Friday, April 10, 2015

Craft happens

 I am looking forward to finishing my colored pencil cases!!  But, Varsity baseball in full swing right now!

For the love of a child!! DeniseMarie

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Oldest boys are 10-14

I am passionate about the oldest boys category!!  10-14  
People forget to think about them but I can't!!  

As soon as my boys were that age, I had to pack those boxes every year!!  I love to give them tools, fishing kits, tool boxes! 

They have to start prepping for a Trade and some of them are already working and/or providing for their families.

See my plentiful Pins:
 here (Home Depot work apron for 77 cents) and here (rain ponchos, I find at Dollar Tree 2/$1)
 here (Dollar Tree colorful rope) and here  (sample of collected items for the boys)
 here (zip ties) and here (mini tool kit in a pencil box)
 here (hand crank flash lights, Amazon) and here (Amazon bulk clippers)

 Tool box at Lowe's is Pinned here.  tray is here.

 Fishing kit ideas:
 Pinned here (coke can tab as hook) and here (mint container as mini tackle box)
 here (pill bottle and recycled wine corks) here (cork w/hooks and line)
here (pvc compact tackle box)

I am guilty of just putting fishing items into the box that I have found on clearance at Wal-Mart.
But, this yr. I'll make sure to do kits.

I have always gone to Dollar Tree and loaded up there for these tool items.  This year I am adding a new tool to my work apron...Harbor Freight!!  I use a 20% off coupon to buy an item and use a FREE coupon to get an item.  The catch is...only 1 free item per store per day!!  I thought I could match item/free item.  But, I guess I'll be going in more than I thought.  I have 2 Harbor Freights in my area so depending on my energy level and errands, I have a shot at popping in a few times each month.  I have gathered some great things this way.  I also hope their $7 tool boxes go on special some time during the year so I can snag some up!  They look to be comparable to the Lowe's box.  Here is 1/3 of what I have stashed so far for 2015 boxes.
I have not even begun to mess with packaging in this category.  I think I'll have the boys help me on Mother's Day to process and prep.  I figure I'll just keep collecting and split it all up later.

P. S. - I got $$ from my Hubby &oldest to pay for 6 boxes to ship as my Val. gift!

For the love of a child!!


Friday, February 13, 2015

A skirt/dress out of what??

Upcycle a WHAT??  

Up-cycle a bed-skirt into a dress!!  See Pin here.  
I was hooked as soon as I saw this!!  I love to look at the linens in Goodwill stores.  I sometimes get some amazing bargains there!  A bed-skirt is $3.99!  You can make quite a few little girl dresses with a bed skirt!!  I was smitten recently when I found a Laura Ashley bed-skirt!!  I felt like I was skipping up to the checker!!  I was probably running! lol
I could have  gotten another 1 at Salvation Army that was cyan blue sateen AND 1/2 price.  But, I couldn't tell if it was too sheer or not and erred on the side of caution. 

All Mom and I need now is to coordinate my ribbon hoard so we can sew a channel for the cinching of the top.  I had it in the breeze today on my back patio...smells SO fresh!!

Up-cycle a T-shirt into a skirt!  See Pin here
I bought 3 brand new t-shirts to use.  The bottom hem becomes the ribbon cinched waist band.  Now...this is my kind of project!!  The bottom "hem" is created when you cut the arm-pits all the way across.  It may curl a bit but that is quite all right.
This delightful idea has a bonus project!  See Pin here.  Create 2 drawstring bags out of the sleeves of the t-shirt.  I can use these bags for marbles or puzzles or hair accessories.

 I hope I can create an accessory for her hair with what is left of the shirt after these 2 projects.  That way, 3 oldest girls will match to the T! lol

For the love of a child!!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Paper, Pads & Precious!

Gotta add paper to every shoebox!!
I love embellishing notebooks and have never had the time before to really jazz my OCC 1's up.  I like to add ribbon to the spirals and stickers, washi tape and paper pieces where applicable.  I always waited too long in the past and just stuffed them into the boxes.  I certainly never took the time to make sure a book mark was in each book....I mean I only have dozens somewhere in my stash!!  But, Hubby is helping me find everything and organize my stash better!!  He knows how much I love to create!

So...this has fueled me to make sure I never again simply stuff a box with a plain ol' pad!!    
This is super special to me!! 
1 of my 1st/favorite OCC pins ever is here.   How brilliant is it to cut a composition notebook in 1/2 so it'll fit into the bottom of a shoebox??  I have gone to a local Home Improvement store and had them run my stack of notebooks thru their huge saw blade.  It cut like butter!!  2 different employees have done it for me.  The 1st was SO careful with the below...1 at a time.  2nd time, the guy ran the above entire stack thru 1 pass!  Worked just fine both times..even though it is more 1/3.  I am still thankful.  Pray and sing to Jesus on your way in, talk nice to the saw Dude and watch the results!!  I skip out SO happy with my results!

I got mine at the Staples school supplies clearance a few different times.  Here are some comleted...

This Pin, here  helped me realize I should buy a few notebooks as soon as I saw them at Staples because they will easily bend like the picture shows.  I have a few spirals my boys never used I will do the same method.

Here are spiral 5x7 pads I got 50% off at Dollar General a month ago.  I had a blast using my stash of ribbons and funky threads.  I also looked thru my stickers and had fun.  If friends get these, every 1 is a little different.

  I can't stop thinking about this Pin, here.  I never...ever could have come up with this but will smile ear to ear pulling it off from now on!  I will probably do this for the oldest boys.  I have quite the stack of Christmas cards from back in the day, you know...when people actually sent them!! lol  What a perfect way to send the paper safely and with minimal box room.  I got some notebook paper at the same Dollar General deal as the spirals..50% off.  I'll divide each paper pack into 1/3 to roll up.  I used a recycled calendar page, christmas card, packaging from the back of clearance merchandise I divided.  I used my hot glue gun because it was out.  The rolls will tuck nicely into a corner of the box. 

I like this Pin, here for bookmark ideas.  And, this 1 for spirals, here.  I have access to a binding machine at my church.  I bet they'd let me sneak in 1 afternoon with my stash of salvaged recycled cardboard.  And, don't get me started on the brilliance of this 1, here.   I have a gallon sized zip-loc filled with recycled cardboard, card stock, packaging.

Washi tape to the rescue for this Pin, here.   I may have some of these pads in my stash.

For this Pin, here I envision my paper cutter (or the 1 at church) coming to the rescue.  Once I go thru all the boys school spirals and folders...I bet I'll have a stack like hers!  I will cut them up and use the cereal boxes and other type recycle products to complete the custom pads.    

Paper is something we easily take for granted here!!  But, they won't!

For the love of a child!!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Imaginative Mats

 I am so excited! 
 In years past, I have slipped an animal or 2 into boxes as filler.  
This year, my craft room is cleaned up and I turn the lights on every day.  I have pinned some cool play land ideas and am creating settings to enjoy animals.   
I can just imagine precious children in their own exploration worlds!!

This is my bin of Littlest Pet Shop...

See my multiple Pins: here (sea world in a tin) and here (sea and forest mat) and here (beach front ocean mat) and here (fishing pond)and here  (horse corral) and here  (dino mat). I have print-outs and will also create some felt worlds.  This idea started with the dino mat because my boys loved them some dinosaurs!!  I even had their room painted as a dino wonderland at our 1st home.  I found a clearance piece of dark blue felt at Hobby Lobby and reality of my dream set in.  I will create little worlds for little hands!! 
 I like to keep altoid tins (see a Pin here) and will fit some into them.  I will create bags for some (see a Pin here and here and here) and use any recycled containers I have for some, see Pin here and here and here

 These are awesome examples of what I cannot wait to create!  
I will crop the mats and  quart sized zip-loc bag each set.

 I have also pinned some car/vehicle mats. here  I printed the 2nd page off and will add a few cars and props for little hands.  My boys loved Hot Wheels!!  
My Mom loved picking them for the boys so I have her thinking about shoe box cars.

For the love of a child!!


Monday, February 9, 2015

Clothes Pins in shoeboxes?

I have a stash of thrifted/donated wooden clothes pins...these are really special! 
I want to create some Peg dolls with them.  See Pins here (Mermaids) and here (penguin).  I have a pin here to show how to saw them down a bit. 
And, look at this fun Pin here (dragonfly) and here (airplane).

I made actual drying line kits for the oldest girls.  See Pin here.  
I got 3 different colored clothes line rope for $1 and divided the bundles up into a bunch of baggie kits.  I decorated the clothespins with fingernail polish and sharpie markers. 

Why didn't I think of  that?? moment:  see Pin  here!(actual jewelry element) 
Perfect for Mom and I...she is the jewelry maker.  I have been throwing that coil pieces away when they fall apart!!  But, this pin has me thinking on a whole new level!

For the love of a child!!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Clothes on Clearance

I am not needed by my man sized teen-aged sons anymore to fetch clothing at the store.  That has become more of a you and me outing...they pick, I purchase.  I cannot be trusted any longer to comprehend their latest whim. lol  I have been using clearances, coupons and saving certificates to get clothing for OCC children down to low, low prices.  I need to pair up sets/pieces of clothing to shoes I have gotten also the same method.

 I stocked up on flip-flops at Target when I admired the silver color for oldest boys.  I got in on those a little early!  I will remember next year to wait for their mega shoe clearance and use cartwheel the day they take an extra 40% off.  (lesson learned) 

 I splurged on 4 ($4) t-shirts at Jo Ann's fabric that have chalk board images on them.  I will add chalk with each 1.  A bit pricey...(lesson learned)  But, they are oldest boy sized and I gotta take care of my boys. lol
Mom and I sewed ponchos out of Dollar General tree skirts.  They were lined fleece and very cheap.  I sent them to Romania as a love offering with my Sunday School class.  We have lots left over cuttings to make little bags and finger puppets and mitten/hat sets. I sure hope this pink camo is ok to send.   Mom created blanket ponchos to comfort 2 elderly in the hospital.  We are buying up blankets on clearance like Madd Women!!
 For the love of a child!!


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sewing the seeds of Love

I fell in love a few years ago with the idea of sending the oldest girls a sewing kit!! 
 I love fabric like my Mom does.  I frequent Hancock Fabric (close and convenient) and look for bargains and cuttings for pillow covers and napkins and table runners.  I think young girls would love fabric too!  Sewing kits are from $1-$3 at Dollar stores.  You can even buy each element and make your own.  See some fun Pins here and here and  here and here.  I love to get remnants or cuttings when they are 50%, like they do at Jo Ann's occassionally.  The above was found 25% off remnants on a side cap in Wal-Mart right after Christmas.  I try to pick fabrics that could be a head wrap, skirt, blouse or bag that they may want to make.  I like to do 1-2 yards.  I like to give a few different fabrics to each girl.  Last year, I used gallon zip loc to secure the entire kit.  Sewing is a great skill for them to learn and can lead to a trade.    Look at this great Pin on what another shoebox stuffer loves to send, here.  My mom thinks they need patterns but I imagine they can eye ball and create.  What do you think?  I am adding fun buttons this year and trims.  I got the huge bin of finger nail clippers on Amazon this year.  See pin here.  I think I am gonna add a set to each sewing kit.
Here is a sock monkey I got at Stapes after Christmas.  It was for you to put a bottle of Sparkling Wine into to gift. All I have to do is stuff him and hand stitch up the top.  I really want a book about making stuffed loveys out of socks and gloves!!  Amazon has it here 
This gets me starting in that direction.  I have 2 teenaged boys and lots of barely used 1 sock wonders around here! 

I am willing to think outside the box too for boxes!!  
These awesome fleece lined tree skirts were anywhere from 75% off down to 25 cents depending on when I got them at Dollar General Christmas clearance.  The fishy fuzzy fleece, harder to work with, I got on clearance last year at Hancock Fabrics.  I have a few boxes in mind with an ocean theme.  The green camo can't be used for OCC boxes...too much of a reminder of child soldier activity.  I didn't think about it when I threw it into the cart, I was just thinking boy!  (lesson learned)
We made 3 ponchos with the pink and sent them to Romanian orphans...we have lots left and I will make mittens and caps with all that. 
Mom and I have lots of projects and left-overs from projects!  This is flannel from pj pants she created for my youngest son.  We had plenty to make 4 scarves and matching hats.  I had fun adding the fringed edges!  I am hooked, a very simple diy project for adding to OCC boxes.  See inspirational Pins here and here.

Can you tell I have always wanted to sew for my boxes but just never made it happen before?

For the love of a child!!


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Kohl's "Cash"

 I love me some Kohl's "Cash"!!
It all stated with my own rewards from preparing my son for a dance.  I had $20, but I returned a $16 bow tie because I got 2 for him to chose from.
I returned that 1st and it brought my rewards down to $10...(lesson learned!!) 
 My 1st found treasures were 80% off ornaments that look like stuffed animals to me??  How about you??  My mom has a love affair with owls from the 70', I see this as fitting.  I love I couldn't leave him behind!!  Then, I noticed their awesome, colorful face cloths were 1/2 price!!  They are huge and I remembered a testimony I pinned on my Pinterest - OCC board, here
I feel like they nearly have a hand towel with these babies!  I will get face cloths at Family Dollar, Dollar General or Wal-mart in those 18 packets when I have coupons or the color combo is on clearance. My heart skipped out of that store SO happy with my treasures!!

 Then, the next week, my Mom realized she had $10 that would expire in 2 days.
I got to her place as soon as possible...this is fun stuff! lol  I got a polar bear/penguin box in the works now.  And, those critters are so detailed...a mouse and a squirrel/chipmunk!  I bought most of their indv. rags that looked like Fall colors on clearance and that gorgeous towel may be cut up to make wash cloths?  I got that 1 headlamp that will go in an oldest boy box, originally $20, for $2.  
  I went back on my 3rd trip but missed the rest of the cap lights.  (lesson learned)

On my 3rd trip, I was packin' my baseball Momma friend's $15 reward!!  I don't have photo evidence of this but I got more face cloth bundles still 1/2 price, polar bears and a Trek brand water bottle with 3 pairs of socks in it for 1/2 price. 

The generous spirit of a few precious friends astounds me.  
I have shown pics here or there on Facebook and others have responded and donated items for crafting!  This 1 special friend gave me a $15 now, $10 later and $57 Kohl's store credit card...
I still have $40 on that card.  This was my Yes and Amen moment!!

I may be on to something good here!  
Others partnering with my efforts allows me to share what G0d is doing through our out-pour.  I can send them pics and texts and may involve them when I get into the craft packs they donated!   I walked in to use my last $10 certificate and Chaps school uniform shorts were 90% off, $ I got 4 pairs.  They only had size 7 boys.   Children's toys were BOGO 50% off and I couldn't leave
40 cents on my I got these sweet puzzle packs that have started 2 theme boxes.  I have signed up for an app or something that gave me extra 15% off is how I got the 40 cents hanging.

I have top quality stuff from these trips!
 I feel I have landed in the right spot for using my gifts and talents to glorify the L0rd. 

For the love of a child!!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Valentine's Day coming

I popped in to my Goodwill this week between the boys lunch deliveries.  I found a few things of shoebox use.

There was 1 lonely little dollie for 99 cents amongst a sea of animals.  I have animals out the Wa-Zoo! lol  It will be fun to dress her up a bit.  I grabbed this little black purse at the front because it is perfect to add a Littlest Pet shop world inside!!  Will share when that happens.  And...bonus...hearts all over and heart shaped.  

Snoopy flannel pc. of fabric in honor of my beagles ... and some awesome twine/string to make up kits.  There was more flannel and there were more huge skeins like this of wool yarn.  There were 2 quart baggies stuffed to the brim with trim, ribbon, binding, cords.  I kept looking at it and wondering if I should splurge or not, $1.99 each.

What I have done is let the boys know that if they popped in on their way out of their work-out session (2 doors down from Goodwill) and made their way down the aisles to find those baggies of goodies and got them for their Momma for Valentines day...well, that would just be like being shot by Cupid's arrows, don't ya know it!?  Then, pay for a box to ship and they are out of Valentine's day for less than $10 each!!

They followed through a suggestion at Christmas, so I have high hopes.

For the love of a child!!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Themed boxes

A few of my boxes are themed or extra matchy-matchy!  It gets more expensive when I get emotionally attached to a box!  But, it is fun!  I have found pencil/binder pouches, stuffed animals, toys, t-shirts, shoes that have spurred character themes or color schemes.  I also am remembering my teen boy's childhood fondly or doing a box here or there thinking of someone special.  Sometimes, I can sense the Lord really moving on behalf of a special child!!

Like this box for oldest girl, 10-14 is a great example.  It all started w/Academy clearance shoes in a wonderful color!  I got the outfit in 2 different trips to Palais Royal clearance w/super coupons!  I love how it all looks together.  She will also get toiletries, hair accessories and school supplies.  I felt driven to go back for this gauzy blouse, it is so pretty with the bright skirt.   I will squeeze in a craft or sewing kit for her.

Dora the Explorer and her monkey side-kick, Boots!  The boys watched Dora on her adventures!  Flip-flops were 70% off at Target w/additional 20% off cartwheel.

Stars and stripes /red, white and blue theme.  Target flip-flops, same deal as above.  I will deflate the ball.  I will make something w/the ribbon?  My baseball Momma friend gave me bags of crafting supplies, the ribbon flag came from her.  I got the hair accessories at Dollar General, 50% off clearance weekend!

Spidey theme x 2.  Very colorful!  My boys had tennis shoes and some toys.  Shoe clearances started these out.  Not sure I should have, but gotta make them work now. 

For the love of a child!!


Saturday, January 31, 2015

U r 1 in a Minion!

When my 9th grader was much younger, I got him the movie, Despicable Me, for his birthday.  We watched it over and over together!  Anyways, Minions are so popular that they have marshmallow Peeps.  However, we can't put them into an OCC shoebox. :{..

I am working on a shoebox for a 5-9 yr old boy themed: U r 1 in a Minion!  It started with a t-shirt on clearance at Palais Royal after Christmas, less than $4.  These shoes match the theme perfect from the Payless Shoe Source clearance, $4.  It can get more costly to have a favorite theme, but it is bringing back sweet memories and I imagine will bring delight to a precious child!
I saw this cup and couldn't pass it up, Dollar Tree.  I think I found the fun pack at Tuesday Morning.  The perfect bouncy ball comes from Old Navy,  see Pin here.  I had the clapper and blue dolphin toy in my stash.  I had everything I needed to make the minion egg from a Pin idea.  I'll add toiletries and school supplies.  Maybe I can put little pencil erasers inside the Minion egg?

For the love of a child!!


Friday, January 30, 2015

The Whole wide world in His hands

I have taken this fun child's globe my boys had when younger and made it into a garden orb.  But, this image is cool to me because I have discovered that it may not be random that my boxes have gone more than once to Togo, West Africa!  You can't truly draw a straight line from Houston, TX to Togo...but as the boat floats it is interesting.  It is the smallest country on the African Continent.  I sent out 8 oldest boys and 8 oldest girl boxes in 2014 and they went to Togo.  So, I keep this in mind as I prepare 2015 boxes.  Why, because it has happened before...maybe the regions are connected?
I like to pack the oldest child categories into plastic shoe boxes I gather at Dollar General with my $5/$25 Saturday deal.  Not only as a great stowage container but I hear they've been used to gather water!!  I am not gonna just throw out shoe boxes so I will use them for the other least the youngest.  I feel silly that I didn't realize a great idea when it was "in my face" this past November!?  Use a bandana as wrapping for the see thru boxes! See Pin here Duh!!  I made sure they all got 1, why didn't I use it aesthetically!?  lol 

I pinned another awesome idea and was SO rushed to sort my boxes in November that I didn't do it!  See Pin here.  But, I made sure to do it already with several of my boxes.  I placed my hand on the lid and instructed them to pray with me.  Hopefully, my huge hand doesn't frighten anyone. lol  I have a prayer in agreement thing and love to encourage others to pray!!
What crazy Pin am I working on right this minute?? See Pin here.   I found 3 different colors of clothing line rope at a 99 cent store locally.  I already found the clothes pins at a Dollar General and at a thrift shop.  I am turning a mundane task into a kit for oldest girls.  I wanna decorate the pins too.
See Pin here

I love Pinterest, here's my OCC board.

For the love of a child!!  To G0d be the Glory!!,


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Samaritan's Purse

Before Thanksgiving, at Academy, I found some Summer clearance sandals for less than $4.  I also got silver and black flip flops for $1.50 at Target after Christmas (those are now 75 cents each).  I like to squeeze shoes into my Samaritan's Purse, Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes.  I am shocked at the number of shoes I have collected on clearance at this point!!  3rd world countries aren't eating hormone induced meats/dairy so I try to imagine their shoe sizes accordingly.  This 1st purchase has started an avalanche of activity for OCC shoeboxes of 2015.  I have been participating in this awesome ministry since my teenage boys were in Pre-K.  Check them out on Facebook.

My Hubby is calling all this activity "Clutter for Charity!"  But, I am working hard to organize myself. He isn't being mean-spirited...we just cleaned out my craftroom and the light-bulb went off!!  He is very gracious and charitable!!

This will be the 1st time that I've maintained receipts for tax purposes, other than shipping costs!!

This is the earliest I have ever started making purchases!

This is the 1st year I have ever admitted how passionate I am about children who are under-privileged!  And, boy is it paying off!!  My community friends are donating!!

This is the 1st year that I am giving up personal gifts for any/every Holiday...birthday, Val day, Easter, Mother's Day...any time Hubby and sons are gonna buy something for me....telling them please get on the web-site and pay shipping for as many boxes as you would have spent!!  Or  tool boxes to fill for oldest boys!  See Pin here.  Or...sports equipment for oldest boys from them for me to add! See Pins,
here, here, here

Happy, happy, happy packing!!