Monday, 30 May 2011

teacher gifts - round two!

i guess last week was the "Week of Kiara". ha! nearly everything she is involved in came to a halting end last week. the last day of preschool wasn't exactly your typical school day. the 2 of us went together and enjoyed a picnic. the weather was sort of hit and miss last week, so it was a miracle to have had sunshine and warmth and dry ground on Friday.

aside from having a field of dandelions that were begging to be picked....there was ice cream and friends. i love the tradition this school has. i can't complain about the preschools that Aidan attended, but this particular one has been impressive. definitely the focus has been on the kids. school should be on the kids....somehow parents/adults come in and can sabotage the process. but that is a soap box for another day.

i always feel like the gifts i present to the teachers can never equal my gratitude for the investment they make in my children. i also find it very difficult to shop for teachers. i do love crafting for them - if they are the type of person who enjoys home crafts. here is a tip from a teacher--me!: have your kids write a note of thanks....with some specific detail or reference. teaching has a good share of rough days...good teachers really have a heart for kids and feel upset when kids are upset. thankfully they feel great when the kids do too!! which is why it means so much to hear one or two ways that they made a positive impact on the lives of your kids. i have been fortunate to receive some cards that said more than "thanks for a great year"....although even that short phrase means a lot too. i have also appreciated the notes from parents thanking me for my efforts for the year. i still have a note from my first year of teaching. written by a student during art class, "i will always remember you, Mrs. Olsen". talk about touching the heart!

this first one was for the lead teacher in Kiara's class - who was also the administrator/originator of the program.


it was a re-make of the teacher gifts i made last year. just changed up a bit.

the frame is actually a wooden shadowbox from the dollar store. i painted it, sanded, repainted, sanded, inked, stamped... then decorated the inside.


i was pleased with the end result of the paint job. looked old and worn, just how i had hoped for.


the inside was a challenge. i painted and then adhered a strip of paper around the interior. the school series from Simple Stories is amazing! i had to leave the 'k' visible....

i adore these bottles from Tim Holtz. one is filled with a mixture of micro beads and the other has a small section of filmstrip ribbon rolled inside. the 'abc' is from Maya Road...painted, sanded, painted, sanded and inked.


i loved how cute the mini bulb looked inside!

the next one will look familiar...


yes that Little Yellow Bicycle notebook again!


Kiara added her own picture to the inside. the bookmark inside this one is from Prima flower packaging. it worked with the papers very nicely.

i thought i had posted the link to the instructions for this. but no!

here is the link. you can also download the instructions....complete with measurements!!

if i could pass on one tip....

the blank notepad on the left came from Staples. you can get 5 in a package. i also saw some at the dollar stores and the big box stores like superstore and wal-mart. i couldn't buy them because they were either too big or too small! i would recommend buying the notepads FIRST and then making this project. the total dimensions were 6 x 9 inches. which means the notepad needs to fit within that!



it will be awhile before i post the next round of teacher gifts for this year. here are some projects from the past few years...

ALBUM for the teacher....with artwork, photos and handprints from every student. i lead this for Aidan's first playschool teacher. she LOVED it and cried when she received it too. (this post has other gifts included in it...the teacher gift is near the top. i couldn't share photos of the inside...but the base of the entire album was coloured cardstock cut 8 1/2 x 8 1/2. each child was given two 8x8 sheets of white paper. one was for a picture and the other was for a handprint and photo. then i adhered each of them onto the cardstock base. very basic and it looked cute. definitely a lot of work to organize and it was a good thing we kept it simple! it is hard to tell....but the cover actually had a photo of the teacher on it. i managed to get it on one of the last field trips that year! sneaky, sneaky....

mini-album (3 designs)....for poems, written thanks, gift card, etc. this was my first class at Urban too! i've taught this album for other groups as well, and it has always had a great response. Tim Holtz had a tutorial for an album that was very you can find a few versions of it now. it was not MY design and it has been around for awhile....not sure who could take credit for it! i used photos and added tags with notes. (check here and here for some close up photos.)

frame one and frame two from last year. and yet one more gift....a clipboard. there are also some simple cards on that same post. wow! was i ambitious, or what?!!

as well as my Gifts for Teacher class at Urban last year. this was a parent-child class. it was fun to see how the kids 'personalized' their gifts. they covered a notebook, made a post-it note holder (design by Jennifer Holmes i think?!), a lovely pen with micro-beads (shown to us by two of our wonderful Urban customers!!), some covered binder clips and a card. all with the same papers. perfect to give as a set or divide them up! some of my students used the instructions to create several more sets....each teacher got an entire set with a unique design. i LOVE hearing my students have found my designs and instructions useful.

some days i dread the day that my kids want to make their own teacher gifts. other days i feel like it can't come soon enough!

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