12 Days of Christmas…Teacher’s Edition!


As my son and I were coming up with ideas for his pre-k teachers Christmas gift, I thought what is better than 1 gift?  How about 12 gifts, and celebrate Christmas and the magic that comes with giving someone something special.  I’ve always heard that teaching is somewhat of a thankless job, so I decided to make a point to show the teachers who spend their days forming my child’s mind.

So here goes what we did for our 12 days of Christmas.  I am a thrifty person at heart, so I started shopping for these items when he started Pre-k back in August.  Clearance section at Target was the best place to find items at .25 cents a piece.

Day 1: Clip Boards. I had some vinyl letters cut out to put on them that spelled out the  teacher’s first names.

 

Day 2: Two stampers. These came in a pack of 5 from Target and were in the dollar section; I paid maybe .50 cents for all 5.

Day 3: 3 binder clips, these were from the dollar store, 1.00 for a pack of 10.

(pictures coming) 

Day 4: 4 dry erase markers, again dollar store 1.00 for a pack of markers!

5th day, 5 pop corn bags, bought two boxes from Publix grocery store, they were on sale BOGO and I had a coupon so they were less than 1.00 a piece.

Day 6: Swiss hot cocoa, you could add a coffee mug if you wanted to this, which I might do, but we all know they end up in a yard sale or goodwill within time.  I try to stick to things that I know will be used up, or they will treasure. Or you can make it into “cocoa in a jar” and make it pretty with some printable description stickers. Another BOGO item at Publix.

Day 7: A pack of gum. This one was hard, I could not think of anything in “7’s” that would work, but the rhyme worked with it.

Day 8: A pack of 8 note cards with the teachers initials on them.  I found these at Target, they were on clearance in the dollar section after summer for .25 cents a piece.

9th day 9 candy canes, of course these you can find anywhere right now, best priced place I have found is dollar stores, or dollar tree stores.

Day 10: A pad of post-its. Another Target clearance find.

 (pictures coming)

Day 11: 11 holiday pencils. You can find these at Walmart,Target just about anywhere. I of course, going with the trend found these last winter on clearance 90% off at Target, and was just holding on to them for something special.

Day 12: I don’t have a picture of this just yet.  I am going to give each teacher a small basket with 12 apples in it.  Apples are a good fall/winter fruit and normally you can find them on sale easily in the grocery.

 (pictures coming)

So make your teachers happy, they will smile from ear to ear.  Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, from mine to yours.

Tara L. Bowman

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Baked Marbles tutorial!


Hello fellow craftians! I’m Jessy, one of the other main voices around “these parts”. I’ve been putting off writing my first tutorial partly due to severe bronchitis…but mainly the stage fright of writing my first post. But here I am…and I’m gonna just dive in and do it.

BAKED MARBLES!

Materials:

  • Decorative round glass marbles
  • Cookie sheet
  • Bowl of ice water
  • Bead caps
  • Findings starter kit
  • E6000 jewelry glue
  • Necklace
  • Earring wire (optional)
  • (cost: $10-15; makes 20+)

So here is something that I’ve seen around Pinterest and have been dying to try. I never thought it would actually work til I heard these little things sizzling in the ice water.

First, I spent a few weeks looking for marbles that would actually work. Finally, I found the clear marbles needed in the floral section with the container fillers of Hobby Lobby. Once I got them home and some time to myself, I grabbed all my materials and set to work.

I tried a few different temperatures that I had seen around the internet, and after a few trial and error attempts I figured out that hotter was better. I set my oven for 500, and spread half the bag of marbles on the cookie sheet.

I cooked them for about 20-30 minutes then immediately poured them into a glass bowl of ice water….sszzzzzzzz It was a nice sound to hear, tells you that it’s working. Let them cool for 20 minutes or so, then I poured them (carefully) onto a paper towel to dry.

At this point, they are fragile, so expect a few or more to break. Please be careful when handling these!! 

While they were drying off, I played around with the bead caps and anchoring them with wire. It took some playing and I’m still not sure if I’m doing it right, but it holds!

I took the wire and threaded it through the bead cap, then twisted it into a flat spiral to lock it in, then glued the cap onto the marble.

 

 

I let it sit out kitty’s reach for 24 hours and voila!  From there you can either put them on a necklace, or earring wire or hang them from some sting in your window to make some pretty sparkles room to brighten it up!

Go grab some marbles and let your imagination lead the way!!

Please show us what you’ve come up with and link to the pictures in the comments. I can’t wait to see what amazing things you do with them!

Jessy ^-^

Andie’s Introductory Tut of Awesome!: Coffee Shrine *cough*/ Memory Board


Andie here – as if it weren’t already obvious by the title, and once more, to be redundant, I’ll be one of the voices you’ll be hearing from often around here.  I’ve been crafting since the year I helped my mom fashion me a cellphone costume for Halloween (everyone thought I was a calculator though…ah the days before the mobile boom!) My style is kitsch in a redeeming sort of way; I have a love of all things following the R³ philosophy (Repurposed, Reused, and Recycled!), and that’s where this first craft comes from.

You Will Need:

•  Scissors
•  50 lb Coffee Bag
•  Three Panel Poster Board (can substitute plywood, cork board, or foamboard of around the same size)
•  Hot Glue Gun
•  Hemp (I used a Natural Polished Thick Hemp roll of 65 yards)
•  Thumbtacks, and (not pictured)
•  Stapler

About the Bag: Many local coffee joints will sell these babies once they’ve been depleted of their contents.  I got mine at Jumpin’ Java in Shallot, NC for only 5 bucks!

Helpful Starting Hint: Hemp is a very irresistible product for kittehs.  After completing this project otherwise, I would recommend removing them from your work space. Lest you have to deal with this. Or this. Or this.

Step One: Prepare Your Board

If you have something other than the three panel board, you can skip this step.  I chose it because it was the least expensive for the most thickness, and since it was a personal project I could cut a few corners for the sake of costs.

Bear in mind, whatever color surface you use will show through the burlap ever so slightly, so choose accordingly. All I did here was fold the panels backwards for thickness and staple them into place. With every stapling in this project, I sealed with a bit of hot glue for stability.

This takes some amount of crawling around the edges to get the folds to go the opposite direction that they want to, but as you can see, my Baby Cat did pitch in to try and help:

Step Two: Affix the Bag Over Your Surface

Cut along the seams of your bag so you can work with just the front panel, then trim it down to about 2-3 inches larger than the surface you are covering (more if it your surface is thicker). Lay it face down, being sure it is smooth, then layer your board over it and proceed to stapling it tautly into place.

Your finished product should look something like this:

Step 3:  Applying Your Hemp/Ribbon

From here on out things get a little open to interpretation.  The key here is to keep things pulled tight and don’t skimp on staples.  For each of my stripes I used 3, yard length pieces (nose to outstretched arm method). Let your own personal style shine through! Be asymmetrical and lopsided or militaristic and precise! Make diamonds or a grid. Just keep in mind whatever you will be using the board to display, and make sure the gaps you create in your pattern are appropriate for tucking said items.

Step 4:  Tacking and Embellishments

Now everything really is up to you.  A good tacking in the middle of every crossed line will ensure your creation actually holds on to whatever you’re placing into it. Instead of tacks you could also  proceed to more stapling then cover them up with embellishments like buttons or, in my case, hemp flowers. Thumbtacks are a good idea to have around though, as a little extra security for whatever you’re showcasing in the cords never hurt…especially when you have cats 😉

Tacking Only:

Embellishments:

Step 5: Load Her Up!

You’re done! Have fun from here designing your layout of paraphernalia. I imagine this could be a cute place for not even the sentimental, but also post-it reminders, business cards and the like.  Go heavy or go light, just remember to let your personality shine through.

Coffee on, guys 🙂

Andie ❤

First Post! Here we are!!


If you’re like us, you can’t imagine your life without your neighborhood hole-in-the-wall coffee joint. Take a moment to picture it – the mood lighting, the comfy chairs…that ahmahgah delicious aroma of a premium dark roast-in-progress. Throw in the fact that caffeine is readily available in various yummy delicious forms and you’ve got at least one of us ready to take up residence. But it doesn’t stop there…

Enter into the haven of the handmade. Wall art, pottery, jewelry, accessories and more – the intimate little cafes we love so much are quickly becoming breath-taking displays all of the things that get our creative blood movin’ to all those right places.

So what do you get when you take two chicks on a caffeine high, mix in some local artisan inspiration and a dash of idle hands? You’ve just found it.

Welcome to Coffee Break Creations, where our desire is to keep you informed of all things caffeinated and delicious, handmade and gorgeous, inimitable and even (sssshhh!) easily replicable! There’ll be reviews, DIYS, craftastrophes…you name it, if it’s crafty it’ll be covered. We hope you’ll stick with us on our quest for handcrafted gold, it’s sure to be a blast!