Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Old Cookie Press

Yay! I found this lovely at the Christian Mission Thrift Store in Enterprise Alabama!
I am not certain if it works yet, but I could not resist the EXCELLENT price.
It was marked $2.50 which is wonderful, but when I checked out,
I found out that it was HALF PRICE!
This means I paid a total of $1.25 for this treasure.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Terracycling up for a New School Year!

Yesterday, we had our Back to School Store at our church. The women's group organizes this entire event, which helps provide back to school supplies for about 100 students in our local community.
My favorite part is meeting all of the students and sometimes seeing students that I have had in the past! I had a chance to talk with more than 6 of my prior students, some parents and some possible future students! It was a wonderful day and the kids left with backpacks full of school supplies and stomachs full of home made cookies!

The night before, when we were setting up, I noticed that volunteers were putting cookies in small snack sized Zip-Loc bags.

Of course, my "trash-radar" went up and since I could not avoid the baggies, I could gather them and send them to Terracycle. So, I prepared a box with a sign asking for the empty baggies to be put in the box.
While I still had to raid the trashcans, there were many baggies put in the box! (mind you I had to take baggies out of the 'plastics' recycling can and cardboard boxes out of the 'plastics' recycling can!)

While I was helping to clean up and gather these baggies, Judy asked me about everything that I collected. She said that she really did not like to throw items in the trash as she understands that there is no "away" when an item is thrown away! So she wanted to know if anything that she had saved was something I collected. So, she will be bringing me her trash on Monday! I also sent her a link to my original blog post on what I collect with the brigades! Through the Terracycle Facebook page, I often find out about changes to the brigades or clarifications as to what is acceptable. The only recent change is that Terracycle now takes the Straws from the Drink Pouches. This is the comment from the Terracycle FB page:

"This is because we also now turn the drink pouches you send to us into pavers, bricks, fence posts and more. Through this melting type process (please excuse my lack of technical knowledge on the subject, but do see... See more the video in our video tab called 'From Flavia Fresh Packs to Pavers' to learn more) we are also able to use roughly 4x more drink pouches then before, which is really great for everyone. For example, a large juice pouch tote bag uses 26 juice pouches, but one paver stone uses at least 100! Happy TerraCycling."

Remember, the idea is to reduce the packaging that we put in the landfills. There are many ways to accomplish this.

First--really consider the items you purchase: do you really need it? how is it packaged? can the packaging be reused, composted, or recycled?

Second--look at what you are considering putting in that trash can: Can it be used by someone else (yard sales, thrift stores, freecycle, craigslist!!) Can it be composted or recycled? can it be remade into some other useful item?

There are many people out there who are successful at living life to the fullest while reducing their impact on the environment. It takes time and patience with your self. Our habits did not develop overnight, so it will take more than one day, one week, one month or even one year to change.
Take that first step.

Make one change this week.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hmmm.....Summertime "To Do" list??

I was meandering through my old posts and came across my Summertime "To Do" list, and thought it would be interesting to see what I actually finished!

Here is the original list with updates in GREEN

1. Finish the following quilts:
Jennifer's baby quilt (finished)
Peacock (top finished and delivered to long arm quilter)
Spinning Card Deck (this has been given thought and is being remade into a different design)
Skyward Nines (background and border fabric purchased)
Log Cabin (from the beautiful hand-dyed fabrics I bought as a kit at the 2009 Paducah Quilt Show!) (nothing done with this project!)
2. Finish the fabric rug I started 4 years ago using the Locker Hook method! (no progress here!)
3. Finish baby bibs for Etsy store. (finished as of today!)
4. Photograph items for Etsy store. NOPE
5. List items in Etsy store. NOPE
6. Yard Sale in June! Rescheduled for August 7
7. Clean out school filing cabinets (done!)
8. Decide on and organize Math Stations for RTI (Response to Intervention) method that will be used in school next year. (this one is a biggie!!) DONE! This started with an inventory of what I already had. I found that I had a number of perfect activities and all I needed to do was organize them. I created instruction sheets for each activity, listing supplies needed and making sure the activity parts were organized. I had to create little drawstring bags for some activities. I still have TONS of items that need to be cut out from cardstock and organized into folders, but I have help planned and a date arranged for next week.
9. Organize school cabinets DONE
10. Re-hang signs in classroom. (done!)
11. Repair entryway rug in classroom. DONE
12. Put 2009-2010 scrapbook together. I purchased the scrapbook and extra pages just two weeks ago.

Additionally I completed these activities:
Dyed and sewed new curtains for the window and the shelves in my classroom.
Spray painted the bookshelf in my classroom
I finished the Readers are Leaders quilt and the Prairie Schooler Quilt.
I added a hanging sleeve to the Hot Air Balloon quilt
Vince hung all three of these quilts in my classroom
Vince made and hung new pegs for the students' backpack and coats.
I finished the binding for the Snow Crazy Quilt.

So, overall, I made progress and had a busy summer! I am glad it is not over yet.

Donors Choose and Sonic: Partners Again!

Last August, Sonic partnered up with DonorsChoose.org in the Limeades for Learning promotion.
I was fortunate enough to have two projects funded through that promotion!

Starting August 30th, drinks at Sonic will have voting codes on them. It is very easy to then go to the Limeades for Learning site and vote for your favorite Public School Teacher's project!

I have created two links on my blog to aid you in finding my projects when you vote for your favorite!

All I am asking is that if you patronize Sonic, know anyone who patronizes Sonic, knows someone who works at Sonic, or want to go to Sonic because you want to support public school teachers, please pass the word along and help out a teacher!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bells of Sarna

I have this small brass bell that belonged to my father. It, along with a second bell, were in our house in Manalapan for as long as I can remember.

Today, I was looking at the bell and noticed that it was marked "Bells of Sarna" on the inside of the bell.

Curious, I did a bit of research to find out what that meant. I found this article at the American Bell Association's Bell Talk site: http://americanbell.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=656

Sarna is not a place in India, but rather the name of the man who imported bells from several locations and resold them here in the states. The Bells of Sarna began in the late 1930's.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

PILLOWS for the Classroom!

Finally I have finished this project!
I now have two HUGE pillows to use in my classroom for the upcoming school year!

These pillows were created using reclaimed stuffing and fabric! The outer covering that you see is an old fabric shower curtain. The inner pillow forms were created using fabric I purchased at the thrift store (quite unattractive fabric if I may say so!) very inexpensively. The stuffing was reclaimed from several unwanted bedpillows and throw pillows. It took a while to wash and dry the stuffing materials, but it was worth it!

Measuring about 30 inches square, they will sit on the floor for students to use instead of sitting at regular desks. They will have to earn the right to sit on the floor pillows, of course!