Just a Wee Little Toot

A while ago now I received an email from Scrapbooking Memories asking if I would like to do a technique feature in their magazine.
I was floored!
YES!! I replied!!! YES YES YES! Enthusiastically, blushing like mad. And with my hand to mouth in astonishment, I hit the send button.

Then panic set in. Serious panic. The hyperventilating kind of panic...(you know the kind)
What on earth was I thinking????!!!

Now I know you are supposed to keep all hush hush about these things, but I needed help, serious help. (sorry SM)
 I sent an SOS to Mel Forbes, ( seriously LOVE this chick, well, not THAT seriously, but you get my drift... lol... I have lot of respect for her, and her wonderful creations are to die for. Do yourself a BIG favour and check out her blog)
Oops!! I digress.  Now where was I?? Oh yes , I asked  Mel if she would she be so kind as to offer me some advice on how to go about this kind of thing?
I received a reply straight away.. and with her wonderful advice, encouragement and extreme patience she gave me the confidence to think,
YES I CAN do this!!!!
and I did.

My Tearing and Sanding feature is published in this month's issue and I must admit to being a little bit proud of myself :-) seeing it  there  in print. (thanks for letting me peek at your issue Tiff, as they haven't hit the news stands yet)

 and Thank you Mel!!!!

its fixed woo hooo

Well i thought my camera was completely broke but it seems hubby is worth something (only jokin babe) and he fixed it, so hopefully im going to get some cards uploaded tomorrow, ive made a few for chllenges which have now expired,
hope everyone has had a lovely bank holiday xxxx



Went and saw Sex and the City 2 last night. It was light, enjoyable, and funny. Definitely not as good as the first movie, but fun nonetheless. Will it win an academy award? Definitely not! The girls, still soul mates after all these years, start off at the gay wedding of Standford and Anthony. Liza Minnelli definitely steals the show with her rendition of Single Ladies. Then, it's off to Abu Dhabi for a stay in a luxurious, and I mean luxurious $22,000.00/night resort. But The Arab Emirates culture eventually gets the best of the girls and home they return, not too happy. (There has been controversy among the arab and Muslim world, and after seeing the movie, I understand why). But all ends well as is to be expected, and the lives of the ladies continues.
I believe the real meaning of the movie, from beginning to end, is that every relationship is unique! Every relationship, whether it be that of a same-sex couple, a single, sex-crazed female, a childless couple who consider "days off" from the marriage, or working mothers who find it extremely difficult, has its own rules. Each couple, or individual, must make up the rules that best fits their lives and circumstances. Also, families are unique and individual as well.
In our society, fortunately, we see the uniqueness of relationships and families everyday. The blurring of the past traditions is somewhat confusing and hard for some to grasp. Tradition is important, but we cannot stop the hands of time. No matter how much one dislikes it, society is in constant change and evolution. Nothing can remain the same. We have to realize this and move on with society as it changes.


To the men and women of the US military I say, "Thank you! Thank you for the freedoms that I have!"

Now, repeal DODT!! And then end DOMA!! Marriage equality for All!!

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day celebration everyone!

WENCH by Dolen Perkins- Valdez

Harper Collins Publishers
Copyright: 201
Review copy provided by publisher

After I reviewed Kathryn Stockett's THE HELP, a publisher sent me WENCH, the debut novel of Dolen Perkins-Valdez. "If you loved THE HELP," she said, "you'll loved this one too." And she was absolutely right.

WENCH is the story of Lizzie, a slave owned by Master Drayle. Drayle's wife, Francesca, is unable to have children, and Drayle has chosen Lizzie as his mistress or wench. She has borne him two children. Each summer, Lizzie and Drayle travel to Tawawa, a resort in Northern Ohio, where wealthy slave owners live openly with their slave mistresses. At Tawawa, Lizzie becomes friends with Reenie and Sweet, two women in similar circumstances. Even though Ohio is a free state, Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet, do not question their lives. They are treated reasonably well by their owners. They have left their own children and other family members at their respective plantations and look forward to returning to them. All of this changes, however, the summer Lizzie, Reenie and Sweet meet Mawu, another slave. Mawu wants to be free, and she knows how it can be done. She pushes the others to consider their choices and accompany her to escape to freedom.

I love historical fiction because it brings me to whole new understandings of different times and places, and this book was no exception. Yeah, I knew that slave owners did whatever they wanted with their slaves and often had children with them, but I never thought much about the men having long-term relationships, or taking their slave mistresses on vacations. Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet have to make hard, hard decisions about freedom, about family and ultimately about who they want to be as human beings. And then there is the whole women and friendship aspect, which I always love…

Yeah, I totally agree with the person who provided me with this book, "If you loved THE HELP, you will also love WENCH…


Totally enjoyed making this cake!   This was a moist almond brandy cake filled with chocolate buttercream.  

ALFIE RUNS AWAY- Kenneth Cadow

Alfie does not like to take baths, make his bed, eat potatoes, or set the table. When his mother tries to throw away his favorite red shoes, Alfie decides things have gone too far, and makes plans to run away. He packs a water bottle, a box of crackers, a flashlight, three books, and his teddy bear and heads out to find a place where people don't make kids throw away their favorite, albeit too-small red shoes. The bag is a little heavy, however, so he settles down on a blanket in the yard…

I read ALFIE to a first grade class on the last day of school. It was 90 degrees outside, and almost that warm in our hundred year old, non air-conditioned building. The kids were excited and/or worried about getting out of school for the summer. Even so, this book brought forth lots of rich conversations. Everyone, of course, had a running away story to tell. There were also several favorite shoe stories. The kids had lots of great wonderings and comments about the book. J thought the mom was not really doing her job- she wanted the mom to lock the door and tell Alfie he couldn't go anywhere. K thought the mom should just tell Alfie they could go get new shoes, exactly like the old ones if he wanted them. M thought the mom should sneak into Alfie's room while he was asleep and replace the old shoes with new ones. P said, "I bet his mom is just trying to outsmart him. She probably knows he isn't going anywhere very far. Or if he does, she will follow him and bring him back when he gets tired."

Books as a way of helping kids explore big issues like the love of a parent or growing up… Could there be anything better?

what a sad day

Today has been one of "those"days, my husbands aunty mary passed away last thursday and today was her funeral, she was a wonderful lady and will be sadly missed by many,

she was fine a couple of months ago but was diagnosed with 3 brain tumours 6 weeks ago and had a rapid decline, i suppose in some ways that was best as they were too far gone by the time they were found and it saved her being in pain for a long time, but she was only 64 so far too young,

sorry to be so morbid guys but thats how i feel today,

on the upside the weather has been lovely and my hubby took me out for lunch after the wake and we chatted about aunty mary, so was really nice,
and i thought i would share this lovely picture with you that my 4 year old drew, i love it and it really cheered me up, its one of his lovely butterflys he loves to draw.

Anyway i hope everyone is having a lovely long weekend? we are very busy here trying to re arrange our bedroom so we can tidy,

see you soon xx


A New Favourite Inspiring Site


A wonderful  Belgium site FULL of inspirational scrappers and creations!
and  also wonderful to see some Australian girls in the spotlight  too!!
Beck Beattie
Carol Thompson
and Renee Dowling...
just in the first page!! lol

On the menu on the left of the site are different categories...they cater for all style!!
clean and simple
shabby vintage
mixed media

I really recommend you pop over and have a look.
Will be popping this one in my faves for sure!!


Poetry Friday.
The last day of school.
Lots and lots and lots going on.
And in the middle of it all,
I need to stop
and breathe
and say thank you
to my amazing colleagues,
who not only teach
with huge passion
and great intellect
and enormous skill
every single day
but also
love and encourage,
and buy tennis shoes
and baby dolls,
and organize lacrosse teams
and take kids to art shows
and movies
and farms.
Because kids should have those experiences.
It is a privilege
and an honor
to share each day with you.

Because you love me I have much achieved,
Had you despised me then I must have failed,
But since I knew you trusted and believed,
I could not disappoint you and so prevailed.
Paul Laurence Dunbar

Read more Paul Laurence Dunbar here.


Jennifer Baucom and John Hanna Wedding

I wanted to share these beautiful photos of Jennifer and John's Wedding.  What a lovely young couple!  I designed both of their cakes for their May 1st, 2010 wedding.   Congratulations on your new marriage! Photographs courtesy of Verola Photography.  http://www.booktheday.com/


Ghostgirl cake on Ghostgirl Facebook!

So cool!  I received an e-mail from Tonya Hurley, author of New York Times Best Seller "Ghostgirl".  She found my cake on line and posted it on her Facebook Website. She said that the cake was extraordinary!  Thanks Tonya, for your kind words....here is the link to her site:  http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1443253131&v=wall&story_fbid=126610890699217#!/ghostgirl

A bit further back in time

I'm continuing my search on the rest of the mothers. My mother's mother, my grandmother of course, was also called Petronella. She was born in Odoorn, in 1915.

Here's what Odoorn, a small hamlet in the province of Drenthe looked like in the 1920s

Petronella's mother was called Jantien, and she was born in Sleen in 1888. Sleen is also in Drenthe. This is an old photo of the Sleen Town Hall, not bad huh?

I am almost ready to start stitching! I bought nice linen and thread and now all I need is a decent pattern for the tree.
Hints and tips are welcome peeps!

This is the mother tree up to now:
1888 Jantien, mother of
1915 Petronella, mother of
1940 Petronella, mother of
1969 Sandra, mother of
2009 Rune Gjilke

I hope to add some photos of the ladies involved soon :)

Here's my mum Petronella with Rune, just 2 days old

Only Kindness Matters

I have finally got around to scrapping this photo!
It is also my layout for the 'Go Nude' challenge over at TwiddleyBitz
Create a layout or project using nude TwiddleyBitz pieces.
I have used TwiddleyBitz bird, hearts, clef and music notes.


Designed and created this cake for Teagan, who enjoys reading "Ghostgirl".  All elements are handcrafted using sugarpaste or gumpaste.  Creepy cake but so cool!

ribbons and bows at creative craft challenges

Well its that time again over at creative craft challenges,
our next challenge is called .........ribbons and bows,
we have the lovely crafty pad as a sponsor this time and debs has donated a gorgeous stamp, which i have used on my design, which is below


On Monday, Farmer Greenstalk's tractor breaks down. Pigs to the rescue! On Tuesday, Mrs Greenstalk gets a leak in her garden hose. Pigs to the rescue! On Wednesday, Jeffrey Greenstalk's kite gets stuck in the tree. Pigs to the rescue!

John Himmelman, author of KATIE LOVES THE KITTENS, is back again! The crazy antics of this herd of exuberant, overly helpful pigs are sure to hook primary grade kids. Days of the week, simple text, and supportive illustrations will make this book extra friendly for beginning readers. The surprise ending is reminiscent of Betsy Lewin's CLICK CLACK MOO series.

Lesson 5

Lesson 5: There's nothing like pasta....


Made this Playstation 3 cake for Raheem's birthday.  Controller is made out of ricecrispies and covered in fondant.


Each night, when it is time to go to bed, Lulu the mouse puts on her favorite pajamas, the ones that smell "as good as a pink dream" and are "as soft as a butterfly kiss," then snuggles in with Lili-poo, her pet ladybug (who never wears pajamas). One morning, Lulu decides she likes her pajamas so much that she will wear them to school. Things do not go quite as well as Lulu had hoped, however. The other children laugh at her. She gets fingerpaint, then glue, then spaghetti on her favorite pajamas. The bottoms get dusty when the class does the fairy dance. Lulu feels very sad and decides she will never wear her pajamas again…

This is a fun story, sure to be a hit with the preschool/kindergarten crowd, also a great "big sister" present for baby showers. Lulu is a spunky little thing, not unlike Kevin Henke's Lily, of purple plastic purse fame. She is strong willed and a little stubborn, but well-intentioned. Mama and Papa deal with Lulu firmly (only little mice who wear pajamas get bedtime stories) but also with humor (when Lulu decides to wear her pajamas to school, Papa wears his pajamas to drive her there). St├ęphane Jorisch's detailed water color illustrations match the story perfectly.

a card for several great challenges

Well ive not been able to craft much of late as ive got a few personal things going on aat the moment, this card is going to be entered into several different challenges,
Which are;
  1. Allsorts - tag/label
  2. C.R.A.F.T - birthdays/celebrations
  3. La La Land - birthdays
  4. Crafty creations - encouragement/celebrations
  5. ABC - u for unused stash

I think thats a record for me to combine so many lol,

I have used;

  • forever friend papers male theme
  • tag is a stamp that i have made 3d
  • blue gems
  • blue brad
  • silver twine
  • old pieces of ribbon that were too small to use for anything else
  • blue ink

I hope you like this it was very simple and a great way to use those small pieces of ribbon that would otherwise get thrown out,


Best of Friends, a Wendela Lift.

There is a new challenge over at Escape2Create.....scraplift a layout!
and this is my layout  for the challenge.
I lifted this layout by Wendela.
Her layout jumped out at me as I was browsing her blog... so love her work!!
I had a lot of fun creating this..I loved playing with the different size of the layout and deviating from using a traditional background of cardstock or pp.
So liberating!!
Thanks for stopping by.
Oh and THANK YOU to all of you that had your fingers crossed for rain!!!
It has rained steadily all day! Such good news for the farmers!

Oh please let it rain down!!

Yes I have added music to my blog.
I must admit to hitting the mute button when I blog hop and come across a blog with music (just me..no offence to people with music on their blogs!!)
But this song has been stuck in my head for DAYS now.
I live in a farming district, and the farmers need rain... lots of it.... and now.
So I thought with this song going through YOUR head now like a mantra and hopefully you'll have your fingers crossed too, they might get that much needed rain.
Hey every little bit helps right? lol

Have a great weekend!!

cue music

oh how I wish it would raaaiin down
over me

cue guitar

oh don't mind me
just singing away here
[yes, you're right.....I haven't taken my meds yet  ;-) ]


When I was a little girl, summers were times of huge fun. My sisters and I spent the long hot days splashing in the community pool, riding our bikes, having picnics at the top of a bluff behind our house, and playing endless games of neighborhood hide and seek in the dusky early evening. And there was always a vacation, usually back to the midwest to see grandparents and aunts and uncles.

My urban students' reality, however, is far different. Many of my kids will spend their summer in pieced together day care, or locked inside apartments with worried parents that call every 30 minutes to make sure that their kids are ok, because they can't afford day care. Some will spend part of their summer hungry, because they rely heavily on the school lunch program for sustenance. There won't be any swimming lessons, or soccer camps, or art clubs, let alone cross country vacations.

This week, at the poetry recital, our school psychologist shared a Langston Hughes poem that was new to me…

Merry Go Round
Where is the Jim Crow section
on this merry-go-round
Mister, because I want to ride.

…there ain't no back
To a merry-go-round
Where's the horse
For a kid that's black?

Langston Hughes

Read the rest of the poem here.

Laura Salas is hosting Poetry Friday here.

3 Angels Scrapping

3 Angels Scrapping is closing down :-(
But what is sad, sad news for us 3AS members is good news for bargain hunters.
All stock is 40% off.
Great time to head over and grab a bargain.

Wanna Go Nude??

Hmmm... didn't think so! lol.
There is a new challenge over at TwiddleyBitz.
Use 'Nude' TwiddleyBitz on your project.
No ink, paint, mist etc.
nothing, nada, zilch.
How simple is that??
I entered their last challenge...3 for 2
Upload 2 layouts, cards, or otp projects and you get the chance to win 3 (THREE!!) TwiddleyBitz packs.
and woohoo for me,  I won!!
and this was my happy mail yesterday.

Lucky me huh? JUST for playing along! (love their new nero range!!)
so if you have some spare TwiddleyBitz in your stash and you are in the mood for scrapping, why not play along? Use some 'nude' Twiddley pieces and then upload over at the ning site...toooo easy.
and oh while you are over there check out the gallery...Talk about amazing work!
Well I'm off to do some housework then might have time for some scrapping...and I might even go nude...(ewww!!sorry for the visual!! lol)


Hmmm. How to describe my latest read? OK, well, imagine a fairy tale with a strong and independent princess, a touch of Roald Dahl (including the bodily functions humor that causes 8-10 year olds to roll on the floor in glee), throw in a little bit of mistaken identity, and a little word play, and you pretty much have Lois Lowry's THE BIRTHDAY BALL.

  • Princess Patricia Priscilla- a bored adolescent princess, five days from her 16th birthday, where she will choose a husband
  • King Lepodoptera- the Princess' butterfly-studying, naturalist father
  • Queen Romelda Rebozo- the Princess' somewhat deaf mother
  • Suitor #1: Duke Desmond of Dyspesia- so ugly a team of Royal Splashers do synchronized swimming exercises in lakes so the Prince will not see his own reflection
  • Suitor #2- Prince Percival of Pustula- a black-clad, black-hearted prince who spends his days admiring himself in the mirror. The prince's valet, Hal, spends his days brushing dandruff off the prince's shoulders
  • Suitor(s) #3 and #4- The Conjoint Counts, Colin and Cuthbert, who have never agreed on anything, except the fact that they want to marry Princess Patricia Priscilla
The Princess, accompanied by her cat, Delicious (the one liners associated with the cat could provide weeks of word study- It's nutritious, Delicious! Stop looking avaricious, Delicious! No need to be surreptitious, Delicious!) decides to liven up her life by attending school with the peasants in the village, where she meets Rafe, the schoolmaster. The Princess invites the entire village to her birthday ball at the castle, where she declares her love for her true prince and they begin a not-so-typical happily ever after…

This book works for me on lots of levels- great story, terrific humor, well-crafted. I love Princess Patricia Priscilla's independence and also her compassion. I love the vocabulary and the word play-- this is the kind of book that makes kids fall in love with language. The pen and ink illustrations by Jules Feiffer (his best known work is probably THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH) are perfect for the story.

I wonder if I can squeeze this read aloud in somewhere in the the last ten days of school!

I think we can ALL relate!!

A friend who has a wicked sense of humour (hiya Marcy!)
emailed this to me this morning and it really cracked my up.

I think we can ALL relate to this scenario.... well at least parts of it!!

When you have to visit a public toilet, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the cubicle doors. Every cubicle is occupied.

Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the cubicle. You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants!
The dispenser for the modern 'seat covers' (invented by someone's Mum, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your bag on the door hook, if there was one, so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mum would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!) down with your pants and assume ' The Stance.
In this position, your aging, toneless, thigh muscles begin to shake. You'd love to sit down, but having not taken time to wipe the seat or to lay toilet paper on it, you hold 'The Stance.'
To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser.
In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, 'Dear, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!' Your thighs shake more.
You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that's still in your bag (the bag around your neck, that now you have to hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That would have to do, so you crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It's still smaller than your thumbnail.
Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn't work.
The door hits your bag, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest and you and your bag topple backward against the tank of the toilet.
'Occupied!' you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, while losing your footing altogether and sliding down directly onto the TOILET SEAT. It is wet of course. You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try.
You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because you're certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, 'You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get.
By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the inside of the bowl and spraying a fine mist of water that covers your bum and runs down your legs and into your shoes.
The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force and you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too.
At this point, you give up. You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a sweet wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.
You can't figure out how to operate the taps with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting
You are no longer able to smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it?)
You yank the paper from your shoe, plonk it in the woman's hand and tell her warmly, 'Here, you just might need this.
As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used and left the men's toilet. Annoyed, he asks, 'What took you so long and why is your bag hanging around your neck?
This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with any public toilets. It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers that other commonly asked question about why women go to the toilets in pairs. It's so the other girl can hold the door, hang onto your bag and hand you Kleenex under the door.

This HAD to be written by a woman! No one else could describe it so accurately.

Thanks for the laugh Marcy!!

Allsorts meets OCC

I have made this card for my father in law who loves old cars, thought it would be perfect and it was really easy lol,

I will enter it into the following 2 challenges;

  1. Our Creative Corner-masculine birthdays
  2. Allsorts-birthdays

i hope you like it, i used the forever friends male papers a die cut sentiment and blue ribbon,



Kim-Le's Islamorada Dream

A tasty keylime cake filled with a rich coconut buttercream made with real coconut milk! 

Kim-Le submitted her deam cake combination and won a certificate worth $85 towards the purchase of a cake by Sandra's Cakes.  Her cake combination will be included in our upcoming cake menu.

Congratulations Kim!


At one of my first teaching jobs, I was privileged to work with a facility manager named Mel, a sweet, sweet, sweet, retired army veteran with a heart of gold. Mel loved his building, loved his teachers, and loved the kids. The second or third year we worked together, our class hatched turkey eggs. Mel and the babies took a liking to each other. Every morning when he arrived at work, he would take the turkeys out of their pen and they would follow him up and down the halls. When Mel started the vacuum, the baby turkeys would scurry back out into the hall and peep worriedly until Mel emerged.

I couldn't help but think of Mel as I read THE GOOSEMAN: THE STORY OF KONRAD LORENZ. Lorenz is the scientist best known for the development of a ethology, the study of animal's instinctive behaviors. Us common folk probably know him better as the person who studied the imprinting behaviors of ducks and geese. From a very young age, Konrad loved, loved, loved animals. His parents encouraged his passion, even allowing him to have a monkey that snatched shiny things away from anyone who came to visit. As an adult, Lorenz studied medicine, but soon left the field to pursue his interest in animals. He spent his entire life studying the behaviors of ducks, geese, and other wild animals. Early in his career, he had a goose named Martina who actually slept with him, and brought her "boyfriend" home to meet him.

This will be a fun book to share with our first graders, who are eagerly watching an incubator full of duck eggs…

Thought for the Day

is the language
in which man (or woman)
explores his (or her)
own amazement.

~Christopher Fry

Showers of Happiness Bridal cake

Made this cake for a sweet bride who is being surprised with a bridal shower today. Moist vanilla cake filled with strawberry buttercream.


WARNING: If you are a children's book person, this post probably falls into the, "How'd you miss this series?" category. So you might want to skip it. DODSWORTH IN LONDON is evidently the third book in this easy chapter book series (think NATE THE GREAT or MERCY WATSON). And I have never seen DODSWORTH IN NEW YORK. Or DODSWORTH IN PARIS. But now, having read DODSWORTH IN LONDON, I will definitely look for the other two.

Dodsworth the Bear (whoops, our first graders think he might be a mole, and looking again, I suspect they are right) and his rascally companion, Duck, travel by hot air balloon to London. After an unfortunate dart throwing incident in a pub, the two decide to tour the city by double decker bus. The bus station is very crowded and Dodsworth and Duck become separated. In that brief moment, Her Majesty's Royal Duck, who looks a great deal like Dodsworth's travelling companion, happens onto the scene. Duck (Dodsworth's companion) gets onto one bus, and Dodsworth and the Royal Duck get on another one. Duck has tea and crumpets, sees a Shakespeare play, and splashes in the fountain near Pershing Square. Dodsworth spends a harrowing afternoon dealing with a case of mistaken identity, then trying to hunt down his naughty friend. Eight hours later, Dodsworth finds Duck happily dancing on the Queen's piano.

I teach in a very urban area and many of my students have never been out of our neighborhood, or to a another city. Many of our kids wouldn't recognize London or Paris, or cities, let alone know about any of the landmarks in those cities. I would probably have to read DODSWORTH IN LONDON aloud before children could be successful in reading it independently.

At the same time, I'm always looking for ways to expand my children's horizons, and I think this series would be perfect. I envision us getting out a world map, locating London, and googling places like Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace, maybe printing out pictures and tracking Dodsworth and Duck's journey's (note to publisher: world or city maps or photographs would be cool end pages). I think we'd have a blast. I also think this book could lead to some great conversations about dealing with badly behaved friends, handling conflict, and just life in general.

A fun new-to-me series I can't wait to share with kids.

want some inspiration??

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!
Unfortunately I don't have any scrapping to share so I thought I might provide you with a link instead.
This site has been sitting quietly on the bottom of my ideas and inspiration blog list on my side bar for quite awhile and I thought I might put it in the spotlight tonight.
ok, don't let the foreign name put you off.
I find with the  google  translation option you can translate it pretty well.
Head off into the gallery and you will find lots of different categories to browse.
I LOVE this site!! I have found so much inspiration there lately and just love this style of scrapping atm.
My layout below was inspired from one of their DT members.
Their design team are fantastic, don't forget to check out their blogs!!
Well I'm off to work....
Have a great night and thanks for stopping by.

Mary Bryant

Once in a while you see or hear something that changes your perspective on the world. Take the mini-series "The incredible journey of Mary Bryant" for instance.
The series is about a British female convict being transported to the Australian colonies in the 18th century and I have to say it is quite moving.

After watching this you wonder why we complain so much about everything in our lives really: the crisis, the jobmarket, our (lack of) finances, our clubs, pubs, our shops....

I'm not complaining anymore, thanks to Mary!

Poetry Friday

For the past couple of years, I've been enjoying Poetry Friday with the fifth graders at my school. Every Friday afternoon, I tromp in with a stack of books, and plop myself on the floor. I share a few poems, the kids share a few poems, we read poems, we write poems, we perform poems, we talk about poems…and it's about the "perfectest" way I can think of to end a week. I think the kids must love it too, because by Wednesday, I've usually been asked by two or three fifth graders if I'm coming this week…

Interspersed with simply enjoying poetry, I try to teach our tough, inner city ten year olds, a little about poetry. I talk to them about the purposes poetry plays in my life. I talk about how poetry makes me see the world in very different ways, and about how it helps me take time to stop and savor and celebrate life's little goodnesses. And about how I hope it will do that for them too…

A couple of weeks ago, around Earth Day, I shared Takayo Noda's DEAR WORLD, which is one of my favorite books. I wrote a couple of poems, then the kids wrote. I thought, in honor of the very special poetry journey we have taken this year, that I would share a little of their writing…

Dear Wind,

I like when

you breeze

and make me

feel clean.

I like when you

move trees for

the trees not

to stay still

and not hide

their smell.

I like when

you pass by me

even if you’re


you are just

a dream.


Dear Rain

I like how you

clean the streets.

I don’t like how you

bring sorrow and greyness

I like how you

bring the sound

of a pen dropping.

I don’t like how you

make it dark

around the city.

I like how you’re

so clear

like glass.

I don’t like how you

make me

stay in.


Dear Rain

I love

when you

come down

Sweet and

soft round

and round.

Dear Rain

will you keep

coming down?

Dear Rain

I love

your puddle

I want

to jump in it.

Dear Rain

I love

when you

come down.


Dear Lemon

I love when

you grow and

you show your

sport your yellow.

I love when

you make us

buy you at

the store.

I love when

I cut you

open to make

soft good lemonade.

I love when

you put lemon

juice on my salmon

you make it

so, so good

for me to eat.


Dear Spring,

The way you

show up right out

of winter like

an unexpected


How you

come and I

become mature

more and more

every day.

How you make

sun shine and

snow melt

You’re the perfect dream



Dear Soil,

I love when you

give a home

to insects.

I love when you

turn into mud

and worms come

to say, “Hello.”

I love your color

nice and brown.

I love how you

make my plants grow

and give them nutrients.

I don’t love

when you get me dirty

and my clothes too.


Dear Snow

I love when

you’re there and cold.

I love when

you’re always there

so I can have

snow fights.

I love when you’re there

so I can make money.

I don’t love

when you’re

always wet.


Dear Rain,

I love it

when you clear

the pollen

out of the air.

I love it

when you make

the bugs

go back to their homes.

I don’t love it

when you make

the cats

run away.


Dear Grass,

I love how you

cool me down on

a hot day.

I love how you shine

when you’re wet.

I love how you

surround the trees.

I love how you

reflect the morning



Dear Dog

I love the way you

come and wake me

up in the morning

for school.

I love the way

you come lay

at the door

until I get home

from school.

I love the way

you come

and cuddle with me

in the bed

at night.


The day I married my best friend

Tiff recently challenged a few of us girls to scrap our wedding photo
here is my answer to that challenge (hehehe)
Thanks for the challenge chook.
It is also for an Escape 2 Create challenge so I can't tell you who the other person is just yet (we have to send in our 80's photos and the others have to guess who you are) they'll know me, but will they recognise her? hmmmmm.....
(inspired by Anna Christen-Larson)

Also answers their "Etsy" Challenge
Thank you also for all your lovely comments regarding my class... I really do appreciate them.

Thanks for stopping by


Last year, I was one of the lucky ducks that got to be a CYBILS judge. The entire panel loved Chris Barton's THE DAY GLO BROTHERS, a biography of the men who invented neon colors. DAY GLO BROTHERS eventually went on to win the CYBILS award for elementary nonfiction.

Yesterday our school librarian handed me Chris Barton's new book, SHARK VS. TRAIN. The book begins with a comic strip illustration of two little boys running to the toy box. One little guy grabs a shark, the other a toy train, and begin a series of "My toy is better than yours…"

Their conversation isn't just about an ordinary competition, however. I mean, everyone knows a train would win a land race and a shark would win a race in the water. But what about diving? A burping contest? Piano playing? A lemonade stand? Things just get crazier and crazier until finally the book ends when the two little boys are called to lunch…

The zany competitions are illustrated by Tom Lictenheld, who I know best for DUCK! RABBIT!

I know this is a book kids are going to ask for again and again. I also think it will also make a great readers' theater.