Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lunar Cycles, State Testing and Barometric Pressure....

( keep scrolling down, I just realized the first photo is way down... don't know why... no energy to try and figure out how to fix it...)

looks like it's time for some new paints...

 So... I'm blaming the chaotic nature of my students these past two weeks on lunar cycles, state testing and barometric pressure these past two weeks... we have had them all, several at the same time... I love them all, but they have been out of their creative little minds... chatty, excitable, not listening, you know the routine... it's that time of year, the weather is getting nice the kids are sensing it's time for a break and re-charge of their brains ( just like everybody else). I can't blame them, I feel the same way.

One of my colleagues puts a funny/inspirational quote in our mailboxes every Friday as a pick me up ( we all needed it this year...) this is the one I found yesterday. I laughed out loud! It totally sums up the past couple of weeks! State testing has had everyone a little nuts these past two weeks, schedule changes, room changes, parts of the building you can't talk or make any kind of noise because testing is going on, it's done now... back to our regularly scheduled programming next week! ( yeah!) 

Kindergarten butterflies...

                                            2nd grade Warm/Cool weavings...

          The front hall bulletin board. It looks amazing with the 1st grade flower paintings on it!

 Because I am a glutton for punishment, I am researching how the Visual Arts connect to the Common Core Standards... I'm just thinking ahead... I need to be one step ahead to keep my sanity... looking for a way to connect without being boring. and un-creative.. it's there, I just need to write it down so it's visual and in front of me...

Spring is finally in full swing here in New Jersey! last year I didn't put out as many flowers since we were going away for two weeks to the Caribbean( and knew they would croak in the heat while we were gone) I really missed them last summer.  My porch is full of flowers and looking beautiful!

I have to plant my marigolds down around my mailbox this morning, as well as many other outside projects today! The tan chair belonged to my grandmother... it was her go to chair for sitting in the back yard. She kept it on our back porch with her basket of clothes pins on it. We had large clothes line off the back porch that was used all year round when I was growing up. When my Mom moved I took it, I couldn't bear to throw it out. I was going to strip the many, many layers of paint that are on it, after a closer look I think the layers of paint are holding it together! You can't sit on it, so I just display it with the occasional plant.

How cool did this come out?! I was doing some yard work last weekend and found an old metal bistro set we have that is ready for the trash. The bottoms have fallen out of the chairs. Instead of putting it out for the trash I decided recycle it into a great way to display flowers by my front steps! I love how it turned out! I am going to use the other chair in my backyard. I need to find the right container to fit the base and pick up some flowers.( ignore the dead Laurel bush in the background... sadly this past winter completely did it in. I waited to see if it would come back but its toast. One of the things I need to remove/trim that the winter season did a number on...)

Two books I ordered from Amazon last weekend came yesterday! One is on classroom management by Michael Linsin. I follow his blog, Smart Classroom Management. If you have never read any of his posts about classroom management techniques check it out.  He has written a couple of books on classroom management and this one is his newest geared towards the special subject teacher classroom which as we as special subject teachers is different in many ways from a regular education classroom. I started reading it last night, its an easy read and his thoughts on classroom management are well grounded. 
The other book is called, Sweet Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori. It comes with patterns to sew the 23 outfits in the book. There are some really great pieces in the book! I'm excited to pick some to sew this summer! They are just the style I have been looking for but have not been able to find! It's now in English so I can read the directions without trying to translate through the pictures!

This is a shawl in progress, one skien down and one to go yet. I love how the pattern is working up! I found the pattern on Ravelry. Once I got the repeat memorized it has been been a relaxing project to work on. It took me a little bit to get the pattern in my head! It has a several row repeat. Hoping to finish it up this week. It will make a great summer weight shawl!

                                                      Detail of the scallops...

Playing with another block... attempting to turn it into a sweater... work in progress... I got bored and started the scalloped shawl!

Don't know if I ever showed you guys these finished...

                 This is another Nordic Shawl I made from extra yarn I had laying around...

I think this one is based on the Nordic Shawl also... I have started to mingle elements of different patterns and make up my own borders so I'm starting to forget which patterns inspired what! I really like the color combination in this one! Again, these were left over yarns from other projects. The color combo reminds me of a scene from, The Devil Wears Prada. If you have ever seen the movie its the scene where Miranda is telling Andy how the blue in her sweater came about, during the discussion Miranda is styling a similar red tone dress with a turquoise belt . I always loved that color combo! 

My Lilly of the Valley are in bloom and smell really, really good! I should stop and go do other things... recycling, dishes, yard work, progress report grades(yuck)... 

It's a beautiful day out, if you are having the same go out and enjoy it!  :)

Mrs."C"  :)


  1. I absolutely LOVE your porch. My daughter and I want to come live with you so we can hang out there. All your little touches are so inviting.

    1. Thanks! I love my porch too! It was the one thing that my husband and I would not take off our "want" list when we were building our house 14 years ago. I laughed when I looked at the porch pics again, you can see my Christmas tree stand still sitting there and the handle of one of the snow shovels that we have not put away yet!

  2. Can I come hang out on your porch and gaze at your lily of the valley? You're only, oh, about a two day drive away...

    1. Everyone is welcome! We'll call it a creative retreat! The lily of the valley are on my kitchen window sill and every time I walk by I get a whiff of them! They are so potent! Porch time is the best from morning until about 5pm when the sun finally hits the front of the house and then again from around 7:30 pm 'till whenever the mosquitos start to get vicious! We are shaded most of the day by the mountain behind our house which is awesome for the cooling effects in the summer but very chilly in the winter... we tend to spend more time on the front porch than in the back. The mosquitos are killer in the back in the evening! But the lightening bugs are pretty! :)

  3. Gorgeous flowers on your porch. I love the story about your Grandmother's Chair and of course all that wonderful artwork.

    1. Thanks Meredith! I'm done putting flowers in the front now I have to get some for the back yard. Still deciding what I want to get ... I need some perennials for back there. I think I am going to be moving some of my daylilies as they are being squished out in a few places by other things that have grown really big! :)

  4. Love the artwork from the kids and how funny is the picture from your coworker! Made me laugh.
    I love your porch. It looks like a dream to sit out on during the summer months.

    Birgitta xx

    1. Thanks for stopping by Birgitta! It is nice to sit on the porch when the weather is nice. we get some very steamy, humid days in the summer and the air conditioning will be on( I really get claustrophobic in the summer when the air has to be on for extended times..) its nice to go out early in the morning before the air quality gets bad and enjoy the fresh air. I"m hoping the farmer's Almanac is wrong about this summers weather... they are calling for wet, hot and humid... yuck...