Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Minglewood Lodge - Gretna, Nebraska

This spring I was invited to attend a crafting retreat at a fun place called Minglewood Lodge in Gretna, Nebraska.  

It is a BEAUTIFUL cabin located off the beaten path in the woods of the midwest.  There were several women who attended the retreat and the projects that we worked on included knitting, scrapbooking, cardmaking, cooking, gossiping, and laughing!  It was very reasonable to rent and the furnishings were to die for!

This picture was taken from their website, I forgot to take one of the outside myself.

Photo courtesy of

We all brought coffee, snacks, and took turns making meals.

It is available for rent but the spots will probably fill up fast.  

Thanks for organizing this, Mary, I had so much fun!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

National Council for the Social Studies Conference

As an educator we do not usually have the opportunity or funding to travel to professional conferences.  I was extremely lucky this past school year to attend the Nation Council for the Social Studies conference in Denver, Colorado.  It was very motivating, educational, and inspiring to see and hear all of the ways you can infuse social studies throughout your curriculum. 

We arrived early on the first day, so we took in some sights around the town.  The Denver Art Museum was really cool.  There was a neat exhibit on King Tut that we toured, no pictures allowed though. 

We were fortunate to hear many inspiring speakers whose lives and actions have shaped the content of our social studies curriculum. 

This is a man named Da Chen.  He has written many memoirs and survived more heartache and struggle than one can imagine.

Free beer & pretzels for teachers...please and thank you!  :) 

One of my favorite sessions at the conference was meeting and listening to Trinka Hakes Noble, the author of many children's books, including one of my favorites, The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash!  Now she writes historical fiction for kids.  Neat books!

Here is my coworker Kelly giving Trinka an idea for a historical book related to Nebraska. Great idea, Kelly!

Later we met her and she signed copies of her books for us.  I would love to write a children's book one day...add that to my 'to do' list!

We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to see a partial release of the documentary Freedom Riders which was released on PBS this year. 

 Here are two of the men who participated in the Freedom Rides.  I am embarassed to say that I cannot recall this man's name right now.  Kelly, any idea??

This is Ernest "Rip" Patton, Jr.
One of the final speakers for the event was Kareem Abdul Jabbar.  He is doing great things for social studies!

What an inspiring opportunity, I hope I am fortunate enough to attend others in the future!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cabinet Makeover, Phase II

I'm making steady progress on my cabinet makeover now that we are back in town. My husband and my mom will argue that I failed to meet my two week turnaround time but three four five weeks isn't too bad?!  

I have primed and painted then entire thing (more work than I bargained for!) 


If you spray paint anything, I highly suggest you get one of these triggers, they work wonders!

The first thing I did was fill them with my junk important craft stuff, they hold a lot!  Just need a piece of plywood for the top, then I can attach the molding and tile.

I can't decide if I want to frost the glass or put pretty scrapbook paper behind it...

Now I'm on the hunt for fun decorative knobs and neat tile for the top.  If I don't finish it before school starts it will never get done!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Shutter Planter

I'm still alive! 
I've been busy traveling to visit family and catching up with old friends before school starts up again.  

This project was not an original idea of mine, as I saw it on a blog, but they only used a single shutter and I used a double one.  I wanted mine to be able to stand on its own.  

Our town has a place called Ecostores where you can get used building materials for cheap.  I picked up the shutters and the green paint there for under $5!  

This is what they looked like when I bought them.
This is the back side, I forgot to take a before picture...I get too excited to paint!

That's right...two bucks...and the money goes to charity!

Then I got these cute pots for under a dollar each at Walmart. 
I spray painted them glossy ivory by Krylon.

Here are the shutters after I primed and painted them. I haven't always primed things I paint but it really does make a big difference in how your paint looks and how many coats you have to apply.

The color is a sage green. 

Using some twine, I tied the pots to the shutters. The blog that I found this on used twine with wire inside, which I'll probably have to use eventually because I'm guessing the soil will decompose the twine and cause the pots to fall off.  But I found twine in our garage and just couldn't wait!

Now I just have to plant something in them...but with my rabbit problem lately I'm hesitant to give them anymore food.  A relative suggested spreading blood meal around, so that is my next attempt.
We might just have to get a dog!  :) 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Spy Two Things...

A friend of mine just moved into a new house and had this beauty left behind by the previous owners!  

You know my feelings about "free" stuff...I'LL TAKE IT!  :)  

I plan to paint and distress this, frost the glass, pick out cute hardware, and store some of my crafty stuff in it...but there isn't a great spot for it in my house.  Make it and find a place to put it later is usually my motto.  

Then I was staring at it today and it hit me, I'll make it into TWO pieces of furniture!  

One beautiful glass cabinet!

And one console...sofa be determined!

 (Yes, that is the broken handle holding it up from falling over on my car.)

I promised my husband a two week turnaround time from when it graced our garage to when he could help me carry it into our house...let's see how I do...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Need a calendar...Even in the Summer :(

This was supposed to be my "summer of freedom" becuase I'm finished with my classes for my master's degree, I have no kids, and I'm not working a summer job...whoo hooo!  However, I found that I still have a lot of things to do like doctor's appointments and summer meetings (yes, teachers DO WORK in the summer...between naps at the pool...)

The solution: We need a calendar!  Can I make one you ask?  Yeppers!  Can I remember to do the things I write on it??  We'll see how that goes.  :)

If you go to Hobby Lobby on the weeks when they have 50% off their scrapbook paper you can get your hands on a whole stack of these for arould a quarter each.

 I like that they are plain because they blend in with my fridge.

Add a few of these stickers, write in the dates and you've got yourself a place to put that dreaded dentist appointment.

If you're looking to make a gift or just aren't the plain jane type, you could add some color.  These make great gifts for expecting parents because they are 12x12 which is a standard scrapbook size, so they can fill them out and slip them into their baby scrapbook, eliminating the need for a baby calendar and a can tell I don't have kids because I think there is time to make/do all of that...  :) 

Many of the words were cut out with my Cricut machine.  The April and May calendars were made from the Cricut and didn't use one of the white pages. 

I think it's nap time....if I write it on the calendar it's something I have to do, right?