Friday, October 31, 2008
Near the top I spied a BEAUTIFUL pumpkin. It had a long stem, a plump, symmetrical shape and a broad, smooth face for carving. I parked Aiden in a shopping cart where he couldn't reach or touch anything, hopped the decorative split-rail fence (to keep people off the hay stack) and climbed it myself. Aiden was quiet for a moment as he watched me then his loud scolding "NO, NO, NO!" caught the attention of all the middle-aged women passing by. Several glanced at me with understanding looks, one even smiling until her eyes crinkled, obviously pleased that I was being such a good little mommy and carving pumpkins with my child. One older woman actually stopped and asked if I would get her a pumpkin while I was up there, too! I climbed down from the bales with my prized pumpkin, dusted the hay off myself, finished my shopping and went home.
Fast forward to Friday night when we have Aiden and the pumpkin loaded in the wagon. We're half-way to the neighbors house when I look at the back of my pumpkin for the first time and gasp. Brian wheels around to see me staring wide-eyed with my hand over my mouth before I burst into a roar of laughter. My perfect pumpkin with it's beautifully smooth face is also anatomically correct:
He's got the cutest pumpkin butt I have ever seen! Of course, I'm the only person who would climb a store display in broad daylight to unknowingly pick out the only pumpkin in all of Houston that could match my humor!
Here he is all carved up. I doodled the face and Brian did the flawless carving. Great job babe!
Okay, next party. Saturday the 25th was our church Halloween party. Aiden and I dressed up as pirates and since Brian went as himself, I had him take the picture of us:
We really had a lot of fun! Most of the adults dressed up and everyone got a kick out of Aiden's tattered-hem cropped pants. (Little did they know that although the costume is 2T, the pants aren't supposed to be 'cropped'. His legs are just THAT LONG! Notice the sleeves fit fine?) It was a great party, mostly because my fun and trendy friend Rachel organized it and her family's excitement about dressing up really got everyone into it. She decorated the gym over the top with a HUGE spider web that spanned the entire ceiling! Excellent party Rach!
I'll post the trick or treat pics next but for now I need to get off the computer and pay Brian some attention - he's hardly seen me today and every conversation earlier was interrupted by trick-or-treaters!
Here are some of the bags I made with the new papers:
WHEW! Now I need to sort through the dozens of pumpkin carving, petting zoo & halloween party pictures I took and post them next! LOL! Well, after I clean up the mess in the kitchen from making caramel apples this afternoon. ;)
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
First, let me list for you what the top requests for teacher's gifts - as given by teachers themselves - were for this year: (Any teachers that are reading along please feel free to comment and add to this!)
- A heartfelt card of how that teacher has helped or inspired your child in a specific way
- Something the child was involved in creating or wrapping
- Gift Cards to 1) Starbucks 2) Staples/Nearest Office Supply Store 3) Amazon 4) Barnes & Noble 5) Target
- School Supplies they use frequently (Yes! They would enjoy a pack of bright colored dry erase markers or a nice pair of scissors!)
- Books, supplies or equipment for the class room
- Specialty chocolates, candies, teas, coffees & foods they wouldn't buy for themselves
- Personalized/custom stationary, note cards, etc. for all the notes they have to write (bonus if they are hand made)
- ANY kind of home baked items!
What wasn't on the list (and the teachers politely requested "No More Please"):
- Coffee mugs (get the Starbucks style tumblers & customize the insert instead),
- Teddy bears, plush toys, etc. unless the teacher specifically collects them
- Perfumes, lotions & bubble bath (opt for classroom hand sanitizer instead)
- Expensive, flamboyant gifts (most school districts dissuade teachers from accepting gifts valued at over $50)
So as I was brainstorming it kind of came to me that people want their gift to stand out, which is why the pratical items teachers really want are often not given. I was also remebering how impossibly shy I was as a child and how I hoped the outside of the gift said everything it needed to so I wouldn't have to answer a lot of questions while she was opening it. I also recall being a junior in high school and giving one of my favorite teachers a tin full of a gourmet nut mix (with these divine candied pecans) which she loved snacking on so much, she not only gave me a thank you note before christmas break but she mailed one to my mother as well! Then it occured to me how these ideas could all come together. Give the item the teacher wants or if it is food, opt for something from a gourmet boutique, then spend a little extra time and money with creative wrapping and presentation. Your child will have something beautiful to give the teacher and she'll love that it's not another teddy bear!
To illustrate my point, I have snagged some photos from a popular paper crafting website that show how stunning you can wrap a simple bag of candy:
Any of these would probably send the recipient squeeling with delight to the teacher's lounge! Talk about standing out - imagine how beautiful this style of "scrapped wrapping" would look sitting next to other regular boxes and bags. And why stop at candy? A bundle of white chalk in a clear cellophane bag with a tag would be just as appreciated.
Tay's Teacher Gift "Kits":
Since celophane bags tend to come in packs of 50 (49 more than you need) and it does take a substantial amount of ribbon and scrap supplies to complete this type of wrapping job, I'm offering 'Creative Presentations' this year along with a few completely ready gifts for last minute emergencies. (You wouldn't believe how many calls I get. I'm the emergency gift headquarters! And yes, I gift wrap.)
I'll be offering a few decorative plates with vinyl lettering (intended to display), delicious chocolates and glass candy jars with vinyl lettering, all delightfully wrapped and ready to give for $15 or less. (Including some adorable $3 candy items.)
In addition I'll also have a selection of celophane bags, coordinating ribbons & handmade tags for you to choose from if you'd like to wrap your own. I'll have pictures posted here before December so you can see just how adorable that Office Max gift card or bag of chocolate covered raisins can look!