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Posts Tagged ‘graduation gift ideas’

February 7, 2014 Edition The figure of speech “Jack of all trades, master of none” suits me to a T. It refers to a person who shows competency in many skills, but is not particularly outstanding in any one. I recently learned some of the reasons why I am this way. Last week, in an astrology class, I learned that I possess something called Cardinal Quality. The site Astrology.com states: “Individuals possessing a Cardinal Quality like to get things going. They are active, quick and ambitious. Many projects get started, thanks to Cardinal initiative, although a good deal of them are never finished. That’s because Cardinal folks are much fonder of starting things than finishing them.” Adding to that, I also learned in class, that my zodiac sign’s temperament is that of air. Astrolibrary.org says this about those who have the of element of air, “They love learning, but bore easily . . . Air signs are into ideas and people. They are communicative; they must share information, interact with others, and influence society.”

Let me share an example of the Cardinal Quality-Air Element combination: In November, I decided to knit my son an afghan for Christmas. Having only knitted scarves in the past, I don’t know why I took on a project of that magnitude. After many “do-overs” and calls to my daughter-the-knitter, I completed the project, but ultimately decided that knitting was not for me. In January, I took a crochet class and decided to make a throw for my daughter. Again, with multiple “do-overs” and a bit of ad-libbing, I completed the project. Crocheting was easier, but again not for me. To make a long story short, I yearn to learn, but I lack the temperament and interest to stick to a single subject for very long. Hopefully, I’ll have better luck in the photography class I start next week!

#1 – Are You a Creative Person?
12 Tendencies of Creative People Have you ever considered yourself a creative person? Check out the 12 Most Striking Tendencies of Creative People and see how many of these traits you share with other creatives. For better descriptions of these tendencies, read the entire article, but in a nutshell they are:

1. Are bored easily
2. Are willing to take risks
3. Don’t like rules
4. Ask “what if . . .”
5. Make lots of mistakes
6. Collaborate
7. Are generous
8. Are independent
9. Experiment
10. Motivate themselves
11. Work hard
12. Aren’t alone

#2 – Valentine’s Day Printables and Love Quotes
The best Valentine’s Day cards or gifts do not have to come from a store. Homemade cards, treats, or gifts carry more love because of the sweat equity involved. Making homemade Valentine’s Day cards and treats are a cinch, especially if you use free printables. Whether it’s finding the right words for your Valentine’s Day card or making/assembling treats for school or for the office, you’ll find some creative assistance below:
Valentine's Chalkboard Printables Valentine’s Chalkboard Printables
75 Awesome! Valentine’s Day (Free Printables)
Free Valentine’s Day Bag Toppers
Treat Bag Toppers
Love Quotes for Valentine’s Day Cards
Valentine’s Day Quotes

#3 – An Extraordinary Gift
Extraordinary Graduation Gift
Because of its inspirational message, the book Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss makes a nice graduation gift. When one man’s daughter graduated from high school, he gave her the book and, as she opened the book to read it, he told her, “Every year, for the past 13 years, since the day you started kindergarten I’ve gotten every teacher, coach, and principal to write a little something about you inside this book.” Why am I sharing this story with you months before graduation season? This is a wonderful gift idea that obviously requires some advance planning. Even if you did not start this project at the beginning of your child’s academic career, you still have time to get your child’s teachers and coaches to write something in the book for this year!! Click here to read more about this story.

#4 – Smart As A Dog
Watch this video and fall in love with Misa, a tiny Yorkie. This little pup is not just a ball of adorable fluff. Judging by the number of tricks in her repertoire, she’s pretty darn smart, too!

#5 – Learn
“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.”
Thomas Huxley

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
Pablo Picasso

Now Go and Spread Joy!

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“Is this my blanket?” my daughter asks as she curiously eyes a large colorfully-wrapped box that has the words CELEBRATE plastered all over it. Sitting in a hotel room, my family watches expectantly as she opens up her graduation present. There’s a moment of anticlimactic silence as she removes the lid of the box. Each of us, even my daughter, knows what’s inside.

Several years ago, I first struggled with the problem of what to give to my children when they graduated from college. Giving them money, jewelry, or big, fancy gifts were okay, but I longed to give them something that they wouldn’t forget – something, that perhaps, could be a symbol of love. That’s when I thought about making each of them a blanket.

In concept this was a good idea, but in reality, not so great. Although I am a creative person and I attempt to do many things – just who was I kidding when I thought I could crochet? As I bought the pattern and yarn for my oldest son’s blanket, I thought back to the baby hat that I’d once crocheted. It turned out almost perfect, except for one minor detail – the size was way off. The cute, crocheted hat turned out to be too large for any infant’s head, including an alien’s!

With crochet hook in hand and skeins of yarn all about, I determinedly began the first blanket. I envisioned myself to be like my grandmother, a woman who could crochet furiously while watching television. The directions to the Mile-A-Minute blanket seemed easy enough and after crocheting all the strips, I carefully lined them up on the floor side-by-side. Noticing that each strip was a different length, I was crestfallen. How in the world was I going to join these strips together when some were inches shorter than others? Figuring I had two choices – either I alternate the long and short strips or I configure them from shortest to longest – I frantically worked to salvage the project. Although it’s been years since I made it and I cannot remember exactly how I put it together, I do remember the look on my oldest son’s face as he graciously accepted his trapezoidal-shaped blanket. Sometimes there are disadvantages to being first-born!

Like parenting, the second time around was easier. Being wiser, I vowed not to repeat my mistakes and made every effort to avoid the pitfalls of crocheting. Again, I lovingly crocheted a Mile-A-Minute blanket for my second son and was most pleased when his blanket turned out “almost” rectangular. Diligence and experience had paid off. When I asked him a few weeks ago what I gave him for his graduation, he immediately replied “A blanket!” Good answer! There are some advantages to being the second child!

Now, as I watch my daughter take her blanket out of the box, I notice that she’s studying the straight rows of crochet stitches and the nice, even border. It’s evident that I did not make her blanket. I explain that her blanket was made by my grandmother and was given to me on my twenty-first birthday. That my daughter is twenty-one-years-old and that she’s graduating from college, the pretty, pink and white blanket seemed destined to be hers. Sometimes the third child is just lucky!

No matter the story behind each blanket, the accompanying note always included this sentiment:  You are the lucky recipient of a “Crocheted Masterpiece.” At this point in your life there’s not much more Dad and I can give to you other than our continued, unconditional love. Think of our love as being wrapped up in this blanket. Take it with you wherever you go in life and may you always feel the warmth of our love whenever you wrap yourself in it.

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