Ellis & Barnes: Serious Mothers!

Monday, August 22, 2011

I made a thing

And this time I don't think this post is going to funny because of what I made, but rather my natural wit. 


(Hey guy with the cough. Please leave.)

Ok, all 9 of you, here is the back story. About 2 months ago I realized that Katy Belle's birthday was just around the corner and I had no idea what to get her. Stefan knew he was going to get her some sort of amazing pirate ship, because, you know, she likes pirate ships. Stefan's parents were going to give her a rocking horse. My folks were going to give her a cooking set plus a monogrammed chef's outfit. 

What the hell was I gonna get her? I started looking online and everything either looked too young or too old for her...or worse...looked like a pirate ship, a rocking horse, or a chef set. (awkward)

Oh my god, I don't know my child at all! Does she like cars? Dolls? Elmo? 

Not really.

I was kind of thinking about a doll house. What was holding me back were the 800 tiny pieces that come with a doll house and in a rather small Brooklyn apartment all ready filled with toys, my potential annoyance with more small crap to step on outweighed my potential daughter's happiness. 


(What are you still doing here?)

Even if I got her a doll house, was it special enough? Was I putting enough pressure on myself to set myself up for a lifetime of making too big a deal out of making sure that every gift I give my daughter is absolutely the most perfect gift ever that proves I love her more than life itself?



(HIGH FIVE coughing guy!)

I had an idea. What if I made her something?

No, this is not the funny part. It is NOT the Elephant.  Click for sad post about elephant toy. 

I had this vision. A vision of a play mat, with a road and a lake and maybe lots of green space that her toys could live on and walk down roads on and swim in lakes on. She has entered this phase of making her small toys "walk" and go "doo doo dooooo" along the couch. They could "doo doo doo" on a play mat!

Maybe something like.....THIS!

(I don't want to hear it coughing guy.)

I felt inspired. I felt empowered. I CAN MAKE THIS! This is the perfect project for me, the person who hates to follow patterns but understands the concepts of cutting out shapes and sewing them down. 

Turns out, there was a bit more to it than that. 


(Longer pause)

Well, we're waiting.


First off this is not a tutorial but I will show you some of the steps I took to make the greatest gift ever made.

So I bought the materials: some quilt batting and green fabric and some cool material for the underside that we will look at later. I had all this felt already so no worries there.  I cut down the batting to a manageable size and used that to do my layout. I then cut out the bodies of water because come on, you can't mess up water right? Right. I then cut out the road on some paper and taped it together to make the shape I wanted.

I then patted myself on the back for being so clever. 

(Biz, you really are some sort of crafting savant. No one would care if you had a glass of wine 2pm.)

So here is a close up of my cut out road shapes and then the shapes taped together. 

It made sense to take photos of this at the time....could have been the wine...but now I look back and think any one of you 9 PPPA readers could figure that out. I apologize.

I will redeem myself and say that I did indeed have felt, but not as much as I thought. Why would I actually check my materials before starting a project I was going to make up as I went along?


Oh excuse me, that was me. I had some felt caught in my throat.

So to make the most of my felt that was going to make up my road, and cut the paper road again, but this time in segments that I could pin down to the felt. I would then cut the felt in the same segments, sew them together, have no waste and BLAM! ROAD!

This is going really great.

Except that I ran out of brown night.

I live in Park Slope. I don't have a car. There is no Joann's Fabric or Micheal's anywhere near me. There are 2 sewing stores and they charge a lot for everything and have very slim pickings. It is cute stuff, but it isn't a ton of fabrics that actually save you money versus buying something already made.

Two days brown felt. 

I have a baby and a tight schedule and its not like I can make the time to walk to this store with my 2 year old, not find what I need then easily jaunt off somewhere else to look.

Two days after this...I walked 12 blocks to store two...they had a different colored brown felt. BUT, it was a giant sheet and that made up for it not matching what I had already done so the road would not be bumpy with random spots where I had to sew felt together.

Roughly a week later...making up how I was going to sew it to the batting, then sew it to the vinyl type fabric I had for the back and give it a nice edge....ta daaaaaa.



It isn't bad right? It's pretty good! I mean it is covered in cat hair now and milk and maybe a little pee, but scroll back up! Can you envision this on it?

Well, that is what I got her to go with it.

Ladies and gentleman, I give you The Play Mat aka This Is All Yours!

It has been 2 weeks and she still plays on it.

I just may have that Etsy shop that no one buys anything on yet.




At 1:38 PM, Blogger kc said...

This rules. You should make her a playmat every year, to go along with whatever she is into. Lakes and roads, farms, flowers, cars, boy bands, tequila shots, whatever!


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