Thursday, September 20, 2012

Meet Alison

I am so excited – and a bit nervous and honored – to write this blog post!  I am introducing my best friend Alison and linking up to Kelly’s Show Us Your Singles! 

Alison is my dearest friend since elementary school!  Let me tell you about my ketchup and crab cake–loving best friend!
Alison, on the left, was the maid of honor in my wedding
She is born and raised in the south, North Carolina to be exact.  Alison works as an elementary school music teacher in a rural North Carolina community, sharing her gift of music and teaching with hundreds of kids every week!  Additionally, she works in her family’s small church as a youth leader, Sunday School teacher, and choir member (and quite honestly – just about anything else).

When she isn’t working at church or school, Alison is busy being a devoted dog-mom to her sweet schnauzer named Max.  Additionally, Alison loves to spoil her sister’s son (and another one on the way).  Auntie A is definitely the best aunt on the block!   She is family-oriented and treasures her relationships with her parents, sister, and grandparents.  She is the first to lend a hand to those in need and has so many wonderful friends. 
Max, as a tiny puppy
Alison and her nephew
She loves going to concerts.  Alison is a 2008 music education graduate from the University of North Carolina Greensboro.  Alison also likes to cook and bake.  Alison is crafty and creative!

Alison is looking for a gentleman with a heart for the Lord and a devotion to family and friends.  She wants to find a man who understands the value of faith and family and can make those a priority.  Also, Alison is looking for a partner who can appreciate all types of music and loves kids and dogs (especially Max). 

If you are interested in getting in touch with Alison, send me an email or reply on the blog and I will share contact information!  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Crafting is...

...not for the faint of heart!

Tonight, Craft Rescue Hero and I were working on a project for school and it took a long time!  Attila and Gus are used to their evening snuggles.  Instead of snuggling, they got to help and learned the hard lesson - crafting is not for the faint of paw!

Attila, in his supervisory capacity

Gus says. "This is too much Mom! Quit volunteering!"

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Washi Tape

I don't know if you have discovered the awesomeness that is washi tape, but I absolutely love it!  Washi tape is a decorative masking tape material with all kinds of cute patterns and shapes on them.  I have three rolls and have been eyeballing all kinds of cute prints.  I used one on my "journey" trail mix bags for new teachers and have recently been making my own flat cards to write thank you notes on.

I got both of these tapes from Target in the craft section.  I have seen that at other establishments such as JoAnn's, Walmart, and AC Moore.  They are Smash brand.  But, in a not so subtle manner, which can be verified by my CRH, I have been ogling these tapes at Wishy Washi.  I can't even decide which one of these is my favorite!  Oh, decisions decisions!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pinterest Project: Completed

It is not often that I find myself at the finished end of a Pinterest project!  I was actually really happy with the way this one ended up - which is not often the way things work for me! 
This was my inspiration...

My goal was to eliminate the copious numbers of sticky note to do lists all over my desk at school.  They are constantly getting lost in the paper catastrophe that is living on my desk.  I have never figured out how to tame the mess, regardless of how hard I try!

Anyways, I began my project with a cheap frame from Hobby Lobby.  I loved the flower details, but I wasn't sure my flowers with fabric would look right... my last ones I tried like this looked like a weird cinnamon bun.  So, I figured that I would try another swing at felt flowers, like I made on my wreath earlier this summer that can be found here.  I originally found the tutorial at a delightful blog called Craft Snob. You can find their flower tutorials here.  They have a ton of different types -  I tried the easiest looking ones :)  I cut out my letters on the Silhouette and stuck them to a piece of cardstock using my Xyron sticker maker... It was really simple and took me less than 30 minutes all together!

Anyways, the final project came out really cute and I can't wait to take it to school tomorrow!
Flower Close-Up

Silhouette Letters...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Teacher Treats

This year, the mentoring team decided to make little treats for the new teachers between meetings.  A little pick me up between meetings to remind them that they can survive!
This month was suggested by my Mom - way to go Mom!

We are doing a little trail mix for the journey that is teaching!  It truly is a marathon, not a sprint, although each day feels like a sprint in my world!

Anyways, I made a basic trail mix - chex, cheerios, peanuts, raisins, and M&M's.  I put about a cup into each zippy bag and decided to make a cute label.  I love all the printables I see everywhere, but being that we do not own a color printer, I was left to create one on my own.  I used my Silhouette to create the word "journey" and hand-wrote the rest of the card.  It felt a little blank, so I was able to use some Washi Tape from another lady at the Scrappin In the City crop that this little artistic excursion was taking place.  She had the sweetest washi tape that looked just like a road - and perfect for my journey.

I like the way they turned out... they hit the mailboxes tomorrow afternoon!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hunting for Multiplication

This year, I am teaching a remedial math class, in addition to my 6 science classes.  And when I say remedial, I do mean remedial - like we are still working (after 9 days) on regrouping with adding, in the 6th grade.  But, hopefully, we will master this, subtraction, and our multiplication tables.  I do have a few that are a bit speedier in this class and I wanted something cool for them to do. 

I have always liked the overpriced shakers with the toys inside that the kids hunt for, so I decided to make my own.  Every minute of my day must be academic, so my little shaker is all about multiplication.  Here is how I made my shaker out of ingredients that I had at the house!

So, without further ado, this is how you do it!

Rubbing Alcohol
Food Coloring
Recycled OJ Bottle
Multiplication cards
Cookie trays

So, first up, I dyed the rice.  I put about two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol in a gallon sized plastic bag and added 5 or so drops of food coloring.  (My mother hates when I don't measure - sorry mom!)  I mixed them up really well and added a bag of rice.  I tossed until it was completely colored. 
When it was the color I wanted, I dumped it on a cookie tray lined with foil to dry.  Because I am cheap environmentally friendly, I reused the same plastic bag for the next three colors.  I just rinsed and washed it out.  No need to waste bags on colored rice!

After it dried, I dumped it all in a new gallon bag and mixed it up.  I let mine dry overnight, partially  because I started this project really late at night, and part because I forgot to pull it in from the backyard Tennessee outdoor dryer before I went to bed.  I pulled my multiplication facts from Super Teacher Worksheets.  They have great printables and multiplication flash cards.  I wanted mine really small, so I printed them two to a page on cardstock.  I cut them out and trimmed off the equals sign and question mark. 

I added a little rice, a few cards, a little more rice, a few more cards, and did this until it is almost all the way full.  I left room at the top so that I could shake the cards around and there would be plenty of room for movement. 

The only thing I have left to finish to put a sticker or something on the front.  Despite my best efforts, I cannot seem to get the adhesive completely off.  I don't know what Kroger used - super glue?  I can't wait to use it in my classroom.  I am thinking about making one for each of my units in science with vocabulary words... what do you think?

Monday, August 20, 2012

S'mores For Teachers

One of my (many) jobs at school this year is to continue to help the new teachers to our school and the profession "adjust" to life in the public school system.  My primary coping method is providing snacks and cute treats in their mailbox.  (I am there for actual support too... for the record).  Over the summer, we had a beginning of the year kick-off where other teachers in the school came to visit and share expertise about various and sundry topics - the new writing program, special ed, TAP, etc. 

I know that each one of these lovely ladies came in on their spare time and it was certainly appreciated!  As a little token of our thanks, we handed out "S'more Kits" to all of our presenters.  They turned out super cute - with a tag that said "We Need S'More Teachers LikeYou!"

What do you think?

Here is the patten for the paper tag.  If you want the PDF, feel free to email me and I will send it off to you!
Have a fabulous week!  I'll be back with more tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

All Done!

This post is remarkably long overdue, but for the first time in two and a half years, I am finished with graduate school!  No more full-time teacher full-time student for me anymore!  I can't even imagine what I am going to do with - gasp - (extra?) time?  There are truly no words for how excited I am... the books I can read, that don't have to do with leadership strategies and I can finally spend my night times doing crafts while watching Burn Notice re-runs instead of writing papers with Burn Notice re-runs.  The possibilities are truly endless... maybe I'll even blog about a few!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Teacher Morale

So, going back to school is always a big bummer for me.  While I have been working really hard on my classroom and materials all summer, having to follow a regular schedule and wear dress pants really stinks.  I remember my first year of teaching.  It was at about 3:15 on the very first day with students, after I had jumped over months of hurdles to get this job, that I thought, "Holy Cannoli Batman, this is why teachers quit after one year."  I was exhausted, lost, and I had no idea what I was doing.  Then, I had a wonderful teacher mentor who put brownies in my box and told me I could do it.  Surprisingly, that is all it took and I powered on.  Five years later, I am the brownie baker and full-time teacher cheerleader.

So, for the first day of school, we put treats in the boxes of all of our new teachers.  We also hand-delivered one to our over-worked, super-loved guidance counselor!

The biggest surprise of this whole story is that I got the original idea from Pinterest, but my dad came up with the final detail for it - way to go Dad!  Getting touch with your inner-crafty :)

Without further ado, 7Up Lifting Ways to Start Your First Week of School...

A Treat In The Mailbox Makes A Happy Tuesday!
How cute is that!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Oh Pinterest

So, I'd like to blame Pinterest for my lack of blogging... I spend a little time browsing and feel like I have done something crafty... and I most definitely have not!  And then, my blog writing time is all up. 
I have been doing several little projects on the side to get ready for this school year.  I can't believe tomorrow is the first day of school - where did my summer go?  I swear they go faster each year!  But, I have a few snazzy things to show off... check back tomorrow for my new teacher treat for the first day of school!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

$5 Summer Decor...

So I made an awesome summer project for less that $5 and will take you less than 45 minutes?  I love my polka dot flower wreath that hangs on our front door welcoming guests!

Grab a old wreath, felt, a fat quarter and your glue gun!

Check out the tutorial tomorrow!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

I can't believe that I have been married to my Craft Rescue Hero for 4 years!  It seems that time goes by faster and faster!
Anyways, I wanted to do something special - with my own craft-tastic touch.... would you expect anything less?
I was pretty pleased with myself ... check out the Man Cave - decked out for the day!  (Excuse the doggie blanket and travel bag).  On each balloon string is a QR code with a special thing for us to do!

Happy Anniversary CRH!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cameo + Scrapbook = Awesome

So, last weekend I went on a Scrapbooking Retreat and it was 4 glorious days of me time, pictures, 12x12 paper, and the Cameo.  I really got to test some of its features.  I am not so hot at manipulating cuts and what not, but I did get a chance to test out the Silhouette pens.  I thought that they would be like ball-point pens... not so much.  They were more of a fancy ink - almost similar to a sharpie.   I don't know what type that is - chime in if you know!
Anyways, I made two pretty awesome pages using the pens.  They run about $10 for a set of 8 regular colors.   The metallics and glitters are the same price for 4 pens (I think - don't quote me on that)!

Back to the weekend, I was having a serious conundrum about what to do for a pirate page.  I had no cute pirate paper and I am not so talented as to cutely burning paper.  But I downloaded an image of a treasure map and had it printed on a piece of paper for my background.  I filled in some of empty space with chalks and I used Stickles to trace over the "x" for the magic spot!  The letters are a font I already had on my computer.  What do you think?

The other page I did was for a few random dates in July... of 1993.  I didn't have enough to make any full pages, but I made a calendar for the whole month and added in these few events and key family dates.  I really think that this was a great way to incorporate several family events in a less "random" way.  I did hand-write the dates and events.  I am sure the Cameo could do it, but at 3 in the morning, I was not up for that adventure.

I thought they both turned out fabulously and cannot wait to do more experimenting with it!

PS - Dear Alison,
If you move closer, you can come over and play with the Cameo anytime! K?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


So, I don't know if I have mentioned this before... but my Craft Rescue Hero is awesome!  And for our anniversary/birthday I got a Silhouette Cameo.  If you don't know about the Cameo, it is like a Cricut on steroids.  It is a die cutting machine that cuts paper, fabric, vinyl, temporary tattoo paper... practically anything!  I have been eyeballing it for months and I was thrilled when one came to the house just for me! 
I think my favorite part is the fonts and images section.  You can cut ANY, yes ANY font on your  computer!  So, I hopped straight onto Pinterest and downloaded fonts for hours.  And then I could cut them all out on my Cameo!  Fabulous!  Also, the images run for 99 cents.  That means if I want a picture of a giraffe, I have a bunch of choices and I get just what I want for less than a buck!  No more crazy expensive cartridges.  My little library is growing as we speak! 
The first project I made on my Silhouette was for my principal.  I am really a slave to my job :(
She wanted an invitation to our Staff Picnic and so I used the sweet powers of my Cameo, combined with my Cricut to make an invitation that I hope tells people to show up.... no guarantees!

The blue plaid background is a paper I had in my stash and I used the ric-rac image that was already in my free image collection.  (The Silhouette comes with 50 or so images in your account already).  This is a font I downloaded and I settled on it because it was bold and easy to read from a distance.  The watermelon slice came from a Cricut Cartridge and I made the seeds with an old fashioned hole punch!  I think it came out super cute- what do you all think?

Check back tomorrow for some scrapbook pages I did last weekend at a retreat with my fabulous Silhouette - thanks again CRH!
Lesley Paige

Monday, June 11, 2012

School's Out... Crafting is Back!

The school year has finally ended... and the two weeks of professional development has come to a screeching halt and crafting has commenced!

I finally feel like my creative juices are flowing and I just returned from a delightful long weekend of scrapbooking! 

I can't wait to share some of the delightful projects I have been working on (and not blogging)! 

Check back tomorrow for the first of many!
Lesley Paige