Thursday, January 21, 2010

Christmas Catch Up - Part 2

As the coordinator of my MOPS group, I like to give my steering team a small gift at Christmas. With 12 ladies I can't afford anything too expensive. I learned about Wordle from a fellow blogger. It's a free site that constructs a "word cloud" using text you type in. For my gifts, I asked each steering member to list a few words or a phrase that either describes each leader or is something you admire about her. They had about a week to do this and then I typed in the text. I printed them out on glossy white cardstock and framed them in simple frames. They were originally unfinished so I gave them a quick coat of glossy black. This gift idea has lots of possibilities (grandparents, end of year teacher gift...) and I am sure I will be using it again. I found Wordle incredibly easy to use and enjoyed playing around with the colors, fonts, and word arrangement. Hubby helped me size them to a 5x7 - which took some work on his end. They actually print out 8x10 directly from Wordle.

Here's a shot of my finished project, tied up with ribbon left from Christmas past. I presented the gifts to my leaders at a luncheon at my home just before Christmas. We decided it was both encouraging and humbling to know how others saw us.Next for the women who graciously care for our children during our MOPS meetings. Again...small budget but unlike the above gifts, it doesn't come out of my personal pocket. I learned about a great deal from author Richard Paul Evans on Money Saving Mom.(Check her site out....tons of free deals, coupons, and thrifty ideas in an easy to read list.)For a limited time, he was offering 20 copies of his book The Christmas Box at a cost of only $15. This fit our budget perfectly. I even ordered a box myself to give as gifts to other folks. The little silver charms you see are elastic bookmarks. If you can cut string and tie a knot, you can make these. This link will give you specific directions, but basically:

1. Cut a length of elastic beading cord to 15 inches.
2. Slid your charm to the middle of the cord.
3. Tie a knot above your charm.
4. Tie a knot to secure the ends.

That's IT friends! I found a pack of 10 heart charms 50% at Hobby Lobby ($1.50) which made these little beauties ring in around $0.65 EACH! Can't hardly beat it! There are lots of charms to choose from, making this easy to personalize for any reader you know. The motorcycle one in the picture was one Miss M made for my dad.
There you have it...two economical and easy gift ideas. I also learned that LOTS of people like homemade fudge. I should know...I made and gave away 6 pounds of it last month!
Coming to a blog near you....Mr. C's thrifty Cars 3rd birthday celebration!

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