point at the things he knows.  I wanted to make him more books with a personal feel.  I made a book for his classroom with photos of items in their classroom that are mostly a color.  It was a hit and I have made more copies for students that have moved to a different class.

I went through my photos and chose examples of things that are similar, but way different sizes, just like in the book BIG little.  I also took more pictures throughout the summer to add to the book.  Some examples are much better than others.

I used Photoshop to add the text to each picture but you can also use Picnik or any other photo editing software that lets you add text.  I went with the text from the book: Elephants are BIG. Mice are little.

Some of the pictures are things that are similar and some are things that go together, but they are all things Tumblebug should recognize down the road.

Once I developed all the photos I just stuck them in a cheap plastic photo album.  I used a picture of my dad and Tumblebug as the cover.  There are still empty pages, so I am going to find more BIG and little things to add.

Upcycled finger paintings

This spring my little guy started finger painting at school.  We have 2 big paintings from the first time he ever finger painted and we are going to have them framed, but he came home with several other sheets of paper covered with his cute little handprints and I couldn’t throw them away.  Then my husband’s grandmother moved into a nursing home near us.  All the other doors on her hall are covered with pictures and art, and I wanted (Great)Gramma’s door to look pretty too.  I spied the paintings and project was born.

I needed:

  • finger painted picture with mostly handprints
  • scissors
  • green paper, it’s Crayola printer paper, but any green paper would do
  • tape (I couldn’t find a glue stick)

Look at those cute little handprints!

I carefully cut around the handprints so they looked a little like mittens and a large piece became a vase.

I think they look a little like tulips.

Then I grabbed my green paper and cut some random strips for stems.  I didn’t want them all to be perfect so I used the scissors instead of a paper cutter.  I also freehand cut leaves out of the rest of the paper.  I tried to do varying sizes.

I cut out way too many leaves, but that part was fun.

The whole time Bug was watching me from his holding pen.  I knew what would happen if I let him “help”.

"Please Momma, I won't eat the paper."

For me, the last part was the hardest.  I matched stems to flowers and then had to figure out how to arrange them in the vase.  I wanted some over lap, but not too much.  Once I got them arranged I taped them to the back of the vase and added the leaves.

I had some help picking the leaves.

Our beautiful bouquet.

They were a big hit with (Great) Gramma and now her door looks a little more welcoming.

Blooming bouquet

Color photo book

This is my first tutorial.  Please go easy on me.

My son is in a Early Head Start classroom that serves children 6 weeks to 3 years.  He has 3 awesome teachers.  His teacher has made several photo books for the kids this year: each of kid in a different hat, the cars they come to school in, etc.  I decided I wanted to make one for them, too.  Then I thought it would make a great tutorial for the one other crafter who reads my blog.


  • digital photos of single, or mostly one, color items
  • colored printer paper
  • adhesive
  • laminator, I bought it just for this project!
  • hole punch, single or 3-hole
  • binder rings
  • collage making software, I used Shape Collage, but you could do it in Photoshop or even a word processor

I took pictures of items all over my son’s classroom.  Toys, furniture, bags…
Then I cropped the pictures, in Photoshop, down to just the object size, but left the background.  **They are only squares here because they are thumbnail images.**

Next I added them by color to Shape College and played around until I liked it.  Shape Collage was really easy to figure out how to use and once I paid for registration I could export .psd files that I could play with in PhotoShop.  I was able to move, rotate, and resize the pictures in the collage.  I could also add the color name in Photoshop.  I chose a fun, but easy to read font and added a black stroke.  **In PhotoShop Elements you must add a style (drop shadow, outer glow, etc…) and then turn it off and turn on stroke.**

When I was done editing them I saved them as photo size jpgs and printed them through my favorite big box store.

I decided I wanted the book to be bigger than a photo.  The laminating sleeves I bought fit 5″ x 7″ paper so I trimmed colored paper to that size and used adhesive tabs to glue the pictures on.  **I left a little more room at the top for hole punching.**

Then I got to bust out my new laminator.  It was pretty cool.  I centered the pages in the laminating sleeve and sent it through the machine.  It came out really hot, but was stiff and sealed just right.

I punched 2 holes in the top and then stuck binder rings though them.  And then didn’t take any pictures of the book.

So far, the kids are fighting over it, so I am glad I printed a second copy of the pictures.

Lessons learned:

  • tell people what you are doing so they don’t think you are taking creepy pictures of the kids
  • objects don’t always photograph in their true color
  • make your shape collage 4″ by 6″ not 5.5″ x 8.5″ so the sides don’t get cut off when you print the pictures (I started with a different idea)
  • toddlers are very concrete -they expect books to open on the left, not the top, on the other hand, this shows they are learning concepts of print
  • kids love books about things they see every day

NaBloPoMo – Nov 2009

I am going to try again to post for a whole month.

I am having the Sunday evening blues.  I have a hard time getting excited about going to school on Mondays.  And even worse, I have a parent meeting tomorrow at 8:00.  This wouldn’t be so bad, except I have been getting to school at 8:15.  I guess Tumblebug and I will have to be ready a bit earlier tomorrow.

Our little Wild Thing had his first Halloween.  We trick or treated at my parents’ house and 2 of their neighbors.  He looked so cute.  I will have to take some better pictures this week, but here he is:

Our little Wild Thing

Our little Wild Thing

I made the costume myself.  Well, mostly.  I bought white footed pajamas from the Gap. I bought them in a 6-12 month so he can wear them all winter (when I remove the tail).

I bought a yard of white felt and had some leftover yellow and white with glitter from other projects. I also use 2 brown pipe cleaners and 2 white ones.

I used a pattern I found at Instructables.com to make his hood. I reduced it to 60% before printing, but it was too small.  Then I made one at 75% and it was a little too big. Used up my only dark colored pipe cleaners on the first one, so I colored the white ones with a black dry erase marker.

He roared his terrible roar.

He roared his terrible roar.

I stayed up 2 nights sewing the hood. Not that I haven’t had all the fabric for weeks. Once I figured out the first one was too small, I knew I had to make another, but the first one came out so perfectly, I couldn’t cannibalize it so I left the whiskers.

I sewed little triangles of felt to the fingers and toes of the sleeper.  I also made a little crown out of the yellow and glittery felt  to sew onto the chest (over a little bear).

Then I got really crazy and made a larger crown and sewed it to a plain bib.  I used a crown clipart that I found on Google images.

I told my husband that in the future costumes must be chosen and materials procured by my long weekend in late October.  Even though I have had the sleeper since September and the fabric since early October, the procrastinator in me left it to the last minute.


Outside bag I love the stuff Amy at Good to be Girl makes for knitting, but I never make it in time to order the thing I want. She makes a lot of stitch markers for knitting. They are so cute, although, I don’t actually make anything that needs them.

Inside bagSo the other day when I was reading her blog and she pointed to her new sock knitting bags I took a look. The pink and green one called out to me. It had a wrist loop and a clip to attach it to a belt loop or bag. It has a thread feed on the inside that snaps so you can take the project out before it is done. It is so pretty.

Inside bagSo I emailed Amy and asked to be the owner of bag #2 called Charm. She wrote back and said not only could I have it, but it would be okay if I knit dishcloths out of it instead of socks!! It came on Saturday (less than a week!) and is sooooo beautiful. I have been carrying it around with me all week. It has a pink, brown, and white DW dishcloth in it. It is big enough for two cotton balls and the needles don’t stick out. The drawstring keeps everything nicely inside.

Thank you Amy!


Blue #1: It is getting colder by the minute.

Blue #2: I have too much to do and not enough time to do it.

Blue #3: The handle on my passenger door is broken.

Blue #4: The sky this morning.

This weekend was a long one.  MIL and I had a great time with our teddy bear photo shoot on Friday.  Yesterday, T and I took our time getting up, which was very relaxing.  Then in the afternoon and evening we went out to dinner and shopping.

This afternoon MIL and I worked on our scrapbook.  We got from them moving as children in 1949 to all their weddings in the 60s and 70s.  We also sorted through all the photos I took this weekend of the teddy bears.  MIL’s gift to Gramma this Christmas (besides the book) is personalized greeting cards for holidays and birthdays.  We are using photos of her teddy bears.  Our next section will be holiday based.

Random: Both my parents have brown eyes and I have blue eyes.  My husband is just the same.

I don’t really have anything else to say.


My mother-in-law and I are making a scrapbook for her mom. Gramma P will be 99 on Christmas Eve, so for the first day of her 100th year we will give her a book for her life on Christmas.

MIL and I aren’t much alike and I am uncomfortable around her. This project has really given us something to do together. It’s kind of cool, because I know about scrapbooking and she doesn’t. She is really impressed with my tools and what I know how to do. We are having a good time.

I came up with an idea for the family tree and she has run with it and made it amazing. The roots are Gramma’s grandparents and great-grandparents. Then at the bottom of the trunk are her parents and coming off the low part are her sisters. At the center is a heart with Gramma’s initials + Grandpa’s. Coming off the top part are thick branches of MIL and her siblings. Each sibling has smaller branches with their kids (T’s generation) and then the next generation is little apples. 3 special people are on the tree in a different form. Gramma’s life long friend is a robin on one sister’s branch and their long time neighbor is a butterfly on another sister’s branch. MIL’s best friend is a female cardinal (with a shock of red hair) in a nest near her branch. It is so beautiful. It is truly a family tree.

Random fact: My father’s parents would be (about) 110 and 115 this year (he’s 66) and my mother’s parents would both be in their 80s (she’s 61).  My mother’s mother’s mother was born after my father’s mother.


I have spent more time painting over the last 2 weeks than ever in my life. I’ve been helping paint the set for Shakespeare and today I started painting the inside of our new bathroom closet. It was 800 degrees in that room. I also only got it partially done, because I had to fill some holes. I still have to paint that wall and the ceiling. And then more of the bathroom, but that is another day. Now I have an appointment. No more painting for me.

Peep Gallery

My friend Allison submitted a Peep diorama to the Washington Post contest. They didn’t win, but were semi-finalists. You can vote for the best diorama on the website. This is what she had to say:


Picture 3.pngOr, rather Heather’s, Anh’s, and my peeps – the Post has a new page where you can vote for your favorite peeps…see below. (For those of you who haven’t heard, we made a diorama using the not-so-tasty Easter treat and submitted it to the Post’s contest- we were finalists, but we didn’t win). With your help, we can win in the court of public opinion! So, log on a vote – for the Anna Nicole Peep-Daddy Trial, that is!

Please go and vote for her diorama. It is the one on the bottom right called “She’s My Peep”. You can also see them all large by clicking on the link at the top of that page. Her’s is #19. I also like #7, Say Anything: I gave her my heart, She gave me a Peep. I think #8, A Peep at Mardi Gras is very funny too.