Song of Solomon 3:4

Eighteen years ago, I was 31 years old, marrying for the first time. I had Song of Solomon 3:4 engraved in my handsome husband's wedding band. (He had "Always" engraved in mine.)

Our church has spent the last several months going verse-by-verse (and sometimes word-by-word) through that little-taught book. For much of the time, it was standing-room only in our gym/sanctuary, the hour-long lessons notwithstanding.  I think folks were hungry to hear God's plan for sexuality and romance. A lot of tears were evident. I hope they foreshadowed a lot of healing.

On our anniversary I put the verse into my husband's liquid soap dispenser, just because. I didn't like the way it turned out, so I re-did it, as I often do. (I tend to do things twice. Seamrippers are my best friend, can I just tell you?) Here's the result, in a sea-glass blue bottle from Target.


Open House Teacher Treat Tutorial

Middle- and high-school teachers tend to get left out of the gift-giving flurry so common in elementary grades, though those teachers are no less deserving of a "thanks" or a "good job!" It's not as easy to come up with gifts, though, so I'm always happy when I find something that suits.

Liquid soap makes a sweet hostess gift and might also work in a k-4 classroom, but for a middle- or high-school teacher's classroom, it's pretty useless, since most don't have access to running water. Nearly every classroom at our high school has a bottle of (teacher-provided) waterless hand sanitizer that they refill from their own funds. (School accounts have been cut drastically this year.)

I decided to gift them a bottle and make it a little special, with an under-$2.25 gift that blesses everybody with an inspirational quote and less sickness all around. (Which is really good news right now, since strep and staph AND the first case of 'flu are rampaging through all three schools here!)

The Learn-as-you-go Tutorial:
1. Cut transparencies to fit bottle.
2. Remove label by hook or crook.
3. Insert transparency.
Or, follow the Learn-From-Somebody-Else's-Mistakes Tutorial...

Embracing the Learning Curve

April 29: Looking for a teacher gift? 
Our end-of-the-year gifts for 2012 are catalogued here and here, with links to recipes and tutorials!
Happy gifting!
Eight weeks ago, I posed myself a question on Pinterest, after seeing these cute little personalized liquid
soap dispensers by Katy over at Smile Like You Mean It.  I wondered: Since most teachers do not have access to water in their classrooms, could these cute little liquid soap containers be tweaked for waterless sanitizers?

While waiting to test my question,  since it was our anniversary and the verse is engraved in his wedding band, I immediately made this one with regular liquid soap for my husband's sink . (Just slipped it in there without a word, and was rewarded with one of those smiles (the kind I can never tell whether's he's touched or trying to keep from rolling his eyes) and, "You are something else, you know that?" (I'm going with "touched," and moving on.)

I added a redo to improve the results to my craft journal list (here it is, including a sweet dispenser from Target in sea-glass blue to match our Caribbean-color master suite!) and then smeared a little anti-bac on another image to see whether the 66% alcohol was a sure-fire way to end up with a blank transparency. Then I forgot about it.

This disgusting thing sat on the counter through uniform shopping, school registration, learner's permit acquisition, practices and assignments.  (That's just hand sanitizer, I promise. Nobody's even had a cold lately. Really.) Been a busy few weeks around here, it has. But nothing smeared or scraped off; that's the main thing.

I’m finally getting around to finishing the test. Here you can see I'm trying submerging a snippet in the hand sanitizer for a prolonged stay, just to see. I’d hate to give a gift that melted and ended up  nasty and useless. As I edit this, it's been 24 hours with no signs of problems. Coolio.

Stay tuned for all the variations I'm planning. I love this kind of experimentation, seeing what I can figure out through trial and error!

Well, most of the time I do.

Printables to share

I really like playing with words. Whether it's writing them, reading them, or just dragging them around in a computer program, I like words a lot, and I'd rather engage words somehow than watch TV for relaxation.

I've been collecting quotes forever--I literally have a plastic TUB full of 'em that I hoped I could one day "do something" with. As it turns out, today's the day. And the "something" is customized anti-bacterial hand sanitizers.

HUH? You say? Well, open house at the high school is coming up, and I wanted to leave a little something on each teacher's desk. What better to leave than a practical gift that is also maybe a little inspiring?

Go here to snag this set of printables and (later) more!

Gift-giving Checklist

What makes a good teacher gift?

It's not rocket science.* It's the same as what makes any gift a good one, allowing a little leeway for the truth that we don't usually give gifts to people except those we're quite close to.

To me a good handmade gift is...

Anything's Better Than Apples

Don't get me wrong; I like apples. But apple-themed gifts for teachers have to be right up there next to those cheesy convenience-store roses in the "Sooo NOT thinking about you" queue when it comes to gifting.

I received some pretty great gifts back when I had a first day of school, too.

I displayed the lovely Blue Willow saucer that Lauren gave me until my daughter broke it dusting, and the fish candle holder and wooden Christmas ornament that Ari gave me are on my bedside table. There are several touchstones like this around my house still. I last taught 12 years ago, so I think it's safe to say that if these kids (or, more accurately, their parents) were hoping to touch my life, they succeeded.

On the other hand...

First Day

Today is the first day of school here, and I had meant to send a "Happy New (School) Year" treat for all the teachers we've had before. I stayed up late making cinnamon roll cupcakes to put into little clear plastic cups.  I just plain forgot to figure in enough time for letting the refrigerated rolls rise when I set the clock last night. Oops.
But tomorrow's another day, and the kiddos will be seeing the French teacher then, too, so no biggie.  

After the kids were happily launched, I was browsing through a link I followed from Pinterest and found yet another really cute idea that would be great a teacher gift. I thought, "Yes! Sooo much better than APPLES!"

I'm always looking for sweet, handmade gifts that make the recipient think, "Wow!" not, "Cheap!" Maybe you're the same way?

I've started a list that you'll find here, specifically aimed at upper grade teachers and staff. (There are plenty of ideas for elementary teachers, so I aimed older and tried to include the guys.)

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