Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How to Recycle Anything

In my aimless wanderings through the Internet, I stumbled upon this article from Real Simple magazine. It was entitle "How to Recycle Anything". Since recycling is still in its infancy here in Chester County, I thought there might be some good ideas in this article.

What I found was an interesting collection of information, from suggested places that recycle compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CLF), to websites that collect used crayons and remake them into new ones (crazycrayons.com).

Did you know that Crocs can be recycled too? The company will recycle them into new shoes! You do have to send your old ones to California though!

My favorite upcycler, Terracyle, was mentioned in this article. Did you know that Terracycle is now upcycling Malt-o-meal bags? Yup, so Carrabba's class is collecting them too! (along with Drink pouches, cookie wrappers, chip bags, candy wrappers, Kashi packaging, Clif wrappers, Scott products outer wrappers, Huggies outer wrappers, and Aveeno tubes).

I was reminded about St. Jude's Ranch,which recycles greeting cards into new cards. My sister had told me about St. Jude's ranch before, but I had actually forgotten about them. I usually take my old greeting cards and cut them up for scrapbooking or for gift tags. This may be a worthwhile project for my students this year as well!

It is worthwhile to check out the article in detail, as there may be an idea lurking there that you have not thought of. An idea for what to do with those items that are hanging out in the back of your closet or kitchen cabinet, bottom of your drawer, or corner of your cedar chest.

I have reduced or eliminated the purchase of many items because of the packaging they come in. However, it is not possible for me to eliminate all that I want to. If you are like me, I rinse it out and save it instead of tossing it in the trash. I always figure that there is a use for it somewhere, I just have to find it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fall Break Day Eight

Well, here it is, the last Saturday of my Fall Break. I did manage to finish this quilt top yesterday. At the beginning of my Fall Break, this top was still in pieces, the letters were not even cut out. I knew that it had been taking up space on my project table for quite some time, but I did not realize just how much time until I looked at the date on the magazine that I found the pattern in. It was from 2007. I know that I have had the fabrics since then because I purchased them right after seeing the magazine! Regardless, finally here it is! I only have to quilt it and then put the prairie points around the edge.

Now that I have this top finished, I decided to start another project that was taking up space UNDER my project table. (Yes, I have a table full of projects and others are in baskets underneath the table) I purchased the fabrics for this project in March when we were traveling through Pennsylvania. This is a shot of the main fabric, it has peacocks and peahens on it! The quilt was one that I saw on display in Burkholder's. It was set up as a kit, but I did not care for the pastel hues of the fabrics chosen. The ladies at Burkholder's were wonderful enough to sell me the pattern and templates for this quilt and helped me pick out fabrics that are more my style. I sat down this morning and started cutting out the fabrics for my first block. I also cut out the six blocks that feature these lovely peacocks!

While cutting out the block pieces using my new templates, I found that I had a bunch of these little triangles left over. So, I thought...well, some bug could make a quilt out of these! So, here is my quilt kit for an Ant!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fall Break Day Four

Here it is! I have finished Beth's T-Shirt quilt. It will be on its way to her later this week!

Finishing this project has motivated me to work on others! I mentioned the Alphabet block quilt already. I have the blocks stitched into rows and have picked up the border fabrics. I also played around with the fabrics for a quilt that I bought the pattern and fabrics for in March of this year.

I did finish grading papers yesterday and today I carried them to school so that I could grade the workbooks that awaited me there. While I was there, I cleaned the dry-erase boards and the desks. At least the grading and cleaning are finished! Now I only have to plan lessons for next week!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Start of Fall Break

Yesterday, I had to clean up the quilt studio. There were many items out of place, not the least of which were quilt projects! I rinsed out the drink pouch recycling from last week as part of the studio clean up.

I worked on Beth's T-Shirt Quilt. I would estimate that I have a bit more than half of it quilted already.

I played around with designs for a baby quilt, but finally decided that I did not like the fabric blocks I was working with. Now those blocks have been sewn into panels that will become baby bibs.

Today, I finished stitching the fabric blocks into panels for baby bibs. I also started stitching a long ago prepared project with Alphabet block fabric! I have all of the square in a square blocks finished! I did not work on Beth's quilt today because daylight was gone by the time I sat down to work on any stitching.

I actually spent the better part of today working on itemizing Rob's expenses.

I finally photographed and posted the pillowcases on Etsy. Since some of them are halloween fabrics, I figured they needed to get listed!

Tomorrow is another 'at home' day. I plan to get papers graded and finish quilting Beth's quilt.

Boxtops for Education

Ever notice this image on the top or side of the package on an item you have in your pantry or cabinet? It shows up on many many items that some people use every day! This little coupon can earn a local school $0.10.

Now I know what you are saying. "What good can $0.10 do?" Well, it can do wonders. The reason is that if every person saves every one of these little coupons and sends it to a school, then the school coordinator can use the money generated from these coupons to purchase items for their school. Last year, our school raised over $1300 that our librarian used to purchase new books and other educational items for the school library.

If you purchase an item that has this coupon on the side, please cut it out and send it to me for my school, or if you have a child in school, send it to their school. If you have a friend, relative or co-worker with a child in school, perhaps their school saves them too. All I ask is that you do not throw this money in the recycling bin! Please pass it on.

Additionally, (and here is the 'no-cost-to-you-method' of helping!) you can go to the Boxtops For Education Website. There you can enter to win a variety of sweepstakes that can earn additional boxtops for your favorite school. If you don't have a local school that is your favorite, feel free to use mine!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Donors Choose has Challenged All Teachers!!

You all know that I am currently teaching 6th grade in Tennessee. Most of you also know that I have benefited greatly from donations through DonorsChoose.org. I have received many wonderful resources for my classroom through donations. My students are working hard and learning every day through the generosity of others, including many of you!

Donors Choose has challenged all teachers associated with the site to collectively get 5,000 people to give to projects. If that happens before October 31st, then DonorsChoose will provide an additional $100,000 worth of funding to projects!

You may have children in school whose teachers have projects on DonorsChoose. If so, contact the teachers and get their links if you are interested in donating to a worthy cause. (remember all of your donations are tax deductible!!) You may have a friend (other than me!) who is a teacher with a project on DonorsChoose. Regardless of who you support, supporting a teacher's project on DonorsChoose is supporting the education of our young people, who are the future of our country.

Please help! Visit:
How Does History Effect What We Do Today
or: What Did He Do To Become Famous?

and support one of my classroom projects. Please also forward this to others to spread the word. If you have your own blog or website, I would love it if you could support my projects by posting this information on your own blog or website!

Thanks in advance for your help in supporting both me AND the DonorsChoose.org teacher community!