All last week I found myself busy with end-of--school activities.
And even though Jack has just finished his sophomore year in high school, I had many friends whose children were/are graduating from either high school or college.
The graduation announcements and party invitations have been pouring in; and it feels somewhat surreal as I remember Jack playing flashlight tag and chasing the ice cream truck alongside many of them. I guess as Jack gets closer to senior year, I start to pay more attention to all the end of school graduation rituals.
I have one good friend in particular who has one son in Jack's class and another who is graduating and will be attending Ohio University in the Fall. Due to a crisis at her work, this friend missed the "official" ordering of the graduation announcement at school. So...I piped up and volunteered to make them for her.
While I was making the announcement, I got the idea to combine the logo of his high school and his college.
This became the heading for the graduation party invitation...And then I printed him about 50 thank you notes as well...
In the process, I realized how important a time it is not just for the graduate but for his mom as well. Up until now, I've always kind of shrugged it off like..."Graduation from high school is no big deal. Everybody graduates from high school!" I don't know. Something changed in my attitude this year and I think I'm beginning to get it. It's not really the academic achievement of the graduation that is being celebrated, is it? It's the whole growth of the kid and marking their next move onto college...and typically, out of the house...and out from under parental control...After high school, they're increasingly on their own. They're cooked. They're baked. And you just pray you did a good job.
I finally felt that for my friends this year. And so I added a few extra party enhancers to my graduation package. I made a few party picks by printing out the logos onto cardstock. These picks are great because you can use them for anything...cakes, appetizers, place settings, flower arrangements, behind photographs, etc.
I have one of those all-in-one printers that was about $99 5-years ago, an Epson NX400...so it's not fancy. That being said, I've found that by using the both the inks and the special papers made by Epson, I get a MUCH more stunning result. The difference is night and day.
My friend also has a very large Italian family so there were lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins coming to town to spend an entire weekend at her house. I knew she would love a special guest towel for the bathroom...
Now, I'm not much of a machine applique-r. I'm much more comfortable with a needle in my hand...so I made a practice towel first using cotton quilt fabric to cut out the "L" and using tear away stabilizer behind the towel.
After making a few mistakes on the corners of my practice towel, I did a much better job on the actual applique on my gift towel. Not perfect but who wants perfect anyway? I found the towel for $2.99 at one of those discount places like T.J.Maxx... All in all, she was thrilled and it didn't cost me much to help enhance the special-ness of her weekend...more time than anything else.
And, should you need a creative idea for giving money to someone for graduation or something else, I wrote a tutorial a couple years ago for this money tree...
You can read that original post here.
Since then I've had people write me who have made them in other shapes to suit the occastion, like a Christmas tree. One group of hairdressers used the idea to take a styrofoam wig form and cover it with money "hair" for one of the stylists who was leaving their salon. I thought that was fabulous!
OK everyone. Graduation is over so I'm back to the beach and shelling.