Finger Puppets

For our family Christmas gift exchange this year, I drew my brother’s family. He has twin boys that are one and a half. Since our budget is a little tight, I decided to make them something. My little boy is about the same age as them, so I went with something I thought he would like: Finger puppets.

I googled for felt animal finger puppets and used the ideas I saw to help me make my own. The little red tote was all my doing, though, and I’m rather proud of it. The barn door opens and shuts, and the zoo bars aren’t attached, so you can put the animals in the zoo cage.

Barn

Zoo

I think they came out cute, so now I want to make some for my own little guy. I’m thinking of maybe making the barn and zoo animals and then also making a set of woodland creatures — fox, rabbit, owl, bear, squirrel — mostly just because I think a fox finger puppet would be so adorable.

 

30 Days, Day 20: Adobe Illustrator

My brother-in-law works for Adobe and got us a sweet deal on Adobe Illustrator. I’ve always thought it would be fun to learn some sort of graphic design, and this was an excellent opportunity to learn how to use this software. Unfortunately, Adobe Illustrator is not really intuitive. Fortunately, I have a brother who knows how to use it and was willing to show me some basics.

Since Baby’s birthday is coming up (yikes!), I decided to make a balloon to practice. I think it looks pretty good, considering.

Balloon
It’s recognizable as what it’s supposed to be!

I hope to get a lot better at using the software. It really is pretty cool, even if I don’t get how to use 90% of it, yet.

30 Days, Day 19: My Fitness Pal

Now that I’m home with Baby all day, I eat a lot. It’s hard to not eat the entire cake in the fridge when you’re home with it all day, and especially when your husband insists on not being addicted to sweets like you are, and so doesn’t do his part in reducing the amount of temptation cake available. So, like many moms, I still have ten pounds left over from being pregnant. (Actually, I think I’d lost all but five, but then gained some back, thanks to things like eating entire cakes.) My clothes still don’t fit right, and because I am cheap and don’t want to buy new clothes, I figure I should try to lose those last ten pounds, instead.

I asked my sister-in-law, who has had twins (twice!) what she did to get back in shape after pregnancy, and she said myfitnesspal.com was what worked for her, so I figured I’d give it a try.

I’m now on my second day, and it definitely seems to help me control how much I eat, especially the extra helpings I don’t really need, and the snacks I would normally eat mindlessly just because they were there — and it has been eye opening about just how many calories I was taking in with my overindulgent dessert habits.

Yesterday, the first day I tried it, I had some calories left over at the end of the day and decided to have ice cream with my husband. I tried out several amounts and found that I had to get down to 1/2 cup of ice cream to stay within my calorie limit. But I just ate it really slow, and that made the difference between the half cup and my normal bowlful seem less depressing.

So I think this might be a good thing. The thing I always dreaded about doing a calorie-counting thing was the tediousness of typing in every little thing you ate, so it helps that you can find almost anything you can think of already listed as options to input. So, I guess… Hurrah, myfitnesspal!

UPDATE: It worked! After several weeks, I successfully lost those last ten pounds and then some! I’ve been using the website only sporadically for the last while, but I’ve changed my outlook on food enough to rein in my less desirable eating habits.

30 Days, Day 18: Baby Chef Hat

I like to make silly greeting cards prominently featuring Baby for his Grandparents. Typically, I dress him up using stuff we have around the house. For his grandma’s upcoming birthday, I wanted to do a chef theme, but didn’t have a chef hat, so I decided to make one. I used the instructions on this website: andersruff.com.

(I was considerably less neat about it, though.)

It was pretty easy to do, and (since I’m one of the weirdos who saves and reuses tissue paper from gifts), I had the necessary supplies at home.

Here’s one of the pictures I took of Baby in his chef getup.

He's grown up so much!
He’s grown up so much!

You’ll note that because I’ve read entirely too many scary articles about posting pictures of your kids online, I’ve gone to some knock-off-Photoshop lengths to protect Baby’s identity. You’ll just have to believe me when I say his cuteness was at ridiculous levels.

30 Days, Day 17: Patriotic Shirt

Occasionally, we like to buy T-Shirts from the craft store and use fabric markers to decorate them. In our hometown, the 4th of July is a particularly big deal, with a giant parade, and a lot of other Independence Day activities, so we wanted Baby to be ready to celebrate with the best of Uncle Sam’s nephews.

I realize the design I came up with isn’t the most original, but I think Baby will be very cute in it.

Baby will be the cutest patriot.
Baby will be the cutest patriot.

30 Days, Day 16: Picture Book

OK, so the picture book is actually an ongoing project. I’m not much of an artist (see my earlier horse-drawing post for confirmation of that), but I like to cut things out of paper, so I’m slowly making the illustrations for my book from cut out paper. It’s nothing too fancy, but I think it will be kind of fun for Baby to have a book written and illustrated by his mommy.

IMGP4233
Try to draw a soccer ball sometime without a reference. It’s basically impossible.

This is the illustration for the first page (minus the table you can see behind it). I think it’s kind of cute.

I’m about halfway done with the book right now. When I’m finished, my plan is to upload it all to a site like Shutterfly or something to make it a real, bound book.

30 Days, Day 15: Pão de Queijo

Once upon a time, I lived in Brazil for eighteen months. Brazilians make some seriously delicious foods, and among the most delicious is pão de queijo (literally, “bread of cheese”). As I am planning to have a Brazilian-style first birthday party for Baby (not for a few months, but I’m excited), I wanted to practice some of the foods I might make.

I used the recipe here. While definitely not completely authentic (they just don’t sell queijo minas in the local grocery store), these lovely little bread-cheese-puff things are fantastic.

paodequejo
I’ve already eaten about ten.

The only weird ingredient was tapioca flour, which we found at a local farmer’s market-type grocery store. (It was buy one get one free, too!) And with the help of the KitchenAid, they were quite easy to make.