Thursday, 9 February 2017

Up-cycled Clothes Quiet Book

After seeing this "Close Your Clothes" quiet book by Anna of Forty-Two Roads, I knew I had to feed my quiet book obsession and make one. Ok, two of them! This is my version, sans poem, and with a little Aussie flavour.

I made one book for Tahlia and one for my niece Vashti for this last Christmas. They are very similar but a little different in places, so I tried to put the related pages next to each other in the photos, although they are not in the same order in both books due to the page colours clashing.

I thought that a belt would be great for the cover as we could use it to keep the books shut.

These pages feature a bow tie that clips together at the back of the collar. You can lift the collar to put it on and then fold it back down once the tie has been clipped together.

These page features the all popular netball skirt. Netball is very popular in country areas of Australia. Netball skirts are wrap around skirts and are adjustable to to your particular waist size because they fasten using a rail belt slider and adjuster. I never knew what they were called until I started writing this post and had to find out!

These pages feature overall clips/buckles. They are not as common as they were in the Eighties lol

These pages feature press studs. The other activity for these pages is pulling the arms and legs inside out so they fit inside the book for storage (see below).

There are hidden bras behind the tops. One bra has a front clasp and the other has padding which can be rather easily removed and put back in.

The baby jumpsuit is located here so that the baby would have ready access to breastmilk :)

The center pages feature a button-up dress or skirt and hat clips.

These pages feature hook and eye closures. I guess this is not the book I will be taking along to church hahaha... lingerie might be better suited to the car or home!

These pages feature zips. I made sure to have them unsecured at the bottom so the girls could learn to thread the zip themselves.

These pages feature Chinese knot buttons. I think they turned out quite pretty.

The last pages feature lacing. One of the books received a bonus belt clip too. I did find it a little difficult finding two of everything I wanted to included, so the two books do vary slightly, but I think they are comparably exciting overall.

I bound the books using the Skinny version of How to Make Cloth Books described by Deborah from Cloth Books for Baby. It worked OK, but I think the bulkiness of my pages made it difficult. The method is better suited to pages without so much going on around the borders.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Car Travel Dice

Now you can roll dice in your car!

If you are taking a long trip with kids in the back, you can now play dice games...

I came up with a way to make rolling a die in the car easy and at the same time, difficult to loose. We recently went on a car trip, and as Tahlia is getting a little older now, she doesn't sleep a lot like she used to. She gets bored. At one stop there were various gum ball machines filled with small toys and trinkets packaged in small round plastic containers - apparently they are termed "toy capsules". They ensure the gum ball machine will function properly when the dial is turned. We bought one.

As the top half of the plastic is clear, it enables you to see through to what is inside. If you put a die or dice inside, you can shake, rattle and roll your way to a happy road trip! The dice are rolled in the comfort of your hand and no longer require a large flat surface to be turned out on. They also can't roll off the edge and into the Never Never. Of course they can still be dropped, but a plastic gum ball is quite larger than the dice and much easier to find in an overstuffed car.

I guess what I came up with is similar to the Pop-O-Matic function in a game of Trouble. Another re-invention of the wheel.

Image Source

You can sometimes find acorn capsules in gumball machines, which have a flat bottom, and would be slightly better for rolling more than one die. However, you could also use any plastic container you have on hand, such as an empty sippy cup or small kitchen food container.

Acorn capsules - Image Source

Although not all of these will work in a car, and for now Tahlia is happy just rolling, here is a link to a list of

9 Simple Dice Games for Kids for Ultimate FUN

Enjoy your next car trip 😍😃😌

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Vashti's Quiet Book - Front Cover and Crown Pages

This is a quiet book I made for my niece Vashti.  My sister has added her own pages too.  Like most of my quiet books, I designed it to be added to and swapped around.

I used a pattern I found here for the front cover flowers, and embellished the flower centers with beadwork. The leaves from this pattern did not look like hydrangea leaves to me, so I used a leaf pattern I found here instead.  For the lettering, I printed a nice font from the computer to use as a pattern. The beads really made it come alive, hey!

I didn't sew the flowers back to back for stability like I do with most things.  It would take away from the effect, and it's not really meant to be played with anyway.

Since Vashti was named after a queen in the Bible, Mum, my sister and I made a crown with interchangeable jewels to stick on. I plan to do a tutorial in a separate post, as I made a similar page for one of the Bible chapters. Its pretty easy to see what we did anyway.

As a template for the crown, I used this colouring page from We used sticky velcro dots on the jewels, and sewed normal velcro onto the crown. I was a little worried that the sticky dots would come off easily but them seem to be fairly solid so far, and they have had a fair bit of use so I hear. This was Vashti's favourite page for a long time.

I also made a treasure chest to keep the extra jewels in. I used Stephanie's Treasure Quiet Book Page pattern from Imagine Our Life.

The jewels are actually kept in a zip lock bag inside the treasure chest because otherwise they would fall out the sides, but who wants to spoil a picture with that!

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Tahlia's Quiet Book - Indigenous Page

I want Tahlia to connect with and learn about her culture, so here is the Indigenous Australian quiet book page I made her:

I modified the Australian Aboriginal Flag by turning the yellow circle into a yellow glove to make the page interactive and resemble cave handprints. The High-5 logo I used as a template was widened at the bottom to allow easier access, but it is still too small and no longer fits her hand inside. She is only three and a bit. Oh well. I will just have to make something to go inside so we can use it as a pocket instead.

The Australian Aboriginal Flag was created by Harold Thomas, and his explanation of the meaning of the colours is as follows (Reference):

  • Black – represents the Aboriginal people of Australia
  • Yellow circle – represents the Sun, the giver of life and protector
  • Red – represents the red earth, the red ochre used in ceremonies and Aboriginal peoples’ spiritual relation to the land

Image Source

To read about how Indigenous Australian cave handprints were made and the history and significance, please visit Aboriginal Art Online.

Why Tahlia didn't get a Gamilaraay name:

Gamilaraay is an Indigenous language from north-west NSW. I had wanted to give Tahlia a Gamilaraay middle name, so I used the online Gamilaraay dictionary to look up some words. I was thinking something like 'rainbow' because when God shines through the dew drops (i.e. Tahlia - see my Tahlia's Quiet Book - Front Cover and First Page post) you get a rainbow. However, when I looked into the word for rainbow, I wondered if it would also be the name for the rainbow serpent. I checked with relatives, and they confirmed that it was. I decided against that name very quickly, but I did notice something very interesting about the rainbow serpent's name...

It is made up of two word parts, yulu and wiri...

The words listed below, along with their meanings found on the online  Gamilaraay dictionary helped me come to the following conclusion:

yuluwirri = rainbow

yulu = claw of animal

wirringan = Aboriginal doctor, clever man, Ethn. has magical powers to cure illness or perform malevolent magic, eg. Wirringan nhama marumali 'The clever man will fix him'

wirriil = feather

yulu-gi to play, to dance, to gamble

It seems to me that "yuluwirri", meaning rainbow, and also the name of the rainbow serpent, when translated literally means "clever/feather claw". An odd name, don't you think, when snakes don't actually have feathers or claws.

Although, if you read Genesis 3, where God curses the serpent for tricking Eve, the curse is specifically that from then on, the snake would have to crawl on it's belly (verse 14). It implies that before the curse, besides being known as cunning/crafty, the serpent had legs and/or wings so it did not have to move on it's belly. Maybe that's why it is found in a tree, being somewhat like a reptilian bird. These qualities are also associated with the rainbow serpent's name "yuluwirri"; claws, feathers and cleaverness/malevolence. Perhaps the serpent became known as a snake after losing it's legs and wings.

So I find it fascinating that linguistic evidence exists in the Gamilaraay language for the truth of the story found in Genesis 3. "Yulu-gi", to dance, brings to mind the phrase in English "dance with the devil".

If you are interested in learning Indigenous languages, I discovered this awesome blog 'GAMILARAAY' about the Gamilaraay language, aimed at getting people learning and sharing it!

Monday, 24 October 2016

Genesis 9 - Rainbow After The Flood Quiet Book Page

In Genesis chapter 9, God made a covenant with Noah and all the living creatures of the earth that He would never destroy everything with a flood again.

Memory Verse: "I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth." Genesis 9:13

Materials needed to create the Rainbow After The Flood quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet, I used red
  • Betty Lukens Felt book 07 Noah's Ark available at Koorong.
  • sewing thread to best match the page
  • scissors!
Cut out all the pieces for this page, and the page itself from the set. Cut it out as it is, not in the shape of an ark as suggested in the instructions. I hate to waste the space on the background picture. The Betty Lukens FAQ section has posted a cutting tips PDF.

Sew the page onto the background felt along three sides, leaving the top edge open to form a pocket. Pop the pieces inside the pocket (or better yet, play with them)!


Difficulty Level = Easy, plus No Sew version.

One of the easiest quiet book pages ever!
Just use hot glue wherever sewing is recommended for a no sew version.

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Genesis 9 - This page tells the story of how God reassured Noah after the flood and promised not to destroy the earth again with a flood.
  • Imaginative Play - Rearrange the pieces on the background. 
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skills through turning pages, and on this page, through rearranging the picture.

Alternative Ideas

Tell the whole flood story with this Noah's Ark felt board set available from Story Time Felts.

Read the Chapter

Genesis 9


Before the flood, the earth was watered via a mist which came out of the ground (Genesis 2:6). Many Christians believe that The flood was the first time it had ever rained, so I guess it's rather understandable that no-one believed Noah when he warned them that a flood was coming. It was a foreign concept to them. It's a bit like today really. No-one thinks that Jesus is about to come back and put an end to the current cycle of life. They have never seen anything like that before, but since God has told us, we better believe it whether we have seen it before or not. Otherwise we might find ourselves outside the boat so to speak.

Anyway, if you had never seen rain before and the first time you did it resulted in a global flood that destroyed everything except what survived in the ark (and the ocean), I imagine it would be rather scary next time it rained. I guess God had thought about that already, and wanted to reassure them that it wouldn't happen again. No more global flood that destroys everything. And He gave them something tangible to remind them of His promise - a rainbow.