Sunday, January 29, 2012

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

My best friend from college is getting married!!  I met Victoria on my very first day at UMaine back in September of 1999.  Our dorm rooms were three doors away from one another and the RA arranged a 'get to know you' dinner in the commons to meet the other girls on our floor.  That's where we met...

Twelve and a half years later, through career changes, moves, and relationships, we're still friends!

And now she's getting married!  You can imagine my delight when, shortly after her engagement, I received this in the mail:

It's a "Will You Be My Bridesmaid?" box!  How cute and thoughtful is that?  Inside Tori had placed cards printed with details about the big day including who else is in the bridal party, with contact information so we can all communicate with one another.  Brilliant!

She also included pictures of what she'd like to see for bridesmaid dresses, shoes, and flowers as well as possible wedding colors.  Paint sample cards from Home Depot were used to put the colors together...such a smart idea!

Victoria, I will use this blog as a forum to publicly declare, YES!!  
I will absolutely be your bridesmaid!  Let the planning begin!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Well Isn't That Clever!

I'm totally and utterly obsessed with Pinterest as I am totally and utterly impressed by what other people come up with!  You know, those ideas where you think 'why didn't I think of that?'.  One of my boards is entitled "Well Isn't That Clever" and is a place to pin really awesome, useful ideas!  Like...

Using toilet paper rolls to keep wrapping paper from unrolling!

Turning an old tissue box into a place to store plastic bags 
(I have a box in the pantry, in the laundry room, and in the basement)

Using the heat from a hair dryer to easily remove those pesky stickers & labels that never seem to want to come off!

Cutting up a 1 or 2 liter bottle to use as a drip catcher on a drink dispenser!

Lining refrigerator shelves with Press 'n Seal wrap...when the shelves are dirty, simply toss and replace!

Using painter's tape to evenly space a picture gallery...seriously, how have I never thought of this?

Organizing ribbon by threading spools through dowels and ends through the holes in a plastic basket!

And finally, using a plastic cereal container with lid, line with a plastic bag, and viola...a perfect trash can for you car!

The sources for the images above can be found using the links on my Pinterest board.  Explore the board for more ideas and links to people's pages that are far more creative than I'll ever be!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

Linking up to The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday! I have one outfit for you this week (bravo, me!) because I took a picture with natural light on Sunday before heading to my cousin's basketball game! While the lighting in this photo is good, my face makes me look like I'm in pain (or have narcolepsy)! Ha!
I'm big into the pink & gray color combination, very pretty for mid-winter.  My sweater is from Old Navy (a couple seasons back) as is the gray scarf.  Jeans are Victoria's Secret 'V-Cut' (you know, lower in front but higher in the back so your undies don't hang out!).  Suede gray boots are from Target (this season).

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Just Another Manicure Monday (oooh, a oooh)

This week's manicure color is Sephora's Set the Mood by OPI.  It is my ABSOLUTE, ALL TIME, FAVORITE, GO-TO nail color! 

It is such a pretty color of fuschia and has a nice metallic glossy finish. I spent Sunday afternoon painting my nails and watching the Patriots!  Go Pats!  What's your color this week?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ironing Board Cover Tutorial

I recently purchased a small table-top ironing board for $6 at WalMart.  I was previously using an over the door pull down ironing board to save space but it was a pain to use and scuffed up the door (not to mention I couldn't close the door). One of the advantages of being short is short pant legs, therefore a little table top board works just fine! Plus, it fits nicely in my newly made-over laundry closet! The only problem with the $6 board is a really, really boring cover:

I spent just under an hour whipping up a new cover for the ironing board using a pretty gray & white printed fabric I had on hand.  I used this tutorial for the measurements. I measured all around the board and used a washable fabric pen to mark the pattern directly on the back of the fabric before cutting.

Pinning the curved edges proved to be the biggest challenge, however, it didn't need to be perfect because that part would be hidden under the board.  Here is the new and improved ironing board:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Laundry Room Makeover

Technically, this is the story of a laundry 'closet' not a laundry 'room' makeover.  Said closet resides in my one and only bathroom.  On the right of the closet there's a stacked washer/dryer set, and up until a few weeks ago, this is what was on the left:

A complete and utter's the closet where cleaning products went to die. In my defense, I did attempt to add some organization by adding that white rolling laundry cart thingy...look closely, it's there right along side of the W.B. Mason paper box I took from school when moving!  But without true shelves, racks, or hooks of any kind, it wasn't very I did something about it:

It's so pretty it almost makes me excited to do laundry (almost!).  I started by purchasing the vanity on sale for $25 at Home Depot.  It was missing a top which is why it was so inexpensive.  I ordered a custom laminate counter top ($75) to stretch from one side to the other over the vanity to add a space for folding laundry.  As luck would have it, there was just enough space to the left of the vanity base to fit the metal cart thingy, sans the wheels!  A rack was added to the wall to hang various cleaning instruments!

Above the vanity I added two shelves (from Ikea) supported by brushed nickel brackets picked up at Lowe's. I also forgot to mention that before all of this was started, the walls were painted Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams to match the rest of the bathroom.  The lighting in the closet isn't the greatest (is it ever?) so the color might look different in each picture.

The sign is something whipped up in Photoshop and printed at home using a take on the tagline for Tide detergent!  I thought it was appropriate for the space!

Do you know how to fold perfect looking towels?  Believe it or not, I've never learned the proper way to fold towels so that they are all consistently neat. So I Googled it and found a great guide.

To finish things up I added a few more decorative and functional items to the shelves.  The framed picture is one that I took of rocks on the beach of Nice, France and the gray printed file folder contains the user manuals to the washer and dryer and other household appliances.  All the detergent and random 'junk' is hidden neatly in the vanity!

I'm thrilled with the way it turned out and by the fact that every last bit of this makeover was done by my two hands (no outside help hanging anything or 'shlepping' the vanity in) except for the painting which was my brother's Christmas gift to me!  Ahhh, I LOVE organization!

I'm linking up to:
PhotobucketThe DIY Show Off

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just Another Manicure Monday!

I'm starting a weekly series called MANICURE MONDAYS where I'll be posting my current nail polish color!  Occasionally, I'll treat myself to a salon manicure but most weeks I indulge in a little 'me' time by painting my own nails!  This week's color is Forest from Urban Outfitters, a nice dark, metallic green shade:

Isn't it pretty?  So, what's your color this week?  

I don't have an outfit to share this week so instead I'm sharing my nail polish on:
pleated poppy

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Living Room Color Board

My living room is 'blah'...I'm fairly certain 'blah' isn't a technical term but if I had to define it, 'blah', would mean:  lacking personality, color, and overall aesthetic appeal. There are certain elements that I like but I certainly need to bring in more color, paint/change my coffee & end tables, and possibly find more furniture, as the space is quite a bit bigger than the living room in my condo.

THE PICTURE BELOW IS NOT MY LIVING ROOM...It's what my living room wants to be someday (it's from Caitlin Creer Interiors):

 I love the neutral furniture with pops of color. My biggest conundrum has stemmed from finding colors that will work with my current living room set (chair, ottoman, and couch).  I'm not in love with the color or style of the set but it was the first set I bought a few years back and I can't afford a new one at this point so I have to make it do!

Thus far I've gone with a khaki/gray color on the walls (Pussywillow by Sherwin Williams) and an overall gray scheme for curtains, pillows, etc. The chair and couch are what I'd call 'khaki green', a very difficult color to photograph and with which to coordinate a color scheme...until this:

I'm in LOVE with the navy dogwood print fabric from Warm Biscuit!! I'm not sure why I never thought to bring navy into the space, as I have always loved a navy/green color combination! But, I will now use this print as inspiration to pull colors from & to design the entire room.

I'm loving that aqua lamp from Lowes and some sort of trellis pattern rug to pull from the colors in the fabric.  There's also an aqua dogwood print that coordinates with the navy.  Since the fabric is on the pricier side (I found some on Etsy but only in a small quantity), I only purchased two yards to make pillows or framed art with. It's a good start!

*Update: Here's what the living room looks like thus far...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Blog Makeover!

For you regular followers, I'm sure you've noticed my blog looks a wee bit different these days...that's because she just got a face lift!  In addition to a more 'clean' overall look, I'm hoping readers will find it easier to navigate this blog, starting with the  handy navigation bar buttons you see up top!

You can read a bit more 'about' me, take a virtual tour of my house, find links to my favorite projects and tutorials, and check out some of my photography skills!  I'll be adding more to these pages in the coming weeks as I get more organized!

On the side bar you'll notice a 'word cloud' and search feature have been added to make it more convenient for you to find past posts and away!!  And if you like what you've read here on Crafty Teacher Lady, it's easy to become a follower!  You can also find links to my Facebook & Pinterest (slightly addicted to Pinterest, I might add) pages, too!

 A shout-out to my followers thus far!  Thanks for your readership...very much appreciated! This blog provides me a way to share my passions and creative projects and hopefully offer some tips and inspiration along the way, just like all the fabulous blogs out there do for me (I'll be adding a 'favorite blogs' list in the coming weeks, too)!  Thanks again to all my readers in blog-land!  Don't forget to grab a button from the side bar!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Snow Day

I officially have a 5-day weekend (Monday is a holiday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) to get lots of 'stuff' done!  A huge storm blew through here yesterday and is wrapping up today, although this is really the first big storm we've had all winter, very unusual for Maine!
My students were to have an exam yesterday and today (we have a rotating schedule) and I'm fairly certain I heard the faint shrieks of teenage joy from 16 miles away in the wee hours of the morning as school was called off for a second day! I feel the compulsive need to test SOMEONE'S knowledge so I'll throw a few questions from the exam your way and see how you do (answers at the end of the post)!  Shall we begin?

United States History
Unit 2 Exam, The Expanding Nation

1. The first government of the United States was a confederation.  What does this mean?
          a. The government has no power to declare war.
          b. The government follows the Bill of Rights.
          c. Most of the political power is given to the states.
          d. The states are prevented from having much say in government issues.

2. All of the following methods were used to convince each state to ratify the new Constitution EXCEPT:
          a. the publication of the Federalist Essays
          b. giving each state a series of tax breaks
          c. the addition of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution
          d. economic threats and boycotts

3. One of the major reasons President Polk asked Congress to declare war on Mexico was because:
          a. Mexico had outlawed slavery, which angered the U.S.
          b. Mexican soldiers crossed the Rio Grande River and killed U.S. soldiers.
          c. Mexico had sent troops to California were a revolt occurred.
          d. U.S. soldiers crossed the Rio Grande River and killed Mexican citizens.

4. The belief that God intended for the U.S. to expand from coast to coast is:
          a. Manifest Destiny
          b. the Frontier Thesis
          c. Nationalism
          d. Popular Sovereignty

5. The person who authorized the Louisiana Purchase and sent Lewis & Clark on a journey west was:
          a. President Theodore Roosevelt
          b. President George Washington
          c. President Thomas Jefferson
          d. President James K. Polk

Can you identify several symbols in this lithograph and what they represent in terms of America's expansion westward during the 1800s?

OK, smarty-pants, here are the answers to the multiple choice questions above:

Question 1: C
Question 2: B
Question 3: B
Question 4: A
Question 5: C

If you are thinking, 'hey, won't your students see these questions', don't worry...I don't think they read this blog and even if they did, these are the same questions they've already seen on quizzes and study guides that they should be using to study!  I've also switched up the answers so they aren't exactly how they will appear on the exam!  Happy Friday to you!  What was your score?

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Heart History

I'm a high school social studies teacher, specifically, U.S. history (and sociology as an elective to upperclassmen). U.S. History is my love, my passion, my purpose!  Seriously, I LOVE teaching about our nation, the good, the bad, and the ugly!  I would be hard pressed to say which topic I love the most, because I really just love the subject in general, but I've always been pretty passionate about women's history (just ask any of my students!).

I've had this image hanging as a poster in my classroom since the start of the year and just love it!  It's a primary source from the era leading up to the passage of the woman's suffrage amendment. One of my colleagues, Teal, makes custom resin jewelry and I had mentioned to her how much I loved this poster and would love it made into a necklace.  The problem was, we couldn't find the image anywhere!  However, after a few clever shifts in 'search terms' via Google, I was finally able to locate its online origin!

I sent it to Teal and she surprised me with an awesome birthday custom 'votes for women' resin pendant!  And can I just say how much I L-O-V-E it?  A history teacher's dream come true!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wrapping Paper Organizer

I've been slowly but surely making progress on organizing and decorating my office/ craft room.  I recently found a great idea for organizing and displaying gift wrap supplies from this blog. She's used an empty picture frame as the base of the display, so clever!  I rummaged through my basement and found two frames I picked up two years ago on black Friday at WalMart for $5 each.  Obviously they weren't getting much picture-displaying use sitting in the basement so they were re-purposed...

DIY Wrapping Paper Organizer

I went to Home Depot and had them cut 8 dowels ($.89 each) to the size of my frames.  Rubber coated mug hooks were screwed into either side of the frames for the dowels to rest upon. I wasn't sure how well the hooks would screw into the plastic frames so I used a drill bit to make starter holes and they went in easily.

In the warmer months I'll take the dowels outside and spray them with white paint but for now they are functional!  The bottom dowel has both ribbon and bags of bows and I've hung some tissue paper on the top dowel, too! This display is both pretty and functional.  Here's what the rest of the office looks like!

Linking up to:

The Girl Creative The DIY Show Off