Category Archives: gifts

gift ideas for Mother’s Day, Father Day, birthdays, and other occasions.

Artemis Fowl: Fun Book Series for Boys (and Girls)

artemisfowlbookcover

Review of Artemis Fowl Books

Why is it so hard to find good books for tween boys?  When my 6th-grade daughter goes to the library, we come out with stacks and stacks of books. But when I take my 4th-grade son, we often come out empty-handed. Or we get a book, he reads a few pages, and pronounces it “boring.”

When he is hooked on a book series, however, he can’t get enough.  Recently he just finished two book series for boys he loved: Percy Jackson & the Olympians and Ranger’s Apprentice.  My daughter mentioned that boys in her class liked a series called Artemis Fowl. So at a recent trip to the library I checked out the first two Artemis Fowl books.

I starting reading the first book just to see what it was about, and I could not put it down. Within a couple of days I was back at the library getting the rest of the series and all three of us devoured them.

Kudos to the author, Eoin Colfer, for plots, characters, and action and humor that appealed to all of us.

Colfer’s hero (or perhaps anti-hero) Artemis is a super-bright, rich, articulate 12-year-old with supreme confidence.  He is also a criminal mastermind intent on amassing an even greater fortune. The kid comes up with brilliant plots, and his buff bodyguard Butler, who is trained in martial arts and carries array of lethal high-tech gadgets, helps him to carry them out.

When we first meet Artemis, he is planning to rob gold from fairies. But these are not your typical fairies. “Die Hard with fairies” is how Irish author Eoin Colfer describes his books.  His magical beings are an advanced civilization with amazing technology and powerful weapons.

Colfer’s inventive plots have tons of twists and surprises that pull you through the adventures.

The settings include Fowl Manor, where the Artemis has a mansion any boy would envy, various places around the world Artemis flies to in his private jet, and the Lower Elements, the world inhabited magical beings, which Colfer describes in rich detail.

Readers come to know quirky, charismatic characters with an edge, among them:

Artemis Fowl, a preteen prodigy with a huge bank account and the toughest bodyguard in the world. Although he is greedy and ruthless, Artemis can do the right thing at times. He is still figuring out his place in the moral order.

Domovoi Butler, a loyal bodyguard with cool weapons who has no problem taking orders from a 12-year-old.

Captain Holly Short
, a gutsy female LEPrecon officer who sometimes bends the rules to save the day

Foaly, a wise-cracking techie centaur who is a genius in his own right coming up with amazing gadgets that give his side an edge

Mulch Diggums, a dwarf thief who uses explosive flatulence to help tunnel his way into places through impenetrable.

Opal Koboi, Foaly’s nemesis, an evil genius pixie who comes up with diabolical (and extremely clever) plans to rule the world

Accelerated Reading and Artemis Fowl Books
The Artemis Fowl books have accelerated reader tests.  The accelerated reading interest level is between 5 and 6AR Points for Artemis Fowl books range from 10-13.  Adults will enjoy them as well.

Artemis Fowl Movie
A film based on the first two books is reportedly in development. A script has been written, but the film been delayed several times.

Artemis Fowl Series Books

Artemis Fowl (book 1)

Artemis Fowl: Arctic Incident, (book 2)

Artemis Fowl: Eternity Code, (book3)

Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception (book 4)

Artemis Fowl: Lost Colony, (book 5)

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox (book 6)

Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex (book 7)

Other Artemis Fowl books
The Artemis Fowl Files (2004)
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel (2007)
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel: The Arctic Incident (2009)
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel: The Eternity Code (20xx)

My son, almost 10,  ranks the Percy Jackson and Ranger’s series above Artemis Fowl, but I think I actually liked the Artemis Fowl series better.  Lots of humor and wit with likable characters and inventive plots.  Action packed but not scary.  Artemis Fowl books rate among the best books for middle school boys. Let me know if you like Artemis Fowl, and if you have other books to recommend to this age group.

If you read the first book in the Artemis fowl series, you will want to read them all.  Amazon a boxed set of the first five Artemis Fowl books. The set would make a great gift for a tween boy.

LEGO Brand Retail, Inc.

related posts:

My review of the Ranger’s Apprentice series

My review of the Percy Jackson series

Battle of the Boys Books: Percy Jackson vs. Ranger’s Apprentice

Lego Rock Band Review

Percy Jackson vs. Ranger’s Apprentice

I asked my almost-10-year-old son a tough question: if you were stranded on a desert island, and could only take one book series, which would you take: Ranger’s Apprentice Series or Percy Jackson series He had a tough time. Finally he noted that one series had more books. So maybe he would pick that one. Otherwise it’s a dead heat.

Finding good books for boys his age is so hard I am thrilled he is so excited about both these series. He is also reading the Artemis Fowl Series now, but Percy Jackson and Ranger’s Apprentice have him begging me to take him to the library, and when the books are not there, to the book store.

Both Ranger’s Apprentice and Percy Jackson series published new books in January, 2010. Book number 7 of the Ranger’s Apprentice series came out in January, and a special “movie”edition” of book 1 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians came out as well. I’ve found that most of the books in both series have waiting lists at our library, (LA County Library system).

Lightening Thief, the first book in the Percy Jackson series
The Lightning Thief, the first book in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series
rangerapprenticepic
The Ruins of Gorlan, the first book in the Ranger's Apprentice Series

Number of Books in the Series

Both writers Rick Riordan and John Flanagan are prolific, coming up with new adventures for their young heros (who age as the books continue). In the U.S. the score is Percy Jackson: 5 books, and Ranger’s Apprentice: 7. Flanagan has written 10 Ranger books, but the last three have not yet been released in America.

AR Rating

Both books have AR tests.  Ranger’s Apprentice has a slightly interest level (between 6 and 7) than Percy Jackson (between 4 and 5).  This means they probably appeal to readers in 6 and 7th grade vs those in 4th and 5th grade. Although I think both books appeal to a much wider range.

Ranger’s Apprentice books also have higher AR points possible (between 12 and 14). AR points for Percy Jackson range from 3 to 13 with many between 9 and 10.

Action

Both series are packed with suspenseful action and plot development.  Both feature both battle strategy and detailed descriptions of battles.  Both have fierce enemies.  Both have cool weapons. Percy Jackson has more mythological characters.

History

Although both series are fictional adventure stories, they both teach you something about history and culture. In Percy Jackson books you learn about Greek mythology, and in Ranger’s Apprentice books you learn about Medieval times.

Characters

Both have likable, young, male protagonists with various sidekicks and friends. Ranger’s may have more in-depth character development of some of the characters.

Movies

We’ve already seen the trailers for the first Percy Jackson movie, based on The Lightning Thief. The movie is due out next month (Feb). Ranger’s Apprentice has a script and a director, but no word on when it might be out.

Video Games

Nintendo has a game in the works based on the first book and movie of Percy Jackson. The video game is a tactical role-playing game for Nintendo DS that puts players in command of Percy Jackson and his fellow demigods as they battle for survival in a world ruled by vengeful Greek gods. Nintendo says the game will be in stores when the movie comes out. No word on a video game for Ranger’s Apprentice as of yet.

Cover Art

It’s interesting to see what publishers come up with for cover art for tween and teen readers. My kids are voracious readers, and as a graphic artist I appreciate the thought and creativity put into book covers. The U.S. editions of both Percy Jackson and Ranger’s Apprentice series are stunning. As a personal preference, I like Ranger’s a bit more.  Pubishers sometimes change the cover art when they release books in different countries or when they do a second printing.  If you do a Google image search you will see differences in covers in both of these series.

Accolades

Both books have garnered praise from critics and been on the New York Times best-sellers list. Both have been published in several different countries.

Websites

Both books have official websites, and to be honest, I find both annoying, just because they take too long to load and I do not always like background music or spooky rainfall and wind howling. Kids probably love it though. On the Ranger site you can log in to become a “Ranger” and get access to more info on the site. Even without doing that you can download beautiful graphics for your desktop. There’s some interesting info about the author. On the Percy site there is a page describing all the Olympian Gods and Monsters. It also has downloadable games and wallpaper. You can also access the trailer for the new movie.

Rick Riordan has an author’s website that has some additional features without all the fancy sounds and effects.

My reviews

My review of the Ranger’s Apprentice series
My review of the Percy Jackson series
My review of the Artemis Fowl series
My review of Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice book series

Let me know how you think how these two great book series compare. Both books have special deals on sets on Amazon.

Ranger’s Apprentice Series: Book Review

Rangersapprentice

Rangers Apprentice Book Series: Suspenseful Adventure for Boys (and the rest of us)

The fantasy genre is hot in literature right now, which is good news for tween boys. My 10-year-old son raves about the Ranger Apprentice books by Australian writer John Flanagan, which make new twists of Medieval tales of knights and castles. When he finishes one book, he can’t wait for the next. Many of his peers at school are reading it as well. The Ranger Apprentice series has been on the New York Times bestsellers list and has sold more than a million copies in the US alone. The books have sold a million more copies in other countries, and is the number 1 book in the the author’s native Australia.

I started reading them to see why he loved them and I love them, too. So they are not just for adolescent boys!

rangersapprenticebook1

The Ranger’s Apprentice books are an epic tale about Will, a orphan small in size, who has always dreamed of becoming a knight, like the father he never knew. Instead, he is adopted into the mysterious Ranger corps. Will is joined on fast-paced adventures to defend the kingdom by his mentor, Halt, and his best friend, Horace, among others. With his crossbow and a couple of knives, Will battles fierce enemies, overcomes suspenseful obstacles, and learns that what he lacks in size, he makes up for in speed, agility, intelligence and courage. Honesty and loyalty also matter.

The plot keeps you on the edge, wondering what is going to happen next. While reading the adventure, young readers learn about Medieval life with surprising accuracy.

Flanagan’s take on feudal good-versus-evil does not depend on tons of magical creatures to keep the reader interested, but rather plain old good writing. The books have suspenseful well-paced plots, sympathetic characters with interesting relationships, and detailed, colorful descriptions of Medieval times.

Critics have praised the books, as have Amazon readers who submitted exceptional reviews. I’d love to know what you think of Ranger’s Apprentice books.

rangersapprenticebook3

Will there be a Ranger’s Apprentice movie? United Artists reportedly paid seven figures to option the film rights, and it was supposed to come out in 2010 with Paul Haggis directing, but may have had funding problems. No word yet when it may come out.

Google Preview now allows you to get a limited preview of many books so I have embedded a preview for the first Ranger’s Apprentice. To get a real sense of the book, though, preview chapter 2 (not just chapter 1) because it is more representative of the tone and style of the series. The first chapter is not as good as the rest. To preview, just click on Google Preview button below.


If you are buying a Ranger’s Apprentice book as a gift, consider Amazon’s deal on The Ranger’s Apprentice Collection. Reviews of the Reviews of Amazon’s Ranger’s Apprentice Collection have been high. This collection would be one of the best gifts for a boy, and you get the first three books in the series for the price of one inexpensive toy.

Flanagan has written 10 books in the series. Seven have been released in the U.S. so far.

The Ruins of Gorlan (The Ranger’s Apprentice, Book 1)

The Burning Bridge (The Ranger’s Apprentice, Book 2)

The Icebound Land: Book Three (Ranger’s Apprentice)

The Battle for Skandia: Book Four (Ranger’s Apprentice)

The Sorcerer of the North: Book Five (Ranger’s Apprentice)

Ranger’s Apprentice: The Siege of Macindaw: Book 6

Erak’s Ransom (Ranger’s Apprentice Book 7)

Ranger’s Apprentice: The Kings of Clonmel: Book 8

Halt’s Peril (Ranger’s Apprentice, Book 9)

The Emperor of Nihon-Jin This book is not available on Amazon yet.

Note that the books come out in Australia first.  The last one to come out in the U.S. is book 7, Erak’s Ransom, which came out in January, 2010. The later books have not been released in the U.S., although you may be able to get them from sellers who import them and re-sell them.  We were lucky enough to have a friend visiting Australia and she bought them in a bookstore there for us. Check the links above to order through Amazon.

Books in the Ranger’s Apprentice series have Accelerated Reading tests available, so if your school uses AR tests, you can get points. They have an interest level ranging from middle grade to upper grade, usually a high 6 or 7. Taking a test and getting the answers right will earn you 12-14 AR points.

My son would definitely put these books on a best books for boys list. I’ve found these books often have waiting lists at the library, so be sure to get the next one in the series if it is available. You may have to put your name on a waiting list. Because they are popular, they can also be hard to find in stock in bookstores.

Related posts:
Percy Jackson & the Olympians book series review
Percy Jackson & the Olympians vs. Ranger’s Apprentice

Artemis Fowl book series review

How to Get free Tickets to Legoland California

Review of a Great Surf School in Northern San Diego, CA

Best Gifts for a Figure Skater

Best Gifts to Give a Figure Skater

Tips on what to give a figure skater

When my daughter started figure skating, I had a hard time finding gifts that related to her sport. Local stores at the mall had no gifts for ice skaters. So I searched online and found the best sites from which to buy the best skating gifts. I am putting the ideas and links up here as well as some ideas for gifts you can make and even a few you can just pick at Target or another local store.

Please let me know if you have other ideas for ice skating gifts. I would love to hear from other skate moms who found good figure skating gifts. If you are a figure skater, let me know your favorite skate gift ideas to add to the list.

I tweet when I find good skate deals so follow me on Twitter.

Zuca bag

ZÜCA Starz and Pink Sport Frame & Bag

Every figure skater wants a ZÜCA bag , the stylish little suitcase with a frame sturdy enough to double as a seat. And there are so many hot designs out there now! The frames and bags are sold separately so even if she already has one, get a second bag for a new look. They are expensive, but worth it. By the way, these things never seem to go on sale anywhere, but Amazon does seem to have a fair price.

14K Gold Ice Skates Charm Figure Skating 16.5mm

Try finding a delicate little 14 K gold skate charm like this at the mall . . . .  You just can’t find figure skate-themed jewelry down the street.  But I found some beautiful skating jewelry online.

14k Gold Diamond Ice Skate Charm (1/10 cttw)

Wowee! Check out this gold and diamond skate charm!   This pretty ice skate charm is crafted from solid 14 karat gold and decorated with genuine diamond accents (1/10 cttw). Offered in your choice of white or yellow gold, it features a lobster-claw clasp that attaches easily to just about any chain or bracelet.

Sterling Silver 3D Ice Figure Skate Earrings 925

Gotta have the sterling silver figure skate earrings dangling from your ears.

Figure Skate T-Shirt

Sometimes you want to show the world you skate. It’s hard to find skating-themed t-shirts in stores, but most print-on-demand online shops have a ton of choices. Anyone can submit designs at these places, so you have to sift through quite a few amateur designs before finding the good ones. When I get time I plan to try to come up with a few of my own designs.  Meanwhile, here are some from Zazzle.


create custom t-shirts at Zazzle

Figure Skate Mug

Zazzle and the other print-on-demand online stores also offer other figure skating gift items like mugs.


buy unique gifts at Zazzle


Tickets to Ice Show

Check in your neighborhood to see if an ice show is in town.

Tights

Ratty old tights are OK for practice, but a new pair of skate tights can make you feel like you are skating in a competition, even if you’re not.  Maybe they can even make you skate better.  Amazon has a ton of styles both over-the-boot and under-the-boot.

Amazon has a ton of styles.

Blade Covers

Soakers wear out quickly.  A new pair in a colorful shade will make taking care of blades more fun.

Size Large Terry Cloth Blade Covers / Soakers

DVD Carrying Case

Skaters carry their own music to the rink to prepare for competition. Give her a glittery cd case to keep her music scratch free.  Maybe put her name and phone number on it, as these tend to get left behind. I could not find any extra specialones online, but look at Target or Best Buy etc.

Figure Skating Fleece Throw Blanket

You may use it more than she does if you are the one who watches her practice, but this fleece throw with ice skates on it is comfy and warm. This one is great or look at the local fabric store . . . . there is an off chance they have material and you could make on.

Hair Scrunchies

Pick up a few pretty hair scrunchies at the local Target or beauty supply.  Drug stores often have good ones.  Heck even the dolar stores sometimes have OK ones. If you sew, these are easy to make just using basic elastic and pretty fabric.

Books about Skaters (and bookmarks, too)

Books about Skaters and Skating from Amazon will show you a ton of books. If you buy anything from Amazon, please use my link (I am an Amazon affiliate).  Bookmarks with a skate theme make a good gift as well if you can find any.  I am going to design some and put them up for sale soon.

Crafts about Skating

Check at your local Michaels or Joanns or other craft store for scrapbooking items about figure skating such as these and others.

Jolees Boutique Themed Ornate Stickers, Figure Skating


Christmas Tree Ornaments with Skate Theme
Cool Christmas Tree Ornaments with Ice Skate Theme will link you up with some great holiday ornaments you can order online.  Ornaments is one area where the stores do seem to have a lot of choices, so look at Hallmark or stores in the mall.  I find Kohls has great ornaments.

Brand new skates and a new competition dress are great gifts as well, but I think the skater has to try these on.  So you might consider making up your own coupon for these gifts.  By the way, some of these ideas would work as a great holiday gift for a skating coach as well.  Good luck finding the right figure skating gift and let me know if this list helped.

Related Posts:

Tips for Buying Used Figure Skates

How to Buy a Figure Skating Competition Dress

My Squidoo Lens on Figure Skating Dresses

My ehow article on How to Care for Figure Skates to Make Them Last

Join SheToldMe.com with creativezazz as your referrer!

Lego Stars Wars The Visual Dictionary Book Review

Just Out: A Must-Have Book for Every Star Wars Lego Fan!

This book is sure to become a collector’s item . . . and it comes with a special mini-figure!

Just out in time for the holidays is a new visual dictionary of Star Wars Lego. My son’s room is filled with Star Wars Legos sets, and he is going to love this book when he unwraps it.  The book has lush photos of all the Star Wars sets and mini-figures.

I got mine at the Lego Store the day it came out and was very impressed. The store had promotional games and even people dressed up in top-notch clone trooper costumes. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a Lego Store nearby, but it also at bookstores, Lego.com and Amazon. If you know a kid who loves Star Wars Legos, get this book and get your holiday shopping done early. The book is reasonably priced as well.

The book comes with a cool mini figure. The mini figure and the book itself are bound to become collector’s items.

Product Description
In true DK style, LEGO® Star Wars ™: The Visual Dictionary elucidates, illuminates, and
excites even the most discerning LEGO Group, Star Wars™, and minifigure fans around the
world.. Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, and more are brought to life with
dozens of little-known facts and hundreds of photos, as are accessories, vehicles, weapons,
and even the Death Star! Learn about the history, manufacture, and construction of the
minifigures of the Star Wars galaxy, and come away a LEGO® Jedi Master.

Product Details

* Reading level: Ages 4-8
* Hardcover: 96 pages
* Publisher: DK Publishing (October 5, 2009)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 0756655293
* ISBN-13: 978-0756655297
* Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 10 x 0.9 inches

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning book, Love it!, October 7, 2009
By L. A. REED
Very nice hardback book with lots of stunning pictures of what else? Star Wars Legos!

We are big fans of Legos in general and this book did not disappoint. It came with a bonus Luke Skywalker mini-figure. As with all DK books, you get great pictures, thorough descriptions, and just a generally enjoyable book to collect or read.

I bought 2 copies of this book, one to read, and one to collect.

The only thing that bothered me a (very tiny) little bit was how the Luke Skywalker mini-fig was packaged. At first glance it looks like a much thicker book, but about half of the thickness is a spacer placed inside the book to make room for the mini-fig, so it lays flush with the front cover. I posted some pictures on the main item page if you want to see what I mean. Nothing that I would knock a star off for though.

Overall, we are VERY happy with this book. Great price for a quality book that will not disappoint young and old!

4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Lego Star Wars Fans and Collectors, October 7, 2009
By Wendy Woudstra “PublishingCentral.com” (Ontario, Canada) –
My son adores Lego, and the Star Wars sets in particular. When this book arrived in our mailbox, he was gone for hours, hiding in his room poring over all the sets he has, the sets he wants, the sets he missed out on, the evolution of the various mini-figures, everything else included in this volume. While this book would NOT be appreciated by someone who isn’t a die-hard fan of the LEGO series, for those who collect, play with, and love the sets, it’s a great book at a great price.

The only problem with the book is that it will be out of date as soon as next season’s Lego Star Wars sets are announced.

On a final note, I didn’t realize when I ordered that it also came with a unique minifig, which is already selling on Ebay for more than the discounted price of the book.

Related post: Darth Maul Picking His Nose

Best Gift for a Volleyball Coach

Here’s some great tips on finding the best gifts for a volleyball coach. Affordable gifts for a volleyball coach, and a few that cost a bit more as well. Let me know if you have other volleyball coach gift ideas.

Photo Volleyball Trophy
I found a company that creates unique Volleyball Coach Gifts by printing a team photo directly onto a special trophy volleyball.

You order photo volleyballs from Balls to Go through Amazon. Here is a sample of what one team ordered.

You would need to plan ahead if you want to give this custom gift.

Volleyball Fleece Blanket


Love it Volleyball fleece blanket. Great gift.

Mini Volleyball Signed by the Team


This cute volleyball is a scaled down version of a real ball, but can easily be displayed on a shelf. Get the team to sign it in different colored Sharpies and you have a great coach gift.

Net Threat Volleyball Coach T-shirt

Creativezazz’s own Net Threat design on a black t-shirt with “Coach” on the back. How cool is that? Other designs available through Cafepress and Printfection.

Top Quality Custom Volleyball Ceramic Travel Mug and Sigg Water Bottles

Custom creativezazz volleyball designs are now available on quality travel mugs and Sigg water bottles. Order these quality gifts for volleyball coaches through my Cafepress shop.

Custom creativezazz designs are now available at my Zazzle shop.


make custom gifts at Zazzle


Gourmet coffee gift basket with a volleyball theme cup.


Oooh La La! Beautiful gold charm. Everybody kick in and this would be a great gift.


Every coach needs a flaming volleyball decal on his or her car. Get one for yourself as well.

Related post:
Volleyball tote bags

Volleyball T-shirts and More at Cafepress

Creativezazz Cafepress Shops Now Open

Looking for cool volleyball t-shirts or gifts?  Creativezazz volleyball designs are up at my CafePress shops. Each design has a separate shop.


Just click on an image below to go to the right CafePress shop. Creativezazz CafePress shops include volleyball t-shirts and volleyball water bottles and volleyball mugs along with other great volleyball gifts. All designs are copyright creativezazz. Colorful, fun styles make great gifts for volleyball players or coachs.

You can also find my designs on t-shirts at Printfection and at Zazzle.  All the shops have t-shirts, but each has some other items as well. Shop from the site that has the best promotion and save.

To go to a CafePress shop, click on the image you like below.

volleyball heart design

CafePress often has coupon codes. Check here to see if there is a current coupon at CafePress


Related posts:

Best gifts for a volleyball coach

Volleyball shirt with numbers on the back

Best names for a volleyball team

Volleyball t-shirts and more (Printfection)

Volleyball tote bags

How to Make Bookmarks From a Photo

Here’s how to make deluxe bookmarks that look like they came from a upscale bookstore. Personalized bookmarks make a small extravagance perfect for a gift or party favor.

I made these baseball bookmarks to give out to the members of my son’s Little League Team at the end-of-season party.  If you bought these at a bookstore or gift shop they would run $3 to $4 a piece. They take a little time to make, but the cost breaks down to less than 50 cents each in supplies.

Step One:  Make the Art

Using photo imaging software (I use Photoshop) create your artwork to fit a 2″ x 6″ area.

These are printable bookmarks. You can print them yourself if you have a good printer. Or you can have them printed at a photo place. Remember that when you get photos printed, the edges often get trimmed a bit.  So do not include any vital art in the edge border.

Open a new file that is 4 x 6.  Duplicate your artwork and position 2 copies inside the new file so that you print two bookmarks on one 4 x 6 photo.

Have your photo printed on lustre finish (not glossy). Lustre is more durable and does not show fingerprints.

bookmark printed two-up on standard 4 x 6 photo
bookmark printed two-up on standard 4 x 6 photo

Step Two: Back and Trim the Bookmark

Once your photo is printed, you will want to back it with acid-free cardstock.  You can buy cardstock in 8.5″ x 11″or  scrapbook paper works as well.  Plain or a pattern will work. You can get paper at craft stores or online.

Back the bookmark with acid-free paper. USe an acid-free gluestick.
Back the bookmark with acid-free paper. Use an acid-free gluestick to glue it to the paper.

Carefully glue down the photos. If you do happen to get glue on the front of the photo, use rubbing alcohol to wipe it off. Next use an Exacto knife and straight edge to trim.

Use an Exacto knife and straight edge to trim.
Use an Exacto knife and straight edge to trim.

Separate the two bookmarks

Separate using Exacto.
Separate using Exacto.

Bookmarks with rounded corners look more professional.  Luckily it is easy to make them with a handy corner punch you can pick up for a few dollars at a craft store or online.

Use a corner punch to round the corners.
Use a corner punch to round the corners.
Corner rounded.
Corner rounded.

Step Three: Attach a Tassel

Use a hole punch to make a hole in the top. You can use a standard hole punch, or use a simple shape.  I used a star punch for this bookmark.

To attach a tassel, loop it through the hole as shown in the following photos. You can use store-bought tassels or make your own

Put loop through the hole.
Put loop through the hole.
Insert end of tassel through the loop.
Insert end of tassel through the loop.
Pull tassel tight.
Pull tassel tight.

Et voila! You now know how to make a bookmark that looks like you got it in a bookstore. My daughter and I make these and sell them at craft fairs.  We also give them as gifts.  I like to add them to a present in place of a gift card.

Now that you know an easy way to make bookmarks, get inspired by checking out some of my other bookmark designs. If you are a scrapbooker, you can probably find lots of paper, stamps, and punches to come up with interesting bookmark designs.

I’d love to hear your ideas about custom bookmark designs. I think they would make a creative party favor for a wedding, Bar Mitzvah or birthday party.

Related post: How to make a Tassel

Volleyball Team Names

Fare Buzz

Get $25 Gift Certificates for just $10. Click Here

Best Volleyball Team Names

Looking for an interesting volleyball team name suggestions? Try thinking of volleyball terms and then coming up with catchy slogans.

Let me know if you use any of these volleyball team names, or if you have other creative, clever, or funny volleyball team names you think should be added. Feel free to link to this page.

Follow volleyballzazz on Twitter for the latest Amazon deals on volleyball stuff.

By the way, creativezazz is designing volleyball t-shirts based on some of these names. Check them out.


Blockbusters

Bumping Maniacs

Spiked Punch

Serves You Right

Net Domination

Dig This!

Smashers

Block Party

Great Deals on Volleyball Jewelry at Amazon

Monster Spikes

Net Results

Over the Top

Spin Doctors

Go Take a Spike

Smashers

Spikers

Soaring at the Net

Now Serving

Slammers

Hit It!

Crush

Serves It Up

Jolly Volley

Cafepress often has coupon codes. Check to see before ordering a t-shirt from Cafepress,

Fireballs

White Lightening

Net Masters

Bump it Up

Volleyball Above All

Smash Flash

Set to Win

Jet Set

Like to Spike

You Bet We Are Set

Attack Pack

Aces



Volley Vipers

Blocker Rockers

Atomic Block

Jump & Bump

Net Threat

All Set at the Net

Spin to Win

Digger Vigor

Hit and Miss

Dazzle

In Motion

Red Hot Spikers

Cool Blue

Fast and Furious

Dig Big

Volleywood

Spiker Chicks

Some Spike it Hot

On Your Knees

Airborne

Passing Fancy

Razzle Dazzle

Sugar and Spike

You Can’t Touch This!

Sizzle

Can You Dig It?

Dynomite

Tidal Wave

Spikaholics

Showtime

Lightning Spike

Smack it Back

On Fire

High Velocity

Speedy Spikers

Unstoppable

Untouchable

Score More

Make a Pass and Score

We Will Block You

Spike-edelic (psychedelic)

Red Hot SILLY Peppers

Sugar & Spike

You Got Serve

Saber Tooth Spikers

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Serve-ivors

To Kill a Rocking’ Serve

Itsy Bitsy Spikers

Mission Unblockable

Hit Squad

Tidal Wave

Serves of Steel

Some Serve

Serving Samuri

That’s the Way–uh huh, uh huh–I Spike It

Itsy Bitsy Spikers

Mission Unblockable

Teamwork

Net Ninjas

Sizzle

Honey Badgers

If you like these names, show your support by “digging” this post. Just click the digg button above.

Follow me on twitter for new names, great deals on volleyball stuff, and news about volleyball in Claremont CA.

Check out my t-shirt designs at Printfection and at Cafepress and at Zazzle. These shops often have coupon codes, so check for codes by googling the name of the shop and the word “coupon code” before ordering.

related posts:
Summer Volleyball Camps in Inland Valley CA

Best Gifts for a Volleyball Coach

Volleyball T-shirts at Printfection

How to Name a Sports Team

Volleyball T-shirts and Water Bottles at Cafepress

Great Books for Boys with a Movie Out or in the Works

How to Get Free Tickets to Legoland California

Review of a great Surf Camp in a cute beach town in northern San Diego. We loved it.

Shatterball 3-D Volleyball Static Cling Window Decal

How to Make Designer Baby Burp Cloths Using Ribbon


Easy Custom-Made Baby Gift

New moms really treasure handmade baby gifts. Here’s an easy craft you can do with just cloth diapers, ribbon, and a straight stitch on a sewing machine. These cloths are perfect for throwing on your shoulder when holding baby.

Click on pics to see larger version.

Buy a set of cloth diapers and some ribbon.

Prewash and iron diapers to avoid shrinkage after you put ribbon on.

Measure and cut two pieces of ribbon that are the length of the diaper. These will go down the center.

Next pin on the ribbon about a third of the way in from each side.

Sew down.

Next cut the ribbon for the bottom.  Make it about an inch longer than the width of the diaper so that you can fold over the ends to prevent fraying.

Use an iron to fold over the ends twice to create a nice edge.

Wrap the folded edge around the back of the diaper, then pin the ribbon on at the edge.

Now pin into place.

Sew it down along both edges of the ribbon.

Trim off an excess threads, and you are done!

Use coordinating ribbons if you are making a set of baby burp cloths as a gift.

Every time the new mom uses these pretty handmade cloths she will think of how much her friends love and support her . . . the best gift of all for a new mom who may not be getting enough sleep and may be overwhelmed by motherhood. Let me know if you like this idea or if you have other suggestions. Did you know that Amazon has great deals on baby gifts? You can read real customer reviews, which makes shopping easy. And many of them qualify for free shipping.

Check out my post on donating umbilical cord blood. I tell about my experience donating cord blood. If you want details on how and why to donate, read my hubpage on umbilical cord donating. I highly recommend donating cord blood. It is a precious fluid that is discarded if not banked for private use or donated.

Donating umbilical cord blood is free, and it may save a life.

Check out my post on how to make bookmarks from a photo. You could make a cute bookmark with baby pics.

Yoga is a great way for a new mom to get in shape and relax. Here’s my post on how to make a yoga mat tote bag.

Creative Halloween Ideas for Halloween Decorating

Bestsellers in Baby at Amazon