Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Sounds of Silence

So, it has been 2 years and no blogging.  So sad. 

But I really - REALLY - want to get back to it because I have new ideas on what to blog on. 

This blog was created to put out the random stuff in my brain then it took a turn to craftiness.  Now I would like to see if I can squeeze in some school stuff.  It will just become an entire plethora of informations - a virtual font of wisdom.

But I can not just go blog about the new stuff unless I give some background info on where this came from and where I have been.  Short but sweet - busy family, teaching school, then go overboard on conferences to go to then I start my National Boards - I am a crazy person.  Family - kids growing like weeds - but we have had fun - last March we went to Walt Disney World.

So why do I feel the need to blog again.  Well, it is a creative outlet - which I desparately need, but I hope to help people by posting ideas to my blog and then on to PINTEREST. 

I am in the final phases of my portfolio for my national boards.  I am a 5th grade teacher of math and science, but the only category that fits this is Middle Childhood Generalist.  So this means I have to teach and write about not only math and science, but social studies and writing.  I write in my class, but this is like a horse of a different color.

I saved the worst for last and that is the narrative writing.  I can teach it, the problem is I do not want to, but I have to, so I am.  The kids know about vivid language, setting, plot, similes, and metaphors.  But I have to write about what I taught them.  I did not teach them this- their language teacher did, but I can't just lie.  So I let my brain do some wondering and came up with an idea.

Friday night a friend posted lots of videos on Facebook.  One had the lyrics to the Sounds of Silence.  This is one of my favorite songs, so I used my super-power and rewrote the 1st verse and commented back.  Well, this lead to my singing this song for the next 24 hours.  Yesterday, I realized that there sure was a lot of vivid language, personification, symbolism, and conflict in this song.

Soooooo, I had found my lesson.  Simon and Garfunkel!  I copied and pasted the lyrics in a word doc.  Added all the literary devices that I could find beside the verses and came up with a plan.

I am posting my mini lesson on this here.  Yet, I will also explain it now.

In class we have been talking about how I am going to read all of these stories and that I would hope they would be fun to read.  I know that my students will return a book to the library if it is not a good read.  So we have talked about how to make your writing fun to read - adjectives, etc.

Well, rough drafts are due tomorrow and I will read them tomorrow night, but I know I will not find as much vivid language as I would like.  This is were Simon & Garfunkel come in.

I have rewritten the song in bare bones boring (alliteration!) words.  I will read it to them and ask them if it was enjoyable.  I am sure I will get some "no's".  Then I will contrast it with reading of the lyrics 1st.  Students will close their eyes and use imagination.  Then another discussion will follow.

Lastly, the song will be played.  Our stories are not in rhyming verse, but I think they will get the picture.

If this has peaked your interest, try out Pink Floyd's "Wish you were here."  This whole song is paradoxial.

The Firm even used an oxymoron (neon darkness) in one of there songs.  The video is posted here.   The song title is alliteration.  I also like it because of Jimmy Page.  (Another day, another blog)

And then if you really must have something else - try a little Otis Redding.  "These Arms of Mine" has lots of personification.  And as a side note - Willie and The Poor Boys (which also had Jimmy Page in it) did a cover of the version.

Well, I have to stop this or it could go on forever, but I think you see my train of thought.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Valentine Tiles

School is in full swing, so my crafting and blogging are taking a hit.  I would love to just do this all the time, but it does not put food on the table.

I was at Wal-Mart Saturday getting some things and had to go ahead and purchase Eminem some school Valentines (iCarly ones).  I was done the seasonal aisle and was struck with inspirations by seeing some napkins.  Small white cocktail napkins with multi colored hearts.  Too cute.  So for a whopping $1 I picked them up.

I was just going to make one decorative tile or maybe 2 when the craft bomb went off and set me to thinking.  So later I went to Home Depot, purchases some supplies and set off crafting.

These are the cute tiles I made - very simple and just about the same directions as making the coaster with the tiles.

It starts with these supplies: 
ceramic tiles - 12 x 12  cost $1.90, 6 x 6 cost $0.48 and 4 x 4 cost $0.16
modge podge
paint brushes
scrapbook papers
craft knife
and my cute $1 napkins

1. I decided on a design and precut the scrapbook papers.

2. I set them out and started to Modge Podge them to the  tiles.

I have never Modge Podged napkins - so that was a little different.  I did not take into account that I would be able to see the scrapbook paper through the napkin.

I also got a few wrinkles in the paper, so they are just going to add some character!

I was just going to do this one big one and use the 6x6 tiles for something else, but I thought my little Valentine area needed more so I started cutting out hearts.

These are the small and medium tiles.

3.  I did about 5 coats of Modge Podge letting it dry good between coats.  I sprayed some poly on it too for good measure.

On the smaller ones you could put the little felt tabs on them to use as coasters.

A great thing about the napkins is that each napkin has 4 little squares.  There were 24 napkis times 4 pieces in each, so that is 96 decorative sheets for $1.

I spent $3 on the tile and I purchased the paper in bulk pads 50% off at Hobby Lobby.  It probably comes out to 1 cent each square. 

A quick, easy and cheap Valentine decoration to perk up your living space!

  XOXO, Striker

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Not the musical - but the little creatures we keep in our house for fun.

I have a cat named Bob.  He is a strange little thing.  We think he was brain damaged by the flea collar we put on him as a kitty.  He likes to help around the house. 

He is really good at holding down papers.  It is like a fuzzy paper weight.

Last night he tried some wine.  I had my cute hand-painted wine glass that BCF gave me for Christmas out at the computer.  He was desperately trying to stick his whole head in, but it would not fit.  So he licked the inside of my glass.  I poured it out after that.  Because I teach science I wanted to see what happened.  Of course, nothing cool.  He just ran off.

Bob, is hard to photograph.  He will not sit still.  He is fun to have around and can actually catch a mouse.  It has happened before.

Bob is 13 years old and still very spunky.  He zips all around the house.

This is a stupid post, I know, but kitty was just  on my mind.  He likes to blog with me in the morning.  He sits right in front of the monitor.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm so Tired

This title come from a Beatles song on the White Album.  The song actually sounds like you are singing tired.  I do love the Beatles.

I think I am mentally and physically exhausted from the weekend and today.  Is it possible one could be so tired that you throw up?  That is how I feel, or it could be the wine I am drinking.

I am a 5th grade math and science teacher and it is science fair season.  I know I just made some parents cringe.  I love science and would drop math like a bad habit if I could teach science all day long.  Our district science fair is tomorrow.  I got placed in charge of judges last week - we had some , but I had to round up the others.  Thank goodness we livwe in a college town.  Where else are you going to find a couple of physicist lying about.

So, Saturday my peeps, Pants and Hurdle, came over at 3:00 and we worked until 10:30 on this Science Fair.  We typed and typed and typed.  All this typing paid off when we did our check in today.  It was S-M-O-O-T-H.  We feel good.  But tired because all day from 7:00 to 7:00 today we did science fair.

One more day of this fair in our school.  I have a professional day to hang about with the judges and schmooze.  My sub will be teaching how fractions relate to decimals.  I like to schmooze.

so, I have been how for 40 minutes and want to just lie down and sleep for days.

Did I mention that this weekend we helped Scout complete the Reading Fair Project and Eminem do her Star of the Week info?    Just how far away is spring break!?!?!?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Changing Fonts on Word

I will get to the title in a minute.  First, I just need to say that Iam tired and worn out from the weekend.

Saturday morning there was an indoor yardsale at the convention center.  It was great and I wish I had had a purpose to buy something.  I had Eminem so it was hard to shop.  She did find some rollar blades for $3 and found cute white Christmas trees for the mantle.  I will play with them in 10 months.

We then took some stuff to Goodwill and of course I had to shop.  Eminem bought a straw hat to play it - she looks very cute.  And I found the biggest bargain.  Pottery Barn candle sticks for $5.  I set was originally $69.  I was fired up.  Can't wait to find a place for them.

So, on to the Font thing.  Scout has a Reading Fair Project due this Wednesday.  He is presenting "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban".   He did all the writing and typing himself, but wanted something to make the project cool.  I though that we needed to find a Harry Potter font.  And guess what - there are about 8 good ones to chose from.  We chose the ones with thelightening bolts on the letters.  It took me a while to figure out how to get that sucker in Word but I managed and want to educate the world.  You know I am a teacher.

1.  Search the web for your font and save it to your desk top.  It will be saved as a zip file.

2.  Close out of the internet and right-click on your font zip file and chose "extract all files".  In this order choose Next, Next, Finish - when it asks you questions.  It is just saving the file in C: drive/Documents and Settings/OwnerDocuments/My Documents...

3.  Now, you will not need to have any other windows open.  Hit the Start button and go to the Control Panel.

4.  At the Control Panel, click "Appearance and Themes"  then under this choose Fonts- if you do not have "Appearance and Themes" - like me_ then click "Fonts". 

5.  Click the "File " menu and choose 'Install New Fonts"

6.  Make sure  the drive says C:

7.  There is a little window of folders on the left - under C, choose Documents and Settings. double click

8.  choose the Owner File - Double Click

9.  chosose Desktop  File - Double click - once this is open you will be able to scroll down and find the name of your font

10.  Double click the font name and it will appear in the box above

11.  Click on the font name and choose "OK".  A box will then pop up pretty fast and say  "100% Download" or something.

12.  Go to Word and enjoy your new font.

It was great and made the project a little extra special.

Linking up to DIY Day - since I did do it myself.  I did not really make anything, but I still feel that sense of accomplishment.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dining Room Dilemma

I do love my Dining Room and I think it looks just fine the way it is, but with the sprucing up and redecorating urges that are on me, I feel the need to do some thing a little different.

Here are some dining room pics.

I still have problems placing pictures, so I apoligize for the crazy placement.

I love the dark wood and the furniture is in great shape.  Not going to redo that.  The walls are a mustard color that I do like - not changing that.  The trim is white and so I have the light colored rug and the light colored display curio in there too.  I really have no other place for the curio, but if it does not match please tell me to find a place!

My primary issue is with the windows.  Do they need "softening"?  I have the decorative arches on either side of the window.  They are paper mache'.  Here is a close up lookPlease excuse the dust.  So, you can see it is also a dark wood color with highlights of gold.  I am fine with the gold.

Should I paint these suckers antique white and then wipe some paint off to let the dark color peak out?

Should I get some long cream panels for these areas?  I don't think I want too much patten going on.  I actually did find some great fabric.

But at $20 a yard and I need about 4 yards - that is not happening.  But it was a beautiful silk.

What do you think please tell me!

I also think the wall with the buffet needs help.  We can't do anything to the pottery on the actual buffet.  I will hurt you over that stuff - it is a prized possession in MS.  I think the wreath needs to go.  Do I update the pictures or just the frames?  One picture is starting to fade because it gets more sun.

My ceilings are 9 ft so I have a good bit of room to play with.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

GoodWill Hunting

This is a fabulous movie, but an even more fabulous store.  I went to check out the new one in town.  ( We just got it.) And now I am addicted to it.

My son is in the in-between stage of boys to men.  He wears a mens small right now.  He has got to go with me to find shirts.

Even though they have some great deals on clothes, I had a blast looking for accessories.  I had in mind that I needed a small corner shelf for the bathroom.  It is not a must so just whenever I found it would be fine.  I saw it the minute I walked in the store.  It had been out a week and no one had claimed this wonderful jewel. 

It might lean just a wee bit, but in a "potty room" who will really notice.  The paint job is not the greatest, but that can be fixed. 

I also have recently decided to de/re - that is shorthand for decrapify and redecorate.  So, I am doing a bathroom makeover in the master bath.  Turquoise and Lime or bright green is really in, so I am going for that look.  I wast just peaking for accessories at the GoodWill and found these too!

These green vases are so ugly they are cool!  The big clear vase will look good filled with turquoise marbles that I found at the Dollar Tree.  (Our Dollar Tree is next door to the GoodWill !  Woo Hoo!)The vases were $1.99 each.  I thought that was ok.

The white star is a tree topper, but it is rustic white.  Not sure what to do with it but for $0.99 I can find a place.  But my favorite is the turquoise glass ashtray!

No one uses an ashtray anymore!  You have to smoke outside.  But in my weird way, I thought it was a treasure to save - vintage ashtray.  It was 99 cents.  It was a previous yard sale item because the 25 cent sticker was still on it and no one bought it.

I felt like Santa Claus stopping by at the Island of Misfit Toys on the Rudolph Christmas Special.  I picked up the tacky accessories of yesteryear and will give them a good home even if they are not the "in" thing.

Happy GoodWill Hunting!