Friday, June 28, 2013

Orla Kiely Inspired Wall Decor

I have a slight obsession with Orla Kiely. I just love her designs - the colors, the simplicity, the repetition. While I was waiting for my new Orla Kiely bag to arrive, I had an idea to create her iconic multi-stem pattern on canvas using magazine pictures.

First, I traced the shape of her design and cut out a cardboard pattern. I used that pattern to cut leaves out of different colored and textured pages from a magazine. I made sure to flip the pattern over for half of the leaves. I ended up with 26 leaves.

I bought a 12"x36" canvas and marked a small center line with painters tape. I then painted a layer of white - that way if any paint got under the tape, it would be white.

Then painted black on top of it, and removed the tape. There are some parts where my black line in a little squibbly, but that's okay.

I glued my leaves onto the canvas with a glue stick (so I could move them around - if the leaves don't stick super well, just hold the leaves down for a few seconds), and then added a layer of Mod Podge over the top. Easy and quick!

Here it is hanging on the wall above my desk.

It makes me smile every time I walk into the room.

2 in 1 Pato Hat

Elijah loves the TV show Pocoyo. I had never heard of the show until he found it on a kid's tv app on my phone. It's a cute show about this little boy, Pocoyo, and his friends Pato (the duck), and Ellie (the Elephant) and their adventures in their all white (the color, not the ethnicity) world. I believe it was originally a Spanish show, but there is a British version that we watch. Elijah has also found it in Japanese, Chinese, Italian and German (thanks, PocoyoTube!).
Lately, he's been talking a lot about the hats Pocoyo and Pato wear. I'm not sure exactly what he's saying, but I catch the words "Pocoyo", "Pato", and "hat", so I'm pretty confident that's what he's talking about.

So, I decided to make him a Pato hat. Originally, I just wanted to make Pato's little green bowler-style hat. It took about 45 minutes, plus a little extra time to sew in some plastic canvas to keep the sides straight and tie on some elastic string. Elijah hates wearing hats, but I've found that he will wear party hats for a long time, so I wanted to replicate that idea.

Here's the little Pato hat. (Please excuse the missing nose...Elijah bit it off one day.)

Then I had an idea - what if I made a hat that looked like Pato, and then the little green hat could be worn on top of it. It would be two hats in one - awesome! I worked up a simple yellow beanie, sewed on an orange bill worked in the round, and made a couple of simple eyes.

Here's the Pato beanie.

And here's the two combined!

So fun! Up next (and by next, I mean sometime in the foreseeable future), a blue Pocoyo hat!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tea Time

Between 3:45 and 4:15 in the afternoon, you can pretty much find me doing the same thing every day (except Saturdays when we are usually just waking up from naps and rushing around trying to get ready so we can get to church on time). We celebrate England a little each day as we have tea time. It's one of my favorite times of day.

I get Elijah some juice and/or milk and some animal crackers and then I grab my cute polka dotted mug and make myself a cup of tea - extra hot, English Breakfast Blend, 3 tsp of sugar, and a splash of heavy cream. Toss in some coffee cake or a brownie, and you've got my afternoon pick-me-up. It is hot, sweet, creamy, and very comforting. There's just enough caffeine (and sugar) to get me through the 4:00 slump until my husband gets home.

Now, I realize that my cup of tea probably has at least 100 calories, and the coffee cake/brownie/other treat adds significantly to that number, so I simply eat less at lunch, and enjoy my tea time guilt-free. Oh, and how I enjoy it... :)

Right now I've got my tea and cinnamon crunch coffee cake next to me, and I am ready to sit back, relax and enjoy a little Chuggington with Elijah, as cartoons are often included in our tea time.

Won't you join us?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Naptime: Day 6 and 7

Elijah and I have been stuck at home today waiting for the UPS delivery of my new Orla Kiely shoulder bag.
Cute, huh?

Here are some things I've been working on today:

1. Cross Stitch on Crochet - this is the ae ligature known as the "ash", it is the phonetic symbol that begins my name (Ashley) in IPA (the International Phonetic Alphabet), and it is my favorite phonetic symbol because it is fun to write. I'm kind of a linguistics nerd. While everyone else is going gaga over the ampersand (&), the "at" symbol (@), and the pound sign now more commonly known as the hashtag (#), I have stayed true to my roots. There is no glass in the frame, and this is currently sitting on our piano. This was not a one day project, I've been working on it here and there all week.

2. Meet Ollie, Ink, Squish and Violet, my hot-off-the-hook octopus minions. A little scrap yarn, some mismatched buttons, and ta-da! Cuteness! Not sure what I'm going to do with them, but I've spent most of the morning contemplating their little personalities :) These work up super fast...I think I see more of them in my future!

3. My friend, Meg, has just announced her new photography venture, LifeSong Photography. To show my support, I whipped up this little camera strap cover. It's not perfect, but it's fun, and I hope she'll like it. I used fabric that left over from making her daughter an apron ages ago and my embroidery machine. Maybe I'll have another friend to swap talents with...huh, Meg?

James should be home from work anytime now (yay for getting off early on a Friday!)...and I hope my new bag will be, too!
I'm off to enjoy the weekend, because on Monday, it's back to work for 8 weeks. Summer Quarter, here I come!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Naptime: Day 4 and 5

Yesterday, I simply napped. It was a good nap too. It was one of those naps where you wake up sure that it is morning, and are surprised when the clock on your phone reads 2:45. You are dazed. You are confused. But, you are well-rested. Yesterday was one of those days, and it was well-needed.

Yesterday was one of those days when Elijah was being particularly two years old. He wasn't listening. He was throwing tantrums. He was running around like a crazy person. He was dumping out things he shouldn't. He was fighting with the dog. He was being two.

Today has been a stay at home day. We woke up late, had some breakfast and puttered around. I finished a book, Grave Consequences, and now have to wait until October for the next book in the series. I put Elijah down for a nap. Then, reminding me of the days when I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, to...I took a the middle of the day. It was awesome. Now I sit, contemplating what to do next as my dog and the dogs on either side of our house discuss something quite important. It really does sound like they're talking to each other.

Perhaps, I will...honestly, I have no idea what I will do next...and I kind of like it that way...

Monday, June 17, 2013

Naptime: Day 3 - Breakfast Baking and Father's Day Gift

Before naptime today, I was able to bake 3 different kinds of breakfast food (cinnamon crunch muffins, blueberry coffee cake bars,  and almond poppy seed bread) and get them packaged and into the freezer - score 1 for mom!

Now, before you get all excited, all three things were from boxes, so all I had to do was add an egg and some water and/or oil, but hey, I got them all into the oven at just the right time for them to all be done baking at exactly the same time - impressive!

I'm hoping that having already prepared breakfast foods available will help my husband eat breakfast more often. There are many days that he is so busy at work, he barely grabs something for lunch, and some days, he doesn't eat until dinner - sad! So, we're working on a system of getting breakfasts and lunches ready beforehand, so all he has to do in the morning is remember to grab them. We'll see how that goes.

I hope you all had a Happy Father's Day yesterday. We slept in (James even later than me and Elijah), did some rearranging in Elijah's room, went shopping, ate lunch out, took awesome naps (1:30-4:30 - wonderful!), ran out to James' parents house to see his dad, and then went to my mom and step-dad's house to hang out and jump on the trampoline. We had a late dinner of grilled steak, hung out, and got a good night's sleep.

With all of that going on yesterday, I forgot to show you want we did for James for Father's Day. Now, we don't really do big gifts in our family, mostly because both James and I would rather pick out our own gifts and that totally works for us. But, I try to make sure that Elijah gets into the gift giving spirit. So, for Father's Day, we did a little painting.

I set out a piece of paper and a cheap little watercolor set and let Elijah go to town. I had to help him rinse off and put paint on the brush, but all the painting was him. I let the paint dry and popped it into the printer and printed "Happy Father's Day, Dada! Love, Elijah Age 2" on it. I glued on a cute picture, tossed it in a frame, added a bow...and here's what James woke up to yesterday morning:

Cute, huh? It was also easy and cost effective. It can be adapted to any holiday or occasion.

James said he was going to hang it up by his desk at work, but he forgot it this morning. Hopefully the breakfasts and lunches we made fare better, right?

For the rest of naptime, I'm planning on updating Elijah's baby book on Shutterfly (as I do on the 17th of every month), doing the dishes, throwing in a load of laundry, and hopefully taking a little nap myself.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Daycare Freedom Day 2: Magnets from Dollar Store Puzzles

After I dropped Elijah off at daycare this morning, I did a little shopping - Marshall's and Old Navy (finally found a pair of jeans, but need to have my husband make sure they look flattering from the back, if you know what I mean). In between Marshall's and Old Navy is a Michael's, and of course I had to go in. I walked out with a clearance  stamp set, a bracelet, some wooden beads and magnet tape.

I got home, made some lunch, and set about using the magnet tape. I've been collecting dollar store puzzles for a while in preparation of this project. I took all the puzzle pieces and added small pieces of magnet tape to the backs and stuck them to our back door. We have a stainless steel refrigerator, so our back door gets all the magnets.

I think Elijah is going to be pleasantly surprised when he gets home today.

We have shape pieces, numbers and matching robot pieces, alphabet (with French, no less), and the train, house and ambulance are made from real wood puzzle. The school bus is just a painted piece of wood that I picked up at Michael's - Elijah LOVES school  buses. On the left, are some Chuggington magnets that came with a magnetic book, and Lightning McQueen and Mater magnets made from chipboard cutouts (find them in the sticker section of the craft store).
Of course, we won't be leaving all of these up there. For example, Elijah is learning how to count to five, but the six through ten pieces probably aren't needed right now. The pentagon, hexagon and octagon also will not be staying. I'm also going to take the alphabet down for now, as he has a train that has alphabet blocks already.
I'm planning on hanging a mail sorter on the wall next to this door and putting the pieces into envelopes, so Elijah can choose which ones he wants to play with...but that's a project for another day.
Now, I need to go grab some groceries and hit the dollar store for picture frames for our Father's Day gifts (check them out tomorrow) before I pick the boy up. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Naptime: Day 2

An hour into naptime and I have cleaned and organized all my craft stuff...and I do mean ALL...those bags tossed away in the linen closet have been dealt with too. Now, my crafting space doesn't look much different - storage containers rearranged a little, but it still looks similar to how it did an hour ago. The big difference is that  the storage containers are all organized - the painting container has all the paint stuff in it, the pens/markers container has all the pens and markers in it, the paper container has almost all the paper (larger scrapbook paper is still in the closet) in it. I threw away a bunch of old stuff, and now have a container dedicated to crafty things Elijah can use - felt, popsicle sticks, crayons, finger paint (which  I had been looking for), and other fun things.

I like it when things are organized. I feel like I can breathe.

In other news, I finished The Last Time I Saw Paris last night (way too late last night). It ended mostly well. After all, a book about occupied France can't be all happy, now can it? I enjoyed it and would recommend it if you're looking for a historical spy story with a little romance and intrigue.

Now, to take a much needed nap!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Daycare Freedom Day 1

Elijah went to school today...I did not. Love that!

Today, I was on a hunt for some new jeans...went to TJMaxx and Ross and the jeans selection at both stores was next to nothing...guess mid-June is not such a great time to shop for jeans...oh well!

So, I ended up at the fabric store - of course...

I found a lime green satin remnant that I'm going to try to make a cape for Elijah with - I'll let you know how that goes.

I also found some really pretty ivory and silver brocade that I decided to make a fabric covered button bracelet with. I went home and knocked it out pretty fast - 30 minutes, start to finish...and that includes taking the dog out!

Here it is sitting amongst the pearl and silver bracelets I usually wear.

Pearl and silver...kind of my thing...

Now to relax for a few before I have to go pick up the boy from daycare...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Naptime: Day 1

Today during naptime, I'm going to take a nap.

A nice, long, blinds shut, pjs on kind of nap...

Wish me luck!

Update: Nap was AWESOME! I even woke up about 45 minutes before Elijah (who is just now starting to make noise), so I got to wake up very slowly. I had this vague thought as I was falling asleep, though, that it was raining, but when I woke up it was sunny and the ground was dry. I thought maybe it could have been a sprinkler hitting the fence from one of the neighbor's houses, but since it just started raining again, I'm pretty sure I fell asleep to the sound of the rain. A Seattleite favorite...or at least a Seattleite norm :)

Spring Quarter 2013

Done...and done!

The paragraphs have been written and graded, grades have been tallied and submitted, and that final email has been sent.

The weight has been lifted, and for the next two weeks, I'm free!

Now to enjoy my vacation before the real craziness of Summer Quarter sets in. If you're not a teacher, or you've never taught summer quarter before, let me fill you in. For me, a normal quarter is ten/eleven weeks (give or take a few days), five days a week, two hours a day. This is just barely enough time to cram in everything that needs to get done. Summer quarter is eight weeks, four days a week, three hours a day.

Normal Quarter - 2 hours x 5 days x 10.5 weeks = 105 hours
Summer Quarter 3 hrs x 4 days x 8 weeks = 96 hours

We lose essentially one week (9 hours) of instructional time during Summer Quarter, but let me tell you, it feels like a whole lot more! Plus, a three hour class every day feels REALLY long. It truly is a crazy, crazy eight weeks. Plus, this will be the first time I'm teaching the class I've been assigned, which means way more prep work for me...

All in all though, it's not such a bad set up...three day weekends every week, justification for keeping Elijah in daycare, and there's still five weeks off between Summer and Fall quarters. I really do have the sweetest gig ever!

Now, as for the coming two are some of my plans:

Read two books - The Orchid House and The Last Time I Saw Paris (library books that have been sitting on my shelf for over a week now)
Get caught up on Blanket as Journal Project and post update
Deep clean and organize house (as per every school break)
Get my crafty on
Nap...lots of naps!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Peacock Baby Shower

Well, things didn't turn out quite as planned for my best friend's baby shower yesterday.

First, I got food poisoning and/or a 24 hour bug. I woke up all kinds of sick at 2 in the morning. It was awful. I was up pretty much all night, as was my husband who also got mildly sick. I ended up having to call my mom in the morning and ask her to come help because there was just no way I could manage. I dehydrate incredibly quickly (and always have) so I get really sick with things like this. My mom, James and my best friend's mom got everything ready and set up while I laid in bed feeling like death. They did a great job, and I am so thankful for them. I was able to join the land of the living around 5 in the evening, with my grape juice and Pedialyte cocktail (no alcohol added, obviously), and got to spend some time with Sarah and her baby shower guests.

Second, apparently using the phrase "Regrets Only" on an invitation confuses people. In case anyone is wondering, it means let the person know only if you can't come. Since many of the invited guests never responded, I was expecting a large number...and only 7 showed up. Poor Sarah, I felt so bad for her. It was even worse for her because she had seen many of those guests at her little brother's graduation party just hours before. Some even told her they would be there and then didn't show. Then we had the crazy lady who took it upon herself to invite a whole bunch of people (some Sarah didn't even know) via Facebook, and then didn't show up herself. Not cool, people, not cool...

Needless to say, there are no pictures. Sarah had to pack everything up right after the party, and all the decorations I made doubled as gifts, so there was nothing to take pictures of once I was feeling better.

Sarah, I'm sorry your baby shower didn't turn out exactly as either of us planned, but I love you and I know you're going to be a great mama!

Friday, June 7, 2013

The End is Near...

The end of Spring Quarter 2013, that is.

I am T minus one 2hr class, the grading of 40 paragraphs, grade submissions, and 1 e-mail away from a two week break. And trust me, this can't come soon enough. On Monday, around 1:30, another quarter should be in the books!

Teachers get Spring Fever just as bad as students least I know I do.

Looking forward to my break, and I've got lots of things in mind for naptime!

In other news, my best friend's peacock themed baby shower is tomorrow. I'll be sure to post some pictures of all the crafty things I did to make it extra special for her and the future Miss Elladie.

So, stay tuned...some fun things will be going on here at The Sequin Turtle the next few weeks.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mike and Andrea's Wedding Gift

Wedding season is upon us! We went to our first wedding of the season last Friday. For our Disneyland loving friends, Mike and Andrea, I went with a Mickey Mouse theme for their gift. Here's what they got besides a little bit of cold hard cash...

Two hand-sewn dish towels: His and Hers

A monogram set:

Ornament made from their wedding invitation - not Mickey themed, but still cute.

Congratulations, Mike and Andrea! Welcome to the married club! Enjoy Hawaii!