Sunday, May 31, 2009

Thank You Teachers!!

School finished up the '08-'09 year on Friday. We were crazy fortunate that our son had the most Fabulous teacher this last year. Not only is she an outstanding teacher, but she was also the perfect fit for our boy! He grew and thrived in her classroom and we will certainly miss seeing her daily next school year!

Confession time! Like many of us, I am addicted to dollar departments. Every time I enter Target or Michael's, the gravitational pull toward the Dollar Spot or that lovely dollar aisle seems to be unbreakable. My daughter will ask, "Mama, where you driving?" (aka where am I pushing her in the shopping cart to?!)'t stop now!!! And even worse, those fabulous one dollar craftables go into the ever growing collection at home and just wait and wait and wait and wait.....and wait to be used!!

But, this time, when I bought this adorable mini watering can, I knew exactly what I would be using it for.......a perfect little pencil holder for our perfect teacher! I wrapped a piece of Pure Poppy stitched grosgrain ribbon around the neck, adhering the whole piece with my ATG. I then made a bow, threaded two buttons with SU's hemp twine, and tied the whole thing together, knotting it in front of the top button. I adhered the bow embellishment to the Pure Poppy ribbon at the neck of the watering can with Fabri-Tac. This is a fabulous adhesive, especially for bulky tied ribbons and is a perfect item to coupon at Michael's!

When it came time to adhere the mini chalkboard, I used a new glue...well, new to me, that is...Zip Dry Paper Glue. Laying down a line of the glue onto the watering can, using the button as a centering line, I placed the chalkboard on top of the glue. It wiggled quite a bit, so I just held it tight for about five minutes and then it held and didn't budge! The most difficult part of this little project was writing with chalk on the mini chalkboard. Thankfully, I was able to erase and start over....many, many times! I finally realized that my handwriting did not need to be perfect, but rather, it was most important that it was legible and that I got all of the letters into that space!

When I made Mom's Mother's Day gift, I did not realize that I would become hooked on Lauren Meader's Timeless Templates. Yes, I should have known better!! Again diving into my tubs of delightful craftables, I came up with two little pails that I got at Target Dollar spot, two for $1. I checked out all of Lauren's templates and their measurements and discovered that the one that would fit more than one of the pails is one of the templates that I already have...yay! After trying to print "From the Desk of" and arguing with my printer that was not taking the cardstock (it took it the last time, so I think it has multiple personalities!), I printed the templates out on regular printer paper and just layered it on top of the cardstock to cut and score. And do you know what?! I like making the template better that way!! I didn't think I would, but I do and have the added bonus that the score lines are not printed on my project, distracting the eye!

What was even more delightful than these cute little craftables was that this became a major use my stash project! The patterned paper came out of an old Die Cuts With A View Fall stack and was inked with some Distress Ink. I made a ribbon flower by twisting and folding one piece of ribbon at each petal (kind of like how a cause ribbon is folded - pink for Breast Cancer, red for Aids or Heart Disease, etc.) and adhering each layer of ribbon with Fabri-Tac. The layered buttons were tied off with more hemp twine and then instead of tying them on to the flower, which would have changed its shape, I used more Fabri-Tac to adhere the buttons to the top of the flower.

I filled the mini pails with colorful paper clips & binder clips that were in my office supplies. And into the mini watering can went our perfect teacher's favorite brand of pencils, Ticonderoga. It took forty-eight pencils, I think. I wanted a little extra something that she could use at home as I suspected she would keep the other items in the classroom, so I included seed packets for zucchini, french leeks, and carrots for her garden. I thought they still tied in with the gift because of the cute watering can!

Lastly, I would really like to thank all the wonderful teachers that teach our children, guide them through their learning adventures, and help them thrive! I would like to thank all the parents who get involved in their kidlets' education. And I also want to thank everyone who supports the schools in their communities, whether or not you have kidlets attending. Without such strong community support in our town, my son and his classmates would not have experienced music class, art class, square dancing, spirit days, movie nights, star gazing night, and all the other wonderfully enriching activities that are paid for and put on by the PTO. Our community support is also what provides lots of our technical equipment, field trips, and other educational materials that would not be possible for our little school to have. So, thank you again to all who support their community schools and help provide the education and enrichment that is necessary for all of our kidlets to thrive and hopefully return that generosity for the next generation!!

Cardstock: Pure Poppy - PTI
Ink: Weathered Wood - Distress Ink by Ranger
Patterned Paper: Fall Stack - DCWV
Ribbon: Pure Poppy Stitched 5/8" Grosgrain - PTI; Natural Hemp Twine - SU!
Buttons: Stash....if I had to guess, I would guess either SEI and/or Autumn Leaves
Other: Mini Chalkboard - Darice


  1. Oh Karen, that is so beautiful!!! What a creative and thoughtful gift. I love you letter of thanks. Your soooo cute!!!!

  2. "A+" for adorable project!!!! I just love everything you did!

    And we are exactly in the same boat for our itty bitty school... If our PTCO had not forked over the dollars (and thus, had boat load of fundraisers) our kids would have missed out on all sorts of enrichment opportunities....

    Yeah! Summer is here!!!!!

    Now I have to get some of that glue, and the templates...

  3. Hi Karen!
    Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog! And AMEN to this post! I really love what you made!I wish I would have done something like this for my daughter's teacher! So cute!!!!!! I'm gonna have to try to make a flower now!!! Fabri-Tac huh, gotta get me some of that!
    xOxO deb

  4. Wow is all I can say!!!! Absolutely beautiful, and a thoughtful gift for a woman who sounds wonderful. Thank you for supporting and spreading the news about supporting schools...we teachers can't do much without the whole community behind us, even if they don't have kids in school.
    Happy summer vacation! (21 more days for me...but who's counting?)

  5. This is so perfectly cute! Your sons teacher will know for sure how appreciated he/she is.

  6. What a fabulous teacher's gift! I'm sure she'll love it and such a great way to use your stash. Those dollar spots can be so addicting. I try to look and not touch or else I might buy.

  7. You are so cute! Those teacher folks are going to LOVE these! You're awesome, Kare! You really hit the ball out of the park! I can so relate to how much you attached to the boy's teacher! I still get weepy thinking about my boy's first teachers! Sometimes they actually get BETTER each year! So who knows what next year will bring! Something tells me that with as attentive of a mommy as you are, you guys will be FINE! Great job, girl!

  8. Dearest Karen,
    A big thanks from a fourth grade French immersion teacher! We all so appreciate parents like you who understand the hard work, dedication and LOVE with which we serve your beautiful children. What great gift ideas you have! I just love the watering can with the pencils; one can never have enough pencils. You are a prize! God bless you and your children! Come again next week, Anita

  9. This is adorable! I already made teacher gifts this year but DD is graduating from college with her teaching degree in 2 weeks so maybe she needs one.......thanks for the inspiration!

  10. OMG! These are absolutely fabulous. And the way you have photographed them is incredible. Thanks for the great instructions. I am sure that the teacher loved these gifts. I hear you on the draw of the dollar aisle. Can't afford not to go there!

  11. LOvE the teacher gifts!! I bet the teacher did too!

  12. What a wonderful gift! It sounds like your son's teacher is very deserving of such a clever, pretty gift!
    And yeah...I'm totally hooked on dollar section items too.

  13. GIRL!! how absolutely stinkin' adorable is THIS!! so cute. i love it. glad you had a fabulous teacher. they make all the difference in a childs life.

  14. Fabulous gift! Love the pencils in the watering can!

  15. Oh my GOODNESS! This is the perfect gift! I love that you customized the template with your hand made and gorgeous embellishments, paper stash and the fun containers from the dollar spot. YOu really can't beat the size of the "from the desk of" much room from two little sheets of paper. You have made your gift so special and have motivated me to get going on my last teacher gift of the school year. I am with you, thanks to all of the teachers, school volunteers and community people who make our little schools so great!

  16. These are such lovely teacher gifts! You are inspiring me to get going on some gifts for my kids teachers too - love the chalkboard idea!



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