beauty in the every day

texture at the corner market

radicchio, in season

artichoke and tomatoes 

first time I see white radicchio


Could have had some risotto con radicchio for dinner but had to decline the invitation and head home to organize my art work for Vicenza and finish some translation.

Ok so here is a clean and simple card from mr for today

As i said in my previous post things have been super hectic so not much time for crafting :-(
so i have this little card to share with you, its very plain and doesnt even have a shred of BP lol The stamped sentiment i got from the nec in november it was a bit of a splurge but i just loved the text,
  • dl pink card blank
  • red card stock
  • pink gross grain
  • wooden backed stamp sentiment( unable to remember brans sorry)
  • martha stewart embossing border punch


  1. Wild orchid ~ anything goes
  2. Cupcake ~ anything but squares
  3. Paperplay ~ lets get sentimental
  4. DYSU ~ anything goes
  5. Pear tree ~ ribbon

I know it really is super plain, but the text is soooooo lovely it speaks for itself lol


here is why im not posting and crafttin much at the mo lol

We have an ex council house so the whole house including ceilings has chipwood on it, now anyone familiar with this stuff will know how awful it is to remove (arghhhh)
We are completely ditching everything and putting in new skirting/archatrave etc etc.
This is where the chimney breast used to be lol and there where water and gas pipes in there too what hubby has re routed or taken away,

We are far from finished but it will be stunning when done, ill keep you posted but just wanted to show you why ive not crafted much this past week or two xxx


Final thoughts

Please share yours. As always I love to hear.

And thank you, Academy, for ending with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," which is the song I'm planning to have played at my own finale. My funeral, in other words. And I'm serious about that.

Anyway. It's been fun.


I am happy The King's Speech won. V. happy. DANCE, COLIN FIRTH, DANCE!

Don't you think it's a little strange

. . . to have one nominee narrate all the other nominees? I loved THE KING'S SPEECH. But still.

Colin Firth

Oh, Colin Firth. I would only love you more if you gave in to those stirrings and danced your heart out for us. You were beyond marvelous in that jewel of a movie. Congratulations. Because I know you're reading this.

These women are all so . . . .

impossibly impossibly impossibly thin. They look like I could hold them like a bundle of sticks and break them over my knee. Which I can totally promise you no one has ever said about me.


I have to confess that I kind of like Gwynneth in spite of GOOP (her newsletter wherein she advises us where to eat, where to travel, and what kind of purses to buy). I love how lean and gold she always looks. I think her voice is . . . fine. Don't seriously love it, though.

Please advise

I really have zero desire to see THE SOCIAL NETWORK (just got an award for film editing). Should I see it, though, as a form of mental/artistic exercise? Because you know how it is. You never want to exercise, but you feel glad that you did.


One thing about Oprah--she sure has presence. It took a beat longer than was strictly comfortable to move aside for the winners of the documentary Oscar. For a minute there I thought she was going to give the speech for them. And you know what? It would have been a good one, too.


To autotunes! And to Wolf boys without shirts!

Beach Frame

Been playing with Twiddleybitz again. ;-)
This is the frame I mentioned in my last post...
crackle effect...with NO crackle medium...just white glue.
sooo easy.
and quick.
and inexpensive!

And we have a winner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have got a lucky winner now i used to pick out someone,I would like to say thanks to all who entered and who have decided to follow my blog,

So would you like to know if its you??



. picked out number 23 which was you

*** Sallysbitz ***

well done hunni,

please email me at and i will give you all info etc you need. you will also need to give me your addy so i can send out the stash,

I will give the winner 1 week to respond then will do a redraw.

I hope to see you popping by guys you never know i may have other candy draws ;-)



"So what do you think we should do tomorrow?" the fourth grade teacher asks as we consider the next day's writing workshop. He glances down at the plan we made three weeks earlier.

We are two days away from the big event (which shall remain nameless) and writing instruction has reached what feels like a fever pitch. We have written and written and written to prompts- one pagers, four pagers, narrative, description, persuasive, favorites…The kids have done it all.

"I don't know," I respond, "Let me look at today's writing and think about it tonight."

That night I read through the stack of 30+ four-page (ok, many three page) essays. The prmpt was to write about something they had learned to do.
  • A remains enamored with Robert Munsch. Every day he does some weird twist on the Munsch theme, repeating phrases, putting his own name into Munsch's stories, adapting Munsch's stories just a bit so that he can call them his own.
  • K writes a beautiful story about his older sister (who passed away in a car accident 18 months ago) teaching him to ride his bike. Midway through the story, however, he switches narrators from first person, where he is telling the story, using the pronoun I, to third person, where he uses his name as a character in the story.
  • M loves dialogue. The piece she wrote about learning to cheerlead is so dialogue heavy that it's hard to follow what is going on.
  • Many of the other students are also using dialogue. Reading through their work, I decide that teaching kids to punctuate dialogue is somewhat like teaching long division. There are a million different ways you can get it not quite right.
  • Yesterday, during our skills block, the teacher reviewed contractions. Today R writes yes, ye's.
  • We have also been reviewing nonfiction text features. Today Q decides to use subtitles instead of transitions in her fiction piece.
  • Z and P both write pieces that are absolutely beautiful for about a page and a half- great lead, dialogue, rich details. Then, evidently, they get tired or run out of time, and cram the middle and end of the piece into one paragraph using none of the tools that they have displayed earlier.
  • K writes about learning to play the saxophone with his mother. The piece rolls along beautifully for about a page, to a point where K is talking about one of the songs he and his mother taught themselves to play. At this point, for whatever reason, he decides it would be a good idea to include the full text of the words to the 16 line song.
  • S, who is one of the best writers in the class, writes a three paragraph conclusion. Basically she just repeats herself, juxtaposing the sentences in three different ways.
So what am I going to teach them the next day? I riffle through the stack of papers again and decide to get up early and think about it in the morning when I am fresh. By the next morning, I have decided. I will teaching them nothing.

We have written and written and written all year. We have taught and taught and taught all year. At this beginning of the year, these kids usually produced about a half of page of text. They didn't know anything about a lead or a conclusion. They didn't write with details or dialogue They didn't use paragraphs.

And now they are using all of those writers' tools. Granted, there are a lot of approximations. It's not perfect. But they are experimenting, and growing and writing their way towards becoming proficient writers. And basically, their growth as writers has been phenomenal.

And so, during the mini-lesson, I tell them that. I leaf through the stack of papers, acknowledging all of the good stuff I saw last night. I tell that every single kid wrote to the prompt. Most kids gave their work a title. I read them three different kinds of leads. I share several really terrific details and examples of dialogue. I admire the circular endings that several kids have chosen to use.

And then, I review how to punctuate dialogue. And I send them back to their seats. To write. To experiment. To grow. To learn. Because that is what writers do.

And if they are not ready by Tuesday…

Watch this space for the winner ................

Well today is the day, by candy will be drawn later, so be sure to keep your eye out for the lucky winner of all that stuff


This is totally cool!!

Found this last night on my blog hops and I just HAD to share.

Crackle WITHOUT crackle medium!!
and IT WORKS!!
I tried it out tonight and it gave me the same result as crackle medium.
I still prefer the Tim Holtz crackle paint, but that can get a tad expensive when you are creating large projects, such as a frame etc.
To find out how, go to this link here
Make the Best of Things

All you use is paint and white craft glue and you don't have to wait aaages for it to dry between coats.
I finished my 12 x 12  frame in less than half an hour....from start to finish.
and soooo inexpensive
gotta love that!

Let me know what you think.

ps.... I'll show you my frame when the project is finished.
Thanks for stopping by

for a special little girl

I bought this stamp of a friend who was a little bored of her !!!!!! I think she is gorgeous so snapped her up lol, i couldnt wait to get stuck in and make a card with her, The sentiment says "for a special little girl" as you cant really see it very good.
  • Dovecraft birthdays paper pack
  • stamp not sure
  • promarkers
  • stickles
  • glossy accents
  • liquid pearls
  • sakura
  • pokey tool for faux stitching
  • pink satin ribbon
  • love heart ribbon threaders
  • martha stewart deep edge vine punch
  • blue and pink card stock
  • oval nesties on plain and scallop
  • 8x8 scallop card blank from samual taylors


  1. DYSU ~ anything goes
  2. I love promarkers ~ stitching
  3. A spoonful of sugar ~ birthday wishes
  4. OLLCB ~ challenge 74 pink pink and more pink

This card was made on a bit of a whim, i had no idea how it would turn out, but think its ok?


leaving town

My studio gets very messy while I work. These two pictures show my cutting table. You see? There is no room for cutting!

I work on many different things at one time which is part of the reason for the chaos.
There are fabric pieces being sewn for quilts for my book. There are pieces of fabric for my art work that are painted and drying. There are samples I work on for the quilt classes I teach. There is stuff for the art exercise I do daily.

When my husband is out of town, the studio grows and bubbles into the adjacent room.

I am leaving in a few hours and have to clean up..but there isn't any time I want to dedicate to it.


antique quilt

From the fabric choices, I would say this quilt is from the 1940's. 
I love scrap quilts, a feast of fabric. These are some of my favorite bits.

It was given to me by a student (Thanks Barb!). I use it to cover the mess.

putting everything to bed

My studio looks way better now!

Next time I post, it will be from Verona, Italy.

packing up

I am heading off to Italy tomorrow for 5 weeks. Busy labeling my work, making sleeves for hanging, assembling my teaching samples and notes, folding up art work.

many moons, attaching a sleeve

pages of my life, labeling

11 art works to bring
go to 'mostre'
click, top ten and click, top ten again where it says read more, bottom left
click my picture, right side
This site is available in english
click 'programma' to see where I will be exhibiting and teaching.
This site will soon be available in english.

My boys have taken over dinner preparations. I appreciate that so much!

DO YOU KNOW WHICH ONES WILL GROW? by Susan A. Shea, illustrations by Tom Slaughter


I love books where kids have to think a little before they make predictions about what will come next.

I loved Q IS FOR DUCK.

The kind where kids are sitting on their knees by the second page, dying to see the pictures so they can predict what will come next.

DO YOU KNOW WHICH ONES WILL GROW is another book I'm going to put into my "predict-a-little, think-a-little, kids are for sure going to love this one" category.

The first two page spread is an introduction:

If you look around
you'll see,
Some things grow,
like you and me.

Others stay the way
they're made,
Until they crack or rust or fade.

Do you know which ones will grow?
Think, then answer,
YES or NO.

From then on, each half of two page spread contains a couplet.
The left hand page is a living thing,
the right hand side is non-living.

If a cub grows
and becomes a bear,

Can a stool grow and become…

Now, here comes the really fun part, and the part I know that kids are totally going to love. Each right hand page is a fold out, where you have to lift a flap to see the answer. And each flap is a different size or opens a different direction. The flap on the stool page, for example, lifts from the middle of the page up, and the stool becomes a chair.

Another one of my favorite pages:

If an owlet grows
and becomes an owl…

Can a washcloth grow and become…
(Pretend you are lifting the full page flap that's attached at the top)

a towel?

Tom Saunders' illustrations really complement the text. They are bright colored and eye catching- simple shapes placed on top of other shapes, in kind of a collage-ish effect.

You could use this book as an introduction to a unit
on living and non-living things.

You could use this book for teaching reading strategies. It'd be a great book for teaching readers how to cross-check pictures against beginning sounds.

You could give it as a baby present.

Or you could just read it aloud.
Because it's way fun.
And kids are going to love it.

not a square ~ for a change

I was asked recently to make a card to a certain spec similar to one ive made before but in purple/lilacs, this was so easy after cutting down a 6x6 blank to shape,I hand made the bow and popped some glossy accents on the flowers
  • sarah kay stamp
  • promarkers
  • glossy accents
  • amethyst papermania papar pack
  • purple gems
  • lace
  • spotty silky ribbon
  • sakura pen
  • personal impressions sentiment stamps


  1. OSAAT ~ anything but a square
  2. Stamptacular ~ S.O.S (someone special) made for a close friend
  3. Charisma ~ spring has sprung (holding flowers)
  4. Pear tree ~ one colour, (all purple besides hat an hai hope that still fits lol)
  5. ABC chall ~ O is for oldfashioned ( image and lace)


My Little Man

It's when I see photos like these that I realise that my little boy is not really a little boy anymore.
Using lots of Twiddleybitz
I have been scrapping more but I can't share these with you just yet.
and nope..not even a sneak peak lol.
Thanks for stopping by


"Oh thank you Sandra!.  The cake was a hit!! For the first time, there was not a morsel of cake left! People had seconds!! Thank you for your beautiful scrumptious piece of art work!!"


On Friday, Mary Lee had an amazing post about thinking out of the box. If you haven't read it, hop right over to Year of Reading and do it now. Really. Be sure to take the six minutes to watch the video. It's amazing.

Mary Lee's video and the accompanying poem gave me a new lens for thinking about an event that had occurred on Thursday in a class that I was working in:

I've been fussing a lot lately about how important it is to have a solidly grounded, theoretically based teaching philosophy and to make curricular and pedagogical decisions based on those beliefs. In a few less words, "I believe X, so I do Y." When I do that in my own teaching life, that's when kids learn best. Take this situation from last Thursday, for example.

I am working with the fourth graders on writing fiction, specifically, writing fiction to a prompt. Many of my students come from homes where lots of stories are told, but few come from homes where many stories are read aloud. I try, then, when I write narrative, and particularly fictional narrative with kids to read them lots of great stories. One of my favorite authors for this is Robert Munsch. Munsch was an oral storyteller before he was a writer. Munsch's work is sophisticated enough that older kids enjoy the content, and his writing style is easy for them to imitate. Munsch draws heavily on the the traditions of oral storytelling, e.g. things that happen in threes, events that repeat three times, repeating phrases. Because he uses these tools so masterfully, they are easy for kids to recognize and duplicate.

A. approaches at the end of independent writing time. He is a sweet, sweet guy, an English Language Learner, who is super eager to please. When he came to fourth grade, A rarely wrote more than a paragraph. The writing was simple, the language was simple, and his use of conventions was simple. A is a kid who has really taken off as a writer, however, in the past few month. He regularly writes two, and occasionally even three well-developed pages during writing time. He knows how to use several different leads, including a question, a sound effect and what we call "setting the scene." He uses what we call "rule of three" (have three events, add three details to make a picture in the writers' head/give three examples to support your thinking). He can write dialogue, and punctuate it pretty close to correctly. He knows how to end a piece without saying, "And that's the end of my story." Most importantly, he can evaluate his own work, and tell you what he has done well, and what he wants to do on the next piece of writing.

One thing I know about A, however, is that he is not usually a writer or learner that grasps a concept or technique on the first try, or often not even the second, or third. Usually A needs to approximate, get feedback, approximate again, get more feedback, approximate, and get more feedback. It takes him four or five or ten tries. A is persistent, however, and eventually, he gets the hang of whatever we are working on.

Today, A can't wait to show me what he has done during writing time. The prompt was to imagine you woke up with a new body part, e.g. antlers, or a giraffe neck, or wings. A. has taken Robert Munsch's story, PURPLE, YELLOW, GREEN, about a little girl who begs her mom to buy her markers, first washable markers, then smelly markers, then indelible, never wash off until you're dead and maybe even longer markers, and basically inserted his own name into it. He's used Munsch's details and even his language. He tells me that he is going to have himself draw bunny ears on his head, but at this point, he is almost two pages in, and has not yet reached the prompt. That's a teeny bit of a problem given that the assigned length for this story cannot be any more than four pages.

We are at the point in the year where we have four teaching days until kids have to be able to show that they are proficient writers. And when I look at A's piece, my heart jumps into my throat. A four page piece that has not hit the prompt after two pages is probably not going to cut it. I take a deep breath. I remember what I believe. I try to practice what I have preached.

First, I acknowledge what A has done. "Wow, A, you really loved that Robert Munsch story that we read today, huh? And you have used his ideas and his words in even your own work." A beams from ear to ear and has to read the piece aloud to me again, just so I can get the full effect of Munsch's words in his story. I make myself breathe deeply again, then I try to honor A's approximation, "I love how you listened during the mini-lesson and how you used Robert Munsch's thinking to help you write your own story." A is still beaming, and again has to read me several lines lifted pretty much directly from Munsch.

Then I provide feedback to push A forward. I gently remind him about the prompt we are writing to. He tells me that he is going to use Robert Munsch's markers to draw bunny ears on his own head and talk about what a day would be like with bunny ears. "Ohh, I get it," I say. "That's a great idea." We talk a little about balance, and about how the beginning probably can't be quite as long as Alex has made it, and about how the people who grade prompted writing need to know pretty quickly that you are writing to their prompt, and then A., still smiling goes back to work some more on the piece. He is still incredibly pleased with his efforts, and I'm not totally sure he has heard anything I have said. I'm thinking he will draw the bunny ears on himself pretty soon, but either the piece will be four pages and be totally beginning heavy, or he will have a six or seven page story, that's way too long for a prompted writing.

I make myself take a a few more deep breaths. And try not to think about how much more teaching will need to go on before A. is proficient at using this technique vs. how many days we have left before he needs to be proficient. A is becoming a proficient writer. Whether it takes three more days or three more weeks or three more months, I need to keep doing the same things Don Graves taught me to do a hundred years ago. Listen to the writer. Celebrate the message. Honor the approximations. Think about the one thing that will help the writer move forward. Teach that one thing. And then send the writer back to learn from his/her writing.

Teaching should not be about trying to cram children into little boxes. Teaching should be about celebrating who children are as learners, and honoring who they are becoming. However long it takes.

remember my candy

Hi guys

just a reminder about my candy, its open for 1 more week so get entering lol,i will post to anywhere and there arent lots of rules i promise,

click here for all details of sponsors etc etc


Still Dreaming About The Stars

Some days I wish I was still 13...Like today...On this pic I was 13 about to be 14...Man! I still remember how much I cried that day!...I cried of happiness...I was finally receiving my 'stars'!...After an entire year eagerly waiting for that day...After an entire year of training...1st Aids course...Drills!....After all the blood and tears...I was finally receiving my wonderful 'stars'!...
With those stars on my shoulders I could finally help people for real!....I could ride the ambulances as my colleagues could do...I could help them out during Summer time to put out fires!...Man! I was so proud of those proud of that uniform....And my Dad! Gosh!There were stars in his eyes too!...
I wish I was 13 again....I wish all my worries were still the same I had back then...
And those were not the only stars I dreamed about...The Star Spangled Banner was already a goal to achieve...And so many times I wished upon a shooting star to help me out fulfill my dream...
20 years later...And I'm still crying over those stars...It's so hard when you put all your heart into something and everyone seems to commend you for the good job you're doing and all you get is a tap on your shoulder and not the stars over what you've cried and bled for...
I cried today...It's a fact...And this time weren't tears of happiness... And my Dad ain't here no more to wipe them out for me...Now He has his own place among the stars and is watching over me...So I fell...But I'm up again...I shall continue walking...with a steady walk..Maybe even stronger...
Still dreaming about the stars....Still wanting to reach them...
Like they say...What doesn't kill me, makes me stronger.
And for the sake of my 3 lil'stars brought to this world I'm still holding on to that dream...I know that one day...maybe sooner than I expect my lucky star will shine again...


Kristine O'Connell George has always been one of my favorite poets- The Great Frog Race, Toasting Marshmallows, and The Little Dog Poems. Last week at TATTERED COVER I found her newest book, EMMA DILEMMA: BIG SISTER POEMS. I stood at the poetry shelf and read it cover to cover.

EMMA DILEMMA is narrated by Jessica, a fourth or fifth grade girl who is the big sister to Emma. Jessica is a good big sister, but she gets tired of the pesky younger sister who ruins her things, makes messes in her room, and follows her incessantly. As someone who is the oldest of three girls, I could so relate to every. single. poem in this book.

A great addition to a classroom or library collection, also a great "big sister" present!


She's not even
in real school
but Emma insists
she has to sit with me
and do her homework.
Emma brings paper and crayons.
I move over, give her plenty of elbown room,
because the pictures inside Emma's head are bigger than the kitchen table.

Kristine O'Connell George

Poetry Friday is here.

cardmadfairy's digi days ~ challenge 2 Distress it

Wow what a fantastic success our first challenge was over at cardmadfairy's digi days i think the end count was 88!!!! pretty impressive for the first one hey.

We are sponsored this challenge by the sketching stamper digi stampsHere is my take on distressed, i used one of cardmadfairy's digi's she is called april and is a joy to use.
Remember though you dont have to use a CMF digi as long as there is a digi on your creation that counts.

** Recipe **
  • April digi image from cardmadfairy creations
  • stampin up dp
  • dovecraft textured card stock
  • navy ribbon
  • promarkers
  • woodware button
  • craftwork cards sentiment
  • oval nesties (plain and scallop)
  • glossy accents (on brolly and rain)
  • blue card
  • white sakura

The ribbon was distressed as well, i pulled at it to make it look shabby on the ends,


  1. Totally papercrafts ~ do it with a digi
  2. Paperplay ~ add shine
  3. DYSU ~ dots
  4. My time to craft ~ going round in circles


Govt says no to coal power plants in Sabah

Govt says no to coal power plants in Sabah


Now, this is the best news for Sabahans all over. Not that we reject development, but we just love our environment more.

Congratulations to the Sabah Government, and thank you Datuk Seri PM for your concern.



Inspiration for colour is everywhere.

In late January, when all the Christmas decorations are put away and there is only white snow outside, I look to add colour to my surroundings. I prune my forsythia bush and force the flowers by bringing the branches in and setting them in a warm place. The yellow colour of spring appears about 10 days later.

forsythia and silk amaryllis on the second floor landing

My children gave me some tulips.

The bouquet inspired me to make a quilt using my scraps of the same colours.

scrap quilt still in the designing stage

I always work on a vertical plane when designing. 

Look, really look. You will find beautiful colours everywhere...maybe in the oddest places!

ive been let loose with the ribbon again :-)

I have a bit of a thing going at the moment where i am trying to use up lots of ribbon,(yes so i can buy more) you know the little bits that get left over, i have millions of scraps and i REFUSE to throw them away lol,
Ive made quite alot of different styled ribbon themed cards recently som i have yet to share but i tell you, its a fab way of using scraps. and quick and simple too.
Here is one i made last night,
I made a flower with some pink and blue grossgrain ribbon, and then at the top right got my stapler out!
the sentiment is stamped and embossed but you cant really see any depth in piccie unfortunately..
What do you think??
** Recipe**
  • Blue/pink grossgrain ribbon
  • coloured staples
  • woodware button
  • white sakura pens
  • PI stamp
  • papers from making memories (i think) lol
  • 6x6 card blank


  1. Fab 'n' funky ~ make your own embellies
  2. Creative card crew ~ friendship
  3. Simon says ~ make your own embellies
  4. Allsorts ~ all about the sentiment
  5. Craft your passion ~ pink

I hope it gives you insrpiration to hold on to your little bits of ribbon as there is always something you can do with them lol