Thursday, May 14, 2015

New Birds in the Flock

If you have been following this blog and read the posts regarding my classroom at school you will know that I love owls.  Well several weeks ago I received two new friends to add to my flock.  The first was an owl bag that my mother-in-law gave me for my birthday.

My new owl bag.
I love the bag and the owl.  She is so cute with her big bright eyes.  I think this will become m new go bag for travelling to my Craft Class to Go parties.  It has lots of pockets and an nice large middle section so it will hold all my office type items nicely.
The second owl added to the flock was another birthday gift from a friend at work.  He told me that every time he and his wife see an owl they think of me.  How sweet is that! I know I have friends that when I see certain items it reminds me of them and it always makes me smile.  This large owl is a cookie jar and the colors match perfectly to my classroom.  I am not the cookie baking type so she will probably stay at school for now.  Although she might come home for a visit this summer just in case I get the urge to bake something.  It will be more likely that I will get cookies from the store to fill her up.

Owl cookie jar.
It is always a nice surprise when you receive a gift that is just right for you.  The next time I see something that reminds me of one of my friends I think I will buy it and surprise them so they will know they are loved.  Maybe you can do the same for your friends.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Another Baby Shower Gift

As I stated in an earlier post Baby Book Cover Sign there are several pregnant teachers at my school this year.  We just had our second shower so I made another book cover sign for the expectant mom.  She is having a girl so I used a pink and yellow color scheme.

The pink and yellow stripe is soft yet whimsical.  Like the last one I made the clothespin in the middle allowing her to change the picture or sign.  To spell out the baby's name I used a series of scrapbook embellishments that were plastic raised squares in various shades of pink.  I then placed gold letters on the squares.  To finish the bottom edge I glued a wide rick rack in pink to the bottom.  The small sign I attached to the clothespin says "Shh, Baby Sleeping".

These book cover signs are great for a baby gift.  They allow the parents to change out the pictures or notes for a different look each time.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Another Graduation

This week our daughter will graduate from college.  It is hard to believe that just a few short years ago she was graduating from high school.  Her degree is in Elementary Education and she is excited about starting her teaching career.  We are extremely proud of her and all that she has accomplished.

I know she will make a great teacher because when she talks about her students her eyes light up and her whole body becomes animated.  It is nice to see a young person passionate about their career.

As we begin to prepare her classroom I will share her ideas and projects.  She is crazy about sock monkeys so we have already begun to gather sock monkey classroom d├ęcor.  I an making her a sock monkey sign for her door using a book cover and book pages.

Be sure to encourage those young people in your life to pursue their passion for their future career.  Being passionate about what you do can make going to work a fun thing not a burden.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Playing with Clay

I am excitedly preparing for the Kids Craft and Sewing Camps I will be teaching this summer.  I have wanted to teach this type of a camp for a loooooooong time.  So while sitting in the hallway monitoring the standardized testing I decided this was the year. 

As I began to gather ideas of what crafts we would be doing I came across some clay beads I made some time ago.  I remember how much fun it was to twist and mix the colors together and then create a bead or pendant.  This will be one of the crafts the kids will do this summer.  They will graduate from Play Dough to Sculpey clay.  Everyone enjoys playing with clay.

My marbled clay beads.
There are so many different ways you can shape the clay to create beautiful beads, charms and pendants.  The indention in the flowers to give the petals shape was made with a pencil eraser.  I have gathered different utensils the kids can use to give their clay shapes just the right detail.
It will be exciting to share my love of crafting and sewing with the next generation.  I can't wait to see what creative ideas they explore.  If you live in the Fort Worth, Texas area check out my flyer for the Craft and Sewing Camps.  If not, consider offering a camp in your area to share your creative passion with someone younger.  

Craft On!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Baby Book Cover Sign

At my school this year there has been a large group of pregnant teachers roaming the halls. In one grade level all but one teacher is pregnant and he is a man.  I told him I thought he was safe from the pregnancy bug but his wife might not be because she also teaches at our school. 

Well the time has come for the baby showers to begin.  The first one was last week for a teacher who is having a boy.  I wanted to create something simple yet useful for her new bundle of joy.  I decided that a book cover sign would work nicely.

The sign - personalized with the baby's name.
The sign is covered with a scrapbook paper background and wide rick rack on the top and bottom.  The paper and button at the top is glued to a clothespin allowing for the card to be changed. 
The button and circle are glued to a clothespin.
I made the card out of book pages from chapter books and picture books.  The heart says We Love You in the center.  The clothes pin will allow for the mom to change out the card for pictures or other keepsake items. 
The sign without the card attached.
The name was made from stick on letters.  This sign will provide the perfect spot to clip that new photograph or as he grows that freshly painted picture of the flowers and sky.
To wrap the gift for the shower I placed it in a simple brown sack and attached a pin made from scrap fabric and buttons.  The pin can be worn by the mom or clipped to a diaper bag for easy recognition.
Simple gift wrapping.
Now I only have to make a few more for all the other expectant moms in our school.  I might make one for the male teacher just in case.  If you are curious about how to make a book cover sign check out these posts for instructions and ideas.  Valentine's Book Cover Signs, Christmas Signs and Book Cover Sign How To.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Gift Basket for under $20.00

My husband is part of a Barbershop Quartet group.  They recently had a concert and held drawings for gift baskets.  We decided to do a "Kids Snack Quartet" basket as our theme.  Since quartets have four members we selected four of each snack and toy item and placed them in a large plastic bin.

This basket was stuffed with snacks and toys.
We purchased most of the items at the local dollar store.  In the basket was everything from puzzles, flying rockets, sidewalk chalk, gum, candy, popcorn etc.  Most of the items came in multi packs for only $1.00 each.  Our overall total was about $19.00 for everything including the plastic bin.
I then wrapped the basket in plastic and secured it with ribbon and a tag. 
The wrapped basket ready for the drawing.
The tag read "For Future Quartets - Four of Everything"
This basket was quick and easy to put together and would be great for a family that had several kids.  Each child could have their own snack and toy from one basket.  I think I will keep this in mind the next time I need a gift for a family celebration. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Great Birthday Weekend

This last weekend was my birthday so my husband and I took Saturday and celebrated.  We drove about an hour south of our home to an event called Antiques Alley.  It is a 37 mile long stretch of yard sales, flea markets and downtown square festivals.  Click Antiques Alley for their website.

We decided since it had rained fairly heavy the night before that we would check out the downtown square festival first in a small town called Grandview.  This town is in the center of the 37 mile event so we figured it would be a good place to start.  We walked around town and looked at all the booths, garage sales and small flea market area.  After having lunch we headed down the Farm to Market road toward our home.  The next town was only 11 miles away.  It took us two and a half hours to drive 11 miles.

In that 11 miles were three large pasture flea markets of 150+ booths, countless garage sales and  smaller flea market areas.  We stopped at a few of the smaller flea market areas but did not have time to fight our way into the larger ones.  The drive home even though it was bumper to bumper traffic in some areas was very enjoyable.  My first thought as we drove down the FM road was "Where has this event been all my life?" 

As we entered the next small town there were garage sales everywhere.  And I do mean everywhere.  We only drove about 8 blocks and there was a sale at almost every house.  Since we did not have any idea that this event was this large we did not allow nearly enough time to stop at the larger areas.  We made furious notes on the map for next year as we drove past each section.

We did buy a few things and had a great day driving the country roads in the beautiful spring weather in Texas.  With all the rain we have had recently everything was green and in full bloom.  I am planning our visit for next year and will be putting money away starting now.

Here are the few things we bought below.  We did snag a great TV cabinet for our game room for only five dollars (but it is still in the van so I don't have a picture).  We also bought a great graduation gift for our daughter who graduates in a few weeks from college.  Of course there is no picture of that because I don't want to spoil the surprise.

This is the traffic at one of the larger flea markets.
Cars were stacked on each side of the road.

I bought all the plastic toys and cards for a Kids Craft Camp I am
doing this summer.  We will be creating some exciting items with these tools.
If you have an event in your area like Antiques Alley post a comment below so other can find their flea market/garage sale event of a lifetime.  Happy hunting.