The advent of gift cards has significantly simplified the process of deciding on what to get your child’s teacher as an end-of-year gift. Easy and one size always fits all.
Apparently some of the parents at our school give bottles of wine as teachers’ gifts. I can certainly understand that by the time school is over, most teachers probably want nothing more than some peace and quiet and a big glass of wine. However, gift cards seemed the way to go for us, particularly after M told me he needed gifts for four teachers – M’s classroom teacher, the French teacher, the Language Arts teacher (who I don’t ever recall meeting) and his EA.
One of the parents organized a group gift for the classroom teacher. That left getting gift cards for the other teachers. I also made them thank you cards. M dictated very heartfelt messages to each teacher, which I wrote in each card (getting him to do the actual writing would have provoked a battle royale, which seemed highly counterproductive on the last day of school).
I also decided to give a gift to our principal. She has consistently gone the extra mile for M – as he said in his thank you card. “she always has his back.” Since she has done so much for us, I wanted to make a piece of jewelry for her – it seemed more personal than a gift card.
As I was digging through my bead boxes for inspiration, I came across a round pendant from More Skye Jewels with an image of a butterfly in blue tones. As I was trying to decide whether or not to build a necklace around the pendant or find something else, I stumbled across a strand of irregular-shaped shell beads (my beads are jumbled into several plastic boxes, so finding something is a bit like a treasure). The beads were slightly iridescent and matched the colours in the pendant perfectly, but it was a very short strand. So I added some chain to make the necklace longer, as well as a couple of larger beads at either end of the bead strand, just to add a bit more visual interest and texture.
I ended up making two versions of the necklace. In the first version, I strung the shell beads together and put 3 larger beads on the end of the strand, which was then connected to the chain with a jump ring. The chain was a dark gun-metal, almost black, but I couldn’t find a clasp in the same colour, so I went with one in antique silver. I wasn’t totally happy with it, but it was late, so I decided to sleep on it.
In looking at the necklace the next day, I decided I liked the design but not the execution. So I took the necklace apart and started over. It turned out to be the right move, since I was much happier with Version #2. I put tiny iridescent brown seed beads between each of the shell beads, which made it look a bit more polished and less like I’d just strung a bunch of beads together. I also made separate wire units, using a headpin, for the larger beads, to more clearly mark the transition between the shell beads and the chain. As a final touch, I cut a toggle clasp off a pre-made gun-metal chain bracelet and attached it to the necklace. I fastened the pendant to the necklace, using an extra-large jump ring.
I had also made a card for the principal – by total coincidence, it also had a butterfly on it.
We wrapped up the card with the necklace in an envelope made from recycled paper and M gave it to her. She seemed genuinely touched by M’s sentiments and pleased with the necklace. She put it on right away and told M she would wear it all day. Of course, this made M very happy. A good start to the day.
I have linked up to the following: Craft Envy – Saturday Spotlight; Think Pink Sundays at Flamingo Toes ; Monday Link Party at Craft-O-Maniac; Motivate Me Monday at Keeping It Simple; Making Monday Marvelous at C.R.A.F.T. ; Made by You Mondays at Skip to My Lou ; Get Your Craft on Tuesday at Today’s Creative Blog; Take-a-Look Tuesdays at Sugar Bee Crafts; Wednesday Wowzers at oopsy daisy; Flaunt It Fridays at Dotted Line Crafts; The Cure for the Common Monday at Lines Across My Face; Six Sisters Stuff – Strut Your Stuff Saturday