Friday, September 14, 2012

Best bows and homemade gift wrap


What better way to gift wrap used books than with repurposed papers from around the house?

I didn't have any gift wrap (besides Christmas patterns) and the kids needed something to do. I took a large sheet of drawing paper off the easle and laid it out on the dining room table with crayons. Kids love knowing their art is a gift.

Meanwhile, I tried a new Pinterest project: making gift bows out of magazine pages. Here's a great pin to get started. The green bow pictured above was my first attempt and it didn't take more than 10 or 15 minutes once I had all the supplies:





  • colorful magazine pages


  • scissors


  • stapler (I used a lot of staples)


  • school glue



I used one magazine page per bow. I cut six strips from each page (trimming off the torn edge). I used three full-length strips, cut an inch off two strips, and used one for the center loop. Each strip is twisted to form a loop on each end, and stapled in the center. I stapled the layers together and then used one dot of glue to secure the center loop. If you are interested in step-by-step instructions, the pin I linked to above has great photos.



Here's my collection so far. Creating your own gift wrap really makes you consider the materials that go into the piles of wrapping and trimmings we toss out during the holidays. I tried to find video online of how gift bows are made, but instead I came up with hundreds of how-tos for DIY bows. Here is article on Earth911 about wrapping paper and it's impact.













Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The first day of school




When I saw the big yellow school bus come around the corner, I felt about four feet tall again. Granted, I haven’t grown all that much since I last rode a school bus. I felt a lump rise up in my throat and turn into a knot in my stomach.

It was my son’s turn to ride the school bus for the very first time. I could not be more proud, but still I was a bundle of nerves for the both of us. (Would he find his classroom? Would he get onto the right bus after school?) At five years old he’s a creature of habit and loves all things routine and consistent. This was a big change. Don’t get me wrong, he is excited about growing up and going to school. But he gets the first day jitters like the best of us.

Last week I showed him a video of my first (and only) skydiving experience. I pointed out how nervous I was to try something new, but how fun and exciting it turned out to be. The night before kindergarten, he told me he was scared like I was to jump out of the plane.

So pretty much everyone goes to kindergarten and it’s not a big deal, but I felt like the proudest mom on the planet when he put on his brave face and went to school for the first time. This was an important milestone in my son’s life. But it was also a reminder to this grown up that sometimes you have to face your fears and jump out of the plane—or get on the bus.