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!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sweet Sunday Sketch

I am escaping the extreme heat of Southern California and trading it for some mid 80s in Oregon today! Thank goodness!  We're supposed to hit 109F here in So Cal by Saturday. So, SO glad I am going to miss that!

In honor of my departure from the heat this morning, I have a little card using last week's Sweet Sunday Sketch to share with you!  I have to admit that I stared at this one for a while with absolutely no inspiration.  That big square image panel through me for a loop.

I finally realized I could cheat and put an image and a sentiment! Phew!

I pulled out these adorable Love Monsters from Taylored Expressions. I just love these little guys!  I spent some quality time with my copics coloring these little guys, and added some glossy accents to their eyes for a little dimension.  I separated the image from the sentiment with some baker's twine and finished the card off with a button/twine bow combo.

I'm off to visit my amazing best friend and my sister is going to pop over for a visit while I'm up there as well!   It's going to be an amazing week!

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps- TE: Love Monsters
Paper- Smoky Shadow, Whisper White, Pure Poppy, MME Six By Six Darling Dear
Ink- Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories- baker's twine, copics, button, MFT Tag Die, glossy accents, dimensionals, slot punch

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Room and The Club

Good afternoon!

I finally was able to get back into my classroom today. I ended not going in yesterday as I had succumbed to exhaustion from the weekend.  And we were going to Club 33 in the afternoon/evening.

I packed up my car with the accumulated school "stuff" and drove down to my school, grabbed my keys from the office, unlocked my room, went to turn the AC on, and that's it.


The AC in my classroom refused to come on.  As in, the entire control panel/thermostat thinga-ma-jig was completely blank and refused to do anything! And it is 104F today!

Now, they do shut the air off during the summer at our school, so I thought maybe that was the problem.  A quick call to the front office revealed that all air had been turned on yesterday.  A quick trip to a classroom next door where another teacher was working revealed that their air was working just fine.

But my room? Nothing.  Nada.

It literally was about 100F in my room.

Not gonna work.

I finished unloading my car into my room (I did haul it down there, after all), called the office a second time to tell them that there was no way I could stay and work today, and the booked it out of there.

It was a rather disappointing afternoon.

Fortunately,  my room wasn't in the complete shambles that I was anticipating.

Here's what I saw when I walked in the door:

Not bad, eh?!

We hired our own janitor to deep clean our rooms this summer instead of an outside company. Bless his heart, he put my room back the way he remembered it! And it's pretty darn close!  I went in fully expecting to find desks and chairs all stacked in a corner, all my shelves relocated, etc.  You know, normal.  What I found was wonderful!  Most of the work I expected to do today was already done.

I just need to do some fine tuning of the desks (switch things around a little bit), put my table back in the front, and fix the listening work station table. Not too shabby!

And thank goodness. Because it was 100 degrees inside and outside of my room. Ugh.

Then, I came home and collapsed underneath the air conditioner from overheating.  I may or may not have taken nap while under the AC as well...

I won't be back into my room until next week sometime. Probably Wednesday-ish.  And school starts the following week.  This was not the head start I was hoping for before flying out to Oregon tomorrow morning.  But, there is still time.  It's not panic mode yet.

I leave you with a few pictures from our trip to Club 33 yesterday.  It was AMAZING!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fall to Layout

What started as a clean and simple card ended up being a bit...well...more. Oops!  But I love how it turned out!  Thanks Fall to Layout!

I wasn't so sure about this sketch at first, but after a bit of meddling, I figured I could make it work.  Meddling and dp, that is. :)

My addiction to dp is bordering on the crazy level at the moment. Stamp a background? What? White space? What's that?  Though, I still adore a good clean and simple card.

I pulled out some more MME dp.  This one just happens to come from a Six by Six pad called A Beautiful Life.  Ah, purples and greens.  Quick quiz answer:  Those are the two colors I tell me kiddos (a million times each year) are my favorite colors.  Why narrow it down to one?

Ok. Brag moment coming up.  Consider yourselves warned.  Every heard of this place?

For those "in the know," I understand that you are dying of jealousy at this very moment.

For those of you whom are totally confused as to why you need to be jealous at this moment (and, believe me, you do!) I am one of the rare few that will be visiting Club 33 at Disneyland this evening.  Club 33 is a super exclusive club inside of Disneyland and located over New Orleans Square.  You must have a club membership to enter (and they average around $50,000/year! Eek!) and there is a waiting list of around 30 years for said membership.

Needless to say, I never thought this humble little elementary teacher would ever have the opportunity to visit Club 33.  Ever.  Until a few months ago when a relative of mine mentioned that he had "connections."  Score!  Therefore, this evening my roommate, cousin, his wife, aunt, uncle, and myself will be heading down to Disneyland simply to have dinner and drinks in this amazing setting!

And there most definitely is a dress code.  No shorts or jeans going on here.  This may be the first time I wear a skirt or slacks to Disneyland. And the last.  Because, people, this really, truly, is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

So excited!!!

This little door (which isn't ornate or made to stand out in any way), which has always been closed to me (it's a key card entry) will welcome me inside!

For those wondering where in the world this "secret club" inside Disneyland is located, it's in New Orleans Square. The door is just to the right of the Blue Bayou.  The club is mostly upstairs covering most of the square.

To help some of the daytime hours pass before it is time to depart for Disneyland, I am headed into my classroom this morning to assess the cleaning damage and start the organization process.  And to dump off the few boxes of supplies I have accumulated over the last few weeks.

I know I've said this before, but I love these undisturbed days and hours of working in my classroom.  I feel so productive getting ahead (if that's even possible) and prepping for the new students!  And I fully plan on giving the school laminator a workout today.  I foresee more cutting things out in my very near future... Yay?

Thanks for stopping by today!  And it's alright to be jealous.  I would be! :)

Stamps- PTI: Harvest Berries, Mega Mixed Messages
Paper- Plum Pudding, Rustic Vintage Cream, MME Six By Six "A Beautiful Life"
Ink- Plum Pudding, Old Olive
Accessories- twine, Taylor's Tiny Twinkles, dimensionals, Harvest Berries die

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Viva la Verve

Good morning!  It's Sunday and my first thought today was, "Yay! I get to go work in my classroom tomorrow!"

Is something wrong with me?  It's summer. I love summer. I love my summer break.  But I also love the unobstructed time to just work in my classroom. No kids. No deadlines (well, not of the impending doom kind).  Just the time to work. And prep. And plan.  And bring all of those ideas and inspirations into reality.

Please tell me I am not the only one out there that feels this way.  So many of my team and staff are the, "They're not paying me, and, therefore, I am not going in until the last possible moment" variety.  I am more of the "I need to organize and get ready to maintain my sanity" variety.  Because we all know that the moment school starts, we're behind.  And you never catch up. As hard as you try.  It's impossible.

Enough school talk.  On to the card.

I played along with this week's Viva la Verve sketch.  It's the first of the new month.  And I am determined, DETERMINED to finish the whole month's worth of sketches.  It's a bit on the sad side that I cannot remember the last time I finished all four or five sketches in the month.  I used to never miss one.  Why does life get in the way of stamping?!

As for the card, I pulled out my new MME dp once more, along with a doily (I always forget to use these things!), and then through in some matching brads at the last minute.

Enjoy your Sunday! And thanks for stopping by!

Stamps- Verve: Meditations
Paper- Groovy Guava, Whisper White, MME Indie Chic "Citron" dp
Ink- Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories- ribbon, doily, sewing machine, dimensionals, brads

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Deconstructed Sketch

Good morning! I'm back again with another card. Three in a row feels like such an accomplishment after the frenetic-ness of this year so far.  And to top it all off, this card is in on time!  As in, early.  As in, there are still quite a few more days before submissions close.  Yay me!

I pulled out yet some more new dp from the box that arrived on my porch.  This may be my new all-time favorite. I mean, look at those colors and patterns.  I want to use it all up. I want to hoard it.  We'll see which one wins. :)

I used this week's Deconstructed Sketch for this card.  I decided to run the ribbon across the whole card instead of just the center panel.  I also added a few little black jewels to tie the black in all together.  The sentiment is from Papertrey's free set from their Stamp-a-Faire day.  Let's just say I've been stalling and stalling on my PTI order so that I would qualify to receive this set for free!

I'm off to donuts for breakfast this morning.  A dear friend (and Captain in the Army) is finally home after serving for a full year in Afghanistan.  Amen!  It is so wonderful to know that she is home, and safe, and that I can hug her again.  Plus, I owe her a donut.  We have been talking about this donut date for ages!  One maple bar donut, coming right up. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps- PTI: Natural Beauties
Paper- Kraft, Black, My Mind's Eye Indie Chic "Citron"
Ink- Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories- ribbon, jewels, nestabilities, dimensionals

Friday, August 3, 2012

August Currently

I simply cannot believe it is August already.  Where does the summer go?  And next year our district is trying to have school start earlier.  EARLIER?!  You know what that means.  Short summer! Ack!  And lots of sweaty kiddos running around in the 100F+ temperatures.  Sounds lovely. Not so much.

I am linking up once more with Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade for this month's Currently. I am quickly becoming addicted to these.

Firstly, mockingbirds.  Is it just me, but every time I think "mockingbird" I really hear "mockingjay" in my head... Just sayin'.  How many days until the Blu Ray comes out?!

Secondly, (my students should take note of my awesome use of transition words!) I wish there was a laminating fairy that would come and cut out the 100 yards of laminating I have done this summer.

Thirdly, does your school take your keys for the summer?  Mine does. I am not sure if this is good or bad, lol.  Good in the aspect of it forces me to truly take a summer break (working at home creating centers counts as summer break, right?!).  Bad because there are so many tools and resources in my classroom (hello industrial paper cutter) that I don't have access to!  Frustrating!  But we will be able to get back in starting Monday (yay!).

Ah, non-dairy frozen yogurt.  I know. Say what?  See, little 'ol me is not lactose intolerant. I'm allergic to dairy.  Crazy.  Therefore, any frozen yogurt place that features a non-dairy flavor each week is a winner in my book!  Their flavor this week is strawberry. I may buy a pint. Or a gallon.

B2S Must Haves:
  • Seriously. There is something that makes me so inexplicably happy about seeing all those boxes of unused crayons, markers that all have matching lids, construction paper all neatly stacked in ascending color order, mostly empty bulletin boards just waiting to be filled, books neatly in the library, folders that are not all wrinkled, warped, torn, mended, torn again...  
  • How have I lived without a little laminator all my life?  This little baby has had a serious work out this summer.  But now I'm back to the cutting everything out...  Hmmm...
  • I always, always MUST have a new back-to-school outfit.  I think it's a tradition that stems from my childhood.  You know, when you save that new dress/skirt/shirt for the first day?!  I have a dress from Shabby Apple that I've been hoarding for about a month now.  I stare at it as I walk by the closet.  Dreaming of the first time I'll wear it (other than trying it on).  It makes me smile! Every time. 
Well, that's all from me today.  And kudos to you if you survived this long post.  Apparently I am in a chatty mood today.

Ugh, I just noticed a typo in my Currently, too.  If you didn't notice it, good! Don't go back and find it!  If you did notice it...  Well, ignore it. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Mojo Monday

Ah, thank goodness for Mojo Monday.

And new dp.  And big, fat ribbon. And jewels.

They make me so happy. :)

This quick little card used this week's Mojo Monday sketch. It's square or circle week.  Let's just say I didn't have to think too hard about which one I was going to do.  Hello beautiful corners!  I pulled out some more of the new dp that arrived on my porch this week.  This new stack is from Echo Park and I am smitten.  I mean, really.  Look at that scalloped dp!! Love!  I want to use it all, and yet I want to hoard it so that I never run out.  

I die cut and stamped a few flowers from Verve's Joyful Blooms and the sentiment came from another Verve set. Mix and match!  I went a little crazy with the jewels and my copics to help them be just the right shades. But I love the sparkle and pop they give the card.  And I haven't even mentioned the woodgrain chevron dp yet.  Swoon!

That's all for today.  Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps- Verve: Joyful Blooms, Thankful Accents
Paper- Aqua Mist, Soft Suede, Whisper White, Echo Park Everyday Eclectic dp
Ink- Soft Suede, Aqua Mist, Regal Rose
Accessories- ribbon, jewels, copic markers, nestabilities, tea dye stains

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Retro Sketch

Goodness the weeks pass by quickly during the summer! Being August, the official countdown until school begins is officially on.  Twenty-one days.  How is that possible?  Don't get me wrong. I am so excited for the new school year and all of its potential (and amazing new ideas!), but I love me some summer break.  And the first graders are so small at the beginning of the year.

In the land of exciting news, I broke down and purchased a new desktop computer this week.  My "old" computer was about 8 years old and definitely acted 8 years old.  Oi.  So slow! I kept putting the purchase off thinking that I could deal with a slow computer. But it was torture! It literally took 60 minutes just to download a photo, edit, upload to blogger, and publish. Crazy time waster!  I finally threw in the towel and got me a fast, spiffy, and did I mention FAST computer. It's amazing!  I click a button and the window instantly pops up. No more waiting 5 minutes, or rebooting because it's so bogged down. Pure speed!

I finally sat down to stamp today and decided to play along with last week's Retro Sketch. Yes. I am submitting it at the last moment. Again.  Sheesh.  One of these days I will get my act together and actually finish the sketch in the first half of the week instead of on the last day.

In other exciting news, I received some gorgeous new dp in the mail a few days ago.  I am so in love with a few of the lines!  First up was Authentique's new line: Lively.  Pinks and reds and browns and greens and oranges (which are the colors of my living room and bedroom!)?  Be still my heart!

I pulled out one of my favorite sheets (the floral I used in the background.... Why did I cover this gorgeous paper up?!) and built the card around it.  Sigh.  I'm in love with this paper.  Do they make it in wallpaper? Can you imagine an accent wall in a room?  It would be amazing!

OK. Back on track here.

I took one of the verses from Verve's New Mercies set (love this set, too!), stamped off the branch image, added a scalloped border, and a ribbon/button/twine combo.  Sweet, simple, and beautiful.  And done.  In time.  For once.

In other news, there are some great give-aways going on in teacher blogland!  Make sure to check out some of these amazing gals!

Angie over at Rulin' the Roost is giving away an amazing gift certificate to Vistaprint!  
And over at Finally in First, she is having a huge giveaway to celebrate having 2,000 followers!  Goodness, that's a lot of people!

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps- Verve: New Mercies
Paper- Dark Chocolate, Whisper White, Authentique: Lively
Ink- Chocolate chip, Kiwi Kiss 
Accessories- ribbon, button, twine, scallop edge punch