Saturday, November 3, 2012

November Currently

Oh, November, let me list how I love thee...
  • Fall is here! Leaves, cooler weather (hopefully), and crisp mornings.
  • Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars, pumpkin cookies...
  • Veteran's Day holiday
  • Thanksgiving
  • Thanksgiving break (we get the WHOLE week off!)
  • Sister's birthday
  • My birthday (Turning 30! When did that happen?!)
  • Going to Boston with my mom to celebrate my birthday
And lastly, because it's time for another Currently!

My roommate has been singing the new James Bond theme song's praises for a few weeks ago, and I finally heard it on the radio. Needless to say, I came home and downloaded it on my iTunes.  So good!!

I think every teacher out there will rejoice with me that our first holiday since Labor Day is almost here! Praise the Lord for a day of rest.

Yeah, Christmas shopping. As much as I shudder even thinking about Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving, I do like to get my shopping done early.  And online. Oh, how I love shopping online and avoiding the store madness!

Fall weather.  Oh how I want it to stick around! It has been gloriously cool in the morning and crisp in the afternoons. Until today. Now it's supposed to be 90F for the next three days. Really?! REALLY?!  I'm going on strike.  I bought a cute new coat, gosh darn it, and I want to wear it!

Canters.  Blessed Canters.  I need to go. Now.  Matzo Ball soup. Bagels.  Latkes. Corned Beef Sandwiches.  This is definitely a need, not a want!

Playing soundtracks in my classroom is one of my favorite things to do.  My kids LOVE How to Train Your Dragon, and so do I.  It is a fantastic soundtrack. Go get it. Now. I also love pure classical music. It's so calming.  Great for those writing benchmarks or concentrating times. 

Thanks so much for stopping by!  


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Verve's WCMD Challenge

I think we all know by now that I love me a good sketch. And when you mix that sketch with a challenge that included prizes, and the prizes are stamps, and the stamps are from one of my favorite stamp companies?  Well, you have there an absolute must of a challenge!

Enter Verve's World Card Making Day Challenge!  I know, WCMD was, oh, three or four weeks ago.  So,  I'm a little slow on the uptake.  I've had this sketch saved on my computer desktop for weeks now and finally figured out what to do with it. Darn circle in the middle and skinny flags had me running scared for a while there...  But no more!


I am so smitten with this card! I'm definitely going to hoard it until the right person comes along. ;)

I pulled out my Doily Details die for the background circle, Verve's Classy Label Die, and come circle nesties to make the center focal piece.  The flags were created with my MFT Fishtail Flags dies.  Now that I study this card, I went a little die cut happy!  Have I sung my praises of the wonderfulness of die cuts to you recently?!  How I love them!  I love not having to cut something out. Cutting out by hand is right up there on my "least-favorite-things-to-do" list.  And that loathing grows even more intense when it comes to mass producing.  I am definitely one of those people where if a die exists for the stamp set, I own it.  It's a must in my book. Priorities.

Phew! Back on topic!

I used some double sided clear tape along the three skinny flags and then glittered them all up.  They are so incredibly sparkly in real life!  Darn camera can't quite capture that sparkle.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Stamps- Verve: Thanks For Caring Free Stamp
Paper- Smokey Gray, Whisper White, Smokey Gray Patterned Paper Pack, Echo Park Everyday Eclectic dp
Ink- Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories- ribbon, glitter, PTI doily details die, Verve classy label die, nestabilities, jewels, MFT fishtail flag dies

Monday, October 22, 2012

Retro Sketch

Good morning!  I'm still relishing in the cooler fall weather that has finally decided to move into our neighborhood. Hooray for cold, drizzly mornings and cool afternoons with gorgeous puffy clouds in the sky!

We're diving into all things Halloween this week in our classroom. At least art-wise.  We're still studying bears (so fun!) but throwing in a little holiday-themed crafting and writing to help our classroom feel a little more festive.  We've also begun rehearsals for our all-school Fall Sing performance.  First grade is singing "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight?" LOVE that song! I remember listening to it and singing along with an old Dr. Demento tape that my family had.  And I just love hearing my little guys try and say "peculiar."  Too cute!

Therefore, I have a decidedly non-holiday themed card to share with you! Logical, right?!  I used this week's Retro Sketch and kept it pretty clean and simple.

I colored the little monster with my copic markers, added some glossy accents to his eyes, fussy cut it out, popped it up, and added some subtle shading with another copic marker around the edges.  Sweet and simple.  Some silk ribbon and a few little jewels gave it the perfect finishing touches.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps- TE: Love Monsters
Paper- Kraft, Whisper White, Echo Park Everyday Eclectic
Ink- Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories- ribbon, jewels, glossy accents, copic markers, dimensionals, MFT wonky scallop border die


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mojo Monday

Good morning! I have my Mojo Monday card to share with you today.  On a Sunday.

I am the queen of last minute card entries.

I went with a decidedly fall themed card and kept it less Halloween and more fall and Thanksgiving.  I mixed up a few packs of dp to pull some gorgeous rusty orange colors with some greens and browns.  Also, my Bountiful Harvest stamp set has been begging to be used.  I really only pull it out this time of year. I don't know why, but I have a really difficult time making holiday-themed cards when it is not the right time of year for that holiday.

I did some sponging on the circle to frame the image, went to town with my copic markers, and decided to add a little bit of glitter pen to the pumpkin for a very, very subtle shimmer.  A little fancy ribbon treatment, and a whole lot of sewing machine action and I called it finished.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps- Verve: Bountiful Harvest
Paper- Dark Chocolate, Rustic Vintage Cream, MME On the Bright Side, Simple Stories Fabulous
Ink- Chocolate Chip
Accessories- ribbon, tea dye stains, nestabilities, dimensionals, sewing machine, copic markers, glitter pen


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Viva la Verve

Good morning!

Can I just begin with the fact that I am so in love with the weather we are having today! Instead of the sun blaring through my window and already being in the 90s by ten o'clock, it is gloomy, heavy drizzling, water dripping from our roof... I am in heaven!!!

Fall, please stick around for good this time!

I loved this week's Viva la Verve sketch (still staring at the other two... Help!).  I couldn't get the idea of using a doily behind the middle panel out of my mind.  It's always a good day when a doily sneaks its way onto a card.

I popped up the oval sentiment and put a double bow of seam binding ribbon behind it.  I finished the card and felt it was missing a little something, so I added some bling around the oval to make the sentiment pop just a little bit more.  The sewing machine had a little dust blown off of it as well to add some stitching to the main panel.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Stamps- Verve: New Mercies
Paper- Sahara Sand, Whisper White, Lily Bee Design Buttercup dp
Ink- Basic Black
Accessories- seam binding ribbon, button, twine, Taylor's tiny twinkles, dimensionals, doily, scallop edge punch, sewing machine


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Deconstructed Sketch

Good evening!

I actually had a little time this evening to play along with this week's Deconstructed Sketch. I loved the flag in the middle. It spoke to me.   This sketch also gave me the an excuse to pull out some of my PTI flower dies as well.  And that is always a good thing. :)

I started with some Enchanted Evening cardstock and some MME dp (have I sung my love of of MME lately?  How I love thee, MME).  Though I do have some flag dies, I decided to hand cut this one to make it the exact size that I wanted.  I then embossed it with an old cuttlebug embossing folder.  These poor things are so underused.  Definitely need to play with them some more.

I sponged some tea dye stains around the frame of the sentiment and smushed up a few flowers to create the layered look.  And one can never go wrong with a little button/twine combo.  They make me happy.

In other news, I ran home to JL last weekend to try and catch the peak of the fall colors. I think I may have been a week early for the trees in our front yard, but just a thousand feet up, they were in full regalia!  The aspen trees were so GORGEOUS!  Yellows, red, oranges... Part of me wishes they were like this all year long. Except, then it wouldn't be as special and we wouldn't appreciate it as much.  Ok, how about they last a little more than a week or two. That's not asking for too much, is it?  Here are a few of my favorite shots from my camera escapades last Saturday.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Stamps- PTI: Signature Greetings
Paper- Enchanted Evening, Melon Berry, Vintage Cream, MME Indie Chic Citron dp
Ink- Chocolate Chip
Accessories- twine, nestabilities, tea dye stains, Taylor's Tiny Twinkles, dimensionals, ek success edge punch, PTI flower die, button, embossing folder

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sweet Sunday Sketch

Good morning.  I decided to finally play along with Karen's Sweet Sunday Sketch for the first time in I don't remember how long. *hangs head in shame*  I have so missed playing along!

I turned this week's sketch sideways to accommodate my sentiment. I really wanted to play with some fall colors and dp since the weather here in So Cal has finally decided to behave more like fall and less like summer. Thank goodness!  Now I'm in the mood for fall colors and decor.  It's hard to put up the fall leaves garland when it is 106F outside.

I stamped the sentiment in More Mustard, but then rolled the edges in some Really Rust to give it some dimension.  I wrapped some twine around two of the corners, added a little library clip and colored a few pearls with copic markers to match the cardstock.

I love fall!  I am heading up into the mountains to visit my parents this weekend.  At least that's what I told them. I'm really going for the fall colors peak.  Aspen trees in all their glory: oranges, yellows, reds...  I'm a happy girl.  That crisp air with a warm sun. Cold nights. Slippers! Oh, how I've missed wearing slippers!

Is it the weekend yet?

Stamps- PTI: Harvest Berries
Paper- Really Rust, Vintage Cream
Ink- More Mustard, Really Rust
Accessories- twine, library clip, tea dye stains, dimensionals, MFT fishtail flags die, pearls, copic markers

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Columbus Day

Did you celebrate Columbus Day in your classroom yesterday?  I am not ashamed to admit that I hadn't scheduled my Columbus Day activities until Friday. You know, the 12th. The day Columbus made landfall in the Bahamas.  That would be logical. But, noooo.  We had to go and celebrated it on the 8th. Really? I don't get it.  Friday still would have worked for those lucky people out there that actually get the day off from work to make a 3-day weekend..

But, alas, it was yesterday. Monday. Messing up all of my grandiose science plans for the week.  Oh, well.  Thankfully everything was prepped and ready to go, so I just rearranged my life scootched a few things around so that we could spend our last hour today learning about Columbus. Tuesday, it's back to science. And bears!!!  I love learning about bears. :)

Here's what we did. It was nothing earthy-shatteringly amazing, and we are only spending that one hour on it.


First, we read this little Scholastic reader. It's quick, simple, to the point, and perfectly age appropriate. One of my teammates has always loaned me hers in the past, but I figured it was about time I acquired my own copy so that I don't have to worry about needing the book at the same time she needs the book.  I got it used on amazon for about $3. Not too shabby.

Then, we watched a quick little video about Columbus on  Do you know about brainpopjr? Man I wish I had an actual subscription!  Someday.... But in the meantime, I make due with the free videos of the week. And they always have this one up an running for Columbus Day.  It's great. Go watch it for proof.  It talks about the good and bad regarding Columbus/explorers in a really kid friendly way. And it's available all week!

Finally, we made this little sailboat craft that I have had since I first started teaching. I think I got it out of an old Mailbox magazine. You know the ones that have reproducibles for each month? Pretty sure it came out of that. But I love it for being simple, fun, and something my kids can take home that day (after Johnny Appleseed, there is no room left on our walls for anything more).

Pink and purple.  I'm sure Columbus would have loved it. :)

Oh, and for those super speedy efficient workers, I had Jodi from Fun in First's Columbus Day Mini Book. My kids worked in small groups (as they finished their mini ship) completing the pages together.

Look how hard they're working!  
Columbus Day? Check.

Moving on to our bear study.  Have I mentioned that I love teaching about bears?  Hooray for animal adaptations!

Thanks for stopping by.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Retro Sketch

Good morning! I'm back with another card (finally found my long-lost mojo and some time to do something about it).  This card uses last week's Retro Sketch.

I went with a bit of a clean and simple approach to this card. I left off the layers and just went with the dp and the main image.  Though, the twine and button do add a little something to the card. I color the pears with my copics, did a bunch of tea dye staining, and popped the image way up.

Is it terrible to say that I love the way this card turned out? And it was so quick! Gotta love a good CAS card. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps- TE: Fruity Friends
Paper- Rustic Vintage Cream, Cosmo Cricket Social Club dp
Ink- Memento Rich Cocoa
Accessories- twine, button, corner rounder punch, copic markers, dimensionals, tea dye stains

Sunday, October 7, 2012

October Currently

When I started playing along with Oh Boy 4th Grade's Currentlys, I dreaded each month going by because it meant summer was slipping by. But I am so excited for this one to be October! We're 31 days into our school year, which freaked me out a bit on Thursday due to the realization that there are only 149 days of school left. And that's best case scenario. Depending on the election in November and the way Prop 30 goes, we may be taking 4 furlough days in the winter/spring. Which will shorten the year... Which means we need to get moving in first grade! Time is a-flyin'!

The Packers started their game out strong today!  Yay!  But, naturally, by the time I finished typing up my Currently, the Colts have scored two touchdowns and are now within one point of the Packers. Come on Pack! Bring back that defense!

The weather here in CA has FINALLY decided that summer just may be over.  We were 106F four days ago, and now we're in the 70s. This mountain girl is in heaven!  Thank you fall for finally showing up!

Have I mentioned yet that I am going to Australia over winter break. Well, just in case I haven't... I AM GOING TO AUSTRALIA OVER WINTER BREAK!!!  Yay!  A teacher-friend of mine and I are going together (finally found a travel buddy!) and I just booked my 3-dive package of the Great Barrier Reef last night.  So stinkin' excited!!!

Ah... Turning the oven on.  The thought finally doesn't bring shivers and nauseousness.  And I may have a can on pumpkin left over from last year.  As long as the expiration date is good, pumpkin bread is in my near future. Yum!

29 days. That's how long I lasted this year.  29 days until some kid took me down with a cold.  It's plaguing our staff and classes right now. I should have known that it would find me eventually.  Now to be rid of it. And quickly.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Go Pack Go!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mojo Monday

Good afternoon. I'm stopping in with a last minute Mojo Monday card. I've been nailed with a plague of a cold by one of my munchkins, so it is back to bed with me.  I'm giving myself the gift of the ultimate lazy weekend to nip this thing in the bud before Monday rolls around again.

A little card making always makes the lazy day go faster. :)

I stuck with the sketch, adding some tiny twinkles around the large circle for a bit of sparkle.  It's a bit of a spring colored card, isn't it?  Huh.  I may need to pull out some fall colored dp for the next few cards.  Yay fall!

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps- Verve: Joyful Blooms
Paper-Kraft, Spring Moss, Whisper White, Echo Park: Everyday Eclectic dp
Ink- Chocolate Chip
Accessories- ribbon, nestabilities, Taylor's tiny twinkles, MFT Fishtail Flags die, tea dye stains

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Johnny Appleseed

Phew! We are in the thick of learning, writing, reading, graphing, and crafting about Johnny Appleseed. We're a week late, I know.  My first grade team usually celebrates Johnny Appleseed Day on a Friday, usually the Friday of his birthday. But, we had a lovely awards ceremony that day. And we didn't want to have to skimp on all of the apple-eating fun, so we bumped it back a week.

I had a blast crafting and writing away with A Cupcake For the Teacher's Johnny Appleseed unit.  Those little "Johnnys" are too cute!  We also became scientists with Hadar's Apple Graphs and Glyphs.  My kids were obsessed with the sink or float activities!  We didn't make it to the glyph because we were having too much fun with other things. 

I am so obsessed in love with TPT!  I am not a hugely creative person when it comes to inventing crafts, etc. But I am an amazing rule follower. You show me something and I can do it!  Thus why I also love teaching.  I love the collaboration  That great ideas aren't kept a secret.  That we're all working toward a common goal and will do about anything to help ourselves and our students reach that goal.

Well, we also made a little apple anchor chart and then turned it into a tree map.  This was inspired by somebody out there in the blog world, but I accidentally deleted your link in my favorites! Eek! If if was you, THANK YOU and make sure to let me know. :)

We brainstormed describing words (I mentioned the word "adjectives," but we're going to save that conversation for a little later in the year. For now, describing words works.) and then I had my students work in pairs to sort the words onto their tree maps.  They had no problems and had a blast!  Hooray for categorizing and classifying!

Here is a little tree map freebie to stash away until next year.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mojo Monday

Good morning! This is the last planned post that I have ready until I return to So Cal on either Sunday or Tuesday (long story).

I  had to play along with this week's Mojo Monday sketch. Firstly, because I love it! All those panels gave me a chance to keep playing with some of my new dp (especially that wood grain chevron!).  And secondly, because I have a little love of tilted panels. I love the little tweak on visual appeal they create.

I know. I'm weird.

I did a ton of sewing on this card, stamped two of the heart images from Hearts on Fire, and cut out and popped up the center heart.  Oh, and I am in love with this color combo.  I think I'm in love with every color combo these days, lol!

My sister is heading over the mountains from Portland to come hang out for a day or two while I'm in the state. I'm so excited to see her!  We have some plans to do some serious "beaching" and perhaps float the river.  Sounds great to me!

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps- Verve: Hearts on Fires, Small Phrases
Paper- Kraft, Whisper White, Echo Park Everyday Eclectic dp
Ink- More Mustard, Sage Shadow
Accessories- ribbon, nestabilities, dimensionals, sewing machine

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How Do I Plan?

There is a wonderful Linky party as well as a giveaway going on found over on Mrs. Stanford's blog.  It's all bout how we complete our planning.


I have to admit that I am completely old fashioned with how I go about creating me lesson plans. 

I hand write them. With a pencil.

There is just something wonderful about seeing a blank week page filled in with all those pencil marks.  They make me happy.  I love watching my plan book begin the year clean and empty and finish the year scarred and full.

My favorite plan book is always free!  I have always used Lakeshore's plan book and have already grabbed mine for this year.

As to how and when I plan, that is almost always done on Friday afternoons.  We have "early out" day every Friday, where school ends about an hour earlier than the rest of the week.  We cannot depart school early, but rather are expected to use that time for planning, prep work, and meeting with our teams. 

I love Fridays!

I usually sit down Friday afternoon with my past year's plan book and my current plan book to figure out the week/weeks ahead.  I love having the past year's book so that I don't have to reinvent the wheel.  It gives me an idea about how I paced things, when things got moved around, when special events might be for our grade level, etc. 

I am meticulous about writing down the pages numbers, etc, of any teacher's edition and/ or student edition.  The last thing I want when in the middle of a lesson is to waste time searching for a page.  I am overly or gazed about those things.  But it's great for those last-minute subs!

In addition to my plan books, I pull out any TEs that I may need to reference and all documents, copies, cut up construction paper, picture books that go with the lessons that I may need.  These all go into day of the week folders according to which day I have assigned them.  I love being able to walk in on Monday and just go.  No thinking or worrying about what I am going to fill that random 30 minutes with, or what in the world I am doing during reading groups in 5 minutes.

I wish I had pictures of my folders.  I'll have to snap some when I am back in my classroom next week.
Well, that's all for me today.Thanks for stopping by!