she and whim


The library is such a fun visit for the shorts and me. They all go straight to their favorite section – my boys love non-fiction books on animals and cars, and the girls head for the juvenile fiction. I’ve enjoyed reading the juvenile/young adult classics that I didn’t read as a kid and new literature too like The Penderwicks series! :) We also have a family tradition of stopping at local book stores when we’re out of town, and they each get to pick out a book. We write in the cover where we were and the date. Half Price Books is a family favorite too!

So, I have this goal to build our family library. We have a decent collection going, and I was inspired by the book The Library and the character’s own checkout system she devised for her personal books. I had to explain the old-school way of checking out books to the shorts – the paper pockets with cards and date stamps. I checked out The Borrowers over the summer and it had the paper pocket still in it! So they got to see a real, old, date-stamped pocket :) Then I set to work on making pockets and cards for the girls’ books.

We decided to make them for chapter books only, since it was a pretty big undertaking and they’re the only ones that are old enough to work the system. The pockets are blank so each girl can write their name on their own books, and our last name goes on the family books. The checkout cards have “Date Out” instead of “Date Due”. We wanted it to be a family history of when the books were read and not about dealing with returns – no late fees here! And when our future grandkids come over they can check out books their mom read at their age. :)



Here’s the Library System I made for you to print as well. There are many colors! We printed one of each and sorted the books that matched each pocket color so we had a count before printing.



You’ll need these supplies to make them:

a cutting mat, xacto, straight edge, #65 smooth white paper, and double stick tape. We also bought this date stamp at the craft store! It’s so fun to stamp the cards!!



After you trim the pocket, fold the two tabs to the back. The double stick tape is wide enough to secure the tabs and adhere to the book in one step (see above photo). We found it easier to write on the pockets before attaching them to the books, but you may want to attach first so you don’t loose track of which goes where. The last page of the PDF file is the cards. Just trim them out using the crop marks, being careful not to cut through to the neighboring cards. The two rows are pretty close together to save paper!



And now you have your own official home library system! Yippee skippy and happy reading :D


{design © claire sneau : for personal use only}





I recently made clothes dividers as part of a baby gift for my girls’ sweet teacher. I thought these may be helpful for others so I decided to post here too. I printed the gift in blue-grey and orange but made these black and white so you can customize to match your room colors.



Craft stores have loads of different colored papers that the dividers can be printed on and ta-da! you’ve got a match! The first page of the PDF file is the striped pattern for the back of each divider. So print Page 1 on each sheet first. Then flip and reprint the remaining PDF pages of the front divider graphics on each sheet. Trim the outside circle, cut through to the center circle, and trim again. You could also leave the dividers black and white too :)


{design © claire sneau : for personal use only}





I love books. I love paper. I love good book design. I love a great story. I love learning something new. And I want my little bits to love books too. So I’ve made a sheet that will hopefully make my older two’s independent reading more joyful.



The illustration is a simple tree. It can be colored and written on as they are reading their book or when they’ve finished. My oldest saw the tree and said there wasn’t enough room to write all about the book! I encouraged her to practice being concise. :)

I’ve attached the file so you can print as well. If your printer doesn’t print borderless images you can use a pen to draw the lines to the edge. That may seem silly but the blank border around the tree would drive me nuts! :)

Hope your sweet ones find this useful and your summer is filled with lots of books!

Edit: I realized that I forgot a place to write the author! oops! The file has been revised :D


{design © claire sneau : for personal use only}




PROV 16:24

Hope your summer has been fantastic so far :) Ours has been filled and fun! We’ve been busy with projects I need to post. I’m very behind and hope to get caught up soon since I’d like this to be our family scrapbook. Part of the reason I’m so late posting is that my camera situation is not resolved (do I buy a new camera since it doesn’t seem smart to put money into my old one – or upgrade my iphone for it’s better camera??), so again, I apologize for the blurry pics in this post. But regardless, we’ve put up another verse!


Proverbs 16:24

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.


I loved the imagery and message in this one. :)



P.S. I purposely don’t pick the typical verses for us to memorize as we’ve already learned them from the God Rocks songs (which we love, love!). Just if you were wondering why some seemed random :)


{design © claire sneau : for personal use only}



JOHN 3:30

This time it’s John 3:30 – He must become greater; I must become less.



Hope the graphics make it super easy for you and yours to memorize. I try to make them gender neutral and not juvenile – good for any age! And this one is the easiest to trim so far – who’s your BFF now? :) We did have some good discussion out of this verse too (evident by the fruits of the spirit, etc.). And no, you don’t actually become shorter :) hehe!


And sorry the pic is so blurry – I think I’ve finally dropped my camera one too many times. :( *sniffle*



{design © claire sneau : for personal use only}





We love shaving cream here. You probably have playtime with it too. A few months ago we changed it up and added food coloring!



We experimented with different color combinations and made an overall mess :)



Their hands were dark blue when we finished! I wasn’t sure it would wash off (maybe wear off after a week?), but after a LONG playtime bath they didn’t look like smurfs anymore. :) It also reaffirmed the choice of stainless steel tables – no stains and squeaky clean from the shaving cream!


Then the other day we gathered snow loving animals (and dinosaurs because they’re extinct and anything goes), and the boys had fun pretending their plastic friends were in a winter wonderland.



And shortly after the icebergs were squirted from the can, big bro made “real snow” :)



We also looked up pictures of snowflakes and talked about how each one is uniquely made – and who else is an original? These guys sure are! And yep, you too! :)






It has been a fantastic school year for all the shorts. How is it almost over already?! We’re so thankful for their amazing teachers. I volunteered to organize my youngest’s Teacher Appreciation gifts from his class, and we surprised them yesterday with all their goodies!



I came up with a “You’re sweet” theme because boy, it’s the truth! :) Money was collected from the parents for gift cards that I wrapped in cellophane like candy. Each parent filled out recipe cards of their favorite sweet, yummy dessert that were given in the handmade envelope that says, “Mrs. Brown is the sweetest!”. And each parent helped fill in a card for their munchkin that said, “I think Mrs. Mason is the sweetest because…”. I took a class pic for the cover and bound all the cards with a post screw. (You can too – click here for recipe, candy and kid cards.) One set is shown here, but both teachers received their own. They also got the morning off to get a start on their gift card spending and grab lunch while another mom and I watched the class – and they deserved every penny of that gift money after our whirlwind of kid corralling ;) They’re so amazing!!!


And we all know who else is just as terrific – your mama!

Since I was making these gift cards, I made some for the moms we’re honoring Sunday, too – and here’s how it was done:



You’ll need decorative paper, roll of cellophane, 2 clear hair rubberbands, and your gift card. Optional supplies that make life easier: x-acto, ruler, and cutting mat.

I trimmed my decorative paper to 8 1/2 x 11 and ran through my printer with the “Happy Mother’s day! You’re the sweetest! xoxo” message. You can too – click here. Then I trimmed and folded it to look like this:



I sealed with a little double stick tape. Then I cut a piece of 10″ x 8″ cellophane and wrapped around the card (be sure your seam is on the back). I twisted each end and rubber-banded to close. And presto, you’ve got a cute gift card!



Yay for all the teachers and moms! :D

P.S. The link for teacher gifts at the top of this post has a page with the candy gift card wrapping template using the all-occasion phrase, “You’re the sweetest! xoxo”.


{design © claire sneau : for personal use only}




Guess who’s not allergic to corn and peanuts anymore!! I was completely ecstatic when I got the results in the mail! AND, his remaining allergies to milk, wheat, oats, rye and eggs have gone down some too – it was severe and now it’s just bad. Boy, was results day a happy day!! So, to celebrate the great news I’ve attached a recipe card for these allergy-free muffins. I make up his recipes since he’s allergic to so many things. This muffin recipe has been baked and tweaked loads of times and is the best version to date. :)



The recipe is wheat-free, and free of flours that have similar proteins to wheat. Spark isn’t gluten intolerant, but allergic to the wheat protein. But if you are gluten intolerant, this recipe is gluten-free too! It’s also dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, and peanut-free. And I like it because it has a veggie (pumpkin) and fruit (applesauce – which was added recently, when he out grew his apple allergy.) Also, please note that the brand of “butter” spread is not Smart Balance, but Earth Balance.



The PDF has 2 copies of the recipe, just because there was space – maybe you could pass one along to a friend? Print one page, flip the paper and print again, and trim – so the recipe card is printed front and back. (See this post for specific paper used and trimming instructions.)



If you or someone you love has food allergies, I truly hope this recipe helps! :)



{design © claire sneau : for personal use only}



Today is Earth Day! It’s a big deal in our house for several reasons:

1. It’s my girl’s 7th birthday!!!

2. We are big recyclers and our kids are part of Green Team at school.

So, in honor of this great Earth, here’s a recycle sign that I made for our house a while back. Since our recycle can is next to our regular trash can, I made it to help the kids (and company) remember which is which…



I’ve also made the sign in 4 color schemes, so hopefully there’s one that looks good next to your recycle bin :)



Now, go recycle and happy Earth Day!!



{design © claire sneau : for personal use only}




My son’s preschool teachers asked if I could make a class quilt for the school’s annual charity auction. The proceeds went to a one-year-old little girl in the community battling leukemia :( I was so surprised and excited when they asked, and loved that the money raised went to someone who needed it. I don’t pretend to be a great quilt maker. I’ve just been learning as I go – and I learned a lot making this one!



For the front, I pre-cut all the pieces of fabric and planned which fabric markers I wanted with each piece. I taped them all on pieces of cardboard and the kids wrote their names on them, along with the verse and back wording. And they did a great job! Not a single fabric-marker-on-clothes accident :)



And a little bird for an added detail :)



And the teachers names and school year are on the back.



I love wonky, modern quilts and thought the style went so well with the youthfulness of the kids that helped make it. What a treat to be a part of such a fantastic project! And yay for something to snuggle up in :)



wife + four littles =
creating, michief,
yummies, parties,
wisdom, wonder,
outdoors, ruckus,
whatever other
whims we conjour.