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Hunting for Spring Bulletin Board Ideas for Elementary Library Using Cricut Maker

pexels-photo-356548.jpegSpring is in the air!

I’m on the hunt for Spring bulletin board ideas for my elementary school library. My creative juices are leaning toward birds and flowers with some connection to prompt a fresh look at reading. What’s on your board?

To add another layer to my creative endeavors, I just ordered a Cricut Maker and am so excited to try it out. It is my first Cricut, so I expect a learning curve. Of course, I spent some time on Pinterest. No sense starting from a blank screen when there are experts ready to share. I might as well set myself up for success by following in the steps of those who have gone before, right? So, in order to find some free flower templates that can be uploaded to Cricut’s Design Space, I entered this search term: flower template svg free.

Here’s what I found:

On Bird’s Cards: Free SVG Cut Files, there is a free download named ‘Flowers and Leaves’ which has an interesting looking rolled flower template. She even added link to a photo tutorial. You’ll find that here: Birds Cards Rolled Flower Tutorial . Here’s how my first rolled flowered turned out using cardstock:


first attempt at a rolled flower using Bird’s Cards ‘Rolled Flower 1’

On Jennifer Maker, you’ll find several free SVG and PDF files including her post ‘How to Make Giant Paper Flowers – Easy and Fast! She includes the PDF files for hand cutting and the SVG files for using a Cricut cutting machine. Here’s how my first giant paper flower turned out using colored paper:


first attempt at a giant, paper flower using Jennifer Maker’s Giant Paper Flower SVG template

I think this would be a fun project for the Art Club. Maybe they’d like to help me make all the flowers for the bulletin board. We’re on Spring Break so I have another week to figure out the rest of the bulletin board idea, but I think I’m well on my way.

Hey, thanks for reading this post. Cheers!

signature sun

The 40 Book Challenge Revisited | Donalyn Miller

Next week I begin another school year as a library media specialist in an elementary school. I am changing schools. I am excited about the possibilities and a little nervous too. I can’t wait to connect with another community of readers. It is my desire to help students love reading and grow as readers. 

I read about the 40 Book Challenge in The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. I love how the challenge helps each student grow as a reader. I long to help my new students reach personally set reading goals that will help them become lifelong readers. I found this article, The 40 Book Challenge Revisited, to be a thoughtful response to misuses of Mrs. Miller’s original intention. I hope you find it thought provoking too. Happy reading!


Teaching Special Thinkers: Back to School Books for Week 1: All About School

Gabrielle, at Teaching Special Thinkers, has started an amazing series of blog posts sharing the books she is reading aloud and how she’s incorporating activities around the books throughout the day. The picture shows the books she’ll be using the first week of school.


Control Alt Achieve: 6 End-Of-Year Google Classroom Clean-up Tips by @EricCurts

Ah, I learned something new through this article. I need to make sure I returned all student work so ownership reverts back to the student. Did anyone else forget to clean up your #GoogleClassroom at the end of the school year? Here’s a step-by-step guide to the process by Eric Curts. #edtech #edtechteam @ericcurts


Pattern Translation: ByNinuska’s Finnish 3D Rose (my version)

My version of ByNinuska's 3D Rose

My version of ByNinuska’s 3D Rose

I’ve been seeing a lot of one particular blog post by a Finnish blogger of a gorgeous 3D Rose. Well, I used Google Translate and the photos on ByNinuska’s blog post to come up with an English translation. The photo above is my understanding of her pattern with a modification. I used variegated peach crochet thread to add the edging to the petals. I’d love for you to try my translation and let me know how your rose turns out too.

Here’s my translation using US terminology of ByNinuska’s 3D Rose crochet pattern (original pattern here):

  • Chain 72.
  • Row 1: DC into 3rd chain from hook, *Ch-1, Skip 2 stitches and DC into next stitch, ch-2, DC into same stitch*, Repeat to end of chain, turn work
  • Row 2: [Ch-3 (counts as 1st DC), DC, ch-2, 2-DC] into Ch-2 space of Row 1, *2-DC, Ch-2, 2-DC* into each Ch-2 space of Row 1 to end of row, turn
  • Row 3: [Ch-3 (counts as 1st DC), 5-DC] in Ch-2 space of previous row, *SC into space between Pattern Repeat of Row 2 (between the fans), *6-DC in Ch-2 space, SC in space between two fans of previous row*, Repeat to end
  • My modification: Row 4: Using crochet thread, *2-SC in Front Loop Only of each DC, 1-SC in Front Loop Only of each SC*, Repeat to end
  • Weave in ends.

If you wouldn’t mind, please try this pattern. Also, I’d be happy to have someone who has tried the pattern tell me a better way to word Row 3. Thanks so much!

Happy crocheting!

Grand Opening: Unique Thread Artistry sells handcrafted items on Etsy

20150608_204403Etsy logo 20150608_214429

Great news! My Etsy shop, Unique Thread Artistry, is now open for business.

Mason jars are all the rage. Even my Grandma loves them! Nowadays, though, we use them for much more than canning and preserving. One way we use mason jars is as drinking mugs. We offer mason jars to our guests filled with ice tea and lemonade, and invite them to sit on the front porch to visit.

Now, you can find the perfect mason jar cozy for your mason jar. It’ll keep your hands away from that melting ice as you sip away the hours. Ah, summertime. The pure joy of it. Well, we can dream, can’t we? Even if we rest on the porch after a long day’s work, a cozy is good for the mason jar. Try it and see.

If you hurry, you might even be able to snag one for Father’s Day. Now that’s a gift he won’t get every day.

Freebie: Playdough-to-Plato Releases 2015-2016 Lesson Planner for Teachers and Homeschooling Families

Playdough to Plato

Playdough to Plato (Photo via Facebook)

If you are involved with children as a parent, teacher, extended family member or friend, but you haven’t heard of Playdough-to-Plato yet, you’re in for a treat.

Here’s the long description of their mission as stated on their Facebook page:

At Playdough to Plato, we’re all about fun. That’s why our activities are a perfect balance between “Look at what I can do now!” and “I can’t wait to do that again!”

Whether you need to supplement what you’re doing in the classroom or you’re looking for ways to teach your kids at home, we have creative activities that will make your job easier.

Follow along with Malia and the other hands-on P to P teachers and mamas at http://www.playdoughtoplato.com

Malia, the website’s founder, has just recently surrounded herself with a team of contributing writers to insure that the site explodes with fresh activities and ideas for students in the classroom and/or your own kiddos at home.

For your free 2015-2016 Lesson Planner, head on over to Playdough-to-Plato. Note that this is a subscriber freebie so you’ll need to register if you aren’t already one of her 25,000+ subscribers. You can learn more about Playdoh-to-Plato on the following sites: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, PinterestInstagram and TeachersPayTeachers. You can also find Malia on GooglePlus. Whew!

NetGalley: Early digital access for professional readers

Sticker - NG Member -Prof Reader

Have you heard of NetGalley yet?  If not, I’ll attempt to remedy that right now.  Through NetGalley, professional readers can gain access to free e-books in all genres.  These books are provided by publishers so you can take a look at them before they’re published.  Although not absolutely required, every publisher on NetGalley loves feedback!

How do you qualify for these free e-books?  NetGalley says, “If you’re a reviewer, blogger, journalist, librarian, bookseller, educator, or in the media, get a FREE NetGalley account to read and review titles before they are published.”

For more information, check out NetGalley’s tour,  browse the catalog, or find out which publishers offer books on the site.

You might also be interested in checking out this post on The Bibliophile Chronicles:


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