Archive for February, 2011

I {heart} teachers

I know that teacher gifts aren’t the norm for this particular holiday, but I felt like doing something to make up for those horrid preschool Valentines. Okay, okay. They were so bad that my ego was shot, and I needed a quick fix. So, I whipped up three simple altered composition books for Joe’s teachers. They were bright, cheerful, cleanly modern, and easy to make. (I can’t find online instructions to match exactly the way I do it, but this is a decent video to give you the basic how-to. If you’re going for a really distressed look, you just trim the cover/inside exactly to size, then sand and ink like crazy to avoid wrapping. (Note: regardless of method, I prefer using thinner single-sided papers over cardstock or thick double-sided papers.) Note to self: check teacher initials in photo layout before uploading.

But I couldn’t leave it at that. I wanted to do something nice for the admin staff too. I saw this darling (and huge) heart box in the background of a Martha Stewart show. Of course, I didn’t bother to look up the instructions. My smaller version turned out fine on the fly, but I’d recommend reading the how-to to save yourself some trouble.

In lieu of candies, I opted for double chocolate chip cupcakes sprinkled with powdered sugar to give it more of a chocolate box appeal. I wrapped the whole thing in satin ribbon and hand-delivered to school this morning. Hope they liked it!

When Valentine’s Day (crafts) go wrong

I say, just go with it…at least I did for my kid’s first Valentine’s card exchange at preschool, even if they are quite horrible.

I thought I had a cute idea using supplies on hand: little jean pockets with a fake stitching into which I inserted a stamped tag that the kiddo colored and signed. And the tag was a kangaroo. Pocket. Kangaroo. Get it? Ugh. I know. They were ok, but they seemed…not enough. Maybe it was because I cheaped out and used my kid’s construction paper instead of cardstock (knowing that they’d be tossed or destroyed immediately). Then I found the cutest little (inexpensive) heart-shaped notebooks and pencils at Target, and decided to add those to the mix. Problem solved, right? Wrong. The notepads were a tad too big and the pencil wouldn’t stay in the pocket. And, worse, I hadn’t used sufficient adhesive and they were falling apart.

So, I had a choice. Toss and redo, maybe something that the kiddo could make himself…or try to fix what was wrong. Sometimes I really hate that I can’t be wasteful. I tried to save the Valentine’s. I sewed them together with the machine, so the stitching is real. I added ribbon (stapled around the pencils). The pencils still slip out, but hopefully most kids will get them. (The notepad does fit partway if inserted sideways.)

After all of that, Joe’s teacher didn’t hand out Joe’s valentines with all of the others. Talk about insult to injury. Thanks to a moment of grace, I didn’t burst into tears and toss them in the trash. In all fairness, it wasn’t her fault and she offered to hand them out tomorrow. Great, nothing like having cruddy work stand out on its own…ugh. Note to self: next time, just keep it cute and simple!