31 January 2014

she is all mine

Not sure how I ended up with a daughter who is as unorganized as mine. There are times I am driven out of my mind trying to find something in her room, closet, dresser, backpack, binder etc that she KNOWS she has placed there and now cannot be found. The best part of these times?? Finding the lost item no where near where she thought it was. SERIOUSLY??!!

We had yet another one of those moments about a month ago. The elementary school implemented a new pick up procedure wherein all parent riders now have to be picked up by visual recognition by a staff member of the school inside the building. It was pretty wild and crazy the first week and a half but it has started to go a bit more smoothly. People were asked to have their ID's with them when picking up students in case the staff does not recognize you and you need to prove who you are. Makes sense.

So I asked my sweet wonderful flighty tween daughter where her ID was in case she needed to pick up her brother for me sometime. You would have thought I asked her to solve Pi to the umpteenth place!! oh my word. She could not remember where she put it. Where she had it last. If she even got one. Nothing. (these are the times I wonder if she really is MY daughter)

Time for some serious deep breathing on my part. and shaking of the head.

We look through her room in all the places she put her ID last year. Nope can't find it. Nana even went through her entire backpack with her. I went through her binder (and did some organizing because it was driving me insane to look at!) Could not find that ID. 

Next step ask at school what she can do to get another one. She ended up having to go to the main office but the person in charge of that was not there on that particular day so she had to go back. This is a huge deal as it took her forever to 'remember' to stop at the office in the first place!! (Nothing is ever easy with this child.) She did finally get to talk to the correct person and was told they probably couldn't do anything since it was the middle of the school year. ummmm... are the kids only supposed to lose their ID's the first two days after they get them?? (Which is probably when she did lose hers!!) But she said she would check into it for her and find out how much it would cost. I didn't care how much it cost, just wanted her to have her ID!!

Friday of last week was one of the middle school dances. As I am getting dressed to take her over to the school she asks me if she should bring her ID. WHAT?? Then she tells me she got the new ID on Thursday and it is in her binder.(and it didn't cost us a penny) Sure. Bring your ID. Can she find it? NO SHE CANNOT!! I am not making this up. She could not find her ID and it had only been a little over 24 hours that she had it. (Nope she is not mine.)

A few minutes of searching in her binder and backpack and she finds it!! Here she is with her ID!!

When she got home from the dance I took the ID placed it in a very large plastic pocket attached to a lanyard and handed it back to her to place in her backpack. Now if she loses it, it will have to be on purpose because it is so much bigger than a tiny card.

For the love of all that is good and pure, this girl gives me gray hairs on a daily basis.... and I love her to pieces.

30 January 2014

valentines a plenty

Why yes it is that time of year again. Okay maybe I am a bit early but now I can play with my Disney pictures and don't have to freak out over what to give the kids for Valentine's Day! Sad thing is I was looking for goodies to give the kids before Target even got any Valentine's Day stuff in!! They still had their storage stuff in the holiday section! Guess I was a little excited for this years fun.

We'll start with the kindergartners.... and if one of them is yours- don't let them see this post!! I want it to be a surprise!! 

I punched out circles in white and red cardstock. Stamped the heart on the white and a to/ from on the red and put them together.

Punched the holes with a heart punch. Was severely disappointed that the heart was upside down when I punched it!! I mean really??? Dumb punch. But I released and went with it anyways. 

I was going to do bouncy balls but I found bubbles instead!! Yahoo! Bubbles! I was very excited and snapped them up pretty quick. Thank you Target! Here they are all completed and ready to be handed out!

Then I had to make valentines for Alex's class. Pencils are always a good go to present in the classrooms because of the no candy rule in most classrooms nowadays. I used my Sybill (Silhouette machine) and cut out the three different heart patterns. That saved a ton of time!! Adhered them to some white cardstock that I cut and scored. Added the recipient's name on the front and stamped the sentiment on the inside. 

Attached the pencils with a bit of washi tape that I had in a red chevron pattern and had Alex sign his name.

And that is it! Valentines for three classes all bagged up and ready to go! Feeling pretty good about myself right about now!! Doesn't happen often so I am going to enjoy it.

29 January 2014

dryer sheets

My husband always knows when I have been hanging out on Pinterest too much. Things get organized or cleaned or changed around. Or I even do something crafty!! I stumbled across this pin about homemade dryer sheets. Sure why not see what that all entails. 

Seemed pretty easy. Jar with a lid that seals, fabric softener, sponges and a measuring cup. I plucked a container out of the recycle bin and washed it all up (it was full of yummy cashew goodness in its previous life). I picked up some sponges on my next trip to the store and everything else I had!

I started a few cups at a time as I wasn't sure how much room I would have in the jar and how much room and displacement I would encounter once I added the sponges in. I think it was a package of six sponges so they weren't the really big ones that I used and cut in half. It seems to be working very nicely for us. As you can see I am halfway through my first batch of softener and it has been well over a month since I have started this adventure. Static doesn't seem to be a problem anymore and this is so much cheaper than buying the sheets or the bars to replace my Bounce holder.

I'd say this is a win for this Pinterest pin! 

28 January 2014

unofficial challenge

One of the scrapping groups I am a part of on FB tries to have monthly challenges to keep us all on our toes as well as keeping those creative juices flowing and not drying up. For some months there have been a few going on which is always fun. 

However, around Christmas time we discussed possibly doing a Christmas card monthly challenge. Many ladies thought that might put a few of us under too much stress/ pressure/ cardiac arrest. So we have an unofficial monthly Christmas card challenge. Make four Christmas cards every month if you are able. If you cannot, no biggie. If you can at least you will have that many cards done before the Christmas season hits again! Sounds good to me. And since I was done with my valentines, I had a couple hours to play.

I dug out an older holiday slab that I have had for a bit and grabbed a couple of patterns out. I like the blues and greens on these papers. I also did a gate fold card (I think that is what it is called) to test it out. I think I like it a lot. I cut the banner with my Cuttlebug using my Spellbinders dies. Heat embossed the sentiment with silver powder and added some silver pearls to the corner.

Inside I heat embossed in silver the sentiment. Still lots of room for a picture or a special holiday message.

Not too shabby and they didn't take too much time. I need to whip up a couple of adult valentines and some birthday cards. Off I go....

25 January 2014

if it's not messy it's not fun

I mean seriously, what could be a better quote than that?? When we are kids it is expected but not so much when we are adults. That is totally not fair by any means! Nothing wrong with getting messy and having fun. I saw this amazing canvas on Pinterest and I knew that I HAD to create it for my special friend who just so happens to be an amazing kindergarten teacher. It is so her (and me when I volunteer in her room) I knew that this canvas had to be made and hung near the art table in her classroom. So off to work I went.
I started by snagging a canvas from Kira's stash since she hasn't been doing any painting since she received them. Might as well use one!! I picked up some fun stickers at Target since we ended up in the area one night. I was hoping for some plastic ones but these ones worked okay. They were fuzzy and really meant for a scrapbook or a fun sign- not to be destroyed with paint. All for a good cause!!

I laid out the message and then snapped a quick picture of the colors I was using. In theory pretend they are jade green and lapis blue. Because I did. Kira actually helped me pick the colors since she is the resident artist in the family.

 Then I started putting the paint on the canvas with my hands (safely covered with rubber gloves. I mean I like messy but still let's not ruin the manicure) I had so much fun squishing the paint all around the letters and making finger prints and a handprint and finger swirls. Loved it!

Then the total work part of the project- getting the letters off of the canvas!! I guess I secured them too well on a couple. But I did manage to get them off. I pulled them off when the paint was still wet as I didn't want to tear the paint off after it had dried.

Work in progress. You can see the painted letters to the side.

What I think is the completed project. Loved it!! 

Another overhead shot. And as I was looking at it, I decided it needed something else. I mean it is messy and all.... but it didn't look messy enough. Does that make sense??

So I waited for the paint to all dry and then used some glitter spritz in gold and silver to make some flashes of fun and then I mixed up some glue, water and glitter and applied that over most of the white space that was left. You know, kindergarten is all about the glitter!! The heart shape that is on the hand print is for the first day of school project that my teacher friend does every year for the kissing hand. It is all glitter and sparkly.

Close up of the seriously glittered corner!

It was so much fun to give it to her!! Seriously it was perfect. I think every kindergarten/ preschool teacher needs this for their room! Maybe even the art teachers!! Thank you Pinterest for helping me out with this!!

And here it is on the wall of the classroom. Hanging near the art table. You can see it from the door and all around the room. PERFECT!!

Go make a mess today!!

24 January 2014

little bit of disney fun

This was the last page I managed to scrap before I dove headfirst into valentine production. We had a ton of fun walking around the Pop Century Resort at Walt Disney World. As you can see below things are never their real size at Disney!! Poor Kira got stuck on top of a foosball thanks to a lift from daddy!! Her shirt got caught when she tried to drop off and her tummy was stuck!! 

And can you see my family tucked in under that Big Wheel?? That is them!! Even teeny tiny Alex in his stroller. It was a good trip and I need to finish working on it.

But first- the valentines need to be completed. off I go...

15 January 2014

disney 2008 layouts

Oh yes I am a bit behind with my scrapping of our Disney trips. But it is so much fun to look back and see how tiny the kids were and remember the fun (and the craziness) of that trip. Kira's second trip and Alex's first. All I can say is thank goodness they are older now. So much easier to do Disney without a stroller or diapers!! Not that I would change the fact we went when we did, but glad those days are behind us.

In 2008, we stayed at the Pop Century Resort which was pretty new at the time. We had a fun time going around the resort when we got there and checking the place out. Disney always makes their resorts more than just a hotel. You have to go exploring and seeing everything!! For this layout, I took an alphabet and cut out the letters to create the top part. The first word on the left page and the last word on the right page spells Kira. When I was taking these pictures she didn't  understand what I was doing, but she went along with me- such a good girl!! This 'keyboard' was at one of the pools.

Cinderella's Castle. We had parked ourselves on Main Street to watch the parade and the fireworks and I was able to capture the changing colors on the castle. So magical and very Disney.

Again, more exploring around Pop Century. I can't believe how tiny the kids were. So long ago.

I snapped a couple pictures of my mom with Kira. Disney roses always smell so good. But watch out for the bees! They like the smell too.

My parents stayed after we had to go back home (stinkers) and my mom FINALLY got to hang with her favorite character Captain Hook. I love these pictures of her with him and Mr. Smee.

Just a tad bit sunny that day. Guess we all could have used our glasses for this shot. The papers I got while at Disney.

Later that day. As you can see, both Alex and I had a change of clothes. I was too hot in the black shirt and Alex had an accident. Still a happy group shot.

More Disney to come, but first I have to work on some valentines. Busy busy me!!

14 January 2014

snowman thank you's

Playing around on Pinterest to find projects for Alex to do had me coming across some fun thumb print stamping ideas. One of which was 'stamping' a snowman. Alex then decided he didn't want to "Build a Snowman" (have you seen Disney's Frozen?? We love Olaf around here). I didn't let that stop me!! Then I was thinking I had some foam circle stamps that would probably work for snowmen and what do you know... they did!!

Here are the six guys waiting for me to finish them up. I stamped the two circles with white paint and let them dry. Used one end of my dry embossing tool to create their eyes and smiles and an eraser on a pencil for the buttons in black paint. I grabbed some scrap orange cardstock and cut the carrots. Nothing precise about them, just eyeballed them to fit on their faces.

Here are the cards completed. I should mention I created the snowmen on a smaller piece of Kraft cardstock and then attached that to the card front. Worked out much better for me since I don't like the look of ribbons and such poking on the inside of the cards I create. One of my pet peeves.

Close up/ side view. The one banner on the card in front was the first one and didn't work out exactly as I had wanted it but you can see I improved the placing of the banner on the others. I punched holes on the sides of the snowmen's neck to give me a place to string the bakers twine through for their scarves. I also added 'stick' arms by using a heavier jute I had laying around.

I used Versamark ink to stamp the snowflakes which are from Paper Smooches (thanks mom) If I make these cards again, I may do the stamping first along with some embossing. I have a lovely sparkle powder that I think would rock the front of these cards.

The banner was heat embossed and hand cut. Used a bit of foam tape to give the banner dimension and curled up the edges.

Two of these sweet guys were sent out by the kiddos and four are still living here. If you want them, drop me a line!!

11 January 2014

if you can't say anything nice....

....remove your fingers from the keyboard and turn off your computer!

This is what I have had to do for over a year now because of the town I live in. We are a small town. We began our existence as a mill town. We have no income or sales tax because we decided to live here in New Hampshire. Because of no taxes coming in from these sources- all funds needed to run our town have to come from property taxes. Think about that. All the money that you can spend on a small New England town, has to come from people who own property. Needless to say, our little town doesn't have much in the way of luxuries and has had to cut back some services due to the economy.

Part of these cuts have resulted in losing qualified people who worked with our children in both of our schools, technology not being updated, teachers not receiving raises, books and supplies not being current, as well as repairs and maintenance not being able to be done on the buildings. There are other issues that are going on in our town as well including a new water treatment plant and possible demolition or replacing of a key dam on the river so the money our town does have, can only be stretched so far. 

My problem with this is that for YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS- nothing has been done. Even before the economy took a nosedive. Before the state stopped funding building of new schools. Before the EPA mandated we stop dumping high levels of chemicals into the river and threatened to take us to court. Before all of that, no one wanted to spend money. The feeling around town was "it was good enough for my kids (or even me) so why do we need to do anything?". When my husband and I moved into this town, almost fourteen years ago, both the water treatment plant as well as the high school were issues. We knew this moving here and figured it would work itself out in a couple of years. Boy were we ever wrong! What we didn't count on was the majority of people being uninformed when they vote and that they vote with their wallets. We lived in a few other states where building a new school was not an issue. It was on the ballot, you voted and the building was built. We were shocked each time the issue came up for a vote and failed miserably. Why are people in this town not supporting education of our children? It boggled our minds. And still does.

Water treatment plant. Yup we need it. People who use town water and sewer will pay for it. Fine. I vote yes. What is the problem?? (believe me it is NOT that simple). But that is not what I want to discuss in this post. This post is for my frustration on the school building issue. My inability to keep my cool when people in the town do not have all the facts but go forth and spew them from the top of Mount Washington like they were the Holy Scriptures, has had me backing away from my keyboard as well as not participating in discussions, meetings and online forums for over a year. I do not do well when I want to have conversations and adult discussions with others and members of that party resorts to name calling, mud slinging, lies and bogus facts. This is not middle school, this is real life. We can be adults and discuss our differences without all the drama. Well, you would think that and you would be wrong wrong wrong.

For years our Junior/ Senior High School has been falling apart. I guess I should start on when it was built- 1925. It was too small when it opened because the town didn't want to spend more money on building it larger as they didn't believe a larger building was needed. They were wrong. It was also built so that a third story could not be added- that saved the town money and made people happy.

There was an addition built in 1953. Again that addition did not give the building enough room to house the students. They added on again in 1965. There was one more addition to the school in 1985, that was for the gymnasium/ locker rooms. Again all these additions are not able to hold a third floor. Future planning is not a big thing around here. The aerial view of the school looks like a Tetris piece gone wrong. Now it is too small to meet the Department of Education State Guidelines on classroom sizes and other spaces. We can't put any  more additions onto the school as the land available and the footprint of the school will not support it.

There have been many suggestions over the years as to how to fix this problem in our town. There was one to buy up the land surrounding the school from homeowners so we could expand. That was met with a large NO from the community. It could have also had something to do with the talk of eminent domain that was bantered about town. Bet you can guess who started in with that term. 

There was a suggestion to put the school on the golf course we have in town- again NO was the response from the voters. Most voters felt that the school should remain in the 'center' of town and not on the outskirts. And some didn't even realize exactly how bad the Junior/ Senior High School building was at that time. Information was hard to come by back then and not as readily available as it is now.

Another suggestion was to buy the land across the street from the Junior/ Senior High School and build there.(the land across the street belonged to a greenhouse/ florist family and they were looking to sell the land) That would solve the 'center' of town issue. It took A LOT of work but the land was purchased and now belongs to the school. You would think that should be the end of this whole debate on building a much needed school for our beloved town. But you would be seriously mistaken on all counts!

The first two suggestions would have given us some state aid to help offset the cost to our town. Since those times, the New Hampshire government has put all school building funding on hold. And once they decide to start funding again, they are already millions of dollars behind in what they already owe to towns who had been promised funds before the funding was stopped. We are on our own folks. Which means, the burden is on the town's taxpayers exclusively.

Yes we have made the current building work for many years and things were going swimmingly. Well if you consider that some classes were being taught in hallways and storage was wherever there was space. All of this came to light during a fire inspection. Come to find out the building where we send our students, OUR CHILDREN, was considered failing in many fire and life safety concerns. Because of all the different additions, stairwells were now located in the middle of hallways instead of being enclosed to keep a fire from traveling quickly from one level to another. Many areas in the building do not meet ADA requirements, there are wood floors as well as wainscoting that need to be removed or covered with flame retardant materials, and there was not proper ventilation in the science labs or two proper egresses. These were the larger of many concerns the fire chief had for our building. The entire laundry list of failings was presented to the town along with an ultimatum- if these things were not fixed (or a new school being built) by the 2015-2016 school year, the building was going to be closed. That's it folks. Party is over- no school in town.

Repair work has been done on some of the issues on the school as the debate continues on as to what to do for the long term. Because we have been doing some of the improvements, we have been able to keep the building open. However, this last bit of work that needs to be done will ONLY solve our fire and life safety issues in the building. It will not fix the problems of overcrowding, hallways too narrow, classes being held in the cafeteria or in the 'auditorium'. All it will do is buy us a bit of time before we have to build a new school. And that is what many people in town would like to do. 


Wait for someone else to pay for it.
Wait for the economy to turn around.
Wait for the cost to come down.
Wait until those of us who want a new school, leave town.

I am willing to pay for a new school. I believe that education is key to the future. Just because you or your children didn't have it, doesn't mean you should discount it and call it reckless spending or a Taj Mahal.

Will the economy ever go back to where we were ten years ago? Nope. Deal with the present people. The DeLorean is not taking us back in time.

The cost will never go down. The suggestions that were discussed in the past were priced at $20 million, and $35 million. Each of those suggestions included state aid. Our current option is priced at $45 million and no state aid. I don't see those prices going down over the past seven or eight years and they certainly will not go down the longer we drag this out.

Why do I have to leave? I chose this town from all the other towns in New Hampshire. I chose to call this town my home. I chose to raise my children in this town. I chose to experience the small town flavor of living in this town. Why are you declaring I have to leave in order for my children to get the education I want for them? Why do you get to decide when I move? 

I am beyond frustrated on this whole issue. There seems to be a divide in this town. Us versus Them. Not sure what happened and how we can get back to one group of people who want the best for our wonderful town. I do know that name calling, half truths, insults, circle talking and being mean are not going to bring us together. 
Let's talk facts. 
Let's remove the emotion. 
Let's be a community again.

I strongly believe our only option is to build a new school. 
I strongly believe the current proposal that is on the table is one that is fair and reasonable.
I strongly believe we can do this and move forward into the future with pride in our town.

09 January 2014

get well card

My nephew in Virginia managed to break his leg by being a twelve year old boy who was not well supervised and had a cabinet crash down on him. Broke the two bones in his lower leg. He did need surgery but did not need pins or rods (at least of this writing)

I have been there and know the pain all too well. He has been in quite a bit of pain since the accident so I sent out this get well card in the hopes it could lift his spirits for a bit.

Poor thing.

08 January 2014

teacher christmas gifts 2013

I have the pleasure of helping out in one of the kindergarten rooms with an amazing teacher and her equally amazing helper/ partner in crime/ friend/ paraprofessional extraordinaire. I help out twice a week so I can hang with both the AM and the PM classes. Cutest littles ever!!

But once again I digress.....

I made each of these ladies a set of eight cards for a Christmas gift. So much fun as I love making cards!! I also love using a new tool. I picked up the Fiskars hexagon punch on the black Friday weekend for a steal at Joanns. I also purchased a corner punch from Fiskars to replace the one I misplaced in my office and got both punches for under $10. Seriously happy day for me!!

So using my new hexagon tool I went to work on some cards.

And there you have a fun little something to give to two ladies who let me come into their classroom and paint the children!!

07 January 2014

my little pony- rarity invite

I simply love a challenge!! Really really do. So when a friend of mine asked if I could create a My Little Pony birthday invitation which had Rarity on it, I jumped at it!! Sure why not?? Of course this was all said without having a single clue as to who the heck is this Rarity pony?! Kira never really got into the whole pony thing. She had them but they were gifts and were never played with that much. They found their way to our local Rec Center Preschool Play Group where they have been loved and loved by many children in the community. But I digress....

Not only is Rarity a little pony, nope she is a unicorn pony!! Okey dokey!! Off to the Silhouette store to find a file I could hopefully use to create this special pony. Giving up was not an option because my friend has THE CUTEST daughters who both enjoy ponies. I could not disappoint those little squeaks!!

I found a file with a pony and purchased it. Adjusted it to fit on the invitation and then hand drew into the Silhouette software the unicorn horn!! There was no way I was cutting all those horns out!!

The first photo shows Rarity in all her glory on the invitation front. I used Bazzill bling since what fun is a pony that isn't sparkly?? (no fun at all)

Here is the front after I had cut the sentiment with my Spellbinders.

And one with the flash so you can appreciate the bling of that paper!!

Backside of the invitation where my friend could write in all the information for this pony party!! I used a border punch and some of the purple bling paper for the stars.

And a pile of pony goodness ready for action!!

06 January 2014

terri's teases order

I had posted back in March a lovely peacock inspired card drawer/ box that I had created for a special order on my Etsy shop. This customer contacted me again and asked for a special wedding themed box for her daughter. It needed to be blue with lace and pretty and such. Talk about fun!!

I stitched some lace all along the top of the box before I started assembling it. As you can see in the background, the next step was attaching some pearl-ish white seed beads along the edge of the lace.

Here is the top of the box once I had finished. I purchased the lace on the front of the box from Joann's and it worked out perfectly!! You can see all those seed beads along the edge on the top.

Little better view of the front of the drawer.

Last shot of this beautiful box. Perfect to hold wedding treasures for the bride.

05 January 2014

ice cream flavored cows

Here are my ice cream flavored inspired cow cards. I really need to make up another couple sets of these. I love them!! Anywho, the stamp is from Paper Smooches my very most favorite stamp company at the moment (and probably for awhile) Their images are so clear and fun to color and plain old silly at times. The stamps themselves work like a dream right out of the package. LOVE THEM!! This stamp comes from the set Chubby Chums.(in case you were wondering)

Here are chocolate, blueberry, mint chocolate chip (I think he is my favorite) and bubble gum. Along with a side view of each.

Here are the last four in the set. Strawberry, creamsicle, Neapolitan, and spumoni. I had to add pistachio to the cow print since there needed to be nine cows for it to work out correctly.  

Now if it wasn't so darn cold, I would think that some ice cream would be in order. But being as it is not above 20 degrees F at the moment, I'm thinking some hot chocolate would be a better bet!!