Wednesday, June 30, 2010

drawstring bags, with a view

I got pretty excited when I saw this peek a boo toy bag from Make it Perfect. When I found myself in my sewing room a little later (with an order to work on), I got right on it. I tired a slightly easier way to attach the vinyl just to test it out.

I used some re-purposed red corduroy from a cushion that used to be at my grandmas house and some vinyl leftover from snack bags. I'm already a fan of drawstring bags, how I hadn't thought to put a window in them before, I don't know.

One thing I like about these, is that unlike his current storage system...

items can be changed out without any relabeling needed. Wouldn't it be cool to have a little row of these hanging on a wall? Lou packed up his little goodies and took them on a walk with us this evening.

Oh, I'm going to be making up more of these.

edited to change: HA! I wrote 'drawstink bags... should have been drawstring...
edited again: HA! then I wrote Drawsting bags... good grief...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

two mysteries... and one non mystery

Mystery number 1:
What are these? Here are two wooden tray sort of things. They were acquired on heavy trash day by my two neighbors. They thought they were interesting and grabbed four or the ten that were sitting out. Here are two stacked on each other. They are nicely constructed, lightly varnished, have little legs for stacking, have a wire mesh style bottom and then have wooden rods separating them into 18 compartments.

My first thought was that they are grow boxes... there is some calcium water marks on the wire. However, they are just really clean for having had dirt in them. Also, you could stack them for only so long and then you'd need light to get to the bottom boxes. I would think they would need to be single layer. They have handles, so they were carried around and moved periodically. I thought about something that needed heat, like eggs... but the rods don't make sense. Each compartment is larger than a canning jar, another thought..... hmmm. Possible remake?

Any ideas?

Mystery #2:
This grew in my garden where I thought I had a cucumber growing. The plant is viney like a cucumber, has yellow blooms, etc. I think you can tell in proportion to the green bean about the size. About a tennis ball, I'd say.

When we opened it up, it seemed more like a zucchini and tasted like a pumpkin. Sort of. We are going to grill it tomorrow. Any ideas here? My friend Amanda told me one year they planted what they thought were gourds (or pumpkins... something) and these funny misshaped things grew that did not represent what they thought they were going to get. Something about being a hybird.... I thought I planted cucumber seeds from a packet though, but I did mix in my own compost when I started the garden. I suppose a seed could have been brought in. hmmm.

This one is not a mystery. How did my newly three year old get the idea to draw dead people buried in the ground at a cemetery? Only confirms my dear hubby's thoughts on us playing in the cemetery last week.

Monday, June 28, 2010

gummy candy math

More math. Indulgent math. Gummy math. I found this gummy candy counting book at a garage sale for 25 cents. It's a counting book and pretty basic. I figured it was a good excuse to buy gummy candies.

I wrote out some math problems on construction paper gummy worms. I don't know what it us, but math is more fun when the work is on fun paper. The girls (with clean hands) used the gummies as counters when needed.

Lous worm had numbers 1-10 on it. We placed gummies on the numbers and counted. over and over. He still says 6,7 18, 19.... good grief!).

I had cut out some large gummy bear shapes thinking I'd use them for somehting. They ended up being a collection spot to save bears earned for correct/corrected problems.

Lou enjoyed the book. It counts up to 12.

I had some gummy candy themed problem solving written out for each little person. They were similar in style is our read draw solve problems.

I did let my people eat some of the gummies we worked with. We washed our hands first. When I've done this kind of food related activities (measuring with gummy worms, making pie graphs with M&Ms, etc), I usually make them throw away the pieces we work with, with the promise of clean ones for eating afterward.

They used a combination of drawing and gummies to solve these problems. I have seen several recipes to make gummy bears. Here's one from skip to my lou. I think this is one treat that it's better I didn't have that kind of access too.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Is this weird?

Is it weird to go exploring in a cemetery? We did some letterboxing at the end of last week and it took us to a huge cemetery. I don't think it's weird... not really weird... but hubby does.

The civil war section was really neat. I thought it was really sad that some of the grave are unmarked.

We searched for three different boxes, but came up empty handed. We found the spot described, but there were no boxes. One of the boxes was to be inside this cannon.

I discovered there were additional boxes listed on the site atlas quest that weren't on the letterboxing site I have linked to before. Atlas quest isn't as user friendly or as visually attractive, but there were more boxes there for us. I've written about letter boxing a number of times. I hope someone else has tried it after reading about it here. Are you a letterboxer? Have you ever tried it?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

dog math

Here's another math lesson from this week. This one was for Lou (preschool). I could have used it with the two young girls, but they showed little interest in dog math. First, I read him this poem.

Dog Tales

Two dogs at the park bench
Three more dogs came by
They sniff and they yip
but they act rather shy.

Four dogs by the oak tree
two dogs came along
A few quiet growls
but nothing goes wrong.

Three dogs on a leash
Four dogs on their own
They're playing and nipping
and sharing a bone.

Two dogs greet two dogs
with a high happy bark
a treat for a dog is a walk in the park.

Then I showed him these colored dog pictures. We read the poem again and used the little dogs to 'act' out the little stories. He liked to chose one color or size of dogs for the first part and a different color for the second part.

I had some blank dog paper, so wrote out the number sentences as we acted them out. This was of course, a very basic introduction to number sentences. I also had Lou sort the dogs according to size and color. You could easily make a set up using clip art.

Here are some other papers I had in the dog math file folder. I am thinking I used this with kindergartners. I taught one semester of kindergarten when I graduated, right before I got my job with second and third graders.

If I had used this with the two older girls (kindergarten and first grade) I would have made up some additional problem solving featuring dogs and encouraged them to create some of their own. We certainly could have taken this over to language arts working on the -og word family and reading a story about dogs.

Some other ideas to go with the whole dog theme:
Act out opposites with the little dog pictures, "the dog is on the table, the dog is off the table."
Make a graph showing several peoples favorite kind of dog
Make a list of things you need for a dog (practicing brainstorming)
Put that list of things in ABC order
Read to the therapy dog at the library (how cool is that!)
Play the dog game, 'Walk the Dog" We love this game, it's from Simply Fun.
Make a matching game with the same dog pictures
Read dog books, like Clifford or Biscuit
Make dog bone pretzels

Friday, June 25, 2010

domino math

This is one of my favorite math activities. It's a really good one for working on number sentences. Bee is really coming along with her math work, but while working on this, I realized that she was really missing some number sentence basics.

So at some point, I made all these large dominoes. We also used pages I had made up years ago to record our number sentences. They drew their domino dots in the boxes and then wrote out a number sentence to show the addition of the two sides.

The oldest friend used the double 16 set for her sentences.

The two younger girls used the paper set I had made. Lou just drew on the dots on his page and counted the dots. He says he is very good at drawing circles.

Immediately following our math lesson, we had a pretty good domino run on the kitchen floor. Maybe sometime we'll learn the game Mexican Train. My grandma taught me that one.

When I used this in the classroom, I've had students make up a math games using dominoes and let them work in partners. They have come up with some really creative games. You could also make some problem solving stories using dominoes. I suppose you could use them to help make multiplication number sentences too, although it lends itself best to addition.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cd holder for the car

This one was for my baby sister who turned 16 just two weeks ago. Just a babe. Sigh. I made
her a 7 pocket car CD holder. I thought it was more exciting than a trash bag. She' will be getting that another time. Shhhh.

The final project was 14 inches long and 6 1/2 inches wide. It fit perfectly on both my car's visor and hubby's car. Your visor may be different. You may need to alter measurements depending on the size of your visor.

You will need to cut:
2 pieces of 15 inches x 8ish inches for the front and back of the holder
6-8 coordinating pieces that are 10 inches x 8 inches (for the pockets) (You might want to make the last pocket a little longer to allow for slight mis-measuring!)
fusible webbing/ wonder under, etc (I lined everything)
2 pieces of 1 inch wide elastic that are 8 inches long
coordinating thread
You will also want some CDs that you can stick in to make sure that everything is lining up right.

Here are some measurements you'll want to know.
The top of the pocket to the sewn line on the bottom of that pocket is 3 3/4 to 4 inches
The top of one pocket to the top of the next pocket is 1 1/2 inch.

Lets get started. Even if you're not freshly 16, it's ok. It's probalby better- you'll respect car organization even more.

1. Iron wonder under to the underside of all of your pocket pieces and the front and back piece. Remove paper backing.

2. This red dots fabric is a pocket. For the pockets, iron on wonder under, remove backing, fold in half (fold the tall side down- in the world of second grade, we call this a hamburger fold). Iron again.

3. Place the pocket on the right side of one of your body pieces, place the finished folded edge towards the top. Using a Cd to check placement, decide exactly where you want your first pocket. Make sure to leave a little room to finish up the top edge later. Make a line 3.75 inches from the top of the pocket. Sew along this line.

4. Trim the pocket edge where you just sewed. Prepare the next pocket. Sew on and repeat. The top of one pocket to the top of the pocket below should measure 1 1/2 inches.

5. Repeat until you get to the bottom of the long body piece.

6. Using your second piece of backing, place right sides together. Those pockets are all on the inside of this sandwich. Sew around the edges leaving the top open, It is where you'll flip it out later. I used a CD again to check the necessary width. I had enough fabric to play with that my seem allowance was more like 1/2 inch here.

7. trim
8. turn right side out. Admire your work.

9. Mentally note where the elastic pieces should go. One set towards the top, one more towards the bottom. I know you could have placed the elastic before sewing the edges, but this worked better for me.
10. Turn it back inside out. Find the 4 spots that you like to place your elastic. Mine are marked by blue arrows int he pictures. Gently, rip out those stitches. Insert elastic so that it's inside the CD holder. Pin. Re-sew those four little areas, securing nicely.

11. Turn it back to see the right sides.

(I was literally falling asleep as I was writing this last night. Here is exactly what I wrote for step 11: "agian m it makes up happier., ")

12. Inspect it again.

13. Fold in the top edges. Pin.

14. We're now going to sew around the edges again. Use a CD in the pocket to see how much seem allowance you have to work with. I think I used about 1/4 inch but should have done 1/2 inch to keep the CDs more snug. It gets a little tricky with the elastic. You don't want to sew it down. There will be some pulling the elastic out of the way and some start and stop to move over the elastic.

(Again, here is sleep Beth step 14- I'm not sure what this even says!: "That's hedges of the wash pen be caefull. Pull the elastic elastic out of th eay. See how it is whan Ipitch.") I should get more sleep.

Pull the elastic out the way so you can sew past it. Then back stitch to stop. Pull it off the machine.
Push the elastic back and start again where you left off.

15. Here the elastic is wrapped around the front, but you can see the finished edge is sewn.

16. Place in car and fill with your favorite car tunes. Hopefully yours is filled with something cooler than bible school soundtracks and the Wiggles.

If you have any questions, fell free to let me know. I'm happy to reexplain anything. If you make this, or anything else you see on From the Hive, I'd love to see pictures or hear about it. Link up and share with everybody if you want.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

felt food project done

I forgot to mention yesterday that all the hard work at the house would not have been possible without the help of some good friends. Thanks again guys! You saved the day!

It's done. Finally done. I've been working on this silly project for months! It's been mostly a project for long car rides, which is how I finished it up this weekend. Here's the little felt food set for my old job share partner (my partner in crime) and her little one.

My cat loves felt. It's the wool smell I think. Maybe it's just goldfish crackers.

She loves bacon too I guess.

A little salad. think it needs some tomato slices. No wait, I'm done.

Other dessert pictures here.

Oh wait, these aren't felt. These are some interesting and yummy finds from the farmer's market this past week. These are blue potatoes. They really are more purple.

They cooked up amazingly. We will be getting them again for sure! The kids (and even hubby) were nervous to taste them, but everyone loved them. They tasted a little more like a red potato, but had a sweetness to them... I don't know how to describe them.

The gal that sold us these carrots promised that we'd love them. She grew them in her backyard. They were really sweet and extra fun with the tops on.

Alright Lori, your felt food is on it's way. I'm keeping the blue potatoes and carrots though!