Sew Ready to Play

Froo & Boo: Sew Ready to Play
Today, I’m guest posting at Louise’s blog, I’m Feeling Crafty. She has organized a series dedicated to sewing projects inspired by your favourite game. Froo & Boo aren’t into board games yet, preferring to make up their own games instead. To see what I created for the Sew Ready to Play series, please head over to I’m Feeling Crafty!

p.s. In case you were wondering, this is how Froo’s Build-A-Bear birthday cake turned out yesterday!
Froo's Build-A-Bear Birthday Cake Froo's Build-A-Bear Birthday Cake Froo's Build-A-Bear Birthday Cake
Thanks for visiting!


Froo’s 6th Birthday!

Froo's 6th Birthday
Just popping in to wish my Froo bear a big happy 6th birthday! We celebrated Froo’s birthday a week early in Vancouver with our friends. It was a great way to get together and have all 12 (a dozen!) of our kids play together in my parents’ backyard. It was a little surreal–it’s the same backyard where I had my childhood birthday parties.
Froo's 6th Birthday
Tomorrow, we’re looking forward to a Build-A-Bear party! I’ve been wanting to throw a Build-A-Bear party before I even had kids. Today’s plans include: baking a bear cake together, filling up Froo’s day with arts & crafts happiness and eating dinner at her favourite restaurant.

This year, there aren’t any epic handmade birthday gifts. (For Froo’s 4th birthday, I made her a quiet book, for her 5th birthday, a pair of funny bunnies.) Instead, I bought Froo a shirt from Target and handstitched shiny beads in the shape of the no. 6 in one of the sparkly hearts. It’s a little wonky, a little last minute, but it’s a little something handmade.
Froo's 6th Birthday
I’m always astounded at the developmental growth that happens at each birthday, but this year, I feel like there’s a different kind of jump–more of a giant leap out of the toddler years into the beginning stages of big-kidness. The independence and acceptance of responsibility, combined with a soft and caring heart, makes me so proud of my Froo. She is growing up in a way that isn’t just measured in inches, pounds and physical milestones.

My heart swells.


Happy 5th Birthday, My Froo!

Froo & Boo Birthday
Froo's 5th Birthday
Froo's 5th Birthday
Froo's 5th Birthday
Froo's 5th Birthday
Froo's 5th Birthday
Froo's 5th Birthday
Froo's 5th Birthday
My daughter turns 5 today! The bunnies were my handmade gift to Froo. They were a big surprise, even though I had prototype bunnies and spare bunny limbs all over my desk. The bunnies were sitting on Froo’s kitchen chair, waiting for her to wake up this morning. Froo loves her new bunnies! She’s already named them “Fringle & Stu”. I don’t know where she comes up with these things. Fringle & Stu will be outfiitted with new handmade wardrobes, so please excuse their current state of nakedness! You will see more of them soon, but for now, we are going to celebrate!

We had bunny Rice Krispies treats on a stick to share with Froo’s Kindergarten friends. Initially, I wrapped a shoebox and used an x-acto knife to slit a small “X” for the sticks to poke through. Some of the bunnies started to fall off, so I transferred the bunnies to a big tray instead. Oh well. I made one Rice Krispies treat with a cupcake cookie cutter for Froo’s breakfast.

This morning, Froo woke up to me poking her tummy. The kids were exhausted–we took a spontaneous trip to the Exploratorium the day before, where we got the giant spirograph-ish drawing. We surprised Froo with the bunnies, a scooter, a handmade card from the hubs and the oh so healthy birthday breakfast. I asked Froo what she liked the most–this is what she said, “I love you the best.” Today is full of warm fuzzies! The birthday festivities are ongoing–dinner, cake, FaceTime dates and more hugs & kisses to share. I may have to sit in a refrigerator at the end of the day to prevent my heart from melting. XOXO.

My Boo is 2!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Boo!
My baby is not a baby anymore. Not compared to the above photos when we could dress Boo up in cute little toques and have a photographer snap away while he enjoyed his dreamy sleep. These days I have a hard time taking photos of him that are NOT blurry. This is what the usual photo of Boo looks like:
Happy Birthday Boo!
What a happy, happy day it is to be 2 years old! (Especially when mommy bribes you with Easter chocolate to take a couple of photos with your new birthday quilt.)
Birthday quilt for Boo
For Boo’s birthday, I decided to make him a quilt. I started exactly one week before Boo’s birthday and worried that I wouldn’t finish on time. But I managed to get it done on Sunday, with a couple of days to spare! I even had time to make Boo a matching pillow case.

Here is a photo of the finished quilt top:
Birthday quilt for Boo
I really wanted to make the wonky stars pop, so I used light colours to create contrast with the navy blue background. I also placed the wonky stars on a checkerboard pattern so I wouldn’t have to make so many stars! I think it works–since the background is a bit busy, there is enough going on with the quilt that the stars create just enough interest to make them stand out.

Here is a close-up of one of the stars:
Birthday quilt for Boo
This time around, I pin basted the quilt top, batting and backing together. After trying both spray adhesive and pins, I have to say, I prefer pins. With the spray, it’s hard to smooth out all of the layers when you are constantly peeling back the fabric to spray it, causing lots of little bubbles in the fabric. With pins, after smoothing it all out, it’s just a matter of pinning it altogether.

After creating my quilt sandwich, I decided to quilt the layers together using straight line stitches 1/4″ from each seam, similar to the quilting that I did for Froo’s quilt. I also quilted around each of the wonky stars.
Birthday quilt for Boo
For the stitching, I used a variegated blue cotton thread from Sulky. It is very subtle, but shows up nicely on the backside of the quilt:
Birthday quilt for Boo
It’s wrinkly and soft after a trip through the washing machine:
Birthday quilt for Boo
I really love the fabric. As I mentioned in my last post, most of the fabric is from Michele Brummer Everett’s collections: Seven Seas & Monsterz. The fabric is really soft and the sleeping monsters and celestial animals are just too darn tootin’ cute. I ended up substituting one of the prints for the stars, so the green stars are the only non-organic ones in the quilt. I used a soy/organic cotton blend batting that is also very soft. For the binding, I just pieced together leftover fabric from the stars and bound it by machine.

The finished quilt! It measures roughly 36″ x 50″.
Birthday quilt for Boo Birthday quilt for Boo
I had just enough fabric to make a small pillowcase for Boo’s pillow. I guess not quite enough, but I pieced together some fabric to make the pillowcase long enough to create an envelope casing at the opening.
Birthday quilt for Boo
Here’s a look at the quilt and pillow on Boo’s crib:
Birthday quilt for Boo
We are planning to keep Boo in his crib for as long as possible. We moved Froo to a “big girl” bed at 22 months and had the worst time keeping her from escaping at night. We first moved her to a bed because she kept climbing out of her crib and once got stuck hanging onto the bars, on the verge of falling upside down. Boo hasn’t tried to climb over yet, which is surprising since he exhibits no fear at the playground.

The little cloud pillow is the birthday gift I made for Boo last year. It’s what inspired my Sunshine & Grey Skies Cloud pillow in my shop. The massive bunny is a gift the hubs got me while we were dating. For some reason, Boo has really taken a liking to it. We think it’s because he was born in the year of the rabbit.
Birthday quilt for Boo
We had a wonderful day celebrating Boo’s birthday today! Boo’s best friend’s family came over for dinner and gave him the coolest remote control Thomas the Train. His other present was a 2-seater bicycle trailer. This past weekend, we took Froo & Boo out in the trailer hitched to the hubs’ bike and me, riding my new bike–it was the perfect afternoon, even with a bit of rain. Reminded me of home. It’s celebrations like this that gives me a bit of heartache for our friends & family in Vancouver. We miss you dearly. But know that your love reaches us here and the kids are growing in love, with full & happy hearts. xoxo.
Happy 2nd Birthday, Boo!

Happy Birthday, Mama!

This post is dedicated to Froo & Boo’s Mama, or the hubs’ mom, or the best mother-in-law I could ever have wished for. (Seriously). We wish you the very best, most memorable 60th Birthday ever! The sign below reads, “WELCOME MAMA YEYE UNCLE ERIC!”, written and drawn by Froo.
Mama's Birthday
In both the Chinese & Korean language, there is a different title for grandmother, depending on which side of the family she comes from. There are also different titles for siblings, relatives and in-laws, making it easier to identify extended family members. The hubs’ parents are lovingly called, “Mama & Yeye”.
Mama's Birthday
Mama had requested a Froo & Boo Colour Block Tote Bag for her & Yeye to use on the cruise. She wanted to pay for it, but I wanted to make it as a gift for her. It is customized with the titles that her and Yeye wear with the utmost pride and joy. Mama chose navy blue so Yeye wouldn’t object to carrying it as well.
Mama's Birthday Mama's Birthday
Since the tote was something that Mama had requested, I wanted to make her something else, too. So I made her a cowl-neck sweater using this pattern that I got on sale at Jo-Anns. I used a stretch French terry in grey that I was intending to use to make Boo a sweatshirt version of the flashback skinny tee, but the fabric was such a great match for the pattern.

I followed the pattern instructions, except that I sewed most of the seams using my new serger. I also used a double-needle to finish the hems on the neck, sleeves and shirt bottom. After trying it on, I almost wanted to keep it for myself, but I had already told the hubs that I was making a shirt for his mom, so I had to give it up. I am definitely going to make another one for myself. It’s a very easy pattern and the fit is comfy, yet form-flattering. I really like the cowl-neck of the shirt and the serger made it so fast and easy to sew.
Mama's Birthday
My one modification: sleeve tabs. I love sleeve tabs! It gives you the option of having long sleeves and 3/4 length sleeves. I followed the instructions from the Shearwater kaftan pattern using the same anchor covered fabric for my cruise-worthy skirt. I purchased the buttons from Dressew in Vancouver. I love how the dimensions adds a bit of sparkle to the button by reflecting light off the angled surfaces.
Mama's Birthday
Mama, Yeye & Uncle E arrived on February 28, but Mama’s birthday isn’t until today, March 2. We gave Mama her birthday gifts on the day she arrived and she wore her new shirt that night and the very next day. I’m pretty sure that means she loves it as much as I do. This post is scheduled to publish on March 2, while we are away, so I’m not sure when I’ll be posting anything new for awhile. I plan to take it eeeeaaaassssy.
Mama's Birthday
By the way, doesn’t Mama look so young?? She’s not afraid to get down and play with Froo & Boo–joyfully participating in all of Froo’s ideas and plans to have the very best day ever. She’s also hip and has great style. Shopping with her is oodles of fun–we spent the 2 days before the cruise shopping and checking out the new outlets at Livermore. It was the best way to start our holiday cruise!

A Birthday Quiet Book

Dress: Janie & Jack  /  Hairpin: H&M  /  Handmade Apron: “Girl’s World” by Paganelli  /  Fabric: Tula Pink

For Froo’s birthday, I decided that I would make her a quiet book. With an upcoming plane ride, I am only prepared to deal with disasters coming from Boo. Last week at Whole Foods, as I was reaching to grab something, Boo stood up from the front of the shopping cart and fell into the back of the shopping cart, right ontop of Froo. The seat belt was tightly fastened–I have no idea how he wormed out of it so quickly. I had both boogers crying their eyeballs out. I wanted to cry, too.

Anyhoo, I had a lot of fun making the quiet book! There are so many ideas from Pinterest, but I really wanted to make this one specific to Froo’s interests.

I started off with a plain black 2″ ring-binder, a non-standard 9″x6″ size that I found at Office Depot. It fits half of a felt sheet perfectly. (At 5 for $1, plus an additional 20% off at Michael’s–I bought 55 sheets! That would have been almost $30 in Canada at $0.49 each. Yikes!) I made a fabric cover based on this tutorial, but added an inside pocket and handles. The pocket is elasticized and expands at the bottom to fit felt letters. I made the felt letters by using Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold to fuse 2 pieces of felt together, then ran the felt through my die-cutting machine. I did this to make the felt letters thicker and also to indicate which side was up. I made extra vowels and commonly used consonants.

The front of the binder cover has a flannel patchwork piece to make the felt letters stick. I sew in a bit of corded elastic to wrap around the flower button on the front as a closure. The grey floral fabric is backed with a medium-weight fusible interfacing.

1st Page. This is a fun one. I created a curtain that opens up to reveal a stage. A girl and costumes are hidden in the pockets of the curtains that are held back with snaps. Backdrops are tucked away in the floorboards.

There are 4 different hair options, 3 dresses, a mermaid outfit and 2 scenes: the ocean and a castle. There are so many add-ons that I can think of to add to this page in the future. I started off using fabric glue, but it took a long time to dry and it didn’t adhere very well, so I ended up using a glue gun.

Pages 2 & 3. I like to call these pages “Girlie Monsters in the Closet.”

There are 5 monsters and 15 (+1 spare) googly eyeballs with eyelashes and pink eyeshadow. They are backed with the poky side of velcro.

Here is the page in action. Monsters are counted individually and eyeballs are placed on the monsters, the number of eyeballs corresponding to the number on the page. Counting happening in 2 different ways.

Page 4. This one is inspired by The Quiet Book Blog. I made my buttons a different colour to make it a matching exercise as well. The flowers are all tucked away in the flower vase. The vase was sewn with a decorative heart stitch using my sewing machine. I usually only use about 2-3 different stitches, so it was nice trying a different one.

Page 5. You’ve Got Mail! Froo loves sending and receiving mail. Sometimes she draws a picture for my hubs and me, folds it into an envelope, drops it into the mailbox and tells us we have mail. There is a lovely tutorial here.

Here are a couple of photos with detailed shots. I think I got the Chinese character horribly wrong and it might be upside down(?). My husband is Chinese-Canadian and I asked him to write the character for our last name. I love the Chinese tradition of gifting lucky red pockets of money–it somehow makes it special to receive money as a gift, no matter what the amount. I am Korean-Canadian and my parents gave us money as gifts too, but always in plain white envelopes. Lucky Froo got a red pocket with Hello Kitty on it for her birthday this year–thank you Mama & Yeye!

Page 6. This next page is for teaching Froo the colours of the rainbow in their proper order.

Page 7. Based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale, “The Princess and the Pea”. I read his (non-Disney adapted) collection a couple of years ago and felt that they were more like campfire ghost stories, rather than nursery stories. I explained the story to Froo and she didn’t get it. But she liked the stuffed pillow.

Page 8. This is the final page in Froo’s quiet book. It is a weaving page. All of the pages are sewn together and finished off with 3 small button holes to fit the 3-ring binder. It is completely stuffed!

Fewf! This is a long post. Lots of photos. Lots of fun. At first, Froo wasn’t sure about her new quiet book, it was the first thing she opened when she woke up on her birthday, but the next day, she said to me, “mommy, thank you for making me a book.” Then I had to help her get the mermaid’s bikini top on and I’m not sure how “quiet” this book is turning out to be.

Froo’s 4th Birthday

Today is Froo’s 4th Birthday. Last night the hubs and I decorated the kitchen with paper lanterns saved from her 1st birthday, balloons, pompoms and streamers. The day was filled with surprises and fun.

Here is a preview of the present I made for Froo. A detailed post to follow soon.

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