Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reusable Celebrations

I have been working in my daughter's school as the resident Master Recycler teaching classes about recycling. One lesson I will teach will be about durable vs. disposable goods and help the class put together a reusable party pack. This pack will be a tote filled with reusable plates, cups, utensils, cloth napkins and a reusable celebration banner. The idea is that the classes will use durable goods for their class celebrations instead of disposable items that will go to the landfill. Imagine how much waste will be diverted if all classes used durable goods for all of their parties!

I love the idea of presenting the classes with these Reusable Party Packs, but I wanted the kids to take more ownership in the project than just being the recipient of a tote full of items. I arranged for an afternoon in my daughter's 2nd grade class to teach a lesson and work with the students to create a reusable celebration banner that could be used at all parties. I wanted it made from recycled materials and be versatile enough to use throughout the year, so I can up with this mosaic banner made from cereal boxes and magazine scraps. The students worked in small groups and had the task of creating a letter for the banner. While the class was working hard ripping out colorful magazine pages for their mosaics, student came to me 2 at a time to work on making a cloth napkin. I brought my serger into the classroom along with fabric donated by the students. Each student picked out a piece of fabric and traced a 12"x12" square, then handed it to me to serge the edges. The kids were fascinated by the serger and I had fun teaching them how the machine worked. They were all excited about the professional looking cloth napkin that was created and took ownership in the specific napkin they made. Many students wanted to make more than one and were pleased to be asked to help with more napkins for the students that were absent or guests that may come to the party.

We have also made a happy birthday banner that hangs in the dining room during each family birthday we celebrate in our home.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween Decorations

I can't belive this is the first time I have really decorated for Halloween. I am starting small, but next year I should have even more decorations to use. Here are a couple of examples of the decorations I made this year. I had fun searching blogs for fun ideas and then making the projects for just a couple dollars each. I even used some of the wool scraps to cut out make fall leaves.

When I made the spooky wreath with moss and spiders, I was standing at my craft table gluing spanish moss on a foam wreath when my kids gathered around and wanted to know what I was doing. We decided to make a game of it and I became "Cynthia, ReThink Craft Guru" with my own tv show. My kids sat in front of me pretending to be my tv audience while I talked my way through my crafts, explaining how to use the glue gun and how to make spooky holiday crafts. We even had a guest appearance by my 3 year old who interrupted my show by wanting some attention. The other kids thought it was hilarious that he appeared on "tv" in the middle of our pretend craft show.

Recycled Notebooks

For my birthday my wonderful husband gave me a comb binder. What made the gift so special was that I had been wanting one, but had not mentioned it for months. I was surprised to see such a perfect gift! I tend to hint heavily about what I would like for my birthday, but not this time. Thanks Jess!!!
With my new comb binder, I have been making notebooks using recycled materials. I start by using any recycled cardstock I can find. My recycling bin is typically full of boxes from cereal, granola bars, cake mix, crackers, etc. Once the sides, top and bottom are cut off, I use the back sides of the them which offers a clean background to create. I love using paint chips which provide vivid colors to work with. After cutting and gluing them to the cardstock, I wrap the covers in packing tape to ensure the paint chips will stay in place. I tend to do many of my projects with kids and you can never tell if they will use enough glue (or too much glue). The tape is just there to make sure they don't fall off.
I have now done this project with about 50 kids and I am always amazed to see what they come up with for their designs. My favorite idea was to cut out the names of all the paint colors and make a collage with them. There are such creative names given to many of the colors that not only does it make a beautiful design, but it is fun to read too.
Once the cover is completed, I use scrap paper to fill the notebook. We keep a box full of scrap paper at my house. A lot of the scrap paper comes from misprinted pages from my printer, or fliers and announcements sent from school. My kids have learned to use both sides of their paper and typically use scrap paper whenever creating new projects. I am also amazed at how much perfectly good paper people are willing to throw away or recycle. My husband came home with 4 reams of goldenrod colored paper that his boss didn't want and was ready to throw away. Thanks to him for rescuing it. It filled the notebooks that over 50 kids made. My mom also gave me 2 boxes filled will all sorts of paper that her school was ready to throw away.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Holiday Craft Shows

It's time to post the craft shows of the 2010 holiday season. I am excited to add some new sales to the line-up this year too. Make sure you check back to see my updated list as the holidays grow nearer. I am waiting to hear if I have been accepted into a handful of shows that I hope to add to my list. I am sure I will try and squeeze a couple more sales into the agenda if possible.

October 16-17th
Gorge Fruit and Craft Fair
Hood River Fairgrounds, Odell, Oregon
10am- 5pm

November 7th
Pre-Holiday Shopping Extravaganza
Hood River Best Western Holiday Inn
Gorge Room

November 13th
Oregon City High School Holiday Bazaar
19761 Beavercreek Rd
Oregon City, OR 97045

November 13th
Check 'Em Off Green Holiday Event
Marshall Community Center,
1009 E Mcloughlin Blvd,
Vancouver, WA‎

November 20th
St. Mary's Academy Bazaar
1112 Cherry Heights Rd.
The Dalles, OR
(I am not sure if I have the times right. I will update when I know for sure)

November 21st
SCRAP Annual Holiday Bazaar
2915 NE MLK Jr. Blvd
Portland, OR
(This is a two day event, Saturday and Sunday, but I will only be there on Sunday)

November 31-December 1
OHSU Heart Research 2010 Holiday Bazaar
Center for Health & Healing at OHSU's South Waterfront District
3303 SW Bond Ave
Portland, OR 97239
10am to 6pm

December 4th

New Seasons, Concordia
5320 Northeast 33rd Avenue
Portland, OR 97211

December 4th
Laurelhurst School Winter Artisan Bazaar
840 NE 41st Avenue in Northeast Portland

Decemebr 5th
McMenamins Corenelius Pass RoadHouse
2nd Annual Holiday Market
Imbrie Hall
4045 N.W. Cornelius Pass Rd.
Hillsboro, OR 97124
12 noon 'til 5 p.m.

December 16th
3 Rivers Grill
Hood River, Oregon
We are not sure of the time yet, but this will be an evening event

December 19th
Formal Holiday Artisans Fair 2010
The Acadian Ballroom
1829 Northeast Alberta Street
Portland, OR 97211

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kids Craft Class at Small Planet Trading

Thanks to Small Planet Trading, Hood River's only Fair Trade store, I was able to have my second Kids Craft Class. The class was held at Small Planet Trading and while kids we doing crafts, parents and customers shopped. Today we had three tables set up for our three crafts. The kids made Magic Duct Tape Wallets, Bottle cap Magnets and holiday garland. About eleven kids ages 5-12 attended and were all successful at creating their individual projects. I learned that kids just like to create. Plain and simple. Once many of them finished the projects I had provided, they used the materials to make something new.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hood River Hops Fest and my Billboard Wallets

This is one of my favorite times of year. The mornings are crisp, the apples and pears are ready to harvest, the holiday craft season is about to begin and Hood River hosts it's annual Hops Fest. This will be my second year being a craft vendor at the Hops Fest, but I have been to the event many times. Since my husband works in the brewing industry, it is a wonderful combination of beer drinking for him and crafts for me. The Hood River Hops Fest is located in the parking lot across from Full Sail, where the weekly Saturday Markets are normally held. The weather is supposed to be sunny and warm, which will make the noon- 9pm event pleasant.

I will be debuting my newest item, billboard wallets. My dad came up with the design and handed it to me with a protype he made, aksing me if I wanted to make more. The design is so great, and I have so much billboard material, that I thought I would try it out. I am excited to hear feedback about the wallets, one of the few Man items I make. I am having so much fun making them and using the yards and yards of billboard material I still have.