Wednesday, September 30, 2009

and again

It seems like I'm going to have to put fresh sheets on the spare room bed for that Tooth Fairy since she's spending so much time here lately. Sheesh ~ that girl must be going broke.

This time it was Stephanie's turn to lose a tooth. You can barely tell when she smiles, though because it's not front and center.

Can you see it's empty space there?

These pictures were after dance on Monday. The telephoto lens was on Greg's camera and I was too lazy to change it. Stephanie was getting irritated with me. I'm sparing her the embarrassment of some of the shots I got. Then Greg says, "Use the flash, dork." Ok, maybe not the *dork* part. Then I say, 'No, no, it's better without." Now I don't know.

Well, maybe just one. This is the sass I got when I told her to smile big so I could see the hole.

Friday, September 25, 2009

i got mail

The package I was waiting for came yesterday! My very own business cards. At the last two craft shows several people asked me if I had a card. As I hastily scrawled out my etsy address for them I had to sheepishly admit that, um no, I don't. But wouldn't that be a good idea? I am prepared for this year's round of craft shows with a business card.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

it's almost time

It's almost time for new *blog bling*.

But first, I'm waiting for something to arrive in the mail.

It's a first for me.

I'm so excited about it.

Bet you can't wait to see it!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

strangely quiet

Shh ~ can you hear the crickets chirping?

It's been strangely quiet these days around here. Maybe for a couple of reasons. I've been trying to get things ready for the craft shows.

Plus, I kind of haven't had much to say. I know! Odd to hear those words coming from my mouth, huh?

So today I'm boring you with more pictures of my crafts. Keep looking. Do you notice a trend here? I start using a set of fabrics and just about use it until I only have a 2 inch square scrap left.

Bad news at work yesterday. Our numbers are low. Yay us!

Except, notsomuch.

We are losing two teachers. One is a first grade teacher. But first grade numbers are higher than second grade numbers. So one of our second grade teachers is taking over the first grade class. Her second grade class will be divided among the rest of us. At the end of the week I will get a couple more students. I knew the 15 kids in my class was way too good to be true. The hardest part, really, is integrating those kids into the routines and community we already have set up.

We will miss our teachers.

We all pretty much saw this coming.

In kid related news ~ Stephanie's birthday is coming up. She's going to be 10. Holy cow. I can hardly believe it.

I have to sit down. I think I'm getting the vapors.

She's turning into such a wonderful young lady. Not surprising since she's always been a wonderful girl.

Yesterday we were discussing what treats she'd like to take to school on her birthday. She mentioned cupcakes, but then noted that she always takes cupcakes. So we decided on mini cheesecakes. She was thrilled when I mentioned it.

I think Heather might want those to take to school when her birthday rolls around.

Last night at dance, Stephanie and Heather were dressed the same. One of the other moms asked me if I always dress them alike. A lot of the time, yes. Usually same type of outfit, different color. She told me to enjoy it while I still can because her oldest daughter told her to stop dressing her sister like her. I'm happy the kids still want to dress alike.

And they don't every day. Just frequently.

Today starts another round of Assistant Principal interviews. Our AP decided to up and leave us for her own school. Sheesh! The nerve. My principal invited the grade level chairs to sit in on the interviews for a new AP. Only me and another person took her up on that offer. I feel honored to have a say.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

and one more

Our Cozy Nest is sponsoring a giveaway for these charm packs.

Aren't those fabrics lovely? She also has a great tutorial on the Moda Bake Shop site for this ribbon blanket and block.

If you don't know what a charm pack is ~ or a honey bun ~ or a layer cake ~ or a turn over ~ you can find out at the Moda Bake Shop as well. These are *sweets* I just pet during my visits to the quilt store, but never break down and buy. You will love them too!

Monday, September 14, 2009

time to enter for another giveaway

This lovely gal is sponsoring a giveaway

from this shop

to win this:

So, even though you won't win and I will, take your chances and head on over to V and Co. and enter the giveaway. While you're there, look around. She's a pretty neat lady.

Danny ~ this goes without saying, but just in case ~ if you win can I have it? Kthanks!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

i can't believe i'm saying this

Last year, I conceded and allowed the box into the house on a somewhat regular basis. Dance night dinners required me to do so. Over time my disdain for the box and it's preservatives has waned. So much, in fact, that a couple of weekends ago as I was standing in front of the pantry door deciding what to make for lunch I saw the box and thought, "Oh, this will be good today." For lunch? Yes. For lunch. So that's what I made.

Today, there I was again standing in front of the pantry trying to decide what to make for lunch. The box jumped into my vision, waving his white Helper glove at me. I actually thought that it sounded good.


I know. I looked around the room expecting winged pigs to be grinning down at me.

I actually kind of like one variety of the box. Only the stroganoff one.

What will I bring myself to eat next?

Heather was not happy to hear about my lunch choice for us. She has apparently inherited my *snobby* taste buds.

Monday, September 7, 2009

all the cool kids are doing it

I found out how to add a fun signature to each and every blog entry. Now when I change my blog header (which is a little overdue, but I like this one so much) I can make a new signature to match.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

at this rate she'll need dentures next month

Heather woke up today and told me that her other bottom tooth was very loose. When I checked her mouth, it was pointed towards me. She said, "I can twist it. Should I pull it?" I told her to go ahead.

It took Heather a while to get teeth when she was a baby. At 10 or 11 months she had only her bottom two. It was at 10 months that she started turning her nose up at baby food. She wanted the real thing. Can you blame her? She ate a lot of small and squishy food for a while!

So it's no surprise to me that she is losing her teeth a little later than most. Some of my students have not only lost their top teeth already, but already have those big replacement teeth that look somewhat out of place in a little mouth.

Heather's top two teeth are loose too. Not ready-to-pull loose, but within the next few weeks I imagine.

In pure Heather style, she started goofing off while I was taking her picture. You know her booty was sticking out and shaking too! When she heard the camera snap she realized what would happen and started begging me to delete it and not put it on the blog. Sorry kid.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

paper mosaic frame tutorial

How about a craft tutorial? I've posted recipes (see sidebar for links to them if you wish), but never a craft tutorial. Here goes!

I saw something like this paper mosaic frame somewhere on the internet. It looked easy enough so I decided to try it for myself. I had all the craft supplies for this one on hand. See there are benefits to being a pack rat! Lucky you, I took pictures.

This project will take a while to finish ~ not because it's hard, but because it is important that each step dry well before moving on to the next.

You will need a wood frame. Craft stores like Michael's and Joann's sell these in the wood section. They are very reasonably priced. They come in a few different sizes and shapes.

Check the wood for smoothness. Normally, I sand every wood item I paint, but this one was suprisingly smooth from the start.

Paint your wood a base color - something simple like a chocolatey brown, black, or some kind of cream. Don't forget to paint the back. I am a big believer in completely finishing your projects, so that means you finish the back too with a nice coat of paint. You may need two coats.

While the paint is drying, select your scrapbook papers. You might want to do this before you decide on your paint color. I just knew I wanted to stick with something that went well on brown. I picked 6 different papers. You can pick as many or as few as you like. This is a nice way to use up some scraps. You can also use wrapping paper for this project. Maybe even old greeting cards? Thicker paper will require more effort later on.

When you paint on wood it raises the grain. (But you already knew that!) To smooth down the surface, I use this pink sander thing. I got it years ago when I was taking painting classes. I have never been able to find another one since. It is one of my favorite tools. I will hurt the person who ruins it. Don't have one of these perfect pink sander thingys? That's ok because a brown paper lunch sack does the same thing. Rub lightly. You will see kind of a white film and think you've just messed up your project. Don't worry, you haven't. Feel it. Smooth, right?

I cut my paper into pieces that were 1 inch square, 2 inches square, and 1 inch by 2 inch pieces.

Lay out the pieces on the frame in a manner that is pleasing to you. All the pieces need to come to the edge or overlap the edge because we are not having a border on this one. Fiddle around with it until you find what you like.

Grab our buddy, Mod. Mod Podge that is. You will also need a sponge brush. I always pour some out on a plate to use.

In small sections, remove the pieces, slather the wood with mod podge & replace the pieces. Make sure all of the edges are pressed down and any bubbles are smoothed out. If you are using a thicker scrapbook paper or recycled greeting cards, you will need to make sure the application of mod podge is generous. You may also need to hold the paper in place for a moment before moving on.

Here's where the time factor starts coming in. This needs to dry well before moving on. Overnight is best.

Time to take care of those overlapping edges.

Use a craft knife to cut along the edge of the frame. If you knick the frame a little when doing this, don't worry because we are going to rough it up a little later anyway.

No more overlaps.

Now we will rough up this baby like we are the playground bully. I like to use this sanding sponge. You can find it at a craft store ~ I think. You can also just use a regular piece of sandpaper ~ maybe 180 or 220 grit.

Sand at a 45 degree angle on the edges of the frame. Don't forget the edges of the picture hole. This gives it an aged and a little shabby appearance. Plus, it helps smooth out any imperfections that may have occurred while cutting the with craft knife.

I also sanded flat across the whole front of the frame to give the rest of the pieces of paper some age too. Go lightly at first, you can always do more if you want more.

If a corner comes up a little while sanding, don't fret. We will fix that later with more mod podge.

You can see here how I sanded the inside pieces as well.

With a brown (or black if that's what matches) ink pad, go along the edges to antique the frame. Hold the pad at a 45 degree angle again. This is the same as the inking technique used in scrapbooking. Go as minimal or heavy as you want. If you are brave, you can lightly swipe it across the middle a little as well. I was not so brave on this project.

I used StazOn because it is a permanent pad that is not supposed to smear. But of course, smearing on an *aged* project like this won't be the end of the world. You will need to let this dry for a little bit, but overnight is not necessary. About an hour.

When your ink is dry, give the frame a top coat of mod podge. If part of your paper started lifting during sanding like mine did, be sure to get plenty of mod podge in that area and press it down again. Let that dry overnight before applying a second coat. Let that dry overnight and apply a sealer of some kind to the front and the back. I have used brush on sealers and spray sealers. You choose what is best for you.

So go ahead and make yourself a cute little frame. If you don't have a picture yet, just use another piece of scrapbook paper glued to the cardboard insert.

If you don't want to make your own frame, you can buy this one of course.

This particular frame style sits on a table with this handy dandy dowel for support. If you want to hang it on the wall, just pull the dowel out, turn upside down, and use the hole to hang on your nail.

If you make your own, I'd love to see it!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Heather has been waiting and waiting to loose a tooth. First there was tooth-loss envy when Stephanie lost her first tooth at the very end of first grade. When Heather was in kindergarten she came home periodically announcing that so-and-so lost a tooth. I told her she would probably lose one in first grade.

First grade came. First grade went.

No teeth fell out of Heather's pretty little head.

The horror.

In the last few weeks, the first four (yes, I said FOUR) teeth that kids lose have been a bit wiggly, the bottom ones more so. Typical of all kids with loose teeth, she announces their wiggliness incessantly and fiddles with them often. Last week it became apparent that the time for one to go was approaching.

Sunday night she was a bloody mess. She wanted me to take the picture when there was way more blood in her mouth. I declined. She walked around all night holding that blood in her bottom lip like a cowboy cuddles his chew. I had to keep telling her to spit or swallow.

At one point she said she could twist it. Well, it's just a matter of a little yank at this point. Just before bed I tried to get her to let me pull it. I have this great fear that the kids will lose a tooth in the middle of the night, get it lodged in their esophagus and choke to death. All the while I'm comatose counting sheep. I talked Stephanie into letting me pull her first tooth because it was soooo loose at bedtime.

Heather? No way. She said she'd do it herself. She twisted. Then she pulled a face and said it hurt. Well, duh! She twisted again and that bad boy came out!

Heather finally has that toothless grin she has anticipated for so long.

Good thing I just finished her special Tooth Fairy box hours earlier. Stephanie has one just like it (different colors) and I was a little behind on getting Heather's done. Nothing like waiting 'til the last minute, huh?

In it goes, preciously wrapped in a tissue.

Ready for the Tooth Fairy. Heather asked me if I am the Tooth Fairy. I gave the honest truth ~ I am NOT the Tooth Fairy.

In the middle of the night *TF* delivered the cash and spirited away the tooth. Still half asleep and groggy, Heather reached for the box in the morning and was not disappointed.

At school Monday morning, she was eager to show everyone the gap in her mouth. She is so proud of her missing tooth.