Making Books with Kids review


I had the pleasure of reviewing this book: Making Books with Kids (*affiliate link*), recently.

My youngest (who is 10) and I picked out a few types of books to make, and played around with them.


The instructions are written clearly, and the books are easy enough for my daughter to make on her own. There are even pages to cut out to make pop-up books, which she can’t wait to try.


I was interested in doing a stitched binding book (of course) and I chose to use all recycled materials, which was a creative choice on my part.


We have a special book of Fairy Tales that I rip up and use for crafts (like these and these), and thought they would make a great art book…or two.


I folded each page in half with the folded crease facing the edge, so paints and markers would be less likely to bleed through to the back.


My girl had so much fun painting and drawing on these. So did I.

For the covers, I used old paper bags we had.


These books were quick and easy to whip up, and we only needed a few tools! A bone folder is helpful, scissors (or paper cutter), awl, needle and embroidery thread.


We used a permanent marker and watercolors, but you really can embellish with anything, depending how thick your paper is.


This book is one we have gladly added to our personal library as it will be sure to get lots of use! I love the verstility of these crafts and that it inspired us to sit down and create. Anything that does that is a big thumbs up in my book.

*I did recieve a free copy of this book to review, but as always all opinions are mine, mine, mine*

Walking the red carpet with King Fu Panda 3

About a week ago, my Falafel and I (and her friend and friend’s Mom) had the privilege of attending the pre-screening red carpet event for Kung Fu Panda 3!


We all had a blast!


We were at Lincoln cinemas in Bellevue (which was a bit of a hike for us), and there was an actual red carpet for us to walk down! We even had our photos taken. We felt like celebrities.


There was a lot to look at outside the theater.


The girls were given panda ears and popcorn.


Did I mention we saw it in 3D??!


These two didn’t want to take off the glasses even after the film.

Kung Fu Panda 3 comes out January 29th in the theaters. If you don’t know what it is about, here is a little summary:


Directors: Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni

Producer: Melissa Cobb

Cast:  Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, J.K. Simmons, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Kate Hudson, James Hong, Randall Duk Kim


In 2016, one of the most successful animated franchises in the world returns with its biggest comedy adventure yet, KUNG FU PANDA 3. When Po’s long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters.  But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible—learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas!

I cannot say anything, yet, about the film, but I am so happy we went to see it! I love these films, and this one did not disappoint. I am actually excited about seeing it again!

Color Me Tote

I had more of the fabulous Color Me fabric from the heart bag I made, so I whipped up a tote!

#colormefabric triangle tote

I whipped up a triangle pocket tote (self drafted) like the one I made here.

#colormefabric triangle tote

I am running and Adult coloring class through our local library in February, so I wanted to make up an appropriate tote for me to carry my supplies in.

#colormefabric triangle tote

This is so perfect. I may actually color this one in!


#colormefabric triangle tote


I actually still have some of this incredible fabric left (how is that for using every scrap of a yard?!), so you can expect to see another project made from it very soon.


What haveYOU made today?

Sewing up a Heart bag

One of my favorite bloggers, Abby, over at Sew Much Ado just released a FREE pattern for a heart-shaped backpack, here.

Since my husband and  I will be going out on Valentine’s Day to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, I thought that a heart purse would be a fantastic addition to my outfit.

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

I did alter the pattern to make the backpack a purse, but it really wasn’t hard to do.

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

Instead of one continuous loop, I cut it on both sides and inserted a strap. Then I sewed it back into a loop. I also added a bit of piping. I love how it makes the fabric pop!

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

And that fabric? That is one of Hayley’s from Mouse House Creations new Color Me Fabric line by Michael Miller! I haven’t decided if I want to color it in yet, even though that is what it is intended for. I think it is pretty great even black and white.

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

That is the dress that my 16 year old bought me for our wedding anniversary (here *affiliate link*). I love it. I think the bag goes well with it too.

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

The inside is fully lined and all edges are finished nicely.

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

I think this is going to be my new favorite bag!

On-Our-Shelves Sunday

If you are on the East Coast, I hope you are faring well in the blizzard! We are still enjoying lots of rain and consequently flooding, here.

On our shelves this week is one that I chose because of the incredibly gorgeous illustrations. Seriously. The story is sweet, but I could look at those illustrations all day.


The Dog that Nino Didn’t Have

written by Edward Van De Vendel

and illustrated by Anton Van Hertbruggen

The pictures are so lovely that I even credited who illustrated it. The whole story has a retro wild little boy feel to it, which I adore.

I will say no more of it. Go and check this one out if you want to be wowed by beauty.

What are YOU reading today?

Newsletter Day


I actually got the newsletter out on time this week! I feel very together. Of course, as soon as we all get used to being back on a schedule, we will have mid-winter break.


As for now, I will enjoy the fact that I actually got out and exercised, have managed to get everyone where they were supposed to be at the times they were supposed to be there, made food, and kept the house tidy. I even sewed a whole project and a half.

I call that a good week.

How about you? Have you found the rhythm to your days again?

Magazine Envelopes: Recycling craft

If you have been coming here for a while, you will know that I am not the most technology-savvy person out there. I still “Bookmark” things I like. Sometimes I even email them to myself so I don’t forget that I actually want to make the particular craft I have bookmarked.

Well, the other day I was going through said bookmarks, because the sheer number of them made my eyes cross, and stumbled upon one that I put aside for a rainy day in 2011.

Seriously. We live in the PNW. It rains all the time.

It was now or never.

Life of Sara Nicole has a tutorial for making envelopes out of magazine pages that I thought was brilliant.


So I made a few myself.

magazine envelopes

These were made using only one page out of a magazine, each, so they are small. Although in her tutorial, she suggests you open up the magazine flat, take the staples out, and use both pages as one. Which I did for the third one I made.

magazine envelopes

I like both sizes. The smaller ones hold a business card (or two).

magazine envelopes

While the larger size holds a full size letter (folded).

magazine envelopes

This is a fun way to use up magazines. Since I traced my envelope shapes on cardstock, I can use them over and over!

magazine envelopes

Now to write some letters!

Warrior Cat Birthday party wrap up

Warrior Cats Cupcakes

Warrior Cats Party

Warrior banner

This was our most laid-back birthday party ever. There were only 3 guests. I did not plan a single activity. I made a few components (this, this, and this), plus food, painted their faces, and released all four of them into our yard to plan and play Warrior Cats for an hour! When they came in tired and freezing and wet (yes, I threw them out there in the cold pouring rain), I served hot hibiscus tea and Warrior cupcakes. Then when we still had 30 minutes left (what was I thinking making it 3 hours??!!), my husband brought out a HUGE piece of white cardboard he had in the garage, and let them draw all over it. That was a hit!

At the end of the day, we had one very celebrated, happy Warrior Cat 10 year old.


And that concludes the formal Birthday Parties for our girls. After age 10, they can invite one or two friends to an activity (movies, bowling, skating, etc), but no party. One of my more brilliant ideas, if I do say so myself.

What are your Birthday traditions and rules?

On-Our-Shelves Sunday

This week, Falafel and I are reading this one together:


Darien and the Seed of Obreget

by Jeanna Kunce

*affiliate links*

We read the first book (Darien and the lost paints of Telenoria) and loved it! This one, so far, has captured our attention just as the first one did. Magic paints? A mysterious old lady? Dragons?

All good stuff.

I can’t wait to see where it goes!

What are YOU reading this week?