Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easter Craft for Kids.... and the Rug

TCAP's are over - HALLELUJAH - and life is about to get really interesting in the sixth grade!  We are getting ready to start a study of Sir Isaac Newton, his three laws, and test them by doing an egg drop.  I don't think the kids are going to be nearly as excited as I am... but that happens a lot. 
In the mean time, I have been entertaining the divas in my homeroom class and have tamed them with crafts.  Who knew?  I saw awesome yarn wrapped eggs on a blog somewhere - wish I could remember where so I can link it up.  So, I bought a bag of plastic eggs and some really cheap tye dye yarn... left over yarn will be used for science projects.  They turned out really well.  Here are some pictures from my homeroom ladies. 
In progress...
All Done!  
The ladies were so proud and I loved the way the yarn turned out.  Instead of looking really crazy, I love the way the colors develop.  A trifle bowl of these would look so nice on an Easter table or at an entrance way.  And, less than $5!

And on to my latest project... the bath mat rug.  After one week of work and exorbitantly developed thumb muscles, I have done the outside circle of color.
I love the way if feels on my toes!  I can't wait to get out of the shower and stand on it.  Perhaps, I am getting a little ahead of myself.  I was going to do the interior color a beige to match the light coffee walls and beige shower curtain - except - we changed the shower curtain to white to make the trim, doors, and vanity pop.  So, I had a conundrum, keep it beige or change to white?  Beige would not really fit, but white would show dirt.... I think I have decided on white.  My CRH (craft-rescue-hero/husband) said to just do a bit of the corner and we can decide.  However, he doesn't like the whole project, so I am a little torn over what to do.  I have cut some white pieces, so we shall see!
Here are a few more pictures to feast your eyes on!
I love how the pieces remind me of hydrangeas!

Even Attila loves the rug... just wait until it has a center... so soft, so sensory!

This part is my favorite mom!

 A handsome boy on a handsome bath mat in the making!

Saturdays, especially rainy, windy ones, are intended for crafting.  Attila, Gus and I have been home all day and we've been snuggling and crafting!  Happy Saturday crafting everyone!

Gus says: A little to the left Mom!

Attila says: Crafting exhausts me!  

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Reason I Teach

Teaching is not the sunshine and roses picnic I imagined it would be.  To say my days are hard work would be an understatement.  But there are moments that make the papers, behaviors, and bad attitudes all worth it.  This week, our kids are taking the TCAP's... For the past 3 weeks, I have been diligently cramming information in their brains reviewing all the content we covered this year.  We have played games, used clickers, answered questions, you name it.  But at a certain point, their brains were full and there was nothing else that could be done. Almost.  I made all 75 of my kids lovies... check out the post of the precious critters.  I held them captive until Wednesday morning before the test, when my kids slowly trickled in my science room to get their surprise.  There was another wonderful surprise from my wonderful mom who mailed brand new pencils and fruit snacks. 
Their eyes got so big when they found out they could have one of each... and when they heard they came from North Caroline (not sure they know where NC is) they were stunned.  They all said thank you without being reminded (small victories) and many of them gave me a hug - not a cursory hug, but one that said thank you.  Several said I am going to work hard for you today and I will do my best on this TCAP test.  And almost all of them reported back to me that they worked hard, knew the answers, and tried their best.  There is nothing more that I could ask for.  If making those yarn balls made a difference, then I would do it a thousand times over.  Doing what is best for kids is what teaching is all about... and I hope that they will remember that when they were in the sixth grade, a teacher cared and loved them so much, that she would do anything to help them learn. 
And in return, they taught that teacher a lifetime of lessons about teaching, learning and love.  In the words of one of my students about the treats from me and mom, "I had no idea that people did nice things like this!" and "This is the nicest thing that has ever happened to me."  As I fought (slightly unsuccessfully) back tears and silently said a prayer that they did their best on the TCAP, I knew they would make me proud. 
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason I teach. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Crazy Town: Population 1

Once again, my talents may have been over estimated!  For all intensive purposes, I cannot sew.  This will soon be remedied: summer sewing classes at JoAnns.  However, until then, I must appease myself with ridiculous projects involving media I don't know how to work.
  I found a awesome fabric craft that doesn't involve sewing... just cutting (EVEN BETTER, my personal kryptonite)... to make a fabulous bath mat.  I read the directions is included latch hook - check... learned that in elementary school, and cutting - well... that is what a husband is for right?
This blog features a latch hook rug tutorial that seemed simple enough.  I rushed right out to my local Goodwill.  On a side note, may I just say that other people's thrift shop must be waaaaay better than mine, because I always walk out finding nothing and thanking heaven I have all my teeth...  All you craft bloggers brag about your finds.  I just can't seem to do it!  Nonetheless, I did snag a set of sheets for $5 and then insisted that my CRH (Craft Rescue Hero, aka Brad) drop me off at the Hobby Lobby to get the rest of my supplies. 
This was my canvas... a steal at $3.39!

Gus modeling the before fabric... he tried to take it hostage.  But I have a few pounds on him!

Fabric dye, yup.  Latch hook canvas, yup.  Home I went... Brad went out... and to the washing machine I went.  I dyed my fabric navy blue (lies Rit dye, it is a dark royal at best) and started cutting. 
I thought I cut and I cut until I was blue in the face.  Then I made some lines on the outside of my mat to decide where to put the different colors.  Don't ask... I don't know the other color(s) yet!
After an hour of work, I decided to trim the canvas just a touch and redrew my lines. 
After two days of work, this is what I have finished.  Mom is coming for Easter and she said don't finish before (HA!) I get there... we might be lucky if this gets finished before my 73rd birthday - or just in time to move from the bathroom that it matches! 
After two days of work:
One measly row!  Although I have decided on a concentric rectangle pattern... any thoughts on the alternative color? Brown, yellow, green? I just can't decide and my CRH has no opinion!  But he will once his piggies hit this delightfully sensory bathmat at the end of a long day! 
My pigs just can't wait for the fun!
Off I go to latch hook more before bed!  My goal... to be done before the school year is over!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ribbon Wreaths

In my first adventure into the land of craft blogs, I saw these fabulous ribbon wreaths from Stacy at She's Kinda Crafty!  I love all the different wreaths she makes for every holiday I known to man!  However, being that I am not a fan of holiday decorating, I was wondering how to make these work. 
I mulled it over forever and then realized I needed an awesome gift for my sister-in-law's birthday. This was my big chance to make this wreath.  Next problem: holiday, not holiday; it was a conundrum because I didn't want to make something that was cheesy or she wouldn't use.  And then it struck me.  She and her husband are HUGE NC State fans - they both graduated from there and are forever fans of the wolfpack.  Thus, the NC State ribbon wreath was born.
Before the work...
The finished product!  GO WOLFPACK!

Perhaps my favorite part is the hounds tooth pattern worked in... a nod to my true love of the SEC.
It turned out so cute, I decided my Grandmommie needed one for her new home!  So, I invited my friend Clarissa over to make wreaths dedicated to our love of the SEC; she made a Tennessee wreath and I made a Florida Gator wreath. 
Mid-work session... when the magic is just starting to happen...

The finished product!  How cute is that thing!?!?  I believe we call that Gator Bait!
This is Clarissa's UT wreath.  I love the unique look of the big loops! 

I kinda don't want to give it away now.  And when my mom comes from Easter, I think I may be commissioning a second one.  I think that my love of college football and crafts have created a huge monster made of ribbon!  This could be a starting point for many fabulous sports... and holiday... wreaths!