Sunday, December 21, 2014

christmas crafting: teacher gifts

i normally don't get teacher gifts done till valentine's day, but thanks to g's germs last week that gave us extra time at home, i was actually able to make a few this year.

the star of the show was this little jingle bell bracelet.  i first saw them at books a million for $3.99.  what?!  i promptly went to joann's and bought the supplies to make them myself for $20.00.  ha!  isn't that how it always goes?  but!  i've already made eight and have enough to make about that many more (with stretchy string left for years).  they are really fun, quick, and easy to make.  the beads and jingle bells i found on the cheap craft beach aisle and the stretchy string was on the expensive bead aisle.

i added in some candies and made cute tags with bits from my december jbs mercantile kits.  i also stitched up the little plaid bags from a pair of old pj's that i had thrown into the goodwill pile and then pulled it back out to make my scarf.  

here is that first set.  these went to the high school librarians.

then i made this set for g's teachers.  they got the added bonus of expo markers (and boy scout popcorn) as g said they were needing new ones.

i quickie stamped the santa claus (on sale for $1.99!) and had g sign his name as i had run out of time to do anything fancier.

these baggies were made from the sleeves of a shirt scavenged from the goodwill pile.  they went together so quickly!  the ones with the cuffs only had to be stitched on one end even.  now i will definitely be going through the goodwill pile for more useful fabric before i actually take it to goodwill.  ;)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

quality literature: the giver (gathering blue, messenger, son)

i read the giver when it first came out back in '93.  with the recent movie hype, it was brought to mind again and i realized there were three more in the series that i had never read.  i read all four in the quartet this month and loved them just as much as i did when i read the very first.  the thing about young adult literature is that it cuts to the heart of the matter.  these books have a lot of heart.  the first is set in a utopian society.  the second is in a primitive dystopian village.  the third brings the two societies together with a climatic ending and sacrifice.  that could have been the end, but lois lowry wrote one more.  son.  in it she retells the past from a new perspective then brings you back to the future once more.  sadly, the same fight must be waged again.  this time, however, it is much quieter.  anticlimatic, really.  mostly it is just words.  in case you miss this important detail, i will tell you.  there is a great power that resides in contentment.

Friday, December 19, 2014

december daily: i'm a merry little shopper this year

well, i haven't done the first little bit of christmas scrapping, but i've been a merry little shopper this year.  i don't feel too bad about that as i've been abstaining from christmas kits (other than my jbs) for two years now.  i was due for a new infusion!  and now that school is finally out and i'm FREE for two whole weeks, i might even dive in with scissors and glue!

so, first up is my jbs mercantile papercrafting kits.  i got the main kit (shown here), plus the antiquarian (sold out), and artisan (with sweet little wooden vintage inspired ornaments).

just yesterday i snagged kelly purkey's 2014 christmas kit for half price.  there are some still available if you hurry (and you should hurry as it is fabulous and a fabulous deal).

then since i was splurging anyway, i went ahead and got some of the sweet bits i'd been eyeing at ashley calder's shop, things that shine.  i picked up the vintage wrapping paper kit (shown), plus some wood veneer, glitter bows, and diecuts.  you can even snag a free diecut by signing up for her newsletter.

earlier in the month i snagged the huge and hugely cute eggnog collection from october afternoon on crafty steals for a not huge price.  i added a studio calico sequin collection to the deal to make it extra sparkly.

and finally, i am planning on printing off a few of the free downloadable always trendy vintage inspired tags brought to my attention by wolves of london.

what about you?  have you bought any christmas treats for yourself this year?  (i didn't even mention the old navy shopping spree from last night and the doubles on stocking stuffers and . . . ;).

eta: i knew there was another one!  how could i forget my freckled fawn christmas embellishment kit?  so cute and festive and sparkly!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

quality literature: the ocean at the end of the lane

neil gaiman is brilliant.  he creates such beauty with the english language and his imagination is boundless.  where he finds these stories i do not know, but i'm glad he does.  this one is not too long and very enjoyable.  the story is unique.  the best comparison that i can make as far as genre goes is ransom riggs' tales.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

deck the halls 2014: oh, christmas tree!

i am quite charmed by our tree this year.  i'm going to go ahead and say that it's the nicest one we've ever had.  it's not that tall, right around six feet, but it's fat and thick (as evidenced by the ELEVEN strands of lights that it required).  the cheery glow is so pleasant on these grey winter days.

i took a few snaps of some of my favorite ornaments.  i think i could take a few snaps every year and not repeat myself as they're pretty much all my favorites.  i love that i have a colorful hodgepodge tree.  i began collecting ornaments in my tween years and haven't looked back.  every ball and bauble has a story.  i'm thinking i should start recording those stories before i forget.  like the fox in the top photo.  that was last year's acquisition and directly related to THAT song.  i HAD to have a fox ornament last year.  had to.  and once i saw the cracker barrel one, it was a done deal that that would be the fox i brought home.  unfortunately, i saw it at a friend's house and they were already sold out everywhere.  crying buckets i was.  but then a festivus miracle.  on new year's eve while out with friends, i found one hiding way under a tree at the cracker barrel we happened to stop at.  he was covered with dust bunnies, but brushed off easily.  i love him.  i do.

this one is from my time in guatemala where i began my armadillo collection.

all these sweet little dolls are from a miniature potted christmas tree that i bought for my grandmother when i was a kid.  i can't remember how i ended up with them, but i have adored them for a long time.  i should try to make some next year.

go seminoles!  i think my mom got me this one while i was in college.

and my mom went through a phase where she painted santas on everything.  lightbulbs, tin cans, oyster shells.  they were all way cute as you can see.

i crocheted that snowflake.  can you believe it?  obviously, this happened pre-child.

when my granny passed away, my mom and aunts were going through her things and let us (cousins) take a few ornaments.  this angel was one that i kept.

i let g pick out an ornament one christmas and this is what he chose.  obviously from the early elementary dino years.

a nod to my florida roots.  my mom didn't actually paint this one, but she definitely painted santas on starfish.

another giftie from mom.  she was good about getting me a new ornament or two to add to my collection each christmas.  this one is avon and way too cute.

and this one just melts me heart.  g "made" it for me in daycare.  look at that sweet baby face . . . (gushing ensues).

Monday, December 15, 2014

me on monday: scarf season

me on monday.  i don't even know where to start.  (hello childhood santa that hasn't seen the light of day since g was three or so) i am flitting about in so many different directions.  not at school.  that is where i'm not.  the boy child has an ear infection (of all things) and an excessive amount of snot.  i finally did get dressed (in the same outfit i've been "getting dressed in when not in my pjs" for the last three days) to run to the dollar general for more lights for the insatiable tree that has taken up residence in our living room.  the third such run in three days.  the tree is finally well lit.  the ornaments will probably take another three days as i'm having to rehang each one after he hangs it.  hey.  he knows his mom is ocd at times.  then i get distracted with the teacher gift ideas i'm working on.  the tortilla soup i cooked for our lunch.  maybe peanut butter cookies later.  housework, perhaps?  oh, wait.  maybe lights up outside?  that would be revolutionary . . .

and, of course, making my sick son take photos of me in my new scarf to embarrass myself with all over the interweb.  i've never been a scarf person.  i grew up in florida, after all.  but my wool coat was annoying me around the neckline, so i started borrowing g's scarf and dude.  there is something to be said for scarves.  i made myself this one yesterday out of discarded pj's from the goodwill pile.  one pair had a blowout in the butt and the other pair was from circa 1990 and had a waistline entirely too high for my current comfort levels.

i originally planned on it being one layer of alternating squares with the rough edges showing.  i know; that looked rather, well, unfinished.  so i ended up piecing together the leftover bits to make a back layer.  i sewed these two pieces together inside out, leaving a little hole in the end to pull the right side through (then stitching shut the little hole).  after thoroughly ironing it, i decided to sew around the entire perimeter to keep it all in good shape.  fun times  i can't wait to wear it to school tomorrow.  i have informed g that he cannot be sick for another day as i have way too many mid-terms to read and my students would have panic attacks if i'm not there to help them . . .

joining with fair sian fair and "me on monday."  how has your monday been?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

masterful scrapbook design: beautiful (lol)

this is the last of the project life spreads i made for the last of the layouts i made for the july issue of masterful scrapbook design: product play.  it is such a fun magazine/class/seminar.  you can check it out HERE.

these pages were all made with a (heidi swapp heavy) kit i curated for the class.  the little jenni bowlin studio girl was not part of the original kit.  she was a little off stamp impression leftover from another page i had worked on recently.  when i needed something to for that frame, she was the perfect fit.  i just love how she puts "me" on the page even though i am in none of the pictures.

 here is the spread that includes a layout from the same day.

i was especially tickled in my "product play" to use six of those pesky project life cards that i seem to have been collecting, but not often using.