Friday, April 30, 2010

Where have I been?? Pittsburgh!

I know, it's been over a week since I have posted anything.  I blame it on the end of the school year.  Everything gets twice as hectic!

I had the bright idea to take 37 of my wonderful German students on a fieldtrip that took place yesterday.  We took a 3 hour+ bus ride into Pittsburgh to go on the Gateway Clipper German Night Dinner Cruise.  I say 3 hour+ bus ride because the bus driver , who nearly rear-ended every car in front of him and couldn't follow his GPS directions, got us totally lost and then asked me to give him directions out of his mess.  :-) (Still smiling~ Like I know my way around Pittsburgh.)  It's a good thing that we left early!  We made it in time to board the boat! Whew! 

The kids enjoyed a delicious buffet of German foods, but being the great German teacher that I am, I don't like German food.  I special ordered some fish in advance.  Of course I still ate the chocolate cake.  Yum!

After dinner came the entertainment.  It was really nice and the students enjoyed it.
Authentic German costume, dances and music!

With no major disasters (just some broken glass on the bus) and with lots of fun, I'd say this was a successful fieldtrip!  The students are ready to go again, but I can wait a while!  I forgot to mention that I didn't get home until 1:30 AM.  This German teacher was a little tired today!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Idea for small hands and brave mommies!

Okay, so teacher appreciation day is just around the corner and what better way to thank your child's teacher than a handmade gift from your child.
J and I made up this quick and easy tutorial for a machine embroidered framed sampler.

What you will need:
*2 pieces of plain medium weight fabric- we used weaver's cloth
*various colors of thread
* 5x7 inch picture frame
*perhaps some heat n' bond

We used a beige colored fabric, but for our next one we may try using black fabric with metallic threads and a gold frame.  Denim would also be very cool!

First cut your fabric to the desired size- we chose a 5x7 frame.  You can see in the picture that the fabric was longer than 7 inches, but it should be fine to cut it exactly 5 x 7.  Then you don't have to worry about trimming it later.

Next you will need to make sure your fabric is well pressed.  We used two pieces of fabric to provided a bit of stability.  Otherwise the stitches will pucker.  I think that next time we will try ironing some heat n' bond between the layers so it is a bit sturdier.  It will also keep the layers from moving.  
(I'm kind of new to this sewing thing, so it's kind of trial and error.  If you have suggestions, feel free to offer them!)

Now you are ready to personalize the project with your child's teacher's name.  If you are brave enough to let your child use your machine this will be lots of fun for him or her.  J loved doing this!  If you don't have a machine that embroiders, this would also be a fun hand project.

After we put her name on the project I let J pick each of the stitches he wanted to showcase and he put them on the way he wanted them around his teacher's name.  We changed the thread color for each of the different stitches.  By the time we were finished, he was a pro at threading the machine!

This is how it looked when he was all done sewing.

And here is the final, 1st grader, framed project!  Perfect for any teacher's desk!

(Sorry about the poor lighting in this picture!)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Giveaway time!

So, who wants to win this cute little charm pack?

I can hardly believe that I have already written my 50th post on this blog.  I've met so many nice people since I've started blogging and it has become a really fun hobby.  Thanks for taking the time to read what I write and to look at my pics!

So, for this giveaway you can enter twice.  
1. Followers get one entry- be sure to leave a comment that you are a follower.
2. Leave a comment about the blog. What do you like?  What don't you like? (But be nice!)  What would you like to see more of?
Make sure you leave two separate comments if you are entering twice.

The contest will be open until April 30.  
I will announce the winner of the charm pack on May 1.
Good luck to you all!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A new tote for me!!

My new school tote... now I can feel extra happy heading off to school each morning.  Pretty soon I will be happy sleeping in once summer vacation gets here though!  Only 35 days of school left, but who's counting?!?
Anyway, this is what I worked on for FNSI.  The pattern is from Heather Ross's book, Weekend Sewing.  If you haven't checked it out, you don't know what you are missing!  I used some of my African stash as well as some luxurious chocolate brown corduroy.  I love it!
Here is a peek inside.  It does have a pocket.

And this beauty here is the source of my despair... welcome to springtime!  If only I could breathe!!!
But isn't it pretty!?!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sew In and a birthday...

WOW!  What a day!  Today is the first day of trout season here in PA, so the day started quite early.  All of the boys headed out in the snow (yes, I said snow) to see if they could catch "The Big One".  No such luck today, but it gave me time to clean up and get ready for our out of town family to arrive, a.k.a, my mom and dad, grandma and aunt for B's birthday celebration.  What a fun, fun day!  I wish they could all be like today!
Here is B's awesome fishing cake.  He loved it!

Even the party dog had fun!
Ok, I lied, he ripped the hat off right after I took the pic!

So, throw in a nasty cold and J's soccer match on top of our celebration and I hope you understand why I didn't email the Project Pillow Swap info today.  I have everyone matched up, and I promise to email first thing in the morning!  I'm too tired right now and I would hate to mess something up.

Friday Night Sew In was a success.  My project is almost complete, but not quite.  I don't want to show it all just yet, so here is a sneak peek...

I can't wait to finish... it's actually for me!
Thanks to Bobbi and Heidi for hosting the Sew In.  

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Last Call!

The deadline to sign up for Project Pillow Pass is tomorrow, April 15.  If you've been on the fence, now is the time to decide.  We have a nice group, but there is still room for more.  Click the Project Pillow Swap button on the sidebar for all of the info.  
I will email "assignments" (sorry, that sounds like school!) on Saturday.  It may be late though as it will be  B's 9th birthday weekend and we will have company.  (Don't be too hard on me if it goes out on Sunday, please.)
Thanks to all of you who have already signed up!  Please don't forget to join the Flickr group.  This will help us stay connected a little better and we'll be able to show our cool creations to all.  Most importantly, have fun!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Walk in Spring

Spring is finally knocking on the door in Northwestern PA.  Winter is always so long, but we have been enjoying some unseasonably warm weather the past few weeks.  It has tricked nature into blooming a little earlier than usual.

I love the blues in this photo!  

Here is my slow little canary.  He is lagging a bit behind from the group, but he played an indoor soccer game before our walk, so he was a bit tired.  What a great defender he is though!  He can really boot that ball! 
My brother and SIL were up for a visit, so we were taking them on a walk around town.  What a nice time!  The water in the pictures is the Allegheny River.

Boys will be boys!  They just can't resist throwing rocks into water!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Jenna at Swapdex has a great blog if you like to participate in swaps.  She has oodles of them listed in one spot.  If you check her blog frequently, you'll never miss another deadline for a swap.  She also has a very cute Corgi!
She listed my Project Pillow Swap
This is still open until April 15th.  For all details click here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

So Simple Cake

Mmmm... chocolate cake!  You'll never guess how I made this!  
All you need is 1 cake mix, any flavor you would like and 10 oz. of diet soda.  Just mix the two together and bake the cake as directed on the cake mix box.  No eggs and no oil!  I usually use Diet Dr. Pepper or Diet Sunkist depending on the flavor of my cake.  This is just one of the Weight Watcher's tricks I've learned for cutting calories and fat.  It tastes almost like the real deal.  It even gets my almost nine year old, B's approval so it must be good!  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Now, if only I had some fat free Cool Whip!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tu parles francais?

What a splendid weekend!  The kids and super hubby and I packed our bags and hit the road!  We visited friends in Quebec; Gatineau and Montreal to be exact.  It was a great reminder that I should study French more before we go back!  It is true that if you don't use it, you lose it!

I have only one complaint about traveling to Cananda...

Why are we separated by so much water?  I am a big wimp when it comes to big bridges, especially the ones that are built so high up!  My family is well aware of this crazy fear and my 6 year old, J asked me if I needed to throw up when we were in the middle of the first large bridge.  He's so kind! 


Here is a pic of my little darling, J.  I think he is a blogger in the making!  He actually takes really good photos and he's a pretty good writer.  He was taking pictures in Ottawa on a little trip across the river into Ontario.

This is a photo of Gatineau at dusk.  It is a beautiful city.  I guess I would describe it as being quaint. 

And what journey would be complete without FABRIC??

This is some beautiful African fabric that one of my husband's friends (and my new friend) gave to me.  Thanks so much Raffa!  I love it so much!  There is a lot of it and I keep imagining different things to do with it.  So many possibilities!

Perhaps some of it will find it's way into the pillow I make for Project Pillow Swap.  If you haven't signed up to be part of this fantastic swap yet, there is still time!  Just click here for details.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Table Runner Finish!

Well, I have Amy at During Quiet Time to thank for this finish.  Because of her Potholder Pass  swaps I have finally learned to put a binding on something with nicely done corners.  I started this project in January I think, and it sat until now because it had no binding.  Now here it is!  Perhaps it will find it's way into my Etsy store.  (Don't laugh if you click on my Etsy link... I only have one lonely card listed!)

Project Pillow Swap now on Flickr

You can now join Project Pillow Swap on Flickr.  I am really excited to get this swap going!  It will be so much fun!  I hope that you can join in!