$1200 nap mat for sale

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When we made the decision to send Fiona to school this year, I knew I wanted to send something Mama-made with her. A handmade nap mat seemed like the perfect way to send some Mama love with her to school.

Well, if you read my last post about Fiona's first day, you know I was feeling a lot of feelings about the transition to not spending quite as much time with my girl. What I didn't fully express was just how mixed those feelings were. By the end of the first day, I knew it was too long of a day, and by the second, I knew we had to make a change. My heart was saying - no, screaming - that 8:30am - 3pm, Monday through Wednesday was simply too much for us. We have spent nearly every day together for the last 4.5 years. We needed to step back, reevaluate, and make a change. We did make that change, and Fiona's schedule will now be mornings only, 8:30am - 12noon, Monday through Wednesday. I am relieved and excited for the year to come, and feel we've reached a good balance. I've also gained a more realistic view of the future. Things may change again, or we may continue on this path. These decisions are hard and complicated, and we will keep an open mind when it comes to how we will handle schooling in our family. And to be clear, we are thrilled with the school itself! They have really helped us navigate this process and Fiona absolutely loves spending time there.

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Anyway, back to the nap mat! When I told my mom my plan to make one, she quickly offered to help and told me to bring the girls on over and we'd make it together. (Being my mother, she probably recognized that my plans were just a tad ambitious for the small amount of time I had!) We all went over there and got to work. By the time we were finished, this silly little nap mat had taken hours and hours over the course of three days. Sheesh! When we finally finished, my mom joked that we could sell them on Etsy... for $1200... to, you know, account for the exorbitant amount of time invested. ;)

Luckily, this is just the kind of thing that my Mom finds gloriously hilarious, because when I told her Fiona would no longer being going full days, and therefore would no longer be napping at school, she laughed and said that now we really could sell the nap mat... for $1200. I think it's quite funny, too.  

So, anyone want a nap mat? (I kid.) It turned out quite cute if I do say so myself. 

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Or maybe we'll just keep it for Perry the Purple Rabbit. He does look quite cozy in there. 

I'm heading out early tomorrow morning for the Taproot Gathering at Squam. I've been anticipating this trip with excitement, and a bit of trepidation, for many months. I am worried about leaving the girls, though I know they are in able hands. I'm worried about how much I'll miss my family. And I'm nervous about participating in my first art fair. But what is life if not an adventure? Off I go! I'm sure I'll have lots to share upon my return.

felt scraps garland

When I was looking at my growing basket of felt scraps and it occured to me—felt garland!—I knew it was very unlikely I was the first crafter to have this idea. Sure enough, I googled it and they are all over the place! I love having reusable decorations for celebrations, not only because it's less wasteful, but also because I like that my kids remember from year to year. It's a nice reminder of how many special times we have spent together and how very much we've had to celebrate over the years. Yes, traditions are good.

My fabric bunting, which was originally meant to only be brought out for celebrations, has found a permanent home in the play room. (I couldn't resist! It looks so sweet in there!) So, as hard as it may be, I am vowing that this garland will only come out on special occasions.

The project took only 20 minutes, start to finish. All I did was go through my scraps and cut them down so that they were all a somewhat uniform size. Then I sewed them all together. Done!

Where did the scraps come from, you might ask? Fairy wands, of course! (More on those later!)

soaring hearts for my littles

Valentine's Day is a good excuse to make cute little things and eat chocolate, yes? This year, I wanted to sew something out of wool felt. Something shaped like a heart. Hmmm... Then I thought of it! A soaring heart! (Similar concept as shooting star bean bags I have seen around before.) I chose felt and fabric that reminded me of each kid. Elsa's is on the left, then Elijah's, then Fiona's. I think they'll like tossing them around.

I kind of love these. They are so cute and a sweet way to tell your kids that they make your heart soar. Which mine most definitely do.

I wish I had thought of it earlier, because I could have made a couple extra to put in my (very bare) Etsy Shop in time for Valentine's Day. Maybe I'll put together a tutorial? I think they make such a sweet gift for little loved ones.

It's nice to keep the holiday handmade rather than going too commercial with it. Have you been doing any Valentine's Day crafting?

countdown to three

Fiona's third birthday is a little over two months away! (What?! Can't be.) With my sweet Elsa requiring much bouncing and nursing and wearing, the only way I am going to get the crafting done that I desperately want to get done is to work slowly and mindfully a bit every day. I have plans for a sweet and simple celebration for my girl and I have no plans to stay up till the wee hours of the morning the night before, so I'm getting to work! Now! Start early. Work slowly. Work often.

Above fabric is Children at Play by Sarah Jane. Love.

crayon roll

I've admired crayon rolls made by others (especially these made by Ella of Little Red Caboose) for a while now and keep meaning to make one. I finally did! It's far from perfect, so I'll probably make another one soon, but for now, this one works. Fiona really likes it.

I am considering having an "art party" for Fiona for her second (wow) birthday party and I think these would make really cute favors for the kids, so I'll be refining the pattern over the next month or two. I'm trying to get started early so that I actually get some sleep the week before the party, unlike last year!

In the future I think I'll use an elastic loop instead of a tie though, so the little ones can roll them up themselves.

On another note, I've done a little restructuring around here. I gave my design studio it's own website, which can now be found here: www.mirandamakes.com. My blog address is now: www.mirandamakesablog.com.

Also, I started a Miranda Makes Facebook Page. You should click the "Like" button in the right column (but only if you really do!). I plan to share updates as well as inspiring and informative links. It should be fun!

handmade holidays: snow pixie hat

I've always been a little bit jealous of the knitters out there because of the Stella Pixie Hat. Gah! So cute! So when Meg McElwee of Sew Liberated offered this free tutorial for a fabric Snow Pixie Hat, I was so excited! It came together beautifully and quickly. I love little one night projects like this.

One day (soon), I'll learn how to knit (more than just a scarf). Until then, this hat is just right.

Did I mention Fiona liked it, too? Yay (and phew)! On the way out the door this morning, she asked for three things. "Neow?" Got it. "Pig?" Yep. "Hat?" Yes!

She won't let me tie it, but that's ok. It looks cute like that.

handmade holidays: matching aprons (made by me) and a new doll (made by someone else)

Meet Clare, Fiona's new friend. Isn't she gorgeous? Fiona is crazy about her. Clare was the big gift to Fiona from me and Sheldon this Christmas. She was made in Peru as part of the Q'ewar Project. aMuse Toys has started carrying these beautiful handmade dolls, so we were able to support handmade and local at the same time with this purchase. Don't you love that?!

I made matching aprons for Fiona and Clare (that also match Grammie's!). Fiona hates hers. I considered sneaking it on her while she was sleeping to get pictures for the blog, but decided against it. That would just be wrong, right? So, here's a boring picture of them laying on the floor...

I think Clare likes her new home, despite having to wear the horrible apron. She's been spending much of her time gabbing to Grammie on Fiona's cell (made by Amber!).

And attending dinner parties in her honor. Though I noticed the dinner party didn't go so well for the mouse. We can thank Elijah, I think, for that morbid detail!

Oh, and did you notice? Pictures are BIGGER now!

handmade holidays: elijah's ornaments

Elijah and I made these ornaments as gifts for several family members. He drew on fabric with fabric markers, cut around his artwork and with his help, I sewed and stuffed a small pillow with an attached loop for hanging on the tree. I like simple projects like this for young kids and I think the results are a sweet way to preserve a piece of a child's artwork from that year.

I love watching as Elijah learns new drawing and writing techniques. He recently started writing his name in cursive and drawing bubble letters. I remember the exact moments from my own childhood that I learned those skills, so it's so fun reliving it with Elijah.