Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First Swimming Lesson

Myth: If you don't start swimming when you're really little, then you're out of luck.
Myth: You can only take swimming lessons during the summer.

Everyone should learn to swim.  It's a safety issue, plus not knowing makes you uneasy at events that are supposed to be fun like boating and pool parties.  (Even adults can learn, and private lessons are available.)  

And to show you how much fun it can be, I present my lovely niece Arwen at her very first swimming lesson!

Yes, she did good enough to get a sucker!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Font Foundations

When Matthew Carter, font-creator extraordinaire, starts on a new font, he begins with


and then


followed by



Carter's fonts include Tahoma, Verdana, and Georgia.  (The last is the font of most of this post.)

~ From Just My Type: A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield, pages 68 and 289.

Giveaway from CraftGossip

I just found out that that I won a giveaway on CraftGossip!

I'm getting two pairs of scissors (Can you ever have enough scissors?) and two books.  One book is ribbons and the other on hand-made books.  I was just longing to win this one, so I'm really jazzed!  As I told Stef from CraftGossip, "It's serendipitous because I got a big box of ribbon from someone a few years ago and I've kept it without knowing what to do with it, plus I am planning to churn out some books and journals with the piles of used computer paper that I've been accumulating at work.  Craft fair seasons is coming, after all...."

Here's the link if you want to admire my goodies:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Weekly Round-Up

Since my last update....
.... family reunion in Grand Island
Playing Kuub

.... I've spent lots and lots of time getting ready for school.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tutorial: Braided T-Shirt Yarn Purse

What can you do with old T-shirts? You can upcycle them into a purse!  I went for a youthful color combo, but you could easily make your purse or clutch in just your favorite colors or perhaps to match your best refashioned outfit.

 This one is a little more sedate. 

I made this purse almost entirely while carpooling, which was part of the point of the project.  I'm only going to do something boring and repetitive whilst unavoidably stuck in a car with nothing else to do.  This is a way to make that time useful since I get carsick when I read.

1. Cut long strips of T-shirt material about an inch or an inch and a half wide.  Make them as long as you can. 

How many T-shirts do you need?  It's hard to say because I used a lot of the parts with words that I can't use for other projects instead of whole T-shirts.  Probably 5-8?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

40th Birthday Party Pics

Clearly, my nephew is ready to party!
Why, yes, my husband put ALL FORTY candles in that ice cream!

Lots of fun and friends!  Thanks to my dear husband for throwing this very special party for me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Poetry Jam

Remember that Gratitude Jar I showed you how to make from an unwanted glass jar?

Turn it into the structure for a poem!

My students have a massive writing project due at the end of the year.  Before they turn it in, I have them flipped through it and highlight their favorite words or phrases.  The idea is to find things that sound really good that they are proud of writing. The students take turns saying their words or phrases out loud in a kind of "jam session," which is random, quirky, and fun. It's like a spontaneous poem.

The student write their words and phrases on circular bits of cardstock that I provided.  Some add illustrations or doodles.

Next I compile the quotes into some kind of unusual book format.  So far, I have been able to design all of the books in such a way that the students' contributions can be rearranged into any order you want.  This also represents the class -- they're the content; I am the structure.