Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Field Trip-Part 3

If you were absent for the other field trips, you can catch up here and here. You don't even have to have a doctor's excuse!

The last installment is to show you all some signs that I made for my classroom. I'm sure you all are like me and find all kinds of inspiration in stores and on the 'net. If you are also like me you think "I'm not paying that! I could totally make that myself!" When I feel guilty for creative theft, I just remind myself that copying is the highest form of flattery.

When you first walk into my classroom this sign greets you:

I found several variations of this on pinterest. I painted mine to have a "used chalkboard kind" of look then I picked some of my favorite lines from the inspiration ones.

This next sign was the first one I ever painted. I still love the message.

I have it hanging over my student computer workstations:

Next up isn't really a "sign" but maybe it is. It coordinates with my "Mrs. Cash" letters I showed you last time. Go up top for the link. I did the same thing: different font styles decoupaged with fabric and/or paper and at least one was spray painted. "Lakers" are our district's mascot

. Not really sure what a "Laker" is, but I support 'em just the same.

Next sign I saw in a store and I took a picture of it because I HAD to make it for my students because they do...

Up last is one more idea taken from pinterest. If any of you are teachers you've definately heard the phrase "I can't do it."

I tell my students to put the word "yet" on the end of their sentence.

Or what about this phrase? (spoken by a student as I AM EXPLAINING THE CONCEPT)

"I don't get it." Drives me crazy. every. time. But I still love my job!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Field Trip-Part 2

We are back in the classroom today.

I showed you the entrance and a few details yesterday. Today let's go look at my desk.

If any of you are teachers, you know that most of the furniture in your class has been handed down since the beginning of time.

That bookshelf was no exception. I spray painted it red this summer to brighten it up. That task was more than just a little pain in the bootay. At least 3 cans of spray paint and then it kept getting this weird film on it. It just about did me in.
If any of you know me at. all. then you will not be shocked by the baskets. It's not that I have a basket fetish, I just have a "it has be cute fetish." I made little chalkboard labels for the baskets and tied them on with ribbon.

Above the bookshelf are my decoupaged letters.

It says "Mrs. Cash" if you can't tell.

I went to Hobby Lobby and found the letters I needed in as many different styles as possible. The "M" is just as it came. The other letters I decoupaged with scrapbook paper or fabric. (I used the same fabric from the drop cloth drapes.)

I hot glued magnets on the back.
(Many of the walls in the school are metal. Or magnetic. I'm not sure how to say that. Magnets stick to the walls-k?)

I originally wanted to put the letters above the windows in the room, but those walls weren't magnetic. Or metal. Or whatever. Then I couldn't even get 3M strips to stick to them. Plan B was to put them behind my desk. So there.

On the front of my desk I made this nameplate with some extra scrabble letters. Remember my sign on the door?
But I decided to spray paint the tray red.

#1 because it is the school's color (and my favorite color) and

#2 it is against the law for me to leave it plain.

It's helpful to have that nameplate there just in case someone missed the ginormous name on the wall behind me.

Here is a shot of my pencil cup. I had another one but it got on my nerves that it was really full and all the pens and pencils and highlighters were all mixed together. I found this polka dot one at Cracker Barrel and it is perfect for sorting!

Plus it spins and it is polka dot, you just can't go wrong with a good polka dot!

Behind that is my "To Do Thing." I am constantly making "to do" lists and sticking them all over my desk. I am also always remaking "to do" lists because I lose the first ones under all the stuff that accumulates throughout the day.

I got this from Wuslu this summer. It was when they had their "surprise box" deal. Honestly I was a little disappointed when I got it, but then I thought about making it into something to hold all my lists! Of course I spray painted it too. I went with blue this time-the other school color.

I have gotten a ton of compliments on this and it has helped me cut down on the number of post-its I use in a day!

Next post I'm going to share some of the artwork I've made for the room. Check back!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Field Trip-Part 1

I've shown you all pretty much all over my house. Today we are going to go on a field trip!

I am the Title I teacher at a local elementary school. That means that I work with small groups of children who need extra instruction in reading, math or even behavior/social skills. My classroom used to be science lab and storage room. This is my second year in this room and there are many things I would still love to do. But let's go take a look. I'll break this down into a few posts because there are several little things I want to show you all. And I want to make you come back :)

Entering from the adjoining room:

The "Keep Calm" sign was my adaption to the "Keep Calm" stuff you can now find all over the place. I had a super old scrabble board in the depths of my cabinet that wasn't being used so I created a display. (The board is super and it is old, but I really mean for it to be super-old. As in extra old.)

I tried to think of as many "school words" as I could. It was easy at first, then I started running out of letters. I laid out the design. Made adjustments when I needed an extra word in other places then hot glued the letters down. I used 3M velcro hanging strips to hang it on the door.

The word "target" is my attempt to bring Senate Bill 1 into my crafting-- Not.

As you look across the room, you can see the big old wall o' cabinets.

This was a total. eyesore. Great storage, but not so easy on the eyes.

The cabinets are great, but I could not work in the room while staring at all the junk that was on the shelves. It would literally drive me insane. I got some drop cloths, a few yards of fabric, some ribbon and stitch witchery to help me with the cover up.

I just cut the fabric into strips, added the stitch witchery to the sides and ironed it onto the drop cloths. To hide the rough edges I hot glued the white ribbon on top of the sides. To hang them I bought cheap cafe rods and used curtain clips. I didn't even hem the drop cloths; I just folded over the extra fabric.
I'm going to link up with The CSI Project this week for the "Decorating with Letters or Words" Challenge.
Thanks for dropping by! Later in the week I'll show you my desk and the artwork I've painted for the room.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Still Got the Blues

I really struggle in the picture taking realm. I wish I could get the camera to see what my eyes are seeing. But most times I take a picture I think that it looks nothing like what I see IRL.
Then there are the times that when I take a picture and I say "Whoa, this is tragic." It happened with daughter #2's room and while I didn't change things right away, I DID change things.
It also happened with my upstairs fireplace.
My living room used to a golden yellow. It was a beautiful color, but with my red couch it felt a little like ketchup and mustard to me.

So one night this summer I repainted the room (which connects to the kitchen) and rearranged it.

But that is a post for another day.
The built-ins around the fireplace were very similar in color to the new walls. I couldn't have that. I was still using the paint chip from my dining room so I just picked the darkest shade on there. Paladian Blue.
Then I restyled it, emphasizing whites, reds and only things I love.

This is the left side of the fireplace.

Now we'll zoom in on some of the "stuff."

Here is a sand dollar that Little Man found in Florida and brought me back.

Hanging behind that is a poem I wrote in first grade about my favorite stuffed animal Rosebud. I won first place for it in a city wide contest!

I love that you can see the eraser marks where I was trying to get my final draft just perfect.

Of course my familty has a prime spot. Beside them are some number orbs that I made out of ping pong balls. All the orbs have numbers that are important to our family like birthdays, anniversaries and code numbers that mean something only to us.

I found a pair of these kruel work pictures at an antique store and fell in love with them. The lamp, well sometimes a lamp is just a lamp. No story there.

Along with a piece of transferware, this shelf holds two special pictures. The bigger one is my mom as a child with her mother (my grandmother, obviously). The small picture is of my dad taken in Korea while he was serving during the Korean War.

This white pot and wire basket aren't sentimental, but I really like them. Like I always tell my BFF if you love something go for it; you will probably always love it. If you are getting it just to fill a space it will not last in your heart very long.

(But she'll send me text pictures of things and say "do I love this?" to which I will have to tell her if I would love it or not. She kills me-but in a sweet way!)

Finally rounding out this side is a ceramic copy of my elementary school, Atkins-Porter. It is especially important to me now since the school was torn down many years ago. I can remember many class pictures being taken on those steps as well as trips down those steps to get on buses for field trips.

This is the right side of the built ins. The stuff over here isn't as sentimental, but it is still stuff that I really like, not just space filler.

I have some of my china and a metal sign that hubby got for me. It says "A man's house is his castle, until the queen arrives." He calls me the queen. The bottom shelf holds a basket of dog toys. It's pretty cute to watch the dogs reach up to get something out of their basket. They haven't learned to put things back though.

The old leather books are commentaries of hubby's and I have the matching kruel work picture over here as well.

I love this arrangement so much better than the old one. I think it is the simplicity of focusing on white with touches of red and the fact that it is stuff that I really want to see all the time.

I think next week I'll show you all my classroom. I have several things in there to show off. I just wish I had taken before pictures. Just for a hint, it started as the school science lab. Let your imagination run wild!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fall Mantle

I was so happy when it was finally September so I could have the excuse to pull out my fall stuff. Are you as done with hot weather as I am?

We've gotten a small dose of fall this week and it has been glorious!

I have made some other changes to the living room, like paint (total shock I know) and I'll share that with you all next week.

For now, let's take a look at the mantle.

If you remember, my both my fireplaces have ginormous hearths that I have to include in the decorations. (I say have to, I guess I don't have to. But, well I just have to!)

For some reason I am wanted more simplicity in some of my accessories. I have been drawn to white but with the white fireplace (remember that whole decision making process?) I needed them to pop just a little more so I picked some ribbon to add to some of them.

On the other side I added some pillows for additional seating. The crown pillow I made by creating a stencil with my cricut onto freezer paper and painting it on a drop cloth.

These boxes I think are old sewing machine drawers. I thought about painting them (another shocker) but then I kind of liked them wood. And they have a worn gold detail on the front that is kind of nice. So, for now they are staying sans paint.
The sign that my decorating is a trial and error process is the white ribbon that is tied to the drawers. The price tags hung from them and I just hadn't taken them off because I hadn't settled on a home for the drawers yet.

And now I guess I'm just too lazy to cut it off. Seriously, every time I look at the boxes I think "I really should go get the scissors and cut that ribbon off."

But then I see a squirrel.

(You know like on "UP" where the dog is talking then says "SQUIRREL!!" and gets all distracted? That's me.)

By the way is anyone like me, in that, I can't have people watching me when I am styling a room. Many times I move things several times and switch things in and out, around and around until I am satisfied. I don't like people watching me through this process because it makes me self-conscious that they are making judgements about what I am doing while I am still unsure myself. Anyone? Maybe it's just me.

Anyway, moving on...

Just the mantle (that I am still thinking about painting black)

And finally the whole fireplace:

I have another post scheduled later this week featuring the bookshelves surrounding the fireplace. Big and small changes around here.

Hubby is still at the school where they teach you to fold your clothes in ridiculously small ways so I am trying to pass the time until he is done. He gets to come home on weekends and there have been a few weeks where the house he left on Sunday was not the same house he came to Friday night. But he's okay with that. At least he let's me think he is :)

Linking up...

The Lettered Cottage


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