Friday, July 29, 2011

Renovations {Craftroom}

I am soooooooooo excited because my new computer/craft room is almost finished being renovated!  My husband and I have been working downstairs to update and change the 70s wood paneling and dingy wallpaper into a more cozy and bright living space.  Originally we planned to use the downstairs as a family room/play room but realized the two flights of stairs and wood stove would not make a safe play area. So we decided to use the area for our computer room and make our current computer room upstairs into a playroom for my little man. Right now half the room needs one more coat of paint on the trim and then I can clean and start moving things downstairs.  I wanted to show you some before pictures to share the horror of the GREEN wood paneling. YUCK!!!
I was only able to take one picture of the wood paneling because I forgot and by the time I remembered there was only one section left.  Let me just tell you, I was not at all sad to see it go!!!
Here are some of our between pictures where we ripped down all the wood paneling and sheetrock with wallpaper and started putting up new sheetrock.

We live in a raised ranch so our downstairs really is partially underground.  You can see the foundation in the second and third pictures.  I decided to make even the foundation look pretty by covering it with some wainscoting and creating a shelf on the top.

Lastly, I wanted to have a light and bright room so I picked out some colors that reminded me of the ocean.  I absolutely love this blue.  It's from Valspar and is called Frosty!

The other walls are painted a sand color.  I am so pleased with how everything is turning out and I can't wait to share it with you.  I hope to have some more pictures up soon of the completed room as soon as I can finish the last coat of paint! 
I can't wait to decorate and spend my time downstairs being creative!

What do you think of my room so far?


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fourth of July Invites

Okay... so I'm a little behind with blogging about some of the orders I made so just bare (is this the right bare?) with me as I share things slightly out of order :). 
*Don't you just love the fact that I am a teacher and I am asking you if I am using the correct word.  I promise that while school is in session, I would definitely get a dictionary out and double check but for right now, well let's just focus on the craft projects rather than spelling:)
So I received an order for 30 invitations for a Fourth of July picnic.  I apologize for the photos because the first set were horrible so I had to take another set indoors because of the rain.

I made three different invitations and alternated the background color so each set had 5 in red and 5 in blue.

The wording

The invitations says...
Join us and celebrate the
4th of July
with friends and family!
When: Sunday, July 3rd at 1 pm
Rain date: Monday, July 4th
Where: (info removed for privacy)
RSVP: (info removed for privacy)
Please bring a favorite dish to share
and a bathing suit and towel.

Invitation #1

This was by far the hardest image I have ever cut out! It took forever and then I still had to re-cut areas because the paper would stick together.  However, it is so adorable with the little boy in the car and the flag on the back.  I also pop dotted the image so it would stand out.  I used A Child's Year for the image.

Invitation #2

I used A Child's Year again and pop dotted the image.

Invitation #3

I used Stand and Salute for the fireworks and then glittered them with red, white, and blue glitter.  I placed the fireworks through my xyron machine upside down so I could attach the glitter.  It works like a charm!  I love how festive and sparkly they look.

Which invitation is your favorite?
If you are interested in any invitation (birthday, baby shower, bridal shower, wedding, holiday, etc.) please feel free to contact me HERE for more options and pricing.  Please put "Invitations" in the subject line :) I look forward to working with you to create a custom invitation for whatever occasion you would like to celebrate!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I have some fantastic news to share with you!

Here she is with my little man, cooling off in the pool on the Fourth of July!

I am sooooooo excited for her and my brother in law and I can't wait to find out the sex of the baby.  They are going to make fantastic parents!  Even though the baby isn't due until February, I am already looking into ideas for baby gifts and ideas for the baby shower.  I have a couple of Friday Favorites planned within the next couple of months focusing on babies, so stay tuned!!!  Also if you know of any great blogs/websites with baby shower ideas I would love it if you left a comment with the web address.  This is a great way to showcase your blog and your creativity.  I promise I will visit every site and leave a comment for you as well!  Wahoo! I can't wait to get started planning and then to welcome this new little one into our family.  SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO exciting!


Friday, July 22, 2011

End of the School Year Gift

So yeah, I was just checking my list of blog topics to write about and I realized that I never shared my end of the school year gift for my students with you.  Not only did I create a DVD with all the pictures I have taken throughout the school year but I wanted something special that would tie in with the curriculum and a book I read to my students every year.

At the end of every school year I read the book, Mrs. Spitzer's Garden (I can't remember the author).  It's a great end of year book because it talks about a teacher getting ready for the new school year and planting flowers and tending those flowers throughout the year.  You can then make connections about how it relates to children in school etc.  It also ties in nicely with our curriculum because we study plants and soil every year in second grade.  So this year I handed out little packets of seeds with all different flowers in them (symbolizing how each student is unique and different). 

I had picked up small white bags from Michaels and some flower packets from Wal-Mart.  I just sorted the flowers into each bag.  Then I printed out the tags that say "have a great summer" from Shindig Parties To Go.  These tags are so versatile and super cute and best of all they are FREE!!!  I glued them onto the polka dot paper (also available with the free download) and then used my stapler with green staples to attach each tag and close the bag.  I think they ended up really cute and my students loved them.
Here's some more pictures and a few close-ups.

I absolutely love easy, quick, and free crafts, don't you?


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Life Lessons

Sometimes I take a breath and really look at my life...
It's not glamorous (I live in tank tops and yoga pants at home),
It's not perfect (I can't tell you how many stains are on my couch),
It's not always beautiful (I have been used as a napkin more times than I can count),
It's not easy (I find myself constantly exhausted and sometimes frustrated)


Aside from all the craziness, the poop clean-up (yup we are up to 10 times now), the exhaustion, the stains, etc. I see my little man's smile and hear his angelic laugh as he runs through the freezing cold sprinkler and it fills me with joy.  As he pats my clean and dry tank top with wet grass covered hands and tell me to come with, I take of my sunglasses and run through the sprinkler with him thinking that I could do this all day if he never stops laughing.  The more I jump, the harder he laughs.  No matter how fast I run or how cold the water is, he still slowly tries to run around each sprinkle of water.  I'm not quite sure if this works or not.

I'm not sure if his little pool has ever stayed clean for longer than 5 minutes.  I just think he is trying to replicate the beach with little bits of rock, sand, and some grass thrown in for good measure.

I'm not sure if he'll ever go a day without falling down, running into something, banging his head, or just tripping on something in the way.  He is a true boy and usually continues on his journey without a second thought to the new black and blue on his knee.  I know he's hurt if he comes running over to me and snuggles in for a hug and a kiss but it only lasts a moment and then he's off running again.

I'm not sure if it's normal for a child to tell me to "open, open, open," so fast and so many times it sounds like another language.

I'm not sure if it's okay for a child to take a bath with three green beans from the garden and a vacuum wheel.  I asked him to pick some toys and that's what he brought in with him.

I'm sure I'm not a perfect mother.
I'm sure I will never be a perfect mother.
I'm sure I don't want to be a perfect mother as long as my little man knows he's loved and safe and taken care of.
I'm sure that I will lose my patience every once in a while.
I'm sure I will have to clean up poop again.
I'm sure my little man will make me laugh many more times than he makes me cry.
I'm sure one day I will look back and say to myself where did the time go...

This is what I know...

Life ain't always beautiful
Sometimes it's just plain hard
Life can knock you down, it can break your heart

Life ain't always beautiful
You think you're on your way
And it's just a dead end road at the end of the day

But the struggles makes you stronger
And the changes make you wise
And happiness has its own way of takin' it sweet time

No,life aint always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life aint always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride

Life aint always beautiful
Some days I miss your smile
I get tired of walkin' all these lonely miles

And I wish for just one minute
I could see your pretty face
Guess I can dream, but life don't work that way

But the struggles makes me stronger
And the changes make me wise
And happiness has its own way of takin' its sweet time

No, life ain't always beautiful
But I know I'll be fine
Hey, life ain't always beautiful
But its a beautiful ride
What a beautiful ride
~Gary Allen

This song by Gary Allen truly sums up my life.  Sadly, it's been a long time since I could listen to it because of the music video.  I saw the video once at the gym while my husband was in Fallujah.  One part of the song shows a soldier getting married before he goes off to war, which was exactly like my own life.  There I was crying on the treadmill after watching a music video.  If you get a chance to listen or watch the video make sure you listen to the lyrics because life really is a beautiful ride!

Ah the simple joy of collecting rocks and shells at the beach.


Monday, July 18, 2011

New Program, New Word Walls

Now most of you know I am a second grade teacher and use my Cricut in the classroom on bulletin boards, for different activities, and all sorts of other things.  Sadly, I always invest the time to create and put up my bulletin boards but I never take any pictures of them.  I made a fantastic banner that says "Welcome to B-8" but I still have not taken a picture.  Maybe I will this year once I hang it back up.
Well last year, we piloted a phonics program called Fundations.  I was familiar with the program because I taught it during my student teaching in 2003-2004.  Well the first year went very well and we agreed to keep the program and adapt our weekly spelling program to coincide with the phonics units.  Basically that means a new phonics program, a new spelling program, new spelling words, new word walls, etc. One big change creates a ton of work but we are providing students with fantastic learning opportunities so it's worth it. 
Basically, a word wall houses specific grade level words that can not be sounded out but must be memorized for the correct spelling.  Some of the words are they, beautiful, does, friend, etc. I can't tell you how many papers I look at that have thay, butiful, doze, and frend.  My students have access to words walls on their desk, the wall and can use traveling words walls while sitting at some of the  tables in the room.  In short, the whole grade level needed to create new desk word walls, large word walls, and traveling word walls.  Seeing an opportunity to create something new and pretty for the classroom I went to work printing out the adapted trick word list in a fancy font and then raided my scrapbooking supplies for colorful paper.  The following is what I created for my classroom and I can't wait to hang it up and share it with you in all it's glory.

I just love the colors!

Of course, I couldn't resist added some pictures of my little man.  He was such a big helper as I tried to take pictures of the word wall.  All he wanted me to do was take pictures of him and then let him look at them.  Love that little guy!

 Notice he is sitting in front of the word wall!  Guess it's time for a haircut too!
He's trying to stand the word wall up on my little stand! Too cute!

Well as luck would have it, once I brought my word wall in and started laminating it, a friend of mine saw it and asked if I would make her one too and she would pay me.  In the end I ended up making seven of them for the whole second grade team. 

So..... if you are an elementary teacher using Fundations (or any other program) and are interested in my word wall, feel free to contact me at my new email address  The price of the completed word wall including the non-fading thick weight card stock, letters, and complete list of words is $35.  Please note: this does not include laminate or shipping costs.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer To Do List: Crafts

So I decided to create a to do list for myself of all the craft projects I want to complete or try before I have to head back to school in the Fall.  I have been meaning to try some of the awesome/amazing/inspiring ideas I have seen on different blog sites but just haven't been able to set aside the time.  Since I have some uninterrupted time away from work, I figured it would be the best time to attempt anything new.  In order to keep myself organized, I am listing my top craft projects here.  Also as soon as a I complete a project I plan on posting here and linking to all the link parties I usually participate in.

Welcome to Katania's Summer To Do List: Crafts

1. Last Name Est. Frame
I have seen many of these frames on the Internet and absolutely LOVE them.  I also told a dear friend of mine about it and she created this beautiful frame as a wedding gift.  Isn't it fantastic!  She did such a great job and I know the recipients of this gift truly were touched by her meaningful gift.

I absolutely love it and can't wait to make one for myself.  If you are interesting in making one definitely check out the following blogs and websites for more examples and all the photos!

Source: Full Of Great Ideas

Source: Under The Table and Dreaming

Source for all letter pictures:
Leo Reynolds

2. Ruffled Camera Strap
I know they sell these decorative straps on etsy but I figured with all the tutorials out there that I could make a custom one for my camera.  Check out the following two links for two great tutorials.

Source: Originate and Renovate

Source: Nursery Rhymes and Sweet Times

3. Curtains for my new craft/computer room
I found some beautiful shabby chic looking fabric from Wal-Mart and can't wait to see how they turn out.

4. Iron-on transfers for little man's toy bins
I bought a fantastic organizer from Ikea with 8 sections for bins.  I also bought the 8 black fabric bins to put inside.  Now I need to create labels for each bin so we know where the toys go and what's inside of each bin without pulling them out.  I like the flocked iron-on transfer paper from Silhouette but I own a Cricut.  Has anyone used Silhouette vinyl/transfer paper in a Cricut?

5. Ring with Lucite Flower Cabochon
I have seen these gorgeous rings all over etsy and absolutely love them.  I was going to buy a few but then realized I could buy the supplies and make some of my own!!!
This is one of my favorites!
Source: Silver Lotus Designs

6. Lightning Bug Jar
Yet another fantastic idea, one of those "I should of thought of that" moments.  I fell in love with a picture with blue, purple and green glow in the dark paint, however, Michael's only had green, yellow, and orange.  Check out the two versions below.  My little man is going to love it!!!

Source: Kristy Makes

7. Pom Pom Tissue Paper Flowers
Yes, they are super cheap and super easy but I just love them and want to make some for the corner of my craft/computer room.  Since the walls are blue and the fabric I picked up has some pink in it I want to make blue, pink, and white ones.

Now I know I will find a ton more craft projects to add to my list but I hope I can complete what I have planned for just this summer.  Wish me luck!!! Keep looking for my updates and pictures of all my craft projects this summer.