Thursday, September 12, 2013

Back-to-School Bulletin Board

Back to School!

Okay, some of us have been back in school for awhile.  My mom works in a school district that started August 4!  
But before I digress, I am the bulletin board volunteer at my daughter's school.  It's the main board that hangs in the front hallway and most days I can hardly believe I get to count decorating anything as volunteer hours!
So needless to say, I really love doing it.
I used  mixture of svgs from Silhouette online, while the little people are from Lettering Delights.  The files are listed below.  (And please forgive the poor picture quality.  It was not a hallway meant for photography!)

Silhouette Files:
Adobe mission #29605
Bare Tree with leaves #13627
6 Clouds #16140 (for the leaves)
Baby Got Backpack Cut it Set

Happy Back to School!

Personalized Pouches

I always find something fun in the dollar aisle at Target!  The other day I found these cute little pouches.

And I knew that they would be even cuter if personalized - and then they would be such a fun gift container!

Also, I had been wanting to use these fun monograms from Silhouette.


So here's how I did it.

First I downloaded all of the letters I needed for the monogram.  For the diamond, I "ungrouped" each letter and deleted all but the three letters I wanted.  This monogram was easy because I only needed an "M" and a "B."  I just needed to move the "B" over to the "M" diamond.  I resized each letter a bit to get it just right and cut it out of heat transfer vinyl.  (The diamond monogram was flocked vinyl.)

The script monogram is the same idea.  I "ungrouped" each letter group and moved the biggest "B" to fit between the little "M"s.  I made sure I liked the size of everything.  The most important part of getting the script monogram to look right is to overlap the letters slightly and then to "weld" them together.  Then I cut it out of regular heat transfer vinyl.

I gave these to my Mom for her birthday with a necklace inside the smallest pouch.  Then I put the smaller pouch inside the bigger one.  My daughter loved that the pouches nested so that the gift kept going.  "Unzip that one, too, Grammy!"

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Book Club

Back in July (and by "back", I mean 2012), we were the hosts for a little bookclub we moms put together for our rising 1st graders.  We chose Geronimo Stilton's The Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye.

We decorated with lots of Geronimo and cheese decor.

The first activity was a Newspaper Scavenger Hunt.  This was a great idea, sourced from  The kids looked for things like a classified ad, a sports story, a number.  We did this while we waited for everyone to arrive.

Then we got ready for a scavenger hunt.  My kids LOVE scavenger hunts.  They opened a clue, a riddle, which led them to another clue, which led get the idea!  At the end, they were led to a treasure of the Emerald Eye: donuts!

 Then we had a discussion of the book.  I took ideas for the questions from

Finally, we snacked on crackers and cheese (of course!) and we had stilton to try.

A little September inspiration to get back in the swing of learning,

Simple Fall Decor

I always think of September as a kind of transitional month: I'm not yet ready to jump into Halloween or Thanksgiving motifs, yet I'm ready to move away from summer.  So I made a super simple Fall mantel to get me in the spirit, as well as a front door hanging that will be easy to change out once the leaves actually start to fall.  (As I write this, it's 80 degrees here!)

For my mantel, I wanted to complement the red in my furniture, so I chose a pretty apple from Silhouette (find it here) and cut it from red paper.

Then I got out a page of cardstock and made the Subway Art by writing out my favorite seasonal words, and then using lots of different fonts.  I cut the whole thing out of the cardstock, and used a wet-erase chalkboard marker to stencil it on the board.  (I think this would be a great use of the Sihouette stencil material, I just didn't have any on hand.)  One tip about stenciling fonts: some of the more decorative fonts (like Circus, for example - used for the words, "Country Fairs,") have lots of little parts and when I went to cut them, the cardstock just got trashed.  So I went back and cut those fonts using the "Cut Edge" Cut-Style option and then filled in details wherever I could freehand.  I then looked among my stash of frames and artwork I have collected over time and put up a few that complemented the season and color scheme.  (I find cheap but really pretty artwork by using pages from a calendar or downloading [copywright-free] images from the internet.)

My door hanging was a super simple throw together using a cone, ribbon, late-season hydrangeas and some mossy sticks I already had on-hand.  I found paper leaves I had made for Thanksgiving last year and wired those on, as well.  (I used the 8 Fall Leaves design for this.)

(I do love a mossy stick...:) )

I hope you enjoy and are finding inspiration this late summer!