Monthly Archives: July 2015

July Card of the Month: Thank You Card

My dad’s birthday is coming up, so I was planning to do a birthday card as July’s card of the month.  However when I was looking through my card file to pick one, I happened to come across this Ball jar thank you card I made several years ago.  I had totally forgotten about it, and when I saw it I wanted to make more – especially given my current fascination with Ball jars.  It’s one my favorites and perfect for summer, so I just had to share it this month instead of a birthday card.  Besides, you could easily turn it into a birthday card if you wanted.

I used this great stamp set that Stampin’ Up sold a few years back to make the card.

Jar and Fillers Stampin' Up Stamp Set

Jar and Fillers Stampin’ Up Stamp Set

It has a Ball jar stamp (ok, I guess it’s actually technically just a mason jar, but still) and a baggie stamp and various stamps of items with which to “fill” the jar and the baggie.  They also sold a companion set with more “filler” stamps.  I have used this set in so many different ways over the years.  It’s so versatile and useful, so if you ever see something similar, I would definitely snap it up if I were you.  I have also seen individual Ball jar stamps more recently at places like Michaels so if you don’t have this particular set or one like it, you’re not out of luck.

I stamped the jar in light blue on white card stock then stamped a green stem and a pink flower coming out of the jar.  I bubble cut around the whole thing.  Then I punched a hole in the top of the jar and tied a little “thanks” (or you could do happy birthday or whatever you choose) stamped rectangle on with twisty wire.  I was into using wire at the time I made this card because it looked really cool.  However I have since decided that wire is a pain to work with and tricky to mail because it tears the envelopes, so when I make this again I will probably use twine instead.  I mounted the whole thing on light pink paper with pop up dots, then mounted that on top of matching printed paper, then stuck the whole thing to a piece of 8 1/2″ X 5 1/2″ white card stock folded in half.  It turned out really cute, and I’m looking forward to making more.  I hope you enjoy too!

New and Improved Art Room!

Now that we are finally (almost) totally settled in after our big move(s), I get a chance to show off my new art room which hopefully will be the source of countless seasonal craft projects to come.  It’s still a work in progress – I have future plans for a matching valance and table skirt made out of fabric scraps in various colors for the window and art table (which is actually our current dining room table and won’t be available for art use until we manage to get a new dining room table).  I also plan to put a Picasso quote that I love up on the wall, “Every child is an artist.”  But at least the room is finally unpacked and organized (which was no small task!!!) and ready for crafting in all seasons.

Most of it is the same as our art room in the old house – Elfa shelves and drawers from the Container Store, the paper cutter and paper cabinet my dad made years ago… but there are a few upgrades that I’ve been dreaming about for years!  First of all, I love the light blue (Sherwin Williams “Watery”) as a background for all the other bright colors and the white furniture.  It feels fresh and energizing and makes me want to do crafts as soon as I walk in the room.  Another new feature is a closet exclusively dedicated to teacher supplies – mainly the monthly units I currently use.  All the rest of my teacher stuff still lives in the garage, but it’s so nice to have a spot to store the units I use throughout the year in a convenient spot that is still out of sight.  Stay tuned – I’m hatching a plan of an ingenious way to store bulletin board materials and borders in this closet as well.  Fingers crossed it works and comes together like I’m planning.  I will be sure to share it if it works!  We also added 3 new Elfa drawers, so now I have drawers for fall, Christmas, winter, and spring crafts (plus 2 more drawers for miscellaneous supplies).  It’s so handy!

Art Room Storage

Art Room Storage

We also have a much easier way to display our daughter’s artwork – which is really the main point of an art room in the first place, isn’t it?  (See the Picasso quote above.)  The best part of our new art room though is space!  There is actually room in our art room to make things – a novel idea, and something we totally lacked at our old house.

I can’t wait to get in there and create – as soon as I finish recovering from the mental and physical exhaustion of moving, which I will admit is taking longer than I anticipated it would.  Perhaps it has something to do with the night owl toddler at our house… Hmmm….  One of these days though, I’m sure the art room will become one of my favorite spots all year round!

Blog 2nd Anniversary

It’s my blog’s anniversary!  Is blogiversary a word?  I’ve been writing weekly blog posts about seasonal events, crafts, cards, traditions, activities, etc. for 2 years now.  I have fun writing them – just a way for me to try to keep being creative.  And of course hopefully become the next Martha Stewart one day and make my millions, you know without the insider trading part.  Thanks to everyone who takes the time to read my blog posts.

I plan to keep sharing fun ideas this coming year too.  I will continue sharing a card for each month, and I also plan to share a poem of the month each month this year.  One of my best classes in college had a fabulous unit about poetry for children, and I’ve loved the idea of children writing poetry ever since.  When I taught kids in “big school” I always used to have my kids write a poem each month to display on a bulletin board.  It was a great way to get kids writing and simultaneously sneak in the fun seasonal activities frowned upon by the school administration.  And, for the record, the kids often produced some of their very best writing for these monthly poems.  So stay tuned for those and other nifty seasonal topics.

Thanks again for indulging me and reading my blog!

Curious George Birthday Party

We recently got to celebrate our daughter’s birthday with some of her little friends.  I absolutely love planning her birthday parties which have so far (lucky me!) all been based on classic children’s books.  It’s like getting to do a whole author study or mega book report in one afternoon – with cake!!  I know that I’m on borrowed time with this before she picks a theme unrelated to children’s literature, but my fingers are crossed that I can hold on a little longer – I have great ideas for both Pigeon and  Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse parties that I’m dying to use…

This year she chose Curious George (or Crazy George as she calls him) for her birthday theme.  I found lots of fun ideas on Pinterest, and came up with some of my own as well.  For food, I served Curious George fruit snacks, Gerber Banana Cookies, cutout cookies in the shape of puzzle pieces (since Curious George eats a puzzle piece in one book),

Puzzle Cookies

Puzzle Cookies

Rice Krispie treats in the shape of monkeys (I used a monkey cookie cutter and both regular and Cocoa Krispies for the heads along with chocolate chips and Twizzlers Pull and Peel for the faces),

Rice Krispie Monkeys

Rice Krispie Monkeys

and yellow hat cakes (Twinkies cut in half and stuck in cake dessert shells).

Yellow Hat Cakes

Yellow Hat Cakes

To decorate the tables, I used banana Runts and puzzle pieces in apothecary jars along with various Curious George toys I found at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon.

Curious George Centerpieces

Curious George Centerpieces

Each child had a newspaper boat (since Curious George makes boats out of newspapers in another book) with his or her name on it to mark his or her spot at the table.

Curious George Party Tables

Curious George Party Tables

The kids also had supplies to make monkeys out of construction paper and got to play yellow hat ring toss (made out of yellow cones and strips of black electrical tape).

Yellow Hat Ring Toss

Yellow Hat Ring Toss

At the end we handed out Barrels of Monkeys for favors.  I thought it was a fun birthday theme – lots of possibilities!  I hope the kids enjoyed attending the party as much as I enjoyed putting together all of the Curious George themed stuff for the party!