Friday, August 26, 2011

A little about me....

Sweet Sweet Pea 
Some things I do not discuss much here, not just because I am a sporadic poster, although that is a lot of the reason, but sometimes it is all I can do to chronicle the things I am making, that is really, what this blog is about. Occasionally, I think that this blog will become some sort of record of my free time, which is not much if you go by how much I post.

Today for the that reason, for the sake of our friend posperity, I am going on record saying that in May I graduated from college. And It was hard. It was hard in the fact that at age 34 I decided that I had had enough of the cloud of regret that has hung over me for over a decade. I needed to go to college. I needed to finish. It was hard in the fact that the other reason I knew I needed to go was to relieve some of the financial strain that we always have, my husband did not go to college either. Our job selection in this case is minimal. At least it is for us. It was hard in the fact that I had four children at home and my youngest(s) were beginning Kindergarten. And it was hard in the fact that I had to still work full time.

I miss it. I graduated. I loved class and the people I went with. In all the things that were hard lie all the things that are great. I am a college graduate. I have a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Middle School Language Arts. I know what it is like to struggle through school, to fight and to finish. I learned I love middle schoolers as much as first graders and every age in between. My children get it.

Today I am taking my 4th of the 6 tests that I need to become a licensed teacher in the state of Minnesota. I am 40 years old. College took me 6 years and I hate tests. I know what it is like to test poorly but get good grades. I will admit it; I know what it is like to fail. I failed my math test-it is required- I have to pass. I find linear equations very challenging and geometry is a bit above my knowledge base 20+ years out of high school. My education program prepared me to teach, to learn, to care, to be humble, to understand, to analyze, to share my passion but not how to solve quadratic equations. I need to know these.

However, the test today is not about integers, exponents and slope (that is next week). The test today is on Middle School Content, I should have studied all day. I did not. I finished a quilt top. I have studied math for two solid weeks and just felt I needed to relax and refresh. The tests for licensure are new this year. We are some of the first ones taking them while I am not 100% confident, not even close; I am okay to take it twice. I took a pedagogy test in July and did fine so I suppose I am still floating on that hoping that what I know is enough.

So if you happen to read this, if you actually got this far, thank you and think of me and send me good thoughts. There are still many days when I question what I am doing, why I put myself and my family through this and if I will ever be able to get through these tests to do the one thing that I am truly passionate about, the one thing that I know I am good at, will I ever be able- to teach.

***DISCLAIMER since I have admitted that my education and my strong desire to teach please do not judge my grammatical errors- to me writing from the heart allows a person grammatical imperfections.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Path of Least Resistance

Can you see what is wrong with this picture? Okay not the picture but what is being sewn? Look at the seams...

Yup, that is not right sides together. I had over half of this LONG section sewn when I realized what I had done. I slowly and begrudgingly picked up my trusty seam ripper when I thought- wait- I have not attached where I joined the long blue strip. Why not just rip out 2.5 inches instead of 50 inches. YES YES.

So I did and turned the seam around (this can only work when your fabric is a solid like this Kona Cotton or a homespun) and sewed it the other way.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rare Occurance

I buy large spools of thread and it seems that when it actually runs out there should be some celebration. Look at me I emptied the spool. Perhaps there should be a pile of finished products to show for them, yet all I seem to have is an empty spool. Hmmm

This month my eldest turned 19 (wow) and the next day headed back to college. We spent the day shopping with my mother getting her 'school supplies'. The latter changes drastically from the crayons and markers of days gone by. Our list included things like a large rug, a lamp, shoe rack and a mattress cover (to name a few of the necessities for being a roommate in a house as a sophomore). I don't think we bought one pencil???

Aside from the shopping I wanted her to have a gift to open so I made her the framed fabric covered cork board, matching push pins, a nightlight and the slipps to keep her feet warm when she is up late studying.

I did not have a gift bag in the house so I whipped up this one. For a bit of whimsy I used zippers for the handles. I love these zippers- they are all metal. I have a bunch of them in a myriad of colors. I am thinking of opening a shop and will put some of these buties for sale.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Welcome Home

It has been a month, a whole long month since I sent my beloved laptop to the spa,  a lovely little journey all the way to Texas to see a specialist to repair some of its ailments. He is back and all shiny and refreshed and ready to work again. It had been ailing since spring and on a gradual decline in health.
 Welcome Home.
In the mean time I filled my camera card and had no where to go with them. So today, after I nearly hugged and kissed the UPS driver who delivered my laptop back to me safely, I uploaded all a gazillion or so photos back onto this little baby and subsequently got busy deleting editing said gazillion pictures.

I did a few things this summer.

Sometime in June my amazing niece took my boys on the vacation of their lifetime, leaving me home to fend for myself. It is a weird thing when the house empties of the children who reside there. A quiet enters every room and you find yourself a bit lost. That lasted a nano-second. I in turn took apart their rooms and organized and cleaned like crazy.


The first room I did belongs to my eldest son, my reader, my peacemaker and my conflict flee-r. This little shelf has had many roles and for the last few years sat solemnly in his bedroom holding miscellaneous junk. I gave it a new covering with pages of a book that had lost its own cover and was headed for the bin. I also printed a few things off to add additional interest such as the Dracula book cover and pages from my all time favorite book, Runny Babbit.

A little modge podge and a little paint and we have a transformed shelf that now sits beside another project for his room:

Found this desk at a garage sale for about $3, the maps were from
National Geographic   mags, all it took was a little modge podge and new wood knobs painted white.

His walls were white and not having time or money for new paint I used tape to measure off squares and rectangles in various places. I had blue, brown and chalkboard paint that I used to paint random squares.

The chalkboard squares have become a really popular doodle spot where he can doodle on his wall without repercussions. I also painted with chalkboard paint a strip of wall just inside his door where he can doodle to his hearts content.

Then I needed some art.
He had the above mirror he bought at a garage sale for a quarter (love this kid) and I sprayed it in celery along with the frame, also a quarter. Since he is such a reader his art is all about that. The pictures I printed off and framed.

The frames, again, are from the thrift, and the top one sports more of the book I used for the shelf. The quote is by Cicero, "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

He was very happy and surprisingly his room stays a lot cleaner. Bonus.


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