I’ve had this project in my head for years but finally took the time to make it up this weekend. This is a sturdy canvas bag to keep in the back of my car. It’s filled with items to keep my kids occupied in waiting rooms, at a sibling’s soccer practice, during a long restaurant wait, or similar. It contains a set of high-quality wax crayons, a full set of colored pens, pretty coloring books (we like many of the Dover ones, including this one), learn-to-draw books, and blank book, and a book of games and puzzles. We don’t actually call our homeschool “DeWees Academy,” but it seemed like a cute thing to put on the outside of the bag.
I put in a zipper closure so all the crayons don’t fall out.
This little pencil case goes inside and holds the writing tools.
This is another bag I made at the same sitting. I don’t carry a diaper bag for Daphne, but have a large zippered pouch in my purse that holds all her necessary items. My previous pouch was unlined to keep the bulk in my purse to a minimum, but unfortunately that also made it flimsy, and it was falling apart. This new one is made from home dec scraps from another project and lined with a thrift-store sheet. Ever since I bought an assortment of colorful zippers from Amazon.com I make a lot more pouches! But new, handy little bags are always helpful. This one already has been.
With this winter’s crazy displacement of the polar vortex nastiness, it was starting to feel like there would never come a time when I would not have to leave the house with 4 hats, 3 scarves, and 8 mittens or gloves each time I needed to run a simple errand. And if it seemed difficult to get three children dressed for errands in sub-freezing temperatures, that was nothing compared to trying to return to the house with the same number of things. Kids shed winter-wear (including coats) in inconvenient places almost constantly, and it seemed that by the end of a shopping trip (or field trip, or dentist visit, or whatever) I started to resemble a coat tree more than a mother. My answer to this was to sew myself the World’s Largest Canvas Tote Bag. It’s the same dimensions as my laundry bags from a previous post, which were modeled after the TJ Maxx reusable shopping bags. It’s big enough to hold everyone’s discarded outerwear, plus one large plastic fire truck. Don’t ask me how I know. It has served its purpose well. I embroidered my initials on it to make it feel more like an accessory and less like Mom’s a Sucker, but the free font I used turned out to be worth about what I paid for it–I don’t love it. The monogram doesn’t diminish the utility, however, and I’m happy to have solved my missing mitten problem.
Here’s Daphne modeling some of her warm winter handmades. The dress is a larger version of this green one from a previous post. It’s such a nice pattern.
We celebrated Fat Tuesday homeschool-style, with homemade pralines, jambalaya in the crock pot, and these craft foam masquerade masks. Now that Dorothy is old enough to be confident with the glue gun it has really opened the realm of crafty possibilities. She’s done a lot with craft foam lately, which has the ease of working with paper but the feeling of permanence you get from working with fabric. We cut out the masks based on an internet template, and Dorothy glued the baubles according to her and her brother’s preferences, then finished them off with soda straws. My older kids wore green hats from Target on St. Patrick’s Day, but Daphne got a homemade crocheted hat. I used a baby cloche pattern from Ravelry. She was the cutest little leprechaun in Kentucky, I’m sure.
This tote bag was inspired by the fabric, which I saw recently at my local Hobby Lobby and had to buy on the spot. When I saw it I knew I had to buy it, and that it needed to become a tote bag. The print has the shapes of all the states and their capitals and some cute little picture associated with each state. Kentucky, appropriately enough, has a horse. I didn’t use a pattern but cut the shape similar to one I saw in a book recently. I attached the straps like tank-top straps instead of tote bag straps, so the bag kind of scrunches up when I carry it. I thought this would be a fun tote for our summer journeys, whether or not we actually leave our own state. It seems like warm weather always sees me throwing water bottles, sunhats, and a snack or two in a bag and heading out the door. Of course I had to incorporate my new embroidery machine toy into the project somehow, so I put my initials on the front pocket.
I lined the bag with a thrift-store sheet for added body and durability, and put a pocket inside and made a little button tab closure to keep all our goodies from spilling out. Now I just need some more warm, pretty days like today to use it! There is something very satisfying, when one is pregnant, about buying or making something that will not be outgrown over the course of the next few months.