Thursday, August 14, 2014

goodbye summer

Goodbye Summer,
 While I have enjoyed each and every day I must leave you tomorrow for I return to work and the children. Even though we knew this day was coming parting is such sweet sorrow, but I will see you again the same time next year.

Until then I remain yours forever...

not my photo
Chris =]

Thursday, July 31, 2014

christmas in a box

  During Ms.L's second year of college she moved into an apartment. I didn't want her to miss feeling the happiness of the holiday by not having any Christmas decorations. In all honesty I was probably missing it for her more than she was. I tend to go a "little" overboard with my Christmas decorating. She had a super tiny place and I knew she wouldn't want the extra clutter. I came up with Christmas in a Box.

  This was version #1, it was a cardboard box I decorated. Recently Ms. Destructo asked me to remake it because it was falling apart. I realize it was just a cardboard box but the poor thing looked like it had been knocked around the block a few times (I still love you sweet pea - swak).
I thought I would show you how I made version #2.
- decorative storage box w/lock clasp
- can of primer spray paint, I like Kilz
- can of spray paint, your choice of color
- carpet remnant
- 8x10 photo of Christmas decorations w/ frame cut to size. I wanted it to feel like home so I used a photo of our Christmas decorated fireplace.
- 12x12 Christmas paper cut to size
- desktop Christmas Tree. Mine is about 12" tall
- miniature ornaments
- Christmas tchotchkes and mini garland.   

I didn't take photos of the first couple of steps.

1. Since the box is going to stand up on one of the short sides Remove the handle and fill in the holes with a little spackle.

2. Spray paint the inside and outside of box with primer, let dry. Then spray paint both again with color of your choice, let dry. I didn't worry too much about painting the areas where the pictures were going.

3. (picture #1)  I needed a frame around the photo to fill in the "wall" of the lid. Measure the height and width and cut a scrap piece of paper to make sure it fit. Using the scrap paper as a pattern cut the black (or whatever color you choose) 12x12 paper to size. 
   I don't really "do math" so this next part I just eyeballed. Lay the photo on the back side of the black paper making adjustments to the placement until it looks even. Mark where all four corners are  (the white lines). Using my big fiskars paper cutter I cut out the center piece. Tape the picture to the back of the frame ** Remember to make the opening at least 1/3" smaller so the picture doesn't just fall through.**
  Using double stick tape, tape to the inside of the lid.

4. (picture #2) The scrap paper pattern also fit the "wall" of the box - Yeah me!! -.  My Christmas paper wasn't so much scrapbook paper as it was wrapping paper that need extra support. Cut another piece of 12x12 paper to the size of the pattern. Cut the Christmas paper a little bigger to allow for a pretty edge. Glue the Christmas paper to the support background. Flip it over and scotch tape the extra to the back.
  Using double stick tape, tape to the inside of the back wall.
Or... skip all that and just cut a piece of 12x12 Christmas scrapbook paper to fit and double stick tape it to the back wall.

5. Now it's time for the decorating! You can't tell but I painted the celling with a popcorn texture, not that it's necessary, I just happen to have a can of it in the garage and thought it was fun to add it to the diorama. The carpet remnant was in the original, and luckily it fit into the new box.
  The garland, angel and mini bows were attached with hot glue.

6. The miniature ornaments I picked up at the local craft store and the beaded garland I made using fishing line and tiny diamond shaped beads.
  The presents are assorted sized pieces of floral foam wrapped in christmas paper. The cat is a LPS toy that I painted to look like our cat Blackjack using enamel paints and the monster in the santa hat is a small picture of our 2010 tree topper. Every year I change the Christmas tree topper and most times it's not traditional.

7. The decorations fit nicely in a wooden tea box and then it and the tree fit snugly into the diorama box and can be stored until Christmas time.
  Scrapbook a cute tag to attach to the front of the box and all done.

Hope you enjoyed it.

Chris =]

Friday, July 18, 2014

365 Reasons to be Grateful: day 122 to 152

HI !! Did you think I left? I could lie to you and say I've been super busy but... the only thing I've been is super lazy. I have been scrapbooking and crafting, making Christmas cards and presents but mostly I read. It's been heavenly!
I'm a little behind posting my monthly Greatful's, here is May:

Chris =]

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

a conversation,an observation and a sacrifice at work

  I haven't written much about work this year, it's not that nothing is happening it's that most of it is only exciting to us. There have been a few thing lately:

The conversation:
  I love when I get a chance to start the unraveling of a stereotype. Yes, I have a TMNT lunch box because I'm cool like that.

   One of our older and almost age level students noticed that this was my lunch box and not one of the other boys.
Him: Ms. Chris, Is that your lunch box?
Me: Yes.
Him: You can't have a Ninja Turtle lunch box!
Me: Why not?
Him: Cause you a girl.
Me: So? Girls can't like Ninja Turtles?
Him: No, just boys.
Me: Well I like Ninja Turtles and Avengers and Batman too. (I would have mentioned Doctor Who, but he doesn't know it.)
At this point the teacher and other aide, who are both ladies tell him what "boy" characters they like.
Him: He doesn't say anything, but I could tell by the look on his face that the little wheels were turning.
I think tomorrow I need to take the batman lunchbox.

The observation:
  In the afternoon class we now have 8 very active boys, Oh My Heavens!!!!!!!! I need to get in better shape, they wear me out. After three hours I'm ready for a nap. I try to look at the afternoon class as forced calisthenics and I am slowly showing signs of more energy and muscle.
  It's been a long time since we have had this many students (boys in particular) who are all ready potty trained ~ well... except for the aiming part and I must say that I've forgotten the "rules of engagement" when dealing with children who stand to pee:

Rule 1 - Do Not stand to the side of the child, stand behind him it protects your shoes. Little boys are like out of control sprinklers.

Rule 2 - If the child is not hitting the target it's better to gently turn him back instead of talking. It has been my experience that if you say something he will jump and hit more than just the toilet seat.

Rule 3 - Remove all unnecessary items from around the toilet, unless you enjoying disinfecting them every day.

Rule 4 -  Under no circumstances allow anyone to sit on the bathroom floor!

The Sacrifice:
  The lengths I'm will to go to, the hardships I'm willing to endure, the sacrifices I make to ensure the kids have the best equipment for their exploration and learning...
   These mini M&M tubes are the perfect size for the kids to play with in the sensory table that is filled monthly with different colored rice and other items that coincides with a theme or color. This month we are doing the ocean, and the rice is blue, and we didn't have a blue tube so when I saw them on sale I HAD to be the bigger person and sacrifice myself for the good of the class.  I know it's heartbreaking... hee hee. =]
Chris =]

Thursday, May 1, 2014

356 reasons to be grateful: days 60 to 91

Reasons for being grateful in March:


 I did a nine day color collage that was interrupted when we took a short trip to see Ms. L. I couldn't decide which photo to add from our visit, so I added both. (top row, second collage).

Chris =]

Thursday, April 24, 2014

2014 backyard - part three

Here we have a few guests,

  A pair of Junco's made a nest in the spider plant, look at those sweet eggs. I can't wait for the babies. It's fun to watch the Mommy as she comes back to the nest, she followed the same routine each time.

 I call this snail The Overachiever. It climbed almost to the top of the screen door before coming back down. I think it got tired and decided to camp out in the middle of the door, who can blame her, she had a great view. She worked so hard to get there we were careful not to knock her off, but she was gone by the next day.

 Sitting in the living room the other afternoon I saw this odd shape on the bay window, when I got closer it was this strange almost crab like looking spider. I think I watch/read too much Sci-Fi because my first thought was it's a craider! Run for the Hills!! (after I take a photo)

  I don't think these two "guests" plan on leaving anytime soon. ;]

Chris =]