Sunday, August 12, 2012

Strategies for Good Readers Poster

I recently decided that I would create a page for my teacher posts.  That was fine, but it wasn't creating them as separate posts.  I want to have a "pin it" button per post, as opposed to per page.  So, I'm just going to merge my school makings with my home makings.  They are both "makings," right?

This summer I was lucky enough to go to an Interactive Reading and Notetaking workshop with some co-workers.  We attended the general one last year, but this one was specified for reading.  There is a focus on applying strategies, which is a tested skill in 7th grade.  The given strategies list was a blend between the creator of Interactive Reading and Notetaking's work and the research from Mosaic of Thought by S. Zimmerman and E. Keene.  I added a few things here or there.  The color is one thing; everything needs a little color!  You can find a copy at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Teacher Bag

If you've been following me for a while, you may remember a bag I made 2 years ago. It was lined up to be my new teacher bag.  I like it, but it just doesn't quite fit all of my crapola that I lug back and forth.  So, as embarrassing as it is, I went back to using a free tote that I had gotten from the Farm Bureau.  I have been on the look out for a boxed bottom, deep, over-the-shoulder bag that had lots of pockets. I don't think that's too much to ask for, but it seems that I was too picky.  While browsing Pinterest, (what else?) I found this bag that became my "pinspiration".  This purse was too small, but I loved the extra pockets created by sewing the straps through the two layers.  So, the hubs came with me to JoAnn and we found the perfect fabrics.  He was a great sounding board for my fabric hunt, and he even had some helpful suggestions! :)

I found the main fabric first, and then based everything else from it.  It has all of my favorite colors in it: purple, mustard yellow, and gray. I chose a purple for the straps, but the best match I could find was in fat quarters.  I did have to piece together 4 inch strips, but it is not that noticeable. I liked how the small pattern for the yellow and gray layer matched with the large print.  You can't see it from this angle, but I chose a lining that was from the same designer as the main fabric.

The two layers create a pocket, and the straps split the large pocket into three sections.  This above picture shows that.  These tall pockets will be perfect for my water bottle, and travel coffee cup.  Since the pockets are so deep, I didn't want to do that on the other side.
So instead, I didn't split the large pocket into three, but left it as one big section.  This will be my iPad pocket.  I also have a folder that just stays in my bag at all times. It's meant to shuttle non-grading papers back and forth.  I think my owl folder will live in this skinny pocket, too. 
Here is the lining.  The original pattern does not call for a different lining fabric.  I improvised because I couldn't leave this perfect match at the store! I also added my own little pocket to the pattern.  Since the outside ones are so deep, I wanted a smaller, shallower pocket for pens, phone, chapstick, etc.

I am excited to use it! It's all cotton and interfacing, so it's washable.  That's important, because I am that teacher that spills coffee in my bag and on my students' papers.  I've got to have something to throw in the wash when I make a mess. And, since it's so deep, I will be able to rest my lunchbox on top of all the folders, laptop, and things.
My quality control employees gave it a thorough investigation, and it passed the inspection.

What bag do you use for your school things? What do you take home everyday?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

an Apron for Gretchen

My long-time friend Gretchen recently got married.  She's my best Etsy customer, so of course I had to make her a present.  I used my usual apron pattern (Butterick 5125).  I also made a matching pot holder. :)

a Bib for Lucas

Our friends Brooke and Rich recently adopted a precious baby boy. I made him a tuxedo bib. I made my sad Etsy boyfriend relive a previous modeling experience and model this tux bib.  (And both boys in this picture look sad, so they are both my boyfriends.)

Gryffindor Apron for Katherine

I have a lot of back-logged posts.  Where does the time go?  Pinterest is one answer. Sleep is another. 

I was inspired to make this apron from a pin I found.  I bought the iron-on patches from Ebay to include, along with some ribbon and bias tape.  Sis loved it! :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor~

Bleach T-Shirt


Is anyone else thrilled that the Hunger Games movie comes out tomorrow?  That's a silly question, because it is all over the media.  Being an English teacher, I'm extra excited that a fabulous book is being turned into a popular movie.  My students have been talking about it all week, and we have certainly tried to play it up.  Our school librarian has done daily HG trivia in anticipation for the movie.  Tomorrow, I'm giving out tiny printed mockingjay pins with safety pins.  We're going to wear our pins proudly.  And of course, never wanting to pass up an opportunity to make a t-shirt, I made my own festive garb for the premier.  Dan has already pleaded, "Don't be that person and wear the clothes to the movie."  Sorry, babe.  I missed all my chances to dress up like a wizard at the Harry Potter movies.  I can't pass up this chance!

Anyway, to talk about the book, and then on to the craft in paragraph 3.  If you haven't read it yet, put down your computer and go to your local library and check it out.  The three books are completely worth the week it will take to read them.  Seriously.  They are such enthralling reads, you won't put them down until you've blazed through all of them.   Here is the synopsis from Amazon:  "In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol   surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games," a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed."  If you are thinking that it sounds a little violent, you are right.  The violence is set in the story line, and it's not just gore for the sake of gore.  You fall in love with Peeta, admire Katniss, swoon for Gale, curse at Haymitch, and weep for Rue.

So, I made a shirt to wear to school on Friday.  I really enjoyed bleaching my first shirt, so I chose that method.  I cheated and printed a picture, and cut out a stencil.  I traced the cut-out mockingjay pin silhouette with chalk.  I bleached it in three stages.  The first thing I did was bleach the outer circle.  I squirted on the bleach with the pen, and then used a cheap, plastic-bristle water color paintbrush.  I painted the bleach in the circle.  Since the layer of bleach was so thin, the shirt color changed before my eyes.  I chose an army green color to represent Katniss' war, as well as the bleached color.  The bleach turned the shirt a rust color.  Perfect!

Since it dyed so quickly, I rinsed it before I painted in the center.  I didn't want the ring to get too bright.  So round 2 was bleaching out the center.   That was pretty easy.  I did have to retrace the center with chalk since it washed out with round 1, so I was glad I didn't throw my stencil away.

Round three was adding the depth.  I bleached out the highlighted places.  This time I actually drew it.  I laid it on pretty thick, and some areas thicker than others.  I tried to blend the bleach on the wings from heavy to no bleach.  I was very nervous in this stage.  I knew it looked good in stages 1 & 2, so it was a risk.  And besides my Pico cat jumping on the wet bleach and smearing the top, I LOVE how it turned out.  It looks rustic and crude in a way, but that description fits the arena.

"May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor."

**Picture from Google.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Vera Copy ~ Lunchbox

My friend Kristin has a cute Vera lunchbox that I often envy while we eat.  I made a lunchbox a while ago, but the pattern was a lot bigger than I thought, and it turned out a little big.  (I have not posted that project, because there are too many flaws.  Maybe one day.)  So, I had a shape in mind, and I sketched a picture.  I figured out all of the measurements, and even though I doubted my math a couple times, it came together perfectly.  That happens so infrequently, I have to boast when it does!  

I used my new walking foot from mom2 to quilt the outer fabric to the inner fabric with the thermal lining in it.  It was so nice!  With a standard foot, the fabric puckers as it pulls the two pieces.  The dual foot didn't pull at all, and I didn't even have to pin the fabric together!  It was like magic! :)

I put a zipper in it, a pocket in the back, some piping, and a vinyl name-tag window.  I LOVE how it turned out.  There is not one thing I would change. It took a long time to cut, fuse, quilt, and sew, but all the details make it well worth it.

 Here is the lining.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Take Thatsy!

Harry Potter Copy-cat Jewelry

So on my new favorite website, Pinterest, I found this horcrux necklace.  It was on Etsy for around $70.  Well I loved the idea, but of course I didn't want to spend that much money!
Pinned Image

Above is my inspiration for my own $10 version.  It looks less eclectic, but I think it's a good substitute.  I used two cheap charm websites to compile my horcruxes and Harry Potter-themed necklaces.

I also made a silver one, which is just general objects related to the series.

Each was less than $10, which includes the 30 inch chain!  Take that, overpriced Etsy listing!

Shoulder Bag Updates

Here are some more bags I've made for Etsy or presents.  Katherine got the teal and navy one.  The rest are on, or will be on Etsy soon!

Dressform Cover

I made a zippered cover to replace the plastic bag that was protecting my dressform.  I think it's much classier than it's plastic predecessor.  I have a lot of this gray, decor weight fabric that I used (Thanks, Kat!), so I think I'm also going to make a sewing machine carrying case, and some other traveling accessories.  That's in the more distant future, but it would be nice to have a matching set.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas Decorations

Quilted Table Square

This Christmas I made a table square.  I don't have many decorations for Christmas, and I thought my table needed some attention.  I got some red and white fabric on clearance at JoAnn.  The back is green.  It's got fleece on the inside, so I can use it as a hot pad.  It's about 18" by 18".

It's nothing fancy, but just something to liven up the house.