Tuesday, February 7, 2012

DIY baby name project

I realized about a month ago that I didn't have Noah's name anywhere in his room.  I started looking on Etsy and found some really cute ideas, but they seemed expensive.  Then it hit me.  I can do this!  I have a ton of scrapbooking supplies and can use them!

So off to Michaels I went to look for some ideas of what to put the letters on.  I was initially thinking blocks or boxes but found some cute and super affordable mini canvases.  I liked the idea of a canvas because I've worked with them before in altered album projects.  I also picked up some neutral paint and a paintbrush, which were both on sale!

I have a LOT of patterned paper on hand already, so I didn't need to buy any.  But since Noah's room has an animal/jungle theme, I thought it would be cute to add some animal accents.  I found these, and they matched perfectly with the paper I wanted to use.  They were also on sale!

I didn't have an exact plan in mind, but had a rough idea.  Generally when I scrapbook, I start with the base and photos and move things around over a few days until I'm happy with it.  This project took me a week, but only 30 mins the first day, 5-10 minutes on days 2-5, an hour on day 6 and another hour on day 7.  Here's how I put it together.

I did two coats on paint on the canvases.  I didn't worry about it being perfect because I like the aged/antiqued look.

Once the paint was dry, I selected my background papers from the Basic Grey Offbeat line.  I have a bunch of these 6x6 paper pads that I picked up at CKC Buffalo a few years ago for $2 each.  They're great for greeting cards and projects like this, so you don't have to chop up your 12x12 sheets.

It took me some time to figure out how to do the letters.  Originally I used word art in Microsoft Powerpoint and filled the letters in brown.  But I couldn't get the colour I wanted.  Then the lightbulb went off!  I have a ton of cardstock, why not use word art with no fill and a black outline and print them onto cardstock and cut them out!  It worked perfectly!  I printed the letters onto white printer paper so I knew the placement, and then I taped the cardstock onto the white paper and ran it through my printer.  They turned out beautifully!

Now it was time to start assembling.  I cut apart the animal accents and picked out the ones I wanted.

I laid out everything on the canvases.  Hmm...not bad.  But they're missing some "pizzaz".  I moved things around for a few days and thought about what I could do to make them "pop".

This is where my scrapbooking stash came in handy!  I decided to ink the edges of the patterned paper to give them some dimension.

Since everything seemed a bit flat, I dove into my pop dot stash.  Everything got pop dots, the patterned paper, the letters and the animal accents.  These gave them a 3D look.

My next challenge was how to display these creations.  I looked on etsy for ideas.  Many had holes punched in the top and were hung individually by ribbons.  But I wanted something that could stand on his shelf.  So back to Michaels I went.  I looked at an easel, but the shelf I had is small and it was too bulky.  Then I stumbled across a section with wooden letters and accompanying peg boards and sticks.  AHA!  The peg board/stick sets were on clearance for $0.49.  Wicked!  I bought two because I had a blank canvas in my purse and knew each one would only hold two (based on the width of the canvas).  I laid everything out on my desk and taped the canvases to the sticks.  I stood them up and checked them on the display shelf to make sure the height was right (I wanted them to stand behind some stuffed animals).  Once I was happy with the height, I used my trusty glue gun to stick them together.

And here's the finished project:

And here they are in Noah's room.  I'm SO happy with how they turned out!

My little man is 10.5 months old!

Boy how time flies.  Here's a few snapshots I took with the photo backdrop I got from Santa!

Friday, February 3, 2012

First fever

When we woke up yesterday, Noah felt warm.  But that's not unusual because he often sleeps with one of his comfort blanket animals over his face.  We proceeded with our day and went downstairs for his bottle and breakfast.  Then I put him down for his morning nap before our 11am library program.  When I got him up from his nap, he still felt warm, but he was also wearing a long-sleeved onesie, flannel pj's and was in a fleece sleep sack.  I checked his temp with a forehead thermometer on the warmest spot and it said he was 98.1 degrees, normal.

When we arrived at the library program, he still hadn't cooled down.  My friend felt his forehead and said he felt warm, but he's a hot kid, so it's not unusual.  He LOVES the library program, the singing, the stories and especially the bubbles at the end.  But he wasn't himself.  He was whiny, not engaged and clingy.  Even my friend commented that he wasn't himself.

So off we went to the doctor.  I didn't want to risk an ear infection because he tugs at them a lot (often because of teeth or tiredness).  After a short wait, the doctor checked his ears, chest and throat and said he had a virus, likely a cold.  He suggested Infant Advil/Tylenol, liquids and a steam vaporizer.

On our way home, I could see him in the rear view mirror and he looked awful.  His eyes were like slits and he could barely hold his head up.  When we got home, I left him in the car seat while I sorted out his bed (he tends to throw his animals and soothers around), filled the vaporizer and grabbed the Advil.  At this point his face was bright red and he was burning up.  I checked his temp again and it was 100.9 degrees.  Not good.

Thankfully, the Advil kicked in quickly and his temperature started to come down (I could tell because he insisted on putting his head against my chin, so I could feel his face cooling).  He drank his bottle, devoured his lunch and willingly went down for a two hour nap.

Unlike him, he woke from the nap sobbing, and I was a bit out of sorts myself.  He isn't a "fall asleep in your arms" kind of kid.  In fact, he's not a big cuddler.  Turns out, that's exactly what we wanted.  We found a good position in a comfy chair and he sat on my lap watching The Wiggles for hours.  He would doze for a few minutes here and there, but just wanted to cuddle.

When dinnertime came, he didn't have much of an appetite.  And that's the most uncharacteristic behaviour because he LOVES to eat.  He only drank a small amount of his bottle, refused the heated solids, refused the fruit and only ate a tiny bit of yogurt (which he generally devours).  I decided to give him a bath, since there's nothing he loves more.  It helped to bring his temperature down (his head was flaming red again) and brighten his spirits, even for a short time.

I gave him another dose of Advil and put him down at 8pm.  I was fully prepared for shrieking when it wore off around 230 am.  Instead he woke at midnight, but not terribly upset.  He sounded more irritated that he was awake.  I decided to give him another dose then, rather than wait till he was beside himself.  He didn't feel too hot, but I didn't want to take a chance that the Advil was still masking the fever.  He fell back asleep quickly and slept till 720am, when I finally went in and woke him because I wanted to see how he was.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a smiling, cool boy.  The fever broke overnight, hurray!

He's been in much better spirits today.  He's still not 100% but he's much better than he was yesterday.  He drank his whole bottle, ate most of his breakfast, and played eagerly with me on the floor for nearly an hour.

I'm so glad it was a short bout, especially because hubby is away (of course that's when everything bad happens, right?).  He's on his way home and I'm really looking forward to getting out for a few hours by myself this afternoon.  I need to recharge and get those damn Wiggles songs out of my head!


Sick boy...mommy cuddles always do the trick