Teacher Gifts...


I like for the girls to either pick out the gifts for their teachers or do part of the making. For christmas the girls drew snowmen on fabric and I sewed them into ornaments. Last year Annie drew a picture on fabric and I turned it into a pillow. Maddie is at that stage when her drawing couldn't be any cuter and that's pretty much what she did all year at preschool. Her box was always full of the most amazing drawings. This was our third year with these teachers so we know them well and I wanted to give them something they could keep. This is what we came up with.
Painted flower pots that Maddie drew special pictures on. Annie also made a big pot for her teacher and a few smaller pots for her music and art teacher. I forgot to take picutres of these.


Maddie picked a different scene for each teacher and wrote the teachers name, her name and the year on each pot.




We bought regular clay pots and painted them with acrylic paint. Maddie opted for stripes and I held back (mostly) and let her do the painting. After the paint dried she used sharpie markers to draw her pictures. I finished it all off with a spray coat of an acrylic varnish. We had made a trip to garden center and I let Maddie pick out all the flowers, a lovely mix a orange, purple, red and pink. She potted them all up and that was it. Not a bad little gift and I think we did all 5 pots for about $25.00. The hardest part is trying to find a good organic potting soil without fertilizer already mixed in.


Okay back to be bed for me. We've all been sick around here for a 5 days.

Get Back to Nature Birthday Party


We've always done birthday parties at home. For Annie's 7th I was thinking we needed to mix it up so we reserved a shelter at a local park that has a little zoo. A few months before the party I picked up a pack of paper from the Friendly Forest line and used this as inspiration. We decided on a Back to Nature theme. A trip through the zoo, a couple of projects and then some playing at the park. Annie wanted to invite her whole class and a few friends so we were looking at 20 or more kids. I'm glad we opted for the park and everyone seemed to have fun.

Here are the invites. I scanned an image from the paper pack and recolored it.


Annie and I made each child a nature journal using recycled paper file folders and straw paper by Terracycle that we found on clearance at our office supply store. We used papers from the friendly forest pack to edge the journals and the kids decorated them with cut-outs.


I found some paper masks at michaels and thought it would be fun for them to make animal masks after getting some inspiration walking through the zoo. I realized I probably could have just made the masks but had already bought them. Here are some templates. I love how each child's looks so different.


While waiting for everyone to arrive the kids decorated the tablecovers (brown craft paper)with birthday wishes for Annie. We had yummy cupcakes that were topped with the hersey kiss acorns found here.


I'm not a big fan of the goodie bag full of plastic stuff so we made extra acorns and put them in baggies tied with jute twine and a pencil. I forgot to get a picture but the were very pleased. They each also got to take home a pair of binoculars that I purchased online.

Annie had a blast and it was definitely her kinda party, lots of making, a bit of playing and some animal watching. What more could a seven year old want.





Friday Annie turned 7. So how about 7 great things about Annie, oops Anya as she now prefers to be called.

1. She has a smile that could light up the whole world.
2. Each morning she looks at the weather page in the newspaper. (Silly, but I totally love this).
3. She dances when she thinks no one is watching.
4. She is kind.
5. Her two favorite foods are Minestrone soup and salad.
6. She plays "book club" at recess, traveling to other worlds and times.
7. When asked "If you could be anyone else, who would it be?" She responded "me". (Why be anyone else when being Anya is so great!)

The greatest thing about Anya is that she is mine and I get go along for the ride. Watching my amazing little baby grow into to a confident, creative, kind little girl. Happy birthday Annie.