Friday, December 18, 2009

Teacher Gifts for Christmas!

Time to make teacher gifts! Here is a 'before and after' of my project. Before was Wednesday around 5 pm and After is Friday morning around 5 am. I didn't work on this the entire 36 hours but I'm embarrassed and horrified to say that I did spent probably 12 hours on this? I know, pathetic. I blame it on the glitter glue. Read on for the details . . .

My inspiration was the peppermint and white chocolate spoons that I bought at Crate & Barrel at an amazing price. I bought 18 sets and then decided to make cocoa to go with it. Easy right? I found the cute tins in the Target $1 section but switched out their ribbon. Still not too crazy right? Well then my friend Lisa bought me the Joys of The Season Cricut cartridge. I started to make tags which then turned into a hybrid of tag meets ornament. Still EASY but tedious and takes time to cut out the 'layers' and put it all together. THEN, I discovered A La Mode Glitter Glue. That took my craftiness to a whole new level. Elements that were cute became adorable with glitter glue! SO much fun! Here is one that I ended up loving~

It was okay as paper but once I started on the glitter glue, I was LOVING it! You can also see 'bling' like pearls and rhinestones and that too is easy but just takes time. I just kept going and going and adding to it and all of a sudden it was 3 am. So then I thought, eh, who needs sleep? Focus on glitter fun.

Here is what I ended up with after a full night of crafting! I napped after the parties! I made 18 in total. And before you think I'm nuts and wonder if I have 18 kids, no, I just don't know when to stop. I feel like all my kids' teachers are SO wonderful and it's so hard to not include everyone. Even with this, I didn't do the reading team or anyone in the office and I hated not having something for everyone. But there's only so much one can do . . . The initial is their last name, of course . . .

Here are the buckets complete.

Of course I realized though that I still needed an actual tag as well as instructions on how to use their cocoa mix so that was another last minute craft to get together. There is a picture of that double side items in this little collage.

I loved them and hope their teachers did as well!

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas House Tour!

Merry Christmas! Here is the wreath that greets you at my front door. Please come in! I had lots of fun making this!

Here is my entry which usually only serves a purpose throughout the year as the center for nerf gun fights but during December, it is our Christmas wonderland. This year, I decided to embrace the bright colors I am drawn to and went WHIMSICAL! I had lots of fun!
This is the tree topper that I made. My 8 year old had fun making the pom pom springs with me. It looks insane here but you can see on a 12' tree that it works!

Here is the black and white portrait display on our stairs, which is where I display my santa hat collection.

This is the post at the bottom of the stairs. It's hard to get the entire stair case as this is a long narrow entry!This is another post ~ there are 4 in all.

In between the posts, I did this just for some added fun! Those are food picks!
And another post!The sole purpose of this table is to play all the great music that I love! I look forward to nothing more to the month of December than playing my Christmas music really loud while I wrap gifts and make candy trees!

These ornaments were done during one of my crafty Christmas nights with my Cricut! My friend Lisa gave the Joys of the Season cartridge to me and it is SO fun!

These cute felt ornaments and from Crate & Barrel. I have 3 sets decorating the garland on my dining room hutch.
The chalkboard which still requires a fun holiday message to be added to it!

Another fun holiday craft! I love candy trees and had lots of fun making this one, though I'm still suffering from some hot glue gun burns from this tedious project!

There are many house tours going on for the Holidays and I have linked up to the ones below! Enjoy checking out other bloggers' homes decorated for Christmas and thanks for stopping by!

Funky Junks  Christmas Trees Unite


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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Advent Calendar

I saw this in Joanne's after Christmas last year. I yanked the silver plastic knobs out of the holes before I took this picture but most of them were missing. Which is why I got this item with a price tag of $50 for $4! Yes, $4!!!! The challenge was on ~ I wanted to alter it completely and have fun with it!
I painted it with my green wall paint. Then, in order to put new knobs on this, I had to drill all the way through the holes. And then there were some brads I wanted to use and they need to fit into the doors so I had to drill for those as well.
I had to be patient and wait for the large order I placed from as I didn't want to mix stuff ~ I wanted everything I used to be from the same line so that my over the top project pulled together well. I ended up buying "We Are Memory Makers" White-Out Christmas Collection.

Many hours later, here it is!

Here's the back

Close up of the side. I used 'frosting' as well ~ the stick on 'bling' that links together and it is so fun and easy to use! Another thing not from the paper line I mentioned would be the knobs. Those are beads. I wired them with a small bead behind the door to attach them.

More close ups of the 'Glitz Frosting' which is the stone like embellishment I used. You may notice that some of the items are outlined in white. That is a huge trick of mine. So that things don't appear cluttered, I use a white gel pen to outline embellishments. It makes them pop and cleans them up too!

The big door is so cute!
More details including a bead

One of the cute little doors!

I love my new advent calendar and hope you enjoyed seeing it!

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Family Values Canvas

I just completed a project that I am very proud of! I was very inspired by a Family Rules canvas that I saw at The Pleated Poppy a few months ago. After a few weeks of thinking about it, I stumbled across it again and was even more inspired when I saw the others who ran with her inspiration and made their own and then posted a link to theirs in her comments. If you like this project, you have to check out her original canvas as well as all the others as everyone has put their own twist on it! The link to her post is~
Here is the canvas I made. I called it Berkoben Family Values because we have had many talks in my family about living by certain values. I know some of these are 'rules' but whatever! My friend Lisa was interested in making one too so we did it together and think we may have 30-35 hours of working as well as several bottles of wine involved in this project! It was so much fun to do this with someone else and I recommend you do the same!
Our Family Values (Rules) are:
We Work Together
Be Creative At All Times
Jesus First, Others Second, Yourself Last
Listen to Others
Share Everything . . . Except Bad Ideas and Germs (Lisa is a nurse so we had to add Germs!)
Family First
Hold Up Your Head
Sing Silly, Laugh Often, Dance Silly, Smile, Say I love you
Always Show Respect
Encourage Each Other
Be Your Unique Self
Have Integrity

Here is a close up of a part of it. I love the black dots on the last one! Everything I did was printed on a laser printer or from my Cricut with some details added on like chipboard or rub ons to keep it interesting!
My favorite saying on my canvas is Hold Up Your Head. It is a subtle nod to my 10 year old who is on the autistic spectrum. You may know that the puzzle piece is the symbol for autism awareness and I love how it speaks to a main goal we have for him, which is confidence, though many may look at this and not know what it means to us.

I had lots of fun with this chipboard swirl though it did make getting the layout correct a bit complicated!

A few people have asked me where I put this so I took a picture while standing in my dining room so you could see! It is 12x24" and fits great on this wall. I love how from this spot you can see all the colors that are throughout my house-red, green, tan and yellow. This pop of creativity ties all the colors together quite well!

My friend Lisa's board is hanging in her kitchen. You can see that we did our own unique thing but also stuck with a few great sayings that worked and shared some paper! You only need a strip of a great piece of paper so this project is great to do with friends as you can share !

Here is a picture I took after the 2nd day of work. One thing that I noticed on some other boards was the seams if the canvas was wider than 12". I'm kinda a type A freak and couldn't handle that, though I DO like how the wider boards look! But I couldn't deal with the seam so that is why I bought a canvas that is only 12" wide-just something to think about if you decide to do this! Look at the MESS we made! My friend's board is on the left and mine is on the right. You can see how we had our papers chosen and laid out so we could estimate the space we were using and then we would pick one sheet and saying to work on and just kept going until we were done!

Here is mine hours before I finished. I just had the header left and some of the chipboard details that I put off until the end so I could finalize the colors that I wanted to use on them. It was quite exciting seeing it come together!

I am one who likes to CONTROL everything I do and modpodge has a mind of its own so that part was a bit stressful but it worked out just fine! I was very cautious to get each piece down as flat as possible and we also sealed each piece with a spray sealer to help make the paper less porous.
This was very fun and rewarding to make and I really want to thank Lindsey for sharing it on her blog and Nicole for creating this unique project!

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Home School Room

I was contacted late spring and asked to complete a home school room for a Mom who planned to begin homeschooling 2 children that would enter 2nd grade and 5th grade. Above their garage was a room that had been a catch all and she wanted it to be transformed into a classroom over the summer! Most people work a home school room into their dining room or a side of their family room or a side of a home office so it was very exciting to work on a room that would be 100% used as a classroom!

She wanted a central work space, lots of storage, two desks as they would each have a computer and wanted it grown up, nothing too elementary as she has older children as well and knows how quickly they grow out of the 'kid' phase! She needed this room to be durable and did not want laminate furniture but also did not want to spend a fortune. She knew what she wanted but she had not had time to look for anything so she did not have any furniture chosen and needed me to select everything! The only thing staying was the couch. Yup, Dream Job!

The room is large, 19 feet x 12 feet. When you walk in, you are opposite from the large window and it is just one big rectangle! Here are two pictures of it before.

You can see lots of boxes and that would be solid wood furniture that I found from Ikea! Yes, solid wood! It is there, I swear! There is a perception of a decreased quality from Ikea but for their price point, they are in fact quite superior to many middle grade brands and have very ingenious ways of construction even the simplest product to last longer than other items that appear the same on the market. I am with most of you who would not choose Ikea for your Family Room or Master Bedroom but for a kids room or work area like a craft room or home school room, I think Ikea is perfect! The parson chairs, desk chairs and laptops were all very affordable options from Walmart!
I focused on zones to plan the space. When you walk in, the desks and individual areas are on the left, the work area is in the center, storage for Mom is on the right and in front of the window is a reading center.
Here is the desk area where they each have their own laptop.
In between their desks is a bookcase where they have a printer that they share. One of my 'tricks' for craft or work spaces for kids is to use a utensil caddy for craft tools. You can see 3 here. If a pen breaks or marker leaks, this will wipe right down and can even go in the dishwasher!
they each have a map above their desk, one of the world and one of the United States.

Right in front of each child is an in basket which is where they put the work that they have completed.

In the bookcase, they each have their own storage bins and set of notebooks and Mom grades their work and then files them here. If it is daily work, it goes in the subject folder, if it is a grade or represents that they have completed their required curriculum, it goes into their portfolio.

The low cabinet on the right holds baskets and storage boxes perfectly for LOTS of storage yet every spot holds something specific so she can find anything she needs quickly.

Here is a close up of the baskets and boxes--they are huge!
Here is another view of that area while standing from the window end of the room.
On the wall where the main entry door is, I have added a display area for their work. They both love creating art for their display wall and filled this up quickly! In front of the couch on the wall is a small bookcase that has all their books on it and they sit there daily to read while watching for the eagle that lands on the ledge outside the window. Their experience homeschooling is going very well, in large part to their ability to dedicate an entire room to becoming a classroom and it was an honor to create this room for them!

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