Thursday, November 20, 2014

Just Practicing!

It's all over but the waiting. And the wondering! Baby brother is closing in on us, due to arrive once Santa has cleared out of the way. Big sister is ready, anxious to see what he'll look like and how long it will be before she can begin actually having fun with him. There's been a family effort, too, to assure Brielle that she will never be replaced by this curious little newcomer. Instead, the two of them will become a team. They will help each other. Baby brother will need her. To fetch things for him. To teach him things. And to read to him.

Cover design by Big Sister!

My contribution to this evolving dynamic is "Baby Brother's Book." Bree is a pre-school student, just now learning letters and sounds. I've been complementing those skills with sight word flash card practice. Bree is a quick learner, picking them up with lightening speed, making it easy for me to construct sentences from an inventory of twenty or so words. I type pages on plain paper, leaving room for her original crayoned and painted illustrations:

"Baby brother and me."
"Come see me and baby brother go up."
"Look! I can help baby brother jump."

Interesting! The lovely "larger-than-life" author is
self portrait-ed wearing splendid jewelry
and a mile-wide smile. Little bro is the
tiny blue birdlike bundle in left
bottom corner!

Then I scrapbook pages together in a home made effort that I hope will appeal to them both.

Colorful ribbon scraps tied along the spine through a row of paper punched holes make a cheerful presentation. It's also easy to add new pages as more words are learned.

And now we're practicing. And waiting....getting ready to be a proud and helpful big sister who will welcome little brother home with the priceless gift of reading!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Funky Turkeys

So, what are we flapping our wings about over here now, you ask? Simple answer: turkey pillows! An entire rafter of them, in fact! See, I know my turkey terms! To call these a "flock" would be inaccurate. A "flock" is a group of wild turkeys. A "rafter" is domesticated. These little characters are destined for living room couch perching only. They've never known anything different and have no interest in Googling alternatives for themselves either!

Our little rafter of three was born on the kitchen table a few weeks ago. Grandkids were given a nice wide brush and brown acrylic paint. Filling a smaller circle on top of a larger one on an 18" square muslin canvas made a nice plump body. Hand printed feathers will always hold this special moment in time.

The artists added eyes, lashes and a painted beak. Then grandma whisked everything away, disappearing for a spell inside her crafty sewing room.

With three "turkey sandwiches" on my plate (painted square, quilt batting, backing fabric) I hand quilted around each feather finger and eye, scalloping a pair of lines across the breast.

Beaks were cut from prepared fabric to match the painted shapes, then ironed on and held in place with tiny stitches all around. Scraps of red ribbon tucked beneath serve suitably as wattles.

With right sides facing, turkey and a complimenting back fabric, I sewed both together along outside edges, leaving bottom open. Turn. Each turkey leg is a 2" x 8" orange fabric strip, seamed along the 8" side, turned, stuffed and knotted on one end for the foot.

Stuff turkey (with polyester, please - not Stove Top!), insert legs and hand sew closed.

The most fun is finishing touches. Attach big wiggle eyes, a jaunty little straw hat, perky posy or crown of silk leaves with strong glue. Narrow ribbon scraps tied in a bow above the knot on each leg become fetching little turkey toes. But why stop there? A truly funky turkey has fancy bows all the way up and down the legs and wears anything else that pleases you!

If you're looking for a cute Thanksgiving Day gift to trot over to your lovely hostess, you may like these easy potholders too!

Perhaps your grandchildren would enjoy making turkey tags for decorating the dinner table like we did last year.

A seasonal treat of home made mini pumpkin donuts is a thoughtful gesture, especially when presented in a personalized gift bag.