decorating with dodi

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Busy Hands Are Happy Hands

As the LONG, HOT summer draws to a close everyone's thoughts turn to back-to-school. I have always been involved with the back-to-school arrangements for the grandchildren living nearby and this year I had 3 new ones to celebrate with. As previously posted, Harrison spent the night with us and he and I got busy!

And this is when the idea of Pinterest really made sense to me. Up until now, I have been addictingly pinning every idea I saw that I may EVER want to try knowing full well that I would probably not live long enough to ever get to all of them!

But now, I wanted to quickly get my hands on all of my back-to-school ideas. Our first project is a prime example. I first saw the Rolo pencil idea maybe 2 years ago in Creating Keepsakes magazine and thought it was cute. I didn't need it right then, so I still have it somewhere but it would take awhile to find. Then, I saw it floating around blogland last year and since Harrison was now in school, I wanted to keep the idea. I began by starring it and eventually went back and printed it and then filed it somewhere. I am pretty good about keeping my files current but I will admit that they are all so large that unless I REALLY want to find something, I usually don't want to sit down and look through all of that stuff!

And along comes Pinterest!!! All I had to do was pull up my boards and we were off. I used all of these crafts as an added opportunity to review numbers, letter formations, math skills and reading-hard to keep the old teacher down so close to back-to-school...still love the smell of new Crayolas and freshly sharpened pencils!

Ours might not have come out quite as polished as the ones floating in blogland, but we sure had fun making them!

Next we made some back-to-school apples with Apple Jack caterpillars eating through them. It was so easy-download apples, punch hole, push through a green pipe cleaner and string on cereal. I think even Presley could have done this if she didn't eat all of her cereal first. This was the first thing she went for when she opened her goodie bag that night.

Another no brainer-Smarties bagged up with a downloaded topper. All of these goodies were put in bags we decorated with stamps along with some fancy pencils and erasers. We used these as favors at the table which was decorated using our color scheme of red(for apples), green(the color of the boards when I was teaching) and yellow(for pencils) . You'll have to take my word for the fact that the table looked good as I got so busy, I completely forgot to take any pictures! The picture at the top of this post is our centerpiece.

The last thing for this post is a clipboard that we made for each one. We thought that they could hang in the bottom level hall and Daddy would pass them as he came in each evening and could see what had happened that day. That would spur on lots of happy dinner talk. Harrison loved this project as he got to spray paint, sand and drill-right up his alley! We wanted then to look shabby chic so there wasn't really much that could go wrong. We would just say "we meant it to look distressed". It's amazing how long I've been getting away with that. Guess the cat is out of the bag now!

We had one more great project that I will post about tomorrow. Suffice it to say that I managed to get a full dinner on the table-meat loaf (an old family favorite), mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, garlic sauteed asparagus (thanks to daughter #3), salad, Red Lobster cheddar biscuits and fresh apple cake with caramel topping and ice-cream-even though my cooking activities have been mostly confined to the microwave and Lean Cuisines of late. I do love to cook but sometimes wonder how I ever used to do that every day of my life!!!?! Guess I was a lot younger then!

If there are any downloads I have talked about that you would like, just hit my Pinterest button and it will take you to my boards. I think all of these ideas were on my "grandchildren" board. Then, just follow the leads. There's more tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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