Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tutorial: Ornament Wreath

I made an ornament wreath for our newly painted house.  I just love it...both the house paint and the wreath.  The wreath took about 15-20 minutes to create and I can make at least 1 more wreath with the leftover supplies.
Here is a quick tutorial:
*About 32" Multi-purpose wire (I used 16 gauge, but its a little too thin.  20 gauge would be better. I got this from Lowes)
*70-80 ornaments of all sizes (I used half a set of 101 piece set Martha Stewart Living Shatter-Resistant Ornaments from Lowes and 20 Holiday Time mini shatter-proof ornaments from Walmart)
*15-20 inches of 1" width ribbon
*Stocking charm letter (from Walmart)
*Wire cutters
*Needle nose pliers

1. Cut wire to 32". Use pliers to make a loop at one end of the wire. This works as a stop and part of the closure.
2. Begin threading ornaments onto the wire. I used 2-3 big ornaments then a mini one to fill the gaps.
3. Keep threading until about 1-1/2" of wire is left.
4. Use the pliers to hook the end through the loop to create a circle. Crimp the wire closed.
5. Wrap the ribbon around the closure.
6. Attach the letter charm.
7. Tie a bow and hang the gorgeous wreath on the door.

Easy peasy. This wreath is a great last-minute gift, hostess gift or it-looks-like-you-spent-all-day-making-this gift. The whole thing cost me about $30 and I have enough wire and big ornaments to make at least one more wreath.
I just love this wreath. It makes our front porch festive and welcoming. I smile each time i see it. =]

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Daily 5 has me super excited!

The Daily Five: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary GradesThe Daily Five: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades by Gail Boushey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. That's all I can say. Wow.

First, I just read a professional development book in a few hours. Second, it was awesome! I am very interested in putting the Daily 5 into practice this school year. I do or have done most elements of the process, but not all at the same time and not with the population of students I have now.

I quickly and deeply related with their stories of assigning (and grading) mounds of busy work, then not even being able to have a successful, uninterrupted small group. I spent WAY too much time creating and managing center activities. Days, months, years...just to do it again the next year...and hate it. There. I said it. I am a primary grade teacher and I HATE CENTERS!

The Daily 5 seems right in line with Common Core standards (which we have adopted this year) and fosters independence. I love that students have choice, learn to work independently and take stock in their own and their classmates learning.

My favorite, and I am sure will be the most used, section of The Daily 5 is the appendix. The authors included easy to follow charts for launching each component and an idea for how te first several weeks of training/practice could play out.

The Daily 5 is simple and efficent. The research base is sound and strong. I cannot wait to start implementing The Daily 5. This may be my most productive year yet! =]

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 19, 2012

FO: Spring Ruffle Dress from Made by Rae and Sew Mama Sew

{Spring Ruffle Top lengthened to a dress}
I finally finished my second go at the Spring Ruffle Top. This time I lengthened the pattern to dress size. I included the ruffle sleeves and a ruffle around the bottom hem. The fabric is some kind of blend. It came in a big box Papa Gino got at a flea market. Yea, free dress! It is the perfect spring dress. Nice and light with lots of color. =]

Friday, March 9, 2012

FO: Simplicity 2243

Fabric purchased at fabric.com. Its a cotton jersey knit. I didn't check the stretch and cut the fabric wrong, but that was all me. I still love the dress.

My full review is on PatternReview.com.

FO: Simplicity 2209 Lisette Passport Dress

I cannot say enough good things about this pattern from Lisette for Simplicity. It was one of the BEST commercial patterns I have ever sewn. Everything was simple and straight-forward from cutting the pattern pieces, to making small modifications, to actually sewing the dress.

I made it a few weeks ago for a special night out with my mom and grandma. We went to a dinner theater together. The whole night was really great.

The dress is really comfortable and versitile. I ended up lining the bodice and not using the interfacing pieces. The bodice fabric I chose was a bit see through and I really wanted a slip-it-on-and-go dress. Wanted, hell. I need that with as often as I run late in the mornings.

More details in my review at Patternreview.com.

Photos of Simpicity 2209: Lisette Passport Dress and Jacket ~ View B for dress

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fabric + Elmers Glue + First Graders = A whole lotta fun

I teach first grade. I love it. Each month a book is chosen for a school-wide "Book of the Month". We read it several times, do an activity and display it in the classroom. This month was my class's turn to display in the main hallway. I know...exciting! This month's book is Abuela by Arthur Dorros and illustrated by Elisa Kleven.

It's hard to tell from this picture, but the illustrator used fabric and trims in her pictures. The grandmother's purse is a piece of lace, the top of the building on the lower right is ribbon, etc. Scraps of fabrics...be still my heart! I know where to get a few (bazillion) fabric scraps.

It took 3 fabric loving sessions, but the kids made pictures of themselves and their grandmas (Abuela in Spanish) or grandpas doing something special.

I present the masterpieces: