{ back to school }

Welcome to the Beehive!

Ms. Packnett's Classroom

It’s that time of year again…back to school! Since half of Opal & Ruby Gift Emporium is actually a full-time third grade teacher, the new school year is a very big deal to us! And when Kelli (our Ruby) goes back to school, we all go back to school!

Last school year started off a little frantic and a little rocky for Ms. Packnett. Upon moving to Fort Wayne nearly two years ago, the right teaching job didn’t present itself immediately. But, when it finally did, it came a few days after the 2013-2014 school year had already started. Long gone was the summer, which historically always presented prep time for Kelli. The summer is not only a break for teachers, but much needed time to re-group, get organized, regain focus, and prepare for the new school year. Kelli and her class made it through the year with a lot of success, but battled many snow days, interruptions, and a lot of change.

Fast forward to this summer, and it was a brand new ballgame. Ms. Packnett already knew she would be in the same classroom, looping with her same class, making her a third grade teacher this year. Last year’s classroom was cute, but it was definitely thrown together. It didn’t quite have the Kelli feel because she had to hit the ground running in a school year that had already started. We (Ms. Packnett and her team of supporters!) did the best we could do. When we regrouped this summer for brainstorming sessions, the ideas flowed like a river! There was time, direction, volunteers, and a lot of fun!

Visit Kelli’s classroom this year, and you’d be welcomed to The Beehive! The happy yellow and black motif is not only cute, it’s inviting! (sounds a lot like Ms. Packnett) Kelli is definitely the Queen Bee of the Hive, and her worker bees were all-a-buzz to help build the classroom.

I (Kristin/Opal) was in charge of making beehives that would hang from the ceiling! A task that I thought would be easy-cheesy. And they weren’t difficult to create, necessarily, but they were terribly time consuming. First step was to blow up a balloon to be the base of the beehive. I thought the balloon looked similar enough to a beehive when the larger side of the balloon was pointing down. And, plenty of people of the Pinterest world had proven it would work. I chose to use strips of newspaper and Mod Podge to cover the balloons. In hindsight, I should have worked a little harder and used the actual paper mache method. But, the Mod Podge worked for our project. (If anyone was going to be handling these beehives vs. the hives hanging from the ceiling, they would have not survived with only Mod Podge). After they dried, they were painted yellow. Then the real fun started. Mimicking those clever Pinteresters, we used yarn to give the hives texture and depth, making them look like beehives. With yarn and a glue gun, we went to town wrapping the beehives. Each are unique, to say the least! The beehives are not only decorations, they are also table markers for the students. Kelli applied table numbers to each hive, as well as two little bees. Here is the end product:
Beehive Table 2

Our dear friend Karyn volunteered many hours and blessed Kelli and her classroom with brand new black and yellow crates that Kelli is using as cubby storage units! They help the classroom stay organized and lookin’ good!
Black and Yellow Cubby Storage Units

Our mother, the ultra creative one in the group, created a bee-themed bench seat for the students!
Bee-Themed Bench

Kelli sewed a curtain system that covers storage areas. She used a painters’ canvas drop cloth and cute ribbon!
Kelli's Curtains

The bulletin boards were a group effort! We can’t wait to see the board outside the classroom filled with student-made bees! Kelli’s students will construct their own bees and write their “Bee Attitudes” on the wings: “Be Honest”, “Be Courteous”, “Be Respectful”…
Kelli's Classroom

The Beehive Bulletin Board

With a big sigh of relief DAYS before the school year began, Kelli’s room was ready, and she was excited to welcome her little bees to The Beehive!
Teacher Letter

We love teachers and pray that the 2014 – 2015 is a blessed and successful year!

{ here’s to dad }

Father’s Day is Sunday, and if you are still in need of a gift for dad, we have our top picks at Opal & Ruby Gift Emporium!

BeachFrames – Dad can show off his beautiful children in these rustic, reclaimed wood frames, or prove to everyone that he did indeed catch the big one from his fish tales!    Mini Reclaimed Wood Frame {$25} and the Small Reclaimed Wood Frame {$48}


s.a.l.t. sisters – Perfect for the cook, chef, or foodie, the s.a.l.t. sisters offer flavorful salts, sugars, bread dips, and steak seasonings! Made in Goshen, IN.    Assorted flavors and spices {$6 – $37.50}


Bourbon Barrel Foods – If dad enjoys the richness of bourbon, he’ll like the Bourbon Barrel Foods creations! Made in Louisville, KY in re-purposed bourbon barrels, these sauces, salts, sugars, and bar must haves are full of flavor!    Assorted products and flavors {$5.50 – $15.75}


Hester & Cook Pencil Factory pencil sets – These pencil sets are handy! Give dad a new set of carpenter pencils or a variety pack!   Carpenter Pencil Set {$12} and the Nashville Pencil Set {$12}


South Bend Chocolate Company – Indulge dad’s sweet tooth with Malted Milk Ball candy, Chocolate Crunch popcorn, and Cherry Cordials! Made in South Bend, IN.   Malted Milk Ball candy {$6}, Chocolate Crunch popcorn {$6}, Cherry Cordials {$7.25}


Vanilla Bean Unique Cookies – Made fresh in Fort Wayne, IN, we have dad’s favorite treat…cookies! This week, we have Chocolate Toffee Chip, Lemon Ricotta, Cherry Chip Cordial, and the Clementine and Margarita Sandwich Cookies! We’ll even box up an assortment for you!   Chocolate Toffee Chip {$3}, Lemon Ricotta {$2.25}, Cherry Chip Cordial {$3}, Clementine {$2.50}, Margarita {$2.50}


WOOED – Wooden sunglasses! Cool, huh? We have several styles of these polarized sunglasses for the cool dad!   Six different styles {$100 – $120}


Couleur Nature Aprons – Can’t you see dad in these aprons while he’s at the grill?! These laundered linen aprons come with a red stripe or a black stripe.   {$50}


Flasks – Enough said. Spitfire Girl faux Walnut flask {$29}, Izola ‘NEAT’ flask {$27}, Tote + Able on-the-go flaks {$16}


Lake Décor – Give dad a little something for his home away from home!    Kriss leCocq Lake. Pillows {$54}, Primitives by Kathy lake pillows {$29} and signs {$8 – $48}


Mason Shaker and Barware – Help dad shake up his bar with these additions! The Mason Shaker puts a new spin on drink making, and the Junior Merino salt rimmer is perfect for margaritas and a cold beer!   Mason Shaker {$29}, “Shake” cocktail recipe book {$25}, W&P Jigger {$9} and Muddler {$12}, Couleur Nature jute  handle bottle opener {$16}, Junior Merino Aleppo Pepper salt rimmer {$18}


For Man Grooming- Freshen up dad’s grooming regiments with a new dopp kit, body spray, or a handmade (in Fort Wayne, IN!) shaving mug with brush set!   Izola Dopp or Dapper kits {$45}, Gnarly Whale Body Spray and manly products {$3.50 – $16}, Stonewares shaving mug {$34}


Wine Sleeves – If you’re going to give dad a bottle of wine this Father’s Day, might as well dress it up! Keepsake Threads from Fort Wayne, IN creates these handsome wine sleeves from re-purposed men dress shirts!    {$30}


A Gentleman’s Glass – Spitfire Girl produced these intriguing bar glasses for the gentleman in your life! And they go perfectly with this sophisticated Izola shaker, which translates “Toasts” in several languages!   ‘Gentlemen’s Intermission’ glass {$10 each}, ‘Duel’ glass {$10 each}, Izola ‘Toasts’ Shaker {$36}


Don’t forget the Card – 1Canoe2 WordPress says what we’re all thinking!   {$4.50}



Image  Image

                       { as pictured: $130 }                                                                                               {as pictured: $60}
















Progress Report: April 5, 2014

We stopped by Opal & Ruby Gift Emporium today to check out the progress made while we were in Florida last week! It’s really taking shape! The walls are now gray, some ceiling tiles are in place, the electrician has put in some lighting, the store room cabinets are in, and the back door has been installed!

Stay tuned for more updates!


Our signage is up! Looks good next to our neighbors, 800 Degrees Three Fires!


Kelli wanted to clean up the construction dust!


Kristin loves the paint color!

Opal & Ruby Ceiling Tiles

We love these ceiling tiles!

Opal & Ruby Gray Walls

Our walls are now Proper Gray!

Opal & Ruby Eyeball

The first part of the store’s lighting is up! We can’t wait to see the pendant lighting go up!

Opal & Ruby Back Door

We will have a back entrance for our customers! The Shoppes of Illinois Road have a lot of parking ‘out back’!


Opal & Ruby Gift Emporium Progress Report


Opal & Ruby Gift Emporium is under construction!

Who knew drywall, steel beams, concrete, door frames, and boot tracks all over the floor would be SO EXCITING?! We’ve gone from a bare space to a beautiful work in progress! The framing is up for the restroom and the back room, and the crew has busted through the back wall to create a back door (which will make entering Opal & Ruby convenient from the back parking lot!). HVAC system has been installed, and the divider wall between our shop and the vacant spot next door is up!

Everything has been ordered and approved, so this really is a PROGRESS report! We can’t wait for our opening this SPRING! And even though there is much more to be done, look how far we’ve come!


Opal & Ruby Gift Emporium DAY 1 at Lease Signing! Nice and empty!


The drywall has been delivered! Let the games begin!

Love, Ms. Packnett

Our dearest ‘Ruby’ is a teacher by day! She goes by the super hero name ‘Ms. Packnett’ in her classroom! She loves when Valentine’s Day comes each year and her class gets to celebrate together. This year, Ms. Packnett has a few students in her class who have special dietary restrictions. Celebrating with traditional candy and sweet treats isn’t an option this year. So we set out to create a special Valentine for Ms. Packnett’s second grade class!



We decided the Valentine needed an educational theme, and tied “You Rule” notes onto colorful rulers for each student. The project was simple, affordable, and quite frankly, adorable! Now each child has a tool they need and can use in class, and no one is left out! As long as Ms. Packnett stresses that the rulers are NOT weapons, it should be a great Valentine’s Day!

Many people see Valentine’s Day as a commercial driven ‘holiday’. While that may be true, remember that Valentine’s Day is really about being thoughtful! Whether you’re buying extravagant gifts for your loved one, or treating yourself to a massage, you can always do a little something for someone today (even yourself). See past the commercialization, and think like Ms. Packnett! She created a little something with true intention and thoughtfulness! 

Our dear friend, Sharyn, reminded us of a quote from comedian Jim Gaffigan…”Without Valentine’s Day, February would be… well, January!”. So mix it up today! Treat the person behind you at Starbucks. You know they’ll LOVE that, and the giving spirit will be contagious!

Happy Valentine’s Day!