Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Okay, I know it's not politically correct for teachers to be crowing about the last day of school finally arriving - but I am! The past couple of weeks has been very trying - meaning I have about one shredded nerve left. We have spent far too much time doing nothing. Grades were cut off about ten days ago, and since then, it has been a battle just keeping the kids from swinging from the light fixtures. I am vowing to teach right up to the last day next year. I MEAN IT! So if your child comes home the day before school is out next year and announces that he or she has homework, too bad. I'm not going to grade it either, but I won't tell the kids that.

Seriously, there has to be a way to keep the kids occupied the last couple of weeks of school without everyone losing their minds. We have shown movies, played games, given extra recess, cleaned and packed the room , had picnics, track and field, gone for ice-cream, you name it, and students think that is all this time of year is for. I have to disagree. Some fun is fun. But not two weeks' worth!

Anyway, this is turning into a rant, and I'm not letting it. I am just happy that we are getting out of school. I have all kinds of plans for the summer, and I guess I should start a list so I will keep myself on track!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I'm trying something new, and maybe someone out there can help me with this. I want to upload some doll templates that I created for people in my Swap-Bot doll group. Please try to print these from your computer and let me know how that works. I'm not too hopeful . . .

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Friday Night Playtime

Went to my friend, Deb's, last night to play in the Scrapshack. This is the second weekend in a row I've gone over since my surgery seven weeks ago. Although I haven't built back up to my usual leave time of between 3-5 A.M, I stayed until about 1:30 A.M. I didn't get a huge amount of work done, but I did get all the Catherine Moore (www.characterconstructions.com) paper doll parts stamped I promised to send out to the members of my Swap-bot group. I also made an ankle bracelet for my swap partner in the handmade jewelry swap. It turned out really cute, even though I'm not an ankle bracelet wearer. Maybe when I get really skinny . . .

I'm down forty-one pounds now. One morning this week I changed my pants four times trying to find a pair that didn't look so baggy. Not bragging, you understand, but it is nice after being so heavy for so long to finally have my clothing not feeling like it was trying to strangle me! Today I went shopping at the Salvation Army store in Marion. For about fifty dollars I purchased two pairs of pants that fit me now and three more pairs that will fit in a month or so. I also found a great Land's End fleece anorak in red that is practically new for just $2.50! Doesn't fit right now, but I know it will in the fall. The find of the day, however, is the $5.99 pair of practically new Dansko dress shoes. These shes generally retail for about $110.00, and I NEVER buy them new. Mine are always off eBay. They are very supportive, and while they may not be to everyone's taste, they have great arches, which MY feet need. (Other purchases include old music books to use in my artwork, some books to read, a fleece jacket ugly, indeed, but purchased for the wonderful gilt thread medallion on the pocket, a little glass serving bowl with a pattern of blackberries molded into the glass $.99, and four old board games, one of which is a brand new OLD Stratego game. ) So, by the time I had piled all this into my cart, I was shopped out! My $54.00 really went a long way shopping today, plus it will stay in our community through the Salvation Army's outreach programs. Good Deal!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Yes, really. Some of you may have noticed that I belong to Swap-bot, a place where you can get in snail mail swaps for various items. Yesterday I decided to read the Swap-bot blog and ended up doing exactly what my title says for the better part of two hours. If laughter is therapy, then I deprived some poor shrink of a great deal of money last night.

The Swap-bot blog's author had some hillarious examples of awful craft items listed. Now, what you have to remember about Swap-bot is that many of the swaps created are for craft items of some kind or other to be created, and then exchanged within the group of participants who sign up for that particular swap. Craftastrophe ( http://craftastrophe.net/), is a site that posts pictures and comments of crafts gone wrong. Now, just so you know, I've made my share of creations that didn't deserve to see the light of day. And, if you read my Going to See the Wizard post, you already know that I've poked fun at myself and others in the past. So I think it is perfectly okay to laugh at othe people's stuff because I also know that there are people besides me out there LTAO at things I make. But seriously, if you want to just laugh and laugh, you need to visit this site. ***********WARNING: Some of this stuff should not be viewed while eating, taking a drink of a carbonated beverage, or by pregnant women. So go ahead, I dare you, not to laugh, that is!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Paper Doll Swap on SWAP-BOT


I just created a new paper doll swap on swap bot. This swap is for a Vegas Showgirl Doll. You will be creating two showgirl dolls and will have two partners. This is about BLING, BLING, BLING, Baby!

I plan on creating a whole series of swaps based on dancers, and then I am moving on to historical figure paper dolls. My goal is to start one swap per month. So, if you like paper dolls, drop by Swap-Bot to play!

I'm going to repost pictures of some of the dolls I've already made to try to get perople interested. How bout any of you bloggers? Do you like to dabble and play with paper? Here's the link: http://www.swap-bot.com/swap/show/36966.
I've also created a new group on Swap-bot, Paper People Art Dolls, and again, if you are interested in making and trading paper dolls, check out this group!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


This is a new picture of me at thirty-nine pounds lighter. Of course, I didn't know I was going to take my picture tonight and post it on my blog, or I might have combed my hair - tee hee. I just was looking in the mirror and got the crazy urge to photograph myself because the way my face looks is the most notable thing to me so far about losing weight. I can tell in the way my clothes fit, too, but it is still how my face looks that amazes me the most.

I did try to buy some new pants tonight, and both pairs I bought fit me, but after I got home I thought about it and decided that two or three weeks from now those pants would be baggy, too. So, I'm just going to tough it out for a while and not buy any new pants. If you should happen across me and it looks as if I'm carrying a load around in my pants, well, I might be, but it will probably just be because all my pants are getting waaaay too big. And that is a happy dance kind of celebratory thing!

My husband is getting all kinds of creepy ideas running through his pointy little head. I think he has a Fredrick's of Hollywood catalog under his mattress or something. He keeps dropping these broad hints about leather mini skirts and such. I don't know what to do to disabuse him of these strange notions, but I have some ideas. One being to stop shaving my legs. If anyone has any other ideas to discourage him from dressing me in things I might have worn forty years ago, I would love your input. Although, it is kind of sweet that he thinks I'm going to look like I did thirty or forty years ago. I guess he just doesn't have much of an inkling about the breakthrough work Sir Isaac Newton just did on that new-fangled gravity thing . . .
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Here is a picture of the newly junked up mermaid. Too tired for a long post, but she is going out in the AM mail. Hope the recipient likes her.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Everyone get out a tissue and get ready to read a really sad fish tale. I have a friend who is becoming more and more disabled from RSD. She had inherited two gorgeous saltwater fish tanks from her daughter who just graduated last weekend from the University of Findlay (Yay Echo!), and my friend just can't take care of them anymore. So guess who volunteered to take the fish tanks? Yep. You guessed right - me. See that big, blinking sign on my forehead? I've never even owned a goldfish. Parrots, yes. Several. Skunks? Yep. Raccoons? yup. Lizard? Right again. Dogs, Cats, Mice, Goats, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, lots and lots of pets, I've had. But never fish. Not even a guppy.

And, not only are these fish tanks (plural), they're gulp, saltwater tanks. So, Echo came home yesterday and said, "Girls, we're movin' fish today." That involved sucking out 41 gallons of water, dipping out 6 fish and a sea urchin, moving about twenty pounds of live rock, buying fifteen gallons of water to do a partial water change, then moving all the aforementioned "stuff" about twenty miles down the pike. Well, having absolutely no experience with fish, I was terrified that I would kill these fish, and I kept saying that. "I know I'm going to kill them!" Repeat phrase. Repeat phrase.

Well, I know you've already guessed the end of the story. Yup, I killed 'em. Not all of them, only the most expensive ones, and Echo's favorites. Of course. Not really my fault, but I didn't get up in the middle of the night and check the temperature on the new set-ups. When I got up this morning, the fishies wouldn't wake up, so I tapped on the glass. When I tapped on the glass, the glass felt like a . . . very warm . . . so I dipped my finger in . . . and it felt like . . . bath water. Now I could see why the fish on the bottom of the tank wasn't moving- And the poor sea urchin's spikes had lopped over. Very, very sad.

I called my husband at work, and while I waited to be put through to his office, I was saying some very bad words - until I realized the officer at the desk had not put me on hold while he was calling for Richard. So, I think that guy may have heard some language he may never have heard before in a prison. Next, I called my friend and told her the sad news and begged her not to tell Echo, but I think her phone was on speaker, and more bad news - Echo had stayed the night and was sleeping with her mother who was in bed when I called . . . So that is the end of my very sad fish tale - except - I went shopping tonight and came home with $113.00 dollars worth of fish stuff. Stay tuned for more fish tales - I'm sure there are more to come!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Stella Gets Her Groove Back

Well, not exactly, but I am rejoining the world. Mind, I'm not setting anything on fire - breaking no records for productivity- but I am getting back into the swing of things. Yesterday I finally completed some ATC's for a swap I was supposed to have sent out on April 6, AND I created my mermaid paper doll for another swap I'm in. The mermaid is not completed yet; I have not "Junked her up," but her form, face, and basic colors are laid down.

<-----------------Here's a sneak peek:

Now, you have to remember, "junking things up" is near and dear to my heart, so imagine her with oh, say, some jewels, a little tattered something-something hanging off her, some glitter, something in her hair, etc. you get the picture, right? I hope the swap partner I have takes a look at this doll b/c I did not use the template they posted on the swap. Not that it's not a good template, it just did not allow me to use my own ideas.

Here is the drawing I made for the house-shaped ATC swap I was involved in:
I ended up shrinking this from 9X12 to approx. 3X5. After I printed them, I colored them with watercolor pencils, cut them out, and stamped the backs with an ATC info stamp. They turned out to be very colorful. The only thing I didn't like was that I had to cut the drainpipe boy off so I could make it fit into the ATC format. And, it's too bad that I couldn't have put one more child in the picture to represent all of my brothers and sisters and me. Count and see how many children MY mother has.
So, I am now coming up with all sorts of things I want to create. The fog has lifted and I'm Baaaaaaack!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Awards Go To

I promised I would think about the blogs that I thought needed an award, and I decided the following people should receive one. If you are one of the people I named, please stop by and pick up this badge by clicking and copying it, then pasting it into your blog by going to your dashboard and adding it as you would your photos. Then pay it forward by doing the following: Link to the blog of the person who gave you the award (me); list seven things you love; and send the award on to seven other bloggers who you think deserve the award.

Michele at http://creative-mayhem.blogspot.com/
Alicia at http://lookatmybooks.blogspot.com/
Cathy at http://partlypaper.blogspot.com/
Tristan at http://tristanrobin.blogspot.com/

No, this is not seven - but I'll find some others that I think deserve the award and I will post them later.
I am headed back to school on Monday. I am happy to be going back, but I wonder how I'm going to be able to handle my afternoon nap. Will my students be understanding and be quiet while I drool with my little heady resting on my desk? Or, will they tie me to things like Gulliver? Will I wake up to find mustaches drawn on my face and my shoestrings tied together? Ah well, I guess I'll have to forgo that nap - sigh.

We will only have three weeks of school left after I return, so it will all be hustle and bustle trying to squeeze in everything that I need to get done. I have to do DRA's (Developmental Reading Assessment) for each child in my class, then the end year Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Test, finish the book they're reading, Among the Hidden, and finally, give them an end of the year spelling assessment. I also have to get all this in around them going to Camp Ohio for three days, Track and Field Day, Science Camp Day, awards ceremonies, and all the other craziness.

In between all this is the record keeping I have to do. All the reading testing I will be doing has to be scored and recorded in their reading folders, cumulative folders have to be updated, grades will need to be entered for gradecards, inventories, ordering supplies and books for next year, and whew! I need a nap now just thinking about all this! And that doesn't include tearing the room down and packing it up! So - how many of you out there think teachers are overpaid?

Anyway, I AM happy to be going back - I just know I'll be tired for a while, but there is nothing like being thrown into the thick of things to get you going again. And I think that is just what this ol' girl needs!