Good Finds

Channeling HGTV

Food shows. Cooking shows. Design shows. The latest to come down the pike is some kind of Craft-off hosted by Tori Spelling (yikes). Throw Martha Stewart and MacGyver in a blender and you get the jist of the show. Glue guns, weird supplies, a stopwatch and a “project”. Apparently, creativity is now a spectator sport.

And don’t you totally feel like the world’s most UNcreative soul when you watch these shows? Either that or it propels you to whip out your mighty glue gun and launch into some project that you’ve had on the backburner for 3 years but NOW, NOW is when you want to start it. Must not wait a minute! I want it done NOW! They can do it in a half-an-hour on the show…So. Can. I.!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, school is almost out. This time of the year sends Moms everywhere scrambling for teacher gifts. A Mom I know asked me the other day if I thought it would ok to give a bottle of wine to the Principal. While it’s probably what she needs AND wants right now, we both agreed that there might be better choices for an educator. I also recently heard that one nearby town has instituted a “cut-off” in terms of the  amount of money that a family can spend on a teacher for an end-of-year gift…since the teachers in that town were being given…you’re not going to believe this…cruise tickets. I kid you not. That’s insane. It might just be easier to tell the teacher at the first parent-teacher conference that they have every intention of buying their kids’ grades and promotion to the next year’s class. Craziness, I tell you.

Back to my craftiness, though. The crazies always divert you, don’t they? Since it’s the end of the school year and parties, field trips, early in-school birthday celebrations for those summer birthdays and teacher gifts are in the works…it’s time to get the game on and get creative. And this is coming from me, who in general, is a pretty creative person. Or so my friends say. But year after year…man, it just starts to stump you or more pointedly, wear you out a bit. I’ve talked about needing to go with the flow of the creativity, but when school is out on a certain date, there’s no negotiating.  The pressure.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share with you some of my recent creative endeavors. Just a few but I thought they were cute enough to pass along.

Let’s start with the cupcake parade. One was for that early-birthday celebration. July birthday’s always get gypped, poor things. For some reason, having a birthday ON a school day is infinitely more exciting. And I get it. I’m sort of an attention- hound on my birthday as well. I often take that Queen for a Day mindset just a little too seriously.  So, we Moms try to play things up in June so that these kids can have some of the glory that only comes from one’s Mom staying up until midnight the night before, making and decorating cupcakes for 18 kids and then hauling them into school to be greeted with many ooo’s and ahh’s from the wee crowd. This year’s theme for our little July birthday girl was butterflies. I’m usually not into the desserts that construct their decorations out of candies, but we both thought these were pretty cute. Swedish fish for bodies, M & M heads, licorice antennae, pretzel wings. Add to that, I found the great flower-shaped cupcake wrappers. Score. A flurry of butterflies flew to class that day.

The other cupcake was for the classes annual beach picnic. This year, the event went very smoothly and honestly usually does. For me, though, it’s the kind of all-day event that reduces my mind to oatmeal by the time it’s over. The kids come home with energy to spare and I’m slumped on the sofa as if I’ve just had a lobotomy. So many kids to watch. Sand. Water. Beach bathrooms. Thank goodness it was overcast or there would have been sunscreen to contend with. And yes, you all get some sand with your lunches. That’s what we call beach food. So….sand and water cupcakes it was! Light blue frosting, dip half in graham cracker crumbs and top with little drink umbrellas. Dang cute if I say so myself. And easy.

And finally, our classes teacher gift. The parents voted to donate money and just buy an AmEx gift card (s) and that’s fine. BUT, being the creative soul that I am, I think I would almost start twitching if I were to simply hand over the gift cards in…an envelope. Too horrifyingly plain. *Shiver* Gift cards are pretty generic and not all that personal to begin with, so in my mind, if you don’t glam them up a bit, you’ve virtually committed a crime against creativity. Here’s what I came up with (below)…our teacher has a sweet tooth…we bought gift cards…and her last initial is “C”. She has helped our kids to bloom all year long, so here’s something blooming that she can enjoy.

While I know these recent projects are not worthy of a craft-off or a bake-off, they were fun and easy and lead to some good smiles. And now….vacation is almost here…time to rest my creative juices for a while. Or not?

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