Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Girl Scout Promise Tree


Last night I gathered some local Girl Scouts together to decorate a tree for our town's festival of trees. I was pretty excited to work with the girls to make ornaments and decorate the tree. I also created some of my own ornaments for the girls to hang.

The theme of our tree was the Girl Scout Law and Promise. I wrote out the Girl Scout Law on the burlap garland. The girls created these promise ornaments and wrote something they do to live by the Girl Scout Law. We mostly had second grade Brownies in attendance, but they all did really well with making their own ornaments and had great insight to how they can apply the Girl Scout Law to their lives.

The girls also made ribbon tree ornaments. They did a great job with the project. To keep the work at the meeting to a minimum, I pre-cut all the ribbons, organized by color and hot glued string on the top of branches before the meeting.

I made some additional decorations, but the girls were responsible for putting them on the tree. The first thing I made was sleds out of Popsicle sticks (mini and jumbo size). I painted them with our tree's colors, navy and green. I distressed them a bit, added some dark wax and added the Girl Scout logo using carbon tracing paper and a silver Sharpie marker.

In addition to the sleds, I created some simple wooden ornaments with words of the Girl Scout Law on them. I also had to add some information about joining this awesome organization!

A tree also has to have a tree skirt. I used some burlap cut in a circle and Sharpie markers to write out the Girl Scout Promise. To keep the skirt from fraying, I used some hot glue on the reverse side of the tree skirt.


 A tree also needs a tree topper, so I cut out the Girl Scout symbol on poster board, added some white glue and green glitter. I now have green glitter all over my entire office. It's very festive.

I also added some ribbon with hot glue to make the edges clean. It attaches to the tree with some green floral wire.

We would love you have you in Girl Scouts. Visit www.girlscouts.org for more information on joining!

Friday, November 18, 2016

First Lutheran Preschool Silent Auction

We have our first snow fall of the season, and it's a blizzard to boot. Since most of our scheduled activities are cancelled, I took the opportunity to make some things for the upcoming Festival of Trees for the First Lutheran Preschool in Volga, South Dakota. The festival is on Sunday, December 11th and will have a ton of activities including a free will donation soup and sandwich meal, a cookies and canvas painting class for both children and adults, and a silent auction.

It was fun to make some Christmas decorations for the silent auction, since I've pretty much hit my decoration limit at home. Some of the local stores started putting out their Christmas craft supplies and I was looking for an excuse to pick up a couple of things.

Some of the items I made are going to be grouped together in a little bundle of coordinating decorations.

The first bundle is my hunting/deer bundle. It will have this simple wreath, a little tree (great for an entry or as a centerpiece) and a table runner. I still need to make some fun shotgun shell ornaments to go on the tree. My husband was really disappointed when I asked him to go out and shoot some stuff so I could have the shells. I'm thinking about adding some red ribbon to the table runner as well so it ties in better with the other two items.

The second bundle is going to have this handmade sign and handmade dog treats.

The last item will stand alone and is a fun Christmas card holder. (The camera wasn't cooperating with me. The sign isn't this dark. Also, it's about four feet long with spots for 12 or more cards, but the camera wasn't wide angle enough.)

I plan on decorating a tree for the event with our local Girl Scouts, so I still have to round up those supplies. (Oh man...more craft supplies to get? How will I ever survive?!?!?) Do you see a theme here? I'm really really liking playing with cursive and paint.

Make sure you check out the festival for some fun silent auction items (both Christmas and non-Christmas related) and some fun activities. The money raised goes straight to the preschool which is a wonderful program both my older children have been apart of.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

DIY Susan B. Anthony Red Voting Scarf

Happy Election Day!

144 years after our great nation was formed, women finally got the right to vote. I remember my first presidential election in 1992. I remember my parents discussing the candidates, and our teacher talking about the election in school. Every election after, I would accompany my parents to the polls and cast my own vote in the amazing Kids Voting program. My second year in college I got to cast my first official vote via absentee ballot. I haven't missed an election since. 

My daughter is now 6. Just a year younger than I was for my first presidential election (that I remember). This year I decided it was time for her to learn about the amazing right to vote. 

Two weeks ago, we watched the movie Suffragette together when she was home sick. That movie (with me fast forwarding through some of the portions that weren't quite appropriate for a 6 year old) led to a discussion about the history of women's rights. We watched portions of the debates (they weren't exactly great for kids this year either). 

Finally, last night we had a big night of watching a documentary about Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (Not For Ourselves Alone) and making red scarves together. 

Why red scarves? Well I learned a new fact through our education (and subsequently through a Smithsonian Facebook post). Susan B. Anthony would wear a red shawl so often that it became one of her trademarks. Per the Smithsonian website, "It was said in Washington that there were two signs of spring: the return of Congress to the nation's capital and the sight of Anthony's red shawl as she also returned to lobby congressmen."

 To make ours, I got a yard and a half of a red jersey fabric. My daughter got the half yard, and I got a yard. 

We decorated our scarves with a black fabric marker. My daughter decided what she wanted to write on her scarf with a little help from me. I found the easiest way to write clearly was to put the fabric in a large embroidery hoop. 

On mine, I wrote the language of the 19th amendment and a phrase from this a suffrage poster. 

Today we will be celebrating our right to vote and the sacrifices of many women including Susan B. Anthony by wearing our red scarves all day and to the polls. I've made up a ballot for my daughter with pictures of the candidates so she can cast her own vote tomorrow. It's a privilege to live in a country that gives us the right.