May has proven itself to be gloom and doom here, in terms of weather and crafting! You'd think that with all of the thunder storms we've been having in Illinois, I'd have plenty time indoors to get a lot accomplished. As always, I've taken on more than I anticipated I could handle. The idea of creating a new Scrabble tile each day in May was a very lovely idea, I just failed to participate in my own challenge. Ha! I need to dust off my crystal ball and start looking into the future before I come up with any more grand plans. My next goal? To accomplish absolutely nothing. There, now I cannot disappoint.
So, I had this great idea for Teacher Appreciation Week gifts to re-create (in bulk) this cool little Kindle Fire case that I'd made a few months back for myself. My intention was not necessarily for them to be just for Kindles, but kind of a cary-all sort of deal, and I even toyed with the idea of adding a little strap to make them wristlet-like. I would then place gift cards inside. My downfall was that since my son goes to preschool AND daycare and has so many amazing, caring, and fabulous teachers, my count for pouches was up to 11. And of course this brilliant idea didn't come to me until two weeks before they needed to be complete. Did I mention that I have a full time job?
My original prototype was completely hand-sewn, right down to the slanted stitching on the outside, and I planned to recreate this for each teacher, minus the slanted stitching. The first attempt was going to be great. I'm forever in love with Riley Blake's Lost and Found Labels fabric, so I planned to use a cream colored felt with the black labels, and do black stitching to contrast the cream. I eventually got the pouch close to where I wanted it to be, but I knew I was in trouble because I was constantly ripping out the embroidery floss and re-doing the stitches, which ate up a lot of time. I remained confident because I had two weeks to complete the project.
My deadline was this past Thursday (5/10), when I'd be going on a fieldtrip with my son's class to the zoo, and I knew I'd be able to deliver them safely (Rule #1: Never trust a three year-old). On Tuesday, I abandon my delusion of hand stitching the felt together and pulled out my sewing machine. I zoomed out all 11, and then started attaching the flaps via machine, as well. I would still hand sew the printed fabric to the felt, but I'd eliminated the bulk of the hand-stitching with the machine.
Long story short, by Wednesday night my sewing machine was on the fritz and so was I. After consulting my husband, I made the executive decision to just go with the gift cards by themselves. I was starting to produce junk that I wasn't proud of, and I know I'm capable of better.
For your amusement, here is the proof that I tried.
In the end, I created a set of gift tags for the preschool teachers, who I'd see on Thursday. Thursday night, I cut out the flowers, punched the middle medallion using an EK Success large punch, and then used blue and green ink to stamp "Gratitude" in the middle, by using a stamp by Hampton Art. I then punched out a large circle of contrasting paper and glued it to the flower. These circles gave each one a little more bulk, and allowed me to write a note to each teacher on the back.
The flowers turned out exactly how I wanted, the pouches are still a work in progress. Maybe for next year???