For the past few years I've signed up to help with school holiday parties at Jesse's and Sophey's back to school night. But this year all the fill in slots for help were pretty full by the time I got to the sheet. The "provide school supplies" line sounded like a great (ie., easy) idea this year-- and I've always liked being a supply kinda person. Then last week I spotted the black totes at my local craft store... Aha! finally had an idea for a craft project. Yay! (my idea well has been running dry lately), so I bought the totes and hit my studio; thinking pretty, but practical thoughts.
*(This is also counting as my end-of-the-year-teacher-appreciation-gift, since I stink at ever getting anything more than a quick thank you card signed. I have two birthdays that last week of school, so all my good intentions for doing something really nice for our teachers just never quite happen.)*
Anyway, the fabric sewn to the front of the bags is a big pocket. I cut the paisley fabric into a rectangle that fit the bag well and then cut a strip of the brown and black print and the checkered fabric to fit vertically along the side of the bag. I zig-zag stitched the brown fabric onto the paisley fabric first and then zig-zagged the checkered fabric. The vintage lace got stitched on last. I ironed the top of the fabric down about an inch, and ironed the three side edges under about a 1/2".
At this point every extra idea I had to make it look like a teachers bag seemed like a big cliche. Apples? No. Pencils? Nah. Well, what then? So I put the project aside for a few hours (I always think of it like cooking-- on the back-burner and slow simmering..) until this idea came to me: If the kids did the artwork, those pencils or apples would be fabulous, AND they would be involved in the project. Perfect. I handed Jesse and Sophey a box of fabric crayons and fabric pastels with the instructions: draw something school-ish for your teachers, pretty please (followed by please please please).
And they did! Way better than anything I could have ever come up with... kids are so cool.
Jesse's pencil art:
Sophey's schoolhouse art:
The drawings are done on a piece of torn canvas. Sophey used fabric crayons and Jesse used fabric pastels. I sprayed both pieces of canvas art with clear matte spray polyurethane sealer, and then allowed it to dry very well (a few hours) to protect the artwork before sewing the canvas onto the other fabric piece. I added a few big buttons for interest. And then I sewed the whole piece onto the black canvas tote bag. I pinned the fabric in place securely before sewing to make sure the pocket wound up even. It worked. A little tricky and bulky, but still easier than I thought it would be.
Can't wait to hear the tote report after school today :)
In other news around here, I went with my girls to SLC to our big outdoor shopping center, Gateway, over the weekend. We went on a clothes hunt. Didn't find much. It seems the palette for winter this year is black, grey, creme, and black, grey, creme, and dusty rose.... ugh. Not a fan of dusty rose. I think I O.D.ed on it in the '80s. I had a dusty rose bedspread, chair, and waaay too many dusty rose clothes back in the day.
Anyway, a stop by good old bright and happy Anthropologie saved the day. I am always totally inspired by the colors, the displays. SO creative.
So I came home with one little tea cup and a few more bowls. But I'd say my new/old church rummage sale tea towel (compare at 25 pennies, people) is looking pretty darn Anthro cool with the cup, now isn't it?
And while we're in the kitchen, and I'm writing another catch-up marathon post, here's what got baked last week too. Very yummy. And less sinful than those Oreo cupcakes ;O
Here you go:
LOW-FAT PUMPKIN COOKIES:
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 cup brown sugar (I used 3/4 cup- it worked)
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 3 cups oatmeal
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the pumpkin, sugar, and applesauce.
In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, then add to the pumpkin, mixing well.
Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until done. Recipe found at About.com
Oh, and I almost forgot. I added my own drizzly frosting made with a pkg of low-fat softened cream cheese and about 2 cups of powdered sugar and a little vanilla. Mix in mixing bowl till smooth, adding a few tsps of milk till its drizzable. (You know what I mean.)
P.S. I'm gettting ready for the CREATIVE CONNECTION EVENT this Thursday - Sunday in Minneapolis. It's going to be three days filled with arts and crafts and estrogen galore, I'm sure. AND I'm going with Mike, so three days alone with my husband. Wow. Gotta million things to do though. I'll be back with a report on all the wonderfulness early next week.
Have a lovely week, my friends. xxKelly