Monday, July 27, 2009

Go ahead, play with your food

The other day we had Bacon, Egg and Cheese Croissants for lunch after church. Lil Bit asked for her sliced cheese to the side. The next thing I knew she was telling me she "made a dress!" What?!? I turned around and this is what she was holding up.

Moments later she had altered it and made it sleeveless.

The ironic thing about it all is that unbeknownst to her I had just read to help your children learn the states have them make the shapes of states by cutting them out of cheese. Maybe she's destined for a degree in fashion design.

Speaking of design...I promised some more organizational tips. Hmm...maybe I need some organizational tips on time management. Anyway, as I was flipping through a Montesorri catalog, I came across some pretty expensive colored pencil holders. Uh...the 11 piece set is a whopping $74. Yes, that's seventy-four DOLLARS!!!!!

I had done something similar years before and didn't even realize I was so "Montesorri". This is my version..

Tomato paste cans, painted with Americana Light Buttermilk paint then lightly dry brushed with any gold colored craft paint. That has become my "standard paint recipe" that an old co-worker (at a banking operations center of all places) shared with me. Then embellish each can with whatever you have....ribbons, bracelets, tatting, stickers, hair barrets, broaches, etc... If you see some pencils that look like they have ribbons tied to them, you saw correctly. Those are my watercolor pencils that I felt a need to differentiate somehow. I simply drilled a little hole through the top and then tied coordinating ribbons through them. That way we know which pencils are the watercolor ones. Here's another view

Here is some more organization by color for craft supplies. I find organization this way helps me more than organization by type of supplies.

Here are some of the drawers open

And the beloved "Pink" drawer. A favorite for us in our female dominated family. My poor husband...

Did I mention I had separate drawers for ribbon? I think I have a bit of a ribbon problem.

And see what I mean about the beloved pink? Can you tell we like it? 2 drawers. And the light pink one won't even shut.

Now, let's go make something!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What's so great about summer?

You get half a second to finally organize your homeschool classroom. Have I told you how MUCH I love organizing? It borders on obsession with me. Today my husband was sitting in the classroom while I was putting up some of my craft supplies (wasn't that sweet?!?) and he told me that he thought I liked the organizing of my supplies more than the actual crafting! How very dare him?!? I'm not sure that he doesn't have a point, though. I do LOVE crafting but I do really like to have it all organized too. An old neighbor friend and I joke that we don't really like crafting we just like shopping and collecting supplies so I guess I'll take it a step further and say that after acquiring I like organizing. Of course I guess I kind of come by it honest because my Mother has long said about my Father that he would spend more time and effort making a tool that he could then make something else with.

Anyway, I will share with you over the next few days some of my organizing strategies. I am convinced organization is about the journey and NOT the destination. I say that because just when I think, "Aha! I have all my organizational needs figurred out!!!" I need something else (that I have to store) or my process changes so it seems like a constant evolving process.

I do however own a label machine and that little puppy is worth it's weight in gold. It took me the longest time after I got it to even put batteries in it so that I could use it but after I did I have not looked back. I try to label everything because it really does help.

Case in point, my bookcase was always a disorganized mess and I never really knew where to put things back after I got them out. Well, I guess librarians actually DO know a thing or 2 about returning books on shelves because I've never walked into a library and seen bookshelves without Dewey Decimal #s on them. So here it is all nice and labeled. (Notice I even labeled the bookshelf but that's for educational not organizational purposes!)

Here are some close-ups of the individual sections starting from the top left and working across and down...

Oh dear heavens, the first section I choose to show you isn't even labeled. Eeek... These are my binders of idea clippings (mostly from magazines). Each binder has a different seasonal/theme. I'll try to remember to show you more of these another day.

"Workbooks" Yes, I know "twaddle". Don't judge me!!!

"Bible"...where IS my Catherine Vos story Bible?!? Love, love that little gem.


"Art" (my girls' favorite section) Those Usborne Art books are some of THE best. I also have my Homeschooling Today magazines in a magazine holder here turned to the Artist Study page in each issue. That is one of my favorite magazines.

"Math" of Mommy's favorites.

"Science", "Animals", "Plants", "Weather", "Space", "Geography"
I can't wait to read the Man in the Map book next year. I also recently purchased Uncle Josh's maps. I'm following Sonya Shafer's advice on geography. That link vaguely explains her methodology. It is really quite simple. I purchased her All Day Seminar DVD (which I can't say enough good things about). She explains to simply copy the map outline masters from the Uncle Josh book, have the children look at a labeled map (folded to the section that corresponds with their outline) and have them label 2 or 3 locations of their choosing. Do that once a week. The next week, have them try to label trying at first without looking at the map, then add more 1 or 2 locations each week. Simple, consistent, effective.

"Health", "Feelings/Manners" Do you see those little Value Tales gems?

English (I really think I need to re-label this as "Literature" or "Language Arts")

And the bottom shelf and a basket beside the bookcase holds baskets of their leisure-type reading books. This allows them to easily return the books without having to neatly place them on a shelf. Some of these books I will pick through and put in their workboxes during the year but I have been pleasantly surprised that they have gone in the classroom this summer and pulled lots of them to simply read on their own. They have books in their own rooms but it is nice to have them accessible downstairs too.

Oh yes, I did get kind of fancy with this label. It is simply a credit card sized laminating pouch with 2 holes punched and attached to the basket's holes with ribbon. Like the font? You can download it here. It is one of my "go-to" fonts. Have I mentioned that I'm a font junkie too?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day

Three hundred and thirty-three years ago America declared its independence. If you have a few minutes why not read the historical document. You can do that here.

Do you like the idea paying more and more taxes? Why not attend a TEA party? You can find one in your neck of the woods here. Why not even print out some copies of the Declaration to distribute at a TEA party. My Mom and I are going to be at our local event painting faces. Here was the dry run. All the good ones she did. The ones that look like a retarded monkey painted them...well, those would be mine.

Hope you have a Happy and Blessed Independence Day!