Savoring PlayTime: Nerf Gun Storage

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When you have a boy, you have a mess.  All the time.  Cars, Legos, and Nerf Guns, oh my!  I’m a big believer in letting kids play.  I’m also a very, casual housekeeper, but sometimes, you just have to clean it up! And by you, I mean the boy-child who made the mess.  Here’s our solution to enjoying an easy clean-up after an epic Nerf Gun battle:  an over the door shoe bag turned Nerf Gun storage.

Nerf Gun storage

I picked up this black shoe organizer at the Family Dollar.  You can get them at just about any store and just about any price point.  I doctored ours just a little bit.

Nerf Gun storage

I added an elastic loop over the top right pocket.  A few of our Nerf guns are taller and I didn’t want them to flip out of the pocket.  Here’s how:

Adding a loop to your Nerf Gun Storage bag

You’ll need:

  • 7 inches of 2 inch wide elastic
  • 2 inches of double fold bias tape
  • 2 snap sets
  • your sewing machine or a needle and thread
  • (You could do this with Velcro too, but I wanted the stretchiness of the elastic).

#1  Stitch 2 inch wide elastic (about 7 inches long) over the existing seam between the 2 far right pockets on the top row.  I placed the raw edge of the elastic up against the edge of the right pocket.  That way, the elastic will flip back over the seam. I used a stretch stitch.

Nerf Gun storage

#2 Use a small piece of double fold bias tape to re-enforce the right edge where the snaps will be. I didn’t stitch mine on.  Instead, I wrapped it around the edge and applied the snaps over it.

Nerf Gun storage

#3 Apply the snaps to the right edge so that the elastic can be unfastened, stretch around the larger Nerf Gun, and refastened. I don’t think it matters, but I always apply male ends of the snaps on the underside.

Nerf Gun storage

#4 Apply the coordinating snaps to the end of the elastic.

Nerf Gun storage

 

This Nerf Gun Storage bag was a birthday gift, so I finished it off with a little embroidery.  I was afraid the material wouldn’t hold up to many stitches, so I embroidered a piece of felt and stitched it on the top instead.

Nerf Gun storage

***Adam suggested I edit this to add that our house, the Nerf Gun storage bag is hung up on the wall, not the door.  It’s hung at about 5 feet, so that little ones can easily reach everything.  It is hung on screws that are anchored in the wall.  When it’s loaded, it gets pretty heavy and my favorite 3M strips just weren’t up to the task.  I should also add here that I have no affiliations with Nerf or Lego or even Velcro for that matter.  Just a boy-child and his friends!***

Isn’t it easier to savor playtime when the clean up is something the kids can do?  Now, will someone please tell me how to store all these Legos???

Pocketful of Posies Dress

I love a great dress.  Something easy to wear, something comfortable, something easy to move in, something with pockets!  When I first saw the Pocketful of Posies Dress on Indiesew, I knew I wanted to stitch it up.

I had a little trouble finding a fabric I liked, but when I did, this was the result:

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Oh my goodness!  How fun!  This dress is so much fun to wear.  The pockets are perfection.

Just a few notes about it’s construction:

  • The pattern pieces taped together easily.  I cut a medium.  I probably could have gone a size smaller, but I wasn’t sure.  Except in the arms.  The sleeves are just about right.  Any smaller and I think they’d be too small.
  • The instructions are easy to follow.  I used my serger for most of the construction, but a beginner could do just as well with a stretch stitch on the sewing machine.
  • I cut off about 4 inches in length.  I’m short.  I should have added a little length to the bottom band so I wouldn’t have gathers, but I was out of fabric.  I used every single square inch I had.
  • The neck line is low.  Next time, I’ll raise it about 2 inches.  To do that, I’ll have to modify the front, the pockets, and the side panels.
  • The thick neck band didn’t work for me, so I removed mine and made it half the width.

$10 Date Nights-Savoring my Valentine

It’s almost Valentine’s Day!  We don’t do much special for Valentine’s day, but this year, we’ve added something new to our weekly plans—a date night!  Honestly, this hasn’t been possible in the past.  Our parents don’t live in town and babysitters are expensive.  But, now that the kids are older, we are able to get away.  Date nights can get expensive quickly, so we’ve had fun finding “cheap” things to do.

A year of $10 (or less) date nights.

Here are the rules for our date nights:

  1. On the calendar
  2. Intentional
  3. No Phones (except to consult the Scrabble dictionary)

Our goal is simple: Have conversations about life, about dreams, about fears.  Savor our friendship with one another.

If your kids are younger, see what you can do to get away for a bit.  Ask your parents, trade babysitting with another family, find free kids’ nights out at churches or gyms.  Whatever you do, make it intentional and spend a little one-on-one time savoring your valentine.

Hello 2016!

2016. That’s hard to type. I can recall a time when 2016 seemed so far away and 40 seemed soooo old. Not anymore!

sa·vorˈsāvərverb1.taste and enjoy it completely.

For the past few years, I’ve had a word that I’ve focused on, sometimes more than others.  This year, 2016, the year I turn 40, two words are reverberating in my head:  Simplify.  Savor.

simplify verb make something simpler

My prayer for this year is that I can step back, let the little things go.  let the big things become little things, and treasure my moments, my people, and my God.

My Favorite HandMade Christmas Gift: Dish Towels

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I love the look of a hand-embroidered dish towel.  They are sweet, and the perfect project for teacher gifts, wedding showers, and even to compliment a gift of baked goods.  These projects only take a few supplies and can be completed while waiting on carpool or watching TV at night, making these sweet dish towels the perfect handmade Christmas gift.

You’ll need:

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  • a hoop
  • thread
  • a design
  • a pencil
  • embroidery needles
  • thread

You can purchase iron-on designs, or just draw your own. In the past I’ve downloaded a line drawing and just traced it onto my towels.  This is super-easy if you have a large window.  You can tape the design to the window and use the sunlight to see the design through your towel fabric.

I’m a lazy stitcher, so I tend to only use a basic running stitch and french knots to complete my design.  This website has some great tutorials: http://sublimestitching.com/pages/tutorials

The Cabin Tunic

I recently stitched up another fun pattern.  Meet the Cabin Tunic.

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I purchased this pattern after seeing it featured in Indiesew’s Fall 2015 Collection.  I almost didn’t, but then I stumbled on a darling black and white polka dot cotton lawn on a discount table at Hancock’s Fabrics.

This cute tunic is loose and flowy.  The pattern was well written and easy to follow.  I decided to cut a smaller size to fit my shoulders and then just do an FBA.  The pattern has great instructions for FBAs.

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Pockets!  It has pockets!  Hooray!  They were simple to make, again thanks to great instructions.  I didn’t make any other pattern adjustments, but if I make it again, I may shorten it.  Or I might lengthen it to wear as a dress…

I would recommend this pattern for an advanced beginner.  It makes a cool and comfy top.  I do think fabric choice can make this top fabulous or icky.  Make sure you choose a lightweight fabric that drapes well, unless you are going for a boxier look.

Hey Y'all! Welcome to my little piece of the South!