Im blog of the month at jasmines cards woo hooooo

Im so chuffed that they have used my blog as blog of the month for feb over at jasmines cards ,

How fabulous is that, i mean little old me hey, this year is looking up for me in the crafting world at least lol.

Jasmines cards sell all sorts from ribbon to decoupage and stamps to brads, everything your crafting heart desires,

and guess what????????

they sent me £25 worth of helz cuppleditch goodies as well,

Awesome ive made 2 cards with it already will show you soon as the decoupage packs are just gorge.


Phineas and Ferb Birthday Cake

Made this cake for Ryan's Birthday party, also at Superplay; how fun!  Hope you had a blast with your friends!

Wizards of Waverly Birthday Cake

Designed this cake for Cami's 6th Birthday this past Saturday at Superplay in Port St. Lucie.  Buttercream finish with fondant decorations and buttercream piping.  Loved the bright colors!

Digi days goes live 4th feb..............with candy

For those who havent yet been over and had a nosey, here is a reminder, there is a new challenge blog on the block which goes live on the 4th feb............. we are predominantly a digi blog,but you dont have to use cardmadfairy digi's however if you do an extra entry will be yours.I am proud to be on the DT for jenni who is running this challenge blog, jenni draws her own digital images which we will be using on our designs, if your one of the few who havent seen them you really should she has some fabby digi's and stamps.
To celebrate the new challenge blog jenny has put together a gorge candy,so get on over there and have a look and keep your eyes peeled for the 4th.

A Few Random Thoughts on Read Aloud

I wasn't going to blog this morning. I spent most of yesterday helping write a grant for a community organization, and I needed to get up early and do some work for school. But then I read Mary Lee's beautiful entry about read aloud. And I knew I had to write something…

Two years ago, I was doing reading intervention half time. For 90 minutes every afternoon, I met with a group of fourth and fifth graders who were reading at a second grade reading level. Two of the eight were English Language Learners. One little guy we later found out was living with his mom and little sister in their car most of the year. One of the girls was living with her mom and four younger siblings-- her dad was in jail. Another guy was a gentle giant, one of those kids who I know I will see on Monday Night Football some day, but also a kid whose sweet sensitive spirit had some how gotten overlooked in favor of his athletic prowess. And then there were the random children that arrived at our school for a couple of weeks or a couple of months, and then moved on, often without any notice at all. If you were to ask me about a group I would always remember, it would be that group of kids. The reason being- they reminded me of the power of a great read aloud.

The first book I read to them was Barbara O'Connor's HOW TO STEAL A DOG (which, by the the way, is one of my all time favorite read alouds, and a book I have read to two other groups and am about to start for the third time tomorrow). Given that I hardly ever use a novel as a read aloud more than once- that's huge!). That book became the cornerstone of our reading life and of our reading community for the entire year. HOW TO STEAL A DOG was the measuring stick by which we measured all other books, "That was good," the kids would say, "but not as good as HOW TO STEAL A DOG." I turned to HOW TO STEAL A DOG every time I needed to teach a mini-lesson. The children used HOW TO STEAL A DOG as a lens into each other's lives. "You have to be nice to B," said M, a girl who was recognized as one of the biggest bullies on the playground. "Remember HOW TO STEAL A DOG? You don't know what someone else might be going through." HOW TO STEAL A DOG became that scarlet thread that bound the kids together as readers and as human beings.

This year, I'm working with an entire class of fourth graders. And I have to say, in over a quarter of a century of teaching, it is one of the toughest groups I have ever had. Almost thirty kids. Seven reading at a first grade level. Another five reading at least a year below grade level. Five that speak more Spanish than English. A mean girl group that rivals any I have ever seen. Three kids in foster care. A child whose fifteen-year-old mom's in utero drug and alcohol use has led to severe cognitive issues. Several others living with random relatives. It's a tough, tough group, kids with life stories that take my breath away on pretty much a daily basis.

I have taught a long time and have a few tricks in my bag. Usually I can figure out something to tame even the most savage of beasts, but the first month that I worked with these kids was really, really hard. Every time I tried to do a minilesson, or have a writing conference, or engage the kids in independent reading, chaos erupted. They wiggled and squirmed and fought with each other. They stole each other's pencils and chips and book bags. They harrassed and bullied and were unkind to each other.

Over Christmas, I thought about the fourth graders. About how mean they were to each other. About how hard they were to teach. About how far they had to go. About what we were not accomplishing. And I realized that the one thing that I had not done with this group was to read aloud much. In my rush to maximize my 90 minutes of teaching, I hadn't helped them to become a community of readers, or to learn to care for each other. Overwhelmed by their academic and emotional needs, I had forgotten the power of a good book.

And so that first day after Winter Break, we started again. I sat down in my chair in the meeting area. I opened up THE FANTASTIC SECRET OF OWEN JESTER. And I read to them. I read away the hardness of their lives. And read them into a world where a kid could make a hard choice to say goodbye to a beloved pet. And have a big adventure. And stand up to mean friends.

Things didn't change all at once. That first day, the kids complained about sitting on the floor. Some of them didn't listen, or at least didn't appear to be listening. They wiggled and squirmed and poked at each other. I had to do teacher stink eye pretty much every time I turned a page. But I kept reading.

And somehow, over the course of 150 pages, this group is becoming a community. They come to the floor without protest. They press against my knees, gently stroking my legs as I read. They are quiet and focused. After every chapter, they beg me to read, just a little more, just a few more minutes. They are attempting to incorporate some of Barbara O'Connor's techniques into their own writing. They stop by my office to ask for other books by Barbara O'Connor. They are becoming better readers. And more caring human beings.

And that, Mary Lee, is why I read aloud to kids...

Treasure Chest

When I opened my Happy Mail from Twiddleybitz and saw the Treasure Chest kit I must admit to doing a   little hand clap ;-)
It was so much fun to play with.
I embossed the sides first then put glued it all together.
Touch of paint, then Tim Holtz crackle paint on the lid.
few touches of ink to bring out the details.
It really was a lot of fun.


I have been in my studio for several hours. I just cannot design anymore.

The sun streaming in and the Miles Davis, Kind of Blue CD were too nice to leave.
I made myself a cup of tea...

...and folded fabric.

A nice Sunday afternoon.


OK, so I really do know that almost everyone in the Kidlitosphere world has already read ONE CRAZY SUMMER. People already know it's the story of Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern, three girls who were abandoned by their mother when they were very young. Now, seven years later, the girls are being sent cross country, from New Jersey, where they live with their father and grandmother, to California, to become reacquainted with their mother. Their mother, Cecile, however, is less than pleased about the trip. She is a poet, deeply involved with the Black Panthers, and doesn't really want to be disturbed by her daughters. Each morning, she sends the girls out the door to a day camp run by the Black Panthers.

This is a great piece of historical fiction. Kids will learn a lot about Huey Newton and the Black Panthers. More important to me, however, it's a terrific story about abandonment, and forgiveness, and people doing the best that they can, given their life circumstances. This year, for whatever reason, we have a ton of kids who are not living with their moms. And that deep grief is always at the surface, bubbling over and impacting their learning on a daily basis.. I can't wait to share this book with some of them, then, so that they know they are not alone…

A really great read for upper intermediate or middle schoolers…

P.S. I also know that almost everyone else in the world has had a Kindle, or a Nook, or some other e-reader for a while. BUT, I didn't have one, and my mom bought me a Kindle for an early Valentine's present, and I love it. Way, way fun!

a handmade flower card

When i went to the nec in november i saw meiflower do a demo on making these lovely flowers, so i thought "that looks like fun"
You had to used waxed cord and a button as you can see and keep making loops and stick the pieces down with sticky tape,
Here is my efforts...
I am entering this into a few challenges as well
  1. Allsorts ~ saving nature ( old button was cut off from a jumper)
  2. Totally gorgeous ~ as you like it ( i am a crazy fan of ribbon)
  3. Crafty catz ~ flowers
  4. Paperplay ~ layer it up (the flower is in 3 layers and the card is in 3d too)
  5. Tip top ~ fabulous flowers

To make this card i used

  • kanban patterned card made into a a5 card blank
  • stampin up gross grain ribbon
  • card candy
  • liac card stock
  • waxed cord in black and purple
  • old button from ruined jumper
  • oval scallop and plain nesties
  • brilliance purple pearlescent ink
  • clear glitter sakura pen

Id like to remind folks about my birthday candy as well, i have extra sponsored prizes too,please check out this post for details



I went to the Bata Shoe Museum this week. They had an exhibit on socks.

Northern Afghanistan, late 19th century
There is so much lovely hand embroidery on these leather socks. They were worn indoors as soft shoes and were covered with shoes when out-of-doors, hence making them socks.

My art piece below was made incorporating a hand embroidered square made by Farida from  Laghmani, Afghanistan, a farming village north of Kabul. It is the 8 cm square on the far right.

Farida's Garden, detail, 15 inches x 10 inches

By selling their embroidery work, the women contribute substantially to the maintenance of their family. In 2008, there were more than 200 embroiderers creating these squares. 

The DAI (Deutsch-Afghanische Initiative) started the idea of buying these squares and selling them in Europe to be integrated into textile work. Fourteen European countries recently participated in a DAI international project. The participants' textile works were voted on by the countries' public. The top pieces from each participating country were chosen to be part of a big exhibit of 220 pieces. 

My piece was one of 12 selected to represent Italy. It has been touring Europe for the last year and will be part of a smaller selection of 100 pieces extracted from the large exhibit to be seen during Verona Tessile, March 8 to 13, 2011.

Escape 2 Create challenge (s)

After reading an article in the current Creating Keepsakes where they challenged you to try a different style and go out of you comfort zone, I thought of a graphic or clean and simple style.
I thought of using Sue's Sketch over at Escape2Create and in the end the layout incorporated more than one of their challenges! ( box challenge..the colour orange, stamp on vintage book paper and date for a title, the colour grey, blackboard, and scrabble pieces)
If you are ever short of mojo or ideas I recommend having a peek at their challenges...!

Normally my style is probably best described as 'random'!
(all over the place!! lol)
I do find clean and simple/ linear/ or graphic styles very difficult and have great respect for those that can achieve it.
I find getting the right balance difficult.
It's much easier to have a 'random' style..if it looks unbalanced you just 'whack' another flower there! lol

I find boy layouts difficult also (bit hard to 'whack another flower' there when its a boys layout.)
I found the Twiddleybitz gears and cogs PERFECT!!
I did print out the journalling but it was all a little toooooo graphic for me.. I had to 'mess it up' a that is where the blackboard challenge was just perfect also.
It just all seemed to fall into place.
But I think I will stick to random layouts...much easier to photograph!! this one looks wonky, but it is straight I promise!! lol

sorry if that all didn't make sense, it is over 40 degrees here and I have had a couple of ciders to help contend with the heat.... (my husband doesn't call me 'Cadbury's for nothing...a glass and a half and I'm gone...and I am over my quota!! lol)
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having a great weekend.

teaching tonight

Last year, I was invited by St. Joan of Arc School, Dufferin/Peel Catholic School Board, to lead a group of special needs teenagers in making a community quilt. They named the quilt, WE ARE. The students thought of words that would describe them and those were integrated in the patchwork.

They painted their fabric and sewed with such precision!

This quilt is going to be exhibited in the Students' Gallery, along with work from two italian high schools in Verona, during the international festival Verona Tessile, March 8 to 13.

community quilt, title: we are, 2010, 48" x72"

tiny stitches

The Toronto Public Library has hired me again. I will be teaching the same block. There are 18 people registered. FUN!

A candy coming soon so keep popping by

As my blogoversary is coming up in a few weeks and i have a big birthday card comign up i am going to do a blog candy, there will be a decent stash of prizes on offer for 1 lucky winner,

i will post details of my blog candy in a day or two so please come back,


a craft club goody bag card

It was tracy's turn to host a goody bag swap this week and she added a little twist, a goody bag is basically adding the same stash in for everyone and then you make your cards and we can see how different they all are using same stuff, except this time tracey did a swap shop type challenge this time,
This card is made with an a6 card blank,
im going to enter a few challenges;
  1. Crafty sentiments ~ my fave things ( ribbons and my glamour dust)
  2. DYSU ~ patterned papers
  3. Charisma ~ valentines/love
  4. OLLCB ~ 3 things

Of course telling you the stash is not gonna work on this card as ive no idea where it all came lol.


isnt she gorjuss

I was asked to make a card for a friends daughter, she will be 9 and of course just loves girly pinks, i made this for her i do hope they like it? As you can see its an easel card..i do so much love these cards but id love to have ago at the new type a twisted easel but no idea how to make one of those lol I am entering this card into a few challenges;
  1. Passion for promarkers ~ let it shine (glitter on the flowers/charm and shiny candy)
  2. Ollcb ~ 3 of a kind (bunches of 3 flowers)
  3. The crafty pad ~ something girly
  4. One stop craft challenge ~ more than one fold (easel card)
  5. Glitterbabes ~ anything goes with sparkle (glittered flowers)
  6. DYSU ~ pink

I do soo lurve pink cards and i have so much pink stash its crazy lol

Recipe *

  • gorjuss girl stamp
  • promarkers
  • stickles for flowers
  • glossy accents
  • card candy
  • martha stewart deep vine border punch
  • white and silver ribbon
  • jump rings
  • teddy bear charm from meiflower
  • oval scallop and plain oval nesties
  • sakura pens
  • dovecraft basics paper stack
  • pink card stock
  • button from stash
  • peel offs for sentiment
  • paper flowers from trimmie

And there you have it, i hope you lik todays offering xxx


A couple of layouts

I hope you had a wonderful Australia Day!!
I have actually managed to scrap a couple of layouts!
The first is for my sketch challenge over at Twiddleybitz...using a sketch from

 The criteria are
1. Use Twiddleybitz on your page
2.The colour RED
3.The word love on your layout OR a love heart.

This layout is the boys version for my class at Scrapworkz next month.
Using The Prima Jack and Jill range.

Thanks for stopping by!


It isn't the time of year to make relish but I made it anyway.
It made the kitchen smell nice.
I kept the jars on the counter for a few days so my eyes could enjoy them.

I made a quilt using a quilt-as-you-go technique incorporating T-shirts my children painted when they were younger. We cuddled under it this weekend while watching a french movie.

Preserving those precious memories.



Brownie Groundhog steps outside on February 2nd, hoping to see a few signs of Spring. Unfortunately, all she sees is her shadow, and a small red fox, who is determined to eat her for breakfast.

"Don't be silly," says Brownie, after the fox knocks her down and sends her basket flying. "You're too late for breakfast. You'll have to wait for lunch." And so the two head out for a morning of adventure, which includes gliding and twirling and swirling and looping and swooping across a frozen pond.

Soon, however, Fox begins thinking about food again, and informs Brownie that he is ready to eat her for lunch. "You skated right past lunch," says Brownie. "Now you'll have to wait until dinner." Before dinner comes, however, Brownie ties the Fox to a tree. She starts to leave him, but then has second thoughts…

A fun friendship book with a main character who is sassy and just a little bit bossy! Perfect for sharing with primary grade kids for Groundhog's Day next week!

Some Cards

Love using left over Twiddley on cards...

I've just inked these black and then added some handmade flowers and embellishments.
thanks for stopping by!!

Maybe The Feds Could Help State?

There was an interesting article in this week's New York Times that spoke about States considering some form of bankruptcy to deal with their fiscal problems. Although
states are barred from seeking protection in federal bankruptcy court, many are seeking a similar alternative that would permit a state to alter its contractual promises to retirees, which are often protected by state constitutions, and it could provide an alternative to a no-strings bailout.

I have a novel (well not really that novel I'm sure) idea! Why doesn't the US Federal Government aid assistance to states in the United States of America? Instead of giving billions and billions of money to other countries, why not pull back some of that money and give it to some of our own states that need help? Instead of wasting billions and billions of dollars in country building efforts, why not "build" our own states?

Even if the Feds just gave the States a "loan" this would help a great deal. Guess not! The Federal Government would rather send the money overseas instead of helping those in our own country. I am totally in favor of giving aid to other countries, but when our own need help, the dollars should go to them first. If a relative needed some help, I'd give him the money before I contributed it to a non-familial organization.

In Service

This is for the 2nd sketch challenge over at Twiddleybitz
and it is also my next class at Sheoak Craft Cottage in Cummins.

Thanks for stopping by!

her imponderable creative question of the day

Why do quilts turn out so different from what I originally intended, asks one of my students.

My answer: That happens in art! That is the fun of the creative process. You start with an idea. Your piece has been created in your mind. You have a picture of it there. To me the creative process is already done! The question is: Do you want to copy/reproduce that idea exactly?

I always start with an idea. My art work, even my quilts, never turn out the way I imagined them at the beginning. My mind image is a starting point. An idea is alive and grows. I have learned to go with the flow as I begin to create physically, with my fabrics and paint and thread.

Birth, 4"x6", 2006

So don't worry about what your work has become. Enjoy the creative process as it evolves and embrace your final product! It is beautiful!!

do you need any valentines digi's? ooh and some candy

Well guys as im sure you may have read from previous posts i have been accepted as part of a new dt over at digi days, the blog starts on the 4th feb and to celebrate we have a massive candy,

Jenni has some fabulous digital images that would be great for valentines day and guess what???only 99p each!!!!!!!



A crazy busy week.

No time to read poetry.

No time to find or take beautiful pictures to go with the poetry.

No time to stop and stare.

Just 4.4 second to throw a poem on the blog for Poetry Friday, then run off to the next thing.


WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night…

W.H. Davies

Read the rest of the poem here.

Tara is hosting Poetry Friday here.

Playing around with some photos!

Created this video to showcase some of my favorite cakes I've made.  Hope you like it!

A fabulous candy draw over at cardmadfairy's digi days new challenge blog

As ive posted about before we have a new challenge blog coming our way on the 4th FEB

and to celebrate this fabulous new blog the owner and creator of the digital stamps jenni is giving away a amazing candy to those who comment on the post!! yes thats it thats all we want you to do,

Of course it would be nice if you could become a follower and perhaps even pop the challenge blog in your blog roll but thats just my suggestion lol,

Here is a piccie of the candy but in addition to all this scrummy stuff jenni is also offering her newest release digi's which you will see when we go live on the 4th FEB