Christmas, Concrete Making, Grandma's Corner, Inspiration

Gifts for Teachers

There is an expression “Apple for the Teacher” and I assume in the olden days if you wanted to ingratiate yourself to the teacher your would give him or her an apple. When I was at school we didn’t have an apple tree nor did it ever cross my mind to take a gift for my teacher. When our children were at school it wasn’t routine to give gifts to teachers, although at some point one of them would announce they would like to give something to Miss X, this was usually the evening before the end of term and we would have to hunt around for a suitable something.

Since then it has become routine to give gifts to teachers at Christmas and the end of the school year. My daughter is a teacher and I know she has no expectation of gifts, and I have used surplus chocolates/biscuits from her to bribe my postgraduate students to meetings.

If you are thinking of getting your children’s teachers gifts here are a few things to think about:

  1. Fresh flowers are lovely, but it is best to present them early, they can brighten the classroom or their home, and you are not risking them going off if the teacher is going away as soon as term ends.
  2. Hand made is lovely, but have you and your children got time to do what you have in mind?
  3. How would you feel if you discovered he/she had re-gifted your present?
  4. Each of your children may have more than one teacher and teaching assistant.

If you’re looking for point number 2 and want something handmade, have a look at Gemma’s online shop.

Concrete Making, Grandma's Corner, My Products

Father’s Day

Earlier in the year I wrote about Mothering Sunday, so I thought that I should write about Father’s Day. My father always called it Dad’s Day, and the celebration wasn’t mentioned in church, so I assumed it was a less established celebration – perhaps conjured up by my dad! However having looked at the Internet I discovered that there are varying days dedicated to Fathers around the world, and that one of them dates back to the Middle Ages.

In the UK we celebrate Father’s Day on the 3rd Sunday in June, and actually we imported the idea from the US, where it was established in the early 20th century. When in the 1930s Australia adopted the idea of Father’s Day they chose the first Sunday in September, as this was away from other special days. While some northern countries, including Norway and Finland, chose the second Sunday in November.

First celebrated in 1919 former USSR countries celebrate Defender of the Fatherland Day, this is also known as Men’s Day, but also includes male and female members of the armed services. Russia celebrate this on 23rd February, while other countries celebrate it on varying dates.

The Catholic Church mark Saint Joseph’s Day on 19th March, and have used this day to celebrate fathers since the Middle Ages. A number of Catholic countries now celebrate Father’s Day on this date.

Concrete Dad letters for Father’s Day

Concrete Making, Grandma's Corner, Tutorials

Coaster Making

I really enjoy making things, and along with some family members I had a go at making concrete coasters, using Gemma’s Make Your Own Coasters Kit.

The whole process was fun. We started with a cuppa and looking through the pack. We then moved outside to do the concrete mixing, using the face mask provided the pack (you shouldn’t breathe in concrete!). It was all surprisingly straightforward using Gemma’s mix and instructions.

We then cleaned up and had a leisurely lunch, by then the concrete had “cured” sufficiently for us to remove our coasters from their moulds.

The next day some of the group decorated their coasters following suggestions on Gemma’s blog. I thought mine looked beautiful as it was.

I think the Make Your Own Coasters Kit would make an ideal present for anyone who enjoys crafts. Why not treat your mum this Mother’s Day?

Concrete Making, Grandma's Corner

Mothering Sunday

In the UK the fourth Sunday of Lent is called Mothering Sunday. Traditionally it was the day when children who had gone into domestic service (for example working as a kitchen maid) were given the Sunday off to visit their mothers and families. My mother went into domestic service at the age of 14, while she lived at home with her parents, I am sure a Sunday off was welcome.

This link to the Church is why the date of UK’s Mother’s Day moves and why it is at different time to Mother’s Day in the US and elsewhere. This year Mother’s Day is on Sunday 31st March.

My mum is no longer with us, but I was wondering what she would have liked – I think she would like a small bunch of flowers and a vase to put them in, such as this one from Gem’s Concrete Gems. She liked flowers, but she also liked having gifts she could keep.