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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Clothespins in the Classroom

Ever since I decided to dye some clothespins with food colouring, I have been searching for different ways to use them while teaching. I started my search on Pinterest (without much luck). So, I am going to let you do all the work! :) I hope this blog post can help other teachers who are looking for new ideas!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

What Else Can I "Glitter"?

Well, I have been a little obsessed with glitter over the past few months. If you follow me on Pinterest, you are probably already aware of this. After I watched this youtube video, I was inspired to try to glitter something of my own. It looks so easy right? Actually, it is!!

- Mod Podge
- glitter
- sponge brush
- tape (painter's tape would work better)
- something to mix Mod Podge and glitter in (I used a Dixie cup)
- something to glitter!

First, I taped the candle to give it a nice edge. Then, I put some glitter into a cup. I prefer fine glitter but, it is entirely up to you. Do not put all your glitter in at once. You can always add more!

Add Mod Podge slowly and stir.

The consistency should be rather thick. If it is too thin, you will have to do more coats because the glitter won't cover the surface.

Next, lather on the glitter! I put a paper underneath my candle to avoid getting glitter on my desk. Give it a chance to dry and then do another coat if you need to. I suggest taking the tape off before the glitter dries so you don't ruin the edge.

Mine looked kind of "puffy" before it was completely dry and of course had a white tint because of the Mod Podge. Do not worry, it looks much better when it dries. 

Here it is! I am very happy with the way it turned out. Now I find myself using glitter as a verb and I keep searching around the house for more things that I can "glitter".  It is so much fun! :)

Let me know if you try it,


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dyeing Clothespins

This is a great DIY project for teachers! I can think of so many ways to use these dyed clothespins but, I think I will save that for another post. However, here is the process! It was easy and I'd do it again!

- clothespins
- food colouring
- water
- vinegar
- mason jars
- paper towel
- something you can use to stir (I used a fork!)

I bought this pack of 60 clothespins from Dollarama. I believe the tag says $1.25. They are fairly good quality. If I were to do it again, I would probably spend a little more and buy some better ones.

The first thing I would suggest that you do is take off the springs. Although, the package said they wouldn't rust, I didn't want to take the chance! Spencer and I sat outside and took them apart together. He was much faster than me!

The next step is to prepare your dye. I filled a mason jar with water and added some vinegar (not sure why this helps). Then, I added A LOT of food colouring because I wanted them to dark.

I let these blue ones sit overnight but, you can take them out much sooner than that. I stirred them to make sure they weren't stuck together.

 I am not sure if there is a set time to wait. Other than the blue ones (which I left overnight) I waited until I felt they were the colour I wanted. The red and purple ones sat in the dye for about 4 hours.

The red ones looked amazing almost instantly!

I drained out the liquid into the sink and laid them out on some paper towel to dry. The colour became darker as they dried.

Here are the red and purple ones! The red are my favourite. The purple looked awful when I first laid them out (almost brown) but, they changed to a nicer purple when they were dry. Let them dry overnight (or as long as possible) and then put the springs back on!

Here they are!! :) 

I am very excited to use them!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Wonder Bugs - Back To School Giveaway

I am so thrilled to be a part of my first giveaway.  Katina at Wonder Bugs has reached over 100 followers on TpT and decided to celebrate with a giveaway.  She had so many submissions that she decided to split the donations into four separate prizes.  I urge you to check it out!  I donated one of my best sellers (Space Themed Literacy and Math Activities).

I entered to win all four prizes. Wish me luck! :)


Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Cat Who Refuses To Eat Out Of A Bowl

Well, this isn't a blog about something teaching related but I wanted to share! My cat, Eli, refuses to eat out of a bowl. He takes the food out and eats it off the floor. We decided to try giving him food on a plate and he is fine with that! I didn't want to have to keep worrying about whether or not I was using the cat's plate so I found a solution! 

I bought this plate at Dollarama and used a Sharpie paint pen to make the design. I found some great suggestions on Pinterest about how to do this and figured that if it didn't work, I could buy another dollar plate!

Before I wrote on the plate, I cleaned it really well. I used rubbing alcohol to wipe the surface clean (suggested on a blog). The pen was easy to use and was very smooth. I then put it in the oven at 400 degrees. I read that you should put the mug or plate in the oven before you turn it on because it allows the dish to heat slowly and there will be less of a chance it will crack. I left it in the oven for about 20 minutes and then shut the oven off (but kept it inside so it could cool down slowly).

This is what it looks like! The blue isn't as bright but I am not sure if that is simply the colour it is meant to be when it dries or if it is because of the heat. Either way, I like the colour better now! The shine you see in the picture is because it is still wet. I scrubbed it in the sink and the colour did not come off! Yay! I read that you should hand wash any plate or mug you create a design on instead of putting it in the dishwasher.

I think he likes it! :)

Overall, I think this project was a success! We will see how it lasts after washing it a few times.

I have one happy cat!


Friday, August 2, 2013

New Laminator! Finished Student Clock!

I am the proud owner of a new laminator!  I decided to ask the forum on TpT (teachers know best!) for some suggestions before I went out to buy one.  There were so many helpful replies!  I decided to buy the GBC laminator from Staples because it was on sale from 49.99 to 29.99.  I am very pleased with my choice!

Back to the creation of my clock.

 These are two of the cartridges that I received for my birthday.  The clock is on the one called "My Community".

 The Cricut I have is called "Expression 2". (Thanks Nan!!!)

 It is an excellent machine.  I am always shocked with how fast it cuts.

 Woohoo! Starting to look like a clock.

 This is the picture I took before I put my test sheet through my old laminator! :(

Yay! Here is my new laminator. Thanks again to all that responded on TpT. Specifically Miss D's Class (who is also from Ontario). She suggested the GBC! :) Please check out her store. Miss D's Class

I was so nervous to put the clock through but it worked really well! I highly recommend this laminator. It is a little slow to warm up but it does the trick.

I poked some holes through the hands and in the middle of the clock and used a fastener to secure it all together.

Here it is! The finished product. I am extremely happy with it! Much better than those foam clocks for students you can find at the dollar store and I can make it in any colour.

Off to bed,


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Death of a Laminator

I took out my Cricut last night and decided to try out some of the new cartridges I received for my birthday (in February!!).  This is the picture I took before I decided it might be best to test my laminator before I put the clock in.  I am sure glad I did!  My test sheet jammed and I think the laminator is officially toast.  Any suggestions for a new laminator?  I will write about the finished clock as soon as it is complete!