Friday, 20 July 2012

An Apple for the Teacher


It is the last day of term here today. At 3.15 this afternoon, Bella breaks up for the six week summer holiday. It has been a crazy couples of weeks, filled with appointments, meetings, errands, messages, things I Must Not Forget To Do. I have a list as long as my arm on the fridge and I am slowly ticking things off. Bella's already busy social life went into overdrive this week with end of term parties and celebrations and her first school trip, not to mention the usual round of after school activities and play dates.

We all really need a holiday. 

But probably not as much as Bella's teachers who, I imagine, are pretty exhausted by now. I've spent the past week making two bags, simple shopping bags with a little applique picture (designed by me but the apple is inspired by one in Chloe Owen's All Sew Up). The bags contain a card made by Bella, a pot of jam, and a bag of homemade fudge. I hope no-one's diabetic. 


One is for Bella's teacher (Mrs C) and the other for the teaching assistant (Mrs B). They are fantastic at their jobs and passionate about the well being of the children they teach, and they have made Bella's first year at school a very special and rewarding time. Mrs B, in particular, worked in Bella's nursery and has known her since she was three. Bella is now preparing to move up from reception to Year 1, where there are more tables and chairs and less sandpits.

In other news, Angus has been having "settling in sessions" at the school nursery, in preparation for when he starts attending every morning in September. On Monday, when I left him, and he cried so loud and for so long that they went to get Bella from her class. (I am not happy about leaving a crying three year old, honestly, but Angus cries when he is left with anyone except John and I, and he really needs to go to nursery and get used to small amounts of independence.) Apparently, Angus stopped crying the minute he saw Bella. They held hands and she played with him. When I went to collect him they were playing with the train set. I don't think he let go of her hand the whole time. 


41 comments:

  1. Beautiful. You are so clever and those teachers are sooo lucky.

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    1. Thank you :-) I hope you got spoilt with gifts and are enjoying the start of your holidays. x

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  2. WOW WOW WOW these are stunning!!! Is the applique hand stitched? Did you make the bags as well? I'm so impressed!

    I've tried machine applique once and I found it so hard to do satin stich evenly. I've been neglecting my sewing projects for so long, but feeling very much inspired now :D

    Great work!

    Linda @ http://makingthingsbeautifulagain.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you Linda. I bought the bags ready made from here http://thecleverbaggers.co.uk/store/pc/home.asp and hand stitched round the applique. I really like hand sewing and find it much more relaxing than using the sewing machine.

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    2. oh wow I've just checked the website and they're really cheap! will definitely be taking advantage of those! Thanks for the tip! :) Hand sewing is much less stressful yes, I agree.

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  3. wOw what gorgeous gifts..... you are so talented. The teacher and assistant should be mega happy with your work of art and of course Bella's. ♥

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    1. Hello there, thank you for such kind words. I think they liked it! :-)~

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  4. Fabulous gifts - puts my baked at 11pm last night biscuits to shame!

    Love how Bella looked after Angus - so very sweet.

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    1. Having tasted your 11pm emergency biscuits I think the teachers should be pretty chuffed with them!

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  5. Lovely blog Gillian!! I follow you... ;o)

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  6. My classroom's parents are always so thoughtful but oh my how I wish I was Bella's preschool teacher! ;) Gorgeous Gillian!

    As for leaving Angus crying... trust me, we deal with this day in day out. The WORST possible thing you can do is go back for him after he has started crying... it will teach him that if I cry hard enough Mommy will be back. So good on you for walking away. It's also the main reason why we have settling in sessions. I work in a preschool, special education behavioural unit. Trust me when I say Angus will be fine.

    You are doing great by dropping him off and letting him get used to the place. You are doing great! :)

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    1. Ah, thanks Hazel for such supportive words, that means a lot. I know deep down he will be fine - it's a very caring, supportive nursery and i have total faith in the staff there. It's just so hard letting go of my baby... x

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  7. Beautiful work Gillian - the teachers are going to be thrilled with their bags. They're stunning.

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    1. Thanks Donna. But with all this sewing I have been neglecting my crochet, must try harder!

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  8. Wow, they are stunning Gillian. You have missed your vocations, you should open an etsy shop. Mini always cried, sometimes he still does an d he has just turned six. I always tell him I will return, but we have to go to school.

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    1. You're right, they have to go to school (unless you home school but I know that would not work for me or for Bella) and I still see some in tears every morning. But as soon as their parents have left, the tears stop and they go off to play.

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  9. My goodness, how times have changed! Teachers didn't get presents when I was at school, nor when our two sons were at school! If every child gave the teacher a present, they'd be inundated with 'stuff', but I have to say these bags are lovely! It's probably very different these days, a bit like children's parties. All themed now and expensive, when ours were happy to have sausage rolls, jelly and a birthday cake with candles, and play pass the parcel and statues! Life seems so much more complicated, tiring and expensive these days! No idea who is to blame: greedy children, greedy manufacturers or yummy mummies trying to out-do each other in the 'who can make the best ...' whatever for little Susie or Johnny.
    Margaret P (I usually go under Galant but can't get this to work these days, so I choose Anonymous and that seems easier!)

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    1. Times have changed! I think I small present is the norm now, although cetainly not expected by the teacher. I don't mind, I like the teaching staff there! And with primary teachers in the family, I know how exhausting it is.

      Bella's last birthday party was in a church hall with pass the parcel, musical statues, sausage rolls and cake. There was a bouncy castle though, and a we booked a children's entertainer but he didn't turn up.

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  10. What a precious teacher gift. I love the books, because I'm a bookworm myself! :)

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad they were recognisably books! I did have a moment when I was ironing on the fabric when I thought this looks rubbish...

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  11. That's a lovely gift! The bags look wonderful!
    x
    http://nessi1988.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Hi Vanessa, thanks for stopping by. Gillian x

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  12. Those bags are gorgeous! You are one very talented lady! Bless little Angus - he'll get used to nursery in no time at all! x

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    1. Thanks Col. I know he will, I think it may be me who finds it harder! x

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  13. Gorgeous bags! Such a nice, thoughtful gift! I know you are looking forward to summer holiday! It will be nice to not have a schedule for a while. Oh, and sweet little Angus will surely adjust to school and love it. So glad Bella was there to comfort him...very sweet !

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    1. We are so happy that the summer holidays are here. And the sun is shining, which makes it even better! I am looking forward to lazy mornings and long, empty days.

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  14. these bags are so so lovely.

    however, i'm slightly horrified that mothers are doing this much work for their teachers!? is this the norm? in my day (how old does that make me sound?) we gave the teacher a card! maaaaybe, a small box of chocolates for the special teacher.

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    1. Thank you! I think a little gift is the norm at the end of the school year, but we only had one teacher. I wouldn't do this in high school when there are ten different teachers!

      I made the bags because I love sewing and I honestly love to make gifts for people. Also, for a long time we were on a VERY tight household budget and I realised I would have to make gifts rather than buy them, so it became a bit of a habit.

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  15. Qué buen trabajo las bolsas están muy bien hechas!!Saludos desde España

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    1. Hola Sara, gracias! Creo que los maestros les gustaba.

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  16. Bless him, he will settle don't worry! Now they are the kind of pressies I would like to give! Ada :)

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    1. Thanks Ada, I know he will be fine deep down. It's just that he's my baby and I love hanging out at home with him. Time to cut the apron strings!

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  17. What absolutely beautiful shopping bags! Gillian, you really are so clever and to have made these by hand as well will mean so much to Bella's teachers. The ethos about gifts to teachers has changed quite a bit over the last twenty years or so I think and to make something like this as a thank you for a happy first year for Bella at school says a lot about the extra mile you feel they have gone to make that so important first year happy for Bella and your appreciation of that. Teaching can be a thankless task sometimes and not everyone bothers even with the card at the end of the year but I think it's also the best job in the world (I miss it hugely) and thank yous and appreciation like this go a long way to encouraging teachers to keep giving of themselves and their time very often way beyond what s required. I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of end of term presents when i was teaching and I still treasure the things I was given and the messages that the children wrote to accompany them. Mrs C and Mrs B will treasure their gifts for years to come I bet! You are a star, Gillian! E x

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth, you are very kind. I really do feel that they did go they extra mile for Bella and that was reflected in their gifts. I never knew you used to teach! We have lots of primary teachers in my family and seeing the workload involved put me off teaching sadly!

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  18. The bags are beautiful and it shows how much you appreciate the teacher's to have gone to the trouble of making them. Having been doing a bit of applique myself recently (using your instructions of course)I can say it is not difficult but it just takes a lot of time and hand sewing is much easier and less fiddly than using a machine for detailed work like applique. When I taught, I loved the homemade gifts so much but any card or gift or words of appreciation were wonderful.
    On another note, we too still have pass the parcel and musical statues at our birthday parties and out last 2 were held at home with very little fuss or expense, but lots of fun was had by all.

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    1. Thanks honey. You are the queen of old school, no flashiness birthday parties! I wish i could do it like you but Bella is already planning lists for the 30 odd kids coming to her 6th birthday party... xxx

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  19. I wish I was the teacher - lovely gift, lovely bag!

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    1. Thank you. I wish I'd made one for myself now!

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