Sunday, 3 April 2016

Pink Flowers: Art Class Eight

I haven't forgotten about my goal to cross all those little projects off my to do list and while I haven't been great at catching up on posting, I've been doing better with it around my house. One thing I finally did was spray all my paintings with a sealant and, while I had them out, I took photos of the ones I haven't posted about yet to share with you.

This is one of my favourites, despite the fact that I haven't actually hung it up anywhere yet. I really like the colours and texture of the background, and how it makes the pink flowers pop. 

I actually painted this one about a year ago and have had it sitting on a shelf in my office closet. Until I find the perfect location for it, it will continue to live there.

Shared at: Kathe With An E, A Stroll Thru Life, Life on Lakeshore Drive

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Pillows, Pillows, and More Pillows

Yes, I know, it has been a while. Moving on. M loves pillows. Seriously, the girl would have a dozen if I'd make them for her. Before moving her into her new room, I made her several. 

First I made a green chevron one using the envelope method. I've shared this style here on my blog before, and you can see a tutorial here.

Next I made two flannel grey pillows with a zipper. Again, this isn't a new style of pillows for me, and you can see the tutorial here.

While I was in the pillow-making mood, I decided to make a few for J's couch downstairs. I love this fabric. It's supposed to be snowflakes and I found it in the Christmas bin, but it makes me think of the sky at twilight.

Are you enjoying the little peeks of M's new room? I'll share the finished product with you in the near future, although perhaps I should share the last few stages of renovations first.

Shared at: The Kolb Corner, A Stroll Thru Life, Kathe With An E, The Crafty Blog Stalker, A Creative Princess

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Mint Green Crate Nightstand

Have you seen all the amazing crate furniture on Pinterest? I might be a little late to the party but I'm so glad I finally showed up. For M's new room we struggled to find a nightstand we liked, so we decided to make one ourselves.

Paint and paint brush
Joiners, screws, and screw driver

First we painted the crates. They were rough but we decided against sanding them and instead embraced the rustic feel. We made sure to paint all sides except the bottom, which would be against the wall.

Once they were dry we debated sanding them again but, to be honest, we were lazy. Instead we just stacked them together and used the joiners to attach them. 

See how short those instructions are? That's how easy this project was. As I said above, I'm so glad we finally jumped on the crate furniture bandwagon.

Also, did you notice in the above picture the room is finished? It is, and she moved into it earlier this week. I need to catch up on posting our progress and I'm so excited to show you her finished room.

Shared at: A Creative Princess, Life on Lakeshore Drive, Making It In The Mountains, The Kolb Corner, A Stroll Thru Life, Kathe With An E, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Diva's Run For Bling

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Valentine's Wooden Bead Bracelets

Recently I made a quick and easy Valentine's Day bracelet with some students. The idea for these bracelets came from this Heart Friendship Bracelet at Moms and Crafters.

Wooden beads (I bought mine at Dollarama)
Hemp twine

Step 1: Draw a design on your beads. Be sure to draw it on each side, and make sure it's facing the right direction each time.

Step 2: Thread the beads on the hemp. On a couple I used smaller beads and knotted the twine to hold the beads in place. On one I chose to let the beads move around.

Step 3: Tie knots. I like adjustable ones so I can put my bracelets on or off as I please.

These are the four bracelets made by my students.

The students had fun making these. They picked their own colours and what they wanted to write on their beads. The only help they needed was to be shown how to make the knots.

Shared at: Making It In the Mountains, The Kolb Corner, A Stroll Thru Life, Kathe With an E, A Creative Princess, Life on Lakeshore Drive

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Devastated for La Loche, Saskatchewan - My Former Home

As you can see from the title of this post, it has been a tough weekend for me. In case you are unaware, on Friday there was a shooting in the community of La Loche, which started at a house and then continued to the school. Four people were killed and more were wounded. 

While school shootings are always upsetting, both as a teacher and as a step parent to school aged kids, this one is hitting me especially hard. My very first year as a teacher was spent in the La Loche Community School Dene building, the very building that was struck by this tragedy on Friday. I spent a year walking through those doors, laughing in those hallways, teaching in those classrooms. My time spent there helped shape me into the teacher I am today. 

The school on the beautiful summer day when I first arrived in the community

Those who know me well know that my time in La Loche wasn't easy. While I loved my students, colleagues, and the school, I found it a difficult community to live in and only stayed for one year. It just wasn't the right place for me at that point in my life. Despite the short time I spent there and the fact that I've been out of La Loche for eight and a half years, it will always have a special place in my heart. 

The house I lived in from October until I left in June
If you look closely you can see the roof of the school on either side,
about half way up the house. It was right behind where I lived.

La Loche already faces so many challenges - a low employment rate, lack of adequate housing, isolation, and a suicide rate that is 3 - 4 times the provincial average are among the things they deal with. Now they are faced with rebuilding their school and community after this unimaginable event. Because I know the amazing spirits of many of the people who live there and how the community will pull together at a time like this, I believe they'll eventually make it through this grief stronger and more united than ever. Until then, my thoughts and prayers are with them.

I apologize for the quality of the photos in this post. I don't have digital copies so the pictures are photos taken of ones that are in my scrapbook.

Shared at: Making It In The Mountains, The Kolb Corner, A Stroll Thru Life

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Finishing the Basement: Part 1

We've been making steady progress in the basement at finishing bedrooms for M and D. Actually, I guess I should say J's been making steady progress. In case you missed it, M moved in with us about a month and a half ago and has been living in the guest room while we build her a new bedroom in the basement. This addition to our household occurred shortly after my surgery so I haven't been able to help much at all. J deserves all the credit, and I'm impressed by how handy my husband is!

His first step was framing the two rooms, including a closet in each and a box around the heating duct in one bedroom. He had help for the main walls in this stage, and after that has done everything except the electrical himself. 

Next he insulted the walls and ceilings. Technically he didn't need to do this because they're all interior walls but we wanted the additional warmth and sound proofing.

After this stage we hired an electrical to come in. We didn't want to mess with that at all. He took care of the permits and roughed in the plugs, lights, and smoke detectors. Did you know in Alberta you have to put a smoke detector in every newly built bedroom? He'll come back again to finish the electrical when we're ready for him.

Once the electrical was roughed in, J started putting up the drywall. I was sure he would have to hire someone but he figured it out on his own. At this point they started to look like rooms to me.

Next came the mudding and taping. This was definitely the worst part and took a long time (over three weeks). We ran into some snags and I was fearful that our project was going to grind to a halt but J figured it all out.

Finally he moved on to priming. M helped with this and after two coats our rooms are really starting to come together. The pictures above are after one coat. I didn't take a picture after the second coat because I was too excited to get painting. 

M and I actually did the first coat of paint today and will do the second tomorrow. We still have to do the ceiling, the floor, the trim, the doors, the closet organizers, and the last of the electrical but hopefully it'll be ready in the next month.

Want to see the before? Here it is.

Shared at: Made in a Day, A Stroll Thru Life, Kathe With An E

Friday, 8 January 2016

Book Club Recap 2013

One thing I've always wanted to include on my blog is a recap of books and cookies from my book club meetings, but I've never gotten around to it. In the spirit of crossing things off my list, here's a summary from 2013. 

2013 was our first year of book club and it was pretty random how it happened and how I got involved. I got a text from a fellow teacher who was thinking of starting a book club and asked if I'd be interested. Her rationale was she wanted a way to meet up with other ladies without having to buy something (like a home business sales party) or having to go out to a restaurant or bar. I didn't know her well and was hesitant but said sure, thinking if I didn't like it I'd leave after a couple months. It was a little awkward at first, because most of us only knew one or two of the other ladies (there are 10 of us in all), but over time we've really become a close group. We're on our third year now and  I look forward to it every month.

In 2013 we were still finding our groove. We didn't have a set schedule, a plan for who would host, or a way of picking books. We started in April and met six times that year. With the exception of Owen Meaney, I really enjoyed all the books from 2013.

The Language of Flowers

For this book I brought Cheesecake Brownies. It was a new recipe and they were delicious. Drool.

The Light Between Oceans

I stuck with an tried and true recipe for this book and brought Lemon Cookies.

The Painted Girls

I had a friend come visit so, even though I read the book, I didn't make it to the meeting.

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

This is one of my favourite books we've read. I went with another tried and true recipe for this one. I used to make these Rocky Road Squares back when I was a kid.

A Tale For Owen Meaney

Once I start a book, I finish it. It makes me crazy to give up before I get to the end. I'm not sure why. It's just a thing. Anyway, this was the book I almost didn't finish this book. I found it so hard to get through that I almost gave up. In order to finish it (not in time for the meeting), I made myself read at least 10 pages every time I finished another book. It took over two years but I finally got through it. The sad thing is that I didn't dislike it. I just found it really long and tedious to read.

It seems fitting that the Ritz Cracker Rolo Sandwiches I made for this meeting wasn't one I'd ever make again.

The Thirteenth Tale

I hosted this one, and it was only a short while after I found out gluten and dairy were my issues. I tried making several recipes but definitely hadn't quite gotten the knack of gluten-free dairy-free baking.

Shared at: 24 Cottonwood Lane, Life on Lakeshore Drive, My Pinterventures, Making It In The Mountains