Swoon – The Beginning

Remember a while back (and yes, it’s been a while), I posted this picture of my prepped fabrics for my Swoon quilt?  Well, I have good news.  I used some of my long holiday weekend to actually start sewing the blocks, which I can honestly say, take longer than I had expected.  there are a lot of pieces to put together, but the end result is absolutely worth it!

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Swoon fabrics cut.

Here are some of my process pics from the first finished block.  “Swoon” is made up of mostly HST’s (half-square triangles) and flying geese blocks.  So first I chain pieced all of the hst’s and pressed them open.

Chain pieced hst's.

Chain pieced hst’s.

Pressed open hst's.

Pressed open hst’s.

I continued piecing and pressing triangles and flying geese, and then putting them together to make 9 smaller blocks.

Smaller block 1

Smaller block 1

Smaller block 2

Smaller block 2

Then I combined all of the smaller blocks together, along with the square of patterned fabric to make one giant Swoon block!  I love how huge this finished block is.  Now I have to finish 8 more and then add some sashing.  Stay tuned.

Finished Giant Swoon Block 1

Finished Giant Swoon Block 1

I Was Ready for The First Day of School

Happy September!!

Week one of school is over, and I can say that I am very thankful for this three-day weekend.  I’m exhausted.  My first week at my new school went pretty well. There were a few bumps in the road (to be expected for the first week), but all in all, other than the 95+ degree temperatures in our non-air conditioned building, things were good. Last Sunday, I spent the majority of the day at school getting my classroom ready for my students’ arrival. Here are some pics.

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My reference shelf. I also made some corner bookmarks for my students to help themselves to. All of my book bins are labeled by genre (there is a poetry bin here), and on top I have some featured reads, a book checkout clip board, and some of my pretties (the beaded blue jay and the Boyd’s bear).

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This is part of my student support station. My students are welcome to help themselves. I stress during the first week of school that they are responsible for not abusing the student support station, and that they should take care to use the items responsibly. I also have my catch phrase poster, “Keep Calm…”

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This is the rest of the student support station. I have mini, Bath and Body Works lotions and hand sanitizers for students to help themselves. I also have sharpened pencils for students to help themselves to. Finally the file houses my absent work folders, hall pass log, and late log.

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Here is my assignment board. These are all of the parts of my lesson that I am required to post daily. I made the labels with my cricut machine (the best diecutter ever!).

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Here is my desk. This is the cleanest that it will ever be. My goal this year is to not leave at the end of the day without it being cleared off and ready for the next morning. I found my cut glass candy dish (full of jolly ranchers) at an antique mall for $10!! That is also where I found the brass cat figure. My mom sent me the squirrel to add to my collection! I found the footed teacup and saucer at the antique mall too. I use it to hold paperclips!

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This is my “teacher board” where I post info that I need to remember and pictures and notes that I get throughout the year. That strawberry paper is glittered!

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Here is my classroom library. My books are organized in bins (Container Store shoe boxes) with handmade labels. The bottom shelf houses nonfiction texts.

Add A Little Color To Your Life!

Looking for a quick and easy update for a dull chair?  Paint it!!  Check out the difference that just a bit of spray paint can make to take a great shaped chair from dull to ta-da!!

Before: Dark brown, icky and dull.  Great rounded shape with the cane back.  

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Chair after: A bit of blue paint and voila!  Color and life.  It’s a standout piece now!  I love how you can see the detail in the legs now.

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So, start looking around your place, or check out those garage sales and thrift stores.  It’s amazing what a touch of color can do!  Happy Weekend.

Hugs,

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First Knitting Attempt

knit cowl 2

So…I couldn’t help it.  After I got crocheting under my belt, I had to learn how to knit too.  This summer while I was on a family vacay, my mom and sister taught me the basics of knitting.  Cast on, knit, perl, cast off.  I’ll be honest.  It took me a while.  It wasn’t as easy as I had thought it would be after learning to crochet came so easily.  BUT…I didn’t give up, and I finished my first project.  The yarn is a hand spun blend (it even has silk in it) that my mom gave me.  It from Quillen Fiber Arts, an awesome fiber shop in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  If you visit there, or live near there, you need to go and check it out!  They have amazing fiber and tools.  So what do you think?  I’ll admit, that I had trouble focusing on K2, P2.  I would lose track of whether I had just knit or perled, but I just kept going and figured that even if I got off it would still look ok.  I am please to report that I think it looks great.  Not perfect, but I love it and am looking forward to using it this fall when the weather starts to cool down.  Here it is flat.  I hadn’t woven in the ends yet, but you can see the variegation of the yarn really well.

knit cowl  

Just keep knitting, just keep knitting…

Hugs,

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New Classroom, New Decor!!!

class door wreath

Ok, so I hate to admit it, but decorating my classroom is one the things I most look forward to when the summer begins to fade into the sunset.  This year I’m at a new school in a new district (yes, AGAIN!).  I couldn’t be happier with my new district, Denver Public Schools, and my new school, Morey Middle!  Morey is a vintage school building (est. 1921!!).  You know my love of most things vintage.  

Ridiculously enough, one of my favorite things about my new room is that I have a door!  Actually I have two doors.  You are probably thinking, “Don’t all classrooms have doors?”.  No, my friends they don’t.  Last year, my classroom did not have a door.  I had no idea how frustrating and annoying it would be to have a classroom without a door (just a gaping hole facing out into the shared wing area).  It was horrible!  So imagine my delight to find that I have door(s) this year!  Two!  They are old, heavy, wooden doors. Immediately my mind started racing with all of the possibilities for my new classroom.  I also get to paint my room!  More on that in a later post.  There will be before and after photos.  So, I started thinking, what can I do to add my own flair to my door?  Hmmm…..  I knew just what to do.  Make a welcome wreath!  So I picked a color scheme: Tiffanyish blue (so hard to find!), Taupe, and Cream.  Then I went to Michaels (which by the way, offers teachers a 15% discount – all the time!! just show them your ID).  I bought a small (about 12″ across) styrofoam wreath, some sparkly ribbon (I used two spools of the sparkly ribbon to wrap the entire wreath form), and some scrapbooking paper.  Then I came home and raided my craft closet!  I used my Martha Stewart Scoreboard to create the paper rosettes and on the large one, I also used a Martha edge punch.  I also used the edge punch for the paper “Welcome” ribbon.  A few buttons, stickers, and ribbon and it was done!  My welcome wreath for my classroom door.  Yay!

class door wreath up close

Finished Madelinetosh Cowl

crochet cowl

So here it is.  I finished my first crochet project using my gorgeous Madelinetosh yarn that I blogged about a while back.  I love it.  It’s not perfect, but it looks pretty good to me.  This is a great, easy pattern to follow.  I got it from Ravelry.com.  It’s called “Calm Cowl” and, here’s the best part…It’s FREE!!!  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/calm-cowl

crochet madelinetosh cowl

I did change the pattern a bit.  I added another row of triple crochets at the end to mimic the ones at the top, but other than that, I followed the pattern.  It would have been done a while ago, but I have had trouble focusing on one project at a time this summer.  *sigh*  Oh well.  I also took up knitting, which is a whole other story.  I’ll share that one later.  

So, what are you working on?

Hugs,

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Vintage Suitcase Upcycle

I’m Baaaaaaaaack!

So, how has your summer been?  The last month has been crazy for me, but I have also gotten a lot of things done.  A couple of weekends ago my best friend and I upcycled some vintage suitcases.  Have you seen this fun trend on Pinterest!  It was super easy and quick to do.  

finished suitcase

You can use one suitcase or two, depending on what you want your finished product to be.  This one is used as a side table.  The top suitcase still opens and can store items that you don’t want out in the open.

So, first we measured where the legs should go and marked where to drill the holes with the bracket.  (We found the brackets and legs in the woodwork/trim section at Home Depot).  

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Now drill the holes.  

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The brackets attach either by screwing them in with the screws provided, or if it works with your suitcase, you can use a longer bolt with the legs and insert it through the hole you just drilled and up through the bracket.

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Now screw on the legs.  

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We attached the two suitcases together by using Liquid Nails to attach the top suitcase to the bottom.  

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To let it cure, we piled heavy books into the top suitcase and let it sit to dry completely.

suitcase sitting

And Voila!  My best friend printed off vintage Florida travel stickers and decoupaged them on!  Super cute!

finished suitcase

Coming soon: photos of my finished vintage suitcase upcycled bedside table and cat bed!

Hugs,

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