Monday, February 20, 2012

Thoughts on Paper

I've been doodling random thoughts on old book pages. I've been taking thoughts or quotes that have meaning to me and getting lost in the process of doodling them. It's a simple method of artistic expression but I think it might be therapeutic. I'm trying to focus on the positive and this is one way I'm doing it. I thought I'd share this one with you.
Mohammed Ali's trainer, Angelo Dundee recently passed away. No, I'm not a big boxing fan but this was a quote that was associated with Angelo Dundee. I couldn't agree with this quote more! Being nice is important in my book. Being nice can mean different things to different people. And "nice" can be delivered in so many ways; a smile, holding the door for some one, kind words or encouragement. It's true, being nice to someone else doesn't cost anything extra and the rewards are tremendous. . .you make someone else's day and you feel happier yourself! That's my thought on paper for today.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Journals and Paper

I'm not usually a paper crafter. In fact I haven't scrapbooked in eons! (Though I really should stop procrastinating and attempt to get some of the bazillion pictures I have into scrapbooks.) Anyway, over the past couple of weeks I took on a project involving paper. The challenge I set for myself was to create 21 journals for Nature Girl's class. I looked into buying journals but they were expensive. In the end I opted to buy composition notebooks and find a way to alter them. I have modge podged and taped my way to a 21 new journals. I even learned a few things along the way about the best ways to alter a journal, though honestly, I think there is more to be learned in this area as we see how they hold up. Nature Girl did already rip her ribbon through the paper but she taped it and is perfectly happy with hers.

I opted to add ribbon around the middle and cover them with paper so they tie closed. This is one I made for the student teacher in her class. This one turned out to be my favorite one, thought I accidently glued the cover upside down. It still works fine, though the top margin is on the bottom. Oh well after 19 journals I was feeling tired and messed up. It's still my favorite.

Here are a few other examples of journals made for Nature Girl's class. On the inside cover of each journal I included a manila clasp envelope with a ripped book page label that reads "Thoughts, inspirations and ideas." The recipients seemed happy with their journals. As much as it was fun, I am glad this project is complete. From now on I plan to experiment with altering one or two journals at a time not a whole class worth. Of course I have already started thinking about making these for my students as an end of the year gift. Go on, call me crazy, I deserve it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

We hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day, filled with love and goodies. Nature Girl is showing the new baby monkey she got for Valentine's Day. It matches the big pink monkey she got last year when she mastered her first grade sight word list. I couldn't resist buying a monkey for my sweet little monkey!

These are the valentines we put together for her class. We found the pinwheel pens at the Dollar Tree and added a paper label. The label was quickly drawn with a sharpie then scanned and printed before being decorated with a crayon and attached with double sided sticky tape. Easy peasy but cute. I was pleased with how well they turned out.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Gift a Month

Do you remember how much you loved Christmas when you were a kid? It was a magical time, filled with excitement. There were no worries and no stress. How I long for those days again! Now holidays are a time of stress; filled with countless hours trying to shop, bake, handcraft gifts and somehow make the holiday still feel special. Every year I plan to hand-make many of my gifts but each year as the holidays roll around the stress mounts and I start to whittle down my list of intended handmade projects until only a few remain. It leaves me feeling tired and disappointed with myself, so each new year I vow to be more organized and start early. Of course that has yet to happen, but this year I vow it will be different. This year I would like the holidays to be a time of magic again, or at least not a source of more stress and dread. My friend Val and I have accepted a challenge, make just one Christmas gift each month. One gift a month is certainly something I can do, right? Right!
Here is my first homemade gift. My mom recently came across a box of wine corks at a sale. She picked them up and brought some to me. I created this little memo board for her desk. I think she'll like it. It's about 7 or 8 inches tall and wide. I had thought it might make a good trivet but changed my mind and like more it as a memo board for pictures, notes, etc.
See that was easy. . . my first homemade gift is done with no stress, just pure crafting enjoyment! You can see Val's first Make It Monthly gift here. Feel free to join us and complete the challenge. You can grab the badge on the sidebar here or over at Yarnigras. Who knows, maybe next Christmas will be magical.