January 26, 2014

Preschool Introduction Book

Because life never stands still, Sweetpea is starting a new school soon. We are ALL very excited and had so much fun over the past few weeks picking out a new backpack, lunch box, etc. The only downside is she is starting her new school in the middle of the year and will be the "new girl".  To help introduce her to the new class, I designed an "introductory" picture book for the teacher to read during her first day.

To create the book, I used Walgreen's online photo lab.  The online design tool was VERY SIMPLE to use; no craft skills needed. You upload pictures, select the look and feel of your book, select a theme (e.g. tropical, baby girl, etc.) and then you design.  Design is a strong word.  You are really just clicking and dragging things around.

My design was, again, simple.  I selected solid backgrounds.  The left page layout contained only photos and no text.  The right page layout contained only text. I kept it consistent throughout the book because I wanted it to read like a picture book and not a scrap book. The total price was $22, with an online coupon.  The quality is pretty decent as well…. let's say it works in a pinch.  If you had more time and money, I've had wonderful results with Shutterfly books.  Note: If you use Walgreens, your book must contain at least 20 pages.  

These are not all the pages in the book, I just wanted to share a sample.  My goal was to engage the class while the teacher reads the book.  When she reads, "Do you like to swim?", I am hopeful hands will raise and Sweetpea will soon understand that friends will be easily made at her new school.

January 22, 2014

Valentine's Ribbon Wreath

It's not very often I have time to myself.  I seriously relate to the mom quote "a vacation is peeing alone"because boy does it fit my life!  And when I do get some time to myself, I usually end up doing really fun things such as fold laundry, clean house, meal plan, etc.  This is my life and I love it, but time to craft and blog…. not usually something I get around to doing. But in the last three weeks, I've had enough alone time to create a new wreath.  A wreath which only really takes an hour to create….

I chose this craft because it was simple and something I could easily pick up/put down when I am called off to do another task.  The wreath turned out super cute and cost less than $20 to make.  And I am a BIG fan of cheap, fast and easy.

Valentine's Ribbon Wreath

10" Wreath (be warned - do not remove the plastic wrapping!)
5 Spools of Ribbon (more if you want!!)
Straight Pins

Step 1:  Cut the ribbon into 4" strips. If you have a mat like mine, then lay out your ribbon and cut every 4" to save yourself time.  I only mention this "common sense" tip because the light bulb went off a little too late in my cutting project.  Sigh.

Step 2:  Make a loop and pin into the wreath. Each loop takes two straight pins. Be sure to utilize your thimble so you thumbs don't hate you later!  Many ribbon wreath tutorials will have you glue the loops together before pinning them to the wreath.  Since I am always strapped for time, I skipped this step and didn't experience any problems. 

Step 3:  Continue making loops and pinning using all the different ribbon types.  Pin the ribbon loops very close to one another to avoid gaps. Squish them together and pin them in all different directions. It is a craft project and the goal is to make the loops look randomly placed.

Step 4: Loop a large ribbon and pin to the back of your wreath to create the hook.  I used six pins to hold the ribbon on!!