Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cheap Alternative to Hanging Flowers- AND Announcement

First of all-I can't believe I have 83 followers! Thank you all so much! It's actually kind of intimidating because now I feel like I have to come up with something good! But I appreciate all your kind comments and encouragement. I had an unexpectedly huge response to my craft room and it was so flattering. It was featured at someday crafts, remodelaholic, women who do it all, and Beneath my Heart. It was so exciting!

I wanted to post my gift I'm giving to my mom for mothers day. I know it is so last minute, but I do some things like that believe it or not. My mom always wants hanging flower pots for mothers day and it's kind of been a tradition for one or more of us kids to get her just that. The thing is they are usually 20 or so bucks, and I knew there had to be a thriftier option.

So this is what I came up with.
I found this cute basket at a thrift store for 75 cents.
Then I used a gallon size zip-lock and cut off the top.
And added some potting soil into the bag.
These flowers were 5 dollars.
And now I have some hanging flowers for my moms porch, all for $5.75. Had I thought about this earlier I probably could have found even prettier flowers for less.

And now for an announcement! Though it's not really a good one as far as blogging is concerned. I'm in the process of creating a sewing business. I will share my experience with that and what exactly it is once it gets going, but it has been a dream of mine for a long, long time. The problem is I spend too much time on the computer looking at blogs, posting, and thinking about what to post that I haven't been able to get it really going. So I am going to take a 8 week break from blogging! We'll see if I can actually do this, but I thought it might help if I committed to it here. I'm sorry to those who have recently followed my blog, but after 8 weeks I'll be so excited to be back I'm sure my mind will be full of ideas! This is all about prioritizing my time and using my time more productively. Not that blogging is a waste of time (because I thoroughly enjoy this hobby), but I'm really anxious to get my business going. I can't wait to let you know what it is and how it goes! So come back in 8 weeks and it will be better than ever! Or maybe I'll be so motivated to get back to blogging that I'll get it all done in 3!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Ultimate Chore Chart

I have been doing research on chore charts for kids for some time now. It all began when my sister-in-law was talking to me about the chores her 4 year old did. My first thought was "wow, you can get him to do chores!" Then I thought, "maybe I should give it a try with my 3 year old." Well, all my attempts were far from successful, though bribes did help sometimes (maybe bribes is not the right word-I'll use "positive reinforcement"). She would stay in her bed all night if there was a quarter waiting for her in the morning. Some might frown on this method, but it worked for me! So I knew if I could find a chore chart with some reward at the end of the day, she just might learn to clean up after herself.

I knew I wanted a chore chart that could grow with the child and be adaptable. It also had to be cute if it was going to hang in my house. I wanted it to be kid friendly and appealing. I wanted it to be functional and proved plenty of chore options.

On my search for the perfect chore chart, I found plenty of chore charts that were cute. I found plenty that were adaptable. I found plenty that would grow with the child and be appealing to them. But none of them fit all my requirements. So, I made my own.

Here's how I did it!
I cut two pieces of fabric measuring 23x28 inches.
And lined them with fusible interfacing.
I cut pieces of thick, clear vinyl.
3 pieces measuring 4 1/2 x 6 1/2.
3 pieces 3 1/4 x 12.
1 piece 3 1/4 x 10
1 piece 17 x 5.
I found cute ribbon in my stash and sewed it along all sides of all vinyl pieces.
I then figured out my layout, and pinned and sewed the ribbon bordered vinyl pieces onto my fabric, leaving the top of each piece open to make a pocket.
I did this for all pieces.
Then I stitched small Velcro squares on the sides where I wanted them.
Then I pinned some ribbon on the top, to act as a hanger.
Now taking the other piece of fabric, I laid them right sides together and stitched all the way around, leaving an opening for turning it right side out.
After doing this, I prettied up my corners and pressed my seams and stitched my opening closed. That completes the making of the chore chart. Now I'll show you what I did to fill the pockets.
I made day's of the week titles, included with pictures, to help her identify her days. I image you could also use this spot to do a name label, or whatever you would like. I try to associate the days of the weeks with something that she does on each of those days. If you are wondering, she is not a scout at 3 years old. Both my husband and I volunteer in the scouting programs, so it kind of consumes our Tuesdays and she knows that. I also laminated all the tags so they hold up for awhile.
Next I made the tags for her chores. They are color coded to the day's of the week titles to keep them straight. This may seem like a lot of chores but it is only 3 a day, and by switching them each day she gets a variety of chores to do.
Then I went around and took pictures of the places where she does the chores. I think visuals are great for kids, that and she is 3 and can't read.
Then I made stars out of paper for her "star pocket". She loves this Dora copy cat!
Then I used sticky back Velcro for the back of the stars.
Then I put all the pictures and tags in place on the chore chart.
All the tags are stored behind each other for easy switching.

And that completes my chore chart. I hang it in a hall way down low where she can reach. Ideally, I wanted to use grommets to hang it, but in the end I didn't want to spend the money on it. So I used thumb tacks instead. It will work for now.
When the little one completes all 3 chores each day she is rewarded by getting to choose a treat from the "mommy store". This is just a box full of candy and cheap toys that I'll end up throwing away some day. We've done 1 day of the chore chart and it worked like a charm. I guess time will tell if the excitement of a chore chart ever wears off. I hope not! If so, all I'll have to do is make new tags and pictures!

What do you say? Cute, adaptable, kid friendly, appealing, functional, and will grow with your child-THE ULTIMATE CHORE CHART!

This chore chart was my best inspiration.