Friday, December 16, 2011

And last but not least...

...the beloved teacher. This being the last day before the Christmas vacation, Pickles didn't want to show up empty handed. She still didn't have a gift for Ms. S,  her wonderful teacher this morning! Being the only non-teacher in a family full of teachers, I once got solid advice from my sister with regards to gifts. "please, don't give me a teacher-themed gift!!"  Duly noted. So now we try to make personalized gifts that do not have to do with teaching...

Well, a quick rummage through the craft supply boxes rendered the ingredients for a sweet, quickie ornament.

- decorative craft paper (This teacher gives a lot of story writing assignments and Pickles LOVES writing. Her choice was a print that looks like a hand written letter)
- small embroidery hoop
- a letter sticker
- ribbon

Using pinking shears, she cut a circle just a bit bigger than the embroidery hoop. Then she wrote a personal message on the back of the paper.

She placed the sticker on the paper, put the paper in the hoop and added the ribbon.

Ta-Da! Here's Pickles modeling her handmade ornament.

And here's Chief McD photo-bombing her with his best Jimmy Durante impersonation.
Merry Christmas Ms. S!!

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Color me Christmas

One of the best things about Christmas is doing fun projects with my kids. We usually wind up making something for a class party and that's alright by me. This year, Pickles McD decided on a fun and super easy party favor/gift for her classmates; a swirly, multi-color, Christmas shaped crayon is what each boy and girl will get!

The project is so simple, when you see it, you WILL want to try it out! You'll need:
-a BUNCH of crayons (We broke out our HUGE coffee tub full of leftovers from boxes and boxes of crayons, from school year after school year, OY!)
-a silicone muffin/cookie molder
-knife (for grown-ups to use)
That's it. Let's get started.

Peel and chop up your crayons. Pickles McD did the peeling while Chief McD and I did the chopping.

When all the crayons are chopped up, fill up the silicone muffin molder with crayon bits. Bake for 15 minutes at 230 dgrees. When they are done, let them cool all the way before popping them out of the mold.

 What you get is a fun swirly crayon with all the colors you threw into the mold.

Wrap them in tissue, stick them on a present or give 'em as party favors! Pickles put each crayon in a cellophane treat bag.

She decorated some cards with  her 'handmade by' stamp on one side and Christmas stamp on the other.

She was super happy with her project and went to school excited to give them out today at the party.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

What does 'joy' mean to you? At Christmas time you see that word eveywhere; cards, banners, sweaters, etc. Different things bring joy to different people. In our house, 'joy' is a simple rule for the best way to live life. It's a way to put things in perspective. It is:
Jesus first
Others second
Yourself last
These letters hang on the wall in our living room to remind us of this philosophy. They're not Christmas-y because they're in our regular living room colors. So, I wanted to dress 'em up a little for a sparkly piece over the mantel. I used our letters (JOY), a corkboard, gold wrapping paper, tinsel and bows.

I cut a piece of paper bigger than the board and for some reason I really wanted the edges to be crinkly so I crinkled 'em.

I stapled tinsle all around the edge.

To attach my letters, I used tacky-tack. Y'know, the yellow stretchy stuff that feels like old gum. It's supposed to be the subject of the pic below on the left but the ding-dang camera kept focusing on the background!!  I also used straight pins for a little more support. No matter that the pins stuck out a bit as they won't be seen from a distance.

Then I embellished with bows I bought at the dollar store.

I hung it over the mantel and it looks great!

JOY; if you practice it, you'll have it!

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