Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bird's Eye View

September SNAPS 2014 - Day 17 - BIRD'S EYE VIEW
It's not secret around this blog how much I love birds.  I love the colors, the markings, their songs . . . and their ability to fly!  Sometimes I think it must be so fun to fly through the air with seemingly no care in the world.  What a different view of the world they must have.  The closest I've come lately to that sort of  view was when Ron and I soared over the mountain tops of Alaska in a small seaplane. The view was incredible!  Even the large Dall Sheep looked like figurines from a model railroad scene.
Things that seem so large and insurmountable up close, look completely different when viewed from a BIRD'S EYE.  In the big scheme of things, even my problems must appear pretty small when you know the "grand plan".  I obviously can't soar above the ground today and I don't even always know the "grand plan", but I do hope to look away from my busy schedule a few times and look at things with a BIRD'S EYE VIEW.

I'm enjoying this project so much that I've already begun thinking of creating a new set of prompts for October.  If you are interested in continuing our Instagram project, let me know.  If not, no problem---no decisions are needed right away: just something to think about.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Letters

September SNAPS 2014 - Day 16 - LETTERS
When I was growing up, Sunday night was reserved as "LETTER-writing night" for my mother.  For as long as I can remember, she wrote a "round robin" stylet letter to her siblings each Sunday night, as well as LETTERS to her parents and my dad's parents.  We we kids went off to college, she added each of us into her weekly routine.   We always knew that there would be a LETTER in our mailboxes every Tuesday.  (these are just SOME of the letters I received)
It wasn't until MUCH later that I realized she also kept every letter that I wrote back to them--she gave them to me in a hand-made wooden chest for Christmas one year.  

Letter-writing is somewhat of a lost art, with most of us preferring the instant gratification of texts or emails to the almost obsolete "snail mail".  What kind of LETTERS capture your attention today?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Knitted

September SNAPS 2014 - Day 15 - KNITTED
Wow!  We've now snapped ourselves halfway through the month!  This is fun!
Here in Shreveport, we recently experienced a cool front---and by that, I mean that the temperatures dropped below 90 degrees for a few days.  Needless to say, it is definitely not cool enough to wear KNITTED sweaters and scarves yet, but I can't wait until it is.  I love winter clothes---boots, leggings and KNITTED sweaters.

What else can you find that is KNITTED? Perhaps it is time to bring those winter clothes out of storage and take a look.  Or pull out your own knitting needles?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ten Things God Wants You To Remember

In Sunday School this summer, I developed a series of lessons based on this pin:
Each week (and sometimes two weeks), we focused on one of the declarations above and explored scriptures and stories that related to that particular topic.  I wanted to provide a visual way to display these in our classroom, so I bought a few packs of artists' canvases on sale and decided to create one for each topic.  For the first week, I kept it very simple with just the words alone cut from patterned paper and glued to a burlap canvas.  I later matted it onto a plain white canvas that was the same size as the others we did.  
While my students are all adults, most have very limited ability to read, so I really wanted a way to connect to each declaration and to hopefully remember what it stands for.  So, on the remaining canvases, I used a shape or something else visual that related to the scripture or story that we studied.
While I did the bulk of the "work" for these canvases, all of the students participated by gluing pieces in place or putting the letters in order by matching them to an example.
As each canvas was completed, students participated by repeating the declaration repeatedly or coating the entire canvas with Mod Podge.
A couple of different times, we used tissue paper to make collages.
On another week, we cut pictures from magazines of things that God provides for us.
Bill's favorite was the week we talked about God giving us strength (probably because of the eagle).
Vita's favorite was the canvas with the praying hands.
My personal favorite was the last one we did---the bee that represents the Beatitudes.
I will be hanging these in our classroom as a permanent display, but I also wanted something that each student could take home with them and be reminded daily of God's messages.  I used Photoshop to create similar 4.75" x 5" graphics and printed them front & back on card stock.  I cut out each one and placed them in an empty CD case.  When you bend the case backwards, it will stand up like an easel!  ;-)
If you'd like anymore information about this set of lessons, just send me an email and I'd be happy to send you my outlines for each week.  These lessons would be appropriate for a variety of cognitive abilities, and for adults as well as children.   I would also be happy to share my CD sized graphics upon request.

An Instagram Album - August Break

I enjoyed participating in the Susannah Conway's August Break Instagram project so much that I wanted a way to preserve those photos in a more tangible way.  Sure, I can always go on Instagram and search for the hashtag, but I still love having something in my hands that I can flip through from time to time.  I also wanted to express myself creatively without spending tons of time doing it. While shopping at Hobby Lobby with Jana, I purchased a couple 4'x6" watercolor paper pads.
With the LSU football game on screen in the living room, I spread out my supplies and set to work.  I traced the 4x4 outline on each piece of paper then painted the surrounding area.
I didn't spend much time or thought on it, but instead just brushed colors on and let them dry.
I generally get my photos developed at Walgreens because it is so convenient to my home and there are always coupons for the processing.  Having the app on my phone made ordering the Instagram photos so easy!! I just trimmed the photos and attached them to the paper.
I mounted each photo on a card and wrote the prompt and the date.  Because I used 4x6 paper, they pages slip easily into a brag-book style album.  I found this one at Michael's for $1.99, but they might even have them at the dollar store.  I slipped out the cards from the front and back covers and traced around them before painting.  On the front, I did an Instagram icon and for the back, I just made stripes. Easy peasy!
The last little touch I added was ribbon.  I punched two holes in the middle of the spine (which is easy to find on these brag books) and pushed ribbon through each, tying it in a bow on the back.
Such an easy little project and makes me more likely to look back through the photos than if they were only on my phone.

Sewing for Baby B

Over the Labor Day weekend, I flew out to visit Jana and Rob.  Originally, we'd planned for Ron to come, too, but he was scheduled to be on call and Rob was scheduled to work, so I basically had Jana all to myself.  (I'll never complain about that)!   While catching up on her work, home, church, etc. activities, we managed to squeeze in quite a few projects as well.

After joining Jana and her coworkers at lunch on Friday afternoon, she took off a little bit early and we toured a couple of local daycares.  She'd already seen the "cadillac model" of daycares, and these were definitely not even in the same realm.  A little bit disillusioned with the prospect of finding a suitable place for baby B to to be cared for, she declared that it was time for a snow cone.
With snow cones in hand, we sat in the back hatch of her car and discussed options in the area.  It was good to stop and put the brakes on and the snow cones were a welcome relief, as well.  (by the way, her faith in the possibility of finding the right spot was restored the following week upon touring some very nice facilities).

With Baby B on his/her way in January, this was a great time to begin getting things ready for the nursery.  Jana had already narrowed down her decorating choices to a couple of color/fabric schemes that both she and Rob liked.
Like many of us, their extra bedroom was currently filled with a bunch of extras--furniture, boxes, files, etc.  But, it is important to have a BEFORE picture to see the progress.
Over the course of the weekend, we visited IKEA in Charlotte, Joann's (3 times) and Mary Jo's Cloth Store.  Mary Jo's is kind of an icon in the fabric business--particularly on the East Coast--and I LOVE visiting!

We stayed there for a couple of hours---browsing, touching, cutting, dreaming.   I could have easily stayed a couple more, but we were "women on a mission" and had other stops to make.

At home, it was time to get to work.  First, we stitched up a window valance with her "theme" fabric.  Next, we tackled making a window-seat cushion, complete with piping.  Wanting to be as frugal as possible, we took apart a cushion I made a few years ago and re-shaped the foam inside so that it would be the right size/shape for this bench. While it didn't look very pretty in this state, I knew that it would just fine once it was slipped into the cover.
I don't want to steal Jana's thunder by posting pictures of all we accomplished, but baby B's nursery is off to a GREAT start!  Here are a few sneak peaks from out sewing activities.
If you'd like to follow along with the progress, check out Jana's posts over on Dancing Commas.



Scrub-A-Dub

September SNAPS 2014 - Day 14 - SCRUB-A-DUB
It's not Thursday, but the first thing that popped in my head when I thought about a photo for this prompt, was a Throw-back photo.  One from about 20 years ago!   Four little girls grinning from ear to ear in Valine's jacuzzi bathtub!  It doesn't get much better than little girls and bubbles.   
But, with no little girls around my house anymore, I'm going to have to get a bit more creative for this prompt.  What will SCRUB-A-DUB  mean to me in 2014---a household chore or something more?