Blanket is done!

Well, my dear friends, I finished this baby blanket for Rune a while ago but I know I owed you the photos! Hereabove you see the blanket finished, the finished knitting that is.

I wanted to give the blanket a nice finish so I embellished it with a crocheted trim. Hey, presto, here it is now!

Crocheted Baby Ruffle Hat.

I have actually moved beyond crocheting wonky flowers and hearts!
I have made a baby's hat with a ruffle border!! 
A gift for a friends baby daughter, very cute and I already have an order  to make another one! lol
SO quick and easy (it has to be if I managed it! lol)
You can find the free pattern here

And here is a link to a FANTASTIC source of 100's  free crochet patterns..
tip:  make a coffee before you head in there!!  ;-)

Thanks for Stopping By.


Designed this cake for twin sisters Kate and Lilly who celebrated their birthday at the Childens' Museum of the Treasure Coast.  The theme of the party was dolphins, so I designed this underwater themed cake for their special day.  This was a moist vanilla cake frosted in buttercream and decorated with fondant and gumpaste accents.  I just loved how this cake turned out and was very happy to know that everyone else loved the cake too!

Remembering Lucy

Journalling reads:
Your Great Aunt Lucy with Grandad Cleaver, Nanna Cleaver and her little baby sister, Aunt Ethel.
Nanna tells the story that sadly, Lucy succumbed to diptheria and passed away while her father was
away at war. He didn't find out until he came home from war, walking though the door and calling out, "Where are my 2 girls?"
She was never forgotten.

This photo and the story that it reminds me of, always makes me feel sad, and in some small way I wanted her to be remembered,....even if it is only on a scrapbook page.

This will be my next class at the Sheoak Cottage...Monday 20th September.

based on a sketch at Sketch Inspiration


So do you remember that I really am trying to be a totally hip and with it kind of gal? In case you forgot, I am. I totally am trying to be hip and with it. I blog. I have a facebook account. I tweet. A little bit. Although I have not quite got the hang of that tiny url thing, at least not yet. This summer, I went to the ISTE conference where I did not win an ipad, despite the fact that I wrote my name on many, many win a free ipad raffle tickets. I am, I think, becoming slightly more techno savvy.

But when it all boils down to it, there is nothing I like better than holding a good old fashioned book. I like looking at the pictures. I like turning the pages. Ijust like books.

I laughed out loud, then, today when I read Lane Smith's newest creation, IT'S A BOOK. In this book, three friends- a monkey, a mouse, and a jackass- are friends. The monkey loves to read. The jackass, a totally hip and with-it techno kind of guy has never seen a book until he encounters Monkey reading. He has lots of questions-- Can you blog? How do you scroll down? Can you make the characters fight? Monkey answers the questions for a while, but that becomes impatient and hands Jackass his copy of TREASURE ISLAND. And you can guess what happens next…

This is definitely a picture book for older kids. I'd love to use it to introduce independent reading in a middle or high school classroom. So funny!!!!


A week when kids' stories, the I'm living with my auntie, My dad is in jail, My mom is mad because sister (age 15) is pregnant, I can't pay $10 for a football jersey because DCY doesn't give us money have been too much and too many for my heart to hold…

I climb the steps of the yellow school bus,
move to a seat in back, and we're off,
bouncing along the bumpy blacktop.
What am I going to do when I get home?
I'm going to make myself a sugar sandwich
and go outdoors and look at the birds
and the gigantic blue silo
they put up across the road at Motts'.

Read the rest of the poem here.

Poetry Friday is at BOOK AUNT (and by the way, I LOVE her blog's subtitle, "because other people can give you clothes and video games for your birthday"). My sentiments exactly!

GlenForest Peacocks

I have finally done a ScrapJacks Challenge!!
I jacked Tracey St Johnwood Layout.
When I saw the peacock feather on her layout I just knew it was time to scrap my peacock photos and Finally use the peacock feather I had found at the park.

*** please note, no peacocks were harmed in the collection process of the feather....I promise!!***

Compelling Viewing

No. Not the Ben Cousins Documentary (although that was pretty interesting!)
But this video tutorial
by Louise Williams
I couldn't look away!
As Molly Meldrum would yourself a favour and go and have a look.;-)
She creates a layout from start to finish, sharing lots of ideas and techniques.

Hopefully I will be back soon with some scrapping to share.

New cards

Hi everyone

I just got this GORJIS sunflower die from Spellbinders in the mail today and it's SOOO much fun to play with. I used some white carstock, embossed, cut and then sprayed with shimmerspray in 2 colors. The centre of the flower is simply embossed and then sponged with Chocolate Chip ink. I love how it turned out.
The other 2 cards I have to share today were just me playing around with some sketches and CASEING of cards. I had a lot of fun doing them.
Well off to work then.

Tata for now.



Made this cake last week and have to say this is my interpretation of a design the client sent me.  Not sure who originally created this design, but it is adorable.  These little fellows are so cute!
Vanilla rum cake filled with strawberry buttercream.  Client sent me an email and said this was the best cake they had ever had!  OMG, that is awesome!


Made this cake for Bobbie's birthday last week.  This was a vanilla rum cake filled with coconut and chocolate buttercream and shredded coconut.  Bobbie called and said that the cake was absolutely beautiful and delicious!  She even said the colors matched the dress she was wearing that night!  So cool!


Created these sweet baby cakes this past week.  Loved them both and both clients were totally happy with them.  Baby Girl cake was my vanilla rum cake filled with passion fruit buttercream and Baby Boy cake was vanilla cake filled with vanilla buttercream and dulce de leche....yummy so good! 


Happy Birthday Olga, hope you had a wonderful birthday with your family!


Cynthia Lord gets it. She totally gets it.

And that could pretty much be my review for TOUCH BLUE.

But you might want a little more.

OK, here it is.

TOUCH BLUE is the story of Tess Brooks, an eleven-year-old girl who lives on Bethsaida Island in Maine. When the book opens, the Brooks family, along with several other families on Bethsaida Island, are waiting for the ferry, which is bringing five foster children to the island. The islanders are taking the foster children in a last-ditch effort to save their school, which is in danger of closing because there are not enough children.

Tess has big plans for Aaron, the thirteen-year-old boy who comes to live with them. She hopes he will like reading, building things, fishing, and riding bikes, just like she does. Aaron, however, turns out to be a musician-- a gifted trumpet and piano player, who carries a suitcase of sadness, a deep longing for his own mother and home, an emptiness and desire to belong. And that, I would say, has pretty much been my experience with the foster children I have known. No matter how loving their foster/adoptive family, or how rich their lives, or how long they have been separated, there is always a dull ache, a longing for their biological family and home…

It's not like the book is all sad. There is a lot of richness and humor and wisdom too. Tess' father (a way cool dad/foster dad), is a lobster fisherman, and there is lots of interesting information about that occupation/culture throughout the book (I worried before I read TOUCH BLUE) that my urban students might not be able to connect or understand, but Cynthia Lord explains things so beautifully, that won't be a problem at all, in fact I think they will love learning about a way of life so different from their own). Tess' father is a wise, wise man. At one point, for instance, he tells Tess that the Brooks family will have to be "stubborn" in loving Aaron, that they cannot give up on him. And in my mind, that's a perfect way to describe the love I have had to learn for my boys. Stubborn. It's a good thing I was pretty stubborn before I ever had them. And there's also the theme of superstition throughout the book. Tess is a highly superstitious young lady and each chapter opens with a superstition, which then is somehow connected to the events in the chapter, e.g. the title of the book comes from "Touch blue and your wish will come true."

I loved, loved, loved RULES. And I have had a lot of fun reading HOT ROD HAMSTER to younger kids. But TOUCH BLUE is definitely my favorite of Cynthia Lord's books. Cynthia Lord is an author who gets it.

off on my holidays for 2 weeks

Hi guys i wanted to let anyone that reads my blog that im off on my jollies for 2 whole weeks, im off to spain in a gorge villa with its own pool woo hoo, never done a villa before so quite excited, its our first abroad hol for 4 years, and now we have 2 under fives we have soooo much thats been packed lol,
Anyway i wanted to show you these gift i made for the pre school teachers before i go, i know its been the school holidays for a while now but i am slow lol,
i made them completely from scratch, bought the cello from the local florists, and made individual parcels with rosy apple sweets in along with a lovely vase and artificial flower, there is shiny silver tissue paper too, and ribbon and tags lol
i hope you like them i know the teachers did thankfully, they said it was nice to get something other than chocs lol.
Anyway i will see you all in 2 weeks with photos lol
love ya xxx



We had kids yesterday,
but my sons' first day of high school is today.
And I'm praying that somehow my two fellas
who had the perseverance
to get out of bed
four mornings a week,
all summer long,
for six a.m. football conditioning,
and studied
and took notes
and researched football film
and wrote
and revised
and performed songs on Garage Band
two or three hours a day
all summer long
will have somehow acquired
the school gene.

Judith Viorst
Will they let me go when I need to go to the bathroom?
And what if I get lost on the way back to class?
And what if all of the other kids are a hundred, a thousand, a million times smarter than I am?
And what if we have a spelling test or a reading test or an anything test, and I'm the only person who doesn't pass?

Read the rest of the poem here.

Poetry Friday is at Teaching Poetry K-12.


OK, while we are on the subject of chickens and literacy, INTERRUPTING CHICKEN is another really fun new book Laura and I found last week at Tattered Cover. A little red chicken wants her father to read her a bedtime story. He is a little reluctant, claiming that she always interrupts. Little Red Chicken promises that she won't interrupt this time and off they go.

First, Father reads Hansel and Gretel. When he gets to the part where Hansel and Gretel are about to get themselves into deep trouble, Little Red Chicken can't help herself, and she interrupts. Next, Father Chicken reads Little Red Riding Hood. Again, Little Red Chicken feels the need to warn the main character about a dangerous situation. Father moves onto Chicken Little. And once again…well, you know what's going to happen. Tired and exasperated, Father tells Little Red Chicken she should write her own book. By the time she's done, Father is fast asleep.

Besides simply being a story that kids are going to love, I could see using this book in lots of different ways. I might use it to introduce what I call the "Rule of Three," how writers have things happen three times. It would be a great book to talk about what it means to be an active reader. Little Red Chicken is constantly thinking about the stories and carrying on a dialogue with the characters. And it would be a perfect book for those early weeks of school, when you are working on getting writing workshop up and running (I'd put it in a string with BUNNYCAKES and PATCHES LOST AND FOUND).

Our students come back to school today. I can't wait to share this book with a group of primary kids.

21st Album and card.

This album is for a young woman who turns 21 next week.
I am pretty sure she doesn't frequent my blog so I think I am pretty safe in sharing it here.
Her invitation was purple, gold and white so I ran with that colour scheme (well kinda!!)
I tried to go for elegant, but I keep thinking that it kind of looks like a wedding album!! lol
what do you think???
21st album or Wedding album??
Thanks for stopping by!!!

50th Anniversary Cake & Cupcakes

MME decoupage card

I made this card for a good friend of mine, they are into the more elegant older type of card so i got out my MME papers and decoupage paper pack and my stickles and gems and this is what happened,

Im entering this card into the following challenges;

  1. Creative card crew ~ Sparkle and shine
  2. My time to craft ~ glitter and glitz
  3. The crafty pad ~ glitz and glitter
I actually like the end result of this i know there is no promarkers or stamps but it looks really pretty i think?
What do you think?



I want every single kid in my class to become a card-carrying member of the literacy club that first week of school. That sweet six- year-old that has read every single MAGIC TREE HOUSE and is reading HARRY POTTER at home with his dad? He's easy. The little punkin that sits in the front row at group time, hair ribbon neatly tied, hands folded, eyes glued to the book? No problem. But my favorite, my very favorite, is that little guy who sits in the back row, making armpit noises and pitching pebbles at his buddies. Have I got a book for you, buddy!

In CHICKEN BUTT, a cute little guy, possibly related to the fellas sitting in back of my reading circle, pesters his newspaper reading dad. Guess what? Chicken butt! The next page features a different question, and a different body part. Guess Why? Chicken thigh! Every two page spread features a different question and a different body part. Eventually, the little boy's dad becomes annoyed and he is sent to the corner…but even then, the fun is not over!

I know this will be a favorite of first and second graders from day one! And it would make a perfect readers' theater!

Creative craft challenges ~ Transport

We have a great challenge for you again over at creative craft challenges
our theme this time is


we have a fab sponsor again and of course its debs from
With this gorge stamp,
Here is my offering for the challenge

So pop over and have ago.

Im also entering this card into the following challenges;

  1. die cut dreams - Tag but no syamping at all
  2. Papertake weekly - something old something new something borrowed something new

(the papers are old, the iris fold is borrowed, the card is blue and the ribbon is new,)



I'm always glad to hear that a new friend has joined the world of kidlitosphere. Got an email today from Amy, a kindergarten teacher from Ohio. She's just jumped into the world of blogging at Today's entry is a Smilebox clip introducing kindergartners to their new classroom. If I was the mom of a five year old, I would love to sit with my child and help him/her prepare for school by viewing this clip and talking about all of the fun things that were going to be happening at school. Check out Amy's video and welcome her to the world of blogging!


Designed and created this cake for Anthony's birthday party this past weekend.  Very happy with the hat, as it was my first attempt at a baseball hat.

Alice in Wonderland

Created this Alince in Wonderland cake for Kathryn's 23rd birthday.  Her sweet fiance surprised her today with this cake. He was so excited about it! 


A little boy settles down on his couch prepared to enjoy a good book. He's barely cracked the cover, when CHOMP-CHOMP-CHOMP, he's interrupted by a tiger who is behind his couch chewing gum. He quiets the well-meaning and very apologetic tiger and settles down again, but soon Tiger is back, growling like a bear. And then doing karate. And then blowing a whistle. And then finding the whistle when it falls underneath the couch.…

Laura and I both thought this book, crammed full of great sound effects, would be perfect for taming those oh-so-well meaning wiggly little tigers in our primary grade classrooms. Not to mention teaching the rituals and routines of independent or partner reading (by the end the little boy and his obstreperous tiger friend are actually curled up on the couch enjoying a good book together…)

I didn't know S.J. Fore's work, but when I googled her, I found out that there is another book in the Tiger series, TIGER CAN'T SLEEP. I'm definitely going to look for it.

BUSING BREWSTER- Richard Michelson

Earlier this week, I got together with one of my all time favorite literacy all stars (and one of my most bestest friends), Laura Benson. We had a lovely dinner and then wandered next door to Tattered Cover. We ended up in the Children's Department, where we found a whole crop of terrific new literacy-related picture books that would be just perfect for the first day of school. I'll be blogging about a few over the next few days…

BUSING BREWSTER is a terrific picture book for both little and big kids.Brewster is entering first grade. All summer he envisions himself attending first grade with Miss Evelyn ("you'll read over my dead body!". Late that summer, however, his mama informs him he will, instead, be bused to Central, whose student population is mostly Anglo. Mama is excited because the new school has both a pool and a library…

The first day, Brewster and Bryan are met at the bus by a crowd of jeering sign waving, stick throwing adults. Later that day, after another incident, they end up in a kind of in-school suspension in the library with another child, who Bryan calls Freckle-Face. A kind librarian (who should probably be on Mary Lee and Franki's list of cool teachers) brings the boys together around books. R.G. Roth's geometric illustrations, done in shades of brown, gold, orange, and black, are absolutely perfect.

A great "Did that really happen?" kind of book. I know this book would evoke tremendous conversations not only about integration, but also about respect, friendship, and how we treat each other. I can envision myself using it with books like SISTER ANNE'S HANDS, THE OTHER SIDE, and SIT-IN. Can't wait to share this one with kids on Thursday!


This is the class I am doing at Scrapworkz in Port Lincoln
on September the 6th.
The photo is of DH and his parents....all those years ago.
Love this photo...those little shoes and the koala he is holding, MIL's hair and the pearls
I am so lucky to be able to have such wonderful old photos to use

based on a sketch from Sketch Inspiration


Cathy and Mandy challenged fellow bloggers to participate in 'TEN PICTURE BOOKS YOU COULDN'T LIVE WITHOUT' today. I don't know if I could pick one hundred picture books I couldn't live without and this list certainly is not anything close to inclusive of favorite books or authors, but here are a few of my favorites. Especially interesting to me was how my educational philosophy and beliefs kept showing up in my choices…

WOLF by Becky Bloom
This is probably my favorite picture book of all time. The main character, Wolf, is out scavenging for food one day when he comes upon three friends- a pig, a duck, and a cow, who are sitting in the sun reading. Instead of eating them, he embarks upon a journey to become a reader and ends up being a member of their "literacy club." I am a simple woman and this book encapsulates my whole theory of literacy instruction- that every kid needs to be surrounded by people who make him/her WANT to learn to read, then needs to TAUGHT the SKILLS AND STRATEGIES he/she needs, then needs lots of time to PRACTICE and become fluent. I use this book with kids every year, and I also often use it with adults when I do professional development.

2) SISTER ANNE'S HANDS by MaryBeth Loribecki- This is a book I have loved for a long, long time. Actually, I am not even sure it is in print any more. It's the story of a little girl attending elementary school in the 1960's. When she is in second grade (I think), her teacher, Sister Anne, is African American. Some parents, unhappy with this, remove their children from the classroom. Powerful lessons about respect and dignity and compassion, also about the power of one teacher in a child's life.

3) MOIRA'S BIRTHDAY- I believe communities consist of rituals and traditions. When I had a classroom, we read MOIRA'S BIRTHDAY and put that person's name in every time someone had a birthday. I probably read the book at least twenty times a year, the kids never got tired of it, and neither did I. I love Robert Munsch because his books elicit so much laughter, but also because they elicit rich discussions. Robert Munsch is a storyteller and his books are super readable so that even the most struggling reader in the class can manage them and become part of the literacy club.

5) SIT-IN by Andrea Pinkney- I want my kids to learn about history, about the hard choices people have made, and about the courage people have shown. I want them to say, "Did that really happen?" This book, about the lunch counter sit-ins, is one of my newest acquisitions.

6) LIFE SIZE ZOO- I want my classroom to be a place of wonder. I want book with pictures that are so dazzling and eye-catching that even the most reluctant reader can't wait to pick them up. LIFE-SIZE ZOO, with it's enormous and beautiful photographs is a book that every child will pick up and read. Nic Bishop is another photographer I have to have in my classroom library. Also Steve Jenkins' collage nonfiction.

7) THERE'S A BIRD ON YOUR HEAD by Mo Willems- I want my classroom to be a place of laughter, and this book, as well as others in this series, make me laugh every time I read it. Gerald and Piggy are great friends, and have wonderful friend adventures. They also have typical friend problems. This series and the PIGEON series are books all kids can read. Mo Willems is an author that never writes a bad book.

8) THOSE SHOES- Most of my students have hard, hard, hard lives. Many are being raised by grandparents, family friends, or foster parents. They live in a world of television and pop culture and see all of the things other kids have. NEW SHOES is about a little boy who lives with his grandmother. He desperately wants a pair of shoes his grandma can't afford. They find a pair at a thrift store, but the shoes don't really fit…

9) THE THREE BEARS by Paul Galdone- I believe that kids' oral language hugely impacts their ability not only to read, but also to write. Fairy tales and folk tales, which come from oral tradition, are one of the best ways I know to develop kids' innate understandings about story and book language. I read folk tales, fairy tales, trickster tales, Native American legends, and mythology to kids on a daily basis. Most of the time, I start with a fairly traditional version of the story. Paul Galdone's books are old (THREE BEARS was published in 1972, but they are really well done) then move into other versions. Books from this genre also develop understandings of culture and tradition so necessary to comprehending other literature.

10) TWILIGHT COMES TWICE by Ralph Fletcher
And of course I couldn't live without poetry. I love and use hundreds of poetry books. Ralph Fletcher is one of my favorite kids' poets. This book is extra special because Ralph dedicated it to me!