A stroll down that street known as Halloween Memory Lane

I had my folks over to celebrate Phil's birthday (Happy Birthday, Phil!), and because Halloween was nigh upon us, I asked what they did for the holiday when they were kids. My mom was vague. "Oh, you know," was pretty much all she said. But my dad told us they used to roam around the Orem bench, knocking over outhouses.

I was intrigued because knocking over outhouses seems like a mythic American activity, something Mark Twain created when he wrote about Huck and Tom. But apparently not. Also, I was a little surprised to learn that there were still outhouses to knock over in Orem in the 30's. Sometime between then and when I was born, people got busy and called the plumber, because I don't remember outhouses in Orem.

"Were you dressed up?" I asked.

The man looked at me like I was an idiot. "No. We just knocked over outhouses."

Meanwhile, I have a Halloween memory of my own in re to him. When we'd come home from trick-or-treating, he checked our bags to "make sure everything was okay." Then he'd steal all our Tootsie Rolls.

Feel free to post a few memories of your own. And have a spook-tacular day.


I am all about series books these days. Series help kids become fluent. Understand characters. Internalize story structure. Get to know authors. Support those kids who struggle with what to read next. Yes, it's true, they are not always "great literature," but I can expose kids to great books/authors during read aloud.

Last week in the library, I came across Mike Lupica's COMEBACK KIDS series. Or actually, one of my boys came across it for me. B came running up to me during our Thursday book checkout. "Hey, Ms. W., look! A football book! You like football! You should read this one?" And so this weekend, I did. (Warning- the copyright is 2007, so people will probably wonder why I am reviewing a book that is not new.

Brainiac Scott Parry is the new kid in town. He becomes friends with Chris Conlan, the quarterback of the football team. Chris is the golden boy on the field, but in the classroom, it's a whole different story.

I loved lots of things about this book. Scott is not a football superstar. He is clumsy and uncoordinated. He drops passes, misses tackles, and never makes it onto the field in a game. I love that those little guys who stand on the sidelines week after week after week can see that they are not alone.

And unfortunately, Coach Dolan resembles many coaches I have known. Winning is all. I have watched my own sons, who idolize their coaches, struggle to understand the motives of these "heroes" in their lives. I love that this book provides a forum for kids to analyze adults with less than stellar motives.

I also love Scott's parents. Scott's dad was a football star, but he doesn't push his son, or get upset about the fact that his son is not a star. Instead he praises his perseverance, encourages him to continue, supports him at practices. That's the kind of sports parent I want to see.

I also love that there is not a "girlfriend" element in this book. I'm not excited about the boyfriend/girlfriend thing in fourth grade. I don't want want my students thinking about that. (And yeah, realistically I know it happens, but I am one of those old fashioned gals who thinks nine and ten year olds are a little too young for that). I'm glad, then, that this is a book focuses on the friendship between Chris and Scott.

I am anxious to check out some of the other books in this series…

Yay fabby news for me

Ive just found out that i have been chosen to join CARDS FOR MEN on thier design team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! how fab is that, im soooo honoured i cant tell you,

cards for men is a challenge blog that ive always like to follow and did enter as often as i could, now i get to design for them!

such an honour, i find being on dt's helps me with mojo issues as well, and i love the challenge,

You will have to wait to see my first creation for them which will be the next challenge that goes live next week,

there were 4 lucky peeps who got in including me, pop by and have a nosey at the other lucky peeps and of course if you havent been to cards for men before!!! what are you waiting for lol.

ill hopefully be popping by later today if time allows
hugs and have a happy monday xxx



I am not getting to blogging right now. It's just not happening. Here are a couple of picture books I have read recently.

MY NAME IS NOT ALEXANDER and MY NAME IS NOT ISABELLA are books that I think will be fun to include in (A) a "me"unit at the beginning of the year or (B) a study of character and values or (C) a genre study of biographies for a primary aged child. I could also see pairing this with Barack Obama's OF THEE I SING in a study of how to structure a picture books.

In each of these two books, a young child wakes up in the morning, and tells his/her parent that they are no longer going to be called by their "real" name. On each page, the child assumes a different identity.

Over the course of a day, for instance, Isabella, wants to be called Sally (for astronaut Sally Ride), Annie, for sharpshooter Annie Oakley, Rosa (Parks) and Elizabeth (Blackwell, the first woman doctor. She also wants to be a mom, and ultimately decides that being herself is the best of all.

Alexander is the "boy" version of this series. Alexander also runs through a variety of personalities, including Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Alva Edison, Chief Joseph, and Jackie Robinson.

A fun series for beginning readers.

Just in time for Halloween!

And meanwhile I promise to blog more faithfully this week.


Being an artist is like every other job. You have to go to your "office" every day and work.

Penny Berens stitches 5 hours a day.

Penny's work (detail) is always filled with hand and machine stitching

Judith Martin spends 5 hours stitching, 3 hours in studio designing and 2 hours researching. That's a 10 hour day.

Judy Martin presents her work " Heart to Heart"

Australian artist Dijanne Cevaal dedicates 50 hours per week to her art. That includes blogging, writing articles, teaching, designing, dying and making.

part of Dijanne Cevaal's Sentinelle Series

Before I became a mother and made that my career, I was a student at the National Ballet School and later a ballet dancer in a dance company in Vienna, Austria. I know about self discipline!

Now, I am a textile artist.

I sew every day, even on weekends. I spend on average about 4 hours in my studio creating and doing, depending on my family commitment.

Blogging, taking art classes, teaching, researching other textile artists, curating, writing my book...that is all extra! I fit that in when I can.

Confession: Sometimes I work on quilts unrelated to the quilt book I am writing or projects that have nothing to do with my teaching samples or my art work!! That is the equivalent of playing computer games when your boss isn't around!

wasting time??

I have decided to put aside every Wednesday for painting and preparing fabrics and papers for future works.

My dance training will come in handy.

cardmadfairy's digi days ~ friendship challenge

Well folks Im late again!!!! am i gonna get a slapped wrist or what lol, life this week had been chaotic, for the most part because of the kids being off school, but ive also felt under the weather as well, not done much crafting except my commisioned orders, this card i luckily made in advance a while back, but yep even though i was organised with the card i forgot to schedule AGAIN lol


Anyway shut up rambling sandra lol, the new challenge over at cardmadfairy's digi days is..


of course i had to use this darling digi it sooo reminds me of childhood memories you know back in the day when you could play in the street, and i was in a grey mood lol and think that the digi is gorgeous with or without colour so left it alone, dont you think its great? and all for the lowly price of 99p


So here is my card

I used some super old stash on this along with my newest stuff, the papers are from the dovecraft charcoal range which i must had had 3 years lol, the flowers and the lovely chunky lace is my new stuff, oh and the martha stewart punch is new too,
Ive gone glitter crazy on this card too as you can see lol, i thought with it being mono in colour it needed a bit of shine, and anyone who pops by my blog regular will know im a sticklesaholic lol,

Im entering this card into a few challenges why im here lol
Totally papercrafts-glitter it
Charisma-anything goes
Pile it on-be happy
Simon says-anythin goes

I hope you like my card, please pop over to see the other dt creations, and maybe take a look at jennis digi's which for the most part are only 99p!!!!!


Lim inspired card

OK so I've been drooling over all the lovely cards that Lim make for a WHILE now and finally got a chance to CASE one of her beauties.

This card was made for a friend who asked me to custom make a birthday card. LOL I could go "artisticly" crazy as long as the main color was green and NO YELLOW!!! So what do YOU think>? Did I get it right?

Enjoy the pics.


Re-launch for CHARLOTTE'S ROSE

Hey, guys, first thanks for your feedback about NaNoWriMo. I very much appreciate it. Not quite sure what I'm gonna do. I did remember that in the middle of the month, I will be blissfully visiting a new granddaughter in North Carolina, so that may influence my decision this year.

(MEMO TO JULIE AND DYLAN: hurry up and have that baby, okay?)

Meanwhile, I'd love to see you at the launch for CHARLOTTE'S ROSE if you're in the area--TKE (15h East and 15th South) on Saturday November 5 at 2:00.

Should be fun. The women at TKE know how to make a party happen!


Something super exciting is happening next weekend!!

Starting on Friday the 4th of November the Twiddleybitz DT are having a bloghop.

And not just any ol' run of the mill bloghop.....

oh no...

uh uh!!

We are having a RAKAMANIA BLOG HOP!!

Each of the DT members are putting up a RAK for you to win and also showing you some gorgeous work on their blogs in the process.

It all starts on Friday November the 4th at 5pm (AEST)

So keep an eye out on the Ning for more details and the schedule, because that is where the

RAKamania Blog Hop will start!!

And not only will there be prizes from the DT members on the actual Hop, but there will also be prizes to be won on the Ning during the weekend and also on Facebook.

Like our page on Facebook to keep up to date with what is happening on the hop!!

We also have prizes on offer for those of you going to the Paper Crafts Festival in Penrith on Sunday of that same weekend. Make sure to pop into the NIng to see how you can win some Twiddleybitz just for stopping by the Twiddleybitz booth at the Show and saying hello. :-)

We do hope you will join us for what we are sure will be a fun and inspiring and prize packed RAKamania Blog Hop...!

More details on the Ning soon!!
Bye for now


DDCC#136 - pearls and swirls

I am so behind at the moment with some of my dt cards, with the kids being off school, and i have a cold as well, so this card isnt quite as id have liked it but i wanted to contribute to the theme this week at dutch dare,

we are going for PEARLS AND SWIRLS i have plenty of pearls and the swirls are in the card pattern, its a simplistic style using a fancy blank, We are being sponsored by the fabby stampin boutique, whom offered the dt some of thier digi's but ive struggled for time and my printer still isnt quite upto scratch!!! i really must get it looked at lol or rather get hubby to have a look when he gets in from work


My New Studio

Watching all those decorating shows while I was sick inspired me to redo some of the rooms in my house.

I moved some bedroom furniture from one room to another one across the hall. That is now the new guest room.

I moved my studio from the sun room to that empty room. It gave me an opportunity to sort out and donate stuff I have not been using.

I love my new space!!

I have room for fabric.

I have room for books.

I have room for projects on the go.

I have room for precut strips.

My system consists of 3 swing lid garbage bins. Each bin holds
pre-cut strips of different sizes. All scrap fabric.
They are close to my cutting table.

I have room for two tables- one for sewing and one for cutting and layering.

I have room for a permanent design wall.

I have room for a couch for friends that visit. (and room to hang some art!)

painting on the window ledge done by my daughter, Isabelle

I have a large north-facing window.

I have room for everything- my quilting stuff and my textile art stuff.

I still do all the messy fabric painting in my unglamourous basement where I have good light and a sink. You don't want to see THAT space! Scary!!

Just curious

Have any of you ever participated in NaNoWriMo? What was your experience?

I'm seriously thinking of doing it this year, mostly so I won't feel like this year has been a writing wasteland. I think this is the first year in a long, long, LONG time that I haven't completed anything--the first draft of a novel or even a picture book. I was always getting started. Like a car with a failing battery. A little noise. A little energy. And then . . . nothing.

Maybe NaNoWriMo will help me salvage what has been a discouraging year.

Fancy edges challenge at creative craft challenges

We are going all fancy for this challenge at creative craft challenges, so fancy edges galore please lol, we are being sponsored by the whiff of joy with one of thier amazingly fab stamps,And here is my card using my fancy edged card blank, fancy lace and border punch, Of course i used my promarkers and my new OLD maggie stamp lol, isnt she super cute?I am entering this card into some challenges


OCC ~ fabulous faces

Secret crafter ~ wrap up warm

Totally papercrafts ~ layer upon layer

I love promarkers ~ aint it cute


Unique and Interesting Birthday Cakes