So, I’ve got some catching up to do…let’s see if I can manage a post a day until I’m all caught up! What do you think? Can I do it? I shouldn’t be asking you, I should be asking the girls!
This post is not a photography one, this one is all about the teacher gift baskets I made for my two school-age girls’ teachers this year! (If you don’t remember last year’s teacher gifts you can see them here.) I have decided to take a short hiatus from general crafting and creating in order to focus on the business side of things and focus my family energies on more general “homemaker” things. The cooking, the cleaning…etc. I know I’ll get back to it soon, and I still have Halloween costumes that cannot be ignored this year, but I know it will make everyone more relaxed, and the creations easier to create once this house (and that craftroom!) are much better organized! SO! Long story short, this project was one of my last for a while, so I made sure to go all out!
I did a fun spin on the traditional “apple for your teacher” and did a whole apple-themed basket! Everything was handmade by me (OK, not the basket, but the basket liner at least!) and all the food-stuffs were homemade by me, using all organic ingredients!
Both the girls were excited to give their teachers a gift, they really enjoyed their school experience this year!
I filled the baskets to the brim with all sorts of apple/apple-themed goodies
I made an apple cranberry bread with streusel topping from this recipe only with a few of my own adaptations.
I saw the granny smith and caramel on Pinterest somewhere, but it was just a photo and I made the caramel from this recipe.
I made the applesauce in the crock pot and simply added some vanilla bean into the mix, it doesn’t need anything else! And I’ve been wanting to use my metal letterpress thingies (yeah, that’s the technical term, I’m sure.) for a while now…I have a couple spoons with mistakes in my drawers, but each teacher got a spoon, “I Teach 1st” and “I Teach 5th”!
The fruit snacks didn’t turn out quite how I wanted (probably because I could only find agar flakes and so ground them up myself and subbed some of it with low-sugar pectin) but I was going off this, which I still want to try and do again!
This gave me the idea behind my “apple pot”. And since I was working with FIMO clay during my craft class at Sunrise Senior Living that week, I decided to make the little apples to top it instead of the cute little stick and leaf they used for theirs. AND since I had a bit of leftover modge-podge glitter from starting this year’s Halloween costumes, I decided to add a bit of sparkle!
And…I don’t know if you’re seeing the trend…I have a lot of links going up for this project. I have been loving Pinterest for a while now and this is just one example of how wonderful it is to use as a resource! I was able to put together a gorgeous basket with so many cute little bits in it, and I never would have thought of it all in such a short period of time since coming up with the idea to do an apple-themed basket. So again, I got the idea for these bottle bottom apples from here, and just used felt instead of a stick on the top (I was too lazy to find a stick, though it was super cute on the site I found the idea from!) and I filled it with home-made apple chips!
For these little tags I had seen little felt citrus coasters so I knew making a felt fruit would be adorable, and I used the Fiskars Fuse Letterpress machine that I recently got on sale at Joann’s to die cut and letterpress the note-card portion of the tag (I’m really excited to play with this letterpress and die-cut machine some more, I LOVE the letterpress look!). I used one of them as my own tag on the basket but wrapped up a couple extras so each teacher could have a couple to use themselves!
These little cuties were my proudest creations! And while I’m still looking into some organic food colorings I was pleased that the whitener I had worked so well. Normally the plain royal icing made from organic powdered sugar is quite off-white. And of all my sugar cookies these turned out the very best! And in one of the teacher’s email thank-yous she said “I sure am eating one of your delicious cookies while I write this!” that just made my day too!
Oh these little guys!! I love making these little pies. I use the homemade apple sauce as a filling, and the pastry dough recipe from off the box of my Williams Sanoma pastry tart press, but I use the sandwich press I got from Pampered Chef a long time ago to make them into cute little pies!
I photo-shopped the pictures of the girls and made little cards for the teachers.
And the girls signed the cards!
In the end I was super proud of my little baskets and as a last hoo-ra for a while I’m glad it all worked out so perfectly well!
Also, if you’re curious about all the labels, I designed them on Adobe Illustrator and then after printing and cutting I hand-lettered the item names!
I love a completed project coming together just how you planned…no better feeling than that!!