Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Long Time No Craft

I recently entered a graduate program to get ELL certified. I'm still teaching full time and started taking taking my first graduate course in January. It's been a long time since I've taken a graduate course and to be honest I've never taken one during the school year while I'm still teaching. I've mostly completed courses during the summer. It's a lot of reading and a lot of work but it's very interesting.

The toughest part is that my graduate course now takes up the time I used for crafting and reading for pleasure.  I'm a teacher so I read all the time however, I've always enjoyed reading just for pure entertainment and enjoyment. I love a good science fiction teen read, but it feels like I've haven't read a good book in forever. Instead I'm reading professional books and articles on language acquisition. Interesting stuff but it requires brain power and isn't reading for pleasure. This week I'm on winter break so I've decided to complete a craft or two and I'll be reading a book just for the pure enjoyment of reading. I've participated in the Goodreads book challenge for the last three years and have read 25 books each year. I'm participating again this year but I lowered my goal for this year. I hope to read 15 books in 2015. So far I've read three, but the good new is I have a couple picked out to start reading this week.

I participated in the February craft along over at Yarnigras Swapper Spot.  I created a zombie flower drink cozy using recycled wool coats and the cuff from a wool sweater. I know the point of this month's challenge was to create a coffee cozy to keep your hands warm. I love a good hot chocolate like anyone else, but I'm tired of winter and snow!! We've had over six feet of snow since January first. I just want to think spring, warm days and unsweetened ice tea. My zombie flower was created with these warm spring thoughts in mind. Maybe now that the first undead flower has bloomed, spring will finally come! Alas, wishful thinking!

I also bought some small clothespins and created these little spacemen.  I just used wooden clothespins, a thin Sharpie and twistable colored pencils to create these little guys but it feels great to be crafting again. I teach the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum to my four and five year olds at school. We're working on writing within the lines and spacing our letters. I thought these spacemen might help a few of the kids but I didn't want to leave anyone out so I made enough for the whole class. Maybe I'll get to sneak in another project before my break is over.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Snow, Snow, Snow!

We live in New England, where it snows every winter. As New Englanders we are use to cold, snowy conditions. Winter started out fairly mild this year, in fact we had a green Christmas. Then January came and with it came the snow. We have been burried under 80+ inches of snow during the last two months. We can't really complain because we choose to live in New England and snow is part of living here, however I'm ready for a break from snow.

Check out these icicles on the house. They were bigger, but they melted quite a bit today.

This is the gate to the pool. Just beyond the fence you can see all of the snow on the roof of the gazebo. You can't even tell where the pool is for all of the snow in the backyard. Honestly, I've forgotten what my backyard looks like without three feet of snow covering it. With all this snow you can see why I'm looking forward to spring arriving. So think happy spring thoughts!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sweet Chunky

Being a pet owner isn't always easy; let's face it pets can be expensive. Of course, sweet moments like this make it worth every cent. Here's Chinky riding in the car with his girl, they are so sweet together! 

I love this picture. Sun bathing in the temperature controlled house is Chunky's favorite pasttime. He will follow the sun around the house, sleeping in the sun all afternoon. He actually gets a reverse tan from all the sun bathing. Since he's black to start with, his chest and belly turn brown from laying in the sun.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Crafty Freak Project Catch Up . . . Again!

To start the year off right I wanted to get caught up on my Crafty Freaks projects. I've been crafting, I just haven't been posting the pictures. I'd like to think that I'll do a better job posting pictures in the new year, but honestly I probably won't. That means there will be a few more Crafty Freak Project catch up posts to look forward to in 2015.
Here's what I've been creating:

More wire tree ornaments for the handmade ornament swap over at Yarnigras swapper spot.

A burlap wreath for my sister.

A red glittery ribbon wreath for my front door. 

Painted mason jar mugs filled with hot cocoa packets for my co-workers.

Handpainted treat jars for the paraprofessionals in my classroom.

I also painted six new stemless wine glasses for myself but neglected to take pictures of those. I just filled them with wine and tried them out instead. :) 

Now that I'm caught up again, I hope I can ring in the new year with some new crafty projects. Crafting is good for the soul!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays from us to you! May 2015 be a year filled with great happiness and good health! We wish you the best in 2015!

I participated in Yarnigras ornament swap again this year. I received 5 beautiful handmade ornaments that were added to my mini tree. I think I'm going to need a bigger mini tree!  

Here are the ornaments from this year. I love hanging all of my handmade ornaments each year! My tree is a combination of ornaments I've made and handmade ornaments from the swaps Val hosts at yarnigras swapper spot.

This year I created wire trees for the ornament swap. I made an extra one for my mom too(the one pictured is her's.)

 I aslo made reindeer from paperclay and wire.  I had them all painted and the pom pom noses on before I realized out that I had forgotten to add ears. I couldn't figure out how to add ears after the fact so this is a deaf little deer.

Guess who got her own sewing machine for Christmas?  She made a cape and Dennis, the pet rock from the book Danger is Everywhere.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Halloween Goodies and Zombies

My girl loves her holidays, so at the end of September, she started requesting that we pull out the Halloween decorations. We pulled everything out to start getting the house decorated.  To our surprise, Kerry sent us a Halloween package to get us into the Halloween spirit.  She sent this great Halloween bag that she made from a tee shirt.

 Kerry also sent these amazing bride and groom zombie cookies. We celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary the day before they arrived so we thought this was a great treat. Thanks Kerry!

Here are some more of the zombie cookies. Not only are the creatively awesome in a bloody zombie kind of way, they were delicious too!

I participated in the zombie challenge over at Yarnigras Swapper Spot, so Val sent me a package of Halloween goodies!  Thanks Val! I can't wait to try the homemade blueberry jam on my toast tomorrow morning.

For the zombie challenge I decided that I wanted to try my hand at paperclay. I've wanted to use paperclay for a couple of years now but have been nervous about trying it.  I procrastinated on this zombie project because I afraid to use the paperclay. I had a picture in my head for a couple of years now but wasn't sure I could create it. I really shouldn't have been so worried. The paperclay was awesome and easy to use. I covered a styrofoam ball and an oval to create the body. I used wire, aluminum foil and masking tape to create the arms and wings.

It took a few days to fully dry, but here's my finished project.  It's a zom-bee! 
This project works out to be a two-fer. It was for the zombie challenge and it's my Crafty Freaks project for this week.  

I added my zom-bee to the zombie horde, which is currently housed on the fireplace mantle. I'll move the zombie horde back to my bookshelves after Halloween. It's one big happy zombie family!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Doggy Fun for the Whole Family

Have you seen this doggy treat container? I've seen it in the grocery store several times but just kept walking because it was $8 for this little jar of treats. Ridiculous, right?! This weekend I found it at my local Sam's Club in a package for $3. The package had the piggy treat jar and two bags of treats to refill the little pig.  I felt like I was getting an amazing deal. Three dollars for the treats alone is a steal but what I didn't know was that this little piggy would provide entertainment for the whole family.

You push the pig's nose in, put a treat on it and wait. The pig's nose pops out and makes the treat fly. Chunky loves to play fetch, so fetching flying treats is right up his alley.  Actually, we all love to watch the treats fly and see Chunky chase them down.  Here's Chunky waiting for me to load up the pig's nose. The package does have a warning about not giving your dog too many treats, I thought that was silly but now that we've played with it I see why they put the warning on it. It's doggy fun for us all!  The girl wants to keep the pig container once we use up all the treats.  I think Chunky would be sad to see it retired.