Monday, August 2, 2010

Back To School!

It's hard to believe, but back to school time is upon us! When I was a kid, nothing was more exciting than going back to school. Obviously, I was a dork because what kid would rather go school supply shopping than to a water park? Also, I liked to hang out with the librarian during PE, but that just solidifies my point...

Going back to school is fun. You get to see old friends and how they've changed since last May. You get to buy fresh notebooks and colored pencils and big colorful erasers. All that endless creative possibility fascinated me! I looked more forward to school starting back than I did school letting out!

Now that I am a grown up, few things have changed. I am a teacher, so that means I've never NOT been in school in some way for nearly the last 20 years. I still get excited about school supplies, and I still get butterflies when I think about the first day. I obsess over what to wear so I will look "cool." The biggest difference is that I ABSOLUTELY prefer the last day of school over the first!

We have gathered a list of inspiring items for back to school, as well as one of our own that celebrates reading, writing, and 'rithmetic. Click here to see our treasury of apple-themed back to school items.

Here's to that first day of school!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Girl Scouts Are Good for More Than Just Cookies

I have been a Girl Scout for a long time. I mean a loooong time. When I was a kid, I spent many fond hours in church basements at meetings reciting the Girl Scout promise, singing songs and learning new skills. I can build a fire faster than most of my male friends, maneuver a swamped canoe, and make intricately knotted keychains from plastic gimp. I even spent two summers as a counselor at a local Girl Scout camp. In fact, most of my craftiness has its roots in Girl Scouting. Between all the Christmas crafts and projects, the smell of a hot glue gun still reminds me of Girl Scout meetings. So when I ran across a stash of GS badges and patches my mom had squirreled away from her days as a troop leader, I was instantly inspired.

In her basement, I found tons of these old project badges and patches commemorating various trips and achievements. I knew they would be perfect for kitschy and retro projects. My friends Katie and Stephanie Frost were the guinea pigs for the first of said projects. I made a brooches and hair clips for them using a couple badges and scraps of felt and fabric. I researched the meaning of the badges so I could choose one that would suit each girl's personality, and here's what we ended up with.

Stephanie's hair clip (on the left) is made from the "Your Outdoor Surroundings" badge. She is an outdoorsy girl who enjoys kayaking and weather, so I loved using this one for her. It's made with yellow and blue felt layered on top of some crazy Day-Glo fabric I bought at a yard sale months ago. I zigzagged around the edges with bright thread, and added a metal clippie to the back. Besides being nature-y, Stephanie likes bright, wild colors and different accessories, and this was perfect for her.

Katie's brooch (on the right) is made from the "Model Citizen" badge. Katie is one of my best friends, and although she has a couple tattoos and a nose ring, she is a precious and wonderful person and she makes a difference in the lives of her students. I used gray, red, and aqua as the color scheme, and added polka dot fabric which I love. I made hers into a brooch that she can pin to a coat, purse, or bobby pin to her hair.

This was one of the most fun projects I've undertaken in a while! I loved being able to create an accessory with a certain girl in mind and incorporate details I know she'd love. I've started on three more Girl Scout badge pins that I'll be adding to our Etsy shop very soon, and I'm giving you a sneak peek today!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Apparently we are bad at blogging...

Well, well, it has almost been a year since our last post. We certainly don't get a gold medal in blogging! Callie and I remain so busy with our day jobs it leaves little time for creating, much less blogging. Sometimes I sit down to post but I just zone out and have no idea what to say. Well, here is a heads up... It is probably two in the morning here in lovely Alabama and I am up waaaaaay past my bedtime. But I'm feeling random and chatty so here it goes...

*I am spending the night with Callie tonight. We had a fantastic trip to Michaels (craft store extravaganza), ate a crap ton of yummy food at Jim and Nick BBQ, and caught up on missed Glee and Office episodes. I am looking forward to a day full of crafting tomorrow! I really treasure the time I get to spend with such wonderful friends, Callie and her hubby, Chad are two of the best!

*I freakin' love the t.v. show Glee! If you don't watch it you should start. It makes me just want to bust out into song (which I do sometimes, anyways!) I so should have been in show choir. There is this really dumb cheerleader character on the show. She always comes out with these great one liners. My fav so far this season is, "Did you know that dolphins are just gay sharks?" I almost peed a little. Callie and I got attacked by dolphins at the beach one summer. I swear I'm not lying! So, that comment was especially funny to me. Maybe dolphins really are just gay sharks? Hmmmmm? Makes you think, what other animals are gay versions of other animals?

*I'm excited because Callie and I are going to try a new "project" tomorrow. It has been such a long time since we have done something "brand new". My favorite thing to make is jewelry and sometimes I don't think about branching out much. We took a trip to the local thrift store this week and picked up some great picture frames we are going to spiff up. Think spray paint, buttons, flowers, lovely paper, and woodland creatures. Wish us luck and keep your eye on our Etsy page to see our results!

*I have just recently purchased an MP3 player, I know I'm a little behind, right! It is so awesome to have all my favorite music at my finger tips. Music really speaks to me and I am often inspired by music to create new things. In all the musical fun I have decided I want to make a list of my top ten favorite songs of the moment and make a piece of jewelry for each song. Maybe I can get Callie in on it too, even though all ten of her songs would be Hanson songs! :) Does anybody have a song they think could be translated into a piece of jewelry? If you do please comment!

*Polka Dot Pancake will be taking part in a festival the weekend of May 14th in Trussville. We have never done this festival before so we are pretty excited!

Wow, this is probably the most incoherent and random post ever BUT there is no better time to update a blog than three in the dang morning! I'm going to take my butt to bed now! Hopefully it won't be a year before our next post but I'm not making any promises!

The Bran half of PolkaDotPancake