Monday, January 31, 2011

Blog Sharing Time!

Hey, all!

In the past, I've participated in a couple of Blog Share events. The basic gist is this: a blogger decides to host a blog share; people sign up to participate; those bloggers send their secret blog share posts to the host; the host distributes the posts anonymously to all the participants; everyone posts their anonymous guest's post on the day of the Blog Share. This round is hosted by the ever-lovely -R- @ And You Know What Else.

Posts in the past have been dark secrets, funny stories, spousal worries, spousal vows, promises, fears, and hopes. The caliber of writing is phenomenal. Not to be missed.

I'm not allowed to tell any of my readers which anonymous blog is mine. Hence: anonymous. If you think you know which one is mine, DON'T TELL! That ruins the fun and makes it more difficult for bloggers to want to participate in the future.

I'll be receiving my anonymous guest post on either Feb 1st or 2nd, and will have it posted by the evening of the 2nd. I can't wait!

When I receive the guest post, I'll also get a list of all of the Blog Share participants, which I'll most definitely share. I invite all of my readers, especially those new to my blog, to visit the others. There are some amazing bloggers out there!

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Sketches

I found this blog, Blue Chair Diary, that takes contributions every Sunday and decided to go on with my crafty self and submit something. I just used pencil and crayon to depict my backyard after Wednesday night's storm. Luckily, that's only a phone line going through the downed branch, even though we were still without power for 22 hours. Gooooood times.

I call it, Winter Storm. Oooooooooh....



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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Craftiness: What I'm doing today

Okay, so. Ever since I bought those Woman's World magazines and some AWESOME cards from Claudia Creates on etsy, I've been going crazy for vintage images. I mean, crazy. Oopsy when all those auctions end at exactly the same time 5 days from now!

But that's another post.

(PS. Here are the two note cards I picked up. Bee-a-youtiful!)


Today, I've been gathering images and trying to pinpoint which craftiness avenue I'll be taking with them. First stop, glitter painting.

Thanks to my ever-crafty friend, Martha, I've been inspired by glitter. I almost bought her $30 glitter set, but was quickly drawn by a $3.99 generic. Still glittery!! I first decided to try her photo conversion tool with this image:

Can you even tell the difference? Ha! Well, the colors were simplified and the lines were blurred...

I printed it to measure about 5x7 and started the first glittery touches. It takes awhile, because I'm only doing two colors at a time while allowing it to dry. I'm really excited about how it will turn out!


By the way, I totally have the Beastie Boys stuck in my head right now.


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Friday, January 28, 2011

Spring Challenge, Week 2

Now that I've selected my inspiration and colors for my Spring Challenge, I'm on to Week 2. This week includes:

  • Pick your patterns/designs. Or at least get an idea of which ones you’ll want to use. You may want to think about which ones will require more fitting or take more time so you can consider timing.
  • Choose fabric. Or get an idea of the sort of fabric you want, and where you’ll source it. It may be a good time to order swatches for later projects, if you’re planning to order fabric online.
  • Create sketches or project plans. For each design you want to sew, simply pair the design with the fabric or color swatches you plan to use, and add whatever notes you might find helpful. You could attach inspiration images, notions you want to include, or any other ideas along with your sketch. If you don’t like to draw, you can just include the pattern’s technical illustration.
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Woman's World, 1928

Last week I bought 3 issues of Woman's World from March, May, and June 1928 off of ebay. They are in beautiful condition and are SO fascinating to me!! I love the ads and pictures, and am planning to do *something* creative with them.

Anyway, on the last page is a feature called "The Postman's Whistle Page," which consists of "ideas, experiences, jokes, new and original recipes, and money, labor, and time-saving helps" from readers.

I read this, and HAD to post it here. I'm def fascinated but this era, but probably would have killed myself (literally!) if I had to live back then as a woman. Sigh.....
UNCLE JEFF, the OLD POSTMAN and His Homely Philosophy on OVER EDUCATION
Oh, learnin' is a fine thing, And knowledge shames a shirker! But first they must be quickened By a practical hard worker.  
EVER since Martha Owens' girl, Janice, came home from school so full of learnin' that she's no longer satisfied with her sphere in life, I've wondered if it could be possible that we sometimes educate our young folks just a little beyond ken. Strikes me that education is not so much knowledge as it is development, a reachin' of a fine balance between body, heart and mind. Some trees have giant branches, some are resplendent with rich foliage, some are simply well rooted; but the well-developed tree has something of all of this. 
To learn merely for the sake of learnin' is like eatin' merely for the taste of food; and undigested learnin' may become as depressin' as undigested food. An overweenin' desire to know is often a characteristic of the inability to know to any purpose; and education is by no means entirely the product of organized schools.   
Through long weary years of work, Martha Owens has denied herself in order that the girl, Janice, might acquire book-learnin', not takin' count of the fact that book-education must be attended by a certain life-education to make it a success. And now the mother and her daughter, misunderstandin' each other, each lays the blame upon the other, and are miserably unhappy with it. Martha Owens thinks the girl ungrateful; Janice blames her mother for crampin' the opportunity which was opened out before her. Who is to blame? There is no doubt but that this old earth is growin' more sophisticated but I wonder--is it growin' more educated? There's a right considerable gap between the two. Ignorance is a blank sheet upon which we may write, but Error is a scribbled one from which we must first erase.
Jeff Z Lincoln, U.S.A.  
How could I have lived in world like that?
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Spring Palette


Name: Michelle
Palette: Salmon, aquamarine, mauve, teal
Number of garments to sew: 3
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Yay, yay, yay!!


I think this will most DEF motivate me to get back to my sewing machine! Thanks to Colette Patterns for putting together this fun challenge!

Welcome to the Spring Palette Challenge, a 10 week challenge for creating a mini seasonal wardrobe based around your favorite color palette for Sring 2011!
The idea is very simple. You choose an inspiring palette for Spring, then you sew a tiny wardrobe based on that palette. You choose the color palette, the number of colors, and the pieces you sew. The palette can be based around fabrics you already have (so you can use what you have), or you can do something new. The challenge will be 10 weeks long (now through the end of March). Here’s how we’ll structure it:
  • Week One: Define your challenge. Gather inspiration, make inspiration boards, review fabric choices, pick your palette, and decide how many garments you’d like to sew from the palette.
  • Week Two: Plan your projects. Choose your patterns, sketch out your ideas, and make a plan.
  • Weeks Three through Ten: Sew! Make your mini Spring wardrobe, and share your progress with everyone else.
Doesn’t that sound like fun?
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moonface


A friend of ours just finished her book, Moonface: A True Romance. It'll be released on Feb 1. Go! Check it out! It looks superb. Plus, she's superb. So do it!

amazon.com
barnesandnoble.com
powells.com
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A little blankie for a baby nephew

I just finished making this last night. I think it's super cute and cuddly. And see, look how baby conscious I was with my many different textures of silky, cordy, fluffy, bumpy, and felty to stimulate baby :)



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Sunday, January 16, 2011

My honey at 20!


I totally just snagged this from some dude's Facebook page, but I had to show off my cute husband! This was his fraternity FIFTEEN years ago! He's smack dab in the middle, standing up, with a hat on backwards, black and white stripes on his sleeve, and a perfectly chiseled jawline. Yummy! Oh, and it appears that the guy in the bottom right corner is photoshopped into the picture.

Love this guy!
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Book 1: A Lesson Before Dying

About a week ago, I finished the first of the six books I've picked as part of my 30 before 30 plan. I promised to review each book after completion.

Char recommended A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines.

It was a really quick read - only about 190 pages. The story takes place in the South, probably around the mid-20th century. A 15-year-old black boy, Jefferson, is at a convenience store when it is robbed. The clerk and both intruders shoot each other to death. As a result of his timing and color, Jefferson is put on trial and sentenced to death.

"Twelve white men say a black man must die, and another white man sets the date and time without consulting one black person. Justice?"

The story is told by Grant, an educated black man who left the "quarter" for university, but returned to live with his aunt and teach at the one-room schoolhouse on the plantation instead of joining his parents in California. It's never really clear why he chose this life instead of another where he would likely face far less prejudice.

As a teacher, I could relate to some of the frustrations of Grant. He says, "And I thought to myself, What am I doing? Am I reaching them at all? They are acting exactly as the old men did earlier. They are fifty years younger, maybe more, but doing the same thing those old men did who never attended school a day in their lives. Is it just a vicious circle? Am I doing anything?"

On the insistence of both his aunt and Jefferson's godmother, Miss Emma, Grant spends the weeks following the trial visiting Jefferson in jail, trying to teach him how to be "a man," rather than the hog he's made out to be, before he dies. He's given no guidance on what this is supposed to look like and has little desire to comply. However, as Jefferson's date of execution nears, it seems they make a connection and, of course, Grant ends up learning more from Jefferson than the other way around.

"And that's all we are, Jefferson, all of us on this earth, a piece of drifting wood, until we--each one of us, individually--decide to become something else. I am still the piece of drifting wood, and those out there are no better. But you can be better."

It was a fairly predictable story, but that didn't take away from its meaning.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Delurker Day?

Okay, so I just found out that today is the OFFICIAL Delurker Day 2011.

Weird.

It means that if you read my blog but never comment, come out of the bushes today to say hi! Or heeeeeeyyooooooo!!

You know. Whichever you prefer.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Overwhelming gratitude

Wow, wow, wow!!!

Just a few days ago, I created and posted a project at DonorsChoose.org. And today... TODAY! I got notification that it's been fully funded! I asked for nearly $500 to cover the cost of some mp3 players so my students can listen to an audio version of their textbook while they read, and it took less than 3 DAYS to get the funding.

So incredible.

I'm in love with humanity right now. Just.... amazing.

Thanks.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hey! It's 1/11/11!!!!!

I know a perfect way to celebrate!!

I recently submitted a project that was accepted by DonorsChoose.org. I'd like to get 9 digital mp3 players to load with an audio version of our textbook to aid my struggling readers in class.



Please help me out if you can! My momma already donated... how awesome!!!

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Positive things about winter?

Yesterday, I attended a yoga workshop called "Yoga for the Winter Blues." I thought it might be a nice way to lift my spirits during this wickedly cold, dark season.

During the first part of the class, the instructor asked us to take a minute to think of five things we enjoy about winter that we don't get to do in the summer.

All I could think of was getting to drink hot chocolate. Later, I thought of eating minty things.

...........

Is it spring, yet?

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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Voting for Brodies



Do you read Main Street Plaza? Es mucho bueno.

They host a yearly nominating/voting/awarding process that gives out a "Brodie" for the BEST in a number of categories.

You should go vote if you're familiar with any of the bloggers there. It's a good time.

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Remember, to reh rer into yer heart!

Okay, this is just one of the cutest things I've seen in awhile!


Thanks, Emily!
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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

How I hope 2011 is different from 2010

I already talked about how I'm counting my 30 before 30 as my resolutions for the new year. However, I still think it's important to reflect on the past year and look ahead to the next. I've been thinking of a few ways I'd like the upcoming year to be different than the last 12 months.


one.
I'd like to have my credit cards paid off. Once Eric and I got a house together and became engaged, I added his name to my credit accounts. As a natural result (and perhaps due to the fact that he'd never had that kind of credit limit before, thereby making a few first timer mistakes with the card), the debt under my name increased.


Also, we had a lot of money ready for the wedding (and some awesome help from our parents), but there were still parts that we ended up putting on the cards.


I've done some balance transferring and rate negotiating, Eric's expecting some extra money in the summer, and I have a plan, so I'm confident that this can be accomplished by year's end. 


That will leave us with my student loan debt and our mortgage (I don't count the car b/c we're leasing it). What a good feeling that will be!


two.
I hope all of our cars remain incident-free. If you're new to this blog, well, let me just fill you in. In June, my husband was hit by a teenager (on high school graduation night, as he was coming to pick me up in the city) and his car (that he had purchased a mere 3 months earlier) was totaled. TWO DAYS LATER, we were driving our '73 Beetle and it caught on fire, burning to the ground (we had that car for only 2 weeks... we've since bought an even nicer, '72 buggie, though). In October, he was headed up to MD for some stuff with his mom, and he rear-ended an SUV, causing, oh, about $11,000 worth of damage to our BRAND NEW 2010 Jetta (that our insurance company, phew, paid with only $250 out of our pockets -- the extra few bucks a month for a lower deductible is SO worth it!).


This year, I want NOTHING BAD to happen to our cars. Which, by the way, currently consist of the 2010 Jetta, a '72 Beetle, and a '66 Volvo P1800S (it's sexy). NO.CAR.PROBLEMS.PLEASE.


three.
I want to travel more. I'm planning to apply to two teacher trips, one to Cambodia and the other to Germany. Those would be for about 2-3 weeks each in the summer. I also have 3 destinations on my 30 before 30 - Turkey, Quebec, and one of The World's Secret Places. Plus, I'd like to visit the Dutch fam again, since I haven't been out there since Nov 2009. Oh, and a few days at a sunny beach? Yes, please! 


Sheesh! So, well I don't necessarily anticipate hitting every single one of those, I'd like to head out of our sleepy little town more than once this year.


four.
Secrets, to which you may someday be privy. That's all I'll say.


five.
I'd like to enjoy my job, again. If I've said it once, I've said it a jillion times. My classes this year are rotten. I've started to make connections with a few of the kids who've been hanging out in my room during lunch and after school, and have been quite honest about classroom behavior with them. Well, that and the joys of Oregon Trail. I'm hoping things may start to improve, even just a little bit. 


Perhaps I can find something to appreciate at work every day... just so that they don't drain every last iota of energy from me.


And my fingers are crossed for a normal group again next year. Yah.


Cheers.


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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Curtains in the kitchen

I finally made curtains for the kitchen window. Even though I only spent $10 on the fabric, they look much fancier than the rest of our kitchen in its current state. One step at a time... we'll have that fancy kitchen, yet!


Oh, and yes, the idea came from Martha. Love her!
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Happy Rooooo Year!

Here's a picture of Ramona and her cousin Tabasco singing together at "their" New Year's party. Um, and don't you just love Ramona's pretty party dress? I made it special for her :)


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Monday, January 03, 2011

Who Am I?

On her blog, Carla asked who her readers are. Here's my list, spat out in under a minute. What do you think? What about you?


teacher
atheist
pro-choice AND pro-life (my own meaning though... ie: against war & the death penalty, for improved health care, etc)
partner
aunt
liberal
social democrat
green
conscious
feminist
intellectual
opinionated
stubborn
kind
crafty
ambitious
traveler 

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Things that totally weird me out

I've been following the site PostSecret for four or five years. It's grown exponentially over that time and has expanded to include Facebook and Twitter accounts. At the end of every Sunday's new secrets, there is a screen shot of its Facebook acct with pics of followers at the bottom. Without fail, there is at least one person I know that appears down there each week. Out of nearly 903,000 followers, at least one I know ALWAYS appears in that list.

This week?

I am friends with EVERY.SINGLE.ONE of the ten people pictured here. WTF? It has to be reading something from my computer, right?

WEIRD.
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My husband

I can't remember when I found this cartoon, but I think it sums up my own Eric nicely. Love you, hon! :)


See some more of this guy's fun work here.
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Saturday, January 01, 2011

What I got


Okay, hi, happy new year, blahz.

I want to show you everything I got for Krissmus! I have awesome famz, by the way.

Seven new books:
  1. Oliver Twist
  2. A Confederacy of Dunces
  3. The Inferno
  4. Catch-22
  5. Sisters: The Lives of America's Suffragists
  6. Little Green Dresses
  7. Cleopatra
An earring hanger, bought from a former student's artist parent (I love her work!!)


A completely, spectacularly funny Pearls Before Swine mug.


A W wall hanging for our (Eric's) last name.


New Apple keyboard (YAY!! I spilled a beverage on my other one... and it died).


Socks, a necklace, a bracelet, and a pair of earrings.



Kiehl's sample pack.

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedias of Crafts AND Fabric Crafts!


A yoga workshop for the winter blues.






Oh dearie, I hope I didn't forget anything! I'm happy with my haul. Good times. 
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