Monday, December 13, 2010

Sankta Lucia

My house smells so good, saffrony St. Lucy buns (Lussekator)!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

More hats!

Basic hats from 5th grade 4 needle knitting...each student hand dyed yarn with food coloring.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sider web potholders, 8th

Fun little project, spider web potholders, is a hit and developes cutting, machine sewing skills.  They cut 22" strips, 1.5 " wide, sew together, cut 45 degree angle triangles, sew together, cut backing, filler, sew together, quilt around...and voila!  Even the least precise students gets fun results!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Michaelmas dragon head 2010

Well, it is time to look over the last 4 months of school.  This was the 6th grade dragon head that we made together this year!  We used mirrored balls for the eyes.  The jaw is not connected so that they had more flexablility with opening and closing the mouth manually...I think it turned out fantastic! 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Long time no see

Whoa, I forgot what my blog looked like!  I guess I have been ubber busy with my classes and my family...soooo, the year is sailing along.  Somehow I feel I am putting more work than ever into my classes, when I should be more or less settled after 5 years of teaching handwork.  Well, I always have to throw in a wrench, like making marionettes with my 30 seventh graders and then putting on a puppet play eventually...more on that later.  We have just begun.

So I'll have to bring this up to date in baby steps.  Here are some finished slippers we made with 7th grade out of felted sweaters.  We are focusing on recycling and reusing.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New school year

Oh my gosh, I have been so crazy busy with the start of school.  No matter how ready I think I am, as soon as classes begin I feel as though I am not ready at all!  My supplies are all a mess already...I don't have a handwork room, so everthing is always jumbled and spread out over different classrooms, I always seem to forget something, and it just leaves me scatter-brained too!

I do have an assistant this year to help me with my super-sized classes!  Whew, that is a help for sure, but it still leaves the basic problem of too many students in a handwork class.  I don't like having 3o plus students one bit.  I just can't spread myself that do the students feel?  Well, I wish I knew, I can barely spend a minute with them individually...hopefully as the year goes on, I will be able to have more one on one the meantime, I have to remember to breathe...

I am trying to decide whether to bring my personal life into this blog, not that anyone reads it...I was keeping it to just handwork, but I am feeling the need to include aspects of my life...for example, I have a 16, almost 17 year old son who after the first 2 weeks of school, in the midst of my busiest time, declares he wants to return to Waldorf education and the private waldorf high school...uh oh, just when we were almost getting a leg up on, we check it out, there is room in the junior class, and now he is in his 3rd day of waldorf high school.  (a little background, he went to 9 years of waldorf, decided on regular high school, and after two years has returned)...his books are still in his old locker at the other school !  He is loving it, and that is what matters.  He is a wonderful boy/man, so talented....and sooooooo 16.  

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Beginning 2010-2011

Crazy busy getting ready for classes to start!  Well, here's at least one class that is organized and ready to go!  6th grade pencil pouches.  First, we will be practicing stitches on scrap fabric, ie: running, whipstitch, blanket, and threading and knotting a needle, which seems like you shouldn't have to teach that, but believe me, if you spend some time on this at the beginning, you will be glad!

The Sewing Machine (song)

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I found this while thinking about making marionettes with my  6th grade this year.

Check out the "story aprons" !!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

8th grade mosaics of seasons

Well, somehow I missed the spring mosaic...I'll get that later!  They turned out pretty good I think...the frames were made from a cut down poplar tree from a friend's house...I like how natural and rustic they are!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

8th grade mosaic "Summer"

Well, one mosaic of four (seasons) was done today...these have to be finished by next week (and framed) for the students to present as their parting gift to the school!!  Let's hope they make it!!  Looks like lots of lunch/recess time for 8th graders in Handwork....

They are turning out beautifully!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Is anyone out there?

Is anyone even reading my blog?  I really do it for myself, but I was wondering...I've started to leave more comments on blogs I visit because I realize it is so fun to know somebody looked at your blog, so leave a comment already!

Oh, and I got full braces 6 days ago.  My students think I am the coolest!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Medieval Games banner

Medieval Games banner for the class of 2012!!!  Each schools 6th grade class makes tunics, and this is the crowning jewel, their banner!  Each student painted a square and we fused it onto the banner.  We painted the letters using a stencil, and stenciled the 2012 on the bottom.  (I sewed the banner itself in like 15 minutes...the silk fabric and all the rest only cost $6 , all on sale and with my teacher's discount at JoAnne's)  After years of trying different things, like sewing appliques, using felt...etc, this has worked out the best I think...maybe next year we could embroider the images on, but really, my class sizes are only getting bigger, so not sure if that would be a good idea or not.  It seems we are always racing to get things together before the medieval games begin, no matter how early I start the process!!

Renaissance shirts and corsetes, 7th grade

Just in time, these girls finished their hand sewn shirts and corsetes!!  The corsetes were made from old donated tee shirts  (we are getting very creative due to budget cuts all around!!).  The top picture shows putting grommets in.  Next year we will use larger grommets and I will keep an eye for short-cutters...the middle one was done correctly, but the other two took a few shortcuts, and it shows!  They should be reversible, so there is two sides, but the ladies on the sides only used one layer.  Oh well, they still turned out great, and fine for costume--they went to a Renaissance faire the next day!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tunics, mosaics, proud students!

Wow, we really had a big push to get some tunics done so the 6th graders can wear it in their play!  They don't have to be done for a month, but a few who have parts requiring the outfit were given a little encouragement (and gave up their lunch time) to be closer to finishing...

The 8th grade is winding down to graduation...I love this time with the 8th grade, they always seem to wind down and get a little melancholic the last couple of usually starts with the first rehearsal of the May Pole dance, where it is their opportunity to shine for the community!  We are working hard to finish mosaics as a gift back to the school...really working against the clock on this one!

Friday, March 19, 2010

A corsette, of course....

Well, at least 2 seventh graders have finished their renaissance shirt and corsette (made out of donated Tshirts!!) all hand sewn...this is wonderful, but the rest kind of lag behind...this is a special problem for handwork teachers...this was supposed to last the rest of the year....hmmm, must come up with something fun for these two, in a hurry!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Medieval Games Tunics begin!

Oh boy, finally dyed the tunics...I say finally because 6th grade has been waiting a veeeeerrrrrry loooooonnnng time to do these, or so they feel that!  I love their enthusiasm (if I could only get that kind of enthusiasm from the 8th grade...).  They voted for purple, so we dyed them and hung them to dry when it was finally sunny!  This week we will begin on coats of arms and their banner.  (on a side note, the 7th grade saw the tunics drying and said things like "what!  how come they get purple....."  How soon they forget, they voted on red unanimously last year---pretty sure purple was and option.  Why is it that every grade feels the year before gets bigger and better is almost school-wide, this feeling, even though they have done the exact same project the year prior...funny little people, the grass is always greener...)

Monday, March 1, 2010

3rd grade dwellings

I just had to put up some pictures of our 3rd grade dwellings project...they are the best I have seen yet, you can see how much time and effort they put in...I do not teach this, but I was so impressed and delighted!

First pair of 5th grade socks!

Well, one student has finished her 4 needle socks!  This is always a very exciting project for them to finish, and rarely do I have more than 5 that get that far!  She is knitting a dress for herself now...when they finish this, I give them an option of bringing a project from home in, or I can give them another project (eg, a gnome or animal or leggings etc...).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One more hat !

One more hat done in 5th grade!  This student had some allergy type issues with wool, so she bought some cotton yarn, and it turned out great!  I forgot to compensate for the different yarn, so with the same pattern (it is cast on 60, divided onto 3 needles, knit in the round) it ended up a little baggy, but really was great like that!  We might weave in a little ribbon if she wants to cinch it up a bit, which would be cute too!  This is my class of 32, no helpers or volunteers, so I am pretty amazed that anyone gets anything done!  I have one student who will finish her second sock on Friday!

We are beginning a mosaic project for the 8th graders gift to the school...a huge undertaking, but do-able, right?  I wish I could do woodworking with that class, but it is too big and there are not enough supplies and I have exhausted my handwork funds for the year!

Monday, February 1, 2010

PJ pants and Renaisance shirts !

Well, here it is February!  Rain has made the last couple of weeks crazy at school, the kids were getting cabin fever, not to mention the mud from shoes on the floor, something that drives me mad!!  Anyhoo, sun was here for the weekend and today, but looks like cloudy skies are back tomorrow.  One day last week I went out during a sunny break and had handwork out on the blacktop playground!

Here are a couple of finished PJ pants made by some proud 8th graders!

Also, the first finished hand stitched Renaissance shirt from 7th grade!  Next for this student will be a hand stitched corsette to go overtop, made from an old T shirt.

Anyone need a handwork teacher?  I feel the budget might cut me right out of a job!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rainy windy Wednesday

Well, I have been very frustrated with my 8th grade class, getting to the point of canceling handwork for the rest of the year... So, after a concerned parent contacted me, I decided to brainstorm with the main lesson teacher for a solution. Temporarily, I have split the class, so I am working with a maximum of 15 at a time, instead of 25. SO, yesterday was the first day, I had about 12 students, and it worked like magic!! I actually felt that I was teaching instead of putting out fires and taking care of behaviour problems, which in retrospect were probably a result of too many students (do ya think??) for a handwork teacher to handle, at least for 8th grade. They only will get handwork once a week this way, but really, that is what they were getting before. The students loved it, and I think they felt more respected....I know they felt more respected. Even the "difficult" students that worked with me yesterday were completely different in that atmosphere.

SOOOO, I have given our administrator my intentions for next year, which are to still teach handwork, but with a co-teacher if the classes cannot be reduced for me. It is so hard, we need the money each student brings, but the class sizes have doubled since I have started, and I was a little unprepared for the result of and leare....oh, and if I cannot co-teach or have smaller classes, I will be on to a different adventure. Needless to say, I am getting my resume up to date!!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

8th grade pj's

Miracles do happen, and a few 8th graders are finished or nearly finished the PJ project. This class is a challenge for me, as there are so many of them, so few working machines, and only one of me...I love the Zebra print !

By some