Church Tote Tutorial

I’ve been working on this tutorial for a bag to take to church. I like having everything together in one spot, and I really didn’t care for the bags that I had to carry my Bible on it’s side. So I made this one with a wide enough bottom that my Bible can lay flat. Perfect! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

First, choose 2 coordinating fabrics. The outer fabric should be more sturdy, like duck cloth. The inner liner can be thinner, like cotton fabric. You will also need a medium/heavy weight interfacing. The heavier, the stiffer the sides of your tote will be.  I like the fusible kind because it saves a step of stitching the interfacing to the fabric. Cut your outer fabric, inner lining, and interfacing to 14″ (ON THE FOLD) X 19″. On the folded side, cut out the corners from each end, 3 1/2″ in from the edge, by 3″ in from the fold.

Cut straps. One from outer fabric and 1 from inner lining fabric (or both from outer fabric if you prefer) 3″ X 45″. 20170915_180330

Iron your interfacing to the wrong side of your outer fabric. If you are going to apply an applique or do any embroidery on the front of your bag, do that step now.  Remember, the center of the finished bag will be between the top of the corner cutout and the top edge of the fabric.  I apply my appliques with Heat and Bond first, then stitch around the edges.

After applying your applique, stitch the sides of the outer fabric, right sides together. I use 1/2 inch seam allowances..20170916_093419Next, press open the side seams, open the bottom of the bag and fold the right sides together, against the bottom to form the bottom corner. See pic below. Pin together then stitch. Repeat to other side.

Your outer part of the bag should now look something like this…20170916_094416.jpgNow repeat the same sewing steps to the inner lining.

Next comes straps. Fold each strap in half, lengthwise and press with iron to form a center crease.

20170927_104027Open and fold each side in to crease line. You can do both sides at once, or one at a time, whichever is easier for you. Do this for both straps.

Lay one strap on top of the other with folded part in the middle. Pin edges together. Stitch along the sides close to the edge of each.

Fold the sewn strap in half and cut. You now have 2 identical straps. Measure 5 inches in from each side seam on right side of outer fabric and pin straps with like fabrics together. Edges of straps should extend slightly past edge of fabric with straps going toward the bottom. You can stitch these now, close to the edge, by themselves, or just stitch them in with the next step as I do.

With outer shell inside out, place lining fabric outside it with right sides together. So basically, they are both inside out, with one inside the other. Handles should be down between the two layers of fabric. Pin top edges together.

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Stitch around top edge, be sure to back-stitch over the straps for extra strength. Do not stitch in between the straps on one side. This leaves an open area to turn your tote.

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Reach inside the space you didn’t stitch, along the top edge and start to pull through your bag. This takes a little work and it looks like you have just a wad of fabric at first, but just keep at it!

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Once you have everything pulled through, stuff the liner on the inside and smooth it out. Press with iron to get the wrinkles out, and to get a crisp edge at the top.

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Stitch around the top of the bag, being sure to catch the fabric that is folded and pressed in where you didn’t sew between the handles on one side. Also, be sure that handles are up when you stitch.

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This next step is optional, but I like having a hard bottom on my tote for stability.  Measure the bottom of the bag and cut a stiff piece of cardboard or foam core board to the size of the bottom.

Cut a piece from the same fabric you used on the lining that is twice as wide, plus 1 inch, and about 2 1/2 inches longer than the cardboard you just cut.

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Sew the long edges together, then center that seam on the top of your piece and press seam open with iron. With that seam still centered, stitch one end closed.  Turn down the other end and stitch around the top edge. Then turn right side out. You’ve just made a cover for your bottom piece.

20170927_153727Just slide your cardboard in this sleeve and fold under the open edge. Place flat in the bottom of your bag.20170927_154420TaDa! You’ve made a Church tote! You can always expand your design from here. Add pockets or fabrics…..Customize it! Make it your own! 20170928_220347Enjoy!

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Blessings

Today’s post is going to be a little different….Not about the grands this time, but about Me! So…have you ever spent money you didn’t have to spend? I did. And I would do it again! Let me tell you what happened to me…

Snapchat-1646391312As you know, I stopped working about a month ago to stay home and keep my grand-baby, which I Love doing! I’ve been doing some crafting to make a little money. But, honestly, sales have been slow. I’ve also posted a few things for sale on social media, but haven’t been having much luck there either.

Last week I had an opportunity to do something for someone else. Someone I love. Something good. Something they needed.  Something the Lord wanted me to do. I knew I was supposed to do it, but truth be told….I didn’t have the money.  I don’t mean to say I’m broke, I HAD the money…but it was for ME, you know, my “cushion”, my “what if”, my “just in case” money.  But God TOLD me to use it. I knew it, I felt it, I heard it. So what do you do when GOD tells you to do something? You DO IT! So I handed over my check.

So I’m crafting, and I’m searching online, and I’m reading articles on “How to Make Money Blogging” and I’m praying…… But I’m not praying about the money, I’m praying for the person I used the money for. I’m praying that God moves in their life and shows them how important they are. And how Loved they are. And how Blessed they are! I prayed that they would Listen, and hear with their heart and not just their ears.

2 days after this began, I found out that the person I was praying for, was getting the Grace they needed, the blessing they deserved. I knew they would. Not just because of my prayers, and the prayers of many others, but because of where they were, and what they were doing, and what was being done for them. I knew because someone had once done the same for me. They showed me Grace.

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied Grace” 1 Peter 4:10

On day 3, as I am getting dressed for church, one of the items I had had posted for sale, for a while, SOLD! And later that afternoon I was contacted about another, and sold that one too! I didn’t give it much thought until later that night, and then it hit me! Guess how much they totaled? Go ahead, Guess! The exact amount I had given! EXACT! Now tell me that isn’t GOD!!  I know I would have been fine without it, but WOW, my God is Great! Not only did he show me that he would provide, but he gave me the gift of being a Blessing to someone!

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might think or ask” Ephesians 3:20

So, what I want to tell you my friends, is that when the LORD tells you to do something, DO IT! HE WILL PROVIDE! Give when you are asked. Serve when you can serve. Do for others and you also will be Blessed! Be a blessing! And to those of you who understand, let me just say…DeColores! And God Bless!

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19

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Liebster Award

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I received this  nomination for the Liebster Blogger Award from  at Life Style By Ang, it is a lifestyle blog by a lovely Swedish lady who writes about many products, travel and other things she is passionate about. I hope you will go check out her blog!

This award is for smaller blogs in order for them to gain more publicity and build a network. It is also for bloggers get to know other bloggers and build a network.

She gave me a few questions to answer so here goes :

  1. Where are you from?  I live in Oxford, Mississippi. Home of “Ole Miss” college. And I am one of the few people living in this town that cares little for college football!
  2. What made you wanting to start blogging? I enjoy writing and sharing experiences, and being a Grandmother has been one of my best experiences yet! After reading some other blogs, I thought, I want to do that! So I did!
  3. How long have you had your blog? I’ve only been blogging for about 3 months.
  4. What is favorite topic to blog about? Grand-parenting, of course!
  5. If you can give one advice to someone who wants to start a blog, what advice would it be? Do Your Research! I can write and post pictures all day, but I am still trying to figure out the technical stuff like Widgets, Plug ins, and Affiliates!
  6. Which is your favorite social media platform for promoting your blog? Facebook is my best platform to promote my blog. Since I’ve had FB for several years, I link everything to my personal page. I have Pinterest too, but that’s as far as I’ve made it so far.
  7. If you could choose any sponsor to work with, what company would you choose and why? I really don’t know… I have been trying to find markets that coincide with my niche but am not having much luck…..Anyone have suggestions!!

 

I will now nominate 4 other blogs to the Liebster Award and you will need to answer the below questions and read the rules below.

  1. Where are you from?
  2. What made you wanting to start blogging?
  3. How did you choose your niche?
  4. How often do you post?
  5. What advice would you give to new bloggers?
  6. If you have Affiliate markets, how did you find them?
  7. What ways do you use to try and gain followers?

 

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to them on your blog.

2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.
(Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)

3. Answer the questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.

4. Provide random facts about yourself.

5. Nominate blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers.

6. Create a new list of questions for the nominees to answer.

7. List these rules in your post.

8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

 

For more information on this award and what to do next click here

Check out the recommended rules

You may browse nice images to display on your site here

Labor Day

Holiday weekend! How did y’all spend yours?

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The Hubs and I bought a small RV last year, so we took a little camping trip to Grenada Lake, MS. I have a family reunion this time every year, so this made us a little closer to the meeting location. Ever been camping with 4 small dogs? Whew, it’s a little bit of a struggle! The best thing we’ve purchased so far, was a puppy play pen. Makes life a lot easier than trying to take them out on leashes! 20170902_201301.jpg

 

So we arrived at the campground Saturday around noon and got things set up. Sunday lunch was spent visiting family and that afternoon we had my sister, her girls, all our kids and grand-kids at the campsite. That’s 16 people. (and 4 dogs, Lol). We grilled, we ate, we played Uno, and we painted rocks! Yes, I’m serious! Have you heard of “Kindness Rocks”? Well, different places have started their own little groups of rock painters, and Grenada is one!  The concept is to decorate your rocks however you choose, then hide them, posting clues on the corresponding Facebook page for others to find them and either re-hide or keep them. Screenshot_20170903-202154We had so much fun; kids and adults alike! And after all our company had left the campsite I actually got to see some other campers out looking for our rocks. I was so excited, Ha ha! Something so simple was so much fun!  So if your area participates, try it! And if they don’t, Start it! It’s a great way to spark a little creativity, keep the kiddos busy a while, get some exercise and spend time together!

Now, all that being said, this morning we got up, packed up our campsite, headed home, and Crashed! We are exhausted! But I can’t think of a better reason to be so tired!

Happy Labor Day 2017!

Proverbs 22:6  Start children off on the way they should go. and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Don’t Blink

Well, I consider my first week of being a stay-home Mimzi a success. I will say that I had forgotten how much attention an infant requires, but little Emy is a pleasure and we are establishing our routine.

Today, Saturday, I spent the day watching my oldest grand, Ryder, play baseball. As I sat there sweating, and cheering on the team,  I remembered back to when it was my own kids out there. (Which seems like yesterday) One advantage of being a younger grandparent is still being able to attend events such as ballgames, cheer-leading events and recitals. I don’t remember the grandparents being as involved back in the day.  My mother had health issues that kept her from being able to come to my kids games and events that took place out in the weather. She did attend what she could indoors though. But I don’t remember seeing many other grandparents around then either. Maybe it’s my memory….. Or maybe now it’s a way of us trying to hang on to some of our youth! Anyway, today I was Hot, Happy, Hungry, Tired….And above all BLESSED to be able to watch as much as I can of my little Angels as they grow so quickly!

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So Grands, if you are able, give up some days to drive, go sweat, or freeze, be uncomfortable, clap, cheer, congratulate, console, compliment…….make memories! ‘Cause in the blink of an eye, they are grown and we are gone. The only way we live on is through them. Give them something to remember!

Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. Proverbs 17:6

 

My New Chapter!

Today is the first page in a new chapter of my life! I left my full time job to stay home!! I’m so excited for this journey! I hope to expand on my Blog and develop new crafts and creations while keeping my newest grand-baby 3 days a week!

My challenge for today was just trying to figure out what to do first! I’m sure that I will establish a pattern in the coming weeks, but today was just WEIRD! Lol. It’s been Forever since I didn’t have to get up and be Somewhere!

I have SO MANY things I want to do in addition to taking care of my family. Sewing, painting, paper crafts, cooking, gardening, learning new recipes….. You get the idea! It’s hard for a crafty person to narrow down decisions!  But I started with paper crafting today. I worked on some scripture cards and Bible Tabs. Tomorrow, while my little nugget is here with me, I will try some more quiet crafts, like cutting out quilt blocks or painting.

I posted the first of my scripture cards on my Crafts & DIY page. Go take a Look! And please pray for me as I embark on this new phase of life!

“Whatever you do,  work at it with all your heart, as working for the LORD, not for man.” Colossians 3:23

 

Manners – The Forgotten Art

In our high-paced, busy lifestyles, sometimes the most basic things get left behind and forgotten.  Today’s parents are working full time jobs, sometimes multiple jobs, to provide for their families. Where before, parents had more time to spend at home with their children. Teachers are focused on their school curriculum. We check grades, scores, and reports. We worry about the courses they they take to insure their future professions.  But do most parents take the time to try and instill morals and manners? Your child could have a 4.0 GPA and numerous Degrees, but if they are rude, and don’t know how to be respectful in public, is that degree going to do them any good in the future? Nope.

Now, I realize most parents teach the basic “Yes Ma’am” and “No Sir”, but what about manners on the phone, or proper behavior in a store, or when making appointments? And are you setting a good example of this yourself? Times have changed, and in this world where we don’t even go to the bathroom without our cell phone,  and we run from one appointment to the next, etiquette hasn’t seemed to evolve. So, lets take a quick course in the forgotten art of Manners…. for modern day….

Let’s start with when making a phone call to a business. First, go to an area where there is minimal noise. Turn down your tv or radio, walk away from your friends, wait til the baby stops crying, you get the idea…I hope. Please, spit out whatever gum, food or candy is in your mouth and speak in a clear tone of voice. Then, when the person you are calling answers, GIVE YOUR NAME. ” Hi, this is  Blah Blah”. This is nice to know BEFORE you get into the reason for the call. Ask for the correct person to address your need. Get to the point. The person on the other end of the phone does not need to know all the circumstances that lead up to you making your call. The magic words, “Please” and “Thank you” never went out of style…..USE THEM!! Write down the info you are given. It is YOUR responsibility to remember the information you are told. Not the person on the phone’s responsibility to remind you.

When on your phone in a public place….remember, this is a PUBLIC PLACE! If the conversation gets emotional, or loud, tell the person you will call them back when you leave. Save your opinions, profanity, wild stories, or other inappropriate information for the privacy of your car or home. I don’t want to listen to your foul language in line at the department store and I can guarantee you that mother in line doesn’t want her kids to hear (and possibly repeat) what you are saying either.  And those employees in that store are not there for your every wish and desire. They are there to do a job. Don’t make it any harder. You are not at a playground, or a club, act appropriately.

And finally, when you are being seen, treated, waited on, served, whatever situation that requires face to face interaction, PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE! Anytime you enter a professional office or business, your phone should be silenced and put away. It’s common courtesy. You WILL survive this short period of time without texting, checking social media, or watching videos. Give the person in front of you your full attention. Do not text while you are being spoken to. Be respectful. Just because this person is working,  and trying to accommodate your needs, does not mean they are any less a person than you. Always treat people as your equal…….because they are! Also, people make mistakes. This is not an excuse for you to be rude. Always ask yourself if you would want to be talked to the way you are talking to that person. Try to be pleasant and kind to everyone and you will find that you will be treated the same in return.

Often I think back to how I was raised and think to myself, “If I had acted like that my Momma would have knocked me into next week!” (not really, but she would have straightened me out quickly!) Are people so self absorbed today that they don’t find it necessary to treat others with respect? I understand that with email and texting, regular conversations are much less common than they were when I was young, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for poor attitudes and bad manners. Teach the basics…Manners, Morals, Respect, Courtesy, and no matter if your child grows up to be a CEO or a janitor, you will be proud of the adult they become!

 

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

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A Look Back

Today’s parents can’t imagine raising their children in a time where they can’t call their cell phone or track them on an app to locate them? Yet somehow, we all survived just that!  Was life so much safer then? Or were we all just oblivious to the dangers out there? I wonder….

Let’s look back at a few of the things today’s grandparents lived through that would be considered careless, or even illegal today:                                                                                  I’m pretty sure the day my parents brought me home from the hospital, my mother just held me in her arms (probably in the front seat!).                                                      Remember those tiny little orange flavored baby aspirin that were given for every fever and pain?                                                                                                                                               As a young child, I rode in the car, not only without a seat-belt, but on the center armrest in the front seat. As an older child, I often rode in the back of a pickup truck.                   We didn’t have air conditioning, instead, we had box fans in the windows.                       My friends and I often had slumber parties in a tent in the back yard.                            When I started 7th grade, I walked to and from school, alone. Can you imagine??                                                                                                                                              In order to do research I actually had to go to a library and look up facts in books and encyclopedias.                                                                                                                                     Until I was a teenager (when we got our first microwave) we had to use the stove to warm any food.                                                                                                                                       During the summer months, I left the house on my bicycle and rode to my friends’ houses, the library or the public pool. As long as I was home before the street lights came on, all was good!

Today, we have cellphones and GPS to know where our family members are at any given time.                                                                                                                                           Medications are monitored more closely. My grandchildren are given very few medicines without a thorough Google search, and/or a conversation with a health care provider.                                                                                                                                              Car seats are mandatory to even leave the hospital with your newborn baby. And it is now illegal for driver or passengers to ride in a motor vehicle without a seat-belt.                                                                                                                                                Central heat and air are quite common these days.                                                                Children rarely walk anywhere alone anymore.                                                                            I would have an anxiety attack if my grandkids stayed in a tent anywhere.                       And I hope that my old encyclopedias will make me rich as a collectors’ item one day!

Yes, times have changed over the past 50 years. For better or worse is sometimes hard to say. Things seemed much simpler back then, didn’t they? Days weren’t as hurried.  People didn’t seem as stressed.  We didn’t have a lot, but what we had was everything.

So I wonder, does easier and faster make life better……….or in our constant rush, do we only strive to do more, instead of taking the time to enjoy what we have already accomplished?

 

Psalm 118:24  This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

 

Summertime

In the South, this time of year is known for heat, mosquitoes, watermelon, and sweet tea. These things haven’t changed over the years….or have they?

I don’t remember it being quite so hot when I was young. I wonder if it’s my memory that’s off or was it my internal thermostat? Even in today’s heat my grand kids would much rather play outside than indoors.

When I was a teenager, summer mornings were spent working in my grandparents’ garden. I remember rows and rows of vegetables. There were peas to pick, potatoes to dig, squash, tomatoes, pole beans and fruit trees. How did they do it? Plowing, planting, hoeing, weeding and whatever else took place in the heat of the day to make a garden grow. Am I the only one who had to shell peas in order to watch t.v.? I had purple thumbs for weeks! Now, most vegetables are purchased at the store or the Farmer’s Market. Are there any Grandparents that still grow a garden? Any that still can and preserve? Something I wish I had paid more attention to. It seems that when we have the time to learn things, we don’t have the interest, And when we have the interest, we don’t have the time? Now it all seems like a lost art….

But we still have watermelon, sweet tea…..And Mosquitoes!!

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Today’s Energy Crisis

Grandparents today are not what they used to be. Back in “the Day”, most of us had grandparents that stayed at home, their working days behind them. They occupied their time with gardening, crafting, cooking, homemaking, and grandchildren.

Today’s grandparents can’t imagine such a life. Most of us still work full or part-time jobs and struggle just to keep the laundry done! It seems that the age of grandparents is getting younger but the age we can afford to retire is getting older! Whats up with that?

How many grandparents out there are in their 50’s and 60’s and get to stay home and not work? And how do you do it?

I currently work a full-time job, Monday – Friday. On weekends there are the usual household duties; laundry, cleaning, yard work, fixing things, etc….. And as hard as I try to keep up with these things during the week, I just come home too tired. Why doesn’t our energy level as long as our work schedules do?

So, where is our time to enjoy our  grand babies? Those sweet little blessings that are our reward for surviving our kids’ teenage years. And then there are their schedules; school, baseball, dance, soccer or whatever other activities are in season. By the time our schedules allow us to get together, I’m usually too tired to be any fun! I always wanted to be a Fun Grandparent! And sometimes I feel like I’m failing miserably! I need more time, more energy! Or a Clone!!

Psalm 127:3  Children are a gift from the Lord, a reward from him.

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