Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Favorite Things

One of my very favorite things is to have a themed event to plan. What makes it even more fun is to have months to think, create, and to gather ideas and resources to fit the theme.

My upcoming Grandma Camp theme is "Top Secret".  I chose the theme even before my last camp happened. Once my 2010 "Grandkids Rock" camp was packed away I started to think and to watch for great finds for my little "Secret Agents" camp experience this year.

Just after Christmas I happened upon an incredible clearance find that would be perfect for the camp. I could not believe my eyes. Two Sharper Image Spotting Scopes with precision optics. The soft pivot design even provides silent observation!  Somehow, I don't think it is going to be the spotting scope that will have trouble being silent. The box read high quality glass for crisp, clear images. They even came with a tripod. Right there in the store my mind was flooded with fun ways the little secret agents could use the scopes.

I was thrilled with the find and the price was well, more than perfect. The original price was $49.99 each. They were clearance priced at $4.97 and on this day all clearance items were an additional 50% off! That's right two Sharper Image Spotting Scopes for just $4.97. They were mine!

I also gleaned the back to school clearance sales for items that could be used. I picked up dark gray pencil boxes (.10 each) for each secret agent with the plan being to fill them with secret agent and spy gadgets. The school supply clearance also netted little black writing pads and clipboards for pennies on the dollar.

Dollar Stores are always a great resource. My grands get a flashlight of some kind at every Grandma Camp. I found exactly what I had in mind in Dollar Tree with the batteries included.  Done!

I have also been on the look out for t-shirts. I need nine this year. I knew I wanted black and that I want to create them myself with a printing technique using bleach. In Hobby Lobby last week I found the shirts for just $1.50 each and they even had all of the sizes I needed. Done!

I like finding scrapbook papers that fit the theme too. You can get a lot of mileage out of paper. I am still looking so if you happen to see some please let me know. Help!

The other day I needed to take a day for myself. I was not at the day spa or out shopping for new clothes. I took the whole day with secret agent and spy gear on my mind. I couldn't have had a better day. I went to craft stores, party stores, and discount stores. It was so much fun. I was able to find a few gadgets to add to the little campers secret agent boxes and I came home with boatloads of retail inspiration.

While some of the things I came across did not fit my color scheme, my price point, and was not exactly what I wanted they all inspired my own do it yourself ideas.

I loved the target, map, eagle emblem, stars, 
and especially the font used for "Top Secret".

I just might be adding stripes to the t-shirt sleeves.

Sorry for the glare. Although not the right stickers,
I was reminded to look for stickers too.

Mission Accomplished
Award Ribbons!

I'm on it.


  1. Great theme...and I can't believe you found two telescopes for $5. Awesome shopping.

  2. As usual your Grandkids Camp Out sounds exciting! I am just getting back to having the grandkids come on a weekly basis and it has been so nice. I don't know if I'm going to be up for a camp this year or not but I haven't given up on it. I think I have in mind what I would want to do. There is a chance they will some of the Seattle kids will come down in April and I know I won't feel up to it by then but they might come again in August and I hope that one is doable. Your idea sounds really fun. I did something a little on this line one year for my Christmas "stunt". I call it a stunt but it's sort if like a grandkids camp only it is just an afternoon and evening. I always write a story that has a problem involved that the children are part of solving. On that particular one we had little treasure boxes with maps, compasses, badges, a skeleton key, hmm ... a spy glass koleidescope, a wooden fish, and a very small New Testament that looked like leather and was only $1.00. I had so much fun putting it together and they had a ball solving the problem.

  3. You always have such fun ideas and find the best bargains.

  4. Grandma Shelley, you are an amazing shopper! Not to mention excellent party planner and all-around grandma.