Monthly Archives: February 2012

Valentine Variety: Crafty Projects for all Ages!

Whether you are a child, in love, or just a hopeless romantic, Valentine’s Day will always be a holiday to look forward to with great anticipation. Looking to try something new? Here are three easy ideas you can whip up in a few minutes that require more thought and caring than big bucks!  I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised with the results!

Heart Felt Puppets

Finger puppets are a cinch to make with two hearts cut from felt or other heavy weight fabric. Glue the edges together leaving the bottom open for fitting onto your finger. Decorate the hearts with fabric paints, yarn, pom pons, google eyes, glitter, and other trim to create a neighborhood full of friendly finger puppets to play with or give away. This project is suitable for any kid whether they are 3 or 33! They are great for quiet play to keep children entertained but can work for adults too. Heart felt puppets could also be used to adorn a special bottle of wine for a friend, add Valentine flair to candy pops or suckers on a stick, or make larger versions to use has as gift wrapping for a special piece of jewelry or other small gift.

Stuck on You

It is harder and harder for kids to come up with something creative they can give to adults on Valentine’s Day. These hearts won’t get pushed into a drawer because they can be used all year long. To make, cut heart shapes from colorful, thin foam sheets you can buy at any craft store, then add embellishments with craft glue and cut out letters, glitter, smaller foam shapes, decorative ribbon and more. With your creative magic they can become faces, message boards for words of love, or mini works of art. After they dry, attach a stick on magnet to the back and they are ready to give. These magnets will have a life long after Valentine’s Day as they decorate and hold up messages on file cabinets, desks, and refrigerators everywhere. I still have some from several years ago on my fridge today!

Button Up Hearts

To turn any shirt into a Valentine Shirt, cut tiny hearts from craft foam, cut a tiny X in the middle and fit over the buttons of your finest white shirt. Presto, you just went from drab to dazzling! Hmm do you think you can get Dad to wear them to work on Valentine’s Day!


Let Me Hear Your Body Talk!

It is really difficult for me to say the title of this post without channeling Olivia Newton- John and launching into a very subpar version of her ‘Let’s Get Physical’ video. In fact, as I type I am having a strong urge to don a headband, leotard, leggings and legwarmers for the rest of the day! Wait! If I didn’t lose you with that visual please stick around because there really is a message in this detour.

Communication skills are important in personal relationships and business. Unfortunately, the bulk of the information and training focuses on the spoken word, often leaving the body language to chance. And trust me; the ‘body talk’ speaks volumes! The tricky part about non-verbal is we all pick up on it and know what it means but if you confront the non-verbal communicator they can easily claim they don’t know what you are talking about. Most non-verbal communication clues can be positive or negative but I have found my audience members intuitively know what’s going on and rarely make mistakes when reading the non-verbal clues. So what’s the deal? If we can see it in others and know the clues, why can’t we control it in ourselves?

I’ll tell you why, we are creatures of habit or in denial or maybe we just don’t care enough to pay attention to our own ‘body talk’. If you are choosing not to master your non-verbal communication skills you could be sending mixed signals and quite possibly hurting your relationships at home and work.

Here some non-verbal clue categories and what they communicate:

Body Posture or Angle: We say we are listening but clearly have our body turned away as if to block connection. The reverse is, we respect or like someone so we fully face them, lean forward and perhaps touch them lightly if we agree on a point or view they share.

Eye Contact or No Eye Contact: Clearly a clue of how someone feels about you and can tell so much more than the words they choose to share. Pretty obvious; eye contact means you are present, darting eyes or no contact means you’d rather be somewhere else and you are not present.

General Attention Clues: We feign attention yet continue shuffling papers, taking texts, checking calendars, etc. during a conversation or meeting. You can say you are there but in truth you are not.

Arms and Legs: Crossed arms clearly say you’re not agreeing, not interested or you are guarded while your words may say ‘sure that’s a good idea and I will get back to you on that.’ In addition, crossed body parts can mean you are nervous and need to protect yourself until you feel more secure communicating.

What to know more about non-verbal communication? Check out this body language guide on The Grindstone website; .

Now where did I put that leotard?


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