Sunday, January 12, 2014

Make an I Spy Bag

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Kids love these I Spy bags…they are great in the car or at home to keep kids occupied and distracted.  Truthfully, the first time I saw one of these was in the hospital.  I am a nurse as some of you may know and for five years I worked on the IV team and I worked a lot on pediatrics.  There were all kinds of distraction techniques that the nurses and child life therapists used to take the kids’ minds off the painful stick.

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I saw one that was tiny, made of a felt that couldn’t be washed, but was really cute.  I decided to make one and had a lot of fun collecting little tiny things to go inside it.

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This is the back…I just used scraps of fabric. one square that was about 8 inches and then a contrasting piece across the middle for fun.  I think the bag was about 7 inches square finished.

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To make the front, I cut four squares 6 inches each.  I folded each square in half diagonally and pressed them, then laid them out as shown above.  Then I laid them out on a square of heavy clear plastic (the kind you buy at a fabric store).  I stitched along each triangle edge and around the outside edge as well.

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Trim away the extra plastic. 

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And now you have this…

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Remember no pressing from this point out as the plastic will not like it.  I tried that once and had to start all over!

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Now lay it right sides together with the back of the bag.  I never worry too much about it all being perfect, when it is stuffed it’s hard to tell if the seams are perfectly straight.

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Now sew the edges using about a 1/2 inch seam.  Leave a small area, about 2-3 inches for turning it right side out and stuffing.

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Now you have it finished except for the stuffing.  Turn it right side out and smooth the seams with your fingers. 

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Fold under the open edges so they can be seamed up after you get it stuffed.

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Find all sorts of little things that will appeal to your recipient.  I collect little character erasers, little animals, some craft pom poms, all sorts of things that are NOT SHARP! 

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You want to avoid things that are sharp like this little dino with the pointy tail.  I was afraid he would puncture the plastic and cause a leak.

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I use Poly Pellets for the stuffing.  They are semi transparent round pieces of plastic.  You want to avoid overfilling with these pellets so the little animals etc. will still be visible.

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I toss my critters, trucks and erasers and pom poms in the bag and follow with the pellets.

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Those little animal sets in the $1 section at Target are perfect size and price!

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Pin up the open edge and sew it up quick before the pellets run out.

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And now you can admire your handiwork!

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I love the elephants and the polka dots on the back.

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There’s an eraser giraffe…

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and a sparkly pom pom…

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And a little car…

Christmas Chaos

I meant to get a picture of Brady opening the I Spy bag, but it was such bedlam that I missed it.  Plus he had so many fun things to look at he was going ten different directions at once!

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But I am pretty sure he liked it!  I can tell by the look on his face…

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I will be linking to these great parties!


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Easy Laundry Detergent

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Today was a “snow day”, it’s really cold outside and snowed most of the day.  I got a few things checked off my to do list.  I baked cookies, made a nice lunch, cleaned up the kitchen, and made laundry detergent.  The last time I made it was in the fall of 2011. I used the basic recipe I found here but of course tweaked it a bit. 
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Last time I used Fels Naptha soap, Borax and Washing Soda.  This time I used Zote, the Borax and Washing Soda, I added Oxy Clean and Baking Soda.  I used the same recipe except I did not add the Purex crystals. 
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Instead of grating the soap, I cut it in smaller pieces with a knife and added 3-4 pieces of the soap to the washing soda in the blender, made it smooth as silk!  And I didn’t have to grate it!
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Pulse the blender until it looks like this picture.
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Then run it a bit longer and presto!  I kept adding the ingredients in the biggest mixing bowl I have stirring. 
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See how smooth it is?  The Zote smells much better than Fels Naptha, at least that is my opinion. 
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I used a jar funnel to pour the soap into the big jars.  I found one at Wal-Mart and I think it was $5.99.  The second one I found at Goodwill for $2.  So this made a jar and a half, at 1 tablespoon (2 for heavily soiled loads) a load it will last me forever!  Which is nice to not have to buy expensive detergent.  This quantity of detergent cost me about $12, not counting the jars. 

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The little blue scoop from the Oxy Clean makes a perfect scoop!
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I might be linking to these great parties!