Wednesday, September 21, 2011

DIY Felt Board

For today's post I decided to share a project that I completed a few weeks ago. I have been getting a lot of great ideas from Pinterest lately but I am proud to say this is something I came up with all on my own! I'm sure it's been done before, but this is such a perfect addition to a home or a classroom it's worth revisiting.

We threw a "Meet the Baby" celebration a few weeks ago and one of the things I wanted to do before people came over was finally hang up the many pictures and frames we have had laying around since we moved and our daughter was born. Here's how it turned out (sorry for the picture quality, they were taken on my iPhone--I'm working on taking better pictures for blogging):

Did you spot the one that isn't quite right? I've been meaning to fix it. I won't even tell you about the huge hole I put in the wall and the pipe I hit while putting these up.

So anyway, I had a large 24"x36" frame left over from a project I never completed. I was cleaning up Afton's felt board pieces she had been playing with and I began to wish she had a large play surface to hang them up and play on. Then, the bells went off! I could make the frame into a felt board! I went to the fabric store and bought a yard of black felt. This ended up being more than I needed because apparently felt comes WAY wider than I am used to. That's fine, though, because I had a coupon and only paid $2.19 for all of it. I'll have left overs for other projects.

Next, Dustin cut a piece of cardboard the size of a picture that would fit in the frame. He actually used the backing of the frame to trace onto the cardboard. I cut the felt using the cardboard as a guide. I left an extra inch to overlap on each side. Then I wrapped the felt over the front of the cardboard. I used a glue stick on the cardboard to help keep the felt flat. I would've used some spray adhesive if I had it, but this has held up well so far. I used my regular old office stapler to staple the felt to the cardboard. Here's a tip--staple as close to the edge of the cardboard as you can, otherwise the staples will show once it is in the frame. Finally I put the felt into the frame (no glass needed) and hung it on the wall!

There are so many felt board projects I want to do for the kids! The teacher in me wants to get a calendar felt set to start talking about numbers and weather each day with Afton. I also want to cut pumpkin shapes and various eyes, nose and mouth pieces out of the black felt for some seasonal pumpkin decorating fun. So far, the only thing I have done is used cookie cutters to trace simple shapes onto red and white felt. I cut them out and used them to entertain Aiden:

By the way, Afton's favorite felt board activity is tearing all of the pieces off of the board and leaving them in a pile on the floor. Good times.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

First Post: Introduction

Well, here it is--my first post as a blogger! I decided to try my hand at blogging this summer after discovering all of the awesome teacher blogs out there. I was also introduced to my new love, Pinterest. I couldn't decide if I wanted to blog about teaching or crafting, so I decided to do both!

This post is my introduction and I will admit, it is kind of scattered. I have a newborn, my second child, and every mommy knows how disconnected her brain can feel in those first sleep-deprived weeks. Having two kids under two multiplies that by one million. If it weren't for my many leaky orifices (thank you, mommyhood) I doubt I'd remember to put clothes on before I walked outside. So here it is--a list of ten random things about me, in no particular order:

7. Hey, I said they were in no particular order.
I like to be crafty! Oh wait, did you already figure that out about me? I dabble in all crafty things, especially since having kids. But, to be more specific, I like to quilt. I come from a family of quilters and inherited the talent. Actually, I'm still kind of a beginner. I've never attempted anything that didn't have all straight lines in it. Usually, I make the quilt top and then take it to a local shop where they put on the binding and machine quilt it. It's like cheating but it's all I have time for right now. I own and treasure my grandmother's quilting racks and will someday take them out and quilt something as she always did. My current project is making a quilt (top) for my new son, Aiden.

4. Yeah, I'm seriously going to do this the whole time.
I recently earned my Master's Degree in Reading from an awesome online program at Concordia University Portland. It was extremely challenging. Not only were the classes demanding, but I started when my daughter was three months old and worked full time while my husband was working and going to school full time also (he is going back to become a high school science teacher) and then toward the end I got pregnant with number two. If it weren't for the blessing of getting a student teacher I wouldn't have been able to finish, as I was able to write my research project when she took over. I secretly have the desire to earn my doctorate. That will be years down the road. Maybe.

3. This is my favorite number.
While I love teaching, I would also love to be a stay-at-home mom. At least until the kids are in school. I love them so much and don't want to miss a single minute of their lives. It kills me that in less than two weeks I will be leaving not one, but two kiddos every day with someone else. I wish I could take them to school with me. Could I pass them off as our class pets???

5. I'm not allowed to count like this in school. Let me do it here.
Speaking of kids, I have two. My daughter Afton is the kindest, smartest, most beautiful little girl in the world and is almost two. Aiden, my son, was born on August 21st and is the most handsome little boy ever. I am on maternity leave with him right now. I gave birth all natural with no tears or problems. He weighed--hold on to something now--11 lbs. 6 0z. at birth. I seriously don't know how I did it, but I totally feel like Wonder Woman now. Maybe that's how I should sign my posts.

8. This is what sleep deprivation does to you, it makes you crazy.
In October I will have known my husband for 10 years and been married for 5. Dustin and I met in college, got engaged in Las Vegas and were married on Oahu, Hawaii on May 20, 2006 in a beautiful chapel by the sea. We love to travel (can you tell?). He is my best friend. He came up with the name for this blog and you can bet you will hear more about him in posts to come. He is very creative as well and as I mentioned before he is going to be a teacher, too!

1. Having fun in grade one!
I am in my fifth year of teaching. I have taught every grade I am licensed to teach (preK-3) except third, and first grade is my favorite by far. Teaching reading is my passion. At the end of every year I wonder how these students who came to me in the beginning and couldn't read a word can now read tons of books! It is amazing to witness and makes it all worthwhile. I want to be a reading specialist or Reading Recovery teacher.

9. Yeah I've got nothing for this one.
I am the budget person for my house. I told my husband I would budget and pay bills if he did the taxes every year, because I HATE taxes! My husband and I took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University in February 2010 and since have paid off all consumer debt and done things like purchase a van with cash! We actually physically brought $7,000 to the car dealership. They weren't as happy as we were about it. He actually said, "Really, you can't just write a check?".

2. Uh oh, Afton is throwing food at the dogs, I better start wrapping up.
I love to have a clean house but hate to be the one to do it. When I get rich the first thing I'm doing is hiring someone to do laundry and dishes. I hate those things!

10. Almost done, Afton. I will wipe the yogurt out of your hair in a minute.
I have a freckle patch on my shoulder blade and when I was little I used to dream that it was secretly a sign that I belonged to a long-lost royal family and was a princess or queen or something of significance. Okay, I still dream that. Completely random, right?

6. The dogs are covered in yogurt and Aiden is stirring now. I can tell it's time for him to eat *dabs wet shirt*.I am going to be 30 in less than two months! I'm not sure how I feel about that yet. My husband is 5 months younger than me and loves making me feel old. If you asked him he would tell you that I should be on Medicaid soon. I can't wait for him to turn 30. For my birthday I asked for a total makeover like you would see on TLC's What Not to Wear. I would probably settle for a TV for my craft room or a new computer. Or a nice long shower and time to shave my legs.

Well, that's me for now. If you made it to the end of this surprisingly long and goofy post, bless you. While I'm totally new to this whole blogging thing, I think it will be fun and I look forward to more posts in the future!

Wonder Woman, a.k.a.