Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Night

 My favorite holiday is closing down but here are a few pictures of the front porch as it awaits  our trick or treaters.

Thanks to Pinterst I created two pumpkin projects I saw and loved.  The first is the stacked pumpkins.  I stenciled these BOO pumpkins and placed them atop each other.  The polka dot pumpkin I stuck a bunch of round stickers I had laying around and spray painted  it glossy black.  Easy peasy projects!

My Holiday Duck was dressed up for the night with two pumpkin escorts . HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT HALLOWEEN!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Manic Monday

October is revving up so quickly! Projects are a plenty and I haven't even made time to post them!! I KNOW, I know  I gotta get better at posting. I will start today on one of my House Proud projects, my Halloween Mantel.  I springboarded the idea from a couple of Pinterest mantle boards. One thing I'm realizing on my projects is that after I take the photo to put on my blog, something is always missing. I am learning the edit processing of blogging more and more and especially in the photography of the project. Its almost a sport in itself.  In this project before the leaves garland were placed on the mantke  I had taken a picture of the mantle and felt like something was lacking.  Plucked my leaves garland out of my Halloween bins and placed it on the mantle.  Isn't funny how just one tweak makes all the difference?  I'll show you below and tell me what you think!

BEFORE:  I used copper and cream candles and gold pumpkins purchased at Hobby Lobby.  The white pumpkins on black candle stands with black designs purchased at a garage sale for 50 cents a piece.  White and orange pumpkins purchased at our local pumpkin farm. To cap off the look I put spider webbing over the mantel mirror and popped a few pesky spiders on the web for authenticity.

With added garland

Monday, September 5, 2011

Faux Carriage Garage Door

Whew!  School is getting ready to start and I've been working every minute finishing projects in the classroom and home like crazy. It reminds of that feeling of  "nesting" when you're pregnant and just about ready to deliver and you start cleaning and finishing projects before the baby comes. One of my favorite projects I just finished is carriage doors- faux style.  Thanks to Jeanne at Bee's Knees who inspired me to do this project. After seeing how easy she made it look, I was hooked.  The only tough part was figuring out measurements for the windows and the hubster figured that part out with my brother in law.  The rest was easy peasy! Check it out.

                                                     Plain gray with leftover hardware from original door I spray painted black.

This is the hubster measuring each window pane 12 inches apart with Frog Tape and his level.

This is a stencil I made to use for the hardware.  I googled carriage door hardware.  Found the one I liked and blew it up on an overhead to 16 inches.  I used black glossy acrylic paint from Michaels. I spray painted all stenciling and windows with a sealer.

We are definitely House Proud!  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summer Projects

Wow can hardly believe August is half over!  I have been traveling to the South and onto Colorado to see all my boys and their families so I have been away for awhile enjoying the scenery and family. Now back to reality and I so much have missed blogging.  Since I've been back though I have been digging my hands in and crafting like a mad dog.  Here are just a few of the projects.
This is a vintage fan handed down from my grandparents that I had been visualizing after seeing an article in Country Living last year on custom fans to buy!  I  can do better and cheaper than that!! 

First I needed to take it apart, thank god for electric drills, especially on crusty nails!

Loving this Krylon copper color spray I choose.

 Voila!  Custom copper and black vintage fan!

I got this stool at a garage sale for $2.00.  It just needed an update to match the colors red and beige in my foyer.
This project was so easy and took less than a half hour!  I had this material leftover in my fabric tub.  Took off the old material and placed  it on the new material and cut out my pattern.  Layed the material over the top and tipped it over to staple.  It's just that easy!!!!  With this much ease  I will probably change it out seasonally!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Tech Tip

       I'm working on a framework for my blog.  I think as a teacher we have addictions to having routine schedules that drive our curriculum and planning our days.  That same addiction has carried over to my blog.  I have "Prospecting Saturdays". Now I have Tuesday Tech Tip.  As I am on "summer hours" I can further develop each of the days of the week with a routine blog post that you as a reader can count on as well.
     Here's the new tech equipment that our school bought this year that I'm uber excited about using not only for my kids but for myself.  The new Ipads.   I'm a fan of Apple products.  The hubster and I bit the bullet this year and crossed over from our stupid phones to a smart phone and we're amazed how much we love them! So imagine my excitement when I turned on the Ipad screen and it was the same as my Iphone minus all my apps!!

It took me awhile to figure out how to get my own itunes account loaded on so I can explore the app store for educational tools.  I'm going to add every Tuesday some of the apps I find that would be useful and worthwhile for classroom use! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tech Tuesday

For years my boys wanted to buy me a Kindle.  I resisted.  I love the feel of a book in my hand and the ability to go back and look up or reread some snipit I want to remember.  But as I was packing many books up for a garage sale this spring I decided that maybe I should investigate the Kindle again.  I found in my research that it is capable of doing text to speech so I could actually listent to a book while I was driving.  I looked on Amazon and found the books on Kindle to be cheaper another bonus!  The slim e-reader can easily fit in most of my purses. I finally relented and actually asked my boys for a Kindle for Mother's Day.  I love it!  We recently went on a trip and I downloaded 3 books.  This option is so much more convenient than carrying 3 books.  I was able to read all three and when my eyes got a little tired switched to text to speech and listened away. 

Another cool feature is that you can adjust the font larger for easier reading. If you are thinking about a Kindle I urge you to get one if you're an avid reader like me.  It is well worth the money

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day Celebration

There is such an energy to this day which motivates people to find their own way of celebrating the Fourth of July.  That extra day off of work spells for most people P-L-A-Y.   In my family that is EXACTLY what we do lakeside style.  We began our day as a family at the 4th of July parade in town and then caravaned out to my parents house at the lake for summer holiday food and fun.  Here are just a couple of pics from the day!

This is the  beginning of the parade with authentic Revolutionary costumes.

Three generations picture from left to right my  two sisters, Lou and Linda, my niece Lauren, my mom and me.

Family fun times on the wave runners with my future nephew to be (hint, hint),  Jimmy and my other nephew Darren.
We all worked up a mighty appetite with Mr. Sunshine backing us up all the way.  We ate like kings with pasta salads, watermelon chicken and shrimp on the grill.  Yummy! Hope your Fourth was as memorable as ours!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July!  I love the red, white and blue and the USA.  Decorating the house for the holiday is a piece of cake. Here are a few pictures of our house wrapped in the waves of Patriotic colors.

The bunting was from a local store.  The flag pole we got new this year from Michaels because our other one was staineless steel and keep breaking apart from the cement wall.  I put flags in the window boxes and the front porch flower pots.

Here is a "close up of the doorstep.  Each pot holds an American flag and the duck also is waving a flag. The wreath to  the left of the door which got cut off  I made with red ribbon and some red, white and blue flowers I had.   The more I blog I themore I  realize I need to figure out how to get closer to my subjects or find a better camera!!  I'm sorry  these aren't very close, but I'm still learning.  

 I don't think you can clearly see but the driveway is lined with 5 flags on each side with a flag placed near the mailbox too. 
We will be going to a parade in town Monday which is our family ritual. It is now three generations that make the trek to the 11am Fourth of July Parade.  After the parade all of my 3 siblings and their families go to my parents house on beautiful Gull Lake and bring tasty dishes to pass and enjoy another holiday to be together as a family. We go boating, float carefree on the lake, or read under a shade tree, or simply graze on all the plentiful treats we've all brought.  It's the kind of day where our families celebrate and create lasting summertime memories.   That's our tradition, what's yours?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Prospecting Saturday

Wow! I've been off  for awhile. but school is out and I'm finally back on my blogging game!! Back to my "prospecting" Saturday today. One of my trips was to my favorite children's book store here in town, the "Book Bug".  They offer a 20% discount for teachers so I'm especially happy to frequent this shop.  They have the most unique shop that allows you to browse leisurely to make refined selections.  Here are a  few books I purchased that I can't wait to read to my first graders next fall!!

This New York Times Bestseller is adorable. This is the sequel to the book Ladybug. A young girl named Lulu takes on a super hero alter ego of Ladybug Girl.  She makes her own fun and adventures until she meets up with her friend Sam and he doesn't want to play.  Ladybug decides to engage Sam by making him a superhero Bumblebee Boy which he immediately signs on to play.   They live out their adventures and learn some lessons of cooperative play along the way! Perfect book to start a school year while gently teaching problem solving and friendship.

Previously is a very humorous twist on fairy tale characters such as Goldilocks, Jack and The
Beanstalk, Jack and Jill just to name a few. The
book interweaves the stories of what the characters were doing previous to their "famous" tale and how they came to be. Very clever twists and turns
that surprise even adults.

BIG CHICKENS by Leslie Helakoski is a funny  story of four chickens who get locked out of their coop and seek refuge in the woods.  Their misadventures are like watching an episode of "The Three Stooges".  They are literally chicken chickens, and live in fear only to realize they have very little to fear. The illustrations will bring about many laughs. A good companion book to Chicken Little.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Baby Shower

One of the pleasures of being on a staff of mixed age groups is celebrating and sharing all of life's milestones, perpetually.  These milestones cause us to pause amidst the strife of curriculum deadlines and multitasking all the details of the teaching profession  and reflect on life's blessings.  At my building our second grade teacher Linda Foster is having her second baby only this time he's a boy not a girl like her first child.  This was definitely  cause to "shower" her with a baby boy send off!
This is the adorable diaper cake one of my first grade teaching partners Stephanie, who is pretty crafty, made to present to Linda.  Synchronicity occured when last month Stephanie shared with us her "specialty" of diaper cakes and they are featured in Woman's World magazine this week!

Are you wondering what this banana is doing here at a shower? Normally. for teachers. packed lunches can get pretty boring and mundane.  But for one teacher. today was a different story.    Our reading specialist Susan was so excited to share with us that  in her lunch today she found this banana with "I Love You Mommy" XOXOXO   From Your son. Her son is in fourth grade.   Can I get a AWWWW!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Brown Bag Popcorn Book Club

This is the best idea ever and I'm using it on Fridays before our weekly theme tests.  I got this idea from Finally in First blog. A form of Literature Circles but way tastier!! Students are given  a paper divided into four squares.  The four squares are titled Character, Setting, Events, and Ending.  While I'm popping the corn in our school popcorn popper they are busy using their basal and filling in the four scores.  They glue this to a brown paper bag and we fill them with the popcorn. I divide the students into 4 groups and choose a leader to lead the discussion groups. I have prewritten questions for all the groups to answer.  Lots of critical thinking is going on in these groups that always surprises me!!

Here is my para pro Audrey dishing out the popcorn for a student.

Thinking, eating, talking, eating, thinking, eating................

Easter Highlights

Easter came late this year but it gave me plenty of time to get my tablescape together. The Easter Bunny Tea set with cream and sugar, and napkin rings I picked up at a garage sale for $4.00 for the WHOLE boxed set!!

These tea cups with spoon were so adorable and fun to try to use-so "Alice in Wonderland"!!
I got this glitzy bunny at Marshall's during Easter season.  I've actually used her for a few baby shower tablescapes.
Don't you love how the creamer bunny is looking up at the Easter tree?

Our foyer display compliments of my kindergarten teacher friend, Jodie, who donated the bunnes to me so they could be famous on my blog!!  

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Prospecting Saturday

The hubster and I went to a local garden center to get a diagnosis on a sick shamrock of mine.  Little did we know when we went that it was "Expo Day".  A day that all their vendors have booths set up for you to visit and of course lots of free goodies.
Red tulips a sure sign of spring, yeah!!

Hardy purple and yellow pansies making their debut.

I'm a fan of weeping cherry trees. We have a huge on in our front yard that sadly doesn't bloom very long.
This was an interesting table setting with moss chairs and a moss centerpiece.
This was a display from MSU's Master Gardner program.  I want to use this kind of display with my first graders when we do our plant unit.  The person manning this booth gave me several printables to use with my class.We definitely hit gold prospecting  today more than I could have imagined!! Happy prospecting days to you!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Tablescape

Today is one of my family's favorite holidays, St. Patrick's Day. My mother's name was Clancy so we take our Irish heritage seriously.  Here is my Irish tablescape that is ready for the corn beef, cabbage and Irish soda bread.  I got a little help from my maid aka "vacuum cover"!

Got this cute little mouse with his blarney stone at TJ Maxx  and couldn't resit him!

I love charger plates.  I got 6 of these gold ones for $1.00 each at Hobby Lobby after Christmas this year.

 Aren't these two cute?  They're salt and pepper shakers I got at a garage sale this summer.  $1.00 for the set, it was a steal! The bunny is a little premature but I couldn't help putting them out with the corn beef and cabbage, it just seemed fitting. The runner I got at Kohl's on clearance last year.

The gold glasses are cast offs from my moms home in Florida.  She was getting rid of things and remembered how I had just started doing tablescapes so she gave them to me as her contribution. This is where the saying "one man's junk is another man's treasure" comes into play, except I would change man to woman! We women are ALWAYS looking for treasures without breaking the bank! For my first St. Patrick's tablescape I learned alot and had an amazing time creating.  I know for sure along with my mother's help I'll be on the prowl for more St. Patrick's decor to add to my tablescape next year!