Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holiday Spirit

The holidays are fast approaching.  It's not even Thanksgiving yet and we're getting into the Christmas holiday spirit.  We found this Santa hat at our local grocery store.  It says "Merry Christmas, Eh!" I thought it was hilarious since I grew up near the Canadian border watching Canadian television. My daughter just loved the hat! She really loves her holidays.

There's nothing like a bit of holiday crafting to get you in the holiday spirit. We've been making different types of snowflakes.  The preschool department is in charge of the holiday party at my new school, so we've been experimenting with snowflake decorations. 

I made these snowflakes from an old phonics workbook that hasn't been used in a million years.  I used this tutorial.    I love how they look hung up by my fireplace. Beware, they look awesome but are very time consuming. Between the time spent on them and the fact that I love them so much I've decided they'll be staying at my house.

 I made this one from card stock. It was much less time consuming and I think it turned out to be really cute. I think this one can go to school to be used as a party decoration.  Of course I'm thinking I need some more of these woven paper snowflakes to decorate the stairs in my front entryway. While I'm making those I can  make more for the school party as well.

I also made this huge snowflake for the holiday party at school.  It's about three feet high. It's going to be sprayed with adhesive and sprinkled with silver glitter before being hung up. 

I joined Val's Christmas ornament swap.  I created the owl ornaments but decided they weren't Christmas-y so instead I made these wool Santas.  I just sent them off to Val's house today. I'm excited to see what everyone else made for the swap. Check out Val's flickr page to see what other people have created.

 When I was playing around with ideas for a new Christmas ornament I made this button ornament for myself.  I wired the buttons on so I'm not sure how well it will hold up.  I guess I'll have to put it on the tree and test it out. I think I might do something I never do, put the tree up right after Thanksgiving.  I'm getting excited about it, I think the holiday spirit is in the air.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Little Hands

I've been a special ed teacher for a lot of years. I love what I do.  With the need for confidentiality, I feel like there is a big part of my life that I don't get to share with others. I can't share photos of students or talk about the progress my students make.

 Today I have a photograph that I can share; it's simple but it says a lot. This photo was taken at school this week. We're doing an "All About Me" theme so we read the book Shades of People. The book ends with a photo like this. We decided that we would take a picture of our hands just like the book. I just love those little hands!  They represent five unique little people who are all amazing; I'm lucky that I get to be their teacher.

 This is a rainbow hair display created by one of the paras in my room. Chrisann hung this cute little rainbow hair guy in my classroom window.  We took some great pictures of the kids in front of rainbow hair guy. The kids painted the paper for the hair. We also made Rainbow Hair books using Deanna Jump's book. I love this emergent reader because the kids can read it by themselves.

Sometimes the oldies really are the goodies; we've been singing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. I remember singing that when I was in kindergarten. Yep it's still a great song to sing when you're teaching body parts. We've been labeling the body parts on this little boy I created.  Next week we're working on a Pledge of Allegiance mini unit. It's the first time I've done a unit on the pledge so I'm excited about it.

 Visuals for school have become my new creative outlet but I've even done a bit of crafting at home. I made these owls for Val's Christmas ornament swap. They need to meet the theme Christmas so I either need to add something or create some other ornaments before this weekend.  I'm leaning toward creating new ornaments.

 Hurricane Sandy blew threw last week and left many sticks and broken limbs.  Clean up scmean up, no need.  I grabbed some twigs off the lawn and spray painted them white.  Now they are decorating my fireplace.  The owls found their way into the branches and I like them there.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Getting Crafty With the Pumpkins

Nature Girl has been getting crafty with her pumpkins.  Her school had a pumpkin decorating contest.  She planned out what she wanted to create on a Monday night.  She decided to make a monster, but by the time Tuesday rolled around and it was time to start crafting she rethought her idea and went in a totally different direction; pirates!  She made a hat, parrot, treasure chest, ship and sword(not school appropriate) from foam and put it all together with clear packing tape.  The tape didn't stick the best so we put it all together with a hot glue gun and sent it off to school for the contest next week.  I just love that she came up with her own ideas and was able to make and include little props to set the scene.  She is so creative. It's just so much fun to give her some materials and set her loose to create. 

 I'm still being creative but it looks a bit different these days. I started a new job this fall teaching preschool.  I've taught preschool before but I've spent the last four years teaching 4th grade special ed.  I cleaned out the attic last year and got rid of the majority of my preschool materials thinking I wouldn't need them.  Now I'm kicking myself because I'm having to remake things.  Of course I have to admit that I am enjoying the creative side of preschool.  I've been making visuals for school including this pumpkin faces chart.  We used it to vote on what face to carve on our pumpkin. (In case you're curious; triangle eyes, triangle nose and the first mouth were the winners.)

I love using chart paper to write out our songs, poems and nursery rhymes.  Last weekend while we watched a movie I wrote out the Five Little Pumpkins and made little pumpkins that velcro on to the fence posts. I like to make our stories and songs interactive.
I also made birds for Two Little Black Birds.  I try to include a few nursery rhymes each month, it's funny how they aren't taught anymore. I like them so I try to find ways to include them in our curriculum. Next up is a friendship and Thanksgiving theme followed by 5 senses. I still need to choose our nursery rhymes for next month and I also want to throw in a mini unit on the Pledge of Allegiance for Veteran's Day. So many ideas, so little time! Needless to say, I'm still being creative it's just in a different way than my usual craftiness.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sweater Weather

It's fall in New England!  It's a beautiful time of year with the mums blooming and 

the leaves changing colors.  We've had some beautiful weather, so it's given us the chance to be outside enjoying all of the beautiful colors fall has to offer.  I drive by this tree on my way home from school each day. It was so pretty, I couldn't resist taking a picture.

These trees are in my yard. The orange, red and yellow leaves are just beautiful this time of year. I'm enjoying their beauty now because pretty soon we'll be working hard to rake them all up.

Raking's not as much fun as when I was a kid raking and jumping in all of the leaves.  Now it feels like work to clean them all up.

Of course once fall comes and the leaves change color, it gives me something to be happy about; sweater weather.  I don't mean wearing sweaters, I mean sewing and crafting with sweaters. Yay!

  I love recycling wool sweaters and coats for crafts.  I made this wine sweater as a thank you gift.

I also made a fairy tale zombie from wool for Val's Fairytale zombie swap. Little Red Ridinghood went off to live in California with Chrissy.  I miss her sweet zombie face.

  I just love wool sweater crafting, so bring on the sweater weather!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Creative Kid

I have to say this is another duck tape post but, I'm a proud mama.  My kid is incredibly creative and crafty.  She amazes me with what she can do.  This summer we've had a good time crafting with duck tape and her creativity has shown through.  She has the vision and the creativity and with my years of crafting experience together we figure out how to do it. 

 Look at this 3-D Hello Kitty purse she made.  She created the front and back and I helped her figure out how to make and attach the sides.  It turned out awesome!

 Then she moved on to make an apron for herself.  She even put a tag on it that says Duck tape extraordinaire on it.  I think if you can make that apron you've earned the title. The plan is to use this apron as an art smock at school this year.  It was the last thing on the school supply list we needed to get but she made this one instead, so now we are officially done our school supply shopping.

 On a play date with a friend my daughter made the amazing Alice in Wonderland apron I'm wearing. Her friend made a duck tape skirt out of black and white check tape.  I just love the apron I'm wearing.  She included dice, a red heart and a red rose that is dripping paint (I helped fold the rose petals and she stuck them on.) I think it's so darn cute and incredibly creative(again proud mama talking here!)

 Today's duck tape project was flip flops.  We watched this video here to see how they were made, then worked on making them together.  They turned out cute, and yes she wanted them to be different so that they matched all of the colors from her apron/art smock.  After making them she's decided they aren't as comfortable as her regular flip flops and has decided they should be a decoration instead.

With all of this duck tape goodness I decided to make something useful for myself.  I made this little receipt keeper for my purse to hold all of the messy receipts that end up in the bottom of my purse.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Go For the Cup

 It's Olympic time. I think the rest of the world is glued to the Olympic coverage on TV but not me; I am stuck on duck tape. This week we decorated a shirt, made mustaches, and made a trophy cup from duct tape. We have had so much fun with it!

We put duck tape on BBQ skewers then cut out a mustache shape. They're cute and fun! Here are some of the cousins making silly faces with our duck tape mustaches.

E.(in the green shirt above) turns 9 this weekend.  He wants to make duck tape mustaches for the party.  They're also planning some backyard games for the party.  My sister asked me if I could make a duck tape trophy to give to the winner of the obstacle course race.  I like a craft challenge so I agreed. I was happy with how my first attempt turned out.  It's made with paper, a paper bowl, cardstock, an empty duct tape roll and some grey duct tape. It took me a few hours to finish it but I enjoyed making it.  It's fun to be doing some crafting again.  Seriously who knew something as simple as duck tape could be so versatile and fun!

This is the duck tape flower shirt my daughter made.  She wanted to try duct taping on a tee shirt.  I ironed over the duct tape to make it stick more. I'm still not sure how it will hold up with an active 8 year old wearing it, but I think it looks cute!

We have so many things to post, I just need to take time to find the pictures and write the posts.  Maybe I could unstick myself from the duct tape long enough to get that started.  Let's hope, though my mind runs wild with the things I'd like to try making with duck tape!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Got Duct Tape?

 Duct tape, who knew it could be so much fun?  We bought several rolls of printed duct tape last summer, but never got around to using them. My daughter went to a craft camp offered by the local school district.  One of the girls at the camp brought in purses that she made using duct tape. We thought that was very cool so we pulled out the rolls of duct tape we had and started to create.

 Look at how proud she is of her crafts.  I helped with the purse but she made the matching bow and wallet herself.
 Here's another look at the goodies she made.  I just love that polka dot duct tape!

 This is the cheetah print hair bow I made for myself.

We had so much fun with the duct tape that the next day when we had the little girl from next door over for a play date, they pulled out the duct tape and created some more.  I just love the penguin bag my daughter made.  She made the main part of the bag and I taped it together using the last of the polka dot duct tape.  I wouldn't have been brave enough to put those patterns together but I'm glad she was because I love how it turned out.

This was my first try at making a rose pen from duct tape.  There are so many cool colors and prints of duct tape available; the possibilities are endless. I've been amazed to see all of the things people have created using duct tape.  I've seen some very creative items made with just duct tape. We've been having fun with it and I'm looking forward to trying to make a few more things with the duct tape.  Have you got duct tape? What is the most creative thing you've seen made of duct tape?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Long Time, No Blog!

It's been a very long time since I have blogged anything. Yes, long time no blog, but I'm happy to report that all is well, we've just been very busy.  We sold our house and moved into a new house.  We're still getting settled in and getting use to our new town.  We moved about an hour from our old home which means a shorten commute for my husband, a new school for my daughter and a longer commute for me.  The new house is amazing(more pictures to follow in another post.) We love it!  The buying and moving processes were wracked with huge headaches and stress so we're glad it's over and at this point we have vowed to stay in this house for the next 20 years in order to avoid a repeat of the horrible time we had.

The new house has a paved driveway.  My daughter had fun drawing with sidewalk chalk.  This is a picture of Love Bunny(see this post to see who Love Bunny is.) Doesn't she look so young in that post!  Time really flies!

 Our dog Chunk even got into the drawing action.  He kept walking across the drawings, leaving colored doggie prints all over the driveway. Chunk is adjusting to the new house and seems to like it.  I think he really likes having us at home during the day now that it's summer time.  He'll be sad when we head back to school at the end of August.

I'm still unpacking my craft supplies so I haven't done much in the way of crafting.  I hope to get unpacked and remedy that this week.  Hopefully I'll have some crafty goodness to share soon. I hope all is well with you.  I hope to venture out into blogland and catch up with everyone very soon.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Thoughts for Spring

These are my thoughts on paper this week. Can you tell I'm thinking of spring? We had some unusually warm weather last week so now I'm itching to see flowers blooming, trees budding and my feet in flip flops.

With this last warm spell I've been pessimistic about it lasting. It's only the end of March and we had very little snow this winter. I keep expecting a big snow storm, but hoping it won't really come. May spring be here to stay!
These are my thoughts on paper for today.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

An Owl Package to Make You Cry

My daughter has swapped along with me for the last few years. She loves swap mail! She knows the drill, you wait until Mommy gets home from work and has the camera in hand to open the package. She even reminded me that I usually snap a picture of her with the package.

After posing with the package, then it's time to dig in to see what's inside the package. She was excited to find an owl bag stuffed with tissue paper and more goodies!

Look at all of the things Julz (and Barb) sent. As I mentioned before my daughter has lots of swap experience but she was so cute about this package. She started to tear up and made me stop taking pictures until she cleared her eyes. She loved the pillowcase for her travel pillow(Barb made her an awesome Florida pillowcase and travel pillow when we met them in Florida a year and a half ago. She still uses that travel pillow all the time!) They also included owl paper, owl cards, an owl craft. an owl pouch, an owl purse and our favorite . . . .

This owl picture, painted by the talented Julz! Don't you love it? We do!!! Seriously, I LOVE this picture! It's already on display. Thank you Julz and Barb for enough owl love to make us cry! Awesome package! Thank you!!!!

Friday, March 9, 2012


I've probably mentioned this before but I am married to the most amazing man. He is so good to me and I love him beyond belief! Not only are we husband and wife, we're friends. We like spending time together. We both work a lot which can be stressful and finding time to relax is a challenge for both of us. This year for my 40th birthday my husband took me to Jamaica. We stayed at the beautiful Couples Resort - Tower Isle in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It was paradise!

The view from our room was beautiful! The sand, sun and sound of the waves were wonderfully relaxing. It was just the break we both needed. While there were many activities and excursions we could have done, we opted to remain unscheduled and just do whatever we chose to do in the moment.

That was mostly sitting on the beach, napping, eating and drinking grown up drinks. It was a great vacation!! Nature Girl stayed with her grandparents and had a blast so there was no guilt over leaving her. As a matter of fact, half the time she was too busy to even talk to us, so I knew she was having fun and was well taken care of.
It was a fabulous way for me to turn 40 and a great break from our busy lives. Now the only question is. . . when can we go back?
We had a problem with a flight getting cancelled so we received 2 free round trip flights for our trouble, that just leaves saving up for the resort and finding the time to take another break from reality to enjoy paradise. I'm looking forward to it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Family Thoughts

Recently while visiting some of our family members I pulled out my old yellowed book pages to work on some more thoughts on paper. Nature Girl and her cousins were curious about what I was working on and sat down to watch me. Always a teacher, I passed out markers, book pages to all of the kids. I explained what I was making and gave them instructions to ensure they didn't ruin the table with the Sharpies we were using. They got right to work on their own thoughts on paper.

This was Nature Girl's. She made it for her younger cousin who is totally in love with sharks. I love how the letter S has a bite out of it. Funny how one word can show so much.

This one was created by Nature Girl's nine and a half year old cousin. She made this one for me. I thought it was very sweet! It says I love to smell the flowers. It is a simple joy in life to stop and smell the flowers. We really should take time to do it more often.

I found this Persian proverb for my thought on paper. It reminds me that beauty and kindness should be enjoyed and shared with others. That's how it spreads and makes the world a better place. Along those same lines, I've always thought that if you want to make the world a better place you should start by making your little corner of the world better.