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