Our Booster Team tries to have something for all the staff every day of the week for Teacher’s Week.  This year, it’s a Wall of Fame and Body Search on Monday, breakfast on Tuesday, goodie bags on Wednesday, desserts on Thursday and coffee on Friday.

We decorated Friday after school for Monday. The Wall of Fame is a star for every staff person, with their name and location. I stamped stars under the glitter paper for every year they’ve worked here. Not everyone replied to the query, so some don’t have year stars. They are put on the wall ranked by how many years they’ve worked here. It was surprising to see how long some people have been here, and some that I thought had been here a while are actually pretty new! I left the stamp and ink pad at the office in case anyone wanted to add their years to their star. The other thing we did was the “Body Search.”  We did this last year, and it was a hoot.  Diecut bodies (either generic figure or gingerbread style) are decorated with the staff picture and name of every staff person. This year the theme is “Rock Star,” so I printed a generic guitar clipart and glued it on. The bodies are hidden all over the school for the kids to find on Monday. They turn in the body for a treat – this year we got free ice cream cone coupons from McDonalds! It’s a bit chaotic in the morning, but the kids have fun with it. Now that most of them have been found, we can put them on the wall with their stars so we can tell who is still missing!


Breakfast on Tuesday was strawberries, bananas, pineapple, granola, plain yogurt, flavored yogurt, instant oatmeal and muffins (all from Costco). They have a commercial coffee maker (purchased by the Booster a few years ago), so I didn’t worry about making anything to drink.

Wednesday goodie bags are labeled with staff names so there’s no confusion over who gets a bag (everyone). They had Starburst, Moon pies, Pop rocks, Erin Baker mini cookies, and magnetic bookmarks that I made. See my previous post for more details on that!

Thursday the non-teachers are hosting lunch. We’ve put out a call for people to bring in desserts.

Friday is Espresso Day! A local mobile coffee joint, Queen Bee Espresso, brings their trailer to the school early in the morning. I handed out tickets to everyone, even the morning bus drivers, and they get a medium drink “on the house.” They have their choice of placing the order in person or writing it on the coupon and dropping it in a box in the lounge ahead of time. I made the coupons with labels and location so we know where to deliver the drinks, the end is hole punched to slide over a coffee straw and perforated to tear off.  I used my sewing tracing wheel to perforate below the sticker. The body of the coupon stays at the trailer and we just count them to know how many drinks we pay for (flat rate). Everyone seems to enjoy it, and on sunny days there will be a line of people waiting outside to get their drinks in person. I’ll make up bags with apples and cookies for the afternoon bus drivers.



The Booster Team has been giving gifts to the entire staff for Teacher Appreciation week for years – we give all the staff the same treats, all week.  Its been as simple as plants from the local nursery, to mugs with fabric organizers filled with stuff.  Yes, I sewed all the organizers. No, I won’t do it again. I was so tired of that pattern!0504151409

Lately, it’s been small containers filled with treats that fit our theme of the week. This year our theme is “Rock Star.” I used #2 paper bags, since they are cheap, easy to decorate, and we can use them for other prizes. I stapled a diecut star to the top with a file label sticker. We’ve found that labeling everything with the staff name eliminates a lot of confusion.0504151323

The treats in the bag this year are Starburst, Pop rocks, Moon pies, Erin Baker mini cookies and magnetic bookmarks. Ok, they don’t all fit the theme, but since I’m the one putting it all together I get to choose! I hope the bookmarks are a hit. They were easy to make! I made 3 for everyone.

Washi tape. This was my first time using washi tape. It’s easy to carried away with it.
Cardstock. I found some trimmed file folders in the scrap pile at school.
Magnetic tape, adhesive backed.
Optional: paper cutter, wood stick, small diecuts and glue

0426151049The scraps of file folders were cut to even the edges, final width 3.25.”  Apply the washi tape to one edge, wrapping the tape around the edges. Use the paper cutter or scissors to trim the covered piece off. I used the paper cutter and the wooden stick to crease the middle of the bookmark, or you can fold them in half.
0426151039I used 1″ wide magnetic tape, and cut it into pieces narrow enough to fit within the width of the washi tape. Remove the paper backing and adhere one piece to the inside of the bookmark. Place another piece of magnetic on top of the glued magnet (they tend to offset a little bit). Remove the paper from the top magnet and fold the bookmark over it to adhere.

I added glitter or hologram diecuts to the folded end of the bookmark. I thought it would stick out of the book, being a flag for the teachers.  You can also decorate the front of the bookmark.  I used a tape runner to stick the glitter diecut to the top of the bookmark, then put another piece on the back, matching the edges.

For the treat bags, I cut a piece of cardstock that would fit within a sandwich bag with the bookmarks attached

This time, I’m still having fun with the project even after making 250 of them.  The tape comes in a huge variety of colors and widths. I think everyone will get bookmarks for their Christmas stockings this year!

Insect eye gazing ball

I wanted a gazing ball to add to an area of the garden where I’m planning to add a mosaic faux pond.  I bought an inexpensive one that was supposed to glow in the dark, but it doesn’t really glow. The glass is swirled  green and red, but not as cool as I wanted.  So I took an idea from pinterest.  We (I had help) painted the bottoms of flat glass gems with glitter nail polish, then colored nail polish (in this case, gold glitter and a combination of red and purple). The gems were glued to the ball using silicone caulking.  I used masking tape to hold the gems in place as the silicone dried, doing small sections so they would hold on the curve of the glass.  Two rolls of wide masking tape helped; one for a base and one put over the stem of the ball to weight it so the area being worked on would stay up!I was concerned that if I covered the entire ball, it wouldn’t be stable in the holder. So to mark where to stop, I put a piece of paper over the top of the holder, put the ball in place and marked the ball with a Sharpie.  The paper prevented me from marking up the holder at the same time! I didn’t put anything in between the glass gems, so the light can go through the ball. It took 2 small bags of larger gems and 6 bags of the smaller ones. The silicone, which costs a little over $2, wasn’t even half used. For around $10, it turned out really cool! It doesn’t glow, but I think it looks like a giant bug eye with all the facets!

Beaded Tassel

One of my beading books uses painted beads as a foundation for beaded beads.  I liked that idea, so one day when I needed something to occupy a little time I painted a few wooden beads I had with nail polish! Now I had smooth super-shiny bases for something wonderful!

IMG_0233 IMG_0234 

I painted one red, one green and one light blue.  Yes, I don’t keep many “normal” nail polish shades in my box!  What you see here is the red bead.  I did a ring of beads about the size of the bead’s hole.  Then I did fringes that were the length of the bead, in black and white.  I connected the fringes at the other hole to encase the bead.  The next step was latitude stripes that go around the bead – black at the poles, white in the middle.  Embellishments of red beads and shell heishi finished that part.  The beads were very full of thread by the time it was done!

I made a tassel of fringe on an eye pin (going through the eye), went through the beaded bead, added a white bead larger than the hole and formed a wrapped loop.  The wraps snugged the tassel up against the bottom of the bead. 

This is actually on the pull chain for a ceiling fan which gets only occasional use.

The green bead was covered in a similar way with purple and yellow beads, accented with amethyst beads (sorry, no picture).  The blue bead still awaits it’s transformation!

Different needles have different uses, but which ones do you use regularly?  I have three favorites: a #12 milliners needle, a #12 quilting needle, and a curved needle.

I use the milliners needle for almost everything.  The eye is the same diameter as the needle, so I know if I can get half the needle through, the rest should pull through as well.  It’s long and springy, which I like, but I also tend to bend them with use.  I’ll keep using the bent needle until it breaks! Its smaller size also makes it easier to use with smaller beads.  I got my current needles from a store that is no longer in business, so I’ll need to find a new source! (Just looked – Beadcats has these too!)

I use the quilting needle for most bead-weaving projects, and for burying the end of the thread on crochet bracelets.  I can’t get the thicker thread I use for crocheting through the eye on the milliner’s needle.  I also tend to use a thread until it’s too short to tie a knot, so sometimes I switch to a quilting needle to end a thread since it’s shorter.  I’ve stashed so many packs of quilting needles I may not need to ever buy another!

I use the curved needle for sculptural works.  I can angle it anywhere I need, and I can get from one side of a sculpture to another (usually).  The only tricky part with a curved need for me is remembering to always push the beads off the needle onto the thread before I move the needle too far away from the bead mat!  It only takes a few times of having to pick the beads up twice to get me back on track.  I get my curved needles from Beadcats.

Bubbles necklace

IMG_0130Bubbles has at its center a lovely agate with swirls of white that came from Walker Valley WA.  The agate is secured with a bead cage.  I like the openness of the cage, it lets the light bounce through the translucency of the stone.  There is foil glued to the back of the stone to help prevent the color of the felt base showing through the stone.  Mother of pearl heishi mimic the white swirls in the stone.IMG_0126The spiral rope necklace goes through a broad band of herringbone sewn to the ultrasuede backing.IMG_0127A lovely thing about this necklace is the spiral rope can be worn with or without the pendant. IMG_0129 The pendant is stitched on felt, backed with ultrasuede and is 1 5/8” by 2 3/8”.  The spiral rope is 20” long with a silver magnetic clasp.

Wedding Daisy Bracelet


This bracelet is a re-incarnation of a belt I made for my sister’s wedding.  How do they expect you to hang onto a ring 4 sizes too big, 2 bouquets of flowers and chase bees away?  I solved one of those problems by making a daisy chain belt for my dress.   It contains all the colors from the wedding, and had a little satin bag to hold the ring.  It worked great! I put a clasp on both ends, so afterwards I wrapped it around my wrist a few times and put the clasps together.  Unfortunately it stretched out over time, and I didn’t like how the threads were showing.  It sat in a little beaded change purse for a long time, until I transformed it into a multi-strand bracelet with sliding clasp.IMG_0084

It’s still daisy chain, but all the strands are connected at the ends, making it more square stitch.  I had some beads left over, so I added a row of individual daisy flowers as a ruffle at the clasp.

This is also my first post using Window Live Writer.  I have problems downloading pictures to use online blog editors, so I’m hoping since this is already on my computer it will be much faster – we’ll see how long it takes to download an entire post!