Pretty Paper….liven up your workspace

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In my house….where there is a computer….there is a kid.

Noticing an awful lot of pen marks, finger smudges and Lord knows what appearing on my desk surface as of late.

So down the paper goes….cute scrapbook paper I have in my stash.  I put in directly on my desk and used scotch tape to adhere the edges (to each other, not the desk).  No sprays or decopauge…this way you can keep redoing it when it starts looking a little too loved.

Who says Mom’s work space can’t be cute?

Have a good week’s end…..dcb

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Advent Calendar Ideas–Countdown “Coupons”

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It is a whopping 10 degrees here in Colorado….a good time to stay in and put up holiday decor….

This smiley Santa has been in my family for years…I grew up with it.   My mom crafted him from simple felt and sewed mini pockets on his body to represent the days of Advent….or the twenty-four days until Christmas.

Traditionally, Advent Calendars entice the children to “open something”(usually candy) each day on the countdown to Christmas.  This calendar growing up and with my own children has not been much different, but I decided to do something a bit different this year.

For each day, I made a “coupon”….child specific and involving an act of service from Mom or Dad.  We all know how materialistic this time of year can become, so I decided a good way to prepare our families’  heart for the season is to show examples of true giving.

So, when it is their day (each pocket has a tag with their name on it inside) one of my kiddos opens their coupon.  When I told them this is what I was doing….you could hear grumbling and groaning about not getting candy.

However, when the first few coupons were for “an early dismissal from school for no reason”  or ” a day off from piano practice” or a “trip with Dad (alone) to get an Icee”….their tune changed to that of sweet, caroling angels.

Other coupons include:

Extra media time

Day off from chores

Starbucks with Mom

A week of Mom tidying their room (that was a big one)

An hour basketball game with Dad

Lunch out on a school day

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The point is to be child specific and thoughtful and of course…..SIMPLE.  The example of true giving hopefully will rub off on the children….

Or…perhaps while giving of yourself to your children, your own heart will be full of cheer and the Joy that comes with the true meaning of the season.

Stay warm.  dub

 

Is there a Thanksgiving “Season”? Three ways to make the most out of November.

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We are busy.

I was corrected the other day when I exclaimed, “I can’t believe it is November already!”

The woman within earshot of my comment quickly jumped in and touted, “No, you can’t believe it is Christmas already…”

It is true.  The time between Halloween and Christmas goes quick.  We stop only for a brief moment to take a day off, stuff ourselves with Turkey and now, unfortunately, use the day to trample over our neighbor  to get the deal on the big screen TV.

Not for me.  Not the way our family rolls.

Why not take the time to prepare for Thanksgiving?

Just like for Advent/Christmas, I think the busy weeks heading up to Thanksgiving is a perfect time to reassess family and personal goals, list blessings, think about the needs of others and truly get ready to come together and “give thanks”.

How?

Here are  a couple of ideas you can do at home.

1.  The Family Mission Statement

Our family did this some years ago, but it has been a life saver for us.  It is a way to give our family purpose and above all helps me explain to our children why we do the things we do…..”it is a part of our mission”.

Over dinner have each person answer these three simple questions:

 *When people describe our family what do you think they say?

      *If we were a famous family what would be most known for doing?

       *Say three words that describe our family

These questions will get the conversation going.  Write down the results and then try and come up with a catchy sentence that can serve as your overall mission statement.   Then, hang that baby up on the wall! family mission  statement

This statement encompassed a bunch of things for us….how we treat each other, how we treat others, hospitality, neatness, faith, fun and so on.  This took ten minutes to make and an old frame…..

2. List Blessings

Ok.  The most thinking that goes on in my house is well….

in the bathroom.

The picture doesn’t show the exact location of this, but a simple board and pen where family members can list what they are thankful for can help slow things down and remind us of the abundant gifts we enjoy in our daily lives.

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It is also a way for other family members to read the list and feel cherished.

And in my house, it makes potty time a bit more cerebral…..

3. Of course, do a Thanksgiving Craft.

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For this cute place card I downloaded an image of a Turkey (or you could do the ol’ trace the kiddo’s hand turkey cut out), covered a clothespin with scrapbook paper and viola….a  template to write notes of thanks.

Now here is the secret…

DON’T WAIT UNTIL THANKSGIVING DAY TO DO THIS….! Have these at your family table now, so that on Thanksgiving Day you will all have a complete “Thanking Turkey” to adorn your table.

Wishing you a very mindful Thanksgiving Season….dcb

Happy Post-Halloween—Colorado License Plate Costume

Colorado License Plate Costume

Colorado License Plate Costume

Nursing a sugar hangover this morning….

Middle child came up with the idea of dressing as a license plate this Halloween……

What happened to the days of easy-store-bought costumes?

Thankfully a recent online purchase afforded me this perfect box….the rest was a bit of spray paint, acryllic paint and printing out letters on the computer at 950%.

I added actual bolts in the corners for effect….

Have a wonderful day after….and hey, it is after all, All Saints Day!

dcb

DIY cards for that Special Teacher—free printable!

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Happy Thursday….

My kids are a week away from their last day of school…..shouts of joy for summer break and for the pure bliss of not having to wake up and make lunches for three whole months….

For the end of the year teacher gifts….

You might have guessed I’m not the give-a-gift-card-to-the-Gap kind of gift giver.   Each kiddo has picked out something special for their teacher and I always encourage them to write a nice note telling them how that teacher made their lives better for the year.  

SO…

Here is an easy DIY card you can make for that teacher who has put up with your kid  taught your child so unconditionally this year.

Supplies:

*child’s artwork or other background ephemera 

* photo paper (optional)

* blank card or gift tag

*tape runner or other adhesive

*scissors and/or paper cutter

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I have been scanning my children’s artwork and saving it on my computer quite a bit lately.  You can easily take photos of school art and save them on your computer as well.  This is a wonderful way to preserve those memories that otherwise will decay in a box over the years…..and, free up precious storage space for you!

Using your computer software of choice (I used Microsoft Publisher) take the saved document of your scanned artwork and set it as your background.  Choose a quote in a cute font for the sentiment that will go directly on your background image.   HINT:  Use the brightness function on your program to brighten up the background…..It will allow the quote to stand better.

Once you have the complete image and the size you want, print out on photo paper (I like because of the gloss) or paper of choice.  Cut to fit blank card or gift tag.  Adhere with tape runner or tape. 

And there you go!

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These are also great projects for Father’s Day cards and cards for Grandparents (they love this stuff).

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Leave a comment here and you can have either one or both of these backgrounds as a free printable!  I will email upon request!

Have a wonderful rest of your week!  dcb

Upcycle clothing tags and button envelopes

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A good Tuesday to you….

I’m not sure about you, but it is very hard for me to throw away the often large and decorated little button envelopes that come with a new piece of clothing.   I have had a growing collection of the little beauties until recently when I began upcycling them to use on my hand made cards.

And those high end tags!  The “now-I-know-why-this-was-so-expensive” tags….

Nope.

Can’t throw those away either.  

My Montana gal pal,  Lesliann, knows this about me and often sends me extra tags from the boutique she works in…and I love her for it….

So…don’t throw those tags and envelopes away!  Here are just a few upcycling ideas!

Scrapbooking:

Use the button envelope to:

*a place to put special momentos on your page

* Baby’s first tooth, or lock of hair

* Ticket stubs from a memorable event

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Labels/Tags

*Backpack, luggage, lunchbox, sportbag tags for your kiddos

Buy the metal fasteners at your local hobby store (in the leather making section). Usually they cost around $2.00 for a pack of 50.  I would laminate any tags used for luggage to make them wear better and last longer!  I used a regular label maker to print out the label to cover the brand name on the tag.

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Card Making:

*Cut off brand name and embellish to use on front of a card

*Use button envelope to hold gift card or money and affix to the front of a card

*Decorate the outside of button envelope and stick a special note inside.  Tuck in your husband’s briefcase/sportbag or in your child’s lunch box.

*Cover the brand name of a tag with stickers, stamp, and affix to the front of a card

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The possibilities are endless!

Don’t hold out on me if you have more ideas!  And, if you have tags/envelopes you don’t want to upcycle….don’t THROW THEM AWAY!  I will make sure and find a good home for them.

Happy Day.   –dcb

And the winner (s) are…..

Hello sweet people….

Loved all the comments of congrats and support I received in the last few days!

The winner of the big 1 +100 package giveaway  was selected at random……

 

Congrats to Southern Circuit Lady!

 

Check out her blog and all the wonderful paper musings she has going on!

I have to also give a little something to my faithful email followers:

Colleen

Kathleen

Valerie

Trisch

Congratulations to all and here is to another year and 100 more followers!  dcb

1 + 100 = a BIG thank you give away!

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The High Note is celebrating one year and over 100 followers!

A big thank you to all of you for supporting this fun adventure….

And as a very small token of my gratitude I am giving away a package of some of the goodies the High Note has done this year!

Shredded Antique Sheet Music

Custom Note Cards

and

a Music Wrapped Candle

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Like this post and/or leave a comment here to enter!

Winner will be announced Monday 4/22!

 

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

Gilbert K. Chesterton

Homemade Dog (Puppy!) Treats…

It is a snow day here in Colorado….  

The novelty of no school lasted for exactly one hour and three minutes.

 We then progressed to the “I’m bored” stage of the day which is such a wrist cutting sound clear que to do something fun an creative with the kiddos.

In anticipation of our new pup (arriving this weekend!) we decided to make homemade doggie biscuits.  I have had this recipe forever (we had pre-marriage dogs up until a few years ago) and it is all natural and super easy for all to make.

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Recipe & Ingredients:

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup shelled sunflower seeds (optional)

1 cup water

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 egg

1/3 cup vegetable oil

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Mix all ingredients together well.  Knead for for about one minute.  Roll out dough with rolling pin.  Cut with cookie cutter or make small logs–pinch ends to look like a dog bone.

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Bake at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet or I have found a large pizza stone works even better and holds more treats at a time.   Bake for 35-40 minutes.

These make great gifts, too!  Many a teacher and neighbor have received these over the years from my kids…..

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Will send puppy photos next week!

Stay warm…..dcb