Search Results for: valentine

DIY + gift wrapping + holiday + paper + Party + Projects / Thursday, 13 Jun 2013

Father’s Day gift wrap

My dad works in finance and says that the best gift we can give him is no gift at all. I’m ALL about that–I’m totally cheap. But, I’m guessing there are some fathers out there who love a good gift and this gift wrap idea takes the form of a card too, so consider it part of the gift. My dad’s really good at putting up scanned photos of us as kiddies on Facebook, so I just collected them and printed them off in black and white. Bada bing, bada boom.

Supplies: box, kraft paper, pictures of your dad (make sure you shrink them down to a small size that will fit the size of the hole you create–I made mine 2×2″), scissors, x-acto, circle template, tape

Step 1: Cut the kraft paper to the size of the box and wrap it to find out where you should put your holes. You don’t have to wrap it all the way.
Step 2: Using your circle template (I used the cap of a Mod Podge bottle), trace onto the kraft paper and repeat for all the photos you want to use.
Step 3: Cut out half of your circle with an x-acto knife and crease the circle over so it opens half way.
Step 4: On the back side, select a photo and affix it into the frame of the half circle.
Step 5: Secure it with tape.
Step 6: Repeat for all the circles.
Step 7: Finish it off with a ribbon.


Isn’t it so fun?! It’s like a trip down memory lane AND a gift all in one. I’m a big fan of this pop-up method and I can envision it for so many things. Remember the Valentine’s hearts? The fun never ends.

Happy Father’s day to all you dads! And a special early Father’s day to the original Lars.

In My Next Life + Life / Wednesday, 17 Apr 2013

In my next life: teacher

This is the second post in a new monthly series called, “In my next life” where I basically pay homage to people whom I admire or whose jobs I’ve dreamt of. See more posts here.

This month’s In My Next Life is one near and dear to my heart. You see, my friend Sheryl Garner is a dynamite. We met when I lived in Washington, DC and have been friends ever since. Sheryl is one of the funniest persons I know. She’s also one of the most passionate, caring, and friendliest persons I know. To know Sheryl is to love Sheryl. She teaches at an elementary school in the DC school district, one of the most challenging school districts in the country due to a number of well-known set-backs like funding, low test scores, and administration problems. Sheryl WANTS so much for these kids to succeed. She eats and breathes it. Her Facebook statuses usually always have something to do with her kids. 
Like many girls growing up, I went through an “I want to be an elementary school teacher” phase. Though I still think there would be fun and rewarding elements to it, my hat is off to every single teacher out there. That’s got to be tough! And probably thankless, for this, I thank you!
Did you always want to be a teacher? Absolutely not! Being the daughter of an immigrant, I felt like I needed to strive for a prestigious profession. My mom worked really hard to give my brother and me the best life possible. Could I really just become a teacher? On top of that make no money. 

How did you get into teaching? After returning from a full-time LDS mission in South Africa and Namibia, I realized my happiest times in my life was when I was teaching people. I then realized if I’m going to give teaching a real shot, I wanted to teach where no one else wanted to teach, more challenging schools. I applied to the Teach For America program, thinking I would definitely fulfill my 2 year responsibility. Five years later, I’m still teaching in a high needs, low performing school in one of the toughest areas of Washington, DC. 

Were there people along the way in your field who you admired or helped you shaped the decision to be a teacher? Well any good decision I’ve ever made, I can see my mom’s help. She encouraged me to keep going even in my most difficult years of teaching which included being stabbed with a pencil and a pen, slapped, punched and kicked by my students. Even this year, teaching a class of 33 students has been such a challenge, especially since there are so many individual needs from my students, but she always reminds me that she is praying for me and that I can do it. There have been some influential co-workers who equally haven’t given up, that keep me going. 

Do you have a mantra or something you live by? There is a Spanish word that I have taped on a window in my classroom, “Ganas”, which means determined. That keeps me from quitting or walking away especially after tough days. 

What’s your favorite part about your job? Spending one-on-one time with my students. I’ve hung out with many of them outside of school to build stronger relationships or to reward them for their academic achievements. “My kids” are special little people. 

How do you juggle the balance of life/work? I’m fortunate to have amazing friends. I don’t have to come up with activities. They usually plan events. I just show up.

What’s one of the most memorable moments of your career so far? I received a card a couple of Valentine’s Days ago.. The card said, “Dear Ms. Garner. Thank you for getting me smart because I want to go to college. Love, Amariah”.  I received nothing else that day except for that homemade card. I wouldn’t have wanted any other way. 

If you weren’t teaching, what would you be doing? Helping those in third world countries develop business. But then again, that is teaching, isn’t it? 

This is an awesome video that was made about her and it gives a pretty accurate sense of her passion and dedication to her work (also the importance of her religion to her, which comes closer to the end of the video. Just letting you know in case you would prefer to skip out on that part. But the video is awesome. Promise). Our claim to fame is that our wedding invitation is taped to the wall in the kitchen scene. We’re big time.

What would you do if you could do anything? 

photography by Melissa Smith

DIY + Easter + holiday + Projects / Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013

You’ve been egged!

You've been egged.
Make a giant robin's egg East Egg
I showed how to make several versions of a “heart attack” for Valentine’s Day last year (1, 2, 3, 4) and I tried to think how I could do a similar idea for Easter…EGGED! A real egging is damaging and costly, but this one is much cuter and less threatening, non? And, per usual, I had to do it on a grand scale, cuz that’s what we do round here. I found this great robin’s egg tutorial, which helped guided me towards the right texture for the robin’s egg. I’m going to leave a few of these for some unsuspecting friends in the hood. Muhahaha.
Materials: robin’s egg blue (I used two shades of Martha Stewart’s paint collection like the tutorial. Here are the Amazon links: pond and surf, chestnut brown), GIANT plastic Easter Egg (got mine at Michael’s), paint brush, plastic primer spray, stone finish spray, goodies to put inside, toothbrush, paper to make a sign, green paper grass
Step 1: Spray the plastic egg with the plastic primer spray (not shown, forgot to take a picture, agh!) and wait for it to dry. Repeat if you’d like. I wasn’t super concerned about layering.
Step 2: Spray the stone spray on and let it dry. Repeat to fill in. Give it a full day to dry.
Step 3: Begin painting the egg the robin’s egg color. I kind of mixed the two blues and then for variation added patches of colors here in there.
Step 4: Dip the toothbrush in brown paint and flick it onto the egg with your finger like a slingshot. I would suggest doing it close to the egg so it doesn’t appear like a Pollack painting where it’s running down the egg.
Step 5: Add in your green grass. I used grass instead of moss because no one wants to accidentally eat moss. No one.
Step 6: Add in your robin’s egg candy. Mine were by Whoppers (sick, but appropriate)
Step 7: Cover with grass.
Step 8: I made a sign saying, “you’ve been egged” out of black paper and a gold pen to tape to the door.

Much cleaner than a normal egging, right?

photography and crafting by moi
model: Michelle Brummer Everett (thank you SO much!) 

DIY + holiday + Projects / Friday, 22 Mar 2013

Bunny topiary wreath for your door

You know I love dressing up my door of the holidays and Easter is the last obvious holiday for months until…4th of July? I’ll take advantage while I can. 
My mom sent me a picture of this bunny wreath from Simplicity in the South and I knew I had to recreate it with paper for my door. Isn’t it a cute little hopper? I loved her idea. I used a similar process as the one I did for Valentine’s day and for the wedding topiaries.

Materials: crepe paper in shades of green (here’s an Amazon suggestion), scissors, embroidery hoops in two different sizes (I used a 4″ and 8″, wire cutters (not pictured), wire (not pictured), floral tape, glue gun, ribbon (optional)

Step 1: Attach the two hoops together with floral tape.
Step 2: Make 2 “bunny ears” out of wire leaving about 4 inches on one end to wrap around the hoop.
Step 3: Wrap the bunny ears around the smaller hoop at the top.

Step 4: Make leaves. I cut 3 at a time by folding the paper accordion style. My leaves are about 1: tall and 1/2″ wide.
Step 5: Layer the leaves on top of each other going around the hoops.

Step 6: Finish it off with a ribbon if you like.


DIY + holiday + Projects + St. Patrick's Day / Wednesday, 6 Mar 2013

St. Patrick’s day candy poppers & care package

Aren’t these little guys adorable? Michele Brummer Everett who has pretty much been a god-sent since before I moved back to the US, made some adorable Valentine’s day candy poppers and I just about died out of cuteness. Michele is a wonderful illustrator and textile designer who can pull out the cutest characters. I asked if she would let me borrow her idea for a St. Patty’s day version and thankfully she said yes. AND she drew the cutest little leprechaun. She’s the best! 

Materials: scissors, leprechaun template, toilet paper roll, rainbow template, chocolate gold coins (I bought mine on Amazon Prime–the best!), writing utensil, double stick tape, tissue paper, embroidery floss, scrapbooker’s glue, needle
Step 1: print the rainbow paper on normal office paper.
Step 2: Cut it out and measure against the toilet paper roll.
Step 3: Tape it onto the roll. I used double stick tape to attach it.
Step 4: With the scrapbooker’s glue, glue the end of the toilet paper roll and hold it onto the tissue paper
Step 5:Trace around a quarter onto a piece of paper
Step 6: Cut around it.
Step 7: Cut around the front and back of the leprechauns.
Step 8: With 3 strands of the embroidery thread, make a cross in the circle.
Step 9: Make a hole in the end of the tissue paper with the needle before entering in from the inside of the roll so the paper circle stays on the inside of the roll and the rest of the thread dangles out.
Step 10: Glue the two pieces of the leprechaun onto the end of the thread.
Step 11: Stuff the toilet roll with your goodies. I put in a first layer of moss and then gold coins and then more moss.
Step 12: Glue the top of the toilet paper roll.
Step 13: Attach onto the tissue paper to seal it off.
You know I love me a good care package (see my Valentine’s heart and suitcase) I lined the inside of the box with the rainbow paper and set down shredded green grass with gold coins on top and the poppers. Then, I wrapped the box with the rainbow paper and now it’s good to go!

Thank you so much Michele!