School book covering has come a long way since brown paper.
Contact has come and (largely) gone.
Now plastic book covers are the new black.
But they aren't cheap when you have to buy a pile.
So last year I tried my hand at making some fabric book covers.
I used largish scraps so they cost me nothing.
I'm pleased to say that they handled the in-out-in-out of the tidy tub well and, after a quick wash, are being reused on school books this year.
Since I could explain how to make them by saying 'wrap it like a gift and sew where you would put sticky tape', there is probably no need for me to show you a tutorial.
But, just in case you'd like to see, here are my instructions:
Lay your exercise book out flat and cut a fabric rectangle about 3cm larger on all sides.
Overlock or zig zag the edges.
Optional: cut a 10x10cm square of clear plastic and sew it to the front of the book cover, leaving one edge open (for a name tag to slide in later). I find it easier to use a walking foot with my machine, and to leave a 2cm edge when sewing, which can be trimmed down later.
Lay the book in the centre of the fabric and, yes, wrap it like a gift.
Pin and sew the book corner together. I find hand sewing easier (and more therapeutic!)
Do the same for all four corners. Remove the book. Press.
Pop the book back in. Add a cardboard name tag if you have made a window.
Repeat for 25 books (or more if you have more than two kids in school!)
Leave a comment on this post, sharing one of your own small, wonderful moments from the past week (like seeing your gorgeous girl walk around in her piggy nose?), and I will randomly select someone to receive a package of small and wonderful things!
(This time, I am only able to post to an Australian address. If you live elsewhere, you may enter as long as you have a friend in Aus to receive the package! Entries close on Jan 31st, 2013)
Pass many hours of a day tiding, over many weeks, and you will not be surprised that many stay-at-home Mums feel bored and inept. It is monotonous and impossible (at least in my small children-at-home world) to finish.
But for some reason, tidiness seems to have become a mother's success measuring stick.
I'm not going to buy into this any longer. I want to look after my house (I actually enjoy many aspects of cleaning, and my house is quite organised). But I don't want my days to be crowded with stress about the toys on the floor, or the height of the folding pile. So I will be content to do what I can today, and then do more tomorrow. I hope that this relaxing of the rules on how neat my house must be, will give me some more time to gather some broader homemaking skills. Skills that we have largely lost because of our craving for tidy. Soap making, composting, mending, bread baking, preserving, and cheese making are all traditional skills that I have always craved to learn and use. Sewing and crafting are already practices that I love. I can't wait to cheer up my Mummy brain with this variety of homemaking practices in my life!
(Now, you might be wondering how adding extra things into my routine is adhering to my 'simplify' resolutions? To me, simple living is cutting back anything that overcrowds my brain, heart or life, and this in turn brings freedom and new opportunities.)
This time I have really put time into thinking about my new year resolutions.
I've been thinking about it for weeks.
Be better at my job as a parent? YES!
Be better at my job as a wife? YES!
Be better at my job as homemaker, Jesus-follower, daughter, sister, friend? YES!
It's a bit overwhelming. A bit burdensome. A bit full.
A bit what-i-do-with-almost-everything-in-my-life.
I crowd it up with dreams of more and better and best.
What I really need is some pruning.
Some cutting back the excess branches.
So, less is more for my resolutions this year. And hopefully I will uncover some fresh, green life underneath.
First things to be cut back are a few daily time wasters:
Facebook; Pinterest; Blog reading. Particularly on my phone. I check often because it is right there. Instead, I can wait till the kids are asleep, and spend a good half hour catching up then. Thinking of all the great kid moments I will no longer miss because I'm checking my phone, makes my head feel clearer already!
The smallest thread of saffron turns the most mundane of foods into a vibrant, unique meal. My desire is to add that kind of spice to life! I love to create moments, esteem relationships and celebrate transitions so that the everyday is transformed into the eternal.