Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nerd Nest February Challenge part 2

I got 2 more projects finished before the end of the month! Yay me! Nerd Nest should challenge me to get off my ass every month. I could change the world.

One thing I've been wanting to do forever is put pictures of my true love in my lockets. Whenever I wear my locket to school my students open it up and ask, "Why aren't there any pictures in there?!" incredulously. First graders may not know everything but they somehow know a locket is lame without a photo. Sad it took me so long to do this. It only took about 15 minutes to find pictures from my staggering collection and another 15 to find a stencil, trace, cut, and tape. Shameful. But I'm done.

I wore my owl locket to school yesterday and my students were very pleased to get a look at the mister.

The next project I've only put off since August. I got these coasters as a wedding favor from my niece's wedding. It had their names and the date on a slip of paper and I wanted to put Corey's pictures in there instead. I'm the worst aunt ever.

I found the pictures at the same time as my locket pictures and it took me less than 5 minutes to cut them out and slide them in.

I had a bunch of sewing projects I thought I would get to this month but since I'm not a huge sewing fan those got pushed back once more. But I finished 6 unfinished/never started projects so I guess I can take the rest of the year off.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Walkin in a Winter Wonderland

In December ARTastic challenged scrappers to use A Blessing of Christmas by Thomas Kinkade as inspiration.

I have never been a big fan of Thomas Kinkade and I'm not sure why. But since I live in a land without snow I thought it would be funny to somehow morph his painting into a desert scene.

I decided to use the pictures from our Pet Walk from last weekend since it was a classic warm and lovely winter day. I wanted to make a desert snowman so I used some sun-ish patterned paper and cut it into a snowman shape using a stencil. I also used some of the brochure to add some information about the walk.

I used green paper and added spines with a marker to try to make "Winter Wonderland" look like each letter is a cactus.

The chihuahua is from a handmade birthday card my friend Alana gave me 2 years ago. I colored the chihuahua black to make it look more like Stellaluna.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Project Life: Week 4

This week documents Stellaluna's spay surgery, a new mustache necklace, a pack walk, Stellaluna's first pant, a phone date with a friend, and a picture a former student colored for me (I folded it up instead of cropping). The little things! Lots of journaling this week. I busted out my old fun handwriting book for the Pack Walk title, and took the opportunity to doodle on my phone date day.

Here is Nerd Nest's Week 4.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


A few weeks ago the challenge at Scrapping the Music was to use "Art" by Tanya Davis as your inspiration. The first time I heard this song I fell in love with it!

I could have made so many pages to go with this song, but decided it was time to scrapbook my book club's trip to Phoenix Art Museum in 2008 to discuss Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier. I love that book. It's historical fiction about William Blake.
I used some DaVinci patterned paper for the background. We did not see any DaVincis or Blakes that day, but we still saw some cool stuff!

You should check out the video. It's super cute.

I love the lyrics. It makes me think of my blog and scrapbook pages shared on it in a way, because really my blog is for me but it is also public.

"Art" by Tanya Davis
I wondered what would be the worth of my words in the world
if i write them and then recite them are they worth being heard
just because i like them does that mean that i should mic them
and see what might unfurl

and i think of the significance of my opinions here
is it significant to be giving them does anybody care
just because i'm into this does that mean that i should live like it
and really do i dare

art, art i want you
art you make it pretty hard not to
and my heart is trying hard here to follow you
but i can't always tell if i ought to

so i pondered the point of my art in this life
if i make it will someone take it and think that it's genuine
would they be glad that i did 'cause they got something good out of it
would they leave me and be any more inspired

and i question the outcome of the outpouring of myself
if i tell everyone my stories would this keep me healthy and well
would it give me purpose, and to this world some sort of service
is it worth it, how can i tell

art, art i want you
art you make it pretty hard not to
and my heart is trying hard here to follow you
but i can't always tell if i ought to

art, art...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Project Life: Week 3

Week 3 documents reading Cutting for Stone while Corey played video games, my book club meeting at Indian Delhi Palace, Saturday night with Corey, a visit from Gramy and Papa, one of the first times Stellaluna and Caprica shared a dog bed, and a training I attended. I used a Christmas photo of the dogs in their sweaters because we put them on before giving Gramy and Papa their Christmas presents.

Again, the thing I like about this project is that I would probably only scrapbook the dogs sharing the bed because I don't have photos for any of the other days.

Here's Nerd Nest's Week 3.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Project Life: Week 2

When I first started this project I was a few weeks behind and wound up using photos from other days (dog bath) to represent our pack walks. Now I only use photos from the actual days and force myself to play with my supplies to make a doggy page. Part of my goal in this project was to do more art journal type things, so now I bust out the stamps, colored pencils, and punches, or doodle.

Week 2 documents doggy bath night, 2 pack walks, 2 Play-Doh spelling days, and our friend Chad's bowling birthday party. That's me doing the Tebow!

Here is Nerd Nest's week 2.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Project Life: Week 1

I have added an extra bit of craftiness to my life agenda. For a long time I've contemplated keeping an art journal. Then I got an email advertising a new fad called Smash Booking which is more ephemera based. Finally I saw Project Life on Nerd Nest and in Scrapbooks Etc. magazine and decided I could combine all those elements into one project.

Basically Project Life is a mini-scrapbook page for each day of the year. There are specific brand name Project Life products, but I have so many scrapbook supplies I didn't buy any. All I had to buy to get started was a 3 ring binder and some page protectors with slots.

I didn't get started until the middle of January so I've missed a few days here and there but now I'm on a roll. I got a grant to buy Play-Doh for my class and am required to take photos for the money providers in turn. I've taken some super cute photos but I need to cover the kids faces on my blog. Too bad. I really hadn't planned to share these pages on my blog anyway because it's sometimes a little more personal than scrapbook pages, but Nerd Nest has inspired me so maybe I will inspire someone else in turn.

Here in Week 1 I have documented New Year's Day, dog walks, t.v. viewing, Play-Doh spelling, and a funeral we attended for our friend's mom. I would really only normally scrapbook New Year's Day (which I already have) so it's nice to have a place to document the little things.

The name "Project Life" is a little too close to "Pro-Life" for my taste, being a Pro-Choicer. I tried calling it "Project Scrapbook" and "Project Journal" but in the end Project Life really is the most accurate description as it captures more

Nerd Nest February Challenge

Nerd Nest's first monthly challenge is to finished an abandoned project. When I read that I was definitely ready to get on board. As I said on their blog, if I had a nickel for every unfinished/never started project I would have, like, $5!!

My first never started project: knitting a yoga mat bag.

This is my friend Audrey. She knows how to knit. I bought a "knit your own yoga mat bag" kit about 4 years ago when I first started learning to knit. Then I stopped knitting but held on to the kit anyway. I asked her if she would teach me how to do it and she agreed. We shared a pitcher of Blue Moon and knit. I had an oddly relaxing time! Even thought I'm not done knitting it yet I'm counting it for this challenge because I finally got off my ass and started it. And I know I'll finish it because I like her and it's fun to knit when you drink beer also.

My second accomplishment: putting away the Christmas tree and decorations!

I know it's February. But I got it done. We just really enjoy those Christmas lights.

My third/fourth accomplishments: moving Harry the crab to the kitchen bar and refurbishing my childhood dollhouse to display photos on my dresser.

It's so much better having Harry on the bar. It's easier to watch him and he even seems more active.


Remember those stamps from the record clubs? I put them all over the walls of my dollhouse as a kid, you know, to mimic posters. After I peeled them off for my refurbish they left yellow squares everywhere. Nothing a couple coats of acrylic paint can't fix.


I played with this dollhouse until I was about 16 so when I saw other bloggers using thrifted dollhouses as decoration I got the idea to use mine to display photos and knick knacks.
For now I have some of my old furniture and toys in there, along with some of my newer toys. Corey added C3PO and I told him he's the first boy to play with my dollhouse.
I have some frames in there but my goal is to have a photo that corresponds with each room displayed. For example, right now I have a picture of Jakey making Christmas cookies in the kitchen.

Thank you Nerd Nest for helping me complete these 4 challenges. Let's see how many more I can do before the month ends!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Have a good weekend!

This morning my small group was reading to me. One phrase they read said, "Go home." So I immediately got up, went to the door, and started walking outside. The kids started laughing and I said, "You told me to go home!" One of the boys goes, "You wish!! You wish!!" It cracked me up because he said it just like a grown-up.

P.S. In the sky, a cat, a giraffe is by *ploop26.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Prophet's Prey by Sam Brower

When someone says "organized crime" I picture fedora hats, Italian food, and Tommy Guns. What I don't picture is pedophilia, rape, polygamy, and religious cults. Sam Brower opened my eyes to the story of Warren Jeffs, cult leader and organized crime boss.

This book holds so many repulsive tales of what Jeffs did to the members of his Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints cult, centered in the Utah/Arizona border town, Colorado City. One thing he did to test their faith was tell them he had a vision that dogs were evil, and everyone had to get rid of their dogs by a certain date. After that date he had church members begin by killing all the strays in town. Then they proceeded to go door to door, demanding anyone who still had a dog to hand it over. After that they took the dogs out of town and started shooting them. Deciding that shooting them was too loud, they electrocuted the rest to death with a car battery.

The horrifying thing is that Warren Jeffs treated the dogs better than the members of his cult. At least the dogs had a chance to get away.

This story counts as Non-Fiction for my Eclectic Reader Challenge.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Do it for the doggies!

On Sunday we're going to do a People Saving Pets Walk with Captain Skippyjon Jones, Caprica Six, and Stellaluna. We are trying to raise money for Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA, a local no-kill shelter, while socializing and exercising. Corey did a story about AAWL and was almost moved to tears watching the good work they do for animals.

Click here if you would like to donate a dollar or more.

You can also visit Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA.

The photo is of us from last year's walk before it started pouring buckets.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

new year's day

This week at Scrapping the Music the challenge is to use "I'm Alive" by Kenny Chesney and Dave Matthews as your inspiration. I can't say I'm a big fan of Kenny but I do love me some Dave Matthews.

The line, Today's the first day of the rest of my life, made me think of the picture Corey took of me with the dogs on January 1st. I spent much of the day reading The Watchmen by Alan Moore which was an incredible book. I just took down the photo calendar Amy made us last year and used January behind my photo. It represents the line I used from the song while preserving a page of the calendar.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

School Mouse

Let me begin by telling you what to say if anyone says education funding needs to be cut. My school is out of glue. We're out of glue for the rest of the year. Our last day is in the middle of June. In my district we now only get our rooms vacuumed and garbage taken out twice a week.

With a room full of 6 year olds it can get pretty messy. With a room full of 6 year olds and some mice it gets much more messy than I care for.

Yes, we have a mouse. I had a giant bag of sunflower seeds that I use for art/science projects stored under the sink. After finding a few seeds on the floor by the sink I opened the doors and found about a 3 inch thick bed of discarded sunflower seeds and my roll of paper towels chewed up. Then I saw the mouse running amok in the mess/nest. Luckily most of my class was on the playground but enough students saw it to get Mouse Fever and infect the rest of my class.

Mouse Fever is not in any way like hantavirus. Mouse Fever is when you trick people into thinking there is a mouse around when it's actually hiding out in your art project.

I decided to use this as a teaching opportunity. Coincidentally "mice" is one of our spelling words this week. I got "Town Mouse, City Mouse" out after lunch today and started reading. In the middle of the story one of the girls screamed and said, "Mouse!" I thought she had a case of Mouse Fever, even though she ran across the room and almost started crying. After she sat back down I began reading again. Another student started shouting, "Mouse!" This time the mouse ran out from behind a shelf causing my class to scream hysterically and jump onto their desks. All I could do was sit there laughing, chaos swirling around me, until the mouse found its hole to hide away in and my class calmed down. I convinced them that reading the story had brought the mouse to life.

We already have a class pet, so I guess it's time to get maintenance involved. Sorry little mouse!

P.S. Portrait at the White Rat is by Anne-Julie Aubry.