Sunday, August 28, 2011

weekend miscellany.

Although it's STILL not finished, I did work on this dress a bit:

Good grief, I started this thing back in MARCH people.  And it has been patiently waiting on me ever since. Can you believe I hand pleated that darn skirt and it's a silly old LINING that's keeping me from finishing it??

Anywho, that's my goal this week.  Finish this dress.  Maybe I just need to start doing that...set a goal each week for one finished object.  UFOs count.

I also watched a load of movies.  Like this one:

Decent summer fun.  Made better by occasional gratuitous shots like this:

(Newcomers: I'm shallow. And contrary to what Beangirl would tell you, a little shirtless Jake Gyllenhaal never hurt anybody.)  Oh, and I left these images full size. In case you need to click them to verify their...verifiability.  Or whatever.

I also played on Polyvore, which has the ability to suck away an entire hour if you're not careful.  You've been warned.

I also visited ebay, my favorite Saturday morning cappucino visit.  Remember this adorableness that was first season Glee??


Whee!  I already have a black enamel telephone...I'm just such a sucker for a vintage pin.  What Would Emma Pillsbury Wear did a post a long time ago on this brooch, assuming it was a brass or goldtone telephone.  I never thought that was quite right, and I was fairly excited by the verification that a cream pin existed.  And it will soon be in my hot little hands!

That's it for my weekend wrap was yours?

Friday, August 26, 2011

blog love: Elsa Billgren

I've been meaning to do a post about Elsa for months.  Sadly, I had a computer crash/data loss in late July so all the images I had been collecting to share are gone, so I had to go find some more!

Elsa is a blogger for Swedish Elle.  She has this funky, vintage style that I really love. She's also not a stick person!  Yay for women with curves! 


It's kind of amazing to look through her blog photos and see her and her friends enjoying life.  But it's her carefree, "whatever I love, goes" style that I really enjoy.  She's adorable too!  I chose all older photos to share here, so you can discover her new stuff for yourself (that's half the fun!)

You can read Elsa's blog here, and she conveniently provides a google translate button at the bottom of each post.  Seriously, a rock star.'s FRIDAY!  Yay for Fridays!  I hereby promise some me-made goodness this weekend.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Polyvore Musings

Whew, I'm tired and it's only Monday!  This weekend was filled with necessary evils like housecleaning and clutter-removing. 

And unnecessary evils like movie watching:

and playing on Polyvore.  Here are some sets I created, a few late summer inspired and a few for early fall (if I can't bring actual outfits, virtual outfits will have to do!)

Another busy week ahead, but I should be getting in a groove before long and things will settle down. 

At least, I hope!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Oldie but Goodie

First week of school!  I was so tired Tuesday I actually went to BED at 8:30!!  ha.  I'm feeling a little more normal now and today went relatively smoothly.  I think we're crossing the line from "complete disorganized chaos no matter how hard I try" to "this IS a real teacher".   :-)

Sadly, I have nothing new to share (I had a bit of a virus over the past few days that lingered and made me extra tired over the weekend.  Super bad timing!)  But I can share what I wore today...not that I took a pic of my outfit or anything. 

Remember this skirt?  I drafted the pattern from the Sew What Skirts book, and used a psychedelic cotton print from Hancocks.

My favorite part has always been the pockets:

And an old photo of me wearing it.  I wore a turquoise sleeveless knit top and a cropped white cardi with short sleeves.

It was a hot day, so a good outfit for the heat!

Hopefully I'll get those buttons finished on the mustard skirt so I can wear it in a few days and share that too. 

Something new I "wore" today that I thought I'd share (even though it's a little, um, indelicate?)  This is SkinDura Secret Shield:

It's a skin protectant stick for anti-chafing.  (Wow, this is sort of awkward. ha.) 


If you need it, you know what that is.  If you don't, you don't. Am I right?  ;)  In a nutshell, for those days it's just too dang hot for Spanx (or faux Spanx.  Fanx?)  Two words:

Loved. It.

Wore it all day, no problems whatsoever.  Never reapplied.  I walked from one end of our building and back 4 times today (it was library day for my classes!) and you don't get much hotter or more humid than Arkansas in August!  I bought it from their Etsy Shop.  I recommend!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Classroom Pics & Freebie Printables

I took these on Tuesday, but just haven't had time to upload them from the camera!  These are all of my new classroom.  First, a little background on me for those just joining me.  I teach 9-12 grade in a rural community in Arkansas.  My classes this year are Housing &  Interior Design, Digital Layout & Design, Digital Imaging, Computerized Business Applications, Advertising, and Fashion Merchandising.  Quite a variety!

That'll help explain this huge room, with both a fabulous computer lab and classroom seating area.  And I mean it's HUGE. I may have to invest in one of those Britney Spears mike's after all.  :-)  I took all of these photos with my ipod, so the quality is not as good as my camera!  I think you'll get a good idea though.  Are you ready?  Let's start our mini tour...

This is the front of the classroom, a small whiteboard on the left and my Smartboard on the right (that's my podium peeking out from the right too). The walls are cream except for this front wall, which is a rusty red.  (It looks a little more orange in this photo than it is in real life.)

Hopefully those cords and things will get covered and tidied up when they finish hooking everything up.  The projector is ceiling-mounted, but I forgot to take a photo of that part.

Next is my bulletin board, and the first corner of the room when you enter:

My "art cart" will usually be wheeled into the middle of the classroom area, because we use scissors and glue sticks every day for collage and other paper design work.  The bulletin board is 12 x 12 scrapbook paper.   We were in a mad dash to get the school presentable for our first open house last week, so I never got to finish.  I thought it was cute enough "as is" to get me by until I had breathing room!

My plan is for this board becoming a Word Wall or possibly a display for student work.  I'm hoping I get my request for a 60" table to fit under the bulletin board, so I have a place for my magazines and other reading materials, and for handouts, sign in sheets, etc.

This is the same wall, a wide view past the bulletin board.

I made the bunting from colorful fat quarters and grosgrain ribbon.  They're attached to the wall with 3M removable hooks.  The two large B&W posters are from Hobby Lobby (50% off sale!) and all others are self-printed from things I saw on Tumblr or Pinterest.  (I'll link to some great printables at the end of this post).  I also picked up some wall decals at the $1 store and scattered those into my "collections" of small prints.

I can only print 8.5 x 11 at home, but if you cluster several "like" things, they make a great display together.  The wall decal quotes really tied these together nicely.   I printed on a textured cardstock from the scrapbooking area, so they look like canvas, even after laminating.

This is the view of the back of my classroom, including the regular classroom seating.  I have 7 groups of 4.  The back right corner is my built-in storage cabinet, and that ugly grey thing behind the rolling stainless steel cart (which will NOT be staying in my room, it's just waiting for the storage closet to be cleaned out so I can roll it down the hall!) is the breaker box.  It will stay and be an eye sore.  Sigh.

The 2 large posters are from Hobby Lobby also.  The hanging paper lanters are from Hobby Lobby, in the party section.  The table on the left corner holds my polka dot cubes I showed last week, and turquoise flower pots filled with colorful Sharpie's and colored pencils.  The 4 small prints I'll link to below, they were all freebies.

This is the other long wall with more bunting.  I'm lucky enough to have big, beautiful windows for lots of natural light!  The middle section has a WONDERFUL poster from the 1940s of boys at a movie theater laughing.  It's my favorite.   The Keep Calm and Carry On poster is technically a wall decal, but I put it on a large sheet of paper  and laminated it so that it's just a poster now. The two pieces between the window sets are student "mood boards" from Fashion Merchandising in previous years. 

The left edge shows my printer table with the scanner and turn in baskets.  The gigantic printer is out of view.  That chair is in the wrong spot too.  I have 2 extra chairs that I need to take to storage when the closet clears out!

The bright yellow poster in the back corner is a beautiful freebie from Joy's Hope. Here's a small preview, but please go to Joy's Hope blog to see the original and download it.  Very inspiring and the bunting goes so well in my room!

(I printed the "Write" poster above on cardstock using my printer's "Poster Print 3 x 3" function.  Then I trimmed the pieces so they fit like a puzzle, glued together, and laminated.  Presto.  Large poster from a small printer.  If you don't mind spending $7 or $8, Walgreens will do 16 x 20 prints.)

On the opposite wall next to the storage cabinet I have this poster hanging (you can't really see it in the long wall view):

This is large also, about 15 x 18", and I used the 2 x 2 poster printing, the same as above.

I have a couple of vintage poster prints too, this one and one that is a close match in color (probably the same artist):

I did tweak the color and texture of both to match what I personally wanted.  This one's available as a large scan all over the internet, so I won't link to it.  If you'd like a large format of the one I did (this one is my tweaked version and not the original I downloaded), let me know and I'll get a download ready for you!

I created some colorful tags to number my computers for a seating chart.  I made these in Photoshop using a free damask background (I did the color changes in PS) and a free PS brush from Pixels & Ice Cream. 

I numbered them in Photoshop so I can reuse the same numbers over and over, but here is a free blank set of tags (large file size!) if you'd like to print your own!  If you have an image editing program like Paint.Net (free for PC) or Photoshop, feel free to add whatever you'd like to the tags and use as you wish!

I also made a weekly "calendar at a glance" for my white board.  It's viewable above, in the first photo of the front of my room.  There are 3 separate weeks, for the 3 classes I teach.  I'll jot down brief notes or objectives for each day (hopefully on Monday, or better yet, Friday afternoon!) so that the students can see at a glance where we will be going that week.  

I printed these (individually) on cardstock, taped each day together and then ran through the laminator twice, both for durability and to make sure they would withstand plenty of white board marking and erasing. I used sticky back magnets on the back to adhere them to the white board (you can see I need to add a couple more strips of magnet to keep them in place though...the bottom one slipped out of place!)

I created these all in Photoshop.  Here are the links to download each day individually.  Since they are 6 x 10 inches, you'll need to print them individually on a regular printer.  

Ok this is turning into a super long post, so I'll stop there!  I did want to link you to one of my favorite places for classroom printables though, Sweet Blessings.

Visit her blog for TONS of cute printable freebies!  My personal favorite is this one: 

Have a GREAT weekend!  I'll be adding buttons to a certain mustard yellow skirt...  Photos to come on that one too!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


In the midst of these mind-blowingly busy days before school officially begins, I've been incredibly moved and distracted by what's happening a world away from me.

Perhaps you have been like me and not paying much attention to the famine in Somalia.  Sure, I had seen it on the news, read about it briefly in a headline on CNN.  But was I really paying attention?

No, I wasn't.

It wasn't until this week, exhausted from a bustling day, feet hurting, collapsed on my comfy couch with my laptop, that I clicked on the article title and finally...paid attention.

This is a good place to start, if you need to educate yourself on the current conditions in Somalia. 

If you are in the United States, you can donate to Save the Children by texting "SURVIVE" to 20222 to donate $10.  You can visit their website for more information.

To donate to UNICEF, text "FOOD" to 864233 to donate $10 from the United States or visit the website.

International Medical Corps has teams on the ground to provide food, water, and other much needed services.  Visit the website to donate from other countries or text "AFRICA" to 80888 to donate $10 from the United States.

There are many other organizations actively fighting this devastating famine.  You can find a comprehensive list of ways to help here.

If you are reading this, you have blessings beyond the measure of these people.  Go.  Help.

**Note...shortly after posting this, I lost two followers.  Uncomfortable topic?  Yes.  Unrelated to my normal content?  Yes.  Worth posting and losing followers?  


Monday, August 08, 2011

weekend wrapup & a mini-tutorial

Between the oppressive heat (we're on day 36 of 100+ temps...many of those above 110!!  WITH 80-90% humidity.  It's like breathing soup.) and starting back to school last Monday, I'm pretty wiped out. 

That's saying something seeing as this is MONDAY.  Oof.

I did get a tiny bit of quality time with the '78 Bernina this weekend though; no clothes (which I desperately want to work on), just classroom stuff.  I whipped up this cute bunting for my very plain computer lab walls:

We moved into a brand spanking new building last week, so everything is shiny and new.  It's a little overwhelming to tell you the truth!  But I feel very lucky.  I teach the MOST fun classes, and now I have the best space possible to do that in. 

Here are 2 storage cubes I decoupaged this weekend for my room.  This one is for decorative scissors, punches, rulers and interior design templates, etc:

And it's matched mate is for cardstock or construction paper (when the budget gets tight!)

I painted stripes along the backside before I built the cube, in pretty, colorful stripes.  You can't really see them until you bend over at eye level (or are a student in a desk facing that cube!) but it's a nice little surprise for those who do!

The cubes are from Hobby Lobby and are those stackables you can "build your own" creative storage center.  I bought white cubes (I think they come in black too), glossy Mod Podge, and white with red polka dot gift tissue.  Cut the tissue to match the outer dimensions of each side and Mod Podge them in place!  I used 3 coats on top for durability.  

I have a 3-drawer storage piece I decopauged using this method several years ago when I first started teaching (zebra tissue!) and it looks amazing still even after sitting on my desk for 7+ years!  The tissue can be a little finicky to place (if you accidentally touch the Mod Podge while placing it, it's a bear to remove and reposition.  But if you take your time, it's a cool "painted" effect without all the work!  Think of all the cool patterned gift tissue there is out there!

I hope to get most of my stuff in place and on the walls today, so I'll take my camera and get some photos of my finished room to share!  You'll have to forgive my Teacher Geek for a few more's that time of year!