24 August 2015

birthday cards a plenty

During the year I had discovered that I did not have a deep enough stash of birthday cards to get me through the year. Or even a last minute party! What is up with that? So this summer I plopped some DVD's of my favorite shows that I had gotten behind on into the computer and went a crafting. I worked on coloring with pencils and all kinds of different stamp companies. Found some fun techniques to try and just had a really good creative time. Oh yeah... and caught up on some of my shows!

The first three cards are stamped using The Alley Way Stamps set Cake Day. They have some really cute stamps. Papers are all from my stash. Most of them from DCWV paper stacks and are at least two years old (and some older than that!) Added some Stickles and used the Lawn Fawn Stitched hillside borders dies as well as Simon Says Stamps Stitched Rectangles dies.

A little bit of fussy cutting, heat embossing and 3D tape and this one is done.

Lots more fussy cutting but so worth it in the end. Gold thread to tie the balloons together.

The little bear is from Simon Says Stamp Circle Friends set. The frame he is sitting in is from Lawn Fawn Flirty Frames. The sentiment and the tags are from Paper Smooches.

This next one is made from the same set of stamps as the bear above and includes the bee hive stamp. I have been having fun making shaker cards lately. Glad to see this trend return and with such creative ways of making them!

Of course creating shaker cards sometimes results in the shaker ingredients not staying where they are placed. This is especially true if you somehow manage to spill the contents while trying to remove the backing tape from the foam tape. augh!! Such a mess and nightmare. I will also mention that in this pile of stuff all over my desk included some glitter and we all know what happens once glitter is on the loose-- there is no stopping it. I am still finding it on current projects!!

Made this cute little penny glide/ roller card. The images are from Paper Smooches Party Posse stamp set. Love this little hamster dude. He looked pretty cute in his ball and even cuter once he was spinning around across the card!!

Don't fear, there are more cards coming. I am currently spending a few days actually cleaning and organizing and getting ready for back to school. Even though the kids are in denial that it is going to happen next Monday, I am ready. I miss hanging with the kids and watching them learn. Gonna be a good year. Hoping to keep a better work/ life balance this school year. Which means more time for crafting and blogging.... and oh yeah... the whole family time thing.

11 August 2015

teacher gifts

The school year was quickly winding down with not much time left for me to get overly creative with teacher gifts, and believe me I have MANY options pinned on Pinterest! Then a little light bulb went off above my head and I noticed that both teachers did not have names to show which classroom was theirs! A quick scan of Pinterest found a couple of cute ideas for teacher name plates and a begging session with Kira got me a couple of canvases that she had stashed away and I was ready for action!

The top one I made for Alex's teacher. She was new to the building and didn't have a cool name plate- now she does! I used an idea I found on Pinterest and adjusted it for my needs. I traced the letters onto some cardboard and cut them out attaching them to the canvas with a very small amount of adhesive that I knew I would be able to remove when I was done. I picked some acrylic paint colors and went to work with the ends of some paint brushes and a pencil top eraser. I waited until the paint was totally dry before removing the cardboard letters. I used an Xacto blade to make sure I didn't pull up the paint with the letters. I was pretty happy with how it came out.

This one I made for the teacher I was with. Her name plate had fallen down and needed to be replaced (she has had it since Kira was in her class!) I used the idea I found here. Used some fun colors on the circles. Yellow was the hardest one to cover the pencil markings. After they were all dry, I used a dry embossing tool to create the dots around the circles with acrylic paint. I stamped the name with some foam stamps I have had forever and black paint. 

Tons of fun but I really should have started them earlier. As it is, I started them about three days before the end of the school year. eeeek! Thank goodness that the acrylic paints dried really quick.

Thanks for stopping by!!!

10 August 2015

way too long

I am returning to the land of blog. It has been a crazy six months around here (actually longer than that but since I last posted here) 

Let's begin with the working mom thing- I was doing the subbing gig at the elementary school when another couple of paraprofessional positions became available and I applied again. This time was the trick!! I started in January working in one of the third grade rooms and one of the fourth grade rooms. I also had the fun of doing afternoon bus duty as well as a couple of lunch duties (fourth grade and first grade). Totally loved it. Some days the bus duty was rough but it was just getting the kids to move forward to get on their buses! I remember practically throwing kids aside when the final bell rang. Not these kids. Time changes things I guess.

Waiting to hear exactly which room I will be in for the coming year but so far have heard that I am back in third grade! Very very happy about that. Crossing fingers it will be the same room as before. Totally loved working with that teacher and we got into a great rhythm by the end of the year. The kids were amazing too.

Both the kiddos did great in school and will be advancing to their respective grades come August 31st. I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that my Kira will be a freshman! OMG! Seriously. I was just dropping her off at kindergarten and now she is in high school. That went way to fast for this momma to handle. And my baby going into fourth grade? Someone please tell Alex he is not old enough for that! sigh.

The world of the bears is still being good to hubby. Love the new direction the company is taking and love seeing the new licenses they are getting. Minions anyone?? Or maybe Star Wars is more your speed?

Town stuff-- The elections were a process and I do believe that the right people got into the correct spots. Lots of good conversations and the direction of the town seems to be going forward instead of sitting in the past. Best part is that tuitioning of our students out of district to another district has been removed from the table. It has been a very long and drawn out process but in the end it was determined that it was not a cost effective long term solution to our school/ facilities issues. WOO HOO!! Now to determine what shall be done with both buildings- the junior senior high school as well as the elementary school. Never a dull moment here in Newmarket!

Home stuff- We had new windows installed in October/ November. What an amazing difference that made. Our heating bill was lower and the rooms were so much more cozy. And we did not have to put plastic up to keep the drafts out. Happy happy. We had also discussed the possibility of redoing our kitchen. Hubby started playing around with IKEA designs and a few trips to the store later, we have purchased our cabinets! We have a contractor who will be starting in September and a new kitchen will be happening! We have ordered all the appliances as well and are getting very excited to have a new space. Lots of before and after pictures to come.

terri's teases- after the holidays and before I started working every day, hubby surprised me with a major remodel of my office space. Like removed everything and started all over again! We used IKEA cabinets and storage and made my room so pretty! Now I can have a lovely breeze in my space from having two windows open as well as finding everything in my space. After having an open concept room since the beginning, I have discovered that I really am someone who needs to have all my stuff hidden. I get distracted easily.... squirrel.... Anywho- I have the green doors and drawers as well as the teal shelves. Guess they sold out of the teal since I cannot find the link anymore. But it is very pretty with my room. I also got a new desk! We did a long desk top with two of the drawer units at either end in white. Now I actually have space to work and be on the computer. So happy. My mom was so impressed with my space, she went to IKEA as well and picked up some of the storage units to redo her sewing space. Looks pretty darn awesome and so happy for her too.

Because of the remodel and then the whole working thing, I was not able to craft as much as I would like (none). This summer I have been making up for lost time and have created a bunch of cards. Hoping to get them listed and maybe sold. If not, I will have a great stash of cards for my own personal use.

That is about it. I am sure I have missed something. But I shall return. Thanks for taking the time to read. Off to see if I can find any pictures of the items I have created since being back at it.

01 February 2015

has this ever happened before?

**This is my personal blog. All opinions, thoughts and musings below are mine. If you do not agree, that is fine with me but I will not debate you here or anywhere else online. You have your rights, and I have mine.**

I cannot remember this phenomenon happening before. It is great to see and I am happy but WOW!! Never thought it could happen.

What you may ask has happened in our fair town of Newmarket, NH? We have SIX candidates running for the two 2 year positions on the school board. 


Being on the school board is a thankless and often hated position to be in here in Newmarket. What with our facilities issues, the fact that the cost of educating the students is increasing and we have to pay teachers to do the teaching. The people who do put themselves out there and run and are elected onto the board are just asking to be harassed by the public who think that they themselves could do the job better if they were on the board (of course those people hide behind their computer monitors to complain, do not attend meetings or even run for the school board.)

I appreciate these men and women who put themselves out there in the public eye and take the brunt of trying to run our school district. I will admit that it is not a position I could do. One because I am extremely passionate about educating the children of Newmarket and do not understand why others are not of the same thinking and would have a very hard time controlling my frustrations. And second to be on the school board, I would have to give up my substituting job and my volunteering at the school. Both of which give me so much pleasure I would be miserable without being in the elementary building. 

I do support the board in their endeavors.

Until this year.

Somehow this years board has taken a few steps backward in their thinking and what they want to accomplish. Instead of looking forward on our facilities issues, they have returned to the past to once again rehash decisions that the previous boards as well as voters have decided on. Seriously- parents do not want our kids shipped out of district to receive their education. Get that through your heads. It is not an option for us. The No votes will have to accept that and the sooner they do, the sooner we can close this gap we have in our town. As a parent, if I wanted my child to go to Dover, Somersworth, Derry, Epping, Exeter, Oyster River, Portsmouth, or any other town on the seacoast, I WOULD HAVE MOVED THERE!! I chose Newmarket and want my kids to go to the school HERE. This board seems to want to appease the No votes and waste time and money funding studies to come to the same conclusion as we started the year at.

Maybe it isn't the whole board. It could have something to do with the chairperson of the school board- Gail D-Wentworth. From watching meetings, it seems that she has switched from wanting a new school in which to educate our middle school and high school students, to shipping them off for another district to deal with. Not sure of the reasons why. But her personal agenda has now become the school board's agenda and from the number of people running for the school board this year, they are as displeased with her as I am.

I have watched the meetings and watched her pack up her belongings while another board member reads a citizen's email to the board (at the end of the meeting when the room has emptied out) only to have her face seem shocked when being called out for her lack of interest in the facility issues. I have seen her ignore the passing of a beloved Newmarket teacher until another member brought it up. That one really hurts me. As the chairperson of the school board, that should have been the first words out of her mouth at that meeting.

I have sat near her during a public session of the budget committee and town council and tried to listen to the concerned citizens speaking, only to hear the low buzz of her chatting and giggling with the ladies she was sitting with. The meeting was concerning a warrant article that the school board had previously passed and wanted on the ballot about the all day kindergarten program. She as the chairperson of the school board did not get up to speak in support of this program, but almost seemed like she wanted it to fail at the stage of getting the budget committee and town council recommendations for the ballot. As soon as the issue had the recommendation of both groups, she left.

At that meeting, she was asked by a citizen sitting behind her to please be quiet to which she made a face and then promptly made a joke out of it on her Facebook page. See below.

Yes this is what our school board chairperson has done. Yes it was on her personal Facebook page, but being an elected official, as well as the chairperson of a board, puts you under greater scrutiny than the average citizen. There is no respect in this post.

I can see why the citizens of Newmarket are up in arms to get on the school board. The only concern I have now is that we have too many people running and we don't want to split the votes and risk having another year of backwards thinking. 

Welcome to the election campaign process- Craig Dionne, Kimberley Shelton, Michael Kenison, Mary Jane Hilton, Matt Eveangelista and Al Zink. There will be more discussion about the candidates in the coming days and who I think would make an excellent addition to the school board. But I will give you a hint-- the first two candidates listed.

31 January 2015

what a difference a year makes

Last year at this time the town of Newmarket was in a very heated battle. Should we build a new Junior/ Senior High School or do nothing? The town voted to do nothing. Not of course that that is a surprise for those of us who have lived here for any amount of time. You can read about the start of this debate here. To catch up on all the gory details of the fight we undertook, search this blog using the words- vote/ March 11/ Jr/ Sr High School or new school. I was quite vocal and passionate about this issue and still am to this day.

However, as the year has come and gone and we are staring at a new deliberative session, new concerns are being voiced in town. Keep funding a bus that helps the home bound elderly get around or not and should we introduce a full day kindergarten program to our school. Both seem to be items that would not be a big deal in other towns. But here in Newmarket they are very big deals. It all comes down to the bottom line and how it will impact the home owners tax bill.

This brings us to today's deliberative session.

The town portion went very quickly. So quickly in fact, hubby and I had time to grab a bite to eat before the school portion. Love that!! The only issue that was discussed was the funding of an elderly bus. Something that the town of Newmarket has been doing for a very long time. In the end, it will be on the ballot and I am pretty darn sure it will be voted on in a positive way. The total impact on my taxes for this funding?? $.01. Yes you read that correctly- one cent per $1000 of my tax bill. I think I got that.

The reason it was even a debate? The people of this town are always looking for ways to cut programs and save money. To this end, our town administrator (who does rock in this girls opinion) was trying to do whatever necessary to save money and removed this funding. Not because he doesn't like the elderly. Not because he doesn't think we need this bus. But because the town of Newmarket is already giving the entity which runs the bus a pretty substantial tax break on their properties in our town- they have two. Yes the town is federally mandated to do this as they are a non profit organization but once again the town administrator is charged with keeping us running a sound budget and he was trying to do what we as tax payers asked him to do. He was not sneaky about it. He stated to the town council where the cut was coming from and why he removed it. No one questioned it as it was a bit over $10,000 off of the budget. That always makes people happy to hear they are saving.

In the end, after numerous registered citizens came forward to speak, this warrant article will go to the voters to decide if they do in fact want to keep it when we vote on March 10, 2015. It is in your hands Newmarket.

The school portion of the deliberative session. Again so much different than last year. The bleachers were practically empty. Although there were more citizens present than had shown up for the town portion. It was nothing like it was last year. Last year, we were all squeezed into those bleachers like sardines. People were standing in line to voice their concerns about the building of a new school. It was a heated debate.

Not this year. 

Our biggest concern this year is whether to start up a full day kindergarten program in our school. To do this, the school would need to hire one full time teacher as well as four full time aides to help the kindergarten teachers. Our class sizes would be going from 13-18 to about 20-23 depending on the enrollment each year. The best part?? We could be saving money and stress in the end. Catching learning issues early on is the best thing for both the student and the school. With a full day program, these issues could be caught and dealt with sooner before the student goes to first grade and is behind before the school year even starts. Once a student is in first grade the issue has to be established, researched and a course of action taken. This could take from 3-6 months depending on the issue and how quickly it shows itself. Now the child is behind even more and will have a very hard time catching up. If they end up needing special services, that costs the tax payer money. See where I am going with this? This common sense thinking is so overrated. 

The other issue with the all day kindergarten program is our facilities issues. oh yes, those pesky facilities issues have not gone away. In fact they are even more in the fronts of our minds than they were last year. Where to put another classroom full of adorable kindergartners? It was first discussed to add another portable/ modular out in back of the school. There are those that think that is the worst idea ever in the whole world. While it not might be the best, it is not as horrible as it be made out to be. Those portables/ modulars are pretty darn nifty. They have a ton of space. More windows than any of our current classrooms have. To get in you need a key. They have air conditioning as well as room controlled heat. No freezing or hot kids. You don't have the noise of the hallways and they do have restroom facilities available. Would it be better to have a grand new addition to the elementary school to house all of the students under one roof?? oh hell yes!! But seeing as how history has continued to replay itself here in our fair town, that is not going to happen until money grows on trees and pigs fly. We cannot wait to solve our facilities issues. We have been waiting for at least the 15 years I have lived here. Always we are on the cusp of finding the answers to make it all better. I am still waiting on this cusp and I am no longer holding my breath.

To appease the strongest no voters on this issue, the school board and the kindergarten task force worked together on lowering the amount needed to start this program. With the lowering of the cost, this warrant article will not impact the taxes at all! Yes you read that correctly. Voting yes for the all day kindergarten program will not raise your taxes by anything! 

That being said- please vote yes for the all day kindergarten program in March. It is long overdue. If by some miracle we can renovate the elementary school in the future, then we will have all students out of the portables/ modulars. Until then, let us do what is right for this large population of our town and educate our youngest children all day.   

**Lots more to come here on my blog concerning the upcoming election. Lots of information to re-read and my thoughts to get out of my head.**

31 October 2014

it has been awhile

I have not posted since August?
And here it is the end of October!
oh the shame......

Quick recap since I last posted-
School started for the kids. I was volunteering in the kindergarten room (totally loving it too) when I was offered a subbing position. It was a permanent sub while the school was working out the need for aides with the students. It was going pretty good, minus the part about the house falling apart and me being stressed out. I applied for the paraprofessional position and interviewed but did not get it. Now I am back to being a regular sub with a relatively clean house and able to volunteer with my favorite students the kindergartners!

Also we took an amazingly wonderful fun filled trip to Walt Disney World!! oh my what a great time we had. Cannot wait to go back and do it all again. We did stuff we hadn't done before and probably won't do it again (Expedition Everest) and totally loved Snow White's Mine Train ride!! While we were there, we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. It seemed fitting since that is where we honeymooned all those years ago. And it was fun to share it with the kiddos.

Picture taken at Be Our Guest in the ballroom on our anniversary

Once we got back, I had a card order to make up. My yoga friend wanted some more note cards and I was more than happy to oblige. Here they are.  

I am working on a new owl card and hope to have a couple of sets of them completed by the end of the weekend that I can post. We shall see!! Hopefully I won't be gone as long as last time.

18 August 2014

disney layouts recently done

These layouts I have been working on during the month of August. I would love to say I am making headway with this trip, but alas- I am a picture taker and then cannot decide which ones to use as they are all so amazing. So I will keep on trucking along and getting these pictures into a few albums and remember all the fun we had on our Walt Disney World 2008 trip.

We met Goofy, Daisy and Donald at Camp Mickey Minnie. I am pretty sure I have already scrapped the pictures of us with Mickey and Minnie. If not they will be coming! I have used PageMaps for each of these layouts. At least all of these pages started as a PageMap. Sometimes they don't end up looking like they started but that is my jumping off point.

Kira and her Mickey head ice cream. He was wonderful until he fell on the ground. It was very hot and we kept encouraging Kira to eat a bit faster or it would fall. She was a little upset but not too bad. She enjoyed herself.

Donald did not want to let go of my girl. So cute.

Hanging around Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Gorillas at the Animal Kingdom.

Off to see what other pictures need to find their way to paper at this moment.