Saturday, April 9, 2011

Motivational Lovies

As a teacher, it is my responsibility to instill knowledge in the minds of crazy interesting sixth graders.  And, as well all know, the only way to determine if I am teaching them is to have them take a big hour and a half long test once a year.  This ninety minutes of work completed by people with their own attitudes, perceptions, and lack of literacy skills will determine if I am good at my job. Sweet.
So, in order to bribe encourage them to do their best, my school does a lot of different things.  Namely, yelling at them.  I happen to take a different approach: sucking up to sixth graders.  Over the course of the next week, my students will be fed breakfast (by me), given pencils, stickers, and the like.  But my favorite thing to give them is a Lovie. 
I was first introduced to them when my brother's kindergarten teaching assistant left in the middle of the year and she gave them Warm Fuzzies upon her departure.  She also gave me one; I walked him to his classroom every day.  I always liked that Miss B.  I made them my first year teaching for my fourth graders and now I am making them for my sixth graders.  When I offered my fellow teachers a chance, they declined.  Thus, I am making them for all 85 kids!  Woot!
The original design... with the first skein of yarn.
Here they are.... in all their purple yarn (which I am allergic to) glory!  This allergy was determined on the 78th-ish lovie, when I was covered in hives.

The ones with feet and bows are for my homeroom ladies... and the puff balls with eyes are for all of my science kids. NOTE: Attila was helping me model by adding color contrast from his tail!

You have to admit, pretty darn cute.  Are they cute enough to encourage you to read all the answer choices? We shall see.

A sea of little purple lovies starting at me!
I will be curious to see how this next week goes!  My prayer is that they try on these tests; the pressure is on the kids and the teachers.  It is truly unfortunate what we are putting kids through to test our schools - but that is a soapbox for another day! 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Yarn Balls

I found this awesome project on Yarn Balls from the Make and Takes website and it seemed simple enough.... How hard can gluing yarn to a balloon be?  Difficult if you make these mistakes:
Oh so sad little yarn balls... flat, deflated and nothing short of a hot mess!
  1. very large balloons
  2. getting glue on everything except the yarn or balloon
  3. allowing said balloon to deflate while the yarn is still wet, creating a crushed, sad yarn knots
However, on my second attempt, the project is waaaay better!  Nothing irritates me more than when my lovely husband says "You have to have the right tool for the job."  Here it goes Brad,  you were right; the appropriate sized balloons made a huge difference (I survived admission of wrong without any serious damage).  However, the big balloons were already in my craft closet.  The appropriate tools drove me back to the craft section at WalMart.  And the second attempt...
A close up... these are 4" water balloons - a pain in the rump to blow up!
A cookie tray full of happy balloons - appropriate size and all...
A basket full of yarn balls!
Zoom In .... It will be a real bummer when my husband wants his Easter basket back!

Does this make me a basket case I wonder?  All I know is that everyone is going to love these... they already have Gus' seal of approval.  Well, he did hide on the couch after he checked these out.  Perhaps it was too much glue through his sensitive sniffer! 
Gus says "I love them Mom!"

Hope you enjoy and give them a try with more wisdom than I had my first go-round!

Be on the lookout for my next project...  it includes 2 skeins of yarn, standardized tests, and 85 sixth graders!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

First Post!

So, this blog has been started as a record for myself to keep track of all the projects I have worked on and crafted! 

To start with my current state of craftiness... my greatest weakness is my consistent overestimate of my craft skills!  I love to try new things (with detailed directions of course - I am a teacher!) and improve these snappy projects when I can.  I love watching others create fabulous projects and observing from the sidelines.  Perhaps the best part of crafting is the joy of making something special from a few things hanging around the house ... and JoAnn's. 

Crafts are my coping mechanism for the daily stresses of life, especially the stresses of teaching middle school!  Nothing wipes away a tough day in the classroom like glue, fabric scraps, and a piece of 12x12 scrapbook paper!  It is truly therapeutic to create something new for our home or a friend and much less expensive than chatting with professionals (and I can do it on my couch in jammies)!

So here is my adventure with all things crafty and creative.... watch out for trouble!