Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Today's the day, it's the launch of this year's reading program at my school. I've organized a pizza lunch for 120 students plus about 15 guests from the community and for the teachers at my school. It is like planning a wedding! I've had to deal with invitations, food, decorations, guest lists, door prizes, goodie bags, reading club booklets, etc. etc. I can't wait until it's over!!!

Tonight is such a fun night for us at home. Joe is truly a gadget geek. We decorate our front porch so that it looks really really spooky. Joe rigs up a scarecrow with a video camera and speakers so that we can sit in the living room and watch it all unfold on the TV. The kiddies approach the porch (usually with some hesitation) and then we can talk to them, using a microphone in the living room, through the scarecrow. Our house is on a busy corner, so we must get at least 200 visitors on Halloween. Now, I can't tell you how funny this is. We have some real comedians who work the microphone inside the house. This is funnier than anything I've ever seen on America's Funniest Home Videos. On occasion, I'm laughing so hard I can hardly hand out the candy at the door. The number of guests we have over at Halloween seems to be growing each year as we become more famous. Tonight we are having about 10 friends over to join in fun. I hope the rain doesn't spoil the festivities.

Here's a picture of a jack'o'lantern from my past.

I scanned a TON of old family slides after my dear father passed away. I found this one this morning and thought it needed to be part of my Halloween post.

Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Boy, I've been busy

It's been a super busy week. Joe so very kindly allowed me to get rid of the single bed in our spare room so that I can set up a sewing table. Until now, all my projects have started in the dining room, been ironed in the kitchen and sewn in the spare room. I have had no place that I can start a project and abandon it halfway through without having to clean the whole mess up, until now. I'm still trying to figure out how to organize my new space. It's all so exciting.

I've been so busy at school, preparing for the huge Kick-Off Party which takes place on Halloween at lunch in the library. I've had a very aggressive advertising campaign consisting of posters, banners and professionally recorded announcements and it seems to be paying off. At last count I had 120 students signed up, with more signing up every day. Our school population is only about 650, so to have that many high school students excited about a reading program is astonishing. Now, the fact that I offer prizes as bribery for them to read has a whole lot to do with it.

Several staff members and I have decided to dress as pirates for the occasion. Or more accurately, I've bullied some teachers into joining me as pirates on Halloween. I've made iron-on t-shirts that read "Join CI Reads (the name of the reading program) or walk the plank", so I spent the first half of the week solving printer issues, printing the transfers and ironing the transfers on t-shirts. One of my non-crafty, teacher friends suggested cutting the hem and neck of the t-shirt to make it look more piratey, so I did. I love them!

I've also made my first sale! 10 sets of fabric cards! Here's a picture of them before fancy packaging:

Lastly, I've been knitting more mittens. During the evenings I've been too tired to move from the couch and knitting has been keeping me occupied. I would love to find a pattern that DOES NOT have errors in it so that I can knit up some mittens as Christmas presents. I've tried three patterns in a row, all with minor errors. I've easily been able to work around them, but it is still frustrating! I'd love to find a pattern that has instructions for both men and women. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I like this banner better

Ok, I think I've mastered basic banners. I like this one better, even though it's not seasonal.

My New Scary Banner

How hard could it be to make a banner? The answer for me is VERY hard.

I have zero experience with any sort of photo editing software and I have no idea what I am doing. After about 3 hours and several frustrated tears later, this is what I came up with. It's ok, but unfortunately it's only good for another couple of weeks. I used an old version of Photoshop Elements.

What do other people use to make all their fancy banners?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

My new fall bag

A while back I was on a "little" eBay shopping spree. I purchased a yard of brown Flea Market Fancy fabric and a package of Flea Market Fancy charm squares. I finally found a bit of time yesterday to do a little sewing. Here is my new fall bag.

I used fusible fleece on the outside of the bag, and very stiff Pellon interfacing on the lining. The bag stands on it's own, that's for sure!
I decided not to put a pocket in it. I'm going to use the little bit of extra fabric I have to make a matching pouch.
It was a lot of fun making a bag again. It seems like forever since I've made one. I found I was a little out of practice though, I had to really think about each step. The purse seemed to take forever to make. I knew I couldn't make any huge mistakes with this fabric!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Just in time

Yesterday there was a huge freak fall storm not 30 kms away from here. Schools were closed, hydro lines were knocked down and a state of emergency was declared. The worst we saw here in St. Catharines was some heavy rain and some very chilly temperatures.

Fortunately, I've been knitting a pair of mittens this week. I finished them last night while sitting in front of a roaring fire snuggled under my new raggy quilt. The bad thing about that quilt is that I don't want to move my butt from the couch, thus, the mittens.

Joe has gone geocaching today. We decided that Letchworth was not a smart idea. We would have had to drive through Buffalo which was also declared a state of emergency yesterday. I decided to pass on geocaching today. It's still cold out and the weather forcast is calling for rain. That doesn't sound like much fun to me. I'll just have to stay home and sew :)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

CI Reads!

Work is killing me and it will continue to kill me until after Halloween. I run an extremely successful reading program out of the library. Last year almost 1/4 of the school was involved and this year looks like it's going to be even more than that. I started the program four years ago (with the help of a teacher who has since left the school) and it has since spread to three other high schools and three other elementary schools in the area. It has taken on a life of it's own!!! I have another meeting next week where me and two other teachers are presenting the idea to a group of 96 elementary school librarians, with the hope being that they jump on board and run a similar program.

The Kick-Off party to the program is on Halloween at lunch in the library. My "to-do" list is about 8 pages (typed) long of things that need to be done before then. For the past two days I've had my trusty little helpers helping me make 250 bookmarks to add to the goodie bags that participants will receive on the day of the party. At least I'm finally using up a BIT of my scrapbooking supplies.

Some of the things I need to do are shop for, and make, 250 goodie bags. Photocopy the program book. Organize a pizza lunch for 250 people. Organize a t-shirt logo contest. Beg for and wrap door prizes. Send out invitations to students and admin ( I used the Halloween cards I made as invitations to staff and consultants). And come up with a very clever Halloween costume for myself.

Here's a book display that I put together in about five minutes:

My evenings have been consumed with school stuff, unfortunately.

Having said that, I've made a TON of cards. In between all the madness, they seem to be the one thing that I can start and stop in a short period of time. I have several Christmas projects that I have to get to, and I have everything I need to make myself a new fall bag when I get the time.

Monday, October 02, 2006

What was I thinking???

If you've had a migrane for five days, do NOT decide to start a new crafty project.

I have decided that I'm going to make all my Christmas cards this year. I also want to make some packages of note cards to give as gifts as well. So, instead of diving into a larger project, I thought it would be a good idea tonight to make some Christmas cards. Huge mistake. I cut the fabric too narrow, I was being dumb with the iron, I decided that the fabrics I chose didn't match. The whole session was pretty much a disaster. The whole mess is in the garbage.

I think I'll watch a movie or read a book tonight, it's much safer.

On a happier note, my laptop is rockin'. I bought extra memory on the weekend and boy it makes a difference. It's much easier to surf all my favourite blogs now!