A Story Book

March 29, 2011

When I spoke yesterday about not being able to get my rhythm going, the one thing that I realized is that it is our external rhythm that we have struggled with, rather than our internal one. The boys and I seem content inside the walls of our home, it is when we attempt to join “reality” that we sometimes lose our footing. It has been 34 days since Landon’s arrival, and we have managed to stay mainly within our family unit, and have slowly made the transition from two children to three.

Our days have looked quiet, but full of small projects that we can do together while holding a baby or while the wee one is napping. Friendship bracelets and dream catchers have been made, poems have been created and about a million yards of i-cord now lay about the house. Nothing major has been conceived or completed, just little bits of fun here and there to keep the days flowing.

After the holidays, the boys and I began lessons on poetry, and they have sat each day and come up with a short verse. I love watching children create poetry, it is so much fun to see how they interpret the idea of a poem. We were recently introduced to this book, and it has been a wonderful resource for the boys to see how almost anything that they can think of can become a unique poem.

Elwood had seen the book that I had made around the holidays out of a few Artful Blog clippings and some left over scrap book paper, and they decided that they had to do the same to their own boring school composition books that they were using for their poetry. It is a very simple craft that can be done in about an hour, and can turn any ordinary composition or sketch book into a pretty space to create in.

You will need the book of your choosing, scrap paper or fabric, glue, scissors (I used pinking shears for a more designed effect), and a paint brush or foam brush.

Begin by cutting out your paper or fabric in shapes of your chosen size. These will most likely be cut down even further in the process of making the book, but it is good to start a little bit bigger.

Begin by layering one piece of paper/fabric at a time onto the book, letting kids know that it is okay to place the pieces wherever they see fit, and encouraging them to layer each new piece onto the last. Don’t worry if the paper extends beyond the edge of the book, that will be easily remedied once the project is dry.

Once all of the paper has been placed, allow the book to dry for about an hour, and then take your scissors and trim the edges of the book, giving it a finished look.

Journals, poetry, school books, the possibilities are endless for what these can be used for. After we were done making these last week, Jacob went around the house and found every last blank book he could find and turned them each into scrappy journals. I have to agree with him that they just make doing a book report or writing poetry a little bit more fun.

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

pamela March 29, 2011 at 12:23 pm

They are beautiful! :)

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MamaBird March 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm

What a simple, sweet idea. My eldest daughter LOVES to cut out scraps of paper… she keeps a box full of all the pieces she collects from anywhere and everywhere. This would be an excellent way to use up all those little pieces!

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PlainandJoyfulLiving March 29, 2011 at 12:42 pm

It is so wonderful to let children make things for themselves – just makes the poetry a little bit more special.
Thinking of you.
Warm wishes, Tonya

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Unearthing This Life March 29, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Fantastic! The Kid LOVES to design books for herself and has even kept her own diary since the age of 5. She'll adore this project.

And oh! how I remember tip tip toeing around the house during nap time, shushing everyone who came by to visit, and just hoping my new babe wouldn't wake up from those precious naps!

Jennifer

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earth mama 101 March 29, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Painting with Modge Podge is the best! What a beautiful kid friendly project! There's no way to go wrong with it. Right now my kids are making potholders…something that we always have on hand to pull out when the mood strikes.

:)Lisa

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molly March 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm

oh, heather, take your own dear sweet time. the family rhythym is what matters; home's where it's at. the outside world isn't reality, it's just outside; it will always be there, when you (and yours) are ready.

and any new mama of three who can whip out the mod podge with a one month old is a hero in my book!

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Michelle March 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I like this idea. We were looking for a craft to do today and I have just stumbled upon it. Thank you.

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GinnySheller March 29, 2011 at 2:32 pm

You know it's never occurred to me to cover basic composition books! Great idea.
There are yards and yards and yards (and I could go on) of i cord all over my house too.
I am trying hard to think realistically about life with a newborn and planning accordingly, but it's funny, I feel like I can't remember what it's like. It just dawned on me that I may not be making/canning jam this year…

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Shivayamama March 29, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I have had those same feelings. Looking at the summer ahead, and how much we normally do that will not be a part of our days this year. It doesn't necessarily make me sad, for there will be so many new adventures with the little one, but it did kind of take me by surprise how much would be different over the next year. We are still hoping for one more little one to grace our lives in the coming years, so I suppose it is a good reminder that the years with our young children are sometime crazy, sometimes prevent us from doing things we love so much, but are oh such a joy!
I am excited to see what kind of at home adventures we can come up with over the coming warm months, and the projects around the house that may just finally get tended too :)

I have been thinking of you lots over the past few weeks, and your sister as well. Hope you are having a beautiful end to your pregnancy.
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Svenna March 29, 2011 at 3:12 pm

The journals look fantastic, they make my fingers all twitchy.
And: I've just ordered a copy of the Woman's Comfort Book after reading about it in your last post, it sounds fab.
Thank you!

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Lee March 29, 2011 at 3:23 pm

The journals are great! I can't wait to start on some. What is the poetry book you referred to?

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Shivayamama March 29, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Oh no, thank you for reminding me that I had not posted a link to the book! I swear sleep deprivation is a killer :)
Here is the link http://www.amazon.com/Kids-Poems-Grades-Regie-Rou… />
Hope you enjoy making some of these books, they are so much fun.
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jumbleberryjam March 29, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Brilliant! I think I was home-bound for nearly 6 full months after my wee one was born. It's so lovely that you and your kids are coping so creatively. I LOVE the fabric (and paper?) shot! Any chance you remember where the gnome/mushroom, hedgehog/mushroom pieces came from?

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Shivayamama March 29, 2011 at 3:58 pm

It is good to hear from other mamas that they have had the same experience, because I don't see us leaving the house much over the next few months :).
The paper came from a scrapbook collection that the boys were given as a gift last year. It is a Martha Stewart designer paper pad collection called Woodland Critters, and they love it http://www.amazon.com/Stewart-Designer-Woodland-C… />Enjoy!
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Shivayamama March 29, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Wow, a journal at 5, that is a girl after my own heart. I love to journal, to just write stories, verses poetry and my own thoughts. I just think that every kid should have a special place to record their thoughts.

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jumbleberryjam March 29, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Thank you!! Wishing you peace, comfort and joy in these home-bound days.

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Nicola @ Which Name? March 29, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Very sweet and I love childrens' interest in poetry. It is at a different, sweeter level than adults'. Pretty notebooks. I did something similar but far less elaborate for a notebook for myself a couple weeks ago. I used page from an old, falling apart book.
Heather, of course you are having trouble re-entering the outside world. A whole new person has joined your family and it is a time of rediscovering each other in new ways and finding new rhythms and flows.
Hugs, Nicola

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Shivayamama March 29, 2011 at 4:39 pm

I love the idea of saving all of those scraps of paper and using them as well. Wasting paper always freaks me out, and I had no idea what to do with the scrap booking paper that the boys were given (and used in this project), because we have never actually scrap booked. I was surprised by how much fun they had with this project, and how much more they seemed to enjoy the writing process after it was done.
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emmalina73 March 29, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Love this, so clever! I'll be doing this next year I think when we have some more books around here. Great project!

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Twisted Cinderella March 29, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Those are so cute!

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Heather March 29, 2011 at 10:39 pm

I was excited to hear you talking about Regie Routman b/c she was my favorite author when I taught a few years ago in an ele. school! She seems to have other grade/age-based poetry books but they seem to be @ scholastic.com but not amazon.com at this time. For example, er kindergarten one: http://store.scholastic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/ser

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Kollene Carlsson March 30, 2011 at 1:59 am

LOVELY papers!!! and yes, I know what you mean about once you step out the world makes things crazy! nice to be at home doing sweet calm activities! these papers are absolutely gorgeous! love the little prints! great idea for sure!

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angie March 30, 2011 at 2:23 am

such a great idea! thanks

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a little crafty nest March 30, 2011 at 6:00 am

I love love love this! It is always so great to come across new ideas that really work! I know my two older children (5 and 2) would love this. It's true what you wrote about feeling homebound. After each baby (I have 3 too) I kept quiet and to the house. It wasn't an intentional attempt at creating rhythm, it found us. And only after feeling super comfortable as a family of 5, then did I venture further. I don't even think the children noticed being homebound as we just did stuff…baked bread, did laundry (!), crafted (more and more as the baby settled in). Three months ago my 2 year old was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and my baby was just 6 months old. Back to the house bound we went, just as we had been emerging from it. Now, the housebound thing is far more intense with new rhythms to create for managing my daughter's condition, but you roll with it, right? I hope your rolling is smooth, I'll be thinking of you as I make the rhythms anew over here:)
xo Jules

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Mandi March 30, 2011 at 2:06 pm

We need to make some for our summer journals. Thank you. I understand about trying to get back into the rhythm after a new baby for me going from 2 to 3 was so challenging. Let's face it you only have two hands. Finding rhythm makes it all get back to being manageable. Enjoy being home, revel in it, it is fleeting. Blessings and light~ Mandi

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Daniela March 31, 2011 at 3:45 pm

So cute! I love those books! Thank you for the great idea.

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valarie March 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm

What beautiful books everyone is making. I too have been making books out of my scrapbook paper. It's such a great way to spend the afternoon. It's just great that you boys are writing poems and verse. There is something about a poem which let's one see things in their simpliest form. Enjoy your days!

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Angela March 31, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Love this project. I will definitely put it on our family to-craft list!

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Lisa Q March 31, 2011 at 6:15 pm

what a fun project…and so easily personalized. I love that you have been home, nestled together and enjoying your family dynamics. There'll be time for venturing out and getting back into things. Until then, enjoy your safe, warm cocoon. Hugs!

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Home Baked April 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm

What a fantastic idea – the books look really great.

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agambroult April 16, 2011 at 1:38 am

adorable. you are a master at making the mundane beautiful.

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Shivayamama April 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Now that is a compliment! Thank you my sweet friend :)
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