Teacher Appreciation Week

IMG_2479This week was Teacher Appreciation Week. For the first time in several years I am not teaching, so I  got be on the giving end of things since I have a Kindergartener this year! The PTA sent out a suggested list of things to do throughout the week. Tuesday I sent homemade iced pumpkins scones (which are IMHO better than Starbucks). Thursday was “bring your teacher their favorite (appropriate) beverage” day. As I imagined my daughter’s teacher accepting a thoughtful, but overwhelming amount of skinny mocha latte’s from wide-eyed 5-year olds, I decided to go a different route. I wanted something “teacher-themed”. I started searched Pinterest, which is my go-to in most crafty situations, and I found  a plethora of adorable ideas, however none that I could pull off with the supplies that I had on  hand. I decided that I was going to make a coffee cozy, and then maybe buy her a giftcard, or something to go with it. I decided to make an apple cozy because nothing screams teacher like apple, and…bonus…I had all the supplies.

I started out with a layer of white felt sandwiched between two layers of red fleece. I had some green that I figured I would use for leave somehow. I ended up with this…

IMG_2471    IMG_2446

Cute, but a little boring. It needed something, but I wasn’t sure what. My husband suggested that it needed some apple “shine”. It was a good idea. I tried a couple different things, but I couldn’t get anything to look quite right. I decided to sleep on it. As I was driving back from dropping off my daughter at school the next day, it hit me: it needed a worm! Yes, I know, it seems obvious in retrospect, but sometimes I need that quiet time to come up with these little ah-hah’s. My mind started buzzing with ideas. I decided to cut a bite out of the top layer of the apple, and add the little worm crawling out of the hole. I had already made a test cozy because I am not great at sewing, so most of the things I do are definitely not as efficient as they could be. I always get from point A to point B, it just takes a little longer the first time.

I took the opportunity to work on my hand-stitching and try some different embroidery techniques. I did a blanket stitch around the “bite” to add definition to the edge. I varied the length of the stitches to add some texture. I started with a running stitch around the bottom and switched to a chain stitch on top. I finished it off with a little button for the eye. I thought I was finished….and then my husband came home.

IMG_2468IMG_2470He pointed out to me that the image I had sent him earlier in the evening seemed to be coming up from the bottom of the hole, while this version was pretty much straight across. Hesitant, I looked back through my texts and sure enough. Somewhere along the line I had flattened him out. You can see the comparison here. The one on the left is the image I texted him, and the one on the right is what I ended up with. (I hate it when he is right!)




So after I put the kids to bed, I took the stitch-ripper to the python and returned it to a friendly, little inch-worm! I decided to go with a running stitch all the way around (honestly I was just tired and wanted to finish the thing!) I also added the mouth and eye lashes to bump up the cute factor. IMG_2479

Will I continue to tweak this and that the next time I make one? Of course! But, I have finally created something original without using Pinterest as a crutch, and that feels really good.

How did my daughter’s teacher feel about it? I’ll have to wait until tomorrow because she arrived this morning only to find out that they had a sub today! I’m sure she’ll love it just as much tomorrow.


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