gift tags: instruction!

Examples of gift tags

Children's gift tags

I’ve got a gig! Well, it’s more of a volunteer effort, but it’s in the works!

A couple of years ago I was a volunteer at Rockwood Library in Gresham, Oregon. I have BIG LOVE for this library–I was a Homework Helper for a year and a half, every Tuesday night. I enjoyed working with the kids in the neighborhood and I thought the staff were awesome! I’ve always wanted to go back and volunteer just a little bit more.

What to do?

How about teaching a class?

What to teach?

Well, if you’ve read my blog you’ll know I like to make gift tags.

basket of bags of gift tags

Gift tag examples

The holidays are approaching…

So, I contacted MCL and asked if I could come teach Rockwood Library patrons how to make gift tags.

examples of gift tags

50's ladies

I was a little freaked out about asking.

They responded.


Big excitement! Anticipation! Planning! Writing!

Examples of gift tags

Children's gift tags

So, I’m in the process of creating a “how-to-make-gift-tags” lesson plan and a handout for my attendees. I’m carrying around a notebook so I can jot down reminders to prepare for the class. I’m organizing my art supplies and am making sure I have plenty of everything so more than one person can make tags at a time.

I’ve got my daughter Jinjer interested in volunteering her time to help me run the class. I’m hoping I can talk her friend Tangereen into volunteering that day as well. Jinj & Tang. Awesome kids.

Examples of gift tags

Children's gift tags

My motives are not completely altruistic. I completed my education to become a librarian nearly two years ago. I’ve yet to secure employment as a librarian. Teaching a class now helps me practice the process of planning programming I would like to present once I do land my dream job.

Examples of gift tags

Children's gift tags

Here’s the details:

I’ll be teaching ‘gift tag construction’ in three separate (yet equally awesome) sessions:

1) Sunday, November 14th from 1-2 pm at Rockwood Library

2) Wednesday, December 8th from 6-7:30 pm at Holgate Library

3) Sunday, December 12th from 1-2 pm at Rockwood Library

So…if you’re interested in learning how to make gift tags, feel free to sign up. Go here…do it now! and look for “gift tag construction”. Sign up! Join me!

Examples of gift tags

Bird gift tags

I make gift tags out of discarded books and magazines I pick up at yard and estate sales. I love colorful, vintage imagery. I sell my gift tags through Trillium Artisans, a wonderful organization dedicated to supporting local artists that use sustainable practices in their creation of art. Check them out for wonderful, handmade art made by some pretty talented people! I am constantly inspired by what I see created and hope to someday open up a functioning Etsy shop!

Examples of gift tags

50's ladies

Time for me to get back to ‘lesson planning’. I hope to see you there! Thanks for reading!

Published in: on October 18, 2010 at 8:10 pm  Comments (2)  

using delicious bookmarks at werk

I am constantly bookmarking sites on my browser, even though I have a delicious account. I suppose I may regret that should my computer decide to die. In the mean time, I’m ‘living on the edge’! (sorry, we’ve recently picked up RockBand and we’re all now singing lots of rock from the 70’s, the 80’s, the 90’s…)

Are you familiar with It’s a website that allows you to save all of your favorite websites by bookmarking them to your delicious account. It’s free, it’s easy to access, and equally easy to share…which got me thinking…how could I use this technology at work?

I work at a special education school. A few years back I wrote a grant request for some books and posters. It was awarded, which was exciting and a little nerve-wracking…I would have to show usage of these materials…and how I’d planned for their future usage. I began with an idea to help connect teachers to resources specific to our grant award.

Our teachers have requested subscriptions to online services such as and, as well as others. I realized if I created a delicious account for the school I could ensure these grant items would be used year after year. I could scour these sites (as well as the web) for lesson plans, coloring pages, and all kinds of instructional materials that were specifically matched to the titles in this grant. My idea was to link teachers to a delicious account of relevant materials so they would be inclined to use these books in the classroom.

I began by listing the subscriptions we use. Our budget may change year to year but I’m sure these subscriptions will continue to be supported; they’re widely used and liked by all teachers, they’re user-friendly, and they’re not too expensive. Once I had my list ready I was set to start my search for materials.

I looked at our grant items, beginning with our books. We were awarded a “We the People” Bookshelf grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Our Bookshelf theme was “Picturing America”, the list of titles can be found here: I began by searching for instructional items for these books.

Each search began with the title of the book, then author, then subject, then time period. At times the search yielded many results, sometimes none. I contracted and expanded my search as necessary to find materials. Once I began to get a good amount of resources I had to decide to how to organize them in a way that made sense to everyone–I started by naming each bookmark by subject but decided that was not concrete enough so I used the book title instead. Not every teacher I work with is comfortable with technology. I chose a rigid format for the account hoping there would be comfort in predictability. Each entry (link) is listed by title, by item (lesson plan, etc), and by source (website). Take a look:

I was able to present this to teachers during a “professional learning community” meeting. I began by explaining what bookmarking was, what social bookmarking was, and how teachers and staff could use this technology in the classroom. I sent the link to the NEH as part of the follow up required of grant recipients. I hope it becomes part of a larger body of resources for grant recipients.

Delicious is a very handy tool. I looked at class sets of literature and wondered what instructional materials are online, awaiting discovery? I encouraged teachers to look at the subjects they teach and to begin grouping their favorite sites and links in one place by creating an account on delicious. Teachers could access their favorite resources from any computer, adding to their list as they found new materials. I am inspired to keep creating lists on delicious…and am wondering if there’s any limit to the amount of accounts I can create?

Thank you for reading!

Published in: on July 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm  Leave a Comment