Friday, March 25, 2011

my creative space: a busy book

I should start this post with a warning....this is a crafty project that is very addictive and can end up consuming quite a lot of your thoughts and time!
I've been wanting to make a fabric 'busy book' (they're also called 'quiet books') for ages now and decided to get going and make one for Stella's birthday. She is, like a lot of 2 year olds, obsessed with clips so I thought she'd love a book with lots of different fasteners like zips, buttons and clips to play with.  But once I got started I realised I had no chance of getting it finished in time for her birthday so I've decided to just work on it whenever I get a chance and give it to both girls when it's finished.
I've made three pages so far (with a few more nearly finished) so I thought I'd share them today and share the rest as I finish more. I got heaps of ideas from this blog which has links to lots of other busy books. And these quiet books were also very inspiring and

One of the good things about this project is that if you're a bit of a crafter you can find heaps of things to use from your craft supplies and fabric stash and other things around the house so you don't need to buy much to make it. These books are also great for developing fine motor skills, and your imagination is the limit as to what other things you can teach using the book, eg: colours, shapes, counting, alphabet etc. A lot of the crafters that made the books I've seen on blogs were inspired by their own mum's fabric books so it's pretty neat to think that maybe it'll be a book that future grandkids might play with too!

So here's the first page I made... I found this alphabet ribbon among my ribbon stash so I stitched it on and added a little duck bead on some thread so the girls could practice spelling their names and recognising letters.  Next I threaded some beads on a ribbon for some counting practice,  and the little lion slides along the spotty ribbon just for fun! I made the lion from the book "Felties" about a year ago and have had it on my noticeboard just waiting for a project like this!
Next I made Stella's 'clip page'- just need her to learn how to undo the clips now as well!
I saw the idea for this 'puzzle block' page somewhere in blogland but when my hard drive crashed I lost all my links and I can't for the life of me find where I originally saw it. If you think you know where the idea came from please let me know and I'll link back to it. This was a pretty quick page to make as it's all made from felt. I just cut out a whole lot of the same size squares and then played around cutting them into a few different shapes. The part that took the longest was probably stitching on the little flower buttons! My nearly 4 year old played with this page for nearly half an hour when I finished it so it's definitely a winner!
I made a zip pocket on another page to keep all the pieces in.
If you know of any links to some great busy/quiet books you've seen or have made yourself I'd love to see them.

A big thank you today as well as to Wendyl Nissen for featuring my blog, along with this lovely one, in her email newsletter this week. I think I've read every newsletter she's written since she started out on her 'Green Goddess' journey so it was very exciting to see my name in her latest one. You can read it here, and if you're wanting to get a weekly dose of  Wendyl's "It's okay to be a Nana" inspiration, sign up to her newsletter on her home page here.

And musn't forget... the winner of the eco-friendly cleaning goodies from last week's challenge is Leonie
Congratulations Leonie, hope you enjoy your treats, and thank you so much everyone for your comments and tips- I can't wait to get into making some more products now. And wasn't it neat to see that your comments made Wendyl's day!

For more creative spaces this week, visit Kootoyoo here

Thanks for visiting,
Megan x


Rochelle's Lenz said...

Goodness I have been wanting to make one of these for quiet sometime. Kaea is almost two and as your daughter has been is fascinated with clips, zips etc. BUT after looking at all of your energy put into yours I will either need to truly go for it, or put it in the "another time" box.
Have a great day with your birthday girl. Love your vision.

MissMollyCoddle said...

Love it! Have a lovely day :)

bee said...

This is an awesome idea!! Your book is looking gorgeous, you've inspired me to create one myself. Now if I could just find some spare time :)

Sarah said...

that's awesomely clever. How do you join all the pages together though?

gretbert said...

Wow, that looks great, and very addictive!

Michele @ The Hills are Alive said...


Megan said...

Hi Sarah, I'm going to try to put button holes on each page and using those metal circle rings that can open and close to keep all the pages together. Just hope i'll be able to put button holes through each page! Otherwise my hubby thought of going to an upholsterers as they have heavy duty machines so might be able to stitch the pages together.

Anonymous said...

Aww I want to make one for my little man now....that is so gorgeous!!

Sarah - Red Gingham said...

Wow that's going to be a fabulous book when you've finished. Well done! I started one years ago and it's still not finished.

A huge thank you for the wonderful toilet bag you sent for Chch!!!! It's brilliant and going to be such a great present for someone. Thanks so much for helping out. xxx

Sarah said...

What a fantastic idea. So far your book looks really good.
I would love to do one of these but maybe I should finish off some other projects first!

Janine said...

I think your books are going to be amazing and your daughters will adore the finished product. I found your blog through Wendyl Nissen's newsletter. I am a convert of hers too and she started me on my passion/journey to make and use natural products. So much so that I am in the process of starting up my own business on showing others how to make their own natural bath and body products.

I had a read of some old blog posts and really love your Organised Home Challenge. Would it be too late to join you? we are moving to a new home next Thursday and I thought it might be timely to start fresh again in a new home.

Anonymous said...

I love these books!!! I would love to make one for my little girl, but i'm not that crafty with the sewing machine.

Do you know of where I could purchase one? I tried Etsy and most of them were just patterns or asking $100 for them.

Rochelle's Lenz said...

Just a thought about those of us who would love a busy book of our own but who may not have all of the amazing skill you do Megan. I was reflecting on how quilters get together and do their block swaps/exchanges and perhaps if there were a group of keen mums or peeps we could do a page swap to create a busy book. For eg someone might take zips, some one clips, a person for threading etc. Each participant makes a number of pages in their "theme" and we post off to each other. We would need specific dimensions, but I am sure it could work. Would love to know everyones thoughts on it - drop me an email or comment on my blog may be and I will co-ordinate x Cheers Megan for the constant inspiration.

Anonymous said...

gosh you're awesome! That book looks completely amazing, and what beautiful colours you have put together. The girls will love them x

JustForDaisy said...

Newest follower here! :) Love your blog. I'm making a Busy Book for a 1 year olds birthday gift. Your ideas are fabulous! Thanks for sharing - come say hi at Just For Daisy sometime x

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