Monday, March 30, 2009

Glass Magnets...

If you read my Best of the Week post, then you already know that my parents came to visit this weekend and brought my sister in law. Well, Brittney somehow got sucked into my "try a new craft" vortex on Saturday night.

I have been wanting to try to make magnets for a while now, and I already had the stuff, so here you go...

We made 30 in an hour or 2. All we did was trace the glass marbles on scrapbook paper and then cut it out. We glued the paper to the back of the marble and then added little round magnets to the back of them. The sky is the limit here, and they could be as colorful and clever as you wanted to make them. I think they will be great little "just because gifts." I made one for my aunt that said "Bald is Beautiful" because her hubby is bald. I made one for my sis that says "WEWE" because that is what the boys call Aunt Wendi. We did some with initials and some with flowers.

We ran out of supplies, so we had to quit with the magnets, but I also taught her how to tassel. She is quite the quick little learner. Check out her tassel...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Plugged In Again...

I did it! I was unplugged for a full day, and half of another one. ( Click here if you have no idea what I am talking about!)It was a little hard at first, but once I got busy it was not a problem. The great mystery of why I don't seem to finish those to do lists anymore was finally exposed. I'm too worried about cyberspace and what all you fabulous people are posting about on your blogs. It was refreshing to be totally "plugged in" to my life again and this experiment reminded me why limits are important. As for what all I did, here are the highlights...
I spent some time doing crafts with the boys. We tried these Martha Stewart pipecleaner animal kits I got from Wal-Mart. My local store had them on clearance for $1 a set. My boys were too young to really enjoy making them, but they did like playing with the finished product.

I went through my HUGE stack of magazines and whiddled it down to about 30 pages for my Idea books. I have been intending to do that for a while, but it always got put off. It is so nice to have it done.

I finished the laundry (that took almost a whole day) and got it all put away.

I made my first trip the the nursery for flowers, and it is official. I have spring fever!

Most importantly,I spent a lot of quality time with the boys. Thanks to Kimba for helping me to remember that sometimes my "happy place" on the internet can be overrated if it takes away from the quality of time spent with the family that I treasure!

Best of the Week...

1. Watching the boys with their new baby bunnies, and the adventure we had getting them.

2. Beautiful spring afternoons outside with the boys and and a nice breeze.

3. Making a TO.Die.For. Weight Watchers Cobbler (I'll do the recipe on Weight Watchers Wednesday.)

4. Spending time with Nonnie, Pop, and Brittney (my sister in law). We had a wonderful weekend.

5. Going antiquing with Mom and Britt, and finding my antique ironing board for $7.50. It is solid wood and I love it!

6. Unplugging for 2 days and getting SO MUCH DONE! (Like finally sorting through 2 garbage bags full of magazines.)
7. Connor mastering driving his little 4-wheeler in the backyard.

8. The new movie BOLT, and watching it with the boys.
9. Lonnie bringing me a little "surprise" from Bath and Body Works when he came home Sunday.
10. Lon coming home everyday on his lunch break everyday. That extra little bit of time together makes a big difference in our family time.

11. Working puzzles with Walker. It is amazing how you can see the wheels turning in their little brains.

12. Poppy teaching Connor to "shave" just like him.
Hope your week was a great one!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Today I will be taking part in the "Unplug" series by Kimba. Short of answering work e-mails I will not be online today. If you want more info., just follow this link. This is gonna be hard! Wish me luck and see you tomorrow!
** EDIT** I am a complete DORK and took the challenge on Thursday, but I was so productive that I will be doing it again today. See you Saturday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nana on a Mission...

Last Tuesday, our precious little rabbit Fluffy died. Walker fed her celery before he went to bed on Monday night and when he went to feed her Tuesday morning she was dead. Poor Walker was very upset. She was his bunny and he is a very sensitive child. I just explained to him that Fluffy was now in Heaven with the other animals and she was happy there.

By the end of the week, Walker was already asking for a new rabbit. His Nana told him she would get him one for Easter and mentioned that the Tractor Supply she had been to had spotted ones. Well that was all she wrote in Walker's book. He wanted a spotted bunny and nothing else would do. I called the local store and they said they had plenty of bunnies on Friday. Today we decided to go get Walker and Connor each one. Imagine our surprise when we got there and they only had 1 WHITE bunny, and we needed 2 SPOTTED bunnies. While the boys looked at the chicks and the ducks, Nana proceeded to ask the people when they would be getting more and who their supplier was. We were getting these boys a rabbit. We decided to drive on in to Charleston and check their Petsmart. No rabbits there either. We called all the Feed and Seeds in the area, and even put Lon on an internet search from work.

It was a long and tiring search in the rain and tons of traffic. I laughed out loud when Sandy told her husband that we may not be home that night because she was not returning without those boys' rabbits, even if it meant staying in a hotel.

I am proud to say that after 6 hours of searching and $200 (rabbits, food, gas, rabbit supplies, and small toys from every store we went in) we are home with 2 baby bunnies. Are the spotted? No. But are the boys happy? YES! They are thrilled. Walker picked out one that reminds me of a squirrel, and named it Sprinkles. Connor chose the little bunny that I would have picked. It is so cute and a mix of lots of colors. He named it Red, just like his hermit crab, also named Red. Creative, huh?

Walker has already begun to worry that these rabbits are gonna go live with Jesus while he is not watching. I explained to him that we will take good care of them and hopefully they will get to stay with us for a while.
When we were bringing them inside, Connor tripped in the driveway and skinned his forehead. He could not be bothered with letting me bandage it. Too much excitement with the new rabbits and all. (As you can see we are still working on the binky as well.)
The only concern we have left about today is that we have NO IDEA what sex these bunnies are. The guy at Tractor Supply said, and I quote, "I have no idea what they are. I could tell you on a horse or a cat or a dog, but you are on your own with the rabbits." Thanks bubba. Nana says the boys may end up with their spotted rabbits after all.

I'm so thankful for moments like these with my boys. They are growing up SO FAST and I like to think these are the types of things they will remember when they are older. Now, who wants a bunny in 6 months?

Weight Watchers, Week 10

It is Weight Watchers Wednesday, Week 10 and I lost 1.1 lbs. for a running total of 20.5. I FINALLY reached 20 lbs. YEAH!! I am pleased I had a loss, but I am a little disappointed because I had a bigger loss yesterday morning when I weighed than this morning. My friend Christy (also on WW) tells me that it is because I have been doing so much exercise and my body is retaining water. Hopefully in the next week or 2 that will change and the scales will reflect it.

I have mixed up my exercising quite a bit. I started phase 2 of Hip Hop Abs. Go ahead, laugh if you must. But those of you that actually know me, especially from the college days (Jenn, can I get a Holla Back at ya?), know that this girl can shake her money maker. These days there is just a little more to shake than several years ago. ANYWAYS, it is a fun work out and really makes you sweat, especially if you use the hand weights. I am gonna start rotating between the Leslie Sansone 5 Mile Fat Burner (I usually only do 2 or 3 miles) and Hip Hop Abs. At this point exercise 4x a week is a must, and anything more than that is a bonus.
As for eating, I did really well this week staying within my points boundaries, BUT I did not eat nearly enough fruits or veggies. Yet another thing I need to work on.

The recipe this week is for Flat Out Bread Pizza that I have been making. I LOVE it and it is really low in points.
(The one pictured is only tomatoes and mushrooms.)

Flat Out Pizza, 3 points
1 Flat Out Bread (I use the Italian Herbs and Garlic, Light)

2 Tbs. of tomato sauce ( I use Ragu Traditional)

1/4 cup of Fat Free Mozzarella Cheese

Cooking Spray ( I Olive Oil Spray by Crisco)

Veggies of your choice (I use tomaotes, spinach, mushrooms, and bell peppers)
Pre-heat the oven to 350, put your Flat Out Bread on a cookie sheet and lightly spray with cooking spray. Bake your Flat Out Bread for 7 mins. Take it out of the oven and spread with the tomato sauce. Add the veggies of your choice, and top with shredded cheese. Place back in the oven for 10-13 mins. This is a 3 point Pizza, and very filling. I am a thin crust kind of gal, and this bread makes a really crispy crust. You could always add pepperoni or some other meat, but that will alter the point value.

I hope all my WWW buddies had a great week and I can't wait to hear about all your progress!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rice Therapy Bags...

I made some Rice Therapy bags for friend to give as Easter gifts this week. I have had these in my idea file for a while now and was pleased with how they turned out. There are tutorials for these things all over the internet, but for mine I just used rice with some essential oils. I originally planned to put wheat in them, but the internet said there had been a lot of incidents of fire with the wheat, and I wanted no part in that! The first one I made was just a rectangle and the same material on both sides. I decided I would like something softer on the skin so I ended up using a flannel on one side and a prettier material on the other.

I actually made one for myself and used it the other night. It felt wonderful on my shoulders. So what do you think?
**EDIT** After I posted this, someone inquired what these were used for. I totally forgot to mention that, didn't I? Sorry Hat Chick! They are put in the freezer to act as a cold compress or microwaved for 2 mins. to act as a heating pad. They put off a "moist heat" so it is wonderful for aches, pains, arthritis, etc.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Best of the Week...

It has been a wonderful week full of "bests" but I will try to narrow it down to 10!

1. Walker told me if I was a dinosaur I would be a Maiasaura. For those of you who don't know much about dinos, Maiasauras were known for being really good mommies.

2. Riding the moped at the river on a beautiful spring day. Something about being there is just so peaceful, and there's not a care in the world.

3. Learning how to do a tile mosaic from Jerry (my father in law).

4. The Brown's visiting, and getting to show them our local stomping grounds.

5. Walker waking up the morning our company left and saying, " I miss my sisters." referring to Addi and Juliana.

6. Connor and I spending some quality one on one time in the yard and at the carwash.

7. Walker learned his first joke,"Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide!" and then he always says, "Get it? To get to the other SLIDE!" just to make sure you got the punchline.

8. Having a bonfire in the backyard and roasting marshmallows, just because.

9. Reading "We're Going On a Bear Hunt" to Connor every.single.night.

10. The boys yelling, "ECHO ECHO ECHO" in the empty silo at the farm. The joys of childhood never get old!
Hope you had a wonderful week!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

More Snuggly Friends...

I have been doing a little crafting in the last day or 2 and thought I would share my new creations. First off, I want to admit that I was reminded why a pattern is a good idea. I free-handed some drawings right on the fabric I wanted to use and then just stitched them up.

Henry the elephant turned out pretty good, but Mabel the Hoot Owl and Sassafrass the Frog were kinda quirky. Sassafrass was the skinniest frog I have ever seen, kind of the the Kate Moss of frogs.
I am glad to say that these critters, along with Lovie have gone to find homes with the winners of my friend's fundraiser. She is having it in honor of her mom, who has breast cancer. These will go the the 4 winners of the children's rounds. I hope they like them and I just am so honored that I was able to participate in a small way.

Mandi Method, Phase 3

It is 1 week past the beginning date of Phase 3 of the Mandi Method. (If you have no clue what I am referring to, then read this post.) With all of the travelling and everything else we have been doing lately, I did not feel like I could commit to a change last weekend, so I put it off a week. I have decided Phase 3's focus is gonna be a daily devotional and gratitude journal.

These are 2 things I "try" to do already, but they always seem to get pushed aside for other things and before I know it my day is gone. I know starting my day with a quiet time and prayer makes a tremendous difference in how the day goes from times past, so I am gonna do that daily. I will do my gratitude journal before I go to bed.

I am kicking this off tomorrow morning with Beth Moore's new study on Esther. I will keep you posted on my progress on Weight Watchers Wednesday.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

You're Gonna Be JEALOUS!!

You are gonna be so jealous when you see what a wonderful brother in law I have!! My Mom and sister both have these to.die.for shelves in their homes that Richard (that is the man of the hour) built for them. Well when I saw theirs of course I NEEDED one. I have a funny spot over my desk in the office/craft room that is just wasted space. Well not anymore! Look what Richard made me...Now, the decorating is not finished. I just put some stuff up there to make it look good until I redo my office next month. Jerry and Lon hung it for me and I just could not stand leaving it, so I will keep changing things around until I like it. Mom and Wendi's shelves are just rectangles, but I needed an L shape and he did it! This is the first time I got to see it in his workshop. I think this pic shows its size better. It is about 4 feet x 6 feet.

And just in case any of you are wondering, this is the paint he used.

I was gonna put up a pic of him because he is a cutie patootie, but he hates to have his picture made and there is no reason to rattle the gator's cage, especially when the gator made me something so fabulous.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Weight Watchers Wednesday, Week 9

It is Weight Watchers Wednesday, Week 9 and I had a whopping loss of 0 lbs., for a total of 19.4 to date. Yes you read that right 0 lbs., and I am thrilled! WHY? Because if you saw the way I ate this weekend it is amazing I did not gain 5lbs. Let's just say baby shower food, incredible cheesecake, Chocolate gravy (Robin's specialty), and my Mama's home cookin' do not usually lead to weight loss. I had way too much fun to worry about it though, and now that I am back home and back to my regular eating habits I expect a whopping loss this week.

As I said before, I have company this week. Another girlfriend from my college days is here, with her Mom and 2 little girls. FINALLY, the females are outnumbering the males in my house. Christy and Brenda are also on WW so it has been fun exchanging recipes and exercising together. Last night we did Leslie Sansone's 5 mile Fat Burner, and it was GREAT! Lon ordered me 2 new Leslie dvd's off Amazon, so they should be here by Friday when Christy leaves and takes hers home.
This week's recipe is a new one that I have not tried yet, but will be trying this week. I got this recipe HERE. We are big pizza fans in this house, and this recipe sounded great to me. If you give it a try let me know, and I will keep you posted if I tweek it at all.

Deep-Dish Pizza Casserole
Recipe By : Cooking Light
6 Points per serving

1 pound ground round
1 15-oz can chunky Italian-style tomato sauce
cooking spray
1 10-oz can refrigerated pizza crust dough
6 1-oz slices part-skim mozzarella cheese -- divided

Cook meat in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring until it crumbles. Drain, if necessary and return to skillet. Add tomato sauce, and cook until heated. While meat cooks, coat a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Unroll pizza crust dough, and press into bottom and halfway up sides of baking dish. Line bottom of pizza crust with 3 slices mozzarella cheese. Top with meat mixture. Bake, uncovered at 425ยบ for 12 minutes. Top with remaining 3 cheese slices, and bake 5 additional minutes or until crust is browned and cheese melts. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Servings: 6

NOTES: I add spinach, red peppers, and mushrooms to this reciepe and everyone loves it. The more veggies the better in my book.
Nutritional analysis per serving, per recipe: 277 calories; 7.7 g. fat; 1.6 g. fiber; 49 mg. cholesterol; 667 mg. sodium

I also discovered a couple good new things. Have you ever tried Flat out Bread? Man, this stuff is incredible for sandwiches and it is only 1 point. Go here to their website and check out their recipes. They are SO GOOD!

Another find this week is this Kashi cereal. I am huge Captain Crunch fan, but this cereal is a much healthier version with lots of fiber. At 1 point a serving (not including the milk)it is super.

Can't wait to see how all my WWW buddies did this week! I hope it was a good one for you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Claire's Baby Gift...

I had a wonderful time tavelling, and got home late Monday. My company got here today, so there has not been much time for blogging, with all the cleaning and unpacking. I've missed everybody and hope to be all caught up with what y'all have been doing by this weekend. For now, I wanted to share what I made for Staci's baby shower. (FYI...Staci is one of my best gal pals from college. We were sorority sisters and roommates and she is just one of those lifelong friends that everybody should have. Anyway, she is having a baby girl this time around and I wanted to make her something special. Claire's room is gonna be hot pink and lime green, so I went a little crazy making girly stuff. )

I was so happy with how it all came together that I thought I would share it with you. I was especially pleased with her pillow and little hangtag. Mainly because I had not done those before. I made her a few onesies, but this one with the little ruffles on the bottom was my favorite. I also made her a sock monkey, but forgot to get a pic of it before hand, so you can see it below in some of the shower snapshots.

Another lady made her a christening gown that was gorgeous. We had such a great time this weekend. I could go on and on, but in the interest of time and actually sleeping tonight I will only share a few highlights with you.

Staci is from Grundy, VA. A small town built on the side of a mountain. She doesn't live there now, but her family still does so that is where her shower was. Grundy is beautiful, but I had not been there since 9 years before when I was in Staci's wedding. Needless to say my trip there was not very smooth. I forgot to get the GPS and had to follow MapQuest directions. Here is a little math for you: MapQuest Directions + Pouring rain + Winding unfamiliar roads + No Cell Phone Service + By yourself+ no good music = Really long and scary road trip! That was no indication of my weekend though. Staci's family has come to seem like my own over the years and I so enjoyed spending time with them. Robin (Staci's Mom) was an incredible host and her home was so warm and inviting, not to mention beautiful. I had a blast and laughed until I almost wet my pants. Here you can see some of the wonderful people I spent the weekend with, and the food I ate all weekend. Just wanted to show you why I will probably not have a loss tomorrow for Weight Watchers Wednesday. Also, check out the dragonfly quilt Robin made Staci. LOVE IT! I have to learn to quilt! I got a glimpse of myself in 25 years, via my new BFF Lorraine, and let me just tell you that I will be fabulous if I am like her! (Lorriane is the blonde above) I met Lorraine for the first time this weekend, and she is a HOOT! We exchanged recipes, garden ideas, and crafting tips all weekend. Lorraine taught us how to make a gorgeous little necklace (I'll share it in another post b/c you are gonna want to make one) and I taught them how to tassel. Fun was had by all.

None of my travelling would have been possible if it weren't for Nonnie and Pop taking care of the boys. They had a great time too. Thanks Nonnie and Pop!

There is so much more I would love to share with you, but like I said earlier, I do want to sleep tonight so I can enjoy my friends that are visiting with us this week. I will be doing WWW tomorrow, and am gonna put off Phase 3 of the Mandi Method until Friday so I can actually focus on the next phase. Hope you had a wonderful weekend and look forward to catching up later!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Quick Update & Lovie...

Just wanted to drop in for a quick update. I am still in TN, visiting with my family and getting ready for my girl's weekend. I have been crafting to my heart's content and am anxious to share it with you but so much of what I have been doing is for gifts that I have to wait a little longer. For now, I am gonna give you a quick little preview of my first "glove" animal.
Her name is Lovie, and she is just that, a real lovie. The boys agreed with me that she is cute and snuggly and just a little quirky. They were not sure about her short little legs, but I think they are perfect.

She has a really big heart, that is what makes her so loveable.
She wears a fancy necklace, and is very feminine.
But I think my favorite thing about her is this little tail.

I hope Lovie's new owner loves her as much as I do.

I also wanted to let you know I am gonna wait until Monday to post on Phase 3 of the Mandi Method. By then I will be back home and able to start phase 3. Hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Weight Watchers Wednesday, Week 8

It is Weight Watchers Wednesday, Week 8 and this week I lost 2 lbs. for a total of 19.4 lbs to date. I am so excited to have a good loss this week. I really tried to focus on my exercise and stay on track with my eating. I did have a run in with some sugar cookies that was pretty ugly. Probably would have lost even more if I could have kept my hands out of 'em, but I am happy with 2 lbs.

I have started doing Leslie Sansone's walking program atleast 4 or 5 days a week. It is very easy to do with the boys, they walk right beside me (or run all around me), and I add hand weights for some extra cardio and strength training. It is not intense by any means, but it is moving.

As promised, here is a picture of me to show progress, and yes I have my hair in a ponytail again. I realize this is not a whole body shot, but it is all I have and I can see some progress in my face. Getting a little thinner.

Now, on to more important things. For this week's recipe, I am gonna share Cinnamon Raisin French Toast. It hits the spot if I want to have something sweet for breakfast. I got this recipe online somewhere, but in my haste to make it forgot to write down where. My guess is the Weight Watchers recipes on Angelfire. I find stuff there a lot.

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast 3 pts. per serving

3 egg whites or 1/3 cups egg substitute ( I use Eggbeater's)
3 Tablespoons skim milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3Tbsp Splenda

1 teaspoon vanilla
cooking spray
4 slices raisin bread

1. Combine egg whites, skim milk, cinnamon, Splenda and vanilla in a bowl; stir with a wire whisk until blended.

2. Spray a skillet or griddle with cooking spray, heat over medium-low heat.

3. Dip bread into egg mixture, coating both sides evenly. Gently place each slice of bread in the skillet and cook for 2 or 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Makes 2 servings (2 slices each serving) Calories 182 Fat 2gm Fiber 2gm

I also drizzle with some sugar free syrup which is 0 points if you "drizzle". If you drench, then you better count it as 1 point. Just putting that out there for all you drenchers.

On Friday I will be announcing phase 3 of the Mandi Method. I am looking forward to that. I will be out of town from today until Sunday night. We are going to TN to stay with Nonnie and Pop because they miss this:
And I can't say I blame them. I am gonna be going to spend the weekend with a girlfriend, and am looking forward to the me time. It always does a mommy good. I hope all of my WW buddies did good this week and I look forward to your updates!

Monday, March 9, 2009

A New Tassel or Two...

I made a few new tassels this past weekend, so I thought I would show them to you. I am definitely getting faster at making them and sustaining fewer glue gun burns in the process. That is a big improvement. I made this rooster tassel for Nana's birthday. She has a lot of roosters at their weekend "River house". She loved it!

I finally made another tassel with the fringe that I am so crazy over. The last one I made with this trim was sent to Hat Chick for my part in the craft it forward game. I have missed that little pretty so I made one for me!

I made this other little beauty because I wanted to use this little nest with berries on it. It has 3 eggs in the nest. I still may go back and add a bird, it just made it look a little lopsided to me. The picture is a little fuzzy for some reason, but it is really cute. {Update, I took a new pic b/c the other one was even fuzzier than I thought!} What do you think? Busy enough or do I need to add a little bird?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Best of the Week...

1. Having 4 consecutive days of BEAUTIFUL 70+ degree weather. We have spent almost all day everyday outside and in shorts.
2. Grilling out and having a picnic in the backyard for supper. Nothing smells better than a grill on a beautiful day.
3. Pulling a surprise party over on Nana (Lon's Mom). She does so much for everyone else, it was a real treat to do something for her.
4. Driving around with the windows down and the sunroof open, and watching Connor reach his little hand out into the wind.
5. Teaching the boys how to blow bubbles with Hubba Bubba gum. Man that was a mess, but their giggles made it so worth it!
6. Watching the boys learn about life on the farm from Nana. They already have a love and appreciation for animals.
7. Calling Nonnie and Pop on the phone so they could hear the boys laughing out loud over a Youtube video of babies pootin' in the tub, and knowing it made their night.
8. Lots of quality time with family and friends. After all, isn't that what it's all about.
9. Connor riding the 4 wheeler with Lon's paintball mask on. He is ALL BOY.
Hope you had a great week too!
**Edit** Stacie wanted to know what program I use for my collages. I use Picasa. My girlfriend Jenn introduced me to it, and I love it. It's free to download online. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Spy Bag & Why I Never Do Tutorials Tutorial...

I decided to try to make a Spy Bag again today. I have made a few of these, but have had a hard time finding the right poly pellets to put in the middle. Since I have not been very pleased with the way the others turned out, I thought I'd give it another try. While I'm at it, I decided to do a tutorial. I am now reminded why I never do tutorials. If you dare to read this, you will see me make a Spy Bag, but I can not guarantee how clear cut it will be.

First off, gather your supplies. You will need:
1 piece of fabric (folded in half to desired size)
printable fabric or transfer paper
1 small piece clear vinyl
1 bag poly pellets or rice
assorted novelty buttons and items
thread & a sewing machine
Once I have everything together, I start by typing my list to put on the back of the bag. I just do it in Word and print it on printable fabric that I later sew on the back of the bag. If you are going to print it on transfer paper, and then iron it on the bag, you will need to "mirror" your image so that when you iron it on you can read it. I have made that mistake more times than I would care to admit!
Next, I cut my center hole out of the fabric. Fold your fabric in half, decide if you want a square or circle hole, and trace it onto the wrong side of the fabric. I then cut the hole out. For this one, I used a cd to trace as my hole size, and then I traced the case it was in for my vinyl.
Next cut your vinyl. I make it about 1 inch larger than my hole on all sides. These bags are for kids, so you don't want it tear and leak out the polly pellets. I double stitch for reenforcement, but remember the vinyl sticks to the sewing machine, so hold it up or your circle will be all crooked like mine! A square would be easier, but I love a challenge.

Next I sew on the vinyl, and then the list of spy items on the back.
At this point I always have to stop for something. Today it was a trip to the farm for our Thursday Family Fun night with Nana and Jerry. It is a new tradition we have started and we all love it, so the crafting will wait until I get back. Gotta feed chickens, chase sheep, meet the new calf, and eat dinner.

Once you return to your craft, sew it shut except for a hole in the top so you can flip it right side out.

Pour in your buttons, animals, etc. and all your poly pellets. How full you want it is your call, but I have a tendency to over stuff mine and the boys can't seem to find the contents when I do that, so don't make it too full!
Finally, sew up your hole and give it to a child to test out. I recommend a rough and rowdy boy.
These are perfect for occupying a child during a car ride or doctor's office visit. They also work well during church. Any time you need a quiet activity this is a good option.

I am sure you can now see why I never do tutorials. I never take enough pictures, and am not the best about staying on task. I am sure I left something out, so you may want to check out this link to Rosie-Baby who did a much better tutorial than this one. Let me know if you try this. I would love to see how they turn out!
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