Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bring back that Elfing Feeling...

It's that time again!!! Time for Santa to bring the elves back to check on all the kids for Santa...otherwise known as a last minute chance for all us parents to pull the 'Santa is watching You!' Cards. Our lil elf is Chris T. Mas, which we go all original and call him Chris :)

Our oldest , who is 7, asked if we could write Santa a letter to see if Chris can come differently this year. Of course we can!! So, he wrote a letter, mailed it, and what do you know, Santa got it!!
Usually, Santa delivers Chris to our front door, wrapped in his special Santa paper that is also used on all presents from him on Christmas morning. This year,
Our son would like to go ahead and start the year off hiding. He's just a little excited, huh?? So, we decided to help a brother out!!

We have a traditional Advent calendar of fun activities for the whole month. The kids check it each day to see what activity/place/cooking etc they will do for the day. The advent for tomorrow, December 1 is a clue to let our boys know where to look for the response from Santa. We 'antiqued' the paper to give it a more North Pole feel (even though I don't know what the 'North Pole' feels like, it just can't be college rule lined notebook paper), rolled it up, tied a fancy dancy red ribbon and placed it on the tree. The advent is the first thing the boys do each day, so it's going to be exciting to start off our adventure in the morning!! Pics below show what we did for each stage- from advent, to note, to hiding our Chris. Come back tomorrow to see Day 2!!

Day 1

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Day 2

Today "Chris" was playing a friendly game of pool - especially with the 12/25  balls :) He may end up being a pool shark....what a hustler :)

Day 3

Today Chris decided to 'decorate' our kitchen cabinets!! It took only 1 bag of bows to do this.  I thought it would take several, so I bought 3...after tearing off all of the paper pieces on the back I realized that 1 bag was probably just fine :) The kids ABSOLUTELY loved this! I think it has been the hit of all we have ever experienced with Chris!

Day 4

Today was another cute elf idea thanks to Pinterest.  I will say that I was NOT prepared, though.  I knew we would need mini marshmallows, but I guess I didn't realize that mini marshmallows were so small or that my sink was so deep!  It took 2 bags of the mini marshmallows, and even then I think that it would have been better if I had another bag. I almost didn't buy 2, but then decided...just be on the safe side.  I will say that 1 bag would def not be enough.  3 bags would be better, but 2 was OK.
The kids loved the bubble bath idea.

Day 5

Today's Chris adventure was definitely a "What can I do really quickly because it is way past my bedtime and I don't feel up to being creative or even messing with this tonight" kind of nights :)
So...he played hide n seek...reeeealllll tough to do...3 rolls of TP...two on bottom with Chris inside the TP roll and one on top like as his hat. I did write a little note for the kids on the TP--its not as easy to write on as you may think lol

Day 6 its really sad that I have to do this to my boys, and its even sadder that it happened within the first week of December...but....they have been horrible!!!! They were playing in the living room and were being SO mean to each I moved Chris where he could see them.  When they tattled on each other, I just told them that I wasn't dealing with it and that Chris saw everything that they did and I was going to let him handle it.  They didn't think much of it until the next morning.  When they saw Chris's letter it was horrible! By the 3rd sentence, my oldest could hardly read because he was in tears. He handed me the note and ran to the living room crying. He was a perfect angel ALL DAY long! LOL Not sure how long it will last but at least one day turned out like it should :)

Day 7

Since the kids were so good yesterday, Chris was back out up to his old tricks again last night. He got together with his buddy Swarm, who is a Skylander, and they decided to play a friendly game of Tic Tac Toe with large marshmallows.  Chris is obviously a smart player since he is going to win regardless :) After the kids found him, they each finished out the game by writing a X on the bottom 
two marshmallows so that they could also play a game with Chris.  
They liked being interactive and knowing that they were a part of his games.  

Day 8

Just a Swingin'....Just a Swingin'....

This was not near as hard as I thought it was going to be!!  A little tape and Viola! We used twine for the swing and a toilet paper roll for the actual swing.  We taped the twine to the frame with duct tape.  We also added some duct tape to the bottom of Chris and to the back of his legs so that he would stay on the swing throughout the night. To have him hold on to the swing, we had to cut his hands apart. I didn't mind doing this because the hand connection really limits his uses.  We used regular tape and taped his hands to the twine and he held up great through the night.  The kids were so cute-they wanted to help him swing, so they got behind Chris and pushed the toilet paper roll.  It was so funny to watch them try to push the 'swing' without actually touching Chris! :) 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Foyer Hang Ups

I have been working on my foyer for so long now and I'm beginning to believe that it may never be completed :) Our game room is decked out in Razorbacks, so our foyer will carry over with that theme. The problem is, to not get too "Razorbacky" that it looks trashy lol With that being said, we decided to bring out some of the AR colors and keep it family friendly. I saw a link on Pinterest that was similar to what I actually did in our foyer. Only difference was mine was under $10 --the life of a teacher's budget, right???

I wanted a space where the kids could come in from school and put their backpacks/coats/lunchboxes without it just being thrown in the floor. Hobby Lobby has the unfinished wood items that I purchased-both for the hooks and for the pics of the boys. Painted the hook frames white and then painted the plaques for their pics in black.  My intent was to not have hooks, but rather I loved the vintage look of old doorknobs. Do you know how difficult it is to find the knobs without them costing over my budget?? So, after much deliberating, I settled for going to Walmart for hooks. I was browsing them and having no luck on finding anything I liked. Several weeks later I was in the hardware section and came across these silver hooks that are actually bathrobe hooks for the bathroom-perfect for what I need as well as being a space saver!! I actually screwed the hooks in to the wood and the wall at the same time. Viola!!

Last step was placing the pictures up on the black plaques. I had the boys pics printed in black and white-it would go much better in the room than a colored picture. I had them printed in 5x7 size and then still had to trim them a little to fit on the plaques, but the 4x6 was too small. I applied Modge Podge all over the plaques, put the pics on the plaques and then left them alone to dry. After 2 hours, I applied a coat of Shellac to the plaques and let them dry. I know I have seen where some people just apply another layer of Modge Podge on top of the pics instead of using the Shellac. I have even done this before and it hasn't been a problem. However, I have also done this before and it smeared my picture. I believe the back coat of MP wasn't completely dry before applying the top coat and that is why it smeared...but, seeing as how I am not certain of that, I didn't want to take any chances.

The final step is putting the plaques and hooks up on the wall. I used command strips to put the pic plaques up - easy fix and no screws in the way to mess up my pictures. Although the final outcome wasn't what I originally intended, I am very pleased with it and think it looks just perfect in our foyer :) Woo Pig!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Razorback Canvas

There are tons of razorback signs up on Pinterest and really had an urge to make one of my own!! I took my 11x14 canvas, some leftover Chevron fabric, and decided to give it a shot. I monogrammed a Hog applique with red sequin material on the front. I made the hog as big as I could- 6x10, but I still wish it was bigger.

Next, I took the fabric (now with the hog monogrammed on it) and got out my favorite tool-the staple gun ;) just line up the fabric on the canvas and staple away!! Super easy to do! I would normally add a hanging ribbon at the top (which would really add to the cuteness factor), but this will be sitting on top of my shelf in my classroom, so the ribbon will not be seen, nor will it be needed. Good luck on your Razorback canvas-post pics to show what you have created!!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Christmas Door Decor-better late than never :)

Yes, it is June, tomorrow is July, and Christmas was 6 months ago...let's just say this is close enough to be a 'Christmas in July' post :) Working at an elementary school can have its perks-one of the perks is Christmastime! Holidays bring out the creativity in many of us teachers and for our school, we had a little too much fun with our Christmas!! Our math coach came up with the idea of having each class decorate their doors for Christmas. And of course, with the competitive perfectionist nature in us all, it quickly became a time for us to all try to outdo the others! One night we were even up at the school til after 7:00 having fun decorating. The doors were a blast for us-they ranged from us coming up with our own ideas, to having kids create the doors, to the kids creating the idea for the door and then the teachers doing them. Many of the kindergarten classes colored pictures and those were displayed on the door. Some classes put up paper and let the kids have total artistic control over what they used to express their Christmas Spirit. It was so much fun and a great way for us teachers to have great memories of the season! Below I have posted the pics of the doors we proudly displayed!!

Chevron Love

It's been several months since I have posted last, so I will try to spend the next couple of days playing catch up. One project I made a while back is one of my favorite since I have a current Chevron love and you know I have to share ;) this door decor is super cute and the best part is the ease and speed to make it. It took an hour from start to finish to make this hanging.

I started with the letter S-from Hobby Lobby-@ $3. I wanted to paint it red so that's why I started here-so it would have time to dry. I found some cute gray and off white chevron pattern fabric and a 16x20 canvas - both from HL. Hardest part was lining up the pattern on the canvas. I laid the canvas face down on the fabric and got out the trusty staple gun. I pulled the top and bottom tight and stapled them. After doing this, you will be able to fold and tuck the sides of the fabric to show a good clean edge before stapling the sides. I stapled a ribbon on the top-make sure you cut the ribbon according to how low or high you want it to hang in your location. The last part was gluing on the letter S. I used E6000 glue for this because it is virtually indestructible!! I positioned the letter where I wanted it and then I carefully flipped the whole canvas (while holding the letter in place) so that I could put some weight on the back to help it hold in place. I just used a heavy glass and out it in the center of the letter for the extra weight. I could have done this without flipping it all over,  but I was worried the extra weight might cause the fabric to slack and I wanted the letter to hang and still be taut.

That's it!! Super easy and went straight to my front door!